Welcome to April


Medieval calendars all agree that, like March, April has something to do with trees. Earlier calendars say it’s time to get your plant on and put some of those bad boys in the ground. Later ones suggest planting flowers at the same time. Still later ones suggest that the flowers and trees you’re planting might be a good gift for a potential lady love, which leads to the calendars giving up on work for the month and urging you to get your romance on instead. So, April is the time for lovers to plant trees and flowers and then sit under the trees while giving each other flowers. Make sense? April = beer me that romance.

Amongst the medieval dates of most importance in the time of April are being:

  • April 3rd, 1043 — Edward the Confessor is crowned King of England.
  • April 12th, 1204 — Constantinople, the Byzantine capital, falls to the forces of the Fourth Crusade, who were supposed to be headed to Jerusalem, but, hey, what’s a little besieging and looting between coreligionists?
  • April 15th, 1450 — The French defeat the English at the Battle of Formigny. Cannons are involved in some capacity or other and this is very important to military historians.
  • April 17th, 1387 — Chaucer and 29 pilgrims set off for Canterbury. Some tales are told. Or should that be Tales?*
  • April 23rd, 1014 — Brodir the Viking kills Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, ambushing him while he prays in his tent after the Battle of Clontarf. According to Njals Saga, Brian’s brother Wolf the Quarrelsome tracks Brodir down shortly thereafter, cuts him open, and ties him to a tree with his own entrails, leading me to wonder if quarrelsome is really a strong enough epithet for the man.
  • April 23rd, 1343 — The St. George’s Night Uprising starts in Estonia. It lasts for two years, but they refuse to change the name to “The St. George’s Night and the Next Two Years Worth of Nights After That Uprising”
  • April 23rd, 1348 — The Order of the Garter is founded by Edward III of England. Honi soit qui mal y pense.
  • April 28th, 1192 — Conrad I of the Crusader State of Jerusalem is assassinated by the Hashshashin. Or should that be hashshashinated by the Assassins?**
  • April 29th, 1429 — Joan of Arc arrives to relieve the Siege of Orleans.
  • April 30th, 1492 — Christopher Columbus gets his commission from Spain to head out on the ocean blue.

*Yeah, probably not.
**Yeah, probably not.

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