The Historical Informer
Keeping History Alive...
The Siege of Hedingham Castle
Review

   The beautiful Hedingham Castle was once again the location for the Medieval Siege Society's infamous "Siege of Hedingham" .It all took place over the early May bank holiday weekend and this year the British weather excelled itself with glorious warm sunshine....

 

The castle grounds were filled with the sounds of medieval music from various instruments played by the fantastic "Blondel" ...The castle jesters were on hand to keep both adults and  children amused..The traditional Maypole was there for May day festivities...

Falconry displays in the main arena,"have a go archery" over the moat,donkey rides and various stalls all made for another great event at the castle........

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 "One of my favourite images from the day is of the men at arms walking to battle over the 15th century bridge"....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Medieval Siege society were there on mass with the following households in attendance...Bonivant Household,DeCobham,House of Bayard,La Coterie des Amies,Middletons Mercenaries,Red Crow,The Harrington Companye,The House Of Douglas and The Hovel....with  "Cecil the Trebuchet"  throwing projectiles far across the battlefield....

"Setting the scene"

 

The main characters were Hugh Bigod, William Longespee, Robert deVere and King John.

Robert deVere was the 3rd Earl of Oxford and Hedingham was his ancestral home.

Hugh Bigod was Robert's 2nd cousin (Hugh's father Roger Le Bigod was the son of Hugh Le Bigod and Julianna de Vere, daughter of Aubrey de Vere II; Aubrey's son, also Aubrey was the 1st Earl of Oxford, whose sons Aubrey and Robert were the 2nd and 3rd Earls).

Robert deVere and Hugh Bigod were signatories of Magna Carter and amongst the 25 Barons named as enforces of that charter.

William Longespee was the half-brother of King John and a commander of forces engaged in retribution of Magna Carter.  Longespee was also half-brother to Hugh Bigod, their mother Ida de Tosny was mistress to Henry II before being married to Roger le Bigod.

King John was, a very naughty boy!

 

The history of the fish being dumped by the besieged defenders is not widely recorded (there is very little documented evidence for much happening during these events).  The Castle historians however do make reference to fish being dumped as a demonstration that they are well stocked with food, not sure they actually threw them, but is seemed enjoyable to those involved.

 

 

Robert, the third earl of Oxford held his lands and titles as the gift of the reigning monarch King John. Robert became alarmed at the King’s arrogance and greed, and he was one of the 25 Barons to compel King John to sign the Magna Carta in 1215.

 

The King promptly dispossessed many of the twenty-five, and took Robert’s lands in Buckinghamshire, and gave them to Constance, Robert’s sister- in-law. In accordance with the provisions of the Magna Carta, the Barons declared war on their King, who summoned a great force and counter-attacked. One by one the rebels’ castles fell to King John. Robert repented of his disloyalty, possibly prompted by his family and heirs who stood to lose their valuable inheritance. He renewed his pledge of loyalty, and bearing letters of safe conduct sought refuge in Colchester Castle, manned at the time by a French garrison. To be on the safe side, the King, accompanied by Robert de Vere himself, took possession of Hedingham Castle, arriving according to the chronicler Ralph de Coggeshall, on Friday 20th March 1216, and leaving on the following Monday. Robert the 3rd Earl of Oxford, bearing letters of safe conduct from King John, must have been a willing accomplice to the surrender and the resistance, if any, would have been perfunctory.

 

 

 

For more information of forthcoming events at the castle or to visit please check out their website ......

www.hedinghamcastle.co.uk

To see where the "Medieval Siege Society" have their next event please follow the link below....

www.medieval-siege-society.co.uk

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All the information ,dates and times are given to the best of knowledge at time of publishing and The Historical informer accepts no responsibility  for incorrect content..