1401 CE to 1500 CE

New books of poetry at Project Gutenberg

A text copy of all 3 volumes of Thomas Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry was recently posted to Project Gutenberg. These books contain a great deal of poetry in middle and early modern English.

Japanese IT company to digitize more Vatican documents

The Vatican Library processes many requests to use documents and manuscripts from its enormous collection, but the increased requests have led to fear that the fragile documents will be damaged. Enter NTT DATA, a Japanese IT company who has been contracted to digitize 3,000 manuscripts at a cost of 18 million euros (US $22.6 million).

Seeking Howe's

600 years ago, Howe's was a satellite community of Cambridge, England. Then it disappeared off the map. Now archaeologists have begun investigating Howe's, along with three other villages, that ringed the medieval university town.

International team to search for Grunwald Battle location

For centuries, historians have debated the location of the Battle of Grunwald, fought 15 July 1410 between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the German–Prussian Teutonic Knights. Now members of an international team will begin looking in the Great Stream Valley in Poland.

Bread oven and sewing kit found in Northampton dig

An archaeological excavation in Northampton, England, has thus far revealed the remains of a bread oven, a 13th century well, a 15th century sewing kit and trading tokens, leading experts to believe that there was a settlement in the area. (photos)

Old Nieszawa virtually rebuilt

The original Polish town of Nieszawa, on the Vistula River, only existed for 35 years before it was demolished and rebuilt 32 km upstream, but now it lives again - virtually - thanks to a two-year non-invasive investigation including geophysics and aerial prospection.

Kitty 1; scribe 0

Any cat owner who participates in needlework or scribal arts will sympathize with a 15th century Dutch monk who indicated a stain on his work and wrote "Cursed be the pesty cat that urinated over this book." (photo)

Illuminated almanac: 15th century iPad?

The Wellcome Library has acquired a rare medical almanac, a "combined calendar, astrological chart and medical textbook," that compacts into a small, folded strip, for UK£100,000 from the Edith Sitwell collection. The illuminated alamnac is believed to have been produced in an English workshop in the early 15th century. (photo)

Illuminated Mystery Play Is Digitized

The British Museum has digitized, in two online volumes, a highly-decorated copy of a French medieval mystery play, with illuminations depicting scenes from the play.

Harlech remains may date to Wars of the Roses

Workers constructing a new visitor center at Harlech Castle in Wales were surprised to find the remains of three people, possibily dating to the time of the Wars of the Roses. Medieval foundations were also discovered, which may mean the site was once a churchyard.

"Stunning" St George and the Dragon painting found in Welsh church

Beneath 20 layers of paint and lime, conservators have recently uncovered "stunning" 15th century wall paintings in the small, 13th century church of St Cadoc's in Llancarfan, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. (video)

Experience the viola organista

Leonardo Da Vinci had more projects than time, a fact illustrated by his notesbooks of inventions never built, but Polish pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki recently took on one challenging by constructing da Vinci's viola organista, an instrument which combines "the bowed sound of a viola (or cello) with a cabinet that resembles a baby grand piano." (video)

3D X-ray to reveal secrets of "unreadable" scroll

"Having the chance to unlock a part of Norfolk history which has been closed to us for maybe hundreds of years feels very special," said Gary Tuson, from the Norfolk Records Office about plans to x-ray a 15th century scroll that is too delicate to unroll.

Clan Macneil aids in restoration of Kisimul Castle

Members of Clan Macneil have joined forces with Historic Scotland to raise UK£200,000 for the restoration of Kisimul Castle in Barra. The 15th century fortress was the stronghold of the clan in the Western Isles.

House Book of York on display at Yorkshire Museum

The civic archive of the city of York, England has loaned the 15th century House Book of the city to the Yorkshire Museum until December 2013. The book will be on display for the first time in history. The manuscript details public opinion of King Richard III.

Battlefield discovery inhibits rail construction

Riders of a English railways will have to wait a little longer for the HS2 line thanks to the discovery of a previously "lost" site of a Wars of the Roses battlefield. The site of the Battle of Edgecote between the Earl of Warwick and King Edward IV, fought July 26 1469 in Northamptonshire, lies along the route of the high-speed rail link.

15th century "pop-up" book

On his Tumblr page, Dutch book historian Erik Kwakkel features a 15th century "pop-up" book, complete with a three dimensional illustration of the phases of the moon. (photo)

Yorkshire chapel may be Richard III's

A team of archaeologists from the University of York believe they have discovered the remains of a 15th century chapel ordered to be built by Richard III to commemorate the Battle of Towton (1461).

Richard III to be given kingly burial in Leicester

Plans have been announced for the interment of King Richard III, whose remains were discovered in 2012, in Leicester Cathedral. The announcement follows news that a legal challenge by distant relatives of the King requesting his burial in York, had been denied. The re-burial, complete with pomp and circumstance will take pace in 2014.

Mona Lisa quest sparks controversy

Everyone knows the face of the Mona Lisa, but Silvano Vinceti hopes that he can show the world her actual face by identifying her remains removed from the Sant'Orsola convent in Florence. The task is expected to be accomplished by matching DNA from eight skeletons removed from the convent with that of remains taken from the lady's family tomb.

Author "in love" with Richard III?

For over seven years, screenwriter Philippa Langley worked to prove that King Richard III, killed at nearby Bosworth Field in 1485, was buried beneath a car park in Leicester, England. In 2012, the discovery of the remains was captured on video by Channel 4, the defining event in Langley's new book Richard III: The King in the Car Park. (video)

"We are the collateral descendants of Richard III, we speak on behalf of him"

The Plantagenet Alliance has not given up. They want the bones of their king. Who are these people? "We are the collateral [non-direct] descendants of Richard III, we speak on behalf of him, the only people who can speak on behalf of him," replied Vanessa Roe, the group's spokesperson.

Will excavations at Grey Friars uncover headless bodies of executed monks?

80 years before Ricard III was buried at Leicester's Grey Friars church, three friars were beheaded by Henry IV for spreading rumors about the continued life of the deposed Richard II. Now archaeologists hope to solve the mystery by discovering their graves.

Archaeological survey hopes to locate War of the Roses battlefield

Historical documents show that in 1460 a decisive battle took place on the grounds of Northampton's Delapre Abbey, leading to Yorkist Edward lV taking the throne of England, but the actual site of the battle has never been identified. Now archaeologists hope to locate the site before the area becomes a sports field.

15th century plague hospital to be covered by Apple store

Some residents of Madrid are less than thrilled that a new Apple store will be opening atop the ruins of a 15th century plague hospital. The 20,000-square-foot store is scheduled to open its doors in December 2013, covering the ruins of the medieval building.

University of Leicester offers free course on Richard III

Starting November 25, 2013, the University of Leicester and FutureLearn will offer a free, online history course entitled "England in the time of King Richard III." The six-week course is the first history offering from FutureLearn, and will be taught by Deirdre O’Sullivan, Lecturer in Medieval Archaeology from the University of Leicester.

Bath Abbey threatened by its dead

Bath Abbey, the late 15th century church that looms over the Roman ruins in Bath, England, is under siege -- by the dead. Not zombies, but over 6,000 bodies, threaten to lift the abbey's floor and collapse the building.

New book relocates Battle of Bosworth

For centuries, everyone knew that the Battle of Bosworth, which led to the death of Richard III and the ascendence of the Tudors, took place on Ambion Hill, but new research by Glenn Foard and Anne Curry places the site two miles away by a marsh called Fen Hole.

Piece of Bosworth Battle Flag Sold

A piece of Henry Tudor's flag, flown at the Battle of Bosworth, 1485, has been sold to a private collector. The piece of flag was taken from the tomb of Henry's standard bearer, Sir Robert Harcourt, where the tattered remains had been hung. (photos)

Richard III to be honored with Leicester museum

The Leicester City Council has approved plans to construct a UK£4m Richard III museum on and around the car park where the king's remains were discovered. The building is expected to be completed in 2014. (slideshow)