The Staffordshire Millennium Embroideries

Created by Sylvia M Everitt MBE
 

Twelfth Century Panel

Index
12th century
13th century
14th century
15th century
16th century
17th century
18th century
19th century
20th century
the map
the map key



Staffordshire Millennium Embroideries 12th century motif representing the market charters for Lichfield, Eccleshall, Burton and Newcastle-under-Lyme

After the Norman Conquest no town was allowed to hold a market without obtaining a charter from the King and these charters did not come cheaply. However, both the ecclesiastics and lay lords came to realise the benefits - to themselves - of encouraging outside trade to their manors and gradually began to obtain the necessary permissions. The first of these charters granted in the county were to Lichfield and Eccleshall in 1149, although there is no known date for Newcastle-under-Lyme's charter so it may have been earlier.

With a charter in place, the Lord of the Manor could set up his formal trading area and charge rents to the traders for the right to gather there and sell their wares in a 'publicly exposed, fixed place'. This 'publicly exposed, fixed place' was either the green outside the church, the road through the centre of the village or the place in the village where two or more roads crossed. Wherever it was, the market cross went with it. These early merchants could neither read nort write and so they had to have some easy, generally understood form of agreement and a handshake in front of the market cross became the forerunner to a signature on a piece of paper. Now read on....

The above extract is from the book written by Dianne Mannering about the history of Staffordshire woven into Sylvia Everitt's embroideries. Click here to find out more about the book or to buy a signed copy
From Sylvia's library
  Sylvia's review:
The Staffordshire Hoard by Kevin Leahy and Roger Bland
This delightful little book attempts to date The Hoard and theorises on the how and why it came to be found in a field in Burntwood Staffordshire.
The book is well illustrated in full colour with photos of various pieces of the hoard, some still have the mud of centuries clinging to them.
The skill and craftsmanship of the Anglo-Saxon goldsmiths cannot be doubted(and they call this period the Dark Ages?) and the similarities between the Hoard and the treasure of King Raedwald unearthed at Sutton Hoo in 1939 are striking.
The story of Terry Herbert's exciting find, using a metal detector, is told in the first chapter, the second gives a short outline of the life and times of Anglo-Saxon England plus some thoughts on the how and why of the Hoard.
For those of us who have been fortunate enough to have seen the Hoard this book is a treasured memento and for those of us who have not a spur to make the effort to see it.
One pound of the purchase price is donated to a fund for the conservation of the delicate jewels.
 

Sylvia's review:

The Year 1000 - What Life was like at the turn of the First Millennium. By Robert Lacy and Danny Danziger.

For anyone curious to know what was happening in England before the usual cut-off date of 1066 - this book is for you.
Based on the Julius Work Calendar which was written by a monk of Canterbury around 1020, it list the high days and holy days of the Roman Church. Each chapter is headed with a charming little vignette of the agricultural task to be done in that month. Drawn in the typically naive medieval style each time I look at them I feel inspired to translate them into embroidery.
The world of 1000AD is less complicated with religion and women had more equality with men than post-Norman conquest. It presents the Anglo-Saxons as down-to earth, pragmatic and hard-working, although, some of the old English law codes of "Enga-lond" would appear strange to modern eyes, for example, "if a man fondle the breasts of a free woman uninvited, he shall be fined five shillings". The rape of a free woman incurred the penalty of sixty shillings, payable direct to the victim. This was the time of "Wer-geld" when everything and everyone had their price!
And this book is priceless for giving an in depth insight into the world of our highly skilled but often under-rated and ignored Anglo-Saxon forebears.

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