Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday, August 14th, Warwick


Our visit to the town of Warwick has been very educational.  It was just a short distance north of Lower Slaughter, but Pat had gotten a good recommendation from a friend on the castle.  We checked into our B&B, and walked through the several blocks to the Castle.

These visits to important historical sites often prove extremely valuable to me when then reveal some link to my family's history.  This one was a real surprise.

I have to admit that I've become somewhat defensive about everything in English history after 1272 A.D. That's the year that Henry II died, and his oldest son, Edward_I_of_England was crowned King.  My 21st great grandfather, Edmund_Crouchback, was his brother.  I naturally think England would have been much better off if Edward had died of the assassin's dagger while the two of them were on the Ninth Crusade in Acre (1471-74).  But he made it back in time to assume the throne, and my guy went off to Grosmont_Castle to live his life out of the limelight.

But Warwick Castle played a huge part in that history, as it was the Earl of Warwick whose Kingmaking in collaboration with both the York and Lancaster families guided the country through the War of the Roses two hundred years later.  My 16th great grandfather, William Norris, fought for the red roses in all of the wars to keep our royal line of Lancasters on the throne.  Unsuccessful, the Tudors succeeded in ousting both.

And in the castle today, we listened to an actor portraying Henry VIII thrill his audience with tales of his six wives, and his efforts to secure an heir to keep the monarchy alive.  Little did I know that his description of how he accused (and had tried for treason) several of Anne Bolyn's lovers, that one of those beheaded was my 14th great grandfather, Sir Henry Norris.  He had been appointed by in 1524 as Groom of the Stool, and was among Bolyn's most ardent supporters to succeed the King.

It certainly makes traveling very real when the places and characters you have played major roles in your existence.

Here is a link to the photos taken today: Tuesday, August 14th, Warwick

Tomorrow, we're off to see where my 21st great grandfather spent his years and is buried, and then on to Wales where his brother built five castles in an attempt to take over the region.


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