The Staffordshire Millennium Embroideries

Created by Sylvia M Everitt MBE

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 panel shield of de toni

Roger de Toeni fought at the Battle of Hastings alongside William and so he and his family came in for rich pickings after the Conquest. Roger and Walter Giffard were William's two standard bearers and they both requested to be relieved of their duty at Hastings so that they could join in the affray. William consented and Walter's descendant John Giffard has a story to tell abiout the battle, but I won;t steal his thunder - we'll come to the Giffard's in the fourteenth century.

When the Domesday book was compiled in 1086 telling William how much land there was in his new domain and exactly to whom he had given it all (and from whom he had confiscated it), Roger de Toeni's son Robert was shown to be the most landed lord in the Midlands owning much of the property formerly belonging to Earl Edwin. As he had a cluster of estates around Stafford, Robert adopted the name de Stafford. It is probable that Robert built the first wooden, motte and bailey type castle at Stafford around 1070 as protection for his family and other Norman landowners who at that time still lived amongst a hostile, native Saxon community. However, the castle is not mentioned prior to a charter dated 1140 which could mean that it was built by a descendant of Robert during the dreadful strife of the Civil War in King Stephen's reign. 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 Brother Cadfael Series by Ellis Peters

Ellis Peters, real name Edith Pargeter, winner of the Crime Writers Diamond Dagger, wrote some twenty odd novels about the sleuthing monk of Shrewsbury Abbey and each one of them is a gem.
I rarely read fiction preferring historical biographies or reference books but after discovering Brother Cadfael, quite by chance, some years ago I confess a weakness for them. I marvel at the immaculate period research and the skillful inter-weaving of factual characters with the fictional. If you have never read a "Cadfael" but only know him through, what was, in my opinion, the inferior T.V. series,which played fast and loose with Ellis Peters' plots and, to their detriment, re-wrote most of them, please try reading one of her books.
The stories, although each being a complete tale in itself, are sequentially set in the 12th Century during the time of the Civil Wars between King Stephen ( Grandson of William the Conqueror) and Empress Matilda (daughter of Henry I who was the son of William the Conqueror). If possible try to start with "A Rare Benedictine" which tells of Brother Cadfael's conversion from a fighting Crusader to a herb-garden tending detectiver monk
If you like a good detective yarn with the twist of being set in the 12th Century I recommend this series, they are unput-downable.
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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