Welcome to the

Shire of Flintheath

We are the local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism (S.C.A)  The general geographical coverage expands most of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, and a bit of Bedfordshire, get in touch for further information.

The shire is comprised of medieval enthusiasts with interests in armoured & rapier combat, archery, arts & sciences and much more, feel free to contact us for more.

The S.C.A is a non-profit, educational society dedicated to researching and recreating the Middle Ages in the present.

News & Updates from the Shire

In light of government guidelines, in-person fight practice is cancelled until further notice, though we will still be meeting online. Get in touch for further details.In the meantime, your weekly fun historical posts will continue, and we also have a Discord server which you're welcome to come and check out if you want to talk to us and find out what we're doing during lockdown: discord.gg/AfucYV5March 4th is the anniversary of King Henry VI's deposition from the throne in 1461, making way for Edward IV. This was only the first time the throne changed hands between these two cousins; Henry was returned to the throne in 1470 only to be deposed again in 1471. He died shortly afterwards, possibly murdered on Edward's orders.Henry VI became king at the age of only nine months when his father, Henry V, died suddenly while on campaign in France. Members of the English nobility ruled on his behalf as a regency council and expected him to be eager to take full control himself when he came of age, but while he assumed royal powers at the age of sixteen he rarely took any initiative and seemed to have very little will of his own, possibly having become accustomed to simply agreeing with the decisions the council made in his name.It's also possible that Henry suffered from mental health problems, and he certainly had at least one prolonged period of catatonia during which the country was once more ruled by a regency council despite the attempts made by his wife Margaret to rule in his place, in the name of their own infant son.After his death, his namesake Henry VII encouraged an anti-Yorkist cult that regarded him as a saint and attributed miracles to him. However, official canonisation proceedings were interrupted by Henry VIII's break from Rome and the cult faded along with its political benefits as the Tudor dynasty became more established.As well as being the youngest person ever to assume the throne of England, Henry was the only king of England also crowned king of France, though he never succeeded in finding a foothold there. His main interests were religion and fostering education; he founded Eton College, King's College, Cambridge, and All Souls, Oxford. King's College Chapel was in progress at the time of his deposition and capture by Edward and it's said that when they heard the news the workmen immediately packed up and went home. According to legend, they left a half-cut stone lying on the ground and it was eventually used as a foundation stone for the neighbouring Gibb's Building in 1724. The work was later picked up and enthusiastically continued by Richard III.Images:- King's College Chapel in 2013. The extent of the building under Henry VI is most obvious on the buttresses at the East end, on the right of the picture; his builders worked in white limestone whereas Richard's used a darker stone. The Gibb's Building is on the left of the picture.- Salut d'or - gold coin depicting Henry as King of England and France - struck in Rouen 1423 - Classical Numismatic Group ...
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In light of new government guidelines, in-person fight practice is cancelled until further notice, though we will still be meeting online. Get in touch for further details.In the meantime, your weekly fun historical posts will continue, and we also have a Discord server which you're welcome to come and check out if you want to talk to us and find out what we're doing during lockdown: discord.gg/AfucYV5The Kanem-Bornu Empire covered parts of modern Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria in the middle of northern Africa, at the southern edge of the Sahara. It first appears in the 700s and was known as the Kanem Empire, according to Arabic records, but the original area was invaded and its people forced to move in the late 1300s, becoming known as the Bornu Empire, though the two were continuous.The empire reached its peak under the reign of Mai Idris Alawma, who is remembered for his administrative reforms, Islamic piety, and military skills; one epic poem commemorates his victories in over 1,000 battles and 330 wars. His success was due to his military innovations; he used fixed camps with walls and brought in advisors from the Ottoman empire to train his troops in the use of muskets. He also signed the first known treaty or ceasefire in Chadian history.Under his rule, Kanem-Bornu was very wealthy, receiving an income from tribute, war gains, and trade; it was central to one of the most convenient routes across the Sahara desert with relatively easy connections to North Africa and the Mediterranean. Kanem-Bornu imported salt, horses, silk, glass, muskets, and copper and exported natron - useful for cleaning and food preservation - as well as cotton, kola nuts, ivory, ostrich feathers, perfume, wax, and hides, but their most profitable trade was in slaves, usually captives from their many wars.According to some records, Idris succeeded his elder half-sister Aissa Koli; she is remembered in local tradition, but not in the more extensive Arabic records, which are known to have often ignored female rulers. Reportedly, she became queen in the absence of an apparent male heir as Idris was believed to be dead, but when she came to the end of her seven-year term - the fixed period of a monarch's reign in Kanem-Bornu - she discovered that he was alive and recalled him to be crowned as her successor, then stayed on as his advisor for the first few years of his reign.Image: Saharan Trade Routes circa 1400. Present-day Niger is shown in yellow, overlapping with the contemporary location of Kanem-Bornu ...
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In light of new government guidelines, in-person fight practice is cancelled until further notice, though we will still be meeting online. Get in touch for further details.In the meantime, your weekly fun historical posts will continue, and we also have a Discord server which you're welcome to come and check out if you want to talk to us and find out what we're doing during lockdown: discord.gg/AfucYV5The Kilwa Sultanate was a medieval Muslim realm on the East coast of Africa, at its height covering parts of modern Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Comoros, Mayotte, and Madagascar. It was centred at the island of Kilwa, off the coast of modern Tanzania.According to legend, it was founded in the late 900s by Ali ibn al-Hassan Shirazi, the son of a Persian ruler and an Abyssinian - Ethiopian - slave. Upon his father's death, he was driven away from his inheritance by his six brothers and made his way to Mogadishu. However, he quarrelled with the city's Somali elite and was driven away from there as well. He then bought the island of Kilwa from the local Bantu inhabitants for as much coloured cloth as could cover the circumference of the island.This founding legend probably does not reflect the historical beginnings of the Sultanate, but serves to legitimise the dynasty by giving them connections to an Islamic royal family while also "explaining" why they were black instead of Persian.The capital city of the Kilwa Sultanate was Kilwa Kisiwani on the island of Kilwa and it was one of the most powerful settlements along the coast, with strong trade connections with the Arabian Peninsula, China, and India. Among its most important exports were spices, tortoiseshell, coconut oil, ivory, and aromatic gum, together with gold after it seized control of the local gold trade. They also grew cotton locally and used it to make sails.Kilwa Kisiwani was originally built in wattle and daub, but stone buildings were added as its wealth increased. The most notable buildings still visible are the Great Mosque, one of the oldest surviving mosques on the Swahili coast, and the Palace of Husuni Kubwa. Unfortunately, both buildings are now threatened by erosion and vegetation growth and Kilwa Kisiwani has been on UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger since 2004.Images:- City of Kilwa - Civitates Orbis Terrarum - 1572- Great Mosque at Kilwa ...
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In light of new government guidelines, in-person fight practice is cancelled until further notice, though we will still be meeting online. Get in touch for further details.In the meantime, your weekly fun historical posts will continue, and we also have a Discord server which you're welcome to come and check out if you want to talk to us and find out what we're doing during lockdown: discord.gg/AfucYV5The Kingdom of Aksum was an ancient kingdom in what is now Northern Ethiopia and parts of Eritrea, lasting from approximately 100-940. It was the predecessor of the later Ethiopian Empire, which was founded in 1270. It was primarily Christian from the 300s on and also hosted early Muslims when they fled the Arabian Peninsula. Some later Ethiopian sources describe it as a Jewish kingdom, but it appears that the Jewish-majority parts of Aksum split off from the Christian ones early on though there was a thriving Jewish community in later Ethiopia. At the height of its power in the 500s, just before our period, it also covered parts of modern Yemen and Djibouti.Even after being weakened by the Justinianic Plague - an early outbreak of what would become known as the Black Death - in the mid 500s, Aksum remained a strong empire and trading power and unlike its European counterparts it also maintained a good relationship with its Islamic neighbours. It was also deeply involved in trade between India and the Mediterranean and was one of the first African realms to mint its own coins.Aksum had a characteristic architectural style which is still visible in the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion. The Church was founded in the 300s, possibly destroyed and rebuilt in the 900s and certainly destroyed and rebuilt in the 1500s; this is the building that stands today. It was the traditional place where Ethiopian emperors came to be crowned and if an emperor was not crowned there - or at least had his coronation ratified with a special service there - he was not considered fully legitimate. The Church is also said to house the Ark of the Covenant; according to the Kebra Negast, Ethiopia's chronicle of its royal line, the Ark was brought to Ethiopia in the train of the first emperor of Ethiopia: Menelik, the son of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. The Kebra Negast has been dated to the 1300s, but is said to have been copied from an ancient Coptic manuscript. It's unknown what's actually in the chapel of the Ark of the Covenant; in a tradition that has been handed down for centuries, only a single chosen monk is allowed inside and once he has been anointed he remains there for the rest of his life. However, there have been doubts about its authenticity since at least the 1500s.Images:- King Najashi of Aksum rejects Meccan demands to surrender the Muslims - The World History of Rashid al-Din - 1314- Church of Our Lady Mary (or Marion) of Zion today ...
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In light of new government guidelines, in-person fight practice is cancelled until further notice, though we will still be meeting online. Get in touch for further details.In the meantime, your weekly fun historical posts will continue, and we also have a Discord server which you're welcome to come and check out if you want to talk to us and find out what we're doing during lockdown: discord.gg/AfucYV5Yasuke was a man of African origin who was the first foreigner to achieve the rank of Samurai. He arrived in Japan in 1579 with the Jesuit missionary Alessandro Valignano, who was there to visit the powerful magnate Oda Nobunaga. A fellow Samurai described Yasuke as "6 shaku 2 sun. He was black, and his skin was like charcoal." This would make him 6' 2" tall - tall today, and a giant at the time.It's not known what Yasuke's original name was or where exactly he came from; "Yasuke" may be a Japanese version of the Makua name Yasufe, Mozambican Issufo, Ethiopian Yisake, or Portuguese Isaque, or it may mean "Yao-man", from the name of the Yao people of southeast Africa and the Japanese male name suffix -suke. An account written in 1627 claims that he was most likely from Mozambique, but there is no contemporary record to confirm that.It's also unclear what Yasuke's status was with the Portuguese missionaries. Some historians have suggested that he was a slave, but there is no evidence for this. He must have had a warrior background to rise so quickly to the rank of Samurai and free Africans certainly did travel with Portuguese missionary and merchant groups at the time. The Lord Nobunaga Chronicle (Shinchō kōki) describes him as "a black page ... from the Christian countries."According to a Jesuit record, Oda was initially convinced that Yasuke's skin was coloured black with ink and insisted that he strip to the waist and scrub it off. When he realised there was no ink, he was impressed and took an ongoing interest in Yasuke, possibly because he had a good command of Japanese and also possibly because they shared an interest in art. Shortly after this, he took Yasuke into his service and gave him his own house and a katana, together with the duty of weapon-bearer. They fought together at the Battle of Tenmokukuzan and in Oda's last battle in Kyoto, after which Yasuke went to serve his son Oda Nobutada. It's not clear what happened to him after that.Image: Rinpa ink-stone box showing a tall dark-skinned man in high-class clothing, possibly Yasuke - Museu do Caramulo - 1590s ...
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