Tuesday, August 27, 2013

An Expert's Conclusions on the Ranulphus de Kingsleigh Story

I consulted a medieval expert on the Ranulphus de Kingsleigh story.  He looked at the story in depth and responded with the following summation.  I will not publish the entire letter, just the points that are most integral to clarifying this story.

"I am the Medieval expert.  I took a look at your question and story and compared it with historical facts.

"The two kings in the story are Rufus and Henry, brothers.  Rufus was cruel, selfish, and unjust.  His brother Henry was a just man.  When he ascended to the throne after Rufus' death, he issued many judicial and lawful reforms.  His title or nickname was the 'lion of Justice.'"

"I came up with four different conclusions:

"1.  Rufus could have had a brief change of heart.  He could have been touched that this commoner (Ranulph) was kind to him despite the fact that Rufus was mean to everyone.  I think of this as unlikely since Rufus doesn't seem to be a thankful person.

"2.  Rufus could have given Ranulph the land and title so Ranulph would be on his side.  During Rufus' reign, he had many rebellions to deal with as a result of him being such a nasty ruler.  Since a king needs allies, Rufus used this as an opportunity to get Kingsley on his side.

"3.  The king could have been Henry.  Since Henry was a much nicer ruler than his brother, he would have been more inclined to return the kindness.

"4.  It could have been Henry when he was not yet king and Rufus was the king.  When Henry came to the throne, he rewarded Kingsley for his kindness.  And since Henry was the king at the time, he could be referenced as the king in the story (even though he wasn't yet king when the story took place.)

"Personally I think that Henry was the king in the story since it fits Henry's personality a bit more.  Henry was dedicated to the system of laws and enforcing those laws.  As a result, he would try to break up the land of some nobles to prevent them from causing problems.  During the Middle Ages, if nobles had enough land, they could act as independent kings in their own little areas.  That was the reason why the French kings were so weak during the middle ages. 

"These are the conclusion that I came up with.  I am not saying that one of them is correct.  However these are most likely.  I am just giving you the facts and my conclusions.  Elder Frost (of the LDS Family History Library Staff)"

Photo of the LDS Family History Library courtesy of family search.com

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