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Sunday, May 22, 2011


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Fr. James Early

Just discovered your podcast and blog. I love them! Thank you for doing this. Can't wait for more.

Roy Stedall-Humphryes

'The History of England'
Robert the Devil (1027-1035)

Hi David,
I do like the way you have put all this together but I do have a question for you to answer and to my mind a very important question.
It is concerning the payment to Duke Robert 1st of the county of Vexin (French) for services rendered to Henry who then became King Henry 1st of France.WHAT KIND OF SERVICE DID ROBERT RENDER TO HENRY OF FRANCE?
This service must have been heavy deed, possibly murder as the French Vexin was an extremely important piece of real-estate with it's borders only 50 miles from Paris!!!
Then later, Robert treks off to Jerusalem to (possibly) expurgate his great sin?
I really would like your take on this.

The History of England

I think the services rendered were clear enough - and from Henry's point of view more than warranted the Vexin - though as you say this was a major concession. The kings of France were to spend the next 250 years regretting it! So Henry 1st of France was exiled by his stepmother in 1033 in a palace coup. It took Robert and his Norman army and an invasion to get him back on the throne - and the price of the deal was the Vexin.

the pilgrimage could really have been piety. But there are a couple of other possible reasons; firstly, he!d been excommunicated by the Pope; folk in the middle ages were religious, maybe he regretted it in later life, maybe it was the Pope's price. Or, maybe Robert really did kill his brother Richard by poison - that being the gossip of the time. That could be a good reason for a pilgrimmage. Though I guess we' never know for sure...

Roy Stedall-Humphryes

Hi David,

I was just re-treading old ground and came across your, straight to the point answers. I can't thank you enough.
Another historian who had a tremendous facility to communicate medieval history, unfortunately passed away a few years ago was, Frank Barlow.
The original reason for my wanting that early Norman info, was for some background history for my novel, 'BELLÊME The Norman Warrior'. It is published with Amazon as a Kindle ebook. If you get time to read it I would appreciate some feedback.
Yours sincerely, Roy Stedall-Humphryes

Robert Coates

G'day David,
As a 'Ten pound Pom' who came to Australia from near Chichester in 1954 aged seven, I've always had an interest and soft spot for the Motherland and its history, despite now being a True Blue Aussie.
So I was delighted to discover recently (thanks to a mention on the 'Space Rocket History' website) your website and fascinating podcasts.
I'm working my way forward from the earlier podcasts and enjoying them and learning from them.
Keep up the good work and thank you for your dedication.
Rob Coates
Perth, Western Australia

The History of England

Hi Robert...and glad you are enjoying it! I must remember to thank Michael for the recommendation.

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