IS TO THE MEMORY OF
SIR RICHARD CROFT . KNT .
SHERIFF OF HEREFORDSHIRE
FOUGHT AT MORTIMER’S CROSS 1461
M.P. FOR HEREFORDSHIRE 1477
GOVERNOR OF LUDLOW CASTLE
AFTER THE BATTLE OF STOKE 1487
DIED JULY 29 1509
ALSO OF ELEANOR HIS WIFE
DAUGHTER OF SIR EDMUND CORNWALL BARON
OF BURFORD SALOP
WIDOW OF SIR HUGH MORTIMER OF KYRE
Sir Richard Croft (born 1429) lord of the manor of Croft Castle in Hereforshire was advisor to Edward Duke of York during the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross in 1461. The Duke was eighteen years old and had recently succeeded his father, Richard third Duke of York, to the title. Richard had been killed in the previous year at the Battle of Wakefield. Lady Eleanor Croft’s first husband had also also killed in that battle. These were Wars of the Roses times wherein the Houses of York and Lancaster vied bloodily for the British crown. The Battle of Mortimer’s Cross was fought on Croft land not far from the castle (and in the English Midlands nowhere near either York or Lancaster) and was a turning point in the conflict for reasons I’ll get to in a moment.
First I should say that this week’s theme at Paula’s Black & White Sunday is TIMELESS. And the reason I’ve chosen these photos is because there is quite another timeless connection – i.e. the words of William Shakespeare whose 400th memorial anniversary is being celebrated this year. In Henry VI pt 3 Act II scene i, he makes reference to a strange meteorological event that occurred before the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross, although the actual battle does not feature in the play.
This is Shakespeare’s version of what was seen, expressed in an exchange between brothers, Edward 4th Duke of York the soon-to-be Edward IV, and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the future Richard III:
Edward: Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?
Richard: Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun; Not separated with the racking clouds/But severed in a pale clear-shining sky. /See, see: they join, embrace, and seem to kiss, /As if they vowed some league inviolable./Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun. /In this the heaven figures some event.
Also to coincide with this year’s Shakespeare celebrations, the BBC is currently airing its own ‘Game of Thrones’ version of Shakespeare’s War of the Roses history plays, The Hollow Crown; proof of the timeless quality of good yarns, even if a few liberties have been taken with the playwright’s text. But then ‘the bard’ was nothing if not a past master at recycling other people’s tales and historical accounts, and giving them his own particular gloss; even during his own time players of his works apparently changed the words. It was ever thus with the art of good storytelling…
copyright 2016 Tish Farrell
31 thoughts on “A Five Hundred-Year-Old C.V. ~ And All Kinds Of Timeless Connections…”
White and the Red.
Very interesting Tish, and great Black & White Photos.
nice post on ‘timeless’
Lovely to hear from you, Shimon.
A great title – tombstone as CV brings timeless right into present time. It’s a long time since my involvement in English history, and even in Shakespeare, and I enjoyed this journey into the past, and my past. A very vivid memory evoked of my history text book in early high school and its line drawings. I find this theme hard to get my head around in Warsaw, where the old is in fact relatively recently reconstructed.
Oh I don’t see why timeless shouldn’t also work backwards, Meg 🙂
What a fascinating bit of history and science Tish, it reads like a fairy tale, thanks.
I like the thought that it struck you as fairy tale-ish. Another dimension. Thank you, Gilly.
If that is going to bring Shakespeare closer to the masses then I do not object, otherwise I am not a fan of the Game of the Thrones though one season was filmed in my Dubrovnik. Thank you for making “timeless” so special with your contribution.
I do agree about making Shakespeare more accessible, but there are ways and means. We recently watched the Soviet 1960s film of Hamlet. Well they got Boris Pasternak to do the script and Shostakovich to do the score. And then shot it on a stunningly rugged promontory in B & W. What a gem. And thank you for liking my ‘timeless’. I’m almost feeling another companion post coming on 🙂
I am very tempted to look up that Soviet movie 🙂
Do you speak Russian along with your other linguistic talents? Mine’s more than a bit rusty, but I like to listen to it.
I’m afraid not.
Was it this one https://youtu.be/Vp5Rz0LqUSM
Yes, that’s the one. Gamlet in Russian!
As soon as I saw 500 year old CV I knew this post would be a treat. And smashing photos to go with a another ‘yarn’. You do it so well, you know that?
Well it helps when I know I have willing readers. So thanks, Ark, for being so appreciative 🙂
You’re welcome. You know you will always have an audience with me.
Oh, and here’s someone you might like. You’ll know why without any explanation from me!
Oh that is a good link. Cheers!
I am sure you two will get on like a Maison en flambe
Always the ability to weave the spell, Tish. I absolutely love your header photo and have read my share of Philippa Gregory’s Roses stories. 🙂 This was a pretty incredible event, wasn’t it, in a time when evil portents and the like had people cowering and hiding their eyes?,
Yes, Jo, it is amazing that this astonishing sighting was given such a positive gloss, and probably won the day for Edward.
Thanks for dropping by.
Anytime. Keep your eyes open for Ladies Prism; it’s coming soon to romance the world.
That’s quite an impressive CV! Love the B&W images, Tish. Great that he got to be buried with his wife. Very intriguing piece of history indeed, and trust Shakespeare to get in on the act. 😀