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100 Years' War: The Brigands Come Home

With the truce between England and France in full swing now, many of the English are returning home but without a job waiting for them, they turn to what they know best... robbing, pillaging and ransoming. The English Parliament has directed their justice department to gather information... "on all those who have been plunderers and robbers beyond the seas and are now returned to go wandering and will not work as they were used to do." This is a little unfair, though. Many of these so-called soldiers were robbers BEFORE they went to war so going back to work in what they "used to do" is exactly what they are doing. [1]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In general, the US military rejects felons as recruits, but in the past, judges have been known to commute a sentence if an offender agrees to join the military... presumably to be taught some discipline. This brings to mind the US Justice Department memo on home-grown terrorists that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano put out as the troops from Afghanistan and Iraq rotated home.

"DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today." [2] [3] [4]

Black Death: Piers Plowman

William Langland of Malvern is a clergyman who has written a long complaint about the corruption of the establishment including his own clergy, lawyers, and the nibility. The Plague has returned to England and France. This new round of Plague is hitting men and children the hardest. Women seem to be in a panic, accepting any union simply to produce more children. Hopelessness made its down payment during the previous Plague over 12 years ago. Another payment has come due today and the people are in despair. Can anyone blame them? [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Piers Plowman sees the return of the Plague as a punishment for sin. Certainly he has many examples of sin before him as brigands attack the innocent, his own clergy take money for absolution, and the King of England forcing himself on the Countess of Salisbury while her husband is away. The Middle Ages is fading away and a new civilization is taking its place. Many good things will come of that change, but for now.... it's going to hurt. It's going to hurt bad. [7]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1362, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Tuchman, Barbara Wertheim. (Barbara Tuchman, bio). A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. Ballantine, 1979. pp. 195-196. (BOOK) quote="The plunderers of France brought home the habit of brigandage."
  2. Homeland security chief apologizes to veterans groups - CNN.com. 2009-04-16 [last update] quote="I know that some veterans groups were offended by the fact that veterans were mentioned in this assessment, so I apologize for that offense. It was certainly not intended."
  3. Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment. ThinkProgress.org. 7-April-2009. (PDF)
  4. Janet Napolitano: Right Wing Extremism Memo - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. Tuchman, Barbara Wertheim. (Barbara Tuchman, bio). A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. Ballantine, 1979. p. 104. (BOOK)
  6. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 192. (BOOK) quote="'Piers Plowman,' poem in Middle English, ascribed to William Langland of Malvern"
  7. Catherine Montagu, Countess of Salisbury - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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