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Parliament and the Welsh Revolt

With King Richard the 2nd of England dead and Henry the 4th as the new King, the Welsh decide to start a war of independence from England. Ultimately it will not succeed but in the midst of the revolt, Parliament passes several laws against the Welsh known as the Penal Laws Against Wales.

  1. No right to assembly.
  2. No right to bear arms.
  3. No right for a Welsh court to convict an Englishman.
  4. No right to own a castle or to build defenses for one's own home.
  5. No right to sell armor or supplies to the Welsh without a license.
  6. No right to hold office.
  7. No musicians or the idle rich allowed.

The Parliament also passes the Benefit of Clergy Act. It essentially allows the clergy the benefit of being hanged for treason and to be convicted of theft under the same rules of evidence as anyone else. Before this law was passed, a clergyman could be judged innocent if he could produce 12 people who would swear he was innocent. He still has benefit of clergy for many other crimes and this will remain true until well into the 1800s though by that time it will be unused as a defense and will be repealed due to embarrassment that the law was still on the books. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Well... it's hard to blame Parliament for outlawing musicians, layabouts and buffoons but the rest of it is just senseless. England has had several wars with Wales. Parliament didn't pass laws to stop it. The King fielded an army to stop it. Regarding the clergy, they have been taking advantage of the dual nature of the law. There is the common law and the Church law. The clergy have the right to be tried under Church law for many crimes. That usually means they get off the hook. Next the Parliament must tackle the question of who exactly are the clergy? Lots of people can lay claim to be clergy... including college students, anyone who can read the Bible in Latin, or in some cases, even one who shaves the top of his head in a circular patch.

Tamerlane, the Ottomans and the Christians

Tamerlane's armies seem to be everywhere. Last year Tamerlane attacked Syria while the Mamluks were busy suppressing a civil war in Egypt. Tamerlane took several Syrian cities away from the Mamluks, and now he has turned toward the Ottomans. Sultan Bayezid the 1st has made an incursion into Tamerlane's lands so Tamerlane returns the favor by attacking the Sultan near Ankara [an-kar-ah] and takes the Sultan captive. He is not going to make it out alive. His heir apparent, Mehmed the 1st will be confirmed Sultan but it will cause a civil war in which Mehmed will be forced to kill off all but one of his brothers just to make it stop. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Is Tamerlane making you nervous? He is a power to reckon with. Tamerlane will have time to roll into Smyrna which is currently under control of the Knights of Saint John (Hospitallers). The Christians will refuse to convert to Islam so Tamerlane will have just about every man, woman and child massacred. He won't hold the town for long though. Some time next year he will develop a fever. It will be a little more debilitating than a summer cold. Don't bother sending flowers.[10] [11]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1402, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. The National Archives - Exhibitions - Uniting the Kingdoms?, nationalarchives.gov.uk, 2014 [last update]
  2. Penal Laws against Wales 1402 - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. Benefit of Clergy Act 1402 - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Fierro, Maribel. New Cambridge History of Islam Vol. 2: Western Islam 11th-18th Centuries. Cambridge University Press. 2010. ISBN 9780521839570. pp. 262-263. (BOOK)
  5. Holt, P. M., Lambton, Ann K., Lewis, Bernard. (editors) Cambridge History of Islam Volume 1, The Central Islamic Lands, The. Cambridge University Press. 1970. ISBN: 978-0521075671. (BOOK)
  6. Battle of Ankara - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  7. Bayezid I - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  8. Timur - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  9. Mehmed I - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  10. Smyrna - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  11. Knights Hospitaller - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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