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100 Years' War: the Massacre of Limoges

The town of Limoges had given an oath of loyalty to Edward, the Black Prince, but King Charles the Wise of France has promised the town a Tax Freedom Day for the next ten years. Despite any heartfelt promises the Bishop had made to the Black Prince, he has approved the change in loyalties. The Black Prince is deathly ill at this time but is so incensed that he is carried into town on a litter. "Screaming with terror, people fell on their knees before the Prince’s litter to beg for mercy, but 'he was so inflamed with ire that he took no heed to them' and they passed under the sword." [1] 3,000 men, women and children, or one sixth of the citizenry are put to the sword. (Historians vary in exactly how many people were killed. "One sixth" is probably a reliable proportion.) This is the last act of violence the Black Prince will order. He is now an invalid.[2] The Bishop will escape due to the intervention of John of Gaunt. [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
There is a temptation to blame the townspeople for not taking their oath seriously but in the Middle Ages it was quite normal for the nobility to buy loyalty to gain critical alliances. It was rare that a bought official stayed "bought". From a modern perspective, many of the transactions that take place in the Middle Ages are little more than bribery and graft. Nevertheless, if I stepped into a time machine and found myself in the Middle Ages, I'd be bribing people too. I am religious and I would not steal, but if somehow thieves left themselves open for me to take advantage of them, I'd be tempted to take advantage of them. Regarding the violence being wrought here, the Middle Ages was a violent place and people were numb to the suffering of others. However, the suffering they felt for themselves and their own went to the bone.

Black Death: A Missing Generation by Choice

The Great Famine, the Black Death and the looming Little Ice Age have conspired to radically reduce the world population. A factor less obvious in the reduction of the population is the generation of workers lost simply because the peasantry have avoided marriage and children until later in life. Population numbers are not only about producing replacement children for the parents but also WHEN THOSE CHILDREN ARE PRODUCED relative to the age of the parents. By next century attitudes will change so radically that 25% of the population will refuse to have any children at all. [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Some people worry about the number of children the poor have, and in reaction wish to pass a law limiting the number of children a couple may have in order to protect some favored group from being crowded out in future generations. What most people don't realize is how such laws would seriously distort demographics and would likely result in A REDUCTION in the number of people of the protected group. See the table below for an example of two couples who each have two children, the only difference being that the "protected" couple has children 10 years later. BOTTOM LINE: In 60 years the Late Marrieds produce HALF AS MANY CHILDREN as the Early Marrieds. That is a lot of future people missing. That also means future missing workers, future missing tax payers and if you are a particular culture, group or race ... future missing generations of your culture, group or race.

Assumptions: "Early Marrieds" are 18 years old and will have 2 children by 20 years old. "Late Marrieds" are 28 years old and will have 2 children by 30 years old. Each child will follow their parent's custom of late or early marriage, produce two children each and find a spouse from outside the group. The outside spouse will not be counted toward the total in this table.

Year Total People Early Married Year Total People Late Married
Year 01 4 2a+2c Year 01 4 2a+2c
Year 10 4 -- Year 10 4 --
Year 20 8 2c, 2c Year 20 4 --
Year 30 8 -- Year 30 8 2c, 2c
Year 40 16 2c, 2c, 2c, 2c Year 40 8 --
Year 50 16 -- Year 50 8 --
Year 60 32 2c, 2c, 2c, 2c, 2c, 2c, 2c, 2c Year 60 16 2c, 2c, 2c, 2c

Mongols: Tamerlane Murder Score: 20 Mil

It may not look like it now, but Tamerlane is controlling a very large part of southwestern Asia. He has set up a khan above himself as a figurehead, but in reality, Tamerlane is running the show. Tamerlane's empire now includes parts of modern day Uzbekistan, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey, China and even part of Russia. To this point he has slaughtered 15 to 20 million people, literally leaving piles of skulls along the road. [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Tamerlane has also taken a bite out of the western part of the Chagatai Khanate. He has called himself the rightful successor of Chagatai. He is attempting to reunite the Mongol Empire. He will nearly succeed but that effort will die with him. [9]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1370, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Tuchman, Barbara Wertheim. (Barbara Tuchman, bio). A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. Ballantine, 1979. pp. 262. (BOOK) quote="The Black Prince was invalided by a contagious dysentery that spread among the English and Gascons and, in his case, gave way by a cruel irony to dropsy. With swollen limbs, he was 'weighed down by so great infirmity of body that he could scarcely sit upon his horse,' and as he grew heavier and weaker could not mount and was confined to bed."
  2. Tuchman, Barbara Wertheim. (Barbara Tuchman, bio). A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. Ballantine, 1979. pp. 263-264. (BOOK)
  3. Massacre of Limoges - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Limoges - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. Cantor, Norman F., In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World It Made, Harper Perennial, 2001. pp. 88-90.(BOOK)quote="The more conservative behavior pattern, changed from the boom days of the thirteenth century, meant that by 1370 marriages among the common people, perhaps even the middle-class gentry, were occurring significantly later or not at all."
  6. Saunders, John Joseph. (J.J. Saunders, bio). The History of the Mongol Conquests. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001. p 173. (BOOK)
  7. Timurid dynasty - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  8. Timur - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  9. The Mongol Empire by Kallie Szczepanski, About.com. quote="By 1369, the Golden Horde had lost Belarus and Ukraine in the west; meanwhile the Chagatai Khanate disintegrated and local warlords stepped in to fill the void."

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