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Bonus Amicus: A Medieval Mr Ed? January 14, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Bonus Amicus: A Medieval Mr Ed?

One of these cute medieval stories that may even have a factual basis. There was a knight in Catalonia in our times, of very high birth, dashing in warfare, and gracious in manners, whose name was Guiraut de Cabrera. This man had a horse of outstanding quality, unrivalled in speed and – unprecedented marvel – […]

Bowing to Horses and Dragon’s Blood! November 20, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Bowing to Horses and Dragon's Blood!

Two magic horse stories recently, one modern and one medieval. This further example of horse witchcraft comes from the second half of the nineteenth century in Retford in the English Midlands. The story begins with a classic example of witch striking, though look out for an unusual addition, dragon’s blood! At Retford, the other day, […]

Medieval Horse Whispering October 19, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Medieval Horse Whispering

Beach was fascinated by the example of East Anglian horse whispering, which he stumbled upon, and above all with readers’ replies elucidating this tradition. A bit more research has led him to a medieval parallel. It is a fascinating piece. Note that our author Gervase (early thirteenth century) doesn’t see the knight horse conjurer in […]

Horse Whispering Witch September 16, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Horse Whispering Witch

A weird witchcraft story published in 1984, recalling an event in 1908. The date, the subject matter and the place, East Anglia, are all quite surprising as are the horses. Don’t really know what to make of this one, though it is fun to read. In 1908 I was a blacksmith’s helper working for Mr […]

Headless Coachmen and Crime August 7, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
Headless Coachmen and Crime

In the Middle Ages they had the wild hunt, the insanely nasty cavalry that rode across the sky. Then, come the early modern period, when everyone had ‘grown up a bit’ and men with shag and swords were so, well, ‘medieval’, that they moved on. They started seeing, instead, headless horsemen out on the toll […]

White Horses, Sex and Sovereignty December 12, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval
White Horses, Sex and Sovereignty

Inspired by Southern Man’s comment on yesterday’s post Beach thought he would today quote from some of the passages relating to Irish sovereignty. There was in pre-Norman Ireland the idea that the land is a woman, Sovereignty, who must be courted and seduced by the successful king. Take, for example, this rather tame passage relating […]

Mystery Discovery on the Isle of Dogs August 28, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Modern

Mysterious golden spurs discovered on Isle of Dogs, London about 1800: do they perhaps have a Celtic origin?