[MR] Wikipedia: Death of Sir John Oldcastle
Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
mallardlodge1000 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 14 02:09:10 PST 2019
On this date in 1417, Sir John Oldcastle was executed for heresy and
rebellion. Oldcastle went from being a trusted soldier and leader under
King Henry V, to being a Lollard. Henry dithered on prosecuting Oldcastle
because of their friendship, but the knight escaped from the Tower in 1413
and raised the Lollards to rebellion. He was finally captured four years
later, promptly hanged and then burnt.
There is considerable literary confusion associated with Oldcastle. He
figured in an anonymous 1588 play, *Famous Victories of Henry V*, which was
reworked by Shakespeare as part of his Henrican cycle, retaining
Oldcastle's name in the early performances. In his published edition,
Shakespeare changed the character's name to Fallstaff, and inserted a
speech claiming that the character was not Oldcastle. Fallstaff is often
incorrectly and unfairly associated with Sir John Fastolf, another of Henry
V's commanders and patron of the Pastons.
More about Sir John Oldcastle is found at
Lollardy was a heretical reformist movement against the Church in England.
More on Lollards is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lollardy .
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