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Murder by Suicide

Nicholas Radford had the misfortune to be the friend of Lord Bonville who is the sworn enemy of the Earl of Devon. Thus he had reason to fear the sudden appearance of the Earl's son, Sir Thomas Courtenay and his merry men. Boys-will-be-boys, so once the men entered Radford's home, they set to looting the place. Sir Thomas invited Radford to meet with the Earl, but when Radford pointed out that Sir Thomas had stolen his horses, Sir Thomas walked out while Radford suddenly committed suicide by stabbing himself several times in the back with a sword. We know this because Sir Thomas's merry men acted as witnesses. At least, this is what the Coroner's Inquiry determined four days later. Next year an Exeter jury will indite Sir Thomas Courtenay for murder, but his family is entirely too powerful. The indictment will be ignored and Sir Thomas will go unpunished. [1]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Stories of Robin Hood and his merry men exist along with more horrifying stories of Folville's Gang. (See year 1341.) Pardons were cheap or a man could dedicate his sword to a noble which is a nice way of saying that he promised to kill anyone his boss told him to kill. But there were worse places to live than England. English robbers were actually admired but in Westphalia (the region between the Rhine and the Weser rivers), it was considered extremely dangerous to travel.[2] [3]

Age of Discovery: The Green Cape

The Portuguese explorers have reached the western-most tip of Africa today known as Cap-Vert but what the Portuguese called "Cape Verde" or Green Cape. This is not to be confused with the Cape Verde Islands which are a few hundred miles to the west. Those islands won't be discovered until 1456. Cap-Vert sits at about 14 degrees north of the equator so the north star is still visible above the horizon. The cape will become the site for the city of Dakar which will be the capital of Senegal. For now its just a fishing village. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The reason for going this far south is to find a new route to India and China by going around Africa. They know it can be done because it is part of the ancient record of the Greeks. They just don't know how to do it yet without killing themselves. They also want to establish trading posts so that they can buy and sell in short hops all along the way. The caravel sailing ships are made to be nimble and fast. They are not made to haul a lot of cargo. That comes later.[9]

Where Is My Copenhagen?

Copenhagen was established as a fishing village by the Vikings some time in the 11th century. Now it is the capital of Denmark ever since King Eric moved his residence there. At this time, King Eric of Pomerania is the King of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland. This union of nations is called the Kalmar Union by historians. It was originally formed by Eric's mother, Queen Margaret the 1st of Denmark, in order to fight the Hanseatic League. The Hanseatic League is placing market pressure on fishing in the area and imposing strict quality control over the fish packing industry. Frankly, in some ways, they look a lot like pirates... pirates with standards. [10] [11] [12] [13]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
There is no record that people of the time called the Union of Kalmar any such thing. They simply understood that each kingdom had the same king... or in the case of Queen Margaret... the same Queen. She was one tough cookie. Even when there was a king, everyone knew who was really in charge.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1445, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. McCall, Andrew. The Medieval Underworld. H. Hamilton. December 1982. ISBN 9780241100189. p. 108. (BOOK) Quote: "But no amount of legislation could stop many rich and influential medieval people 'maintaining' the sort of retainers of whom the Dominican friar, John Bromyard, was to write: 'No hounds were ever readier for the chase, no hungry falcon for the bird it has spied than are these to do whatsoever their great lords bid them, it he should want to beat or spoil or kill anyone?'"
  2. Gaunt, Andy. Archaeology and History of Medieval Sherwood Forest: Medieval Outlaws: The Folville Gang. 2012-Jan-05.
  3. Outlaws in Hathersage: Little John Loxley, Sherwood Nottingham. RobinHoodLoxley.net, 2013 [last update]
  4. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 206-207. (BOOK) Quote: "Port. navigator Diniz Diaz discovers Cape Verde."
  5. Cap-Vert - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  6. Dakar - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  7. Cape Verde - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  8. Dinis Dias - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  9. Caravel - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  10. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 206-207. (BOOK) Quote: "Copenhagen becomes Dan. capital."
  11. Copenhagen - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  12. Margaret I of Denmark - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  13. Eric of Pomerania - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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