|Born||30 January 1943|
|Notable works||Plantagenet England, 1225-1360 (2005)|
Michael Charles Prestwich OBE (born 30 January 1943) is an English historian, specialising on the history of medieval England, in particular the reign of Edward I. He is retired, having been Professor of History at Durham University and Head of the Department of History until 2007.
Prestwich is the son of two Oxford historians, John Prestwich (historian) and Menna Prestwich. His father, "the redoubtable mediaevalist ... who knew so much and published so little", had worked at Bletchley Park during the war, working among other things on the breaking of U-boat codes.He was educated at the Dragon School in Oxford, and then went to a well-known public school Charterhouse, before winning a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford. After being awarded an MA and First in History, he completed his D.Phil. with a thesis entitled Edward I's wars and their financing 1294-1307 at Christ Church, Oxford.
After a year as a lecturer at Christ Church, Michael moved in 1969 to St Andrews where he stayed for ten years before moving to Durham as a Reader. He soon became Professor, and has been head of the department for two spells. For seven years in the 1990s he was Pro Vice-Chancellor, with a wide brief which even extended to health and safety. He was chairman of the trustees of the Durham Union Society until 2013. He twice chaired the History panel for the Research Assessment Exercise, in 1996 and 2001.
Prestwich has provided support and encouragement to other historians, in particular Ann Hyland, who recognised his assistance in her work on medieval warhorses.Prestwich wrote the foreword for both of her books on the subject. On his retirement, he was presented with a festschrift, War, Government and Aristocracy in the British Isles c.1150-1500, edited by Chris Given-Wilson, Ann Kettle and Len Scales.
Prestwich was appointed OBE in the 2010 New Year Honours.
He is married to fellow Oxford-educated historian Maggie Prestwich, who recently retired as Senior Tutor at Trevelyan College, Durham. He lives in Western Hill in Durham, and has a dog and three grown-up children. He retired in 2008.
Edward II, also called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed in January 1327. The fourth son of Edward I, Edward became the heir apparent to the throne following the death of his elder brother Alphonso. Beginning in 1300, Edward accompanied his father on campaigns to pacify Scotland. In 1306, he was knighted in a grand ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Following his father's death, Edward succeeded to the throne in 1307. He married Isabella, the daughter of the powerful King Philip IV of France, in 1308, as part of a long-running effort to resolve tensions between the English and French crowns.
Edward I, also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. Before his accession to the throne, he was commonly referred to as The Lord Edward. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved from an early age in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons. In 1259 he briefly sided with a baronial reform movement, supporting the Provisions of Oxford. After reconciliation with his father, however, he remained loyal throughout the subsequent armed conflict, known as the Second Barons' War. After the Battle of Lewes, Edward was hostage to the rebellious barons, but escaped after a few months and defeated the baronial leader Simon de Montfort at the Battle of Evesham in 1265. Within two years the rebellion was extinguished and, with England pacified, Edward joined the Ninth Crusade to the Holy Land. He was on his way home in 1272 when he was informed that his father had died. Making a slow return, he reached England in 1274 and was crowned at Westminster Abbey.
Edward III, also known as Edward of Windsor before his accession, was King of England and Lord of Ireland from January 1327 until his death. He is noted for his military success and for restoring royal authority after the disastrous and unorthodox reign of his father, Edward II. Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. His fifty-year reign was the second-longest in medieval English history, and saw vital developments in legislation and government, in particular the evolution of the English Parliament, as well as the ravages of the Black Death. He outlived his eldest son, Edward the Black Prince, and the throne passed to his grandson, Richard II.
John Peckham was Archbishop of Canterbury in the years 1279–1292. He was a native of Sussex who was educated at Lewes Priory and became a Friar Minor about 1250. He studied at the University of Paris under Bonaventure, where he would later teach theology. From his teaching, he came into conflict with Thomas Aquinas, with whom he debated on two occasions. Known as a conservative theologian, he opposed Aquinas' views on the nature of the soul. Peckham also studied optics and astronomy, and his studies in those subjects were particularly influenced by Roger Bacon and Alhazen.
Robert Burnell was an English bishop who served as Lord Chancellor of England from 1274 to 1292. A native of Shropshire, he served as a minor royal official before entering into the service of Prince Edward, the future King Edward I of England. When Edward went on the Eighth Crusade in 1270, Burnell stayed in England to secure the prince's interests. He served as regent after the death of King Henry III of England while Edward was still on crusade. He was twice elected Archbishop of Canterbury, but his personal life—which included a long-term mistress who was rumoured to have borne him four sons—prevented his confirmation by the papacy. In 1275 Burnell was elected Bishop of Bath and Wells, after Edward had appointed him Lord Chancellor in 1274.
Ranulf Flambard was a medieval Norman Bishop of Durham and an influential government minister of King William Rufus of England. Ranulf was the son of a priest of Bayeux, Normandy, and his nickname Flambard means incendiary or torch-bearer, and may have referred to his personality. He started his career under King William I of England, probably in the compilation of the Domesday Book, as well as being the keeper of the king's seal. On the death of William I, Ranulf chose to serve the new king of England, William Rufus.
The Battle of Neville's Cross took place during the Second War of Scottish Independence on 17 October 1346, half a mile to the west of Durham, England. An invading Scottish army of 12,000 led by King David II was defeated with heavy loss by an English army of approximately 6,000–7,000 men led by Ralph Neville, Lord Neville. The battle was named after an Anglo-Saxon stone cross that stood on the hill where the Scots made their stand. After the victory, Neville paid to have a new cross erected to commemorate the day.
Humphrey (VI) de Bohun, 3rd Earl of Hereford and 2nd Earl of Essex, was an English nobleman known primarily for his opposition to King Edward I over the Confirmatio Cartarum. He was also an active participant in the Welsh Wars and maintained for several years a private feud with the earl of Gloucester. His father, Humphrey (V) de Bohun, fought on the side of the rebellious barons in the Barons' War. When Humphrey (V) predeceased his father, Humphrey (VI) became heir to his grandfather, Humphrey (IV). At Humphrey (IV)'s death in 1275, Humphrey (VI) inherited the earldoms of Hereford and Essex. He also inherited major possessions in the Welsh Marches from his mother, Eleanor de Braose.
Antony Bek was a bishop of Durham and the Patriarch of Jerusalem.
The Edwardian War was the first phase of the Hundred Years' War between France and England. It was named after King Edward III of England, who claimed the French throne in defiance of King Philip VI of France. The dynastic conflict was caused by disputes over the French feudal sovereignty over Aquitaine and the English claims over the French royal title. The Kingdom of England and its allies dominated this phase of the war.
The destrier is the best-known war horse of the medieval era. It carried knights in battles, tournaments, and jousts. It was described by contemporary sources as the Great Horse, due to its significance.
A courser is a swift and strong horse, frequently used during the Middle Ages as a warhorse. It was ridden by knights and men-at-arms.
Horses in the Middle Ages differed in size, build and breed from the modern horse, and were, on average, smaller. They were also more central to society than their modern counterparts, being essential for war, agriculture, and transport.
Horse transports in the Middle Ages were boats used for effective means of transporting horses over long distances, whether for war or general transport. They can be found from the Early Middle Ages, in Celtic, Germanic and Mediterranean traditions.
Ann Hyland is a writer and historian who specialises in equestrianism and the development of horses. She is also a consultant for the Oxford English Dictionary.
William of Louth was a medieval Bishop of Ely.
Hobelars were a type of light cavalry, or mounted infantry, used in Western Europe during the Middle Ages for skirmishing. They originated in 13th century Ireland, and generally rode hobbies, a type of light and agile horse.
The Remonstrances of 1297 were a set of complaints presented by a group of nobles in 1297, against the government of King Edward I of England. Foremost among the nobles were Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, Marshal of England, and Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, Constable of England.
The Boulogne agreement was a document signed by a group of English magnates in 1308, concerning the government of Edward II. After the death of Edward I in 1307, discontent soon developed against the new king. This was partly due to lingering problems from the previous reign, but also related to issues with Edward II himself. Particularly his abandonment of the Scottish Wars and his patronage of the unpopular Piers Gaveston caused discontent. Drawn up in Boulogne-sur-Mer during the king's nuptials, the document vaguely asserted the signatories' duty to guard the rights of the Crown. Three months later, the agreement was the basis for another document, justifying opposition to the king. This latter document, the so-called Declaration of 1308, is notable for its use of the "doctrine of capacities": the distinction between the person of the King and the institution of the Crown.
The conquest of Wales by Edward I, sometimes referred to as the Edwardian Conquest of Wales, to distinguish it from the earlier Norman conquest of Wales, took place between 1277 and 1283. It resulted in the defeat and annexation of the Principality of Wales, and the other last remaining independent Welsh principalities, by Edward I, King of England.