St George’s Day and Shakespeare’s birthday

Joust

April 23rd –  On this day, St George’s Day, in 1390, English pride was  dented by the defeat of the Englishman Lord Welles by the Scotsman Sir David Lindsay in a friendly joust in front of King Richard (II) – on London Bridge!  As Gordon Home put it in his Medieval London, citing  the primary source of Hector Boece:

“At the sound of the trumpets the two champions hurled themselves at each other, and either splintered his lance without effect in dismounting his adversary.  Welles had directed his spear at his opponent’s head and hit him fairly on the visor, but the Scottish champion kept his seat so steadily that some of the spectators … shouted out that Lindsay had strapped himself to his saddle.  Thereupon the gallant Scot proved his honesty by vaulting to the ground and on to his horse’s back again in his heavy armour.  A second course followed with equal fortune, but at the third Welles was fairly overthrown.  The victor at once dismounted, and in the best spirit went to assist his fallen opponent …  [and] … never failed to call daily upon him during such time as he was confined to bed by the bruises and the severe shock of the fall”.

Joust

Joust

Shakespeare was born on or around this day 450 years ago in 1564, and died on this day 52 years later  in 1616.

London Bridge  is visited on our “Historic Southwark” standard walk, and on our “Medieval London” themed specials.

Sites associated with Shakespeare are visited on our “Aldgate, Bishopsgate and beyond” and “Historic Southwark” standard walks, and on our “Post-Medieval [Tudor and Stuart] London” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Our Guided Walks” section of this web-site.

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