Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Visiting My Ancestor

In Britain we have many castles. Not just up North and in Scotland, but also in every part of the country whether East and West or North and South. Some are still standing as in the photo above, whilst others are either just the outer shell of what was once a castle, or just a pile of bricks and stones beaten down by years of history.

Lately I visited a castle where purportedly my ancestor, the medieval King and Knight, Baron Sir Richard the Lion Liver, once lived. Click the crest on the right to learn more about him.

As soon as I entered the castle I was greeted by this armour which I understand he once wore when in battle, and also at the many jousting tournaments which he always won.

Note the lovely colourful plumage at the top of the helmet. Which explains why I always wear a cowboy hat with a feather on the side.
In one of the castle rooms we entered there was a table with two skulls side by side in a glass case. One skull was small and the other one much larger. They belonged to my ancestor, Sir Richard the Lion Liver.


       Sir Richard as a young child.     Sir Richard as an adult years later.

In another room we saw where the Knights of Sir Richard's triangular table used to hang their coat of arms.
In yet another room there was this intriguing painting with a story about Sir Richard written below it.
 Apparently, years ago Sir Richard fell down the stairs after a night's drinking with his knights and hurt his back. For ages he was bent with pain and walked with a stick as in the painting above. Eventually, he was persuaded to go to Gherkin the Wizard for a cure. After about five minutes with Gherkin, he came out walking straight and proud as if nothing had ever gone wrong.
Everyone cheered and danced with joy believing it to be a miracle. Sir Richard explained it was no miracle at all. Gherkin the Wizard had given him a longer stick.

The following photo best explains a famous story about my ancestor Sir Richard the Lion Liver.
Look at the windows on the left how narrow they are and shaped like a cross. This is deliberate so that the soldiers inside the castle could shoot arrows with their acurate crossbows without being seen by the attacking army outside, or shot back by the enemies' bowmen.

One night Sir Richard came back after a night's drinking with his knights at the local pub. He found the front door, (on the right of the picture where the visitors are), locked shut and his wife had gone to bed in a huff ... or was it a minute and a huff? I can't remember.

Anyway, Sir Richard did not want to ring the door bell and wake up the dragon inside ... or his wife for that matter. So he asked one of his servants to enter the castle from the back door. Now Sir Richard was a very accurate shot with the crossbow, even after a lot of drinking. So he said to his servant that he would shoot an arrow from outside through the second narrow window you see on the left. The servant inside the room would pull the arrow to which was attached a string, which was in turn attached to a rope. He would pull the rope inside the window and tie it to the furniture securely so that Sir Richard could climb into the castle.

All worked relatively well. Sir Richard shot the arrow through the window and it hit the servant waiting inside the room in the leg. The servant stifled a painful cry so as not to wake up the dragon. He didn't much care for his master's wife anyway.

He then tied the rope to the furniture so that Sir Richard could climb up. Once up Sir Richard discovered that the window was too narrow for anyone to get in.

So he got down again and asked his servant to let him in through the back door.

If you've enjoyed this tale about my visit to the castle half as much as I have enjoyed telling it; then I have enjoyed it twice as much as you.

19 comments:

  1. It's a shame that we in America don't have the centuries of history that England does :-)

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    Replies
    1. Plenty of castles and very old churches for you to visit here, Kathy.

      God bless.

      Delete
  2. You have quite the ancestry in your genes Victor.
    But it is only fitting for someone who wears a cowboy hat with a feather like his ancestor Baron Sir Richard the Lion Liver.
    I love his young child photo and when compared to a one in his later years...he hasn't changed much at all.

    Have a great day Sir Knight~

    God Bless~

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    Replies
    1. I was amazed at that too, Jan. They had two real skulls, (not photos), side by side. One of Sir Richard as a young child and one when he was grown up. He had a colourful history which you can read by clicking on the crest on the right of this blog.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  3. OMG, the two skulls crack me up!
    'Pondering how, in comparison, my own ancestors were terribly BORING ... and subsequently feeling a bit sorry for myself.

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    Replies
    1. Yes Mevely, Sir Richard had a long and very successful life as King and Ruler of his domain. His story can be found by clicking on the crest on the right of this blog.

      God bless.

      Delete
  4. Such a rich history you have, cream of the crop ancestors.
    Before you know it, you'll be known as Lord Victor. :)

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    Replies
    1. My ancestor's moto was Semper Ubi Sub Ubi. (See and click crest on the right). Something I believe in to this day.

      God bless you, Bill.

      Delete
  5. We enjoyed visiting a few castles when we lived in Scotland.
    I think I've mentioned this before, but we lived in Kinaird Castle in Brechin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a lovely place Scotland is. Really worth a visit time and again.

      God bless you, Happyone.

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  6. I've done quite a bit of genealogy research on my family and we have nothing compared to your genealogy!

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    Replies
    1. You can always borrow some of my stories if you wish, Terri.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  7. You’re lucky to have known who they were. We don’t know anyone beyond my immigrant grandparents. We did find an old picture that says my father’s last name with the part of Greece that his father was from. It’s a husband and wife and two small children. The husband looks just like all the men on my dad’s side. My cousins and I made the educated guess that this is our great-great grandparents. The woman is so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  8. How
    Do you know you’re his descendant, tho? Can you do dna?

    ReplyDelete

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