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Eight Knights Who Changed History

Eight Knights Who Changed History


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There’s no more iconic symbol of medieval Europe than the knight: clad in shining armor, jousting with his rivals, wearing a token of his lady love. But knights were far more than romantic figures—they were a triumph of military technology. Accounts from the Middle Ages describe the well-trained, heavily-armed warriors trampling through enemy forces while chopping off limbs and heads.

The resources needed for horses, armor and weaponry meant that knighthood was generally a job for the rich. Most knights came from noble families, and success in battle might lead to a royal grant of additional land and titles.

READ MORE: Medieval Weapons That Maimed and Killed

Naturally, as leaders of armies, knights were responsible for winning—and losing—some of the most important battles of the Middle Ages. But they also made history in other ways. Many held important religious positions as well as military ones. Some were writers of history and poetry, helping to craft the image of the knight that we still know today.

New episodes of Knight Fight premiere Wednesdays at 10/9c. Watch here.

William of Poitiers

One of the earliest and most significant victories for knights in the Middle Ages was the Norman conquest of England, and a lot of what we know about that fight comes from William of Poitiers (c. 1020 – 1090). Trained as a knight in his youth, William went on to become a priest and scholar. When William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066, William of Poitiers was his chaplain. Later, he provided a well-known account of the king’s life and the conquest.

The priest didn’t hesitate to flatter his king in his writing, describing his charge into battle with gleaming shield and lance as “a sight both delightful and terrible to see.” But, despite his biases, William of Poitiers worked hard to get his facts right. For example, his account of the Battle of Hastings—a triumph of mounted knights against an Anglo-Saxon army made up mostly of infantry—is based largely on eyewitness accounts from soldiers who fought there, providing one of the most important sources for modern historians.

El Cid (Rodrigo Díaz)

(c. 1043-1099) Rodrigo Díaz, more popularly known by his title, El Cid, is best-remembered as a hero of the Spanish Reconquista, leading Christian forces to victory over Muslim rulers in Spain. But his real story is a bit more complicated.

Born into an aristocratic Castilian family, Díaz became a prominent military leader serving two kings of Castile. Later, though, he spent more than a decade fighting mostly as a mercenary, putting himself at the service of a number of Muslim leaders and earning great wealth and fame. As a commander fighting for the taifa of Zaragoza, an Arab Muslim state in what’s now Eastern Spain, he defeated both Muslim and Christian armies.

Historian Simon Barton writes that it was only near the end of his life that El Cid fought the battles that established his place in history and legend. His forces captured the city of Valencia from the Muslim, Morocco-based Almoravid dynasty in 1094. Later that year, and again in 1097, he repelled Almoravid armies that attempted to retake the city.

For centuries after his death in 1099, biographers, poets and—eventually—filmmakers, celebrated him as an honorable Spanish patriot and Christian warrior against the forces of Islam.

Hugues de Payens

As the co-founder and first Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Hugues de Payens (c. 1070 – 1136) was a key figure in this history of the Crusades. Historical details of his early life are sketchy, but the French nobleman may have fought in the First Crusade, in which European Christian armies captured Jerusalem.

As Christians increasingly took part in pilgrimages to the holy city, they often found themselves under attack on the road. And so, around 1118, de Payens and eight fellow knights sought permission from Jerusalem’s king, Baldwin II, to form a protective service for the pilgrims. The Knights Templar earned support from Christian authorities, including Pope Innocent II, who in 1139 granted them exemption from taxes and from any authority except his own.

The Knights Templar grew into a major economic force, with a network of banks, a fleet of ships, and chapters all over Europe. But, when Muslims retook Jerusalem in the late 12th century, the order lost its place there. More than a century later, King Philip IV of France dealt the Knights its death blow, having many of its members tortured and killed and finally executing its last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, in 1307.

Guy of Lusignan

Guy of Lusignan (c. 1150 –1194) made history not through success in battle but by suffering a disastrous loss. A French knight, Guy traveled to Jerusalem, where he married Sibylla, sister of King Baldwin IV. When the king and his successor both died, Guy became king of Jerusalem—but not without political drama. Many considered Raymond III of Tripoli to be the rightful king.

This discord among leaders in the crusader state came at the time the Muslim military campaign against them was gaining strength. In July of 1187, the great Muslim military leader Saladin attacked crusader forces in Tiberias. Despite advice from some allies to hold back, Guy mobilized the Christian forces to join what became the Battle of Hattin.

The crusader army marched for hours with little water, harried by Saladin’s men, who set fires to weaken their enemies with heat and smoke. Discipline within Guy’s army was poor, and Saladin won a decisive victory, which paved the way for the Muslim conquest of most Christian centers in the area, including Jerusalem itself, within a few months.

Saladin’s forces captured Guy at Hattin, but quickly released him. Richard I later named Guy king of Cyprus.

William Marshal

The fourth son of a minor noble, William Marshal (c 1146 –1219) rose to become one of the most admired knights in English history. In his early years as a knight, he fought in tournaments where hundreds or even thousands of fighters would engage in melee-style mock battles. He rose to stardom traveling from tournament to tournament, and got rich on the prizes he won.

He went on to serve five English kings, and to marry the heiress Isabel de Clare, becoming one of the richest men in the country. William helped in the negotiations between King John and his Barons that led to the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. When King John died in 1216, making nine-year-old Henry III king, William became Regent of England. Although he was about 70 by then, he led the young king’s army to victory over French forces and rebellious barons the following year.

Geoffroi de Charny

Geoffroi de Charny (c. 1304 –1356) was known to many of his contemporaries as an exemplary knight, and we know him today mainly for the instructions he provided to his fellow knights on chivalry and battle. He fought for King Jean II of France and carried the standard of the crown into battle, a position of great honor.

READ MORE: Chivalry Was Established to Keep Thuggish Knights in Check

Geoffroi became a founding member of the Order of the Star, an elite group of knights founded by the king in 1351. Geoffroi wrote three books, apparently as a way to define the practical and spiritual demands of knighthood. His focus is on self-sacrifice and honor, which he argues are not just morally correct but also crucial to success in battle. For example, he warns knights not to fight only for the spoils of war, pointing out that greedy fighters might abandon the battle too soon to collect loot.

Geoffroi was highly pious and is the first recorded owner of the Shroud of Turin. His instructions on the elevation of a fighter to knight describe highly symbolic actions and garments, including white clothes signifying freedom from sin, a red tunic representing the willingness to shed blood, and black shoes symbolizing the readiness to face death at any time.

Edward the Black Prince

Edward of Woodstock (1330-1376), who became known as the Black Prince, was one of the most famous commanders during the Hundred Years’ War. He was the son and heir apparent of Edward III of England and served in his first military campaigns in northern France at about age 16. He became a commander in the war less than a decade later. His most famous campaign was the Battle of Poitiers in 1356, where he captured King John II of France. In accordance with chivalric conventions, he treated the king with great courtesy but, before releasing him, demanded a true king’s ransom of 3 million gold crowns, as well as treaties that granted England territory in what is now western France.

Edward was known for his knightly—and wealthy—lifestyle, enjoying jousting, falconry, and hunting, and providing charity to religious causes.

Joan of Arc

Born of humble parents, Joan of Arc (c 1412-1431) experienced what she saw as visions from God. Her visions compelled her to seek an audience with the future King Charles VII, who was fighting English forces over control of the French throne when she was 17 years old. She led French armies and was at Charles’ side when he was crowned in 1429. In 1430, she was thrown from her horse during a battle and eventually turned over to church officials, who charged her with witchcraft, heresy and dressing as a man. In 1431, at 19 years old, she was burned at the stake.

READ MORE: Surprising Facts About Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc is often identified as a knight. That may not be how her contemporaries would have viewed her, but she shares a number of qualities with male knights of her time. She created military strategies, wore a suit of armor, and tied her armies’ victories in battle to her religious faith. Like many knights, she also won a title for herself and her descendants through her brave deeds: King Charles VII granted her family arms and nobility.

Joan of Arc has long been a national hero of France. She was canonized as a saint in 1920.


Four/three teams (1917–19) Edit

The four teams that began the inaugural NHL season were the Montreal Canadiens, the Montreal Wanderers, the original Ottawa Senators, and the Toronto Arenas. However, after completing four games, the Wanderers withdrew from the league due to their arena burning down, and the NHL continued this season and the next with only three teams.

Withdrew after four games into the 1917–18 season §
1917–18 to 1918–19 NHL teams
Montreal Canadiens 0 Montreal Wanderers § 0 Ottawa Senators 0 Toronto Arenas

Four teams (1919–24) Edit

In its third season, 1919–20, the NHL underwent its first expansion, adding the Quebec Bulldogs. Toronto changed its name to Toronto St. Patricks.

First season in the NHL *
1919–20 NHL teams
Montreal Canadiens 0 Ottawa Senators 0 Quebec Bulldogs * 0 Toronto St. Patricks

1920: Quebec relocates to Hamilton Edit

For the 1920–21 season, Quebec relocated to Hamilton, becoming the Hamilton Tigers. These same four teams continued to play up to 1923–24.

Six teams (1924–25) Edit

Two new teams joined the NHL in its eighth season, the Boston Bruins, and the Montreal Maroons.

First season in the NHL * Last season in the NHL †
1924–25 NHL teams
Boston Bruins * 0 Montreal Canadiens 0 Ottawa Senators
Hamilton Tigers † 0 Montreal Maroons * 0 Toronto St. Patricks

Seven teams (1925–26) Edit

The next season, the NHL added two new teams, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Americans. The Americans were stocked by purchasing the contracts of the Hamilton Tigers players, and the Tigers franchise was subsequently revoked by the league.

First season in the NHL *
1925–26 NHL teams
Boston Bruins 0 Montreal Maroons 0 Pittsburgh Pirates * 0 Toronto St. Patricks
Montreal Canadiens 0 New York Americans * 0 Ottawa Senators 0

Ten teams (1926–31) Edit

The NHL continued to expand the following 1926–27 season, adding the Chicago Black Hawks, the Detroit Cougars, and the New York Rangers, growing to ten teams, thus more than doubling its size in its first decade of existence. The league realigned into two divisions: the American Division and the Canadian Division. Despite its name, the Canadian Division contained at least one team based in the U.S. throughout its existence.

Midway through the 1926–27 season, the Toronto St. Patricks were sold and renamed the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, the NHL ruled that the team had to still officially use the St. Patricks name until the end of that season.

1926–27 was the first season in the NHL *
1926–27 to 1929–30 NHL teams
Canadian Division American Division
Montreal Canadiens Boston Bruins
Montreal Maroons Chicago Black Hawks *
New York Americans Detroit Cougars *
Ottawa Senators New York Rangers *
Toronto St. Patricks/Maple Leafs Pittsburgh Pirates

1930: Pittsburgh relocates to Philadelphia Edit

For the 1930–31 season, the Pirates moved from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, becoming the Philadelphia Quakers, and Detroit was renamed the Detroit Falcons.

Last season before hiatus, rejoined NHL later ^ Last season in the NHL †
1930–31 NHL teams
Canadian Division American Division
Montreal Canadiens Boston Bruins
Montreal Maroons Chicago Black Hawks
New York Americans Detroit Falcons
Ottawa Senators ^ New York Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs Philadelphia Quakers †

Eight teams (1931–32) Edit

After fourteen seasons of steady expansion, the NHL contracted to eight teams, dropping the Philadelphia Quakers and the original Ottawa Senators for the 1931–32 season.

Nine teams (1932–35) Edit

For the 1932–33 season, after missing one season, the original Ottawa Senators rejoined the NHL, and the Detroit Falcons were renamed the Detroit Red Wings.

Rejoined NHL *
1932–33 to 1933–34 NHL teams
Canadian Division American Division
Montreal Canadiens Boston Bruins
Montreal Maroons Chicago Black Hawks
New York Americans Detroit Red Wings
Ottawa Senators * New York Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs

1934: Ottawa relocates to St. Louis Edit

For the 1934–35 season, the Ottawa Senators relocated, becoming the St. Louis Eagles.

Last season in the NHL †
1934–35 NHL teams
Canadian Division American Division
Montreal Canadiens Boston Bruins
Montreal Maroons Chicago Black Hawks
New York Americans Detroit Red Wings
St. Louis Eagles † New York Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs

Eight teams (1935–38) Edit

The Eagles folded after one season, and the NHL was once again an eight-team league for three seasons.

Withdrew after the 1937–38 season †
1935–36 to 1937–38 NHL teams
Canadian Division American Division
Montreal Canadiens Boston Bruins
Montreal Maroons † Chicago Black Hawks
New York Americans Detroit Red Wings
Toronto Maple Leafs New York Rangers

Seven teams (1938–42) Edit

The Montreal Maroons withdrew from the league for the 1938–39 season, further reducing the number of teams in the NHL to seven, shrinking to the size the league was in 1925–26. Play continued for four seasons with seven teams, with one single league table instead of any conference or divisions.

1938–39 to 1941–42 NHL teams
Boston Bruins 0 Detroit Red Wings 0 New York Rangers 0 Toronto Maple Leafs
Chicago Black Hawks 0 Montreal Canadiens 0 New York Americans 0

1941: The Americans change their name Edit

The New York Americans changed their name to the Brooklyn Americans for the 1941–42 season, their last.

Folded after the 1941–42 season †
1938–39 to 1941–42 NHL teams
Boston Bruins 0 Chicago Black Hawks 0 Montreal Canadiens 0 Toronto Maple Leafs
Brooklyn Americans † 0 Detroit Red Wings 0 New York Rangers 0

The 1942–43 season saw the folding of the Brooklyn Americans and ushered in an unprecedented era of franchise stability in the NHL, which lasted without any organizational changes for twenty-five seasons. Eventually, the six teams that competed in the league during this period would come to be known as the Original Six.

Original Six: 1942–43 to 1966–67 NHL teams
Boston Bruins 0 Detroit Red Wings 0 New York Rangers
Chicago Black Hawks 0 Montreal Canadiens 0 Toronto Maple Leafs

Twelve teams (1967–70) Edit

The 1967 expansion doubled the number of teams in the league, with an upfront expansion fee of $2 million each ($15.5 million today). [1] For the 1967–68 season, six new teams were added to the NHL: the California Seals, the Los Angeles Kings, the Minnesota North Stars, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the St. Louis Blues.

Within a month into their first season, the California Seals were renamed the Oakland Seals.

All Original Six teams were placed in the East Division
All 1967 expansion teams were placed in the West Division
1967–68 to 1969–70 NHL teams
East Division West Division
Boston Bruins Los Angeles Kings
Chicago Black Hawks Minnesota North Stars
Detroit Red Wings Oakland Seals
Montreal Canadiens Philadelphia Flyers
New York Rangers Pittsburgh Penguins
Toronto Maple Leafs St. Louis Blues

Fourteen teams (1970–72) Edit

The Oakland Seals were renamed the Bay Area Seals for two games before changing their name again to the California Golden Seals for their fourth season in 1970–71. The same season the NHL added two new teams, the Buffalo Sabres and the Vancouver Canucks, paying an expansion fee of $6 million each ($40 million today). [1] The Sabres and the Canucks were placed in the East (partially as an effort to provide greater balance between the divisions, and also so they would have rivalries with the other two Canadian teams), while the Chicago Black Hawks moved to the West

1970–71 was the first season in the NHL *
1970–71 to 1971–72 NHL teams
East Division West Division
Boston Bruins California Golden Seals
Buffalo Sabres * Chicago Black Hawks
Detroit Red Wings Los Angeles Kings
Montreal Canadiens Minnesota North Stars
New York Rangers Philadelphia Flyers
Toronto Maple Leafs Pittsburgh Penguins
Vancouver Canucks * St. Louis Blues

Sixteen teams (1972–74) Edit

Two more teams joined for the 1972–73 NHL season, the New York Islanders and the Atlanta Flames. With the competing World Hockey Association (WHA) starting that same season, the NHL was not able to raise its expansion fee from the price of two years earlier, $6 million ($37.1 million today), with the Islanders paying an additional $5 million ($30.9 million today) to the New York Rangers for infringing on their territory. [2] The Islanders were placed in the East and the Flames were placed in the West.

1972–73 was the first season in the NHL *
1972–73 to 1973–74 NHL teams
East Division West Division
Boston Bruins Atlanta Flames *
Buffalo Sabres California Golden Seals
Detroit Red Wings Chicago Black Hawks
Montreal Canadiens Los Angeles Kings
New York Islanders * Minnesota North Stars
New York Rangers Philadelphia Flyers
Toronto Maple Leafs Pittsburgh Penguins
Vancouver Canucks St. Louis Blues

Eighteen teams (1974–78) Edit

Two more teams joined for the 1974–75 NHL season, the Washington Capitals and the Kansas City Scouts, but the ongoing competition from the WHA meant that the overall revenue stream of the NHL had not improved, so the league kept the expansion fee for new owners at the $6 million ($31.5 million today) of two years and four years earlier. [2] The earnings situation for the new franchises was so poor that (at least) the Capitals were able to negotiate a reduction to a total fee of $2.85 million ($15 million today). [2]

With 18 teams, the league realigned into four divisions and two conferences. The teams were mixed up regardless of North American geography, and thus the new conferences and divisions were not named after geographical references. The East Division became the Prince of Wales Conference and consisted of the Adams Division and Norris Division. The West Division became the Clarence Campbell Conference and consisted of the Patrick Division and Smythe Division.

1974–75 was the first season in the NHL *
1974–75 to 1975–76 NHL teams
Wales Campbell
Adams Norris Patrick Smythe
Boston Bruins Detroit Red Wings Atlanta Flames Chicago Black Hawks
Buffalo Sabres Los Angeles Kings New York Islanders Kansas City Scouts *
California Golden Seals Montreal Canadiens New York Rangers Minnesota North Stars
Toronto Maple Leafs Pittsburgh Penguins Philadelphia Flyers St. Louis Blues
Washington Capitals * Vancouver Canucks

1976: Two teams relocate Edit

Going into the 1976–77 NHL season, the California Golden Seals relocated and became the Cleveland Barons, and the Kansas City Scouts moved as well, becoming the Colorado Rockies.

Dissolved after the 1977–78 season †
1976–77 to 1977–78 NHL teams
Wales Campbell
Adams Norris Patrick Smythe
Boston Bruins Detroit Red Wings Atlanta Flames Chicago Black Hawks
Buffalo Sabres Los Angeles Kings New York Islanders Colorado Rockies
Cleveland Barons † Montreal Canadiens New York Rangers Minnesota North Stars
Toronto Maple Leafs Pittsburgh Penguins Philadelphia Flyers St. Louis Blues
Washington Capitals Vancouver Canucks

Seventeen teams (1978–79) Edit

For the first time since the 1942–43 season the NHL contracted, merging the Cleveland Barons into the Minnesota North Stars. The North Stars then took the Barons' place in the Adams Division.

1978–79 NHL teams
Wales Campbell
Adams Norris Patrick Smythe
Boston Bruins Detroit Red Wings Atlanta Flames Chicago Black Hawks
Buffalo Sabres Los Angeles Kings New York Islanders Colorado Rockies
Minnesota North Stars Montreal Canadiens New York Rangers St. Louis Blues
Toronto Maple Leafs Pittsburgh Penguins Philadelphia Flyers Vancouver Canucks
Washington Capitals

Twenty-one teams (1979–91) Edit

Following seven seasons of revenue draining competition, the NHL–WHA merger was completed for the start of the 1979–80 NHL season. Four teams came over from the WHA, paying an expansion fee of $7.5 million each ($26.7 million today). [1] These new NHL teams were the Edmonton Oilers, the Hartford Whalers, the Quebec Nordiques, and the (original) Winnipeg Jets. This also doubled the number of Canadian teams in the league. Standing at 21 teams for twelve seasons, this was one of the longer stable periods of NHL history, though surpassed by the twenty-five seasons of the Original Six period, when no additions, moves nor name changes occurred.

The Nordiques were placed in the Adams Division, the Whalers in the Norris, and the Oilers and the Jets were both placed in the Smythe. The Washington Capitals moved from the Norris to the Patrick Division. The divisions were meaningless as all teams played a balanced schedule and playoffs were seeded by point standings, not division standings.

Teams from the WHA *
1979–80 NHL teams
Wales Campbell
Adams Norris Patrick Smythe
Boston Bruins Detroit Red Wings Atlanta Flames Chicago Black Hawks
Buffalo Sabres Hartford Whalers * New York Islanders Colorado Rockies
Minnesota North Stars Los Angeles Kings New York Rangers Edmonton Oilers *
Quebec Nordiques * Montreal Canadiens Philadelphia Flyers St. Louis Blues
Toronto Maple Leafs Pittsburgh Penguins Washington Capitals Vancouver Canucks
Winnipeg Jets *

1980: Flames relocate to Calgary Edit

For the 1980–81 season, Atlanta relocated and became the Calgary Flames.

1980–81 NHL teams
Wales Campbell
Adams Norris Patrick Smythe
Boston Bruins Detroit Red Wings Calgary Flames Chicago Black Hawks
Buffalo Sabres Hartford Whalers New York Islanders Colorado Rockies
Minnesota North Stars Los Angeles Kings New York Rangers Edmonton Oilers
Quebec Nordiques Montreal Canadiens Philadelphia Flyers St. Louis Blues
Toronto Maple Leafs Pittsburgh Penguins Washington Capitals Vancouver Canucks
Winnipeg Jets

1981 realignment Edit

For the 1981–82 season, the teams were realigned to reduce travel. Also, the Norris Division moved to the Campbell Conference and the Patrick Division moved to the Wales Conference.

1981–82 NHL teams
Wales Campbell
Adams Patrick Norris Smythe
Boston Bruins New York Islanders Chicago Black Hawks Calgary Flames
Buffalo Sabres New York Rangers Detroit Red Wings Colorado Rockies
Hartford Whalers Philadelphia Flyers Minnesota North Stars Edmonton Oilers
Montreal Canadiens Pittsburgh Penguins St. Louis Blues Los Angeles Kings
Quebec Nordiques Washington Capitals Toronto Maple Leafs Vancouver Canucks
Winnipeg Jets

1982: Colorado relocates to New Jersey Edit

For the 1982–83 season, the Colorado Rockies moved, becoming the New Jersey Devils. The team was moved to the Patrick Division, while the Winnipeg Jets took their place in the Smythe Division

1982–83 to 1985–86 NHL teams
Wales Campbell
Adams Patrick Norris Smythe
Boston Bruins New Jersey Devils Chicago Black Hawks Calgary Flames
Buffalo Sabres New York Islanders Detroit Red Wings Edmonton Oilers
Hartford Whalers New York Rangers Minnesota North Stars Los Angeles Kings
Montreal Canadiens Philadelphia Flyers St. Louis Blues Vancouver Canucks
Quebec Nordiques Pittsburgh Penguins Toronto Maple Leafs Winnipeg Jets
Washington Capitals

1986: Chicago changes the spelling of its name Edit

The Chicago Black Hawks changed their name to Chicago Blackhawks for the 1986–87 season.

1986–87 to 1990–91 NHL teams
Wales Campbell
Adams Patrick Norris Smythe
Boston Bruins New Jersey Devils Chicago Blackhawks Calgary Flames
Buffalo Sabres New York Islanders Detroit Red Wings Edmonton Oilers
Hartford Whalers New York Rangers Minnesota North Stars Los Angeles Kings
Montreal Canadiens Philadelphia Flyers St. Louis Blues Vancouver Canucks
Quebec Nordiques Pittsburgh Penguins Toronto Maple Leafs Winnipeg Jets
Washington Capitals

Twenty-two teams (1991–92) Edit

The 1991–92 season saw the dawn of rapid expansion and relocation in the NHL, which lasted for the next ten years, starting with the addition of the San Jose Sharks, paying an expansion fee of $45 million ($85.5 million today). [1] The Sharks were placed in the Smythe Division with the other West Coast teams.

1991–92 was the first season in the NHL *
1991–92 NHL teams
Wales Campbell
Adams Patrick Norris Smythe
Boston Bruins New Jersey Devils Chicago Blackhawks Calgary Flames
Buffalo Sabres New York Islanders Detroit Red Wings Edmonton Oilers
Hartford Whalers New York Rangers Minnesota North Stars Los Angeles Kings
Montreal Canadiens Philadelphia Flyers St. Louis Blues San Jose Sharks *
Quebec Nordiques Pittsburgh Penguins Toronto Maple Leafs Vancouver Canucks
Washington Capitals Winnipeg Jets

Twenty-four teams (1992–93) Edit

Two new teams joined the league the following season, the Ottawa Senators and the Tampa Bay Lightning, paying an expansion fee of $45 million each ($83 million today). [1] The Senators were placed in the Adams Division, and the Lightning in the Norris, so all four divisions would have six teams each.

1992–93 was the first season in the NHL *
1992–93 NHL teams
Wales Campbell
Adams Patrick Norris Smythe
Boston Bruins New Jersey Devils Chicago Blackhawks Calgary Flames
Buffalo Sabres New York Islanders Detroit Red Wings Edmonton Oilers
Hartford Whalers New York Rangers Minnesota North Stars Los Angeles Kings
Montreal Canadiens Philadelphia Flyers St. Louis Blues San Jose Sharks
Ottawa Senators * Pittsburgh Penguins Tampa Bay Lightning * Vancouver Canucks
Quebec Nordiques Washington Capitals Toronto Maple Leafs Winnipeg Jets

Twenty-six teams (1993–98) Edit

The next season, another two teams were added, the Florida Panthers and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, paying an expansion fee of $50 million each ($89.6 million today), with Anaheim paying an additional $25 million ($44.8 million today) to the Los Angeles Kings for infringing on their region. [1] The Minnesota North Stars relocated, becoming the Dallas Stars.

The league realigned the teams. The names of the conferences were changed from Campbell and Wales to Western and Eastern respectively, and the divisions' names were changed from Adams, Patrick, Norris, and Smythe to Northeast, Atlantic, Central, and Pacific respectively. [3]

1993–94 was the first season in the NHL *
1993–94 to 1994–95 NHL teams
East West
Atlantic Northeast Central Pacific
Florida Panthers * Boston Bruins Chicago Blackhawks Mighty Ducks of Anaheim *
New Jersey Devils Buffalo Sabres Dallas Stars Calgary Flames
New York Islanders Hartford Whalers Detroit Red Wings Edmonton Oilers
New York Rangers Montreal Canadiens St. Louis Blues Los Angeles Kings
Philadelphia Flyers Ottawa Senators Toronto Maple Leafs San Jose Sharks
Tampa Bay Lightning Pittsburgh Penguins Winnipeg Jets Vancouver Canucks
Washington Capitals Quebec Nordiques

1995: Nordiques relocate to Colorado Edit

For the 1995–96 season, the Quebec Nordiques relocated and became the Colorado Avalanche. The team also switched conferences, moving from the Northeast Division in the East to the Pacific Division in the West.

1995–96 NHL teams
East West
Atlantic Northeast Central Pacific
Florida Panthers Boston Bruins Chicago Blackhawks Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
New Jersey Devils Buffalo Sabres Dallas Stars Calgary Flames
New York Islanders Hartford Whalers Detroit Red Wings Colorado Avalanche
New York Rangers Montreal Canadiens St. Louis Blues Edmonton Oilers
Philadelphia Flyers Ottawa Senators Toronto Maple Leafs Los Angeles Kings
Tampa Bay Lightning Pittsburgh Penguins Winnipeg Jets San Jose Sharks
Washington Capitals Vancouver Canucks

1996: Jets relocate to Phoenix Edit

The 1996–97 season, the Winnipeg Jets moved, becoming the Phoenix Coyotes. The team remained in the Central Division.

1996–97 NHL teams
East West
Atlantic Northeast Central Pacific
Florida Panthers Boston Bruins Chicago Blackhawks Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
New Jersey Devils Buffalo Sabres Dallas Stars Calgary Flames
New York Islanders Hartford Whalers Detroit Red Wings Colorado Avalanche
New York Rangers Montreal Canadiens Phoenix Coyotes Edmonton Oilers
Philadelphia Flyers Ottawa Senators St. Louis Blues Los Angeles Kings
Tampa Bay Lightning Pittsburgh Penguins Toronto Maple Leafs San Jose Sharks
Washington Capitals Vancouver Canucks

1997: Whalers relocate to the Carolinas Edit

The 1997–98 season saw the Hartford Whalers relocate, becoming the Carolina Hurricanes. The team remained in the Northeast Division.

1997–98 NHL teams
East West
Atlantic Northeast Central Pacific
Florida Panthers Boston Bruins Chicago Blackhawks Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
New Jersey Devils Buffalo Sabres Dallas Stars Calgary Flames
New York Islanders Carolina Hurricanes Detroit Red Wings Colorado Avalanche
New York Rangers Montreal Canadiens Phoenix Coyotes Edmonton Oilers
Philadelphia Flyers Ottawa Senators St. Louis Blues Los Angeles Kings
Tampa Bay Lightning Pittsburgh Penguins Toronto Maple Leafs San Jose Sharks
Washington Capitals Vancouver Canucks

Twenty-seven teams (1998–99) Edit

The Nashville Predators joined the league for the 1998–99 season, paying an expansion fee of $80 million ($127 million today). [1] The league also realigned to a strictly geographic six-division structure, with three per conference. The Eastern Conference had the Atlantic, Northeast, and Southeast divisions while the Western Conference had the Central, Northwest and Pacific divisions. The Toronto Maple Leafs were the only team to switch conferences, moving from the West to the East.

1998–99 was the first season in the NHL *
1998–99 NHL teams
East Atlantic Northeast Southeast
New Jersey Devils Boston Bruins Carolina Hurricanes
New York Islanders Buffalo Sabres Florida Panthers
New York Rangers Montreal Canadiens Tampa Bay Lightning
Philadelphia Flyers Ottawa Senators Washington Capitals
Pittsburgh Penguins Toronto Maple Leafs
West Central Northwest Pacific
Chicago Blackhawks Calgary Flames Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Detroit Red Wings Colorado Avalanche Dallas Stars
Nashville Predators * Edmonton Oilers Los Angeles Kings
St. Louis Blues Vancouver Canucks Phoenix Coyotes
San Jose Sharks

Twenty-eight teams (1999–2000) Edit

The following season, another team started play, the Atlanta Thrashers, paying the same expansion fee of $80 million ($124.3 million today) as the Predators paid a year earlier. [1] The Thrashers were placed in the Southeast Division.

1999–2000 was the first season in the NHL *
1999–2000 NHL teams
East Atlantic Northeast Southeast
New Jersey Devils Boston Bruins Atlanta Thrashers *
New York Islanders Buffalo Sabres Carolina Hurricanes
New York Rangers Montreal Canadiens Florida Panthers
Philadelphia Flyers Ottawa Senators Tampa Bay Lightning
Pittsburgh Penguins Toronto Maple Leafs Washington Capitals
West Central Northwest Pacific
Chicago Blackhawks Calgary Flames Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Detroit Red Wings Colorado Avalanche Dallas Stars
Nashville Predators Edmonton Oilers Los Angeles Kings
St. Louis Blues Vancouver Canucks Phoenix Coyotes
San Jose Sharks

Thirty teams (2000–2017) Edit

For its 2000–01 season, the NHL added the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Minnesota Wild, each paying the same expansion fee of $80 million ($120.2 million today) as Nashville and Atlanta paid in the previous two years. [1] The Blue Jackets were placed in the Central Division, and the Wild in the Northwest, so all six divisions would have five teams each.

For the next 17 seasons, the NHL maintained 30 teams, the second longest period (after the Original Six period) of membership stability in its history.

2000–01 was the first season in the NHL *
2000–01 to 2005–06 NHL teams
East Atlantic Northeast Southeast
New Jersey Devils Boston Bruins Atlanta Thrashers
New York Islanders Buffalo Sabres Carolina Hurricanes
New York Rangers Montreal Canadiens Florida Panthers
Philadelphia Flyers Ottawa Senators Tampa Bay Lightning
Pittsburgh Penguins Toronto Maple Leafs Washington Capitals
West Central Northwest Pacific
Chicago Blackhawks Calgary Flames Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Columbus Blue Jackets * Colorado Avalanche Dallas Stars
Detroit Red Wings Edmonton Oilers Los Angeles Kings
Nashville Predators Minnesota Wild * Phoenix Coyotes
St. Louis Blues Vancouver Canucks San Jose Sharks

2006: Anaheim shortens its name Edit

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim changed their name to the Anaheim Ducks in the 2006–07 season. The newly renamed Ducks would win the Stanley Cup that season.

2006–07 to 2010–11 NHL teams
East Atlantic Northeast Southeast
New Jersey Devils Boston Bruins Atlanta Thrashers
New York Islanders Buffalo Sabres Carolina Hurricanes
New York Rangers Montreal Canadiens Florida Panthers
Philadelphia Flyers Ottawa Senators Tampa Bay Lightning
Pittsburgh Penguins Toronto Maple Leafs Washington Capitals
West Central Northwest Pacific
Chicago Blackhawks Calgary Flames Anaheim Ducks
Columbus Blue Jackets Colorado Avalanche Dallas Stars
Detroit Red Wings Edmonton Oilers Los Angeles Kings
Nashville Predators Minnesota Wild Phoenix Coyotes
St. Louis Blues Vancouver Canucks San Jose Sharks

2011: Thrashers relocate to Winnipeg Edit

The Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, becoming the second version of the Winnipeg Jets in the 2011–12 NHL season. The team remained in the Southeast Division.

2011–12 to 2012–13 NHL teams
East Atlantic Northeast Southeast
New Jersey Devils Boston Bruins Carolina Hurricanes
New York Islanders Buffalo Sabres Florida Panthers
New York Rangers Montreal Canadiens Tampa Bay Lightning
Philadelphia Flyers Ottawa Senators Washington Capitals
Pittsburgh Penguins Toronto Maple Leafs Winnipeg Jets
West Central Northwest Pacific
Chicago Blackhawks Calgary Flames Anaheim Ducks
Columbus Blue Jackets Colorado Avalanche Dallas Stars
Detroit Red Wings Edmonton Oilers Los Angeles Kings
Nashville Predators Minnesota Wild Phoenix Coyotes
St. Louis Blues Vancouver Canucks San Jose Sharks

2013 realignment Edit

The 2011 relocation of the former Atlanta Thrashers franchise to the Winnipeg Jets in prompted the league to discuss realignment. However, disagreement between the NHL Board of Governors and the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) caused it to be pushed to 2013.

On December 5, 2011, the NHL Board of Governors originally approved a conference realignment plan to move from a six-division setup to a four-conference structure. [4] However, on January 6, 2012, the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) rejected that proposed realignment. [5] [6] A new joint NHL-NHLPA plan was proposed in February 2013 as a modification of the previous plan with both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings moving to the East and the Winnipeg Jets moving to the West. The NHLPA officially gave its consent to the NHL's proposed realignment plan on March 7, [7] and then the NHL's Board of Governors approved the realignment on March 14, to be implemented prior to the 2013–14 season. [8] The league then announced the names of the divisions on July 19: the two eight-team divisions in the Eastern Conference would be the Atlantic Division and the Metropolitan Division, and the two seven-team divisions in the Western Conference would be the Central Division and the Pacific Division. [9]

2013–14 NHL teams
East West
Atlantic Metropolitan Central Pacific
Boston Bruins Carolina Hurricanes Chicago Blackhawks Anaheim Ducks
Buffalo Sabres Columbus Blue Jackets Colorado Avalanche Calgary Flames
Detroit Red Wings New Jersey Devils Dallas Stars Edmonton Oilers
Florida Panthers New York Islanders Minnesota Wild Los Angeles Kings
Montreal Canadiens New York Rangers Nashville Predators Phoenix Coyotes
Ottawa Senators Philadelphia Flyers St. Louis Blues San Jose Sharks
Tampa Bay Lightning Pittsburgh Penguins Winnipeg Jets Vancouver Canucks
Toronto Maple Leafs Washington Capitals

2014: The Coyotes change their name Edit

The Phoenix Coyotes changed their name to Arizona Coyotes for the 2014–15 season.

2014–15 to 2016–17 NHL teams
East West
Atlantic Metropolitan Central Pacific
Boston Bruins Carolina Hurricanes Chicago Blackhawks Anaheim Ducks
Buffalo Sabres Columbus Blue Jackets Colorado Avalanche Arizona Coyotes
Detroit Red Wings New Jersey Devils Dallas Stars Calgary Flames
Florida Panthers New York Islanders Minnesota Wild Edmonton Oilers
Montreal Canadiens New York Rangers Nashville Predators Los Angeles Kings
Ottawa Senators Philadelphia Flyers St. Louis Blues San Jose Sharks
Tampa Bay Lightning Pittsburgh Penguins Winnipeg Jets Vancouver Canucks
Toronto Maple Leafs Washington Capitals

Thirty-one teams (2017–2021) Edit

On June 22, 2016, the Board of Governors voted 30–0 to add an expansion franchise in Las Vegas for the 2017–18 season, charging an expansion fee of $500 million ($539.2 million today). [1] The new team, the Vegas Golden Knights, were put into the Pacific Division.

2017–18 was the first season in the NHL *
2017–18 to 2019-20 NHL teams
East West
Atlantic Metropolitan Central Pacific
Boston Bruins Carolina Hurricanes Chicago Blackhawks Anaheim Ducks
Buffalo Sabres Columbus Blue Jackets Colorado Avalanche Arizona Coyotes
Detroit Red Wings New Jersey Devils Dallas Stars Calgary Flames
Florida Panthers New York Islanders Minnesota Wild Edmonton Oilers
Montreal Canadiens New York Rangers Nashville Predators Los Angeles Kings
Ottawa Senators Philadelphia Flyers St. Louis Blues San Jose Sharks
Tampa Bay Lightning Pittsburgh Penguins Winnipeg Jets Vancouver Canucks
Toronto Maple Leafs Washington Capitals Vegas Golden Knights *

2020: COVID-19 pandemic Edit

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic which delayed the conclusion of the 2019–20 season, and which also delayed and shortened the 2020–21 season, the NHL adopted a temporary divisional alignment for 2020–21. The primary consideration acknowledged by the league was that the ongoing restrictions and quarantine requirements affecting the ability of its teams to cross the Canada-U.S. border on a regular basis would have made the league's traditional alignment and season structure unfeasible for at least 2020–21. As a result, on December 20, 2020, the League announced it had temporarily suspended the Eastern and Western Conferences and re-aligned into four divisions without any conferences: North, East, Central, and West. The North Division consists of the seven Canadian teams, and is the first all-Canadian division since the League first expanded into the United States in 1924. The regular season lasted 56 games and consisted solely of intra-divisional play.

2020–21 NHL teams
North East Central West
Calgary Flames Boston Bruins Carolina Hurricanes Anaheim Ducks
Edmonton Oilers Buffalo Sabres Chicago Blackhawks Arizona Coyotes
Montreal Canadiens New Jersey Devils Columbus Blue Jackets Colorado Avalanche
Ottawa Senators New York Islanders Dallas Stars Los Angeles Kings
Toronto Maple Leafs New York Rangers Detroit Red Wings Minnesota Wild
Vancouver Canucks Philadelphia Flyers Florida Panthers St. Louis Blues
Winnipeg Jets Pittsburgh Penguins Nashville Predators San Jose Sharks
Washington Capitals Tampa Bay Lightning Vegas Golden Knights

Thirty-two teams (2021–future) Edit

On December 4, 2018, Seattle was announced as the location of the future thirty-second franchise to begin play in the 2021–22 season, with an expansion fee of $650 million. [10] Assuming the league reverts to its pre-COVID-19 alignment in 2021, the new Seattle Kraken will be placed in the Pacific Division while the Arizona Coyotes will be moved to the Central Division. [10]

2021–22 will be the first season in the NHL *
2021–22 NHL teams
East West
Atlantic Metropolitan Central Pacific
Boston Bruins Carolina Hurricanes Arizona Coyotes Anaheim Ducks
Buffalo Sabres Columbus Blue Jackets Chicago Blackhawks Calgary Flames
Detroit Red Wings New Jersey Devils Colorado Avalanche Edmonton Oilers
Florida Panthers New York Islanders Dallas Stars Los Angeles Kings
Montreal Canadiens New York Rangers Minnesota Wild San Jose Sharks
Ottawa Senators Philadelphia Flyers Nashville Predators Seattle Kraken *
Tampa Bay Lightning Pittsburgh Penguins St. Louis Blues Vancouver Canucks
Toronto Maple Leafs Washington Capitals Winnipeg Jets Vegas Golden Knights

Draft Location City Date Expansion team(s) Players drafted #1 pick(s)
1967 Queen Elizabeth Hotel Montreal, Quebec June 6, 1967 California Seals
Los Angeles Kings
Minnesota North Stars
Philadelphia Flyers
Pittsburgh Penguins
St. Louis Blues
120 Terry Sawchuk (Toronto Maple Leafs)
1970 N/A N/A June 10, 1970 Buffalo Sabres
Vancouver Canucks
40 Tom Webster (Boston Bruins)
Gary Doak (Boston Bruins)
1972 N/A N/A June 6, 1972 Atlanta Flames
New York Islanders
42 Phil Myre (Montreal Canadiens)
Gerry Desjardins (Chicago Black Hawks)
1974 N/A N/A June 12, 1974 Kansas City Scouts
Washington Capitals
48 Michel Plasse (Montreal Canadiens)
Ron Low (Toronto Maple Leafs)
1978
(dispersal)
N/A N/A June 15, 1978 Cleveland Barons
Minnesota North Stars
2 N/A
1979 N/A N/A June 13, 1979 Edmonton Oilers
Hartford Whalers
Quebec Nordiques
Winnipeg Jets
65 Cam Connor (Montreal Canadiens)
Alan Hangsleben (Montreal Canadiens)
Dave Farrish (New York Rangers)
Peter Marsh (Montreal Canadiens)
1991 N/A N/A May 30, 1991 Minnesota North Stars
San Jose Sharks
44 Shane Churla (Minnesota North Stars dispersal)
Jeff Hackett (New York Islanders)
Rob Ramage (Toronto Maple Leafs)
1992 N/A N/A June 18, 1992 Ottawa Senators
Tampa Bay Lightning
42 Peter Sidorkiewicz (Hartford Whalers)
Wendell Young (Pittsburgh Penguins)
1993 Quebec Coliseum Quebec City, Quebec June 24–25, 1993 Florida Panthers
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
51 John Vanbiesbrouck (Vancouver Canucks)
Guy Hebert (St. Louis Blues)
1998 Marine Midland Arena Buffalo, New York June 26, 1998 Nashville Predators 26 Frédéric Chabot (Los Angeles Kings)
1999 FleetCenter Boston, Massachusetts June 25, 1999 Atlanta Thrashers 26 Trevor Kidd (Carolina Hurricanes)
2000 Pengrowth Saddledome Calgary, Alberta June 23, 2000 Columbus Blue Jackets
Minnesota Wild
52 Rick Tabaracci (Colorado Avalanche)
Jamie McLennan (Florida Panthers)
2017 T-Mobile Arena Paradise, Nevada June 21, 2017 Vegas Golden Knights 30 Calvin Pickard (Colorado Avalanche)
2021 Climate Pledge Arena Seattle, Washington July 21, 2021 Seattle Kraken

Despite statements from the NHL in recent years that no further expansion or even relocation was planned for the foreseeable future (a statement partially contradicted by the relocation of the Thrashers to Winnipeg), there have been rumors and talks of potential new sites for existing or new teams in various locations in the United States and Canada. [ citation needed ] Since Winnipeg received the Jets in 2011, potential markets for relocation that have seen action in recent years include Quebec City, Hartford, Houston, Saskatoon, Kansas City, and Southern Ontario (which would be Hamilton, Toronto or Markham, although the league has actively blocked all of the Southern Ontario efforts to date, citing territorial concerns with the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs).


‘Groom of the stool’: who were the men who changed Henry VIII’s underpants?

Who was the 'groom of the stool' in the Tudor monarch's court? Where did the power lie among Henry VIII's courtiers? The Tudor path to power wasn't making speeches in the Commons it was changing the king's underpants and wiping his bottom…

This competition is now closed

Published: October 22, 2020 at 3:53 pm

Anyone who harbours serious political ambitions in 21st-century England must first become a member of parliament. Things were very different in 1516, during the reign of Henry VIII, when the most prized courtly positions were, superficially, the most degrading. Dr Edward Dutton reveals more…

In the autocracy of Tudor England the political arena wasn’t parliament it was the royal court. Becoming a courtier, not an MP, was the beginning of your rise to real influence. Through the right connections, sometimes cultivated by first being a ‘knight of the shire,’ you’d be sworn in as a courtier by the lord chamberlain, the court’s ‘office manager’. You’d then do some menial job for the king, but in doing so you could impress him and one of the leaders of the various ‘factions’ that competed for his favour. These factions tended to be broadly Protestant (radical) or Catholic (conservative) and were based around particular leaders like Thomas Cromwell or Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk.

As a courtier you were seen to represent the king’s majesty. As such, it could be the springboard from which you’d reach meteoric heights, dominating your home county or even the entire nation. And the more intimate you were with the king, the more he’d bond with you and the more important you’d thus become to faction leaders who had influence over him, making your promotion to some great office of state more likely…

The lion’s den

Whichever palace Henry stayed in, the centre of the court was his ‘privy chamber’: Henry’s own suite of rooms with his bedchamber being the inner sanctum. The ‘gentlemen of the chamber’ were paid to be Henry’s dogsbodies and friends.

Slightly more intimate were the grooms of chamber. They’d not only be Henry’s ‘friends’ they would help him put on his outer clothes. These positions were held, in 1536, by Sir Francis Weston and William Brereton. That year, Thomas Cromwell orchestrated their executions on (likely trumped up) charges of adultery with Anne Boleyn. These dressers-of-the-king were powerful enough that they could potentially stand in the way of Cromwell’s ambitions.

Groom of the stool

But the most intimate position of all was the ‘groom of the stool’, the man who helped Henry go to the toilet. Henry so trusted and confided in this figure that he was called the ‘chief gentlemen of the chamber’. From the time of Henry VII onwards, this man was also in charge of the ‘privy purse’ – he was the king’s personal treasurer. In fact, he practically directed England’s fiscal policy.

Towards the end of Henry VII’s reign, it was decided that the royal court needed more money and so various schemes were instituted to expropriate money from the gentry [the wealthy ‘lower nobility’ composed of knights, un-knighted descendants of knights and gentleman farmers].

In particular, the king’s ancient feudal rights, many of them long forgotten, began to be rigorously enforced. Gentry would be heavily fined for minor offences and minors who inherited feudal estates would become wards-of-the-crown. The crown could therefore run their estates for its own profit until the minors reached full-age, and use the minors themselves as court servants.

This ‘fiscal terrorism’ made the crown, and thus the government, immensely rich, and was ultimately directed by the groom of the stool.

Sir William Compton

Henry’s first groom of the stool, holding the role from 1509 until 1526, was Sir William Compton of Compton in Warwickshire (c1482–1528). His father died when he was around 11. As the heir, Compton became a ward of Henry VII, who made him a page to the infant Prince Henry, who would later become Henry VIII. This involved being the boy’s personal servant and messenger, and the pair became very close.

When Henry VIII came to the throne he appointed his life-long friend as his bottom-wiper-in-chief. Compton would arrange romantic trysts for the young Henry at his London home on Thames Street, and on the back of his royal intimacy (and consequent ability to influence royal patronage), Compton became exceptionally rich. Henry showered him with lucrative offices, including chancellor of Ireland, sheriff of Worcestershire, and sheriff of Somerset and Dorset. By 1521 Compton stewarded (managed) more royal estates than all the other courtiers put together.

Henry knighted Compton in 1513, following the battle of the Spurs at Tornai in which English forces defeated the French. Drawing upon the system of ‘bastard feudalism’, whereby feudal tenants either had to fight for their lord of the manor or pay a fine, Compton mustered 578 soldiers from the assorted manors he owned or stewarded. This was more than all the other members of the privy chamber raised in total.

Compton served Henry at the famous diplomatic meeting with the king of France at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, outside Calais, in 1520. Both kings turned up with enormous retinues of servants (and their servants’ servants) to display their power. Compton was there to help Henry wash and to advise him.

Compton was also with the king when he met Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor [Charles visited England in 1520]. Testimony to Compton’s dramatic rise was his son’s eventual marriage to a daughter of the Earl of Shrewsbury. Compton died of sweating sickness in 1528.

Sir Henry Norris

Like Compton, Sir Henry Norris (c1490–1536) of Berkshire was from a gentry family. He began as a page (a servant to and a messenger for other courtiers – for example, pages awoke the esquires of the body so that they could in turn awake the king), and by 1517 had been made a gentleman of the privy chamber. He accrued numerous lucrative offices, such as bailiff of Watlington and keeper of Langley New Park, becoming wealthier than most of the nobility.

In 1526 Norris became groom of the stool and helped Anne Boleyn establish herself at court and become a leader of her faction. By 1536 this faction advocated using money from the dissolved monasteries to help the poor and welcomed the reaching of an alliance with France. Thomas Cromwell, however, wanted to use the money for the king and himself, and for allying with the Holy Roman Empire. Anne and her supporters were a threat to Cromwell’s position, so he moved to eliminate them.

The queen was highly flirtatious, raising suspicions of adultery, so Cromwell searched for evidence. He discovered that on 28 April 1536 Anne had said to Norris “if ought come to the king but good, you would look to have to me”. Though said in jest, it was treason to imagine the king’s death. On 29 April, Cromwell interrogated the court musician Mark Smeaton and he confessed, perhaps under torture, to adultery with Anne and named Norris and others as also guilty.

On May Day 1536, Henry VIII and his closest courtiers were celebrating with a joust at Greenwich when Henry was handed a note. Suddenly he got up, abandoning his wife, and demanded that Norris ride with him to Westminster. Henry interrogated Norris the entire journey. By the end of the month the queen and the courtiers George Boleyn [Anne’s brother], Henry Norris, Mark Smeaton, Francis Weston and William Brereton had all been beheaded for treason.

Sir Anthony Denny

Henry’s last groom was Sir Anthony Denny (1501–49). Denny’s father, Edmund, was a ‘baron of the exchequer’ – a judge who presided over financial disputes. After attending Cambridge University in his teens – at that time it was effectively a school, even teaching subjects such as grammar – Denny became a diplomat, going on missions to France.

An extreme Protestant, Denny allied with Cromwell and became a courtier in the 1520s. Denny brought his sister-in-law, Katherine Ashley, into court as a servant of the young Princess Elizabeth. In 1539 he was appointed a gentleman of the privy chamber. Henry confided in Denny how little he was attracted to his then queen, Anne of Cleves. “She was not as she was reported, but had breasts so slack and other parts of body in such sort that he somewhat suspected her virginity,” Denny recorded.

By the time of Henry’s death in 1547, Denny was groom of the stool and controlled who could see the bedridden monarch. Henry’s will needed to be finalised, but it was treason to tell the king he was dying. So Denny, Henry’s most intimate companion, took the risk. This meant Denny could ensure that Edward Seymour was appointed lord protector, thus securing power for the Protestant faction upon Henry’s death.

Denny was the maternal uncle of Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth I’s spymaster.

Esquire of the body

Intimacy in Henry VIII’s court could, however, be gained in other ways. A group of six ‘esquires of the body’ worked around the king’s bedchamber in shifts. They awoke the king at 8am, put him to bed in the evening and helped him change his vest and pants. They also helped him eat and controlled access to him at night.

Sir Piers Dutton (c1480–1545) of Dutton, Cheshire was an esquire of the body in 1520 and rose to be knight (chief esquire) of the body by 1527. He was the uncle of William Brereton but loathed this rival for power in their native Cheshire. Local power was very important because the crown only had limited control of the provinces and relied on local magnates to keep order, meaning political power was more local than it is today. Cheshire was a semi-autonomous ‘palatine’ with no MPs its own de facto parliament its own legal system and its own head of state – the king in his capacity as Earl of Chester. As such, the leaders of Cheshire wielded real power, and rivalry for it was fierce.

The son of a gentry outlaw, Dutton rose from languishing in Chester jail for breaches of the peace to being a powerful mayor of Chester. He was made a courtier as part of an attempt to flatter local magnates and so keep the distant, lawless provinces under crown control. However, his strongly Protestant wife was acquainted with the Protestant Cromwell and after allying himself with Cromwell (as esquire of the body), Dutton’s ascent began.

Both keen to eliminate William Brereton, Cromwell helped ensure that Dutton inherited a huge estate from a distant cousin to which Brereton allies had a better claim. Cromwell appointed Dutton to Cheshire offices, which Brereton had held, and had him made sheriff of Cheshire. When Brereton was executed [in May 1536] Dutton took over even more of his nephew’s offices and Cromwell had a man in charge of (fiercely independent) Cheshire who would do anything he wanted.

In 1535, the king had crossed out other candidates suggested to him for sheriff, insisting Dutton was reappointed. Dutton put down a pro-monastery rebellion, plundered the abbeys and had enemies murdered, boasting that he was above the law because he was so intimate with the king.

George Boleyn

George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford (c1503–36), was the brother of Anne and son of the ambassador and courtier Sir Thomas Boleyn. He was introduced to court aged about 10 at a Christmas feast and became a page. He later became a court poet and was criticised by other poets of the time for being an arrogant womaniser.

In 1524 Boleyn was appointed gentleman of the privy chamber but was sacked after six months when their numbers were halved, possibly to curve Anne’s growing influence. Nevertheless George became an esquire of the body in 1528. Drawing on this relationship with the king he led a diplomatic envoy to France, and was a leading advocate for Henry displacing the pope as head of the church. Boleyn argued passionately for this before a sceptical parliament and was credited with convincing many doubters.

Boleyn was eventually found guilty of incest with Anne and executed in 1536. His widow was executed in 1542 for aiding Henry’s fifth wife, Catherine Howard, commit adultery.

Edward Seymour

Edward Seymour (c1500–52) was the son of Sir John Seymour of Wolf Hall, Wiltshire, (himself a one-time esquire of the body of Henry VIII). He began as a young page boy and, thanks to court contacts via his father, worked as a diplomat for Cardinal Wolsey and was a leading soldier in France before being made Esquire of the Body in 1531. Accordingly he became close friends with the king, who visited Seymour’s Hampshire home. Seymour was made a viscount after Henry married his sister Jane. When Jane produced Edward VI, Seymour was elevated to Earl of Hertford.

Now uncle to the heir, Seymour was highly influential. In 1544, as lieutenant-general of the north, he was put in charge of what later became known as the ‘rough wooing’. This saw Seymour invading Scotland and sacking Edinburgh to punish the Scots for going back on their promise to marry off Mary, Queen of Scots to the future Edward VI. Just before Henry’s death the Protestant faction, led by Seymour and John Dudley, managed to take control and, upon the succession of his nine-year-old nephew, Seymour was made lord protector and Duke of Somerset.

As de facto king, Seymour was by Tudor standards extraordinarily democratic. He championed land rights for the poor (infuriating the gentry) and tried to negotiate with enemies France and Scotland, and he encouraged a nationwide theological debate about what the church should be like (angering religious extremists).

When these policies failed there were rebellions and wars. The court faction led by John Dudley managed to persuade the king to send Seymour to the Tower, and Dudley replaced him as lord protector in 1550. Ultimately, Dudley himself was found guilty of trumped-up charges of treason and, in 1552, he lost his head.

The Tudor court, then, was a lion’s den. But even so, changing the king’s underpants was clearly one of the best ways to ensure that you could one day change the country…

Dr Edward Dutton is adjunct professor of the anthropology of religion at the University of Oulu, Finland and the author of The Ruler of Cheshire: Sir Piers Dutton, Tudor Gangland and the Violent Politics of the Palatine (Leonie Press, 2015). He also runs Dutton’s Genealogy.

This article was first published by HistoryExtra in April 2016


Herstory: 8 Colombian Women Who Changed the Course of History

Latinas in the U.S. come from a long line of influential, barrier-breaking, rebel Latin American women. Through Remezcla’s Herstory series, we introduce readers to the women warriors and pioneers whose legacies we carry on.

In times of revolution, women have led the way. While the history of Colombia is told through the accounts of mostly male “libertadores,” women played an important role in the resistance, defying Spanish conquistadors, slave owners, exploitative bosses, greedy landowners and unjust forms of government.

While history may remember some women such as Policarpa Salavarrieta, a pro-independence spy whose portrait is displayed on the 10,000 peso bill, many others – mostly Black and Indigenous women – remain forgotten. Other important leaders, legendary in their provinces for spearheading land rights and workers’ rights movements, rarely make it in the official textbooks.

In some cases, scarce information on these female leaders still exist despite their relevance to important moments in history. For example, little is known about Polonia, a powerful palenquera, or free Black woman, that in times of slavery led a small army to fight a Spanish conquistador.

It’s unfortunate that despite the bravery of these women – with some risking their careers or even their lives for their beliefs – have been barely remembered. Still, a diverse group of scholars and educators are taking steps to tell a more inclusive account of history – sometimes collecting oral accounts from descendants to uncover long-forgotten stories.

As part of our Herstory series, we’ve looked back at the brave women of Colombia who may not all be celebrated with prominent statues or national holidays, but that, regardless, marked the course of history for the better.

In times of colonization, Indigenous authorities were known as caciques. The Cacica Gaitana was one of the few women to hold this position of power. When Spanish conquistadors arrived to her town of Timaná in 1539, they killed her son after he refused to appear before them. In retaliation, the Cacica Gaitana galvanized a group of more than 6,000 Indigenous soldiers to attack the Spanish cohort. After killing the man who had ordered her son’s death, the Cacica Gaitan went on to lead an armed resistance against the Spanish invaders, at one point amassing an army of 10,000 indigenous soldiers.

Not much is known about Polonia, but it’s said that in times of slavery, the free Black woman led an army of 150 people to defeat a Spanish conquistador by the name of Pedro Ordóñez Ceballos. Described as a palanquera, Polonia was one of the many slaves who escaped and formed their own free towns.

According to the Ministry of Culture, Polonia pacted a deal with the conquistador after the battle in 1581 to trade lands and to free her army. However, she was ultimately deceived. Still, Polonia is remembered for her bravery as one of the first Afro-descendent women in Colombia to lead a movement of resistance.

When the Viceroyalty of New Granada was established in 1717, millions came to live under the tyranny of the Spanish Empire. A hike in taxes to fund the empire’s army and dominance provoked the ire of Neogranadines, including Manuela Beltrán. In 1781, when an increase in taxes were announced, the 57-year-old woman of Spanish descent not only tore the edict in two, but mobilized 1,000 commoners to protest the colonial government in the town square of Socorro. This unrest spread to other territories, such as modern Venezuela and southern Colombia.

Affectionately referred to as “La Pola,” Policarpa Salavarrieta is remembered as a hero of the Colombian independence movement. When the war broke out between the Spanish Royalists and the Revolutionary Forces, Salavarrieta’s family allied with the latter. In 1817, she moved to Santa Fe de Bogotá, the capital city, where she spied on the inner operations of important royalists while she worked in their homes as a seamstress. That same year, her real identity was found out and she was executed by a firing squad. Today, the anniversary of her death on November 14 is commemorated with Day of the Colombian Woman, a national holiday.

After Colombia broke free from Spaniard rule in 1819, the provincial government of what we know today as Sucre attempted to dispossess poor farmers of their land and hand them over to royalists of Spanish descent, according to one account. Felicita Campos, a Black peasant farmer, stood her ground when officials came to steal her lands, said to have used “witchcraft” to turn away officials and even military soldiers. As she fought to keep her home, she also organized fellow peasant farmers to resist large-scale landowners, sparking a lands rights movement that spread throughout the province.

Although María Cano’s career as a union organizer is legendary in Colombia, she initially wanted to be a writer. Led by her passion for literature, Cano called for the creation of a library that would be free and open to the public – this is considered her first act of activism. Shortly afterward, she demanded the liberation of jailed union members and mobilized against the death penalty and in favor of civil rights. Political activism in the 1920s was considered men’s work, so when Cano spoke in public, she attracted crowds. Cano was imprisoned after the Banana Massacre, a state-led repression of workers in 1928 immortalized by Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Following this tragedy and her marginalization in the socialist movement, Cano quietly retired from public life.

Betsabé Espinal is remembered for having led the first strike of female workers in 1920. At the time of the strike, Espinal was a 24-year-old textile worker. After suffering many abuses from her bosses, Espinal galvanized 400 female textile workers to demand equal pay and an end to exploitative practices, such as sexual harassment and long work days. The protest worked, and many of their demands were met. However, Espinal was fired in an act of retaliation by superiors. Still, the history of the strike lived on and inspired similar protests in the following years.

Esmeralda Arboleda is known as the first woman elected to the Colombian Senate in 1958. She was also the first woman to study at the University of Cauca and the first woman to practice law in southwestern Colombia. An advocate for women’s suffrage, she toured the country collecting signatures to present legislation that would grant women the right to vote. Congress approved the bill in 1954, with women exercising their newly won right three years later. After her time in Congress, during which the government found itself obligated to build a women’s restroom in the capitol building, Arboleda also served as the country’s first female ambassador.


8 Teachers Who Changed History

Throughout history, teachers were making discoveries, taking actions, or participating in events that forever changed the world. Today we’ll look briefly at 8 teachers who changed history.

  1. Pythagoras was a mathematician, philosopher, and teacher who’s theories are still taught in schools. He’s best known for the Pythagorean Theorem that relates to right triangles, however, he also determined the relationship of math to music and the movement of stars and planets. Later in his life, Pythagoras was a teacher in India and founded a Croatian institute where he taught philosophy. He also founded the Pythagorean Brotherhood, a secret society devoted to the study of mathematics.
  2. Known as the person who established the theory of gravity, Sir Isaac Newton was also a teacher, mathematician, physicist, natural philosopher, astronomer, theologian and alchemist. At the University of Cambridge in England, Newton was Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, an academic post considered one of the world’s most prestigious. Newton constructed the first reflecting telescope and is credited with numerous other discoveries and theories.
  3. John Adams, the second president of the United States, graduated from Harvard College at the age of 20. Adams became a teacher in Worcester, Massachusetts, for one year before deciding to study law. After becoming a lawyer, Adams assisted in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He was one of the negotiators responsible for the peace treaty with Great Britain that signaled the end of the Revolutionary War.
  4. Prior to the Revolutionary War, Nathan Hale was a revolutionary teacher first in Massachusetts and then in Connecticut. He developed a class that was open to female students only after he decided “the higher education of women” was “neglected.” Hale enlisted in the militia at the onset of the war. He was caught spying on British troops and sentenced to hang. His last words became one of the most famous quotes in American History, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”
  5. Harriet Beecher Stowe attended school at her sister’s seminary in Connecticut as a child. Eventually Stowe worked as an assistant teacher at the seminary. After her marriage to Calvin Stowe, the family moved to Ohio where Stowe and her sister founded a new school in the 1840s. Stowe began interviewing slaves who had escaped from Kentucky into Ohio. Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the famous novel that highlighted the treatment slaves endured.
  6. Through her teaching Annie Sullivan was able to open up a new world to blind and deaf student Helen Keller. Sullivan taught Keller Braille, social etiquette, and obedience. With Sullivan’s assistance, Keller surpassed the potential that was expected at the time. Sullivan eventually became famous and respected for her unique teaching methods. Supported by Andrew Carnegie and Alexander Graham Bell, Sullivan was able to give lectures while traveling with Keller.
  7. While she didn’t personally change history, Leona Edwards directly influenced change. Edwards taught in a small Montgomery, AL, school and was both the teacher and mother of Rosa Parks who went on to make her mark in civil rights. Parks was quoted in an Academy of Achievement interview as saying her mother “did not have the notion that we were supposed to live as we did, under legally enforced racial segregation.”
  8. Groundbreaking poet Walt Whitman started his professional life as a teacher in Long Island, NY, before moving into journalism and political activism. Whitman began writing poems with new themes such as rebirth, individuality, democracy, and body and soul, that were sometimes seen as controversial. His work has influenced poets for generations after he expanded the horizons.

Melissa Tamura

Melissa Tamura writes about online degrees for Zen College Life. She most recently ranked the best criminal justice schools


7 The Great Siege of Malta (1565) Odds 5:1

The Knights Hospitaller shared a lot in common with the Templars, but instead of giving up on the Crusades and being wiped out by a French King in 1312, the Hospitallers moved from island to island in the Mediterranean and continued fighting whatever Muslims they could find well into the 17th century.

The nearest Muslims to the Knights&rsquo base on Malta were the Ottoman Turks. The Ottomans, back then, controlled just about everything along the Mediterranean Sea except Italy, France, and Spain&mdashnone of which stopped the Knights from attacking every Ottoman ship possible.

So, the Ottomans sent an armada and nearly 50,000 men to take the fortress on Malta and kill the few thousand knights and civilians inside. Big mistake for the Ottomans.

Here&rsquos a lesson from history: never besiege a city ruled by a man named Jean who loads his cannons with his prisoners&rsquo heads. Chief Knight Jean Valette didn&rsquot even blink when the Ottomans overran Malta&rsquos outer fortifications and killed 1,500 Maltese. For weeks, the Ottomans rained thousands of cannonballs on Valette and his defenders. When the main walls were finally breached, Ottoman soldiers poured into the fort, expecting little resistance.

Instead, the Ottomans found Valette and a few hundred of the best knights in the history of sword swinging. They were a little rusty, maybe, but more than capable of slicing their way through a few thousand Turks in the narrow breach. After four months, the Ottomans still couldn&rsquot take Malta and lost 10,000 of their comrades.

When a relief force of 8,000 Christian corsairs arrived off the coast of Malta, the Ottomans finally had an excuse to retreat and leave those crazed Knights to their Hospitalling. And those Maltese hospitals were full, because the defenders suffered close to 100 percent casualties.


Eight Knights Who Changed History - HISTORY

There were three main types of soldiers during the Middle Ages: foot soldiers, archers, and knights. The knights were heavily armored soldiers who rode on horseback. Only the wealthiest nobles could afford to be a knight. They needed very expensive armor, weapons, and a powerful war horse.

The first knights of the Middle Ages fought for Charlemagne, the King of the Franks, in the 700s. In order to fight battles across his large empire, Charlemagne began to use soldiers on horseback. These soldiers became a very important part of his army.

Charlemagne began to award his best knights with land called "benefices". In return for the land, the knights agreed to fight for the king whenever he called. This practice caught on through much of Europe and became standard practice for many kings for the next 700 years. If you were a son born into the family of a knight, you generally became a knight as well.

    The Knights Templar - The Knights Templar were established in the 1100s. They wore white mantles with red crosses and were famous fighters during the Crusades. Their headquarters was in the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The knights refused to retreat in battle and were often the first to lead the charge. In the Battle of Montgisard, 500 Knights of the Templar led a small force of just a few thousand men in victory over 26,000 Muslim soldiers.

There were also orders of chivalry. These orders were meant to imitate the military orders, but were formed after the Crusades. One of the most famous of these orders is the Order of the Garter. It was founded by King Edward III of England in 1348 and is considered one of the highest orders of knighthood in the United Kingdom.

By the end of the Middle Ages, the knight was no longer an important part of the army. This was for two main reasons. One reason was that many countries had formed their own standing armies. They paid soldiers to train and fight. They no longer needed lords to come fight as knights. The other reason was a change in warfare. Battle tactics and new weapons such as longbows and firearms made the heavy armor the knights wore cumbersome and useless. This made it much easier to arm a soldier and pay for a standing army.


The Red Scare

Wikimedia Commons The trial of August Spies and other anarchists.

The police had no idea who’d thrown the bomb, but that didn’t stop them from hauling people off en masse. Dozens were arrested the day of the Haymarket Riot, as were countless others in the months to come. The city struck down the need for search warrants and let the police ransack any building suspected to be involved with any anarchist or communist group.

Eventually, eight men were put on trial for the explosion, almost all employees of August Spies’ Worker’s Times. The trial, though, quickly revealed that none of the men they’d arrested had actually thrown the bomb. Whoever had done it had gotten away with it.

“There was no evidence produced by the State to show or even indicate that I had any knowledge of the man who threw the bomb,” August Spies said, in his final appeal to the jury. “My conviction and the execution of the sentence is nothing less than willful, malicious, and deliberate murder.”

His words had little effect, however. The Haymarket Riot trial was rife with corruption – allegedly, the Chicago Tribune even offered to pay the jury money if they found the men guilty. And in the end, all eight men were found guilty, with all but one sentenced to death.


Eight Knights Who Changed History - HISTORY

Pythagoras creates the scale

Pythagoras found a mathematical relationship between notes that were pleasant when sounded together, and extended his discovery to produce a scale (Rex Features)

Before Pythagoras music was a divine mystery. There are prehistoric instruments dating back at least 35,000 years and evidence that ancient cultures sang songs and made pleasing sounds – but before the Greek mathematician and philosopher, there was no theory to explain why some tones were harmonious together and others produced clashing discords. Pythagoras’ investigations into the science of sound changed this. At some time around 500 BC, he studied the ratios between the lengths of vibrating strings and the different tones they produced. He found a mathematical relationship between notes that were pleasant when sounded together, and extended his discovery to produce a scale – a selection of notes out of the infinity of possible tones. Within the scale he established a hierarchy, in which some notes are more important than others. Pythagoras’ scale – roughly the same as the one we still sing now: “do re me fa so la ti do” – is the basis for all Western music since. Without the scale and a theory of how its notes relate to each other there could have been be no Bach, no Beethoven, no Bebop, Blues or Britpop. Pythagoras turned the hands to 12 and set the clock running.

Notation is developed

Portion of the music sheet of Ludwig van Beethoven's A flat major sonata, Op 26 (Rex Features)

At some point in the 7th Century, the scholar St Isidore of Seville pondered a particular quandry music faced. "Unless sounds are held by the memory of man,” he wrote, “they perish, because they cannot be written down." Over the following centuries, monks in Spain and Italy devised a solution to this problem and for the first time recorded music for posterity. They came up with a series of symbols that showed whether a note should be higher or lower than the previous one, and used this system to transcribe their chants. The exact pitches of the notes were unclear, but the general shape of the melody could be laid down to aid memory. At some point around 1000 AD, the Benedictine monk Guido d’Arezzo began to plot these symbols on a series of lines, making clear precisely which note should follow the last – a forerunner to the musical notation that is still used today. For the first time music left a footprint we know how the songs that these monks sang sound, because they left a record behind.

The piano enters the home

This video is no longer available

Sonata K9 by Domenico Scarlatti performed on the earliest known surviving piano - made by Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731)

“We will have a pianoforte,” wrote Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra in 1808, “and I will practice country dances, that we may have some amusement for our nephews and nieces, when we have the pleasure of their company.” Austen’s enthusiasm for the instrument was in evidence in middle-class homes all over Europe at the beginning of the 19th Century. The advancements of the Industrial Revolution made the piano cheaper to produce and distribute, and music education and the ability to play became markers of bourgeois rectitude. A piano in the parlour gave a genteel family something to do in the long, dark evenings it demonstrated refinement and hard work. And it started a craze for private performance that brought music out of its traditional homes in the church and the concert hall and into the home – a place where it was previously enjoyed by only the richest of households.

The first recording

This video is no longer available

Thomas Edison's recorded voice in 1877

When Thomas Alva Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, using a stylus and a tin foil-wrapped cylinder, the first recorded words were: “Mary had a little lamb”. Among subsequent developments and refinements were Emile Berliner’s 7in rubber disc and the inexpensive gramophone player, which marked the beginning of the modern music industry. Teaming up with machinist Eldridge Johnson, Berliner formed the Victor Talking Machine company. The London branch of his gramophone company was known as HMV – for His Master’s Voice – and the image of Nipper the dog became its iconic mascot. RCA-Victor introduced the first commercial 33 1/3 RPM vinyl discs in 1930, but high fidelity vinyl discs (LPs for albums and 45 RPM for singles) really boomed after World War II. Subsequent formats such as the 12in single, the cassette, the CD and the mini-disc gradually replaced the LP before mp3s, Napster and other digital means of distribution emerged in the 1990s – although vinyl is once again seeing a resurgence in popularity.

The birth of public radio broadcasting

Radio marked a radical shift that would bring public and commercial broadcasting, news reports, FDR’s Fireside Chats and pop songs into people’s homes (Rex Features)

On 13 January 1910 the inventor Lee de Forest broadcast the sound of tenor Enrico Caruso from the Metropolitan Opera House to locations across New York City. Although little was heard apart from static, the event marked a radical shift towards a new media, one that would bring public and commercial broadcasting, news reports, FDR’s Fireside Chats and pop songs into people’s homes. In the following years, hundreds of radio stations sprung up as the technology improved. By the 1930s, half of US homes had radios during World War II, the figure rose to 9 in 10. By the 1950s, the portability of transistor radios and the birth of rock ‘n’ roll increased radio’s popularity alongside the burgeoning youth culture. But the period after WWII marked the advent of the mass production of television sets – and by the early 1960s, 90% of US households owned a TV. When Elvis Presley made his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in 1956, he was watched by a record 60 million people – 82.6 percent of the viewing audience. Radio’s dominating influence on the way the public consumed music had a serious challenger.

The first chart is published

In addition to a record-buying guide that listed the most popular songs played on jukeboxes, the most popular radio songs were ranked on a chart from 1945 (Frank Chmura / Alamy)

In 1936, industry magazine Billboard published a feature called Chart Line, which represented the most popular songs on three major radio networks in the US. In July 1940, the Best Selling Retail Records chart was launched the first number one was I’ll Never Smile Again, sung by Frank Sinatra. In addition to a record-buying guide that listed the most popular songs played on jukeboxes – a growing industry – the most popular songs on radio were ranked on a 15-point chart from 1945, recognising the important role the medium would play in popularising songs. In August 1958, sales and airplay were combined for the first time, creating the Hot 100 singles chart that still exists today – and now includes downloads and streaming data.

The dawn of electronic music

This video is no longer available

An excerpt from a BBC documentary in 1979 called The New Sound of Music

In 1948 a Frenchman named Pierre Schaeffer produced the first piece of a new type of music he called musique concrete – an avant-garde collage of environmental noise and other non-musical sounds. The music was a product of technology – it relied on electronic means for its production and distribution. The composer Karlheinz Stockhausen worked briefly with Schaeffer in Paris, and he went on to work in the Studio for Electronic Music in Cologne. With the possible exception of the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop, the Cologne studio became the world’s most famous laboratory for the incubation of electronic music. Aside from experiments with tape, the studio produced equipment that was a forerunner to the modern synthesiser. But the music was austere and difficult – it had little popular appeal. The public attitude to electronic music changed in the late 1960s with Walter (now Wendy) Carols’ Switched-On Bach – a best-selling album produced on Moog synthesisers that breathed life into old forms while pointing towards music’s future. Synths were taken up by progressive rock bands including Pink Floyd and Yes, and enabled the German group Kraftwerk to produce their signature sound – which in turn a huge influence on hip hop and dance music. Without electronic instruments and production techniques, most of the music in today’s pop charts would sound very different indeed.

The invention of the Walkman

The Walkman is synonymous with the 1980s, and the do-it-yourself ethos that cassettes brought is the forerunner of the Spotify playlists of today (Chris Willson / Alamy)

Phillips had already transformed the bulky reel-to-reel tape technology, exhibiting the first compact cassette tape at a fair in West Berlin in 1963. And the first audio headphones had been invented by Nathaniel Baldwin at his kitchen table in 1910. When Sony’s Walkman arrived in 1979, it combined these inventions into one personal, portable – and era-defining – package. The ubiquitous Walkman is a product now synonymous with the 1980s, and the do-it-yourself ethos that cassettes brought – through the ability to create and share mix tapes – is the forerunner of Spotify playlists of today. This portable (and private) product – which morphed into the Discman, the iPod and now the smartphone – proved to be a transformative idea in the history of music technology.

These are just eight ideas that have altered the course of music history – of course there are many more. What is missing from our list? Head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter to have your say.


Findings compiled by design magazine Dezeen reveal that only three of the world’s 100 biggest architecture firms are headed by women. Just two of these businesses have management teams that are more than 50% female, and men occupy 90% of the highest-ranking jobs at these companies. The lack of women in top positions within the architecture industry is not indicative of current female interest in the sector, on the contrary, this is increasing. UCAS figures from September 2016 reveal that the female/male split of applications to study architecture at UK universities was 49:51, up from the 2008 split of 40:60. Evidently, the edifying level of female representation in architecture's top jobs has not discouraged prospective female students from pursuing a career in the field. If you are a female architect or architecture student reading this, then know that disrupting the state of play is certainly possible – these women did.

1. Lady Elizabeth Wilbraham (1632–1705)

Photo credit: Gogmsite

Often dubbed the UK’s first female architect, Lady Elizabeth Wilbraham was a prominent designer of grand houses in a time where women weren’t typically allowed to practice the art. Although there is no written record, scholar John Millar believes Wilbraham designed around 400 buildings. This includes Belton House (Lincolnshire), Uppark House (Sussex), and Windsor Guildhall (Berkshire). One building she is credited as having built is her Staffordshire family home, Weston Hall, an estate with unusual architectural details that were later found at Cliveden House (Buckinghamshire) and Buckingham Palace. Wilbraham also tutored a young Sir Christopher Wren , helping him to design 18 of the 52 London churches that he worked on following the 1666 Great Fire of London.

Photo credit: The Architectural Review

Wilbraham’s interest in architecture grew through time in the Netherlands and Italy. She studied in both countries during her extended honeymoon. Wilbraham wasn’t allowed to be seen on the construction sites, so she would send men to carry out her designs. These men were often perceived to be the architects themselves, veiling her position in architectural history. One positive of not having to supervise the construction work is that Wilbraham was incredibly productive, averaging eight projects a year .

Photo credit: Barry James Photography

2. Marion Mahony Griffin (14th February 1871 – 10th August 1961)

Photo credit: Pioneering Women

The first employee of the prolific Frank Lloyd Wright , Marion Mahony Griffin was one of the world’s earliest licensed female architects. She studied architecture at MIT, graduating in 1894. A year later Mahony Griffin was hired by Wright as a draftsman and her influence over the development of his Prairie style architecture was considerable. During her time with Wright, Mahony Griffin designed leaded glass, furnishings, light fixtures, murals, and mosaics for many of his houses. She was known for her wit, loud laugh, and refusal to bow to Wright’s ego . Her credits include the David Amberg Residence (Michigan) and the Adolph Mueller House (Illinois). Mahony Griffin would also carry out watercolour studies of Wright’s plans inspired by Japanese woodblock prints which he never credited her for.

Photo credit: Curbed

Wright moved to Europe in 1909, offering to leave his studio commissions to Mahony Griffin. She declined but was later hired by Wright’s successor and given full control of design. After marrying in 1911 she set up a practice with her husband, winning the commission to design Canberra in Australia. The couple moved to oversee the project and Mahony Griffin managed the Australian office for over 20 years, training draftsmen and handling commissions . One of these assignments was the Capitol Theatre in Melbourne. The couple later upped sticks and moved to Lucknow, India in 1936 to design a university library . Following the sudden death of her husband in 1937, Mahony Griffin returned to America to write an autobiography about her architectural work. She died in 1961 leaving a large body of work behind her.

Photo credit: Broadsheet

3. Elisabeth Scott (20th September 1898 – 19th June 1972)

Photo credit: GilbertScott.org

In 1927, Elisabeth Scott become the first female architect in the UK to win an international architectural competition with her design for the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. She was the only woman out of over 70 applicants. It was the foremost public building in the UK designed by a female architect. Headlines such as “ Girl Architect Beats Men ” and “Unknown Girl's Leap to Fame” were seen in the press. Scott began her career in 1919 as a student of the Architectural Association’s new school in London. She graduated in 1924. Scott was a great niece of the architects George Gilbert Scott and George Frederick Bodley, founders of Watts & Co . Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect of Liverpool Cathedral, was her second cousin.

Photo credit: The Shakespeare Blog

Scott made the decision to hire as many women as possible to assist her with the completion of the Stratford-upon-Avon project, in addition to working with the Fawcett Society to promote wider acceptance of women carrying out stereotypically male roles. She also worked mainly with female clients. For instance, in 1929 she worked on the Marie Curie Hospital in Hampstead, later expanding the cancer hospital to treat 700 women per year. Another of her developments was Newnham College, Cambridge. Scott has also been honoured in the new UK passport that contains images of just two prominent British women, the other being Ada Lovelace .

Although renowned for the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Scott later returned to her hometown of Bournemouth and designed the iconic Pier Theatre. The art deco building opened in 1932 with more than 100,000 coming to see the then Prince of Wales, Edward VIII, open the theatre. Scott was a member of the Bournemouth Town Council architects’ department and practiced until she was 70.

4. Dame Jane Drew (24th March 1911 – 27th July 1996)

When it comes to British female architects, Dame Jane Drew is one of the most renowned. Her interest in the field began early, she would build things using wood and bricks as a young child and later studied architecture at the Architectural Association. During her time as a student, Drew was involved in the building of the Royal Institute of British Architecture, which she later became a lifelong fellow of in addition to being the first woman elected on to its council.

Drew was one of the principal founders of the Modern Movement in Britain who made a conscious decision to use her maiden name throughout her rich career. During the Second World War she started an, at first, entirely female architectural practice in London. Drew undertook numerous projects during this time including the completion of 11,000 air-raid shelters for children in Hackney.

In 1942, Drew married famed fellow architect Maxwell Fry and created a partnership with him that would continue until his death in 1987. They built extensively across the globe after the war, this included the creation of hospitals, universities, housing estates and governmental offices in countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast. Impressed by her work in Africa, Drew was asked by the Indian prime minister to design the new capital of Punjab, Chandigarh. Due to her contribution to architecture, Drew was awarded many honourary degrees and doctorates from universities such as Harvard and MIT.

Photo credit: RIBA Library Photographs, Books & Periodicals Collection

5. Lina Bo Bardi (5th December 1914 – 20th March 1992)

Photo credit: Beautiful Living (Schöner Wohnen)

Lina Bo Bardi designed daring buildings that merged Modernism with Populism. The Italian architect graduated from Rome College of Architecture in 1939 and moved to Milan where she set up her own practice in 1942. A year later, she was invited to become director of architecture and design magazine Domus. Bo Bardi then moved to Brazil in 1946, where she became a naturalised citizen five years later.

In 1947, Bo Bardi was invited to design the São Paulo Museum of Art. This iconic building, which is suspended above a 70-metre-long square has become one of Latin America’s most important museums. Her other projects include The Glass House, a building she designed for herself and her husband, and The SESC Pompéia, a cultural and sports centre.

Bo Bardi founded Habitat Magazine in 1950 alongside her husband and was its editor until 1953. At the time, the magazine was post-war Brazil’s most influential architectural publication. Bo Bardi also established the country’s first industrial design course at the Institute of Contemporary Art. She died in 1992 with many projects left unfinished.

6. Norma Merrick Sklarek (15th April 1926 – 6th February 2012)

Photo credit: Pioneering Women

Norma Merrick Sklarek’s life as an architect was filled with firsts. Sklarek was the first black woman to be licenced as an architect in both New York and California as well as the first black woman to become a member of the American Institute of Architects – later elected a fellow of the organisation. Throughout her life she faced tremendous discrimination, which makes her achievements all that more impressive.

Sklarek attended Barnard College for a year, gaining a liberal arts qualification that would allow her to study Architecture at Columbia University. Sklarek found her architecture training challenging as many of her classmates had Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees already. In 1950, she graduated with a B. Arch. – one of two women and the only African American person in her group. In her search for work, she was rejected by 19 firms. On this topic, she said “They weren't hiring women or African Americans, and I didn't know which it was [working against me].” She finally secured an architecture job with Skidmore Owings & Merrill in 1955.

Photo credit: Architects’ Journal

With a strong personality and intellectual vision, Sklarek pushed forward in her career and eventually became director of architectural firm Gruen Associates. She later co-founded Sklarek Siegel Diamond, the biggest female only architecture firm in America. Her memorable projects include the Pacific Design Center, San Bernardino City Hall in California, the US Embassy in Tokyo, and LAX Terminal 1. Sklarek, who died in 2012, is quoted to have said “In architecture, I had absolutely no role model. I'm happy today to be a role model for others that follow.”

7. MJ Long (31st July 1939 – 3rd September 2018)

Photo credit: Architects’ Journal

Mary Jane ‘MJ’ Long oversaw the operational aspects of the design for The British Library alongside her husband, Colin St John Wilson, who is often given the sole credit for the building. Born in New Jersey, USA, Long completed a degree in architecture at Yale before moving to England in 1965, working with St John Wilson from the off. They married in 1972.

Photo credit: Your London City

The British Library took 15 years to complete and is now Grade I listed. Long is also known for her practice, MJ Long Architect, which she ran from 1974 to 1996. During this time, she designed several purpose-built artists’ studios for people such as Peter Blake, Frank Auerbach, Paul Huxley, and RB Kitaj. Collaborating with her friend Rolfe Kentish in 1994, she set up another company called Long & Kentish. The firm’s first endeavour was a £3 million library project for Brighton University. Long & Kentish went on to design buildings such as the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth and the Jewish Museum in Camden.

Long died last year, aged 79. She submitted her last scheme, the restoration of a Cornish artists’ studio, three days prior to her death .

Photo credit: Falmouth Art Gallery

8. Dame Zaha Hadid (31st October 1950 – 31st March 2016)

Dame Zaha Hadid is, undeniably, one of the most successful female architects in history. The Iraqi-born British architect became the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize in 2004, the prestigious gong awarded to living architects who have demonstrated commitment, talent, and vision in their work. The year of her untimely death, she was then awarded the RIBA Gold Medal – Britain’s top architectural award. She left a £67 million fortune when she passed in 2016.

From leisure centres to sky scrapers, Hadid’s striking buildings won her critical acclaim throughout Europe for their organic, flowing forms. She studied her art at the American University of Beirut before launching her career at the Architectural Association in London. By 1979, she had established her own practice.

Among the structures that made Zaha Hadid Architects a household name were the Riverside Museum in Glasgow, the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympics, the Guangzhou Opera House and the Generali Tower in Milan. Often referred to as a “starchitect”, Time Magazine named Hadid among the 100 most influential people on the planet in 2010. With Hadid’s practice continuing her work, the trendsetter's architectural legacy remains alive and kicking three years later.

Interested in supercharging your career like these women have?

The Women in Construction Summit returns to London on 16th May 2019. The conference offers a broad range of career and personal development workshops, critical discussions assessing company case studies and inspiring keynote presentations from advocates who are challenging the norm.


Watch the video: Αναλογιών. Πολιτείες, μια ιστορία αγάπης για το 3 (July 2022).


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