September 2016



 News & Views newsletter 

September 2016

So far, we have had quite a busy year but as Keith has prepared an excellent resume of our activities, to be included in the next Ricardian Bulletin, I will not comment any further.  However, our friends in the Somerset Group held a commemorative day on Saturday 20th August in Wells, to mark the anniversary of Bosworth. 

Elizabeth joined the anniversary Evensong and here is her account:-

“My sister, Ann, and I had an early breakfast and set off for Wells, Somerset, in foggy weather. We drove onto the Mendips, past “The Rock of Ages” – rock formation in Burrington Combe – and had a wonderful traffic-free ride all the way.  The fog cleared and I believe Richard III would have marvelled – as we did – at the magnificent view across Somerset as we descended the steep hill leading into Wells.

We met a large group of members, mostly from Somerset, but others I had met at the Tewkesbury Medieval Festival and from our Gloucester Branch.  We al gathered in the Bishop’s Café for tea, coffee and lovely cakes before they all set off for a tour of the buildings.  We didn’t join them due to Ann’s disability but met again near the Market Place for a delicious Italian lunch.  King Richard was remembered in a special toast before we started to eat and the tables were decorated with white roses.  We all found someone to talk to and I was pleased to meet a member from Clevedon and to talk to others.

After lunch, Ann and I spent time in the Cathedral while the others had a tour round the Palace Gardens.  At 4 p.m. we all converged on the Bishop’s Palace Chapel and received our white roses which were to be placed on the Chancel steps.  My daughter, Pippa, was there with her husband, Graham Keitch, and his anthem, “Ricardus Rex”, was being sung.  The Evensong was simple but impressive , partially using words from Richard’s Book of Hours.  The music was led by the Wells Cathedral Voluntary Choir and the service was conducted by Rev. Anne Roberts, the Palace Pastor.

We quietly waited to lay our roses and the Somerset Richard III banner was presented and put in the Chancel, beautifully worked by one of the Somerset members.

Our grateful thanks to everyone who worked so hard to organise the day, especially Helena Smith and Mike and Kate Skillman.  Everything was thoughtfully and carefully considered.  We drove home very pleased with this special day.”

Elizabeth Clarridge


You will recall that the June edition of News & Views contained an article by David Judde about John Judde.  David came across some interesting Juddes during his research into his family tree.  The following is his account of Thomas Judde.




From the “Soldier in later Medieval England” database(s) located on the Reading & Southampton University web pages, there is a reference to a Thomas Judde (Esquire) and Man at Arms, his Captain was Thomas Leget, the Commander of the expedition was a Lord Thomas Berkeley, this expedition was for the Keeping of the sea. (1)

First Name/SurnameStatus/Rank                                     

Thomas Judde, Esquire, Man-at-arms,Leget,

Captain NameCommander

ThomasBerkeley, Thomas Lord



Nature of ActivityReferenceMembrane

Keeping of the Sea TNA E101/43/32m5

NOTE: Thomas Leget was also at the battle of Azincourt and is listed under the Lord Camoys retinue of soldiers.

A Man at Arms is best described as a soldier or professional warrior who was well trained in the use of arms during the medieval period, (sword, dagger, lance or spear, shield, halberd or poleaxe), was armoured, possibly mounted as part of the cavalry. He could be a Knight or Nobleman and serve for pay or through feudal obligation to his Lord. A Knight and Man at Arms could be interchangeable, as Knights equipped for war were Men at Arms, but not all Men at Arms were Knights. He might be expected to fight dis-mounted, on foot as part of a battle or campaign. A Man at Arms wore a quilted gambeson or jakke, mail armour or plate armour, if he could afford it chain mail would be worn under the armour. Depending on his status or wealth he might wear a bascinet or celete helmet or a kettle helmet for head protection. If he owned a horse and was prepared to sacrifice it in battle, he would arrange for it to be assessed prior to deployment so he could recover his loss on return. His mount would have been either a “courser” or just a plain horse, if he was wealthy it would have possibly been a destrier but these were expensive to buy and keep. A Man at Arms could be a wealthy mercenary or soldier of any social status but often had some level of rank based on his income, this was usually from owning land. Esquires were often from families of Knightly rank or status and so wealthy enough to afford the arms of a Knight. A Knight could expect to earn a daily rate of pay of 2 shillings, a Man at Arms about 1 shilling and an Archer about 2 to 3 pence a day. (2)

Esquire - Title appended to name of one regarded as gentleman by birth, position or education, or to name of any man in formal use or in address of letter where there is no prefixed title * title of law officer, shield bearer. (3) 

In mid August 1415 Henry V and his invasion army departed the waters of the Solent, and made for France, some of his Knights, Men at Arms and Archers would have travelled many hundreds of miles from within England to join the King on this military campaign overseas. (4)

The 14 August 1415 saw hundreds of small boats disembark troops and equipment ashore close to Harfleur to prepare for a reconnoitring party led by Sir John Holland, Sir Gilbert Umfraville and Sir John Cornwall, primarily to seek a suitable place for the army to camp, but also to check the enemy defences. This went well and was un-opposed and by the evening, the building of a camp near the fortified town of Harfleur was in progress. Harfleurs importance was founded on shipping, salt and the weaving industry and was well fortified, the thick massive outer wall was approximately two and half miles in circumference with approximately 26 towers, the three town gates each a minor fortress with barbican, drawbridge and portcullis. (5)


18 August to 22 September 1415 - Siege of Harfleur, France, by the English army under Henry V. Henry had about 11,000 to 12,000 Men at Arms and Archers with him and they laid siege to the town for five weeks before it was successful. Many Nobles, soldiers, Archers and Men at Arms, died at Harfleur from the siege or through dysentery after drinking foul water, many others injured or sick from the dysentery, had to return home early. Henry then decided to leave about 500 Men at Arms and a thousand archers to garrison the town, leaving him with a much depleted army to continue his journey to the English held town of Calais and safety. (6)

The siege of Harfleur by Henry V included several large guns which were used to try and bring the wall down so entry to the city could be gained, other siege equipment possibly utilised by the army could have included trebuchets, and scaling ladders. (7)

One particular reference states that Sir John Grey or Gray (one of King Henry V’s many knights and nobles) helped repel the French sally which burnt the siege lines before the Leure gate at Harfleur. (Retinue 35 Men at Arms and 96 archers) It is most likely that Thomas Judde took part in this skirmish, as he was part of Sir John Grey’s retinue of soldiers. (8)

On the way to Calais, Henry V and his small army of about 6000 were shadowed by a large advanced guard of the French army under the experienced Marshal Boucicaut with the main French army of about 14,000 at Rouen. They came together at what is now known as the Battle of (Agincourt or Azincourt), this lies close to Tramecourt and Maisoncelles, see map below. (9)

25 October 1415 – Battle of Azincourt , France, a Thomas Judde appears in the Agincourt Honour Roll as well as on the Reading & Southampton University web pages on “the medieval soldier in later England” database viz; (10)

“Thomas Judde – Man at Arms (Captain; Sir John Gray) – Commander, Henry V   1415

Expedition to France (Reference; BL_Harley_782, Membrane f79v)”

(NOTE: The Complete Peerage, vol. 6, p. 137 identifies the Sir John Gray who was Thomas Judde's captain in 1417 as the son of Sir Thomas Gray of Heton and Wark-on-Tweed, Northumberland, ancestor of the Lords Grey of Powis (rather than one of the Greys of Codnor). The text refers to him fighting at Agincourt in 1415 (citing Harleian MS 782, ff. 79v, 80) and accompanying the King to France in 1417 (citing E 101/51/2, m. 32). These references agree with the ones for the Thomas Judde entries in the database. A footnote says that the names of the esquires in the musters of 1415 and 1417 show that the captain named Sir John Gray is the one who came from Heton. Sir John's son Henry Gray (Count of Tancarville) married Antigone Plantagenet an illegitimate daughter, of Humphrey duke of Gloucester.) (11 & 12)

Thomas Judde also appears in the magazine “Family Chronicle Volume 1, Number 4, March/April 1997, p 28” as well as the Family History monthly magazine Number 73, October 2001, page 42 and is listed in the Agincourt Honour Roll.

From the Reading & Southampton University web pages referred to earlier (see on the “Medieval soldier in later England” database, there is another reference to Thomas Judde, Man at Arms in 1417 on an expedition to France under Sir John Gray/Grey (Captain) and Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (Commander). From the details and source information on the databases the 1417 expedition to France was a Land expedition so would have involved conflict with the French army. (13)

Thomas Judde, is clearly shown as being in Sir John Gray’s/Grey’s retinue of soldiers at Agincourt in 1415 with Henry V, and again in 1417 when he accompanied the Duke of Gloucester on a land campaign to France. He may well have travelled from Heton or Wark on Tweed, Northumberland with Sir John Grey, where he was possibly garrisoned with an army to defend the border around Berwick on Tweed from Scottish incursions. I believe he may well have originally been from Southern England, possibly Berkeley, Gloucestershire as the Duke of Gloucester also had connections to the area.

Whether this is the same Thomas Judde who is described as a Man at Arms and Esquire in 1404 under Sir Thomas Berkeley’s retinue in the keeping of the sea has not yet been established, but research on fourteenth and fifteenth century family continues, to try and fill in the gaps, it may well be the same person.


The National Archives reference TNA_E101_43_32 membrane 5 refers

Wikipedia online – Man at Arms

The Concise Oxford Dictionary for the term Esquire

Agincourt 1415 Edited by Anne Curry, chap 1 page 17

The Armies of Agincourt, Men at Arms series, book 113, Osprey Military, page 5

The Armies of Agincourt, Men at Arms series, book 113, Osprey Military, pages 6 & 7

The Armies of Agincourt, Men at Arms series, book 113, Osprey Military, page 6

Agincourt 1415 Triumph against the odds, Osprey Military campaign series book 9, page 34

The Life and times of Henry V by Peter Earle Chap 5 The Agincourt Campaign, page 133


Information provided by Chris Phillips of the Medieval Genealogy web page, also see Complete Peerage, vol. 6, p. 137.

Welsh Biography online – Powis, Lords of Grey or Gray. Author Evan David Jones FSA (1903 – 1987) Aberystwyth.


Now for a little nostalgia from Mickie O’Neill:-

Amongst the Lavender in Lavenham

This has got to be one of the earliest of the Gloucester/Bristol jaunts, we look positively juvenile! While I can remember the trip very well, the exact year escapes me, but mid-eighties perhaps?  I suspect Lynda Pigeon may have a fair idea of the year, she is wearing a t-shirt with a Russian slogan, a souvenir perhaps of a holiday in the then Baltic Soviet States.

We are all gathered in the garden of the Guildhall in Lavenham, a NT property that has seen a lot of developments in the last 30 odd years since we visited, or I don’t remember it with so many facilities.  It is perhaps indicative of the rise in interest in our heritage and the commercialisation of our History.  I judge it not, a recent Bank Holiday visit to Stokesay Castle here in Shropshire found us queueing for an overspill car park, masses of re-enactors re -enacting Medieval Life to the delight of many families and children. The shop was heaving and doing a fair trade in a range of items, much to capture the interest of the younger generations. 

Back to Lavenham – we actually stayed in the Hotel Bristol in Norwich itself and were kept busy with the wealth of History.  My personal favourite was the visit to the church of St Julian and the remarkable story of the 14thc Anchoress Mother Julian and her ‘Revelations of Divine Love’. 

Who else was with us?  Certainly Teresa Chidgey and maybe even Suzanne Doolan, not sure about Eileen’s husband Sean?

I’ve visited Norwich and Norfolk many times since then and it is worth the long and tedious journey from the West. It’s neighbour Suffolk has Castles to spare and the wonderful wool towns of Lavenham , Kersey, Clare and Cavendish. Our Worcester correspondent Pam Benstead has written a marvellous piece about her family visit to North and West Norfolk and posted many brilliant photos on the Worcester web site.


Our next meeting is on 5th November at the Emmanuel Church Hall, when our speaker will be Stephen David, the subject being the De La Poles.  The Christmas gathering will be on 3rd December.