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The Disaster of the White Ship In 1120 Matilda's elder brother William Adelin and heir to the English throne died returning from Normandy when his ship, called the White Ship, hit rocks and sank. As Henry I had no other children, Matilda was declared heir to the English throne. Henry made the Barons swear allegiance to Matilda and made them swear that they should crown her as Queen upon his death. One of these barons was Stephen of Blois, Henry's nephew.

The Empress Matilda accompanied by her son, Henry, daughter-in-law, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Holding court.

Selling vinegar and Donkey. etching. England 1688, Cries of London. BM by tony harrison, via Flickr

"Sir William Marshal (1147–1219) was an English (or Anglo-Norman) soldier and statesman [who some have] described as the 'greatest knight who ever lived.' He served Henry II, Richard the Lionheart, King John, and Henry III—and rose from obscurity, as a second son, to become a regent of England for Henry III. Before him, the hereditary title of "Marshal" meant head of the King's castle security. By the time he died, people throughout Europe referred to him simply as "the Marshal." Ancestor

from Stacy Sews and Schools

Middle Ages Unit Study

Life in the Middle Ages centered around a castle or manor.

from the Guardian

'Welcome to Fear City' – the inside story of New York's civil war, 40 years on

'Welcome to Fear City' – the inside story of New York's civil war, 40 years on.-- There arises, for the first time in its history, the possibility that New York will no longer be a place where talented young people want, or can afford, to go – becoming instead the world’s largest gated community: incalculably wealthy, sterile, and dull. This, surely, would be the real Fear City.

from The Chronicle of Higher Education

The European Atrocity You Never Heard About

Forced relocation of Germans after WWII: "George Orwell, an outspoken opponent of the expulsions, pointed out in his essay "Politics and the English Language" that the expression "transfer of population" was one of a number of euphemisms whose purpose was 'largely the defense of the indefensible'."

Contemporary depictions of Geoffrey of Anjou (l) and the Empress Matilda; Parents of Henry II of England.

William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke. Served King Henry II, Queen Eleanor of Aqutaine, tutor of Henry, the Young King. As a rival, the only man to best Richard the Lionhearted, then turned ally. Supported John, saved London from the French and expelled them as Regent, under the boy King Henry III. Effigy at Temple church, London

Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI and Queen of England at the start of the Wars of the Roses