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Let's Test our #Medieval Knowledge

Welcome to Medieval Monday! I'm keeping it simple today with a few interesting bits of trivia from the medieval time-period. Give a shout-out if you know any of these facts.

Shrews' Fiddle

A shrew's fiddle or neck violin is a variation of the yoke, whereby the wrists are locked in front of the bound person by a hinged board or steel bar. It was originally used in the Middle Ages as a way of punishing those who were caught bickering or fighting. This way they were forced to resolve their differences/arguments before being released.

Lord of Misrule

This person was specifically appointed to manage the Christmas festivities. The Lord of Misrule was usually a peasant or sub-deacon appointed to be in charge, which often included drunkenness and wild partying. In Scotland, they were known as the Abbot of Unreason and in France as the Prince des Sots.

Ceremony of Quit Rents

Since 1211, London has been paying rent to the Queen's Remembrancer. Yet the ceremony so ancient, no one knows the actual location of the two pieces of land. For centuries, the city has paid the same rate: an axe, a knife, six oversized horseshoes, and 61 nails. The cereomony is the oldenst legal one in England, apart from the Coronation. It usually takes place between St. Michael's Day (Oct. 11) and St. Martin's (November 11) every year in the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in London.

Castle Stairwells

In medieval castles, stairwells ran clockwise, so attackers coming up the stairs had their sword hands (right hand) against the wall’s interior curve which made it hard for them to swing their swords. Defenders had their swords on the outside wall, which meant more room to swing.

Eels as Currency

Eels were highly associated with paying rents that many English medieval family crests included eels in their design. In the Domesday Book (created in the 11th century), rents were frequently recorded in quantities of eels.

I've recently learned about eels and might be using this bit of knowledge in one of my stories. Until next Monday, read a medieval romance. Or two!

Don't forget to check out these Ladies of Medieval Monday to see if they have something new to share:


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