From Robber Barons to Courtiers (Hardback)
The Changing World of the Lovells of Titchmarsh
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Francis Lovell is without a doubt the most famous - if not the only famous - Lovell of Titchmarsh. In 1483 he was he was made a viscount by Edward IV, the first Lovell to be raised into the titled nobility. He is most famous for being the chamberlain and close friend of Richard III, the 'dog' of William Collingbourne's famous doggerel.
Though Francis Lovell is the best known member of his family, the Lovells were an old aristocratic family, tracing their roots back to eleventh-century Normandy. Aside from the Battle of Hastings, a Lovell can be found at virtually all important events in English history, whether it was the crusade of Richard I, the Battle of Lewes, the siege of Calais, the Lambert Simnel rebellion against Henry VII, or the downfall of Anne Boleyn. Over the centuries the Lovells rose in wealth and power through service to the crown, rich marriages, and, to a considerable degree, luck.
The history of the Lovells of Titchmarsh, from their relatively obscure beginnings in the border region between France and Normandy to a powerful position at the royal court, not only illustrates the fate of this one family but also throws an interesting light on the changes and developments in medieval and Tudor England. Several themes emerge as constant in the lives of an aristocratic family over the five centuries covered in this book: the profit and perils of service to the crown, the influences of family tradition and personal choice, loyalty and opportunism, skill and luck, and the roles of women in the family.
'Overall, this book achieves what it sets out to do: it engagingly tells the story of the Lovell family from their beginnings in Normandy in the eleventh century through to their fall in the late fifteenth and sixteenth.While it would have benefited from one or two additional thematic chapters that further explored pertinent themes, it nevertheless represents a useful contribution to our understanding of the nobility of medieval England.'Speculum, July 2023
"Overall this is not only aThe Ricardian Bulletin, June 2022
major contribution to the study
of the Lovell family but is also
a valuable guide to the changes
that took place in society from
the ‘robber barons’ who
maintained their power and
influence by means of fortified
castles to people who derived
their power and influence
from being members of a royal
court. A fascinating read!"
This in my opinion is quite a remarkable book in that it looks at the course or path of a family called the Lovells from as far back as its roots in Normandy, to England and then through time as the family name is represented long into the future and through the medieval period. Although they may not have been able to be the very top, the Lovells it turns out was among the elite of England. I found this book impressive in its research and detail, being able to go so far back when records were not great is an impressive feat.UK Historian
Read the full review here
As featured on History of WarHistory of War
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Anna Maria Giacomasso
I learned a lot and was fascinated by the history of this family and how they came into power.
It's a well researched and well written book, informative and interesting.
10th September 1408
John Lovell VII, the 5th Baron of Titchmarsh, died on 10 September 1408. He began his career as a courtier in the last years of Edward III's reign and became a Knight of the garter in 1405. Other notable achievements include the building of Wardour Castle in Wiltshire.