Effigy of Eleanor of Aquitaine
King Arthur tapestry
What is the Plantagenet HISTORY Society?

From the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine to the death of Richard III, the Plantagenet era lasted for three hundred years, a truly fascinating period. This era saw the building of most of the world's cathedrals and castles, the arrival of printing, the formation of common law, the foundation of the English Parliament, the growth of the guilds and middle class, developments in textiles and the embroidery arts, the understanding of music and the flowering of the English language. It was also a time of immense warfare that saw some of the most remarkable battles and a time of dreaming too, chivalry and the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

The Society's crest was designed by our first chairman, Michael Spencer. Michael studied heraldry at the City Literary Institute in London. The grassy mound in the crest represents the Kingdom of England and the lion represents the Plantagenet influence over the Kingdom of England. Behind the grassy mound are two banners: the one to the left in blue bears the seven-pointed star of the Commonwealth of Australia. On the right, a like banner bears the Cross of St. George. The two banners are intertwined with a tasselled cord symbolising friendship between the two nations.

The Crusades
Why and when was the society formed?

The society was formed in 1999. It was the suggestion of the late Anne Phillips, who became the first membership secretary of the Society. She had been lecturing on the Plantagenets to the University of the Third Age and felt that there was an interest in the Australian community for a broader based medieval historical society. A list was passed around and enough people responded to call the first meeting, which was held at the home of the historical novelist, Isolde Martyn. Many members of the Richard III Society became members of both groups. Dr Carole Cusack, of Sydney University consented to become our Honorary President.

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