Wednesday, August 18, 2004

On Whether Language Was Acquired A Priori or A Posteriori

Did man first acquire language a priori or a posteriori? It would have been somewhat a posteriori if it were acquired through observations on animals and the way they used sounds to communicate. But are animal sounds themselves sufficient to be categorized as language? In so much as animals are able to communicate with distinct sounds, they still lack the sophistication and complexity that make up a human language.

I would suppose that early men with smaller brain volume communicated with each other quite similarly with the way the animals did. So at some point throughout human evolution when brain volume increased, sound communication grew in sophistication and complexity and it eventually became a language.

Now. How inevitable it was for the sound communication to have evolved into a language? It would have been inevitable if any animal species could develop a language without failure were their brain volume increased accordingly. It would not have been necessarily inevitable if but one animal species failed to develop a language eventhough their brain volume were increased accordingly; in which case man first acquired language most likely a priori....

Of course, brain volume might not have been the only determining factor in the sound-communication-to-language transformation, but surely it has got to have been one of the most important ones. Such transformation begs another question.

That is, whether the precise point in time where sound communication became language was a leap - meaning, it would seem unexpected that the transformation happened at that stage - or whether it was an expected and forseeable stage given patterns of the previous progression.

Would it then be accurate to say, that language acquisition was a priori irrespective of brain volume if the first point were the case, or that language acquisition was a posteriori irrespective of brain volume if the second point were the case? Fxs

On Voltaire and American Character

Why - it seems to me - is it that Voltaire's works are under-appreciated in the US given his extraordinary wit? Does there exist within the American character a trait that was acquired as a result of some uniquely American experience which would render Voltaire particularly unremarkable to the American person? A broader curiosity: does American character in general - as far as it is possible to identify it as such without gross miscategorizing - have a different sense of witticism compared to, say, French character?

While we are at it: is wit, when recognized as such, universal?

Also, given the great importance of Voltaire in fighting the prevailing abuse of dogmatism in his time, might his works not also be relevant in the present time when religious fundamentalism seems to be gaining ground once again? Fxs

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

HYW(Duncan2): A Glimpse on Medieval Politicking

An episode touching on greed, overlapping fealty, and the meaning of one's principle.

I. Holy Roman Empire Ludwig IV von Bayern's announcement outlawing Jean III de Lothier, Duke of Brabant.

Nobles of Holy Roman Empire:

During the recent battle for control of the Aquitaine, Jean de Lothier III was found aiding the enemies of the Empire. His actions have endangered the lives of his countrymen and have extended the war with England, costing lives in general. We find that the evidence presented to us is sound and more than credible.

For these crimes, we declare him an Outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire. As such, he is to be captured, held without ransom, and brought to Aachen and justice.

By my Hand
Emperor Ludwig

II. Alain de St-Vollier, Boutellier of France and Count of Valence, immediately took a Brabant fief.

Your Emminence,

Hearing your call, we have parlayed in Brabant to effect your will, and that of all the Empire against the outlaw de Lothier.

I shall guard Bergen according to your wish, and protect it from any incursion by their former lord.

Your Servant of the Empire and Arles,

III. Prince of Piedmont takes issue with Count of Valence's action.


The lands of Lothier have been allocated to Imperial nobles.

You were informed at the time of your last transgression that any further attacks without prior authorization on lands not within your sphere of influence would be dealt with harshly. Obviously you feel that the subterfuge of your unsolicited so-called "assistance" would stay that are incorrect.

If neither your liege Philippe nor His Grace Ludwig will take definitive action to curb your piracy, it is left to those who have in the past been victimized by you to assure that it does not happen again.

Savoy will observe to see if you are seriously brought to justice or left to seize any pretense to usurp the rights of others with naught but a tap upon the wrist. If decisive action is not taken, Savoy will act to rid the area of one who shows no respect for the rights of others.

Prince Piedmont
Marquess Savoy
Duc Normandie

IV. Count of Valence's response.

Oh Mighty Caesar,

Please refer to the missive sent via the public heralds to Their Graces of Bretagne for some clarification in this matter, if clarification is what it is that you wish. Also, refer to His Imperial Highness' missive regarding the outlawing of de Lothier. In it, he calls upon all Imperial Nobles. Similarly, good Duc, should His Majesty of France call upon all nobles of France, I am sure you would be the first to answer this call to Normandy's service.

Should it not be clarification that you wish, but simply an outlet for your, belligerence, then if you greatly desire it from me, I shall be happy to comply.

One last thing, I do note how your Signature is laid out in your missive, and remind you that though you did come by lands in the Empire, the Duchy of Normandy is your very highest title, and therefore, should come first in your signature, if not, sadly, in your allgiance.


V. Prince of Piedmont's warning, along with explanation of his "responsibility" towards his "people."


Firstly you have a long history of trespassing upon the rights of others and any with but eyes to read have seen it many times in the past, most firmly in my memory are your brigandry in both Bretagne and my own lands in Auvergne. At the time of your offense in Auvergne (after earlier offense in Bretagne), I was assured by your sole sworn liege Philippe that you had claimed that you had not been aware that permission and prior arrangement were required for the taking of lands outside those of which you hold overlord title. I was also assured that, should you repeat your offense you would suffer serious consequences. As I have knowledge of Philippe as an honest and honorable ally, I was at that time persuaded to forego retribution. That you would believe that this was true of lands within the realm of your sworn liege and yet would not apply to you in lands in the realm of those to whom you have neither sworn feal nor given homage as an independent ruler in the confederation is laughable at best.

Do not present yourself as an Imperial noble, as a confederated member of the Empire, I am well aware of who has and has not sworn feal or homage and who has contributed to that are most certainly not among that group. Had you been even peripherally involved, you would have been aware that the subject lands had been allocated in conference with His Imperial Grace Ludwig, as they would have been by your sole sworn liege Philippe had they been French lands. By your own words and actions, you have made your claim to imperial nobility an insult to all true Imperial Nobles.

Since you have obviously have trouble keeping up with world affairs, I will take this opportunity to explain the matter of my titles to you...if you find it too subtle, perhaps your scribe can assist in comprehension. As Prince Piedmont, I am an independent ruler within the confederation of the Holy Roman Empire. Savoy, while technically inferior, is my family's longest held title and for some years past it has been absorbed into the independent Prinicpality of Piedmont as an equal and combined title with the Principality itself. Normandie is a duchy subject to the kingdom of Philippe and therefore junior to the combined Piedmont/Savoy. That said, I will sign my name as I wish and you need to pay attention to the territorial rights of your neighbors in order to prove yourself at least civilized before attempting to correct your betters.

It appears that You have disregarded prior warning regarding the correction of your ways. You have shown in the past a propensity for usurping my property rights as well as those of others and your current laughable excuses are ample proof that you have reverted to the same types of acts.

I have great respect and true affection for your liege, however, should he prove unable or unwilling to provide the retribution that I was assured of on your prior violations, my responsibility to my people requires that I take action to either demonstrate to you the consequences of any future brigandry or remove you as the spoiled grapes are removed from the press to save the wine.

Piedmont/Savoy and France have enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship and Savoy trusts that the unfortunate need to protect our interests from one of little consequence and who bears an unfortunate resemblance to a cannon that has not been properly staked before it is fired will not adversely affect that relationship.

Piedmont, Savoy and Normandie

VI. Count of Valence's response, again.


I had not seen where you were Overlord in Auvergne my lord, forgive me if I had mistaken your provenance. Your simplification of matters and your disdain of others who follow the command of the Emporer and the Roi de France seem to evoke a rather strong strain of megalomania and hubris on your part. A trait you share, no doubt, with your namesake.

I am a sworn lord of Arles, your grace, and if you search the records of the Kingdom of Arles, and its lists of oaths, I am sure you will find my own in such a place. That His Imperial Majesty's court did not share what seems to have been a prearragned allocation of lands in Brabant with all of His subjects, is a disappointment, but I do know how sometimes these things work, and can understand the need for secrecy in state matters. I assure you, I am subject to His command within the Empire, as are we all.

If I remember events correctly, your grace, you yourself were made Normandy before you did inherit the title of Peidmont and Savoy -- where you were merely steward before--, from your now departed relatives by marriage. I can see your interpretation of title, however, seems to differ a bit from that we follow here in the Court of Nobles. The Empire, indeed, is a different place than is France, and I suspect that the Rei of Italy has his own relationship with yourself, as does the Roi of France. You are no doubt a very favored lord by both Their Royal Majesties, and I must say that we are all at least to a degree, a bit subject to that sin of envy that exists in the hearts of all men. I assure you I continue to pray over this, and trust in the Lord our God to relieve me of such sin, as His son has promised.

If you will show me what property rights you have in Bergen, your grace, I should hope we may all be clear on this matter. Perhaps we may be made privy to all your rights, your grace, so that we can avoid this conflict in future.... or is it simply that all disputes in title and land anywhere on the continent are subject to your own particular brand of settlement?

Also again, your grace, I should not hinder your efforts to seek whatever retribution you feel is necessary for your people, who seem to range everywhere.

I trust your relationship with Le Roi shall endure, as well, and I shall not presume to call you out with names, who are clearly my better in all things.


VII. At this point Philippe I Duke of Burgundy, whose fief within his overlordship has just been snatched by Guy Baveaux, Duke of Hainaunt, weighs in with the following letter to Prince of Piedmont.

Lord Duc de Normandy, Principe de Piedmont et Duc de Savoy,

Whils't we are a friend of the Boutellier, we are quite in agreement with your discussion of primacy of the local overlord to determine his feudal rights within his own region. Given our agreement upon this matter, perhaps you can persuade your countryman, or failing this, your lieges, that the Lord Baveaux's tresspass into Burgundy is therefor due similar treatment to that witnessed by Frenchmen in Normandy.

*~*~* Philippe I, Duc

VIII. Prince of Piedmont then responds with the clarity that of a typical modern politician.

M'lord Burgandy,

I shall act in this matter with all the firmness and resolve shown by France and Burgandy with regard to the Boutellier and his actions.


IX. Feeling a bit disgusted with such a lame response, I send him the following letter. The meaning of one's firmness and resolve as shown by others.

My Lord Prince of Savoy,

Such gallant statement, however meritorious it may seem through its verisimilar quality, is nonetheless deficient in meaning given the Duke of Burgundy's terse pronouncement on where he stands.

One would think that after such a passionate homily towards Lord Boutellier you would have no trouble whatsoever asserting your principle.

Lord Chief Justice
Hereford and Essex

X. Duke of Burgundy, noting my point, then sends me this private letter.

Lord de Bohun,

Your comment was both accurate and humorous, and doubtless to be lost on the greater share of your audience therefor.

A pity the English do not fight as well as they write,
Then would things differ as day does to night.

And yet an outcy to the public must be met, so we must reply,
NO matter how much with England we see eye to eye.

*~*~* Philippe I, Duc

XI. Another letter from Duke of Burgundy to me, this time public.

Lord de Bohun,

The Lord Duc de Normandy certainly should not need any assistance in understanding plain language... matter how humorous the aid.

What remains true is that obstreporous behaviour by minor lords of both Kingdom and Empire requires that magnates support one another. He has ours in his action, so long as he underestands this relationship thereby also is relevant to imperial lords who have transgressed into Burgundy. We would also of course then expect him to support our punitive mission into Hainaut...

*~*~* Philippe I, Duc

XII. Prince of Piedmont's response to me. It appears he misses my subtle point...

Hereford & Essex,

Let us hope this is sufficiently succinct for you.

I will afford Burgandy and France EXACTLY the assistance in dealing with an Imperial Lord who apparently trespassed in Burgandy that I was afforded in dealing with the trespasses (note the plural) of the Frenchman St. Vollier in my lands and in the Empire.

I hereby do so:

BAD Lord Baveaux, shame on you.

Piedmont-Savoy & Normandie

XIII. Prince of Piedmont's response to Duke of Burgundy.


I did in fact take punitive action against St. Vollier following his THIRD (that I can remember) transgression against the lands of others and after he had failed to even return the lands as ordered by his liege.

I advise strongly against using this as a pretext to attack an Imperial Lord who may be guilty of ONE such incident and had not been afforded the prior warnings enjoyed by the brigand St Vollier.

Piedmont-Savoy & Normandie

Monday, August 16, 2004

HYW(Duncan2): Illogic, Infallibility, and a Thing or Two

In a discussion regarding minor technical element of the game, Lady Annette de Dreux, mother to young Duke of Britanny Jean IV de Dreux, takes the liberty to show the Christendom her superior knowledge on the matter. Following her explanations and demonstrations of her knowledge, she ends her letter with this declaration: "Tis a shame that a Lady knows so much more about warfare and politics than a man from a massive history of great generals." Philippe I Duke of Burgundy, echoing the sentiment of French nobles towards the Dukedom of Brittany, sends her the following letter which then sparks a rather interesting theological discussion.

I. Duke of Burgundy to Annette de Dreux.

Dear Lady of Bretagne,

We are quite struck by thy perfection and apparent understanding of God's will. Why, one would think thou hads't in mind to challenge the infallability of the church next.

Thou does't chide from the ruined rump of a sidelined and fail'ed kingdom and crow at the slightest perceived error of those who practice the defense of their kings, or at least of their own actions, while thou does't chew on that well worn wormwood of those who cannot act and therefor prate at those that can.

We do despise those who know not chivalry whether 'tis in defeat or victory, but despiseth we still more those that hath not the intestinal stamina to
take a stand, lend a hand,
be a star, not a shame of thy land.

Where winds wear the ancestral walls
and foreign waves bring invading squalls
to the feet of your brothers,
You would stand aside and leave your friends for others?

We look to you for signs of at least even-handedness yet find we little. HOW, exactly arte those of poorer mind and flesh (than apparently arte thou madest of) to be able to understand that this one-sided prattle of thine indicates friendship, or at least the vaguest hint of neutrality, and thereby persuade our base animal spirits from ignoring the civilizing influence of our Roi?

Most Solicitously,

*~*~* Philippe I, Duc

II. Philippe Count of France-Comte to Duke of Burgundy.

Your Grace,

Your last message was true to its mark. It is hard to find any trace of neutrality in the missives sent out by the House of Bretagne.

Comte de Bourgogne

III. Annette de Dreux to Burgundy, mistakenly addressed to Count of Foix (PC #58 in the game instead of Burgundy's #53).

de Foix,

I am quite caught off guard, for I know I have no perfection in telling of God's will. Nay, only the blessed Virgin has been allowed to be near and the bearer of such perfection. There can nay be an infallable church when it is based on God as the head. People of the church, including myself are very much infallable, for we are men (or women in my such case) of God, and the only perfect man to have lived on this Earth in flesh - like you and me, is Jesus.

I hope that thou doth not try to mock myself or others next by thinking that we would soon think we can be or are God.

As for my voice, for so "lending" to the English pen, it would do so to the French, should the English put as much mistaken beliefs in their messages. For I probably read ten to fifteen french missives to every one English. The English when they send their missives do not so contradict themselves, to where a point I get so disgusted I must have to try to clear things up for these men. I also remember a point when French nobles didst say that I shouldn't read my missives if I do nay like them, so I took another choice to reduce the redundant and rather annoying complaining (which we were hearing from all). I choose to now speak to correct those who art wrong and defend my words. For if siding or speaking for the right party was wrong, thou mights find thyself being quiet in your own beliefs.

As for Bretagne helping in the War, we have not seen fit that either side should have even entered into it to begin with, and saw paths of peace that some did nay wish. Alas, I am but the overseer of Bretagne, and I shall make no decisions for the Duc unless needed. For he shall choose his own ways, and I shall be but a teacher.

Bretagne has been a long friend of both the Roi of France and the King of England, and it is not my wish to change this in anyway. In history pasts, My late husband and the ancestors of Bretagne, have helped France and England in kind. France has tried many times to say that they helped Bretagne in the War against Navarre, and I will agree they did help to bring it to a quicker resolution, they did so for their own profit in lands (and were supposed to in titles), and not in the first thoughts to help Bretagne.

As for containing your most animalistic spirits, it has been proven that even the Roi can't contain them all; However he hath tried and made good pennance for those who couldn't contain them, You should look unto God to help thee contain those spirits. I end this, with saying that I am no better than other man (or woman).

Lady Annette de Dreux,
Mother of the Duc de Bretagne,
Jean IV de Dreux*^*

IV. Burgundy to Annette de Dreux. Accuracy, Blasphemy, and the Wage of the Wagging Tongue.

Ma Foi My Lady Bretagne!

We are quite astounded by thy last note.
Let us recap the points with which we differ:

We are not Lord de Foix, but a Duc of Burgundy, of the senior line Capet, heir to the ancient family seat of Bourgogne, descendant of Hugh the Great who did first capture and create the Duchy L'Isle de France. Ergo, we do not mind being associated with honorable worthies like the lords Carcassone de Foix, but you have discounted our title, heritage, and veneration, and completely misplaced our identity just with your opening address.

We believe you have intentionally or no, blasphemed in three cases, creating an unholy trilogy of blasphemy, as well as having contradicted yourself at least once in just your first paragraph. We apologize for repeating errors in grammar and spelling for the purposes of exact quotation. To wit: blasphemy #1 "Nay, only the blessed Virgin has been allowed to be near and the bearer of such perfection." We leave it to the church to determine exactly where such perfection in the knowledge of God's will lies, but certain are we that that august institution will not agree with your exhaustive and exclusive listing in this regard; blasphemy #2 "There can nay be an infallable church when it is based on God as the head." Indeed, the head of the church is His Holiness, the Pope (which anciently previous determination has long ago determined IS infallible!), to say the church cannot be without mistake when it is based on God as its leader is a double negative implying God will cause it to be fallible ergo misled, misleading, and mistaken. We doubt very much if this is the truth, and indeed perhaps if you are a member of the cabal Templar this makes sense, but no christian in faith would say this; blasphemy #3 "People of the church, including myself are very much infallable, for we are men (or women in my such case) of God, and the only perfect man to have lived on this Earth in flesh - like you and me, is Jesus." This sentence states that men and women of the church (like you) are infallible - which is to say they cannot be misled, misleading, or mistaken. This sentence then subsequently eliminates all men from this class of infallible beings except Jesus, as he is the only man to have lived on this Earth in the flesh like you and me... Beyond the fact that this curiously leaves open the field of perfect beings for other women, this eliminates the Pope from infallibility, as well as various other beings of the flesh whom, though they be of the class of men in various states of sanctification or no, might also qualify for this description. This last blasphemy is not only blasphemy but a curious hint of heretical sectarianism that leans in the direction of witchcraft and satanic worship, but also points at another sect that seeks to seperate Jesus from the Holy Trinity, since he IS in fact, God, and not merely perfect in the knowledge of his will.

Your contradiction appears in the form of you stating the first blasphemy that only the Blessed Virgin has been allowed to be near and the bearer of such perfection in the knowledge of the will of God, and then to say in blasphemy # 3 that people of the church (like you) are infallible.

Since you do go on in later paragraphs to disparage the french regarding contradictory commentary, one need, upon remarking upon the speck in another's eye, first remove the beam from thine own.

Lady Bretagne,
Thou arte either very ill and should consider retiring from public commentary, or thou arte possessed by demons, or perhaps, we are too kind and thou does't represent the member of an heretical sect or religion seeking to test and undermine the church in these tumultuous times. If it were not for the number and repetition of thy blasphemies, we would put it down to mistaken understanding of thy native tongue or the lifelong teachings of the church you publically claim to support. We remand you to the attention of the inquisition and your betters in thy poor country who surely must shudder at what you have potentially exposed them to.

With Shocked Compassion,

*~*~* Philippe I, DUC OF BURGUNDY

V. Annette de Dreux to Burgundy.

Duc de Burgundy,

Pardon my scribes error on his address, for some reason he was in belief (or has told me thus) the letter was being transcribed to Foix. He has been properly dealt with and shall not be writing any further misives for me.

I shall now refute thy own claim as to my "Blasphemes".

Point one; The blessed Virgin is the only one to have held such perfection, Jesus was perfect from birth, unlike myself (and yourself) who was born in Sin (According to the teachings of the church and Bible). I am also asking pardon for it seems the scribe hath added the Not, thus creating the double negative. I have learnt from this and shall be reading the messages created to try to assure they are without error. I have also never declared myself to be so “Holy” or spirit filled, and would kindly remind thee that it was you and other Frenchmen who hath proclaimed such of me.

Point two; Unless thee belief in the fact that the word of God (The bible) is not written under divine inspiration, thou may be best to reread the books of Colossians and Ephesians. If the Pope is infallible, why doth he, like us, also see confessors to confess of sins.

Point Three; I again ask for forgiveness in the part of my scribe, I must say that he will definitely no longer be writing any more missives, and shall spend time in the contemplation, be his reasons for joke or from stupidity. What I had said to him is that all men, (except Jesus) are liable and will Sin, myself and yourself included.

I also shall forgo your accusations of my beliefs, accusing me of belonging to a Satanic, or other sect that wishes to see the True Christ (and God) defiled, for the reason that my scribe did show possibilities to that. But I will tell thee that you can test my faith as thee want, and can do so with the Inquisition and the Pope if they so deem it necessary. I thank thee for bringing out the scribes misgivings to me, so that I may not have such a horrible thing spread around, as if I were to have said it. As for the Scribe, he has angered me in the fact that he hath defiled Jesus with his words. I will ask that the Local clergy study him for either foolishness or other supernatural inspiration, and thus let them decide his welfare.

Lady Annette de Dreux,
Mother of the Duc de Bretagne,
Jean IV de Dreux*^*

VI. Burgundy to Annette de Dreux.

Lady of Bretagne,

Egad! Stop saying such things in public!

Perhaps if thou werte to refrain from heretical statements regarding the Pope and the church, thou woulds't need less to refute thy heretical position. Should thee be concerned about what it is that thou states't in heretical fashion, one should therefor:
A) Seek an Inquisitor
B) Cease to publically pontificate upon that which thou knowest not.

*~*~* Philippe I, Duc

VII. Annette de Dreux to Burgundy.

Duc de Burgundy

Oh most wise and benevolent biblical scholar, I simply ask of thee - what is my heretical position? This way I may change it as it is deemed unfit.

I do not claim such Holiness to have "perfection" as the French so call my "knowledge of Gods will", I have simply stated the only Lady to be so close to the perfection of Gods will (without being God) is Mary, as she was the body that carried him inside of her womb; Thus, she had such perfection within her, by Gods Grace. I again claim not of any such divine inspiration or being, for I myself am far from it.

Now that thee hath judged me a second time, I am justly right in asking what the charges against me are. I hath forgiven the first judgement as I could see reason, but as for now, I still see no reason for another judgement by thee. Since you have deemed fit to be the judger of my knowledge; I come and ask thee, as my inquisitor, what statements are so heretical. This way all may learn by your immense knowledge upon the topic of heresy.

Lady Annette de Dreux,
Mother of the Duc de Bretagne,
Jean IV de Dreux*^*

VIII. Burgundy to Annette de Dreux.

Lady Bretagne,

We point to the commentary thou hads't most recently blasphemed in: in particular your point number 2, below. While this is not the only area wherein thou arte logically bereft, this is clearly not the doctrine of the church, nor is the attempt to state that we, and not thee (or as thou woulds't have it, thy scribe) made the statements in thy opening letter in which clearly was it stated what thy heretical beliefs were....

Since the sin of pride also appears very steadily within thy steady stream of vituperative rhetoric, one must wonder wherein lies such blind chauvinism (rendered e'en more ironic given thine gender).

Since we do not wish to be tainted either by the obvious sins thou seekes't to deflect, and those thou arte apparently not even aware thou practiceth, we shall afast ourselves from thee and thy infected charge, for surely it must be so. We warn our friend the Boutellier not to take charge of the son, who surely needs such rescue, until such time as it hath been cleared by the Holy See lest his house also fall under suspicion.

Fear not Lady, we have duly recorded all that has passed form thy lips in the presence of witnesses or that hath been scratched upon the vellum of heretical history from thy hand or those thou arte the shepherd for. When the inquisition handles thy soul, it shall be lovingly complete with the aid of the rather accurate archivists of Burgundy.

Lord Absolon II, for

*~*~* Philippe I, Duc

IX. Annette de Dreux to Burgundy. Unfortunately, the argument ceases with this silly letter.

or Lord Absolon II,

First and Foremost, I must now ask if it is Lord Absolon who now hath problems with my views, or is it Philippe I de Burgundy, with which I believe hath the problems with myself. Once I get this answer, I shall reply more as needed, for I see no need to respond if Philippe I de Burgundy no longer has issue with such,

Lady Annette de Dreux,
Mother to the Duc de Bretagne,
Jean IV de Dreux*^*

Sunday, August 08, 2004

HYW(Duncan2): On Romantic Trumpery and Proper Spelling

After receiving news that Bordeaux was being besieged by Annette du Guesclin, Lady of Bain-de-Bretagne, with a force of about seven thousand men, I gathered as many men as my purse allowed and proceeded to cross the channel in an attempt to break the siege. With an army of about one thousand, I led an unsuccessful charge against the besieging force and was captured. Thierry III, Earl of Grand Pre and Marshal of France, takes the liberty to tell of what happened in his own version, and to which I then respond. A quarrel soon follows, made the merrier by participations and comments of other nobles.

I. Lord Marshal's tale.

Good Baron,

Let me be the first to invite you back to the contient. English nobles seem to be fond of the company of the sofisticated French. As it happened another distinguished English gentleman, Chief Justice, came to visit Lady du Gueslin in her camp at Bordeaux. Perhaps he came hoping to ralize his dreams of courtly amour inspired by nightingale voices of Gascon trouvers. However, he made a mistake of bringing armed brutes with him. Naturally the lady was dismayed to the point of slaughtering the said brutes in a piched battle and taking Lord Justice captive. But at least he now has a pleasure of seeing the lady of his heart on a daily basis. I'm sure this valorous deed will inspire some troubadour to compose another romance about all-engulfing passion of the said lord. I can invistion the title: "How Lord Chief Justice surrendered his heart and his sword to the lady of his heart"

Keep up good work, gentlemen! We stand in admiration.

Grand Pre

II. Feeling a bit insulted, I respond.

My Lord Earl of Grand Pre,

We are delighted by your tale and content that indeed only a "sofisticated" Frenchman such as yourself could "invistion" such a trumpery romance.

We however, beg to differ as to our fondness to the company of such "sofisticated" French for it seems we could not "ralize" anyone else belonging to such class other than yourself.

Lord Chief Justice
Hereford and Essex

III. Lord Marshal to Lord Chief Justice (me).

Sir William:

I always thought the English are overly dry in character, non-sentimental and a bit too fastidious where it comes to details, but I could not hope to see that my stereotype would be so close to reality. I come to REALIZE that Your Lordship has had a greater success in grammar school than me. Finally England got better of France. Congratulations!

Grand Pre

IV. Lord Chief Justice (me) to Lord Marshal.

My Lord Earl of Grand Pre,

Hm, generalizing and stereotyping. Looks like grammar is not the only field you need to be further educated on.

Hereford and Essex

V. Caesar, Prince of Piedmont and Savoy, to Lord Chief Justice (me). Caesar, Duke of Normandy, was formerly regent to teenage Prince Amadeo of Piedmont and Savoy, who has just died not long ago and whose news of death I am not yet aware of at this point.

Hereford and Essex,

While I may understand the provincial viewpoints forced upon you by your unfortunate upbringing, I would suggest that if you have trouble understanding dialects other than those of your own small world you employ the private services of one better educated.

It is unseemly that one who holds such a responsible position as Lord High Justice should publicly proclaim his ignorance in such a manner.

I will be happy to furnish you with well travelled and educated scribes who might prevent future embarrassments.

Piedmont and Savoy

VI. Lord Marshal to Lord Chief Justice (me).

Good Comte:

I’m afraid teachers such as yourself may only augment my propensity to stereotype. Perhaps I am better off 'un-enlightened' as it seems to me education may somewhat soften body, mind and even very spirit. But then again judicial duties may to a degree dull one’s perception of life.

Grand Pre

VII. Beatrice of Bohemie, Duchess of Luxembourg, to Lord Chief Justice (me).

LCJ Hereford and Essex,

As you are no doubt aware, being so highly educated, spelling is not at all standardized here in the mid-fourteenth century. Thus, the spellings used by Marechal de Grand Pre are just as valid as any you might choose. While you may imagine your writing skills superior, your chivalry and courtesy are surely far inferior to any whose missives I have read thus far. I am appalled by your rudeness.

Beatrice de Bohemie
Duchesse de Luxembourg

VIII. David II Bruce, King of Scotland, to all.

Good Lords of Europe,

Fight your battles in the field not in Grammer and wars of Words.

King of Scotland

IX. Pope Benedict XII to all. Speallying.

We once considered a standard speallyng, but each scholar was so partizan each to his own forms, that we abandoned the effort.


X. Lord Chief Justice (me) to Piedmont-and-Savoy and Luxembourg. A boy and a woman who wish to spell any way they choose.

My Lord Piedmont and Savoy,
My Lady Duchesse de Luxembourg,

My reply to Earl of Grand Pre could be construed as either critical towards his spelling - as he himself took it to be - or pointing out to an irony on how a supposedly sophisticated Frenchman could compose such a nonsense without necessarily touching on his spelling/dialect/what-have-you.

Apparently the first reading is the more obvious - having been adopted by Earl of Grand Pre and taken issue by both of you, and the second the more subtle - having been unnoticed let alone grasped.

I find it rather hillariously ironic however, for one who readily validates all manner of dialects in a public message to all Christendom to have chastised me for merely substituting what would have been my "dialect" with that of Earl of Grand Pre's, and missed the second interpretation that would have been readily understood when read irrespective of the "dialect" being used.

Perhaps a reading comprehension lesson is in order for both of you?

Hereford and Essex

PS: Speaking about chivalry, courtesy, and rudeness, do you suppose Earl of Grand Pre's made-up tale about Lady du Guesclin and myself fits one of the above?

XI. Lord Marshal to Lord Chief Justice (me).

My Comte,

I must apologize to you for not taking into account the morose nature of the English Gentleman. Here on the continent we do not take tales of amour affairs as an insult. On the opposite: courtly love and chivalry are considered to be the two sides on the same coin. We, the French, also like humorous chansons. Ah, my Comte, I am so glad I was not born in England!

Grand Pre

PS there is a French saying: the smart likes to learn, while the fool likes to teach

XII. Lord Chief Justice (me) to Lord Marshal. Ransom paid, request for free passage.

My Lord Earl of Grand Pre,

Your tale would have been much more appreciated had it been an accurate battle account between Lady du Guesclin's men and mine. After all, those men whom you called "armed brutes" fought valiantly against an army seven times their number.

In any case, I just paid my ransom and used my remaining days to travel to your ancestral land of La Chesne so that I may gather more of your local custom and life. You may even meet me and perhaps we can have a friendly exchange in private, should you so desire.

I also request the ability to travel freely among Christian lands for this remaining winter and the whole spring, as is customary.

Hereford and Essex

XIII. Piedmont-and-Savoy to Lord Chief Justice (me).


I have found in long experience that when a large number of people perceive a missive as other than was intended it is almost always the sender, not the receivers, who is suffering from a communicative disorder.


P.S.-Nice try

XIV. Lord Chief Justice (me) to Piedmont-and-Savoy. Soon after sending out this letter, I finally realize that I have been writing to Caesar instead of Amadeo. Turns out that upon the death of Prince Amadeo the titles of Piedmont and Savoy passed to his regent Caesar, Duke of Normandy. The little prince and his infinite wisdom.

My Lord Piedmont and Savoy,

Long experience? Exactly how old are you, My Lord Prince?

Three or four does not qualify as "a large number." Or perhaps it does within the wisdom of your "long experience."

Communicative disorder? As in the inability to perceive duration accurately and categorize quantities correctly? Worry not, it should go away as you become mature. I hope.

Hereford and Essex

XV. Bernard IV d'Armagnac, Earl of Armagnac and Comminges, to Lord Chief Justice (me).

My Lord Essex,

In a comparison betwixt yourself and the south end of a northbound horse, you come up lacking. I must thank you though, for the fine laugh you've given my company. We truly hope you get that bothersome knot out of your undergarments very soon.


Bernard IV, Comte d'Armagnac

XVI. Lord Chief Justice (me) to Piedmont-and-Savoy. Apology for mistaken identity.

My Lord Piedmont and Savoy,

I apologize for having mistaken you as the late Prince Amadeo. For what is worth, I am taking back my last message and ceasing this rather insignificant dispute.

Hereford and Essex

XVII. Lord Chief Justice (me) to Armagnac-and-Comminges. Of domestic animals and a southern Earl.

My Lord Armagnac,

Methought a sheep's south end was the only thing you have an intimate knowledge of. I regret the error, and kindly thank you for the advice regarding knot in the undergarment. Certainly no one has more experiences in dealing with such nuisance, though I imagine no entangled threads could be more irritating than those which are molded out off a sheep's fleece.

Hereford and Essex

HYW(Duncan2): Things Remembered Differently

Below is a correspondence between King Edward III Plantagenet and Pope Benedict XII regarding the finding of the Papal Court on the Amiens Incident. King Edward, who seems less than satisfied with the finding, starts with a complaint to the well-intended Pope. After receiving two and replying another two, the Holy Father has sounded critically French; in which case I decide to give my own response.

I. King Edward III Plantagenet of England to Pope Benedict XII.

Holy Father,

While we appreciate your attempt to negotiate a truce in good faith, and note that two of the three sides, all who had representatives there and did faithfully fulfill said treaty. England will no longer be able to abide by such treaties, as the Country of France obviously has no ruler able to guarantee her participation in such treaties.

She obviously is nothing more than a loosely collection of Dukedoms and other provinces who answer to no Roi. Not once but twice the French broke the treaty, both times manufacturing feeble excuses for the action.

If you’re Man remembers rightly. The Roi’s representative was concerned with England’s word on the Bruce. So much so that both you and I sent out messengers to the Bruce to make sure he would honor such a treaty. He agreed to us that he would. I would like to point out that he was good for his word. Something many French no longer have the ability to say.

I thought that the greater Good of the Lord was more important to the “Nobles” of the realm. Now I see through the actions of a few and the stamp of approval placed by the rest of the French Lords that those in France only wanted to use the truce to take advantage for their worldly gain.

The official word from your offices was that if Lord Grand de Pre returned the fief, released the Bruce and his men for no charge, and paid restitution then you saw his sins as forgiven, He did none of the above.

On top of that Lord de Polignac attacked the Fief of Bordeaux, Holding several pilgrims hostage till My Bailiff would treat with him. He did of course do so for the pilgrim’s sake, he even went so far as to delude the Lord into thinking he would be willing to treat with him in the future.

I would like to think that the Lord Grande de Pre did not know that he was violating a papal truce, But Lord Polignac certainly did. And whether they understood it or not I would expect Both Lords to do the Chivalrous thing and take the punishment for their misdeeds. The Lord Grand de Pre has shown that he is not man enough to do it. I wonder how the Lord Polignac shall act?

King Edward III

II. Pope Benedict to King Edward. The late Truce.


You should know what kind of kingdom France was before you attempted to conquer it. That would have been the prudent thing.

To find you surpised that France is a collection of duchies is rather curious since her must unruley duc, the most in defience of the roi us the duc d'Aquitine. We think you are well aquainted with this recalcitrant vassal.

The whole world is not Angleterre writ large.

This truce, though mediated with our efforts and of much relief to us, was not our truce. We were neither a signatory nor a participant. Indeed confusion over this matter was one of the principle causes of its breech. We see England as confused as Grand Pre.

We find that errors were made, as is the nature of man since the fall, for no king governs angels. Indeed the establishment of a church and a state are the very manifestation of God's purpose in governing men so tempted by sin and wrongdoing. So was the offender condemned, judged by his peers under the watchful eye of authority and compensation made. Once again we facilitated the settlement of captives and ransoms, but the acts were actually performed by others, not by us.

We think it very noble for France to treat with you in your defiance over Aquitaine, yet now we hear you complain over a breech in truce where in punishment has been made and declare France not fit for treaty. Now is the world turned upside down.


III. King Edward to Pope Benedict.

Holy Father,

Perhaps your memory is failing you. I was never defient to the Roi, till I was attacked By the Roi. His only excuse was that I had spoke out against him when I questioned the reason for him to attack Navarra, his own family. It was the same Roi Philippe who sits now on the throne de Light.

With that as an example of how he deals with one who "defies" him I would have expected a much stronger reaction than a "I am bound by my nobles" answer. I did not set out to concuer France just to defend my lands from an unlawful attack. The Throne of France is the one who started the War not myself.

King Edward III

IV. Pope Benedict to King Edward.


Our memory fails us?

Who gave protection of Robert d'Artois after he was outlawed by the roi? He still resides in London. Do you, Eduard allow your vassals to harbor outlaws?

Who interfered with the royal courts in cases when the duc d'Aquitaine's vassals sought review and appeal? Are your noble's court's the last word in England? Is there no common law to which they can appeal in the king's courts?

Who refused to swear obediance as was commanded, and in the traditional form?

Our memory fails us? I think you would hope that it were so, but it is not, our memory is yet keen and sharp.


V. Lord Chief Justice of England (me) to Pope Benedict. Things remembered differently.

Most Holy Father Benedict XII,

While my office would not presume to dispute the quality of Your Holiness' memory, we too would like a chance to recall those points which we have chosen to remember.

First. When Robert of Artois came to London after being declared an outlaw without a fair trial, he was seeking Edward Plantagenet in his capacity as the King of England, not Duke of Aquitaine.

Second. We do have royal courts as the last resort in England, though we regret to say that none is royal enough so as to always be accomodating to the king's wish even if such wish were contrary to justice, as they apparently do in some other kingdom.

Third. Edward Plantagenet did swear obedience at Amiens in 1329 which Philippe of Valois acknowledged in 1331 as meeting the criteria of a traditional liege homage yet has chosen to forget since 1337.

We submit that the bigger problem of memory is not that it may become dull at times but rather that memory no matter how sharp cannot by itself testify to the truth behind knowledge which it contains.

A point that we hope would do us all well to remember.

Lord Chief Justice
Hereford and Essex

HYW(Duncan2): A Crusading Tale

Below is the crusading tale of Francis de Auxenne, Bishop of Cambrai and my short response.

I. The Tale.

Lords of Europe,
Your Holiness,

I come to you with my tale of the events of the crusade.

Being a man with little knowledge of battle, I decided to tag along with the Justice Bohun, whom held the other half of my papal contingent of troops.

I placed my troops under his command, and decided to act in an advisory role only.

I learned much during the crusade, and seen much bloodshed, but it was all for a good cause.

Nearing the 6th week of marching towards the Pruss, the advanced scout came back to warn us of Prussian movement about 2 days ahead. Though I felt anxious, Lord Bohun showed no fear and immediately took command and began preparing for battle.

Upon reaching the location where the infidels were originally reported to be, we found nothing but an empty and abandoned campsite. I went ahead with a small contingent of troops to scout the camp while Lord Bohun stayed to aid in the preperation of our own camp.

After about 10 minutes or so of searching and finding nothing, we began to hear a loud and much comotion coming from behind us. We immediately took off towards Justic Bohuns encampment, and as we neared, we seen waves of Prussians flowing from the nearby forest and into the waiting formation of troops.

It would seem they had known we were coming and set up an ambush for us. Lord Bohun was not fooled, and made the appearance of setting up camp, while sending me away so I would not be injured in the ensuing combat. I finally arrived back to the camp as the main enemy force was reaching our troops.

Under the skillfull command of the Justice, though lacking his traditional yeoman, the troops cut through the infidels, rarely losing a man, and continuously pushing the lines forward. I could not believe the rage and fervor the soldiers fought with, and such a sight filled me with pride, knowing that these men were fighting in the name of holiness and the lord himself.

After the battle was over, hundreds, if not thousands of Prussians lay slain around us, with nary three dozen crusader fatalities.

Though the crusade itself lasted somewhat longer, this battle caused us to fall somewhat behind the rest of the contingent, and we were only able to catch a few stray bandits and the ending of other battles led by other crusading nobles.

I thank the Justice de Bohan for his training and teaching of myself and for making sure that I was protected during the crusade.

I know that god was with us during this battle, and I know he is with all of us always after seeing this amazing sight.

Francis de Auxenne
Bishop of Cambrai

II. My response.

Most Holy Father,
Your Majesty King Edward,
Lords and Ladies of Christendom,

I concur with the story of Bishop Cambrai, except for the parts where he gives me too much credit. The crusaders and myself were confident and successful in our venture due in large to God's blessings through the sagacious advices of Bishop Cambrai all throughout the campaign. When the Bishop claims to be "a man with little knowledge of battle" he only means experience-wise. But of battle strategies and tactics, I assure you that few could match the wisdom and knowledge of the learned Bishop. I consider my contingent to be among the most fortunate, having been guided by Bishop Cambrai.

Lord Chief Justice
Hereford and Essex

Saturday, August 07, 2004

HYW(Duncan2): Saint Alban

A Relic for Douglas, Lord of the Isle of Man, sent by Pope Benedict XII along with the story of Saint Alban.

Oh noble and mighty William, powerful leader of Crusaders in Prussia. Our great victory against the Pagans would not have been possible without your bold charge at Grunwald or your defence of the camp at Marionburg.

In gratitude we send to you this precious relic. Find enclosed in a gold and ivory box the venerated cape of Saint Alban. Alban was a warrior like yourself who, though a pagan, took pity on the persecuted Christains and helped many escape martyrdom. A great risk, he saw a fleeing Christian priest and sheltered him in his own home. When he saw that the priest spent day and night in prayer, he was moved by the grace of God. Alban renounced his idol worship and embraced Christ with his whole heart.

When a party of soldiers came to arrest the priest, tipped off by a neighbor, Alban took the priest's cloak and put it over his own head and shoulders, and helped him to escape. Thus disguised, Alban opened the door to the soldiers and was arrested in mistake for the priest. He was bound in fetters and brought before the governor, who was attending a sacrifice to the pagan gods. When the cloak was removed and his true identity was discovered, the governor was furious. He then declared himself to be a Christian, whereupon the governor angrily ordered him to be taken before the altar. He was threatened with all the tortures that had been prepared for the priest if he did not recant.

Alban did not recant the true faith. He was scourged, but bore the punishment with resignation, even joy. When it was seen that he could not be prevailed upon to retract, he was sentenced to decapitation. Being lead to his execution there was such a crown gathered to witness his grace and joy that the bridge was blocked by the throng. So Alban prayed and crossed upon the river to his maryrdom. But, the exectuioner was amazed and converted to the true faith. Another was found to kill them both as well as the priest. After Alban's death more miracles followed and the whole town, including the governor became Christians.

So as Alban brought Christianity to a sizable portion of Britain, did you bring the true faith to Prussia with your fellow crusaders. Now accept this cloak as a gift for your sared and blessed service.

Benedict XII Pontifex Maximus

HYW(Duncan2): Papal Finding on Amiens Incident

Below is the finding of Papal Court in connection with the Amiens Incident. (The italics within the letter is original.)

From Dominicus Linus Apullianus, canan lawyer of the Papal court, Nuncio to the court of Naples, and Professor of Law at Salerno, to Eduardo III, re di Inghilterra, I send Greetings

Your Highness, I hear the following words reportedly spoken by your envoys in courts of Europe: "Please, I beg of you, show where Lords must sign our treaty in order for our protection?" And I now proceed to explain to you a most basic and elementary proposition to law, agreements are only made between people. Had the Turk landed at France would the re di Francia been bound not to defend himself? Once the truce of Esplechin was signed, the Papal Chancery was deluged by clarifications. "Were sieges of disputed fiefs forbid under the truce?" The reponse of the Papal Chancery was that the treaty was an agreement between soveriegn powers and their followers which touched upon the war currently being fought over the succession of France.

YOur Highness, Eduardo, inquires whether the treaty did not also cover Bretagne, Majorca, Navarre, or Arles were covered by the agreement. Certainly they were not. No document claiming to be binding without the participation of all the relevant soveriegn powers. Since they were not signatories they were not a part of the truce. However, I feel I must stipulate the obvious, that France being not at war with these realms did not need a years truce to perpetuate that peace.

His Highness, Filippio VI, did proclaim an edict that can be said to be unclear. It had the tone and tennor of a universal decree. Suppose as a hypothetical case that it were, it then exceeded the truce proclaimed and was no more than a self-denying statement, and subject only to the will of Filippio. If his servant did not follow his instructions that is a matter between servant and master, and touches not upon the law.

What of the case where Filippio's meaning was not universal. Instead then it should mean that aside from the truce there would be no other fighting because there were no other wars. This is most likely the re di Francia's meaning.

So that leads us to the action of the comte de Grand Pre, Marechal de France. This requires a distinction between the two laws at play here. On the one hand their is the Papal Bull of October 9, 1341, which forbid interfearance with the Crusades, but that does not apply. This is the observation made by the young Philippe, comte de Bourgogne. Since David d'Eccose did not declare an intention to pursue the Crusade, he might have been understood to be fair game. And under the Papal Bull, he would have been. However the truce of Esplechin was broader. It covered all of the participants of the war of French succession, although it was signed only by envoys of Filippio, Eduardo, and Luigi who, confusingly were not all participants in the war. Scotland was represnted by the English envoy at Esplechin. France understood Scotland to be covered by the treaty, which is one of the reasons that France issued such a broad edict as she did. It may not have been widely known in France that Scotland was included, since Scotland took no public action in support of the Truce, unless France made specific instructions in a more private fashion.

As such, we find that the re di Francia has called for the return of the fief, the release of David d'Eccose, and left open other compensations. As such Filippio has taken full responsibility for the actions of the Marechal, and so it lies for the comte de Grand Pre to do as the re has commanded him. The comte's failure to follow the commands of his soveriegn is between the master and the servant. Filippio has taken the actions neccesary for now. Since Filippio is with the Crusading Army, he remains unable to effect action immediatly being at both a great distance and preoccupied. So it falls upon Filippio to take action after the Crusade to make right, according to the spirit of the treaty.

If the fief be returned and Scotland freed, and Grand Pre punished, we find that all was done as best as could be under the spirit of the Truce.

Dominicus Linus Apullianus,
canan lawyer of the Papal court,
Nuncio to the court of Naples,
Professor of Law at Salerno

HYW(Duncan2): The Amiens Incident

Barely few months after the Truce of Esplechin was signed, the fief Amiens, capital of Picardie, in northern France was besieged by Thierry III de Grand Pre, Count of Grand Pre and Marshal of France.

I. King David II Bruce of Scotland to Pope Benedict XII.

Holy Father,

The peace Terms have been broken that were set fourth by all of Chirstians. The Lord de Grandpre (252) did Siege Amiens in the First season of the Crusade and did storm the fief much to my suprise. I was under the impression there was a peace accord struck for the Crusade. Please advise me in this matter.

Your Child in Faith,
David of Scotland

II. King Philippe VI Valois of France to King David.

King David of Scotland; Also Known as the Bruce:

I must apologize for Lord de Grand Pre's rash actions. I had not seen your signature to the Truce signed by the King of England, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and myself. I had hoped to see your seal upon the action but none had come and I know that you have said in the past that you were your own kingdom and, as such, treaties made by England did not apply to your person. I believe that you spoke of such an instance in the case of captive treaties. I dare say, sire, that you specifically said that you were no vassal of England's and a separate kingdom of your own - thus, treaties needed to be drawn with your person and not just England.

Have you decided to abide by this treaty afterall?

If that was your intent, then I will have it hereby known that King David the Bruce of Scotland shall abide by England's truces and treaties as England's vassals abide. No harm shall come to his person, possessions, nor armies during the duration of this treaty.

Amiens shall be returned, the Bruce and his retainers shall be freed, and a fine shall be levied upon the rash actions of the Marechal for acting upon this most Christian vassal of England.

Philippe VI
Roi de France

III. King Edward III Plantagenet of England to King Philippe.


"I must apologize for Lord de Grand Pre's rash actions. I had not seen your signature to the Truce signed by the King of England, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and myself."

Is not your word as strong as the paper you wrote it on? I have reread your "edict" several times and while it does specify that it must be a Christian lord, no where did you specify that they had to sign the treaty, does that mean Arles, or Mallorca, Navarre, Brittany, are all fair game for your Lords?

The Bruce is a rightful anointed King of Scotland, and while we do work together he is no Vassal of mine, other than the Lands he owns within my Kingdom.

Please, I beg of you, show where Lords must sign our treaty in order for our protection? Though I too had hoped that the other Kingdoms would have publicly joined with us, I felt the weight of the Papal request was for all of Christianity, not the select few.

King Edward III

IV. King Philippe to King Edward.

Dear Cousin,

Indeed, I would have thought the treaty we had signed in regards to captives would also be regarded as one in best interests of all Lords of Europe. It was deemed not so by the King of Scotland initially, and only after the realization that his retainer's services might be delayed while a separate treaty was developed did he agree to using it. I believe his words to me were that treaties agreed to by England were not necessarily agreed to by Scotland. As such, in this instance, the King of Scotland has made no promise to abide by this treaty nor to attend the Crusade. In addition, he seemed intent upon pillaging my fiefs last season - including Paris - so perhaps that has confused my Lords further.

Lord de Grand Pre, as a member of my cabinet, was privy to the captives treaty information and I believe mistook that as applying to all treaties between France and England. As I'm sure you have read in my previous missive, I have called for the release of the Bruce and the return of Amiens as well as compensation as a result of this. I merely clarified why the Lord de Grand Pre might find himself confused.

Since I had made public my intent to attend the Crusade and pledged financial support to my Lords in maintaining their armies, I find myself rather distant from the happenings of Amiens. As such, I will attend to those matters if they are not rectified once I have returned from crusading.

May this missive find you well.

Philippe VI
Roi de France

V. King David to King Philippe.

Roi Philippe,

You our Correct Scotland is its own Entity and shall remian that way. I took it at the word that there would be peace between all Kingdoms in the spirit of the Crusades. I thank you for your offer in rectfying the matter. Know that Scotland will Rember this kind act in the Future.

King David

VI. Lord Marshal to King Philippe.


It is painful for me to know that I fell from favor with Your Grace simply for performing my duty as Your Grace's Marechal. I'm charged with disobedience, but Sire, I am a soldier and not a lawyer, and thus, it is not easy for me to make interpretations of legal documents. The truce that I am charged with violating I believed applied only to those who took the cross, not to those who came with a sword to fight fellows Christians in France. King Bailiol or Bruce or whatever his name is and whoever vassal he might be, had no intentions of taking cross. Thus I saw it be my duty to punish him for his perfidy and mischief. Once he surrendered to me he became my captive and however much I ever remain a loyal vassal to Your Grace, it is my privilege to dispose of my captives and spoils of war as I deem pleased. These are the ancient rules of war that apply to gentle men of good lineage.

Your Grace's humble servant
Comte de Grand Pre
Marechal du Nord

HYW(Duncan2): France's Confirmation on the Truce

Edict issued by King Philippe VI of France regarding Truce of Esplechin.

Esteemed Archbishop Guillaume de Brosse,

The Royal Seal of Valois shall be affixed to this truce. Hereby let it be known that upon the coming of Spring of 1342 weaponry of war shall only be taken up against the Prussians in most holy crusade. We shall see the heathen hordes either converted to the teachings of our Lord Savior or put to the sword.

Any raising of sword or polearm except in self defense, pillage or raid, and/or siege of any manner upon any Christian lord's manors or person shall be condemened by the Throne of Light. For two seasons before the Crusade and two seasons past will this edict be observed.

Philippe VI
Roi de France

HYW(Duncan2): Perfidy

A sermon by Pope Benedict XII near the time of the crusade.

Lo that we preach against perfidy, a grave an dangerous sin. When the moors held most of Spain, the comde de Osma was captured by the infidel, the comtesse did make her way to the commader of the Moors where she did plead for the return of her husband according to the rules of randsom. The commander of the Moors accepted the payment of the comtesse but by the time she returned home she found that her husband had been delivered to her in peices.

This is perfidy, being false to a trust, When one has put a trust in yourm word, you are obliged to be faithful to the spirit of that word and not to seek loopholes or evasions of the plain meaning of your words as the commander of the Moors had done.

Satan works through three means, the denial of Christ, the rejection of Christ, and the betrayal of Christ. So we proclaim that there is no difference between the Prussian Pagan, the Islamic infidel, or the perfidious oathbreaker. Here endeth our teaching.

Spoken by His Holiness at Avignon this day

HYW(Duncan2): Crusade Against the Prussians

Below are the appeal for help from the Primate of Poland to combat the pagan Prussians, the truce between England and France in light of the crusade, and the bull for crusade issued by Pope Benedict XII.

I. Crusade!

Oh Christian lords and warriors of Christ, I Ladislas, Archbishop of Gnessen, Primate of Poland doi urge you to come to Poland and combat the pagan Pruss, who remain here in Baltic Europe. Let us unite to crush the Prussians and bring the one true church to all men.

Oh, Bennedict, I call upon your blessing for this venture, transforming our mission into a true crusade. Let bring aid to the Archbishopric of Riga, lead by the excellent Johannes III Ambundi. Let the truth of the Gospel ring in all the sandy shores of Prussia.


II. Truce discussed at Esplechin.

At Esplechin do His excellency, Archbishop Guillaume de Brosse and Senechal de la Maison du Roi Gaston II Carcassonne de Foix, and Lord High Steward the Baron Brampton, Robert Cliffton, and Jean, comte de Bullion meet for meetings of truce.

His Holiness has contrived this meeting and expects the cooperation of your royal selves for purpose of a sacred duty within crusade. Let us have truce throughout the four seasons if 1342 in the year of our Lord, putting aside all warfare.

Let us hear the agreement of your royal soverigens.

Recorded at Esplechin by a scribe of Archbishop Guillaume

III. Bull for Crusade, issued October 9 upon the feast of Saint Denis.

We hereby declare the cause against the pagan Prussians to be a Crusade, and so entitled to all of the grace which participation grants.

•Participants of a crusade are granted an indulgence against all sins committed in their lives so far.
•Participants of a crusade are considered to be members of the church and so their lands and persons are held protected
•Any pillage of lands of the crusaders will be compensated by 1000 kds per pillage
•Any fiefs taken from crusaders will be returned with any compensation for damage
•Anathema upon he who attacks a crusader’s lands until he pays compensation
•Crusaders may eat meat during lent and on Fridays, without a stain upon them
•Attacks upon the army of a crusader, assembled for crusade, will result in excommunication

So we advise all Christians, our cause here is connected with the bloody struggles and with the wonderful cultural and missionary labors by means of which the territories on the Baltic between the Elbe and Memel were wrested these past hundred years from the Slavs and won for Germany and the Catholic Church. In this era the region on the Vistula and the Pregel Rivers, which originally was the only part of the territory bearing the name of Prussia, was conquered by the Teutonic Knights in 1230 and converted to Christianity. In 1309 the Grand Master of the order transferred his residence to the Marienburg from Venice. Now that the headquarters of the order is based in the lands of the Pruss, so can our crusade find victory. In the battle of Rudau in 1307 the Lithuanians were driven back, and now the opportunity presents itself to separate the Pruss from the Lithuanian pagans, who are being Christianized by the Archbishop of Riga.


HYW(Duncan2): Archbishop of Narbonne's Letter

Public letter from Bernard de Farges, Archbishop of Narbonne confirming the election of Philippe VI to the Throne of France.

From Bernard de Farges, Archbishop of Narbonne, to Gilbert Talbot, counsilor to his Grace, Eduard, Greetings and Blessings

As a man of three score and ten years, and having been Archbishop of Narbone for nearly two score, I remember all of the contraversies of succession in France since the death of Louis X in 1316. In each case where succession did not pass from father to son, were the notables of France summoned. At an assembly of lords and prelates that I attended, did we in assembly elect Philippe V le Long, who was then comte de Bourgogne et Poitiers and regent for France and Navarre during the pregnency of Clemence d'Anjou.

In our councils there were those that held for Jeanne Capet. However. most of us held that Philippe would be a better ruler of France than Jeanne, because she was a six year old girl, and Philippe would rule anyway. So, at the end of the year we elected Philippe V roi de France, and he was crowned on on January 9, 1317.

So then later did Philippe die with only daughters. But daughters, especially child daughters are ill fit to rule. So again we, nobles and prelates were assembled and tasked to elect a roi de France. We again considered Jeanne, daughter of Louis X, and Charles le Bel, then comte de la Marche. We again chose an adult male prince over a child princess.

Charles had six children, five girls and one boy, Louis, who died as an infant. So again, in 1328 were we, the notables of France summoned to elect a roi de France. This time the election was more complicated. The sons of Philippe IV were all dead, and had left nothing but a dozen daughters. We look and see them as reinne de Navarre, comtesse de Bourgogne, comtesse de Nevers, Blanche and Marie who are still girls in the palace of the roi.

This time the six daughters of Louis X, Philippe V and Charles IV were neglected. Now was Philippe, the comte de Maine, Anjou, and Valois considered. He was thirty-five years old, and master of three comte'. We knew him to be capable. He the grandson of Phillippe IV and so a decendent through Charles de Valois, of that roi de France. At first Isabella presented herself, but it was quickly apparent that we notables of France has not liking for her. She was alleged to have murdered her husband only a year before our assembly. She was involved in a scandalous life, including an open adulery with Mortimer. She defered to her son, Eduard. Eduard de Windsor was a sixteen year old boy, who had no titles until February of the previous year. He was a foreign roi and was dominated by his mother. We chose not Eduard, but Philippe.

Having been formally convened our election was legal and proper. It is the way I became Archbishop, by the election of the canons of Narbonne, and it is the way both England and France resolve disputed succession. So has the Pope in his recent settlement with Louis de Bavarie enjoined the use of proper election. This is the true law which sets upon Philippe the crown of France. So did Eduard acknowledge in his oaths of fealty in 1329 and 1331. Only now that Philippe has condemned the wrongful actions of Eduard does the roi d'Angleterre resume his claim to France. The election was done, Philippe is roi.

His Excellency, Bernard,
Archbishop of Narbonne

HYW(Duncan2): On the Claim and Salic Law

Below is a correspondence between Richard Talbot, Baron of Ludlow and Herald to the King of England, and Alain de St-Vollier, Count of Valence and Boutellier of France following the Boutellier's public response.

I. Herald to Boutellier.

M'Lord Boutellier,

Though your lineage appears accurage, you are most certainly false in one aspect. Lest you are to claim Chalemagne no Roi de France, you cannot claim that no Royal son of a Royal daughter inherited the Throne of France.

This is to speak nothing of Salic law, which is a barbaric law for lands outside of France, and which the Nobility of France does not abide. One need but look at the Nobility of France to see that not only can a male inherit through the daughter, but a daughter can diretly hold title!


II. Boutellier to Herald.

Good Herald of England,

I assure you everything in the statement is correct. If you will but read it clearly, it states that no Capetian has ascended the throne that was not in the direct male line of succession. You, and all will know, that the Carolingian dynasty is no longer the Royal House of France.

Further, you are correct that I say nothing of the law Salic, for tho some have used such reference to show the right to the ascension, it is not specifically necessary. I am also here not concerned with the devolvement of duchies or other lesser titles which are not annointed, for we do all know full well how your lord and King did come to be the Duc d'Aquitaine, as well as King of England.

I assure you that he does not similarly acquire right to the Crown of Light.


III. Herald to Boutellier.

M'Lord Boutellier,

If you do not look towards Salic law, I ask what law to which you do refer for while you state no lies, Salic law is the only which would allow for Philippe VI de Valois to inherit.


IV. Boutellier to Herald.

Good Herald,

I look to what is the law in France sir. While the Salic Law may provide an illustration of inheritance solely through the male line, it is not of course the only law there is that speaks to the question. As your own Chief Justice's account portrays, many other ladies and sons of ladies, which would have had claim to the Crown, are passed over in favor of the male line; the most recent account comming to mind, being Jeanne de Navarre. If custom or precedent be any guide, then we stand aright on that front also, tho again, the law in France is just that. The Law in France.


HYW(Duncan2): France's Response

This is Boutellier of France Alain de St-Vollier's immediate public response to my "Edward III Plantagenet's Claim to The Throne of France."

To the Bishop of Rome and Holy Emminences;
Princes and Lords of Christian Realms:

While the statements of the Chief Justice of England, which has no authority in France, nor any bearing or voice in the gouvernment or parliament of France, do not require response by the Court of France; His Royal Majesty Roi Philippe VI of France and His Court would not have wrongs thought as right, nor do they wish to leave what should be most clear and justly seen, as unclear or clouded.

Thus, do we hereby delineate the decent of the Crown of Light to our Most High and Royal Majesty, Roi Philippe VI of France.

As the legal, right and -- as some would call it -- customary rule of anointed monarchs in France is well known by all, this court shall only lay out the direct line of King’s which lead to the ascension of HRM Roi Philippe VI.

Philippe III, anointed Roi de France in the year of our Lord 1270, had two royal sons, Philippe, later Philippe IV Roi de France, and Charles, made Count of Valois and Anjou.

Philippe IV, anointed Roi de France in the year of our Lord 1285, had three royal sons, Louis, later Louis X Roi de France; Philippe, later Philippe V, Roi de France; and Charles, later Charles IV, Roi de France. Of these Rois, not one had any surviving royal sons.

Thus, the Crown of France did pass, in direct descent of the male line, as is the law and --as some would call it -- custom in France, to the eldest royal son of the next royal son of Philippe III, Roi de France;

That eldest son being Philippe, now Philippe VI, Roi de France.

In the history of the Royal Capetian Line of France, no woman has held claim to the Crown of France. In the history of the Royal Capetian Line of France, no son of a royal daughter of France has held claim to the Crown of France, over any son of a royal son of France. Further, the polity and church both confirm the bearer of the Crown of Light, through the parliament of France, and the anointing of the bearer of the Crown.

Thus the royal line established by Hugh Capet is continued unbroken in the male line since the year of our Lord 987.

As Issued by The Court of Nobles en France, and
Alain de St Vollier
Boutellier de France

HYW(Duncan2): Edward III Plantagenet's Claim to The Throne of France

What started as a skirmish at the sea has by early 1339 turned into a greater and more open conflict between England and France. As King Edward criticizes France's attack on Navarre, King Philippe in turn declares the English king's lands and titles in France forfeit. Soon King Edward forms a cabinet, appoints myself as Lord Chief Justice, and after looking into the propriety of Philippe VI de Valois' claim to the Throne of Light, asks me to determine the proper "Roi de France." In the autumn of that same year, I produce the following document and send a copy to all the lords and ladies of Christendom.

Most Holy Father Benedict XII,
Lords and Ladies of Christendom,

Upon exhaustive investigation we hereby present the case to prove that Edward III Plantagenet justly and legitimately claims the Throne of France and that Philippe VI Valois unjustly and illegally holds said Throne.

Philippe III the Bold of the House of Capet, King of France, had four sons and two daughters. They were Louis, Philippe, Charles, Louis the Younger, Blanche, and Marguerite. On his death the throne passed - in the spirit of our common custom - to his oldest surviving son, Philippe IV.

Philippe IV the Fair, King of France, had three sons and a daughter. They were Louis, Philippe, Charles, and Isabelle. On his death the throne passed - in the spirit of our common custom - to his eldest son, Louis X.

Louis X the Strong-Willed, King of France, had a son and a daughter. They were Jean and Jeanne. On his death the throne passed - in the spirit of our common custom - to his only son, Jean.

Jean the Posthumous, King of France, were but five days old when he died and the throne passed - in the spirit of our common custom - to his uncle, the younger brother of King Louis X and the oldest surviving son of King Philippe IV, Philippe V. This was justly so because Jeanne II, the Queen of Navarre and sister to King Jean, had abandoned her right to the Throne of France.

Philippe V the Tall, King of France, had a son and three daughters. They were Philippe, Jeanne, Marguerite, and Isabelle. On his death the throne passed - in the spirit of our common custom - to his youngest brother, Charles IV. This was justly so because his son Philippe had before died and his three daughters Jeanne, Marguerite, and Isabelle had abandoned their right to the Throne of France.

Charles IV the Fair, King of France, had four daughters. They were Jeanne, Jeanne the Younger, Marie, and Blanche. On his death the throne did not pass -as it ought to have been in the spirit of our common custom - to either of his two surviving daughters, Marie and Blanche. But this was justly so because both Marie and Blanche had abandoned their right to the Throne of France.

Nor did the throne pass - as it ought to have been in the spirit of our common custom - to Isabelle, whom is sister to King Charles IV, King Phillipe V, and King Louis X, and whom is aunt to King Jean, and whom is daughter of King Philippe IV and thus is of Capetian line directly related to five Kings of France.

Instead the throne unjustly passed - contrary to the spirit of our common custom and in absence of a bona fide legal ground - to Philippe VI, whose Capetian line has ceased to be direct with his father Charles, Count of Valois as far back as five kings past, and of which is still the case so long as the direct Capetian line that issued from King Philippe IV continues through his children and descendants.

Although of the seven potential claimants of direct Capetian line presented above, six have abandoned their right to the Throne of France, the seventh, Isabelle Capet has not done so and indeed, has had no intention of doing so.

Isabelle Capet, having retired at Norfolk but having never abandoned her right to the Throne of France through her direct Capetian kinship with the previous five Kings of France, has instead passed on her right to the Throne of France - in the spirit of our common custom - to her eldest son, Edward III Plantagenet.

Thus Edward III Plantagenet, being of direct Capetian line by the virtue demonstrated above, does now claim justly and legitimately the Throne of France in the spirit of our common custom, that is to say, the custom as has been practiced by Christian Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses, and Nobles since the time of Charlemagne, and that which is based on none other than the Will of our Lord God as revealed to us in the Book of Numbers of His Holy Scripture.

Within the Book of Numbers is read: "If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter. And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his brethen. And if he have no brethen, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his father's brethen. And if his father have no brethen, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family."

And so we conclude the case on the Throne of France with the following: Edward III Plantagenet, being a direct member of Capetian line, claims justly and legitimately the Throne of France, thus he is the true King of France. Philippe VI Valois, having come out off a bypassed branch five kings past, holds unjustly and illegally the Throne of France, thus he is a Usurper.

Lord Chief Justice
Hereford and Essex

HYW(Duncan2): Defender of Pilgrims

A party of pilgrims being harrased by brigands was suddenly rescued by several knights bearing what appeared to be the banner of Ralph Neville, Baron of Aylshm and Herald to the King of England. The knights, however, never revealed themselves and as the story reached Avignon, the Pope wrote a letter to the Herald, wanting to know if the defenders were indeed part of the House of Neville. Rolfe Neville, the younger son of Ralph Neville, confirmed in a reply that it was him - along with two brothers - who came to the pilgrims' rescue, but at the same time felt remorseful because "by aiding them I was remis in my duties to my brothers as Knights" - he had to momentarily abandon his tasks in order to fight the brigands - "and thus have fallen short of the demands I accepted in my oath of service and fealty as their Squire." "Worse," he added, "in waving the sword about as if to thrash them, I have broken my promise not to take up arms, even if I had only meant to scare them off, never actually acting with the intent to “lay on” as it where." Below is the response of Pope Benedict XII addressing such concern of conflicting duties, dated Spring 1338.

My child, young Rolfe,

It is the nature of truth and goodness that at times what is right can seem to be in conflict with another notion of what is right. But truely I advise you, your obligation to God through your protection of the poor is a direct obligation, while your knightly oaths are yet and indirect obligation to God, since secular authority is established by God for the purpose of human governance. So when confronted with a direct duty to God and an indirect duty to God, your direct obligation outweighs the indirect. Your soul and its care is an eternal duty, your temporal obligations are temporary.

We herby confir upon you and your brother John, knighthoods in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Should a crusade be called in the Holy Land, your attendence would also confir on you a Lieutenancy in that same order.

May the face of the Lord continue to shine on you,

Bishop of Rome

HYW(Duncan2): The Emperor's Response

This is the response - dated Summer 1337 - from Emperor Ludwig IV to the November 12, 1336 declaration issued by Pope Benedict XII.

"My Excommunication and Related Matters"

Holy Father:

In response to your recent missive I have several statements to make:

Primus, I begin with my mistake. I committed a grave error when I interfered with the authority of he Church by marching on Rome and ensuing events. I am truly sorry for these acts; I beg forgiveness; and promise not to so interfere again.

Secundus, and likewise, I believe the Church has made an error in interfering with the election of the Eperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Our Prince Electors are willing to defend the rights and freedom of the Imperial Dignity, which they declared are not the creation of the Pope but are derived directly from God. We assert that no papal confirmation or approval is necessary for the election of our Emperor and that Pope John XXII's various sentences of excommunication passed upon me were unjust.

Tertius, I believe to some degree that the Church can have a role in mediating such earthly matters as elections. However, I also believe that this role has been far exceeded by the Church’s arbitrary declarations in the case at hand.

Moreover, the issue is past and moot. It is clear that my people support me, and that my excommunication and the Church’s continued interference in the internal affars of the Holy Roman Empire hurts its people and has accomplished nothing.

I pray that you will reconsider this points, Holy Father, and to grant an end to my punishment. I long to be held in the embrace of the Church once again.

Yours in Faith,
Ludwig von Bayern IV

Friday, August 06, 2004

HYW(Duncan2): Song of Thomas Brown

This writing on Jean de Dreux, Duke of Britanny, supposedly by the scribe for Jeanne II d'Evereaux, Queen of Navarre, is found circulating within the courts of Europe around Fall 1337 and it is believed to be the cause of conflict between Dukedom of Britanny and Kingdom of Navarre.

Lord de Dreux is quite a fool,
He is only as smart as an ass or a mule,
He is old, and ugly, and a fat as well,
All the way from Navarre, I can sense his smell!
He says he has the best fish, but I think not!
His fish are , and stink and rot!
He is a pig filled with greed,
And often has he committed a foul deed!
His people starve while he lives a rich life,
My friends, we must aide them to end their strife,
Unlike him, my people starving I cannot stand,
While I sit in the court and enjoy food and a band.
So listen my friends, please listen to me,
Hear me out, and hear my plea.
De Dreux is an evil, corrupt old ‘lord’,
I doubt he can even wield a sword.
Do not associate with him or you will suffer,
Than the smallest baby, he is no tougher!
I pity him and his serfs alike,
And will work to rid him of evil, and the like!

*-Thomas Brown, Scribe for the Reine de Navarre-*

HYW(Duncan2): His Holiness Benedict, Bishop of Rome's Declaration to the King of Rome

This unedited declaration is issued by Pope Benedict XII on November 12 1336 to the excommunicated Holy Roman Emperor Ludwiv IV "the Damned" von Bayern. Though there is no apparent signature, its authenticity is not questioned.

The contested election 1313 remains unsettled with regards to the Church. At that time both Louis Wittelsbach of Bavaria and Frederick Habsburg ofAustria had themselves elected by dubious and questionable conventions of electors. Our predecessor asserted his right to mediate between these two claimants. His Holiness, John XXII refused to acknowledge either party as Emperor, and applied more and more pressure to bring about a fair and just peace within the Empire. The Church has long been a champion of election as the true expression of God's will on earth, as expressed in Church practice in the voting of the Church Councils, the election of Bishops in every diocese, including the Bishop of Rome by the canons of the whole church, the Cardinals. So too the election of the Emperor is a matter of grave concern, for matters of peace within the Empire, for matters of elective succession, for matters of the Church's right to abitrate disputes.

When John XXII insisted that Louis resign his office and stand once more for fair election, the king refused, and John added the threat of excomunication. Louis now turned in battle against Frederick, and in a battle in the Tyrol captured him and imprisoned his rival. At this method of settlement of this dispute, the Church took grave exception, for battles are not a means for settling disputed elections, for the arbitration of the Church is not to be replaced by war, for the civil war in the Empire is a matter of Satan's power on Earth and a rejection of the Lord's system of political justice.

With the imprisonment of Frederick was John's patience exhausted, and Louis was given the most stingent warnings to submit. Louis instead was full of pride and had the audacity to march on Rome, while the true head of the Church was, by chance in Avignon. In Rome, Louis heaped Pope John with invective and declared him deposed. In Rome according to the old method ofPapal election such as produced Pope Stephen VI and Pope Sergius III. What fraud in injustice! Yet by God's grace did true correction occure then, bythe Electoral Decree of Pope Nicholas II, which prevented the Roman nobility from proclaiming Popes and the Emperor from appointing Popes. With this decree the Bishop of Rome was elected henceforth by the cardinal bishops of Christendom. Louis' attempt to revive the ancient practice, declare the deposition of John XXII, and the election of an anti-Pope is the most vile attempt by this prince to subvert the authority of the Church. As it happened, the fickle Roman populace which sees our residence in Avignon, turned against Louis and his anti-pope. They fled.

Since 1334, we have, as John's successor, pursued the true and right policies of restoring peace to the Empire, establishing the refom and adhearence to elections, and right of the Church to mediate disputes. We have seen continued resistance of Louis of Bavaria, and his refusal to undertake our recomendations in this matter. We continue to demand, as did our predecessor, that Louis of Bavaria resign his office, and stand once again for proper and legitimate election, that he serve penance for his abuse of what unlawful power he obtained, and his attempts to subvert the Church. Only then can we undertake his reconcilliation with the Holy Church.