Thursday, December 20, 2012

Custom Looks of Nobility

I thought this was interesting and wanted to share ....  I found it on Tumblr ...

Anglo-Saxon (600 – 1154): Simple Veils, Head-tires, Combs, and Pin

Norman (1066-1154): Couvre-chef, hair uncovered, and extreme length

Plantagenet (1154-1399): Wimple, Barbette, Fillet and Crespine

Plantagenet (14th century): Horizontal Braiding, Gorget

Plantagenet Crespine ( 1364-Late 14th century)

Lancaster (1430-1460): Heart-shaped and Turban Headdresses

York (1460-1485): Butterfly and Hennin 
More info and styles at the source.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Introduction to Rollo "Duke of Normandy"


So .. tracing back my Royal line, I wanted to get back as far as I could.  Then start from ....  well...  a starting point.  So we're going to start with Rollo.   Rollo and his mistress or wife (possibly by "more danico" - she was captured during a raid at Bayeux.)  She was believed to be "kidnapped" and forced to become a concubine....    I found this wealth of information and thought I would share this first. 

Explanation of "more danico" in another blog...

Introduction: Like a fierce folktale hero?

The lion of Rollo, Ruler of Normandy
Lion of Rollo, Ruler of Normandy
THE HISTORY of the Viking Age contains some gruesome reading. Icelandic sagas tell of a Viking hulk called Rolv Ganger (Rolv Walker), aka Rollo or Rollon. He was too big for small horses to carry him, a saga tells. Viking horses may not have been large.
Rolv killed many people and became an ancestor of the British monarchy, and he had relatives . . . The main content that follows is from the Icelandic sagas.
  1. After once being made an outlaw and shooed from Viking Norway, the giant warrior Rollo had to make it far away from home. He lived by the sword.
  2. After much turmoil he won a district large enough to feed him, he got Normandy in three strides from the French king Charles the Simple - and married Poppa (Papia), the daughter of a count, and later the king's daughter or sister Giselle (Gizella). With Poppa he had four children, possibly. Some details are hard to verify.
  3. From then on he and his family could rule what was to become the best part of France for centuries. They also took over England and Wales - and Normans also conquered the southern half of Italy, including Sicily, and several other tracts bordering on the Mediterranean Sea.
This is a basic "recipe" of success in later Scandianavian folktales, where the hero conquers some and opposes others, and ends up reigning. In other words, the life of Rollo conforms well to several types of plot often expressed in Scandinavian folktales, such as Strong John. The success tale of Rollo contains a fair amount of fairy tale motifs, but unlike Scandinavian folktales - collected in the 1800s and into the early 1900s for most part - the Rollo story is largely historical fact, according to the Icelander Snorre Sturlason in Heimskringla, Book 3, section 24; Book 7, section 19, and other Icelandic sagas from medieval times, as the Orkneyingers' Saga, section 4.

A brief look into the fairy tale build-up

Howdy Several Scandinavian folktales are showing a similarity in their basic "success recipes" with those of murderous Vikings. It suggests that many folktale heroes walk in shoes like those of Rollo by degrees and through much similar stages where success osften depends on combat and getting valuables.

The saga writer Snorre mentions that Rolv Ganger - later called Rollo and hailed as one ancestor of the British royal house - grew so big that Viking horses (probably ponies) were unable to carry him.
In the course of centuries, myths and other tall stories may grow around admired heroes for wish-fulfilling reasons and some others. Fantasy unites with fact, much as with legends of King Arthur. Arthur's story is mainly composed of folklore and literary invention. There is no clear historical evidence that Arthur was a historical figure, but a whole lot of unproductive speculation. Still he is very popular, for stories about him and his court speak to the imagination of many. The fame of Arthur and his men rests in part on Norman bards. Normans developed romances, and those of King Arthur - blending old Celtic myth and perhaps a skinny core of actual persons at times - were gratefully received in Great Britain and northern France too.

Contrary to what many may imagine, having a king is not a great good, according to Samuel 1:8 in the Old Testament: the king is portrayed as the enemy on top there. Royalty may breed dependence and un-normal subservience with or without near-symbiotic and half-neurotic servility.

Was Rollon really Norwegian? A Snapshot

An announced project in search of the origin of Rollon by gene technology

Advanced gene technology may soon be applied to confirm or kill old Saga stories about Rollon. Rollo carries the title of Duke of Normandy and Count of Rouen, and was the great-great-great-grandfather of the ancestor of the English royal house, William the Conqueror. Was Rollo the Norwegian Viking Gange-Rolv?

The origin of Rollo is disputed. Norman and Norse sources contain in part conflicting information. From medieval times Norwegian and Icelandic historiy writers have agreed that Gange-Rolv and Rollo is one and the same person, the Viking chieftain Gange-Rolv who in time came to France after being exiled from Norway by King Harald Prettyhair, as some of the medieval sagas tell. The Norwegian-Icelandic version has been challenged by Danish historians, who have claimed that Rollo was originally Danish. And Norwegian, Icelandic, French and British experts have considered that he most probably was Norwegian. "But we have no definitive evidence," says Claus Krag, who is an expert on medieval Norwegian history and professor of ancient history at Telemark University College.

Sturla Ellingvåg of the research foundation Explico, has announced he will try to use the latest technology in an effort to disclose the origin of Rollo by a DNA hunt in the fall of 2010. He has been joined by Professor Per Holck of anatomy and biology professor Erika Hagel Berg at the University of Oslo. In addition, a French archaeologist, historian and language professor is involved in the project.

There are no remnants of Rollo that are usable for DNA testing. But it may be possible to get the DNA profiles of his grandson and great grandson Richard I and Richard II by opening their stone coffins. They are in a crypt in the town of Fécamp, 40 miles north of Le Havre, and scheduled to be opened during the fall of 2010.

Previous gened tests of remains from the Viking Age have revealed DNA differences between Danish and Norwegian Vikings. If any of these differences can be traced in the Rollo-Descendants DNA, it may be possible to substantiate that Rollo was Norwegian.

Norwegians Robbers and Descendants

"History has many cunning passages". - T. S. Eliot
"History . . . the portrayal of crimes and misfortunes." - Voltaire.
The Medieval Chronicle of the Kings of Norway (online) contain sagas that teem with descriptions of how Norwegians flocked abroad as pillaging murderers and traders. We also find suggestive mentions on how to survive and accommodate in barbarian settings. Norse sagas inculcate certain norms, and some of them suit persons still. [Nok]

Rollo and His Relatives

Below is information from some of the Norwegian-Icelandic sagas.
The wicked won . . . It was an evil age. "A time of . . . trolls, gnomes and goblins". - Per Simonnæs, preface. [Noko]
Once King Harald Harfager moved out with his army from Trondheim and went southwards to More. Hunthiof was the king who ruled over the district of More. Solve Klove was his son, and both were great warriors. There was a great battle. King Harald won (AD 867?). (10)

Two kings were slain, but Solve escaped by flight; and King Harald laid both districts under his power. Ragnvald Earl of More, a son of Eystein Glumra, had the summer before become one of Harald's men; and the king set him as chief over these two districts, North More and Raumsdal. Ragnvald was propped up with men of might and bondes and called Ragnvald the Mighty, or the Wise; and people said both names suited him well. This was the father of Rollon according to the Icelander Snorre who flourished in the first half of the 1200s. (10)

The following spring (AD 868?) King Harald raised a great force and gave out that he would proceed to South More. Solve Klove had passed the winter in his ships of war, plundering in North More, and had killed many of King Harald's men; pillaging some places, burning others, and making great ravage. But sometimes during the winter Solve had been with his friend King Arnvid in South More. Now he gathered people, and was strong in men-at-arms; for many thought they had to take vengeance of King Harald. Solve said:

"it is now clear that we all have to rise against King Harald, for we have strength enough; for becoming his servants, that is no condition for us, who are not less noble than Harald."

King Harald won, but Solve escaped. Solve became afterwards a great sea-king. He often did great damage in King Harald's dominions. They were many around the northern sea. (11)

Harald subdued South More; but Vemund, King Audbjorn's brother, still had Firdafylke. It was now late in harvest, and King Harald's men gave him the counsel not to proceed south-wards round Stad. the weather-beaten West Cape of Norway. Then King Harald set Earl Ragnvald over South and North More and also Raumsdal, and he had many people about him. The same winter (AD 869) Ragnvald went over Eid, and southwards to the Fjord district. There he heard news of King Vemund, and came by night to a place called Naustdal, where King Vemund was living in guest-quarters.

Earl Ragnvald surrounded the house in which they were quartered, and burnt the king in it, together with ninety men. The berserk Berdlukare came to Earl Ragnvald with a complete armed long-ship and joined forces, and they both returned to More. The earl took all the ships Vemund had, and all the goods he could get hold of. (12)

(1) The war-ships of the fierce Vikings were called dragons, from being decorated with the head of a dragon, serpent, or other wild animal; and the word "draco" was adopted in the Latin of the Middle Ages to denote a ship of war of the larger class. The snekke was the cutter or smaller war-ship.
(2) The shields were hung over the side-rails of the ships.

(3) The wolf-skin pelts were nearly as good as armour against the sword.

Fleeing to many islands, including Ireland

AFTER many harsh battles King Harald's greatest enemies were cut off. But a great multitude fled out of the country, and by that great districts were peopled. Jemtaland and Helsingjaland (now: vast parts of Western Sweden) were peopled then.

Very severe discontent with the brutal tyranny of King Harald led many to settle elsewhere too - not only in distant parts of Norway, but also the out-countries of Iceland and the Faroe Isles. They were discovered and peopled - in part by Celtic women, as genetic studies of Icelanders document.

The Northmen had also a great resort to Hjaltland (Shetland Isles) and many men left Norway, flying the country on account of King Harald, and went on Viking cruises into the West sea. In winter they were in the Orkney Islands and Hebrides; but marauded in summer in Norway, and did great damage.
Many were also the mighty men who took service under King Harald and became his flock in the land with him. (20)

KING HARALD heard that the Vikings who were in the West sea in winter, plundered far and wide in the middle part of Norway; and therefore every summer he made an expedition to search the isles and out-skerries on the coast. (Skerries are uninhabited dry or halt-tide rocks of a coast.) Later he sailed with his fleet right out into the West sea. He came to Hjaltland (Shetland), and he slew all the Vikings who could not save themselves by flight. Then to the Orkney Islands, and cleared them all of Vikings. After that he proceeded to the Sudreys (Hebrides).

Many a battle was fought, and King Harald was always victorious. He then plundered far and wide in Scotland itself, and had a battle there. When he was come westward as far as the Isle of Man, the report of his exploits on the land had gone before him; for all the inhabitants had fled over to Scotland, and the island was left entirely bare.

In this war fell Ivar, a son of Ragnvald, Earl of More; and King Harald gave Ragnvald, as a compensation for the loss, the Orkney and Shetland isles.
Ragnvald immediately gave both these countries to his brother Sigurd, he got the earldom of them. Thorstein the Red, a son of Olav the White and of Aud the Wealthy, entered into partnership with him; and after plundering in Scotland, they subdued Caithness and Sutherland, as far as Ekkjalsbakke. Earl Sigurd killed Melbridge Tooth, a Scotch earl. Many Vikings set themselves down then in those countries.
After King Harald had subdued the whole land, he was one day at a feast in More. Then King Harald went into a bath, and had his hair dressed. Earl Ragnvald now cut his hair. They were best friends. Earl Ragnvald gave him the distinguishing name - Harald Harfager (i.e., fair hair); and all who saw him agreed he had the most beautiful and abundant head of hair. (23)
Some European Viking routes

The Viking ancestor Rollon appears

EARL RAGNVALD was King Harald's dearest friend, and the king had the greatest regard for him. He was married to Hild, a daughter of Rolf Nefia, and their sons were Rolf and Thorer. Earl Ragnvald had also three sons by concubines, - the one called Hallad, the second Einar, the third Hrollaug; and all three were grown men when their brothers born in marriage were still children. Rolf became a great Viking, and was of so stout a growth that no horse could carry him. Wherever he went he must go on foot; and therefore he was called Rolf Ganger. (Later Rollon)

He plundered much in the East sea. One summer, as he was coming from the eastward on a Viking's expedition to the coast of Viken, he landed there and made a cattle foray. As King Harald happened, just at that time, to be in Viken, he heard of it, and was in a great rage; for he had now forbid the plundering within the bounds of the country. The king assembled a Thing, and had Rolf declared an outlaw over all Norway.

When Rolf's mother heard of it she hastened to the king, and entreated peace for Rolf; but the king was so enraged that here entreaty was of no avail. Then she spoke up:
"Do you think, King Harald, in your anger,
To drive away my brave Rolf Ganger
Like a mad wolf, from out the land?
Why is your cruelty so fell?
Think twice, king, it is ill
With such a wolf at wolf to play,
Who, driven to the wild woods away
May make the king's best deer his prey."
Rolf Ganger went afterwards over sea to the West to the Hebrides, or Sudreys; and at last farther west to Valland, where he plundered and subdued for himself a great earldom, which he peopled with Northmen, from which that land is called Normandy.

Rolf Ganger's son was William, father to Richard, and grandfather to another Richard, who was the father of Robert Longspear, and grandfather of William the Bastard, from whom all the following English kings are descended. From Rolf Ganger also are descended the earls in Normandy. (24)
From the ◦Landnama Book [Lb]:
Rögnvald, Earl of Mæri, son of Eystein Glumra, the son of Ivar, an Earl of the Upplendings, the son of Halfdan the Old, had for wife Ragnhild, the daughter of Hrolf the Beaked; their son was Ivar, who fell in the Hebrides, fighting with King Harald Fairhair. Another son was Gaungu-Hrolf who conquered Normandy; from him are descended the Earls of Rouen and the Kings of England. (Part 4, ch. 7)

Rollo Gets Normandy

R. Allen Brown [Cf. Tnn] has written extensively about Normans and the Norman conquest. I render him in the following:

"NORMANDY was created by the three consecutive grants of 911, 924 and 933". [Tnn 20] Especially in Lower Normandy the Scandinavian influences and custom remained rather strong. [Cf. Tnn 21 and 41n] Normandy was in part colonised. Rollo and his successors, as rulers of Normandy, obtained the title of count and valuable rights from before, along with widespread domains. [Cf. Tnn 22]

Their buildings seem to document remarkable strength or solidity. The churches were much like bastions. But the duke of Rouen controlled the whole church and his bishops owed him military service for their lands - [Cf. Tnn 32]

"From (their) Scandinavian inheritance the Normans derived their sea-faring, much of their trade and commercial prosperity which they shared with the Nordic world, their love of adventure, their wanderlust which led to the great period of Norman emigration in the eleventh century, their dynamic energy, and above all perhaps, their powers of assimila

(In AD 911) Charles the Simple, king of the west Franks, granted to a band of Vikings, operating in the Seine valley under Rollo their leader, territory corresponding to Upper or Easter Normandy. [Tnn 20] To this was subsequently added by two further grants, first the district of Bayeux, and the districts of Exmes and Seez in 924, and second the districts of Coutances and Avranches in 933 in the time of William Longsword, son and successor of Rollo. [Tnn 20] (2)

And from the French Histoire de la Normandie (1862) we find, in the fourth chapter, how Rollo, son of the Norwegian Rognevald, was made an outlaw by the Norwegian tyrant king Harald Harfager. He arrived at Rouen with his companions. The inhabitants spontaneously submitted to the giant. King Charles at first wanted to fight the Viking, but dropped it. Instead they bargained - Rollo won, he got land and permanent welcome. [Hnam 80 pp]

The historian R. Brown puts the matter into relief: "Normans were pagans when they came (and they continued to come long after 911)." [Tnn 30] But their leader, the Viking Rollo, said yes to getting ◦baptised, and many others followed. More surprisingly, "Rollo . . . is (also - later) said to have wanted to become a monk (at Jumieges). That could have been due to a genuine flame deep inside. [Cf. Tnn 26]

In short time the Normans got the back-up of their astute castles and strongholds, helped themselves to most of it - often they were served by ditches and stockades too. [Cf. Tnn 44-5]

Their treaty at St. Claire-sur-Epte became a fact, and Rollo got baptised and married Gisele.
[It is thought that Rollo showed exceptional skills in navigation, warfare, leadership, and administration. He abdicated to his son Guillame (William) and died in a monastery in 933. Among his people he was for hundreds of years the personification of justice and good government under law. Others, who thought differently, found him cruel and arrogant.]

His son Guillame Longue-Epee (William Longsword) succeeded him. The third duke was Richard sans Peur (the Fearless), and there were many intrigues and hard fights. This Richard died and was succeeded by Richard 2 who massacred Saxons in England at war. The French king Robert became the ally of Richard 2. After his death, Richard 3 succeeded him and died prematurely. Robert le Diable succeeded him and, before he died in Terre-Sainte, became the father of Guillame le Conquerant: William the Conqueror. [Hnam 80 pp]

WE FIND the family tree of William the Conqueror in the book of the historian R. Brown. It looks like this:

  • Richard 1 (ruled: 942-96)
  • Richard 2 the Good (ruled: 996-1026)
  • Richard 3 (ruled: 1026-27)
  • Robert 1 the Magnificent (ruled: 1027-35)
  • William the Bastard or the Conqueror (ruled: 1035-87).
  • Rollo's great-granddaughter, Emma married two kings of England, Æhelred the Unready and Knut who was also king of Norway and Denmark. Her son, Edward the Confessor, from the first marriage, was King of England from 1042-1066.

    A few more dukes of Normandy may be added for the sake of survey of that dynasty line that ruled over Normandy and its English (British) domain:

  • Robert 2 (ruled from 1087)
  • Henry 1 (ruled from 1106, King of the English (1100-35)
  • Henry II, 1135, King of the English (1135-) [◦Source]
  • "It was a direct result of the Viking onslaught upon Western Europe . . . tidy and precise." [Tnn 20]
    "The Norman monasteries were, by and large, distinguished . . . new . . . vibrant with . . . careless rapture of spiritual endeavour". The (Normans) became great spirituals - intensely aristocratic. [Tnn 28, 30]

    Master builders in a very short time, (Normans) restored and built on monasticism in outstanding degrees. [Tnn 25-6]

    Normans from the next century left grand architectural monuments, and some are still there, more or less intact. The Tower of London is a very Norman building, for example. King William had much of it built. [Cf. Tnn 25 pp] 

    "The tower at Rouen was built by Richard 1 (943-96) and is glimpsed from time to time in the reign of his successor and thereafter . . .. It may have been the prototype for the great Norman towers at Colchester and London. [Tnn 44n] (4)

    Normans went on and built very monastic churches at such places as Jumieges [one still stands there] and lots of other places. "They added their cathedrals at Rouen, Bayeux [etc.] Many of these major works of Norman Romanesque architecture survive in whole or part". [Tnn 31-2]

    Formerly hostile Scandinavians . . . became converted [in that way]. [Tnn 13]

    "SOME (including Norman clergy) were patrons of the arts and scholarship . . . and almost all of them were mighty builders." [Tnn 31]

    French version

    In 820 peasants . . .along the Seine saw in the distance ten or so curious war ships called—Drakkar because of the animal sculpted into the prow or the stern, which was actually a dragon—the men from the North didn't travel with their women as they could easily find them on the spot!

    Swearing by the names of Thor and Odin—Vikings plundered, pillaged, raped and slaughtered up until 911 when the famous treaty of Saint Clair sur Epte was signed between the Frank king Charles the Simple and Rollon or Rolf, chief of the men from the North.

    On the whole our invaders calmed down, adopting a somewhat bourgeois attitude to life in this beautiful region which was to become Normandy.

    Soon it was the time for William the Conqueror who, on October 14th, 1066 won the battle of Hastings along with a kingdom—William's heirs were known as the Plantagenets, and they reigned over Normandy and England. In 1189, Richard the Lionheart divided the double crown. [Source]

    Relatives Ruling the Orkneys

    Here is more about the father and brothers of Rolf Ganger. The story starts somewhere during the reign of King Harald Fairhair. The Orkneyingars' Saga tells of these happenings too.

    EARL RAGNVALD in More heard of the death of his brother Earl Sigurd, and that the Vikings were in possession of the country. He sent his son Hallad westward, who took the title of earl to begin with, and had many men-at-arms with him. But the Vikings cruised about the isles plundering the headlands, and committing depredations on the coast. Then Earl Hallad grew tired of the business, resigned his earldom, and afterwards returned eastward into Norway.

    When Earl Ragnvald heard of this he was ill pleased, and said his Hallad was very unlike their ancestors.

    Then said his other son, Einar, one more brother of Rolf Ganger, "I have enjoyed but little honour among you, I'll go west to the islands. You will never see me again."

    Earl Ragnvald replied he would be glad if he never came back; "For there is little hope," he said, "that you will ever be an honour to your friends."

    Einar got a vessel and sailed into the West sea at autumn. When he came to the Orkney Isles, two Vikings were in his way with two vessels. He attacked them instantly and slew the Vikings and their boatmen. He was called Torfeinar, he cut peat for fuel where there was no firewood, as in Orkneys.
    He afterwards was earl over the islands, a mighty man, very sharp-sighted. (27)

    Wicked guys could still be kings

    WHEN King Harald was forty, two of his sons set off one spring with a great force, and came suddenly on Earl Ragnvald, earl of More, and surrounded the house [no castle] in which he was, and burnt him and sixty men in it.

    When King Harald heard this he set out with a great force against one son, who had no other way left but to surrender, and he was sent to Agder.

    King Harald then set Earl Ragnvald's son Thorer over More, and gave him his daughter Alof, called Arbot, in marriage. Earl Thorer, called the Silent, got the same territory his father Earl Ragnvald had possessed. (30)

    HALFDAN, the other son who had murdered Earl Ragnvald, came unexpectedly to Orkney where Rolf Ganger's brother, Earl Einar, was in charge. Einar fled at once; but came back soon after about autumn, unnoticed. They met and after a short battle Halfdan fled the same night. As soon as it was light, Einar and his men searched the whole island and killed every man they could lay hold of.
    Then Einar said, "What is that I see on the isle of Rinansey? A man or a bird? Sometimes it raises itself up, and sometimes lies down again." They went to it, and found it was Halfdan Haleg, and took him prisoner. Earl Einar sang this verse the evening before he went into this battle:
    "Einar won't spare revenge
    against his father's murderers."
    After that Earl Einar went up to Halfdan and struck his sword through his back into his belly, dividing his ribs from the backbone down to his loins, and tearing out his lungs. Yes, Halfdan died from that one. Einar then sang:
    "For Ragnvald's death my sword is red:
    Now, brave boys, let's raise a mound."
    Then Earl Einar took possession of the Orkney Isles as before. Now when these tidings came to Norway, Halfdan's brothers took it much to heart, and Einar heard of it. He sang:
    "Before they lay Earl Einar low,
    Before this stout heart betrays its cause."
    KING HARALD now ordered a levy, and gathered a great force. He proceeded westward to Orkney with it; and when Earl Einar heard that he was come, he fled over to Caithness. He made the following verses:
    'Do your worst! - I defy you, king! -"
    But men and messages passed between the king and the earl, and at last it came to a conference; and when they met the earl submitted the case altogether to the king's decision, and the king condemned the earl Einar and the Orkney people to pay a fine of sixty marks (15 kg) of gold. Earl Einar paid the whole fine to the king, who returned to Norway. The earls for a long time afterwards possessed all the udal lands in Orkney. (32)

    Rollo and Dudo

    Source: [Nbl 350-53]

    Rollo was the son of Earl Ragnvald of More, say Norse sagas. Two of his brothers were Ivar and Tore. Three more were Hallad, Einar and Rollaug. Hallad and Einar in due time became earls of the Orkneys, each in his turn. [eg, Harald Fairhair's Saga]

    After being made an outcast by the tyrant king Harald Harfager, Rolf voyaged to the western isles. Obviously he could count on support from relatives. The earl of the Orkneys was his paternal uncle, succeeded by that uncle's son, that is, his cousin, and later again by his own brothers Hallad and Einar.

    The old sources hold that Rolv took his residence in certain tracts of what today is the domain of Scotland. The Landnamaboka mentions Rolv got a daughter, Kathleen:
    Helgi . . . harried Scotland, and took thence captives, Midbjorg, the daughter of Bjolan the King, and Kadlin, the daughter of Gaungu Hrolf or Rolf the Ganger; he married her. (Part 2, ch. 11).
    Before Helgi had harried and married, Rolv of the Sagas had travelled from Scotland and the isles near it, to Valland, near the English Channel. The Vikings' Valland consisted of the southern Netherlands, Belgium and parts of Normandy, roughly said. He took over Normandy in three steps. The Sagas identify him with the Rollo that the Frank king Charles the Simple bestowed it on.
    Now the chronicler of the Norman dukes, Dudo, tells (ca. 1020) that Rollo was the son of an uncertain king in "Dacia". This is the presentation of Dacia in Dudo's Latin work, ◦Gesta Normannorum:
    Spread over the plentiful space from the Danube to the neighborhood of the Scythian Black Sea, do there inhabit fierce and barbarous nations, which are said to have burst forth in manifold variety like a swarm of bees from a honeycomb or a sword from a sheath, as is the barbarian custom, from the island of Scania, surrounded in different directions by the ocean. For indeed there is there a tract for the very many people of Alania, and the extremely well-supplied region of Dacia, and the very extensive passage of Greece. Dacia is the middle-most of these. Protected by very high alps in the manner of a crown and after the fashion of a city. - [From chapter 2, second paragraph in Gesta Normannorum by the chronicler Dudo ca. 1015]
    Extracts from Dudo of St. Quintin's work is here.
    Three things stand out from Dudo's obscure and glorifying marvel. They are:
    • If what is called Dacia is surrounded by very high alps, it isn't Denmark.
    • Scandia (Scandinavia) is not an island.
    • From Dudo's blurred description, Dacia stands out as some very fertile, southern Alp tract (Balcanlike), and also one that is closely tied in with sailing and ships, as seen from other passages in Dudo.
    To add to Dudo's "back-up of Denmark":
    The Dacians are called by their own people Greeks or Danes, and they boast that they are descended from Antenor. He entered with his followers the Illyrian borders, having slipped away from the midst of the Achaeans who pillaged Troy. [Gesta Normannorum, Chapter 2, paragraph 5]
    Dudo's work has the nature of a romance, and has been regarded as untrustworthy on this ground by such competent critics as Ernst Dümmler and Georg Waitz. The Danish Johannes Steenstrup, on the other hand, while admitting the legendary element in the work, regards the book as of considerable value for the history of the Normans. Further, Leah Shopkow has more recently argued that Carolingian writing, particularly two saints' lives, the ninth-century Vita S. Germani by Heiric of Auxerre and the early tenth-century Vita S. Lamberti by Stephen of Liége, provided models for Dudo's work. [Wikipedia, s.v., "Dudo of Saint-Quentin"]

    There are differences of opinion. The Danish scholar Johannes Steenstrup wrote in favour of Dudo's version back in 1876. But it is not very clear what that version is or implies. For judged from Dudo, Dacia is not Denmark [Norsd 30, 31] - the descriptions of the terrain and the geographic position do not fit.

    Most historians have settled on the presentation of the Icelandic sagas. That position is held by many Icelandic, French, British and Norwegian historians. They have supported the Sagas of Icelandic origin.

    Some Danes love to think that Rollo was Danish, without much valuable evidence that it was so. There is not a single mention of Rollo in the classical Danish sources, and it is often pointed out that a huge, vastly successful marauder from Scandinavia at that time would not go unmentioned in the country he came from - such a "prominent man". The Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus from about 1200, has no mention of any Danish Rollo in ◦The Danish History. But there is mention of Gange-Rolf in several Icelandic sagas, and the Orkneyingar Saga, and in the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway.

    Political Rollo Versions

    Vikings launched many attacks in France and elsewhere in Europe in times long gone. For example, a vast Viking army attacked Paris in 885. It was a huge army equipped for bombarding and breaking down huge walls - the king came to the aid and bought Paris back. [Noko 40] (6)

    Sagas tell that Rollo the Walker took part in similar activities, and that this Hrolf (Rolv, Rollo) was the son of the Viking Ragnvald from Trondelag, a marauder that was granted the title Earl of More for helping Harald Fairhair. Sagas tell that Ragnvald's son Rolv was tall and heavy, and that the region he left when he sailed away as a Norse outlaw, was More.

    Many Danes will disagree with many Icelandic sagas on the basis of a Norman chronicler's obscure tales about a tract he calls "Dacia," with key descriptions that do not fit the Danish geography at all, and despite the fact that the medieval Danish History of Saxo has no mention of the notable Rollo. [Noko 39]

    Norwegian and other historians on the other hand have not swerved from the view that the Viking Rollo was Rolv, the son of Earl Ragnvald of More in Norway. And as it also shows up, Danes have changed their views. In short:
    • First they stuck to the presented views of the Norse sagas. However, after Norway and Denmark were split in 1814, Danish historians said Rollo was a Dane on the basis of Dudo of St. Quentin's tales of "Dacia" and a nobleman there, at loggerheads with the Danish king. According to Dudo, the nobleman had two sons, Gurim and Rollo; Rollo was expelled and Gurim killed. William of Jumièges, the original compiler of the history known as ◦The Gesta Normannorum Ducum ("Deeds of the Dukes of the Normans"), written in about 1070, states Rollo was from the Danish town of Fakse. William built his version on his forerunner Dudo. [Wikipedia, s.v. "William of Jumièges"]
    • Swedes supported the Norwegian view, as rooted in several medieval, Icelandic sagas and findings in Normandie - until the union between Norway and Sweden broke in 1905. After that, the Sweden launched their own candidate, but without much success.
    • In Normandy Rollo is celebrated as a real Viking from More on the west coast of Norway [Cf. Noko 35]
    • International scholars or researchers stick to Icelander sagas and Snorre Sturlason as the more plausible source; Snorre says Rollo and Rolv Ganger are one and the same. [Cf. Noko 35]
    This pinpointing more than suggests that political interests may interfere with and/or colour versions and views.

    Be that as it may, after Rollo and his companions settled in Normandy, they most likely kept the ties with their kin, according to Norse customs at the time. Rolv Ganger converted and wed according to Frank fashion and settled in Rouen. Next he granted many of his Viking companions ample landed property. It is likely that kin from up north came to join them in such a fine country as well. It was feasible to go north and fetch one's women and children and kin to the new land, for the soil was fit, there was much fish, and as members of the ruling class they were much safer or freer than those who submitted to the tyranny of Harald Harfager and his family in Norway and its colonies in several western islands. [Cf. Noko 43]

    Normans built fortresses on strategic places, and many rustic castles were to come along with them in a short time. All able men had to serve in the Norman military forces. And the formerly ruined, marauded region was turned into one of the foremost in France, and Rouen became the second largest city in France, and Rolv became the originator of the Norman duchy. [Noko 39, 45-46]

    Rollo in Fargo

    The Rollo statue in Fargo, North Dakota
    In 1911, during the Norman Millennium celebrations, the city of Rouen in Normandy decided to create two copies of its Rollo statue. One replica was sent as a gift to Rollo's putative birthplace somewhere around Ålesund, Norway. The earls of Moere were headquartered somewhere nearby Ålesund, it is estimated.

    The other replica went to Fargo in North Dakota. The two bronze statues were copied from an original stone statue sculpted in 1863 by Arsene Letellier, erected in Rouen in 1865.

    In Fargo, the dedication ceremony in 1912 included a speaker from the French embassy in Washington. A proclamation by the mayor of Rouen, bound in leather with gold seal of the city, gold leaf and other ornamentation, read in part,

    "Since these ancient times, these fierce warriors have populated and have become a hard-working people whose importance is shown by the powerful association of the Sons of Norway which has preserved the cult of memory, and which participated last year in the celebrations in the ancient Duchy of Normandy."

    The celebrations were concluded with a parade down Broadway. The Rollo statue was relocated in the 1980s and now stands in a little park.

    And the other copy of the now war-damaged statue in Rouen is in a small park in Aalesund, Norway. [Noko 39, 48, 40] Norse Viking Rollo, Rolf Ganger, Norman history 

    Copied from HERE

    "more danico"

    more danico

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The phrase more danico[1] is a Mediaeval Latin legalistic expression which may be translated as "in the Danish manner" or "by Norse customary law". It designates a type of traditional Germanic marriage practiced in northern Europe during the Middle Ages.[2]

    The institution

    The examples that have come down to us involve powerful rulers in a union with a highborn woman of somewhat lesser rank. Rarely, it occurred to legitimize an abduction, as with Rollo and Poppa, who was taken after a battle at Bayeux; but this is not a defining characteristic. While Roman law had not distinguished between elopement and abduction (both being raptus in parentes), the distinction was significant in Germanic law. Still, according to Reynolds, the consent of the parentes was required in the more danico case. This consent could still be obtained after the fact, if an elopement was involved.
    It is possible, therefore, that marriage more danico was neither informal marriage nor even legitimized abduction, but simply secular marriage contracted in accordance with Germanic law, rather than ecclesiastical marriage.[3]
    The word "secular" here should not be interpreted to mean that no context of Germanic religion was involved. Although the form of any ritual that might have been employed is unknown, it is sometimes assumed that it was a type of handfasting.[4]
    More danico permitted polygyny (serial or simultaneous), but is not synonymous with it. The "putting away" of a more danico wife could apparently be done at the mere wish of the husband; the rights of the wife are unclear. Often the putting away was done with the intention of marrying a still higher-ranking woman more christiano; but since there are numerous instances of the husband returning to the more danico wife, it is possible that the relationship had merely been deactivated or kept in the background. The union could also be fully dissolved, so that the wife was free to marry another man. Her consent in the matter may or may not have been required; again, the consensual aspect is unknown. (See below.)
    By tradition and customary law, the children of such a relationship were in no way considered of lesser rank or disadvantaged with respect to inheritance. Many sons more danico went on to become dukes or kings by succession or conquest.
    Increasingly discouraged by the Christian church, the practice gradually died out. Proponents of the Friedelehe theory claimed that the institution left a vestige in the institution of morganatic marriage, but this interpretation is now discredited.

    Status of Germanic marriages in a Christian society

    In the middle and north of France, where there was less Roman law in the customary law, Roman law was not accepted in bulk or as authoritative in itself; but it influenced the customary law.[5]
    It was not until the nation consciousness of the western nations was well developed and national laws were codified that it became the norm that all persons in a country were to be subject to the same law. Previously, each man was held accountable according to the laws of his own people.
    In France in the course of the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries the old Germanic principle of the personality of the law, that is, of law as applicable to persons according to their race, had given way to the principle of territoriality, that is, of law as valid within a certain country.[6]
    By accepting baptism and vassalage under a Christian prince under Charles the Simple after the Treaty of Saint Clair-sur-Epte in 911, Rollo had placed the Vikings of Normandy on the inevitable path of Christianization; but they clung to some old customs.
    There was a perennial political tension between canon law and the traditional law. The Church deprecated this type of traditional union, employing the terms "bastardy" and "concubinage". On a purely political level, temporal rulers of more fully Christianized entities did not ignore the advantage of denigrating their enemies in moral terms with respect to their marriage customs.
    The instrumentality of Christian clergy at a marriage ceremony was not specifically required by the Church until the Council of Trent on November 11, 1563.

    Historical examples

    The Roman ethnographer Tacitus writing in his De origine et situ Germanorum described the customs of the Germanic tribes and praised their monogamy. However, by the Viking age they had acquired a reputation for their polygyny.
    Speaking of the Swedes, Adam von Bremen said:
    For every man has two or three or more women at the same time, according to the extent of his power; the rich and the rulers have more than they can count.[7]
    Norman chronicler William of Jumieges uses the term explicitly to refer to two relationships:
    • Rollo, founder of the Norman dynasty, had taken captive at Bayeux, Pop[p]a, daughter of a count, Berengar. Dudo of Saint-Quentin relates that they had been joined in marriage ("connubium"), William of Jumieges describing that Rollo had joined himself to her by more danico. She was mother of his son William Longsword.[8] It is related that he put Poppa aside to marry Gisela, daughter of Charles the Simple, and that when Gisela died, he returned to Poppa. However, the absence of any record of this royal princess or her marriage in Frankish sources suggests the entire supposed marriage to Gisela may be apocryphal.
    • William Longsword in his turn, had a son and heir by a woman whose name is given as Sprota. William of Jumieges reparts that Longsword was bound to her by more danico ("danico more iuncta").[9] The chronicler Flodoard refers to her simply as Longsword's 'Breton concubine' ("concubina britanna").[10] William would formally marry Luitgarde of Vermandois, daughter of Heribert II, count of Vermandois. [Dudo iii, 32 (p. 70)], who following William's death remarried to Thibaut, count of Blois. Sprota, who was mother of Lonsword's heir, Richard I, Duke of Normandy, is said to have been forced to become concubine of Esperleng, the rich owner of several mills, by whom she became mother of Rodulf of Ivry, although it is unclear if this occurred at the time of William's marriage to Luitgarde, or at his death.
    Modern historians have applied the term to various irregular or polygynous unions formed by several other monarchs of the Viking age, including Harald Fairhair, Canute the Great, Harold Godwinson and Cerball mac Dúnlainge.

    The Latin phrase

    Known to us from the histories of William of Jumièges and Orderic Vitalis, the purport of the phrase more danico is based in both the historical context, as well as in the meaning of the words within the fabric of the Latin language and the underlying Old Norse.
    Orderic Vitalis spoke Old English until the age of ten, when he was forced to adopt Norman French; he wrote in a stilted, but fluent and educated Mediaeval Latin. In the vernacular he would have spoken of the custom as danesche manere (Norman French), as would William of Jumièges, who was Norman, but also wrote in Latin.


    More "by custom" is the ablative case of the Latin word for "manner", the subject form being mos.[11] In Lewis & Short's Latin Dictionary, the semantic range of the Latin word mos is elongated along the axis of arbitrary↔required, extending from "wont" or "caprice" on the one end, to "law" or "precept" on the other end:
    • I. "Manner, custom, way, usage, practice, fashion, wont, as determined not by the laws, but by men's will and pleasure, humor, self-will, caprice." O tempora o mores! "Oh what times, what fashions! (Cicero).
    • II. "The will as a rule for action, custom, usage, practice, wont, habit" Leges mori serviunt. "Laws serve custom." (Plautus).
    • III. In an archaic or poetic sense, and in post-Augustinian (that is, Mediaeval) Latin: "A precept, law, rule." Mos maiorum. The (unwritten) Constitution of the Roman Republic.
    Thus the term mos/mor- captures the ambiguity between the official Christian view of the practice as a despicable and self-indulgent "fashion", on the one hand, and the Germanic institution sanctioned by ancient traditional "law", on the other hand.


    During the Viking Age, the essentially tribal entities that became the modern Scandinavian nations differed in some customs, but had a concept of themselves as a unity. For example, according to the Gray Goose Laws of the Icelandic Commonwealth recorded in 1117, Swedes, Norwegians, Icelanders and Danes spoke the same language, using dǫnsk tunga or dansk tunga ("Danish tongue") or norrønt mál ("Nordic language") to name their language, Old Norse. Here "dansk" meant "Norse". Furthermore, "more danico'' (Danish efter dansk skik) was not merely a "Norse custom", but prevalent among other Germanic peoples such as the Franks (see above).
    Rollo died in 927, and was succeeded by his son William "Long Sword," born of his union more danico with Poppa, daughter of count Berenger; he showed some attachment to the Scandinavian language, for he sent his son William to Bayeux to learn Norse.[12]
    It is also worth noting that Rollo, founder of the Norman dynasty, is claimed as Norwegian in the Norse sagas,[13] but as Danish by William of Jumieges.

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012

    The Haunted History of Salem, Massachusetts

    by Lisa Graves... you can see more of her amazing work HERE

     The Haunted History Of Salem, Massachusetts

    Salem is a city in the State of Massachusetts. Known as the “Witch City”, there are many different stories circulating regarding haunted legends, haunted folklore, and more in this historically noted “spooky” city. Several individuals have captured ghost pictures, ghost videos, and even ghostly sounds with digital audio recorders and more! When visiting this haunted town, you will come across a number of bizarre shops, strange and atypical museums, and famous “Salem Witches” who will lead you on a fantastic journey through time, and right to the scariest places on Earth! In this informative guide, you will be introduced to some of the most haunted places in the town of Salem, Massachusetts!

    Danvers State Hospital
    Danvers State Hospital, a substantial sized building reflecting a gothic design that sits on the top of the ever-popular “Hawthorne Hill” has been called several things throughout history, but one title remains consistent with the structure, and that title is “haunted”. Individuals who are interested in the paranormal are often attracted to this immense structure, its history, as well as the haunting tales that are circulating regarding the spirits that reside in and around the immense structure.
    One of the first haunting tales that is told about the hospital has to do with a structure that stood on the grounds before the actual hospital was ever built. It is believed that the judge who oversaw the executions of nearly twenty individuals who were claimed to have been witches in the early history of the town by the name of Jonathan Hawthorne lived in a home on the grounds. Many individuals believe that they have seen shadows and apparitions that strike a resemblance to the judge.
    A number of cruel and unusual treatments for psychiatric patients took place at the haunted Danvers State Hospital. In many cases, these experiments were performed in an honest effort to control the symptoms that the patients experienced, and in an effort to “cure” them. However, as time progressed, many patients were issued treatments so that the hospital could control the population that was building in masses at the hospital. It is believed that several of the individuals who died on the grounds still walk the corridors, and are trapped in spirit inside the structure. Many spirits are said to have now found the outside of the building, and walk around here, seeming to search for something, but no one knows what…

    The lore, and lure, of Danvers State Hospital
    Danvers State Hospital Cemetary (photos)

    House of the Seven Gables

    The House of the Seven Gables is another structure in Salem that has the reputation of being haunted. Many of the local residents refer to this location as the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion”. This is because these two names reflected the two families that once resided at the structure. The first family, the Turner family, built the home in the year of 1668. Eventually, the Ingersoll family purchased it due to financial losses suffered by the Turner family. One lady, whose name was Susan Ingersoll, was a cousin to the famous author, Nathaniel Hawthorne who wrote the book on the structure. She remained a resident of the structure until the age of 72.
     Many hauntings have been recorded at the House of the Seven Gables. It is believed that Susan’s spirit remains at the home. In many instances, a female has been seen peering out of the windows, and then disappearing. It is also believed that the spirit of a young male can be heard playing in the area of the attic. Employees and other individuals who have visited this particular home have been rumored to hear strange sounds in the structure, and have even witnessed strange occurrences in the home, such as faucets and lights turning on and off with no explanation….
    The Ghosts of Seven Gables
    The House of the Seven Gables (Wikipedia)
    Grave Addiction: Ghost Stories from The House of the Seven Gables
    Haunted Salem

    Hawthorne Hotel
    In Salem, there is a hotel that is believed to be haunted by the residents, as well as those that have stayed in the structure. This is the Hawthorne Hotel. In the early 1900s, the individuals in Salem saw a need to have a hotel built for those traveling through the city, and those visiting the city. In the year of 1925, the project was completed, and named the Hawthorne Hotel”. They named the hotel after the famous author named Nathaniel Hawthorne, who had grew up in the area of Salem as a child.
    There are many ghostly tales surrounding the Hawthorne Hotel. The first directly relates to a lady by the name of Bridget Bishop. This lady had an apple orchard on the same property where the hotel is located. She was the first to be executed in the ever-famous “Salem Witch Trials”. Today, when one visits the hotel, the smell of fresh apples can often be experienced – despite the fact that there are no apple trees or orchards located anywhere near the structure. In addition to this, paranormal researchers have picked up on energy in the structure with EMF detectors and the KII Meter. Strange sounds, mists, and smells have been experienced by numerous people….
    Dark Destinations: Hawthorne Hotel
    Haunting Lodging: Hawthorne Hotel

    Gallows Hill
    by Lisa Graves... you can see more of her amazing work HERE ... Dennis' ancestor Susannah North is in the middle of the women.
     Gallows Hill is an area in haunted Salem where the ever-popular “Bridget Bishop” met her fate by hanging in the year of 1692. She was the first individual to be executed as part of the Salem Witch Trials. In addition to this, eighteen other people were also murdered here as part of the Salem Witch Trials. It was later discovered that these individuals were actually innocent of the crimes that they were charged with. While this area now plays host to a large playing field for schools engaging in certain sports, it is also considered to be an area that is highly haunted.
    Gallows Hill - 14Of the 31 condemned to death in 1692, 14 women and 5 men rode in the open cart from nearby Prison Lane, passing this very spot, to Gallows Hill, located about half a mile from here. Two women avoided the execution because they were pregnant. Two dogs were hanged at Gallows Hill, for the girls said that the dogs had given them "the evil eye" and were possessed by the devil.
    Many ghost pictures, ghost videos, digital audio recordings, and EMF readings have been taken in the area of Gallows Hills and have revealed apparent apparitions, mists, orbs, and other types of unexplained phenomenon. If you want to experience a true paranormal hot spot as far as spiritual activity is concerned in the haunted ghost town of Salem, Gallows Hill is definitely a location that you are sure to gain an appreciation for!
    Gallows Hill, Lost Historic Site
    Haunted Salem
    The Haunting of Gallows Hills

    Joshua Ward House
    The Joshua Ward House is another area that is located in the city that is believed to house several different types of spirits. This structure emerged right around the year of 1750. It is believed that the spirit of the Sheriff of the time of the Witch Trials haunts this building. It is also believed that the spirit of the man named Giles Corey also haunts this structure. This is the man that was murdered by stoning. The story of an angry woman in her older years is said to haunt the stairs, and many have felt an extreme uneasiness when entering in the home….
     Haunted Salem
    Joshua Ward House
    The Witch of the Joshua Ward House
    The Joshua Ward House - Salem <~ great blog

    Salem Jail
    From the year of about 1885 to the year of 1991, the Salem Jail in the ghost town housed a number of criminals. To this day, the prison remained abandoned, and for a very good reason! It is believed to be extremely haunted. It is believed that many of the criminals who were once imprisoned at the Salem Jail remain imprisoned even at the onset of death and their entrance in the spiritual world. You can often hear chains, screams, and crying as you walk in the building…. 
    The Great Escape (History and tails from current residents of the site)
    The Haunting of Salem Jail and Howard Cemetery


    If you want to learn about the haunted town of Salem, Massachusetts,plan your visit to the city of the famous Witch Trails today! It is a trip well worth taking!

    This article came from HERE. I added links to the external sites. 

    Another interesting Blog I came across on this subject is Salem's Ghosts - The Judges Line ... it has a map of a lot of the local hauntings.  Definitely interesting. Also there is Salem, Massachusetts: Stories of ghost tours and witch trials  ...which was published just a few days ago.....which goes through some of the stories from the Salem Ghost Tour ...

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

    Salem vs. the Witches .. (part 6) Pardons


    Burying Point Cemetery, Salem
    Items reportedly belonging to Susannah (North) Martin on Display at the Macy Colby House
    Items reportedly belonging to Susannah (North) Martin on Display at the Macy Colby House


    ~~Author Unknown~~

    In 1692, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was the site of a major historical event. This infamous event, the Salem Witch Trials, was a major injustice in America’s history. Once the accusations started, all Hell broke lose. By the time the trials were over, nineteen people and two dogs were hanged, and one man was pressed. Of the 150 people imprisoned, fifty-five of them had confessed to witchcraft.

    To begin to understand how civilized people could act in such barbaric ways, one needs to know some background information about the village and its citizens. The people who lived in Salem Village were Puritans. They followed and interpreted the Bible literally, and without question. As many people know, the Bible states, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" (Exodus 22.18). To the Puritans, this meant that if there was a witch, they had an obligation to kill him/her. Also, the people of Salem, like the people of Europe, believed that witches existed and that many of them were evil.

    People believed in witchcraft, even when it contradicted scientific evidence proving that it did not exist. It is important to note that the magic that was "evil" was black magic, or magic that was used maliciously against another. Black magic witches were

    The girls all had the same symptoms (which ranged from becoming mute and blind to having "fits"). On top of that, it was so long ago that their mistakes seem so foreign to us; we can’t really relate to what happened back then. In 1697, the General court proclaimed a fast day, and many of the jurors and judges that convicted "witches" publicly apologized. Many of the accused were easy targets of blame. During Bridget Bishop’s trial, Mercy Lewis screamed, "Oh goody Bishop did you not come to our house the last night?". Lewis was obviously referring to Bishop’s specter, for Bishop was in jail the whole time. As far as the trials having an impact on our lives today, I don’t think it really has one. The adults that led the witch hunts, namely the Putnams, wanted to regain control of Salem Village, and many of the people that were accused were ones standing in the Putnams’ way. If it didn’t happen, we’d still have the McCarthy era, so we didn’t really learn anything from it.

    Before that though, in May 1692, the governor appointed the Special Court of Oyer and Terminer, which was comprised of seven judges. By the end of October, he disassembled the court of Oyer and Terminer. After Bridget Bishop was convicted, on June 2, Nathaniel Saltonstall resigned his seat as judge. This is what is believed the girls were doing. Another woman accused, though she admitted to being a witch, was Tituba, who was an easy target. One family, the Porters, who were against the Putnams from the beginning, were staunch objectors to witch trials.

    Plaque Reads: "Here stood the house of Susanna Martin. An honest, hardworking, Christian woman. Accused as a witch, tried and executed at Salem, July 19, 1692. A martyr of superstition".

     Susanna North Martin – Name Cleared 288 years after being Hung

     It appears to be a copy / paste from a website but unfortunately doesn’t include the original source information or the authors name.  If you know the source, please let me know so proper attribution can be included.

    We can interpolate the probable publication date to be 1999 given the number of years mentioned in the first sentence:

    “When the chance came 288 years ago to clear Susannah Martin’s name after she had been hanged as a witch, none of the Amesbury woman’s children or grandchildren stepped forward in her defense.
    Nine generations later, however, dozens who proudly draw their family roots to her are using the Internet to do what her children did not — convince the Massachusetts Legislature to give Mrs. Martin some long-awaited justice.

    One of those descendants is Bonnie Johnson of Columbia, Md., Mrs. Martin’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter.

    ”There’s a lot of people who say, ‘What difference does it make? She’ll never know,”’ said Mrs. Johnson. ”But if you believe in an afterlife, you have to believe that she would know, and that she would care.”

    Yesterday, Beacon Hill lawmakers held a hearing on a bill that would officially exonerate Mrs. Martin and four other accused witches of the charges of which they were convicted and executed for in 1692.

    Mrs. Martin and the other women were overlooked in 1711, when a backlash against the witchcraft hysteria caused the colonial Legislature to drop the charges against accused witches and pay damages to the survivors of those who were executed.

    But the Legislature ignored six women because none of their family members appeared in court.
    Another attempt to finally absolve the women was made in 1957, but the law was badly written and only cleared one of them. Paula Gauthier Keene, a Salem, Mass., resident, discovered the error last year and filed a bill to correct it.

    After stories about the bill appeared in The Eagle-Tribune and other newspapers and were posted on the Internet, word spread.

    Through Internet chat rooms, postings on genealogy Web sites and e-mails, Mrs. Johnson contacted descendants across the nation, informing them an effort was afoot to clear her distant relative’s name.
    ”I posted information on (two Web sites) where I knew a bunch of folks were descendants of Susannah Martin,” said Mrs. Johnson. ”I also personally contacted 20 to 25 other people, and asked them to spread the word.”

    As was the case in 1711, none of Mrs. Martin’s relatives came to the hearing yesterday to ask that her name be cleared. But several had already made their thoughts known through e-mail and letters to the Legislature.

    ”Some of the people I contacted sent me copies of the letters and e-mails they sent,” said Mrs. Johnson, who also submitted a letter. ”I would have given anything to be there today, but it’s a pretty long way.”

    Craig D. Martin of Stow, a direct descendent, also sent a letter urging lawmakers to clear Mrs. Martin’s name.

    ”It’s hard to imagine the extreme pain and suffering that these women and their families experienced, knowing in their hearts of their innocence, not to mention the descendants who were tied to the stigma of witchcraft for years after the trials,” he wrote.

    The Judiciary Committee, which held the hearing, waded through more than 130 bills yesterday and spent little time on the witchcraft bill. The bill is actually a ”resolution,” which the Legislature routinely passes.

    Mrs. Martin was one of 20 people executed during the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692.

    Like several other women who were accused of witchcraft, she was a strong-willed, outspoken, elderly widow who owned a sizeable amount of land. She had also run afoul of her neighbors in the past.

    In 1669, she was accused of witchcraft, but the charges were dropped and her husband successfully sued for slander.

    But when the witchcraft hysteria broke in 1692, some of her old enemies resurfaced and provided damaging testimony against her.

    Mrs. Martin ridiculed much of the evidence against her, and laughed out loud when the ”afflicted girls” writhed on the floor and screamed — a sight that the judges deemed credible evidence of witchcraft.

    Asked why she was laughing, she replied, ”Well, I may at such folly.”

    Her vigorous defense and constant denials of witchcraft were ignored by the court, and she was sentenced to death June 26. Less than a month later, she and four other women were taken from their cells, put in a rickety cart, and driven to the gallows.

    They were buried in a shallow grave there, and their bodies may still be there.

    If the resolution passes, Mrs. Keene plans to hold a memorial service for Mrs. Martin.

    Once again, the descendants plan to use the Internet to rally for Mrs. Martin and spread the word, said Mrs. Johnson.

    ”If the memorial service is held, I definitely plan to attend that,” she said.”

     Salem Memorial for those who died during the Salem Witch Trials

    31 Oct 2001 | Boston, Massachusetts

    On October 31, 2001, acting governor of Massachusetts, Jane Swift, signed a law that formally pardoned Susanna Martin, Bridget Bishop, Alice Parker, Margaret Scott, and Wilmot Redd.

    This is the memorial park in Salem, Massachusetts dedicated to those who lost their lives during the persecutions in the early 1690's. Each stone protruding from the walls on the left and right bears the name and date of execution of one of the condemned.

    Susannah North Martin Was Not A Witch

    While reviewing death certificates in my filing cabinets recently, I found notes about the murder of my ancestor, Susannah North Martin, in Salem during the witch trials of 1692.

    I assume that they were accidentally inserted there by one of our granddaughters when I was teaching them how to record and store documents associated with our lineage.

    The notes referred to and at least partially quoted a newspaper article that I’d read years before that talked about the exoneration of Susannah and four others who were similarly murdered in Salem as witches in 1692.
    The Massachusetts State Legislature in 1999 passed the “Massachusetts House Bill No. 4457 – The witchcraft trial of 1692” that was signed into law by the Governor of Massachusetts to eliminate the stigma associated with the deaths of the final five thus killed.

    The text below is obviously a newspaper article but the scrap of paper containing the words does not accredit the author or publisher. We’ll say “Thanks” to them now hoping their words may continue to shed light on this tragic series of events and offer solace to the descendants of these women.

    AMESBURY — The wheels of justice sometimes take a long time to grind out the truth. For Susannah Martin, the wait will be more than three centuries. 

    The Amesbury woman was hanged as a witch 307 years ago, and her bones long ago moldered into dust. But lawmakers on Beacon Hill are only now preparing to clear her name and right the wrong done during the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692. 

    The hysteria claimed 20 lives in all. 

    Fifteen of the condemned later had their names cleared when family members petitioned the Legislature. But Mrs. Martin and four others who had no surviving relatives to speak up for them remained branded as witches. 

    Paula Gauthier Keene, of Salem, hopes lawmakers will correct that within the next few months. 

    ”These five women . . . are the last five alleged witches whose souls I believe are still crying out for justice and vindication,” wrote Mrs. Keene in a letter to state Rep. Michael Ruane, D-Salem, who is sponsoring a bill to clear the women. 

    Mrs. Keene, who described herself as a reformed witch who is now a Roman Catholic, said she hopes to organize a memorial Mass for the women in Salem once they are cleared. 

    Mrs. Martin was a smart woman with a sharp tongue, living when Puritan society expected women to be meek and obedient, and in a world that believed the supernatural lingered behind every good and evil event. Her demeanor was viewed by her enemies as a sure sign that the devil was working inside her. 

    According to local history, she was accused of witchcraft in 1660, and again in 1669.
    The charges were dropped, in part, because her husband successfully sued for slander.
    By 1692, however, her husband was dead and the 67-year-old woman lived alone in a house on Martin Street. 

    Today, Interstate 495 passes over the site of the old Martin house, which stood a few hundred yards northeast of the Amesbury Sports Park. A stone memorial marks a spot near where her house stood.
    As the witchcraft hysteria mushroomed beyond Salem, Mrs. Martin’s enemies again seized their chance to press charges against her. 

    On April 30, 1692, an arrest warrant was issued. The trial continued through June, during which a steady parade of witnesses testified against her. 

    One witness claimed that Mrs. Martin walked to Newbury on a muddy day in the 1670s but arrived with her dress unsoiled. 

    The court decided Mrs. Martin must have flown there. 

    After a spirited self-defense, and showing utter contempt for the charges, Mrs. Martin was found guilty and sentenced to death on June 30. She was hanged July 19. 

    Due to throat surgery, Rep. Ruane was unable to comment on his bill to clear Mrs. Martin and the others, but he provided detailed information on why they were mot cleared along with the others. 

    In 1711, the colonial General Court, the predecessor of today’s Legislature, set aside the convictions of all but six of the victims who had no family members petitioning to overturn the verdicts. 

    Martha Carrier, of Andover, was one of the accused witches whose verdict was overturned. 

    Over the next several years, efforts to overturn the remaining six convictions failed, in part because officials feared having to pay damages to descendants. 

    In 1948, a Louisiana man who was related to one of the six renewed the effort. Nine years later, lawmakers passed a resolution exonerating the Louisiana man’s relative, Anne Pudeator, and ”others” who were never named. 

    ”Based on this technicality of omission, the last five alleged witches have never been legally cleared,” said Mrs. Keene. 

    Rep. Ruane’s bill will clearly state the names of the other five women, officially ending this final chapter in the witchcraft trials. Besides Mrs. Martin, the women to be cleared are Wilmot Redd of Marblehead, Alice Parker and Bridget Bishop, both of Salem, and Margaret Scott of Rowley.