Medieval ladies in arms: instructions for the protection of the castle when her husband not at homePictolic
Medieval feudal lords rarely sat at home. They went with the orders of the overlord, participated in tournaments, Crusades, wars with neighbors. While the men smashed the Saracens or kicked each other out of the seats at the Royal tournaments, the housework was ruled by their noble wives. Often, while the men were outside the home, women had to assume the role of commander and lead the defense of the castle.
In 1066 to the Bank of England arrived with an army the Duke of Normandy William, who went down in history under the nickname "the Conqueror". For several years he defeated the local Anglo-Saxon rulers and became king. In the year 1075, Ralph de Guadaira, one of the companions of William, raised against the suzerain rebellion. The king quickly defeated the army of the rebel, who fled to Denmark.
The only serious resistance to the Royal army had the wife of Ralph 16-year-old Emma Countess of Norfolk. She organized the defense of the castle of Norwich, which was for the troops besieging impregnable. Royal generals have decided to negotiate with the shieldmaiden and proposed to surrender the fortress in exchange for the life of her and her people.
She agreed and led the detachment of soldiers went to Brittany, where she met her husband, a fugitive. In 1095 Emma Norfolk went to the First crusade in the army of the Duke of Normandy Robert Cortese. The Countess participated in the conquest of Palestine and Syria, besieged the city of Nicaea and was killed in battle in 1096.
In 1335 England once again tried to return to Scottish soil under his own power. The defense was led by the Regent-guardian of Scotland, sir Andrew de Moray, who was married to the sister of king Robert I the Bruce. While Moray gathered an army, the British came to his castle Nildram. The defense of the stronghold was led by the wife of the Regent of the 57-year-old Christina.
A woman is not allowed the enemy to the castle and waited for the arrival of her husband. He, with 800 soldiers, defeated an army of three thousand, which were besieging the castle. Working on the series "a Song of ice and fire", some of the features of the king in the North Robb stark Jon Martin came from the guardian of Scotland, sir Andrew de Moray.
In 1338 his castle had to defend Agnes, the wife of a Scottish Earl Patrick, who owned the fortress of Dunbar. While her husband was away, his castle besieged 20-thousand English army. According to legend, when the commander Montagu suggested to Agnes to surrender the fortress, she said she would fight to the end.
The Castle Of Dunbar. Modern ruins
The first assault occurred in January 1338 and ended in failure. The catapult did not take the walls of the castle of Dunbar, and Agnes outside the wall, the warriors managed to destroy the English assault the tower. Montague tried to bribe the soldiers of the castle garrison to do during the next storm opened the gate. The guards took the money, but told all to Agnes.
The defender decided to entice the English commander into a trap. When he led the army entered the fortress, Agnes was ordered to hold the gates, separating it from the troops. At the last moment one of the English soldiers pushed the commander outside of the lattice. Agnes was upset and shouted at Montague from the wall that had hoped to see him at dinner tonight and ask for advice on how to conduct the further defence. July 10, 1338, the British admitted defeat and retreated from the castle of Dunbar. Among the Scots the defender of the fortress became a national hero and earned the nickname "Black Agnes".
During the war of roses English Lord John Naivet supported the lancastrians and was in their backyard Chancellor and Keeper of the seals. The position of the aristocracy was not liked by the enemy of Lancaster Edward IV from the house of York. Argument in the dispute was the army sent by York to storm the castle Naivete. When enemy troops approached the walls, it turned out that the owner of the house no. Instead, he was running things by the wife of Lord lady Alice Nivet.
Representatives Edward demanded the surrender of the castle. Alice replied that her husband, though gone, but was asked to keep the castle. In the harsh times of the middle Ages wives with their men to argue hesitated. Lady Naivet took on the defense of the castle and successfully directed the actions of the fifty soldiers of the garrison. After several assaults were repulsed, the enemy lifted the siege and retreated.
First husband of Caterina Sforza, Countess of forlì, was killed at the hands of the conspirators, the spouse suffered the same fate. He was stabbed in front of Catherine. If the first marriage was of convenience, the husband, Giacomo FeO, the girl really liked me and decided to take revenge for him. The medieval thinker Machiavelli wrote that the Countess gathered all their supporters and servants and ordered to cordon off the area where the conspirators lived.
Medieval portrait of Caterina Sforza
One night the people of the Countess cut not only murderers, but also all their relatives. Killed men, women, children, and Caterina on horseback gave the orders and controlled the slaughter. In 1499 Caterina Sforza personally led the defense of his castle Ravaldino in the city of Forli, who besieged the army of Cesare Borgia.
The present appearance of the fortress Ravaldino
Brave woman admired all over Italy. She dedicated songs and epigrams, in which the Countess received the nickname: "the Lioness of Romagna" and "Tigress of Forli". In 1500 the Borgia troops stormed the fortress, and Catherine, who to the last fought with a sword, was taken prisoner.