Mercedes Rochelle

About me

Born in St. Louis MO with a degree from University of Missouri, Mercedes Rochelle learned about living history as a re-enactor and has been enamored with historical fiction ever since. A move to New York to do research and two careers ensued, but writing fiction remains her primary vocation. She lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they had built themselves.

From my website

What was Livery and Maintenance (or Retaining)?

Medieval court scene from BL MS Harley 4375 f.141. Source: Wikipedia Livery and Maintenance went hand-in-hand with chivalry, and created problems throughout the high middle ages. Once I realized that “retaining” was the verb for “retainer” I started to get the idea. The noble or king had his retainers, who…

The Poll Tax, Part 2: The Peasants’ Revolt is sparked

The Death of Wat Tyler: Library Royal MS 18.E.i-ii f. 175 By the Parliament of 1380, the Commons were up against the wall. The government under the new Chancellor Sudbury was desperate for money. In France, the earl of Buckingham had squandered the money raised from the last Poll Tax;…

The Poll Tax, Part One: The Cupboard is Bare

National Archives (catalogue reference: E 179/155/94) Although the poll tax was said to have been used all the back to ancient times, it’s most widely remembered in relation to the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. According to Wikipedia: “The word ‘poll’ is an archaic term for ‘head’ or ‘top of the…

 
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