Was your Ancestor a Soldier in Late Medieval England?


You wish this guy was your ancestor, but yours probably had more pockmarks and was less handsome.

I have been reading a historical fiction novel set in  the Hundred Years War, which was a long and terrible war that started when Edward III of England decided that he was also king of France.  The war was the death knell of plated knight mounted on the destrier thanks to the long bow and the English experience in the wars against the Scots which taught them how to fight in dismounted close formation against charging cavalry.  It also saw horrific depredations against the French peasantry while the French state became less feudal and more centralized.

Reading about the period made me interested in looking at it from a genealogical perspective.  After some reconnoitering, I found a site  called the Soldier in Late Medieval England.  At this site you can search the Muster Roll Database, which is a database made up of the muster rolls of England from 1369-1453 and the Protection database, which is  comprised of the treaty rolls, the gascon rolls and the scottish rolls during the same period.  The  website is a “…on-line searchable resource for public use of immense value and interest to genealogists as well as social, political and military historians.”  And it is  brought to you by a grant to the University of Southhampton and is intended “to challenge assumptions about the emergence of professional soldiery between 1369 and 1453.”

It is also a lot of fun to play with.  I found many names in my family as well as Nicholas Hook, the protagonist of the book I am reading called Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell.


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