The Staffordshire Millennium Embroideries

Created by Sylvia M Everitt MBE

Fifteenth Century Panel

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Stafford knot from the Staffordshire Millennium Embroideries

The Staffords, descendants of one of William the Conqueror's standard bearers Roger de Toeni, had been doing rather well for themselves over the centuries and had risen through the hierachy to become earls. There had been severa; excellent marriages which had brought more wealth and splendid property into the family so their original castle at Stafford was now only one of many residences in their possession.
Most prestigious of the marriages was in the previous century when Edmund, the 5th Earl, married a grand-daughter of Edward III linking the Staffords with royalty. It seems that it may have been at about this time that the family started to use the Stafford knot as an hera;dic badge - or to use a modern term 'logo'. There is no doubt that the Stafford knot emblem was originally worn on the livery of the Stafford family but somewhere along the line it was adopted by the Staffordshire County Council so that it became known, quite erronously, as the Staffordshire Knot.
The Staffords were Lancastrians, supporting King Henry IV's usurping of the throne and their support stood them in good stead because during the century Humphrey Stafford was created Duke of Buckingham.
Another royal match cane the way of this ambitious family when Henry the 2nd Duke of Buckingham married Catherine Woodville who was King Edward IV's sister-in-law. By now, without doubt, the Staffords were one of the best connected family in England. 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 Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Penma

Set at the time of the Wars of the Roses this is a weighty tome for a paperback. It consists of four "books" each relating to one of the main players in the drama and running to nearly 900 pages. But, if you love late medieval history, especially the internecine quarrels between the Red and White Rose factions of Lancaster and York, this book is a rivetting read, full of treachery, murder, intrigue, wenching and the excesses of the majority of medieval royal courts.
The book is unusual in that Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard III, the humpbacked evil genius of Shakespeare's play, is portrayed sympathetically. It is obvious that the author has researched extensively the period of which she is writing and come to the conclusion that history has wronged King Richard. She cites several instances of what she calls "Tudor propaganda" in her notes at the end of the novel one of which is the deliberate over-painting of a contemporary portrait of Richard to give the impression of a deformity to which Shakespeare's play gives further credence. Sharon Penman (what a literate name!) is an American, as are quite a few historical authors who have a fascination for English History,and a thoroughly good job she makes of this compelling book.
  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.

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