In the year 1247

Another innocuous house number but an otherwise eventful year. The Treaty of Woodstock brought peace to Wales for the next nine years, a long time all things considered. Henry III married two of his Lusignan siblings from France (children of his mother’s second marriage) into the English nobility. His brother William wed the Marshal heiress of Pembroke and his sister Alice the earl of Surrey. This wasn’t blind affection for family, rather Henry’s strategy to bind England’s ancestral, somewhat incestuous clans closer to the crown than to each other. The Montforts were none too happy about William’s marriage. As the wife of the oldest Marshal son, Eleanor de Montfort claimed some of the lands in Pembroke as part of her dower. It was a problem that would haunt them all, but for now Henry showed off William by knighting him as part of an elaborate ceremony to translate a vial of holy blood to Westminster Abbey. People were naturally skeptical how a resurrected Jesus could leave behind any blood. The bishop of Lincoln explained that it was the blood washed away from his wounds after the crucifixion. It was indeed holy blood, just the ‘superfluous’ variety.

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