The story of our family...for my sons

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dymoke...Queens Champions


Did you know that the Queen still has a champion? The office of King's Champion or Queen's Champion (as the case may be), was first started in the reign of William the Conqueror. Sir John Dymoke was the first to exercise the office at the Coronation of Richard II, and the Dymoke family of Scrivelsby, Lincolnshire have continued to hold the office up to the present day.

Originally it was the champion's duty to ride, on a white charger, fully clad in armour, into Westminster Hall during the Coronation Ceremony. There he threw down his gauntlet and challenged any person who dared to deny the sovereign's right to the throne. The function was last exercised at George IV's coronation by Henry Dymoke (1801-65),

At the Coronation of the present Queen, a member of the Dymoke family was present, but he did not throw down a gauntlet or challenge anyone…instead he had the honour of carrying the Royal Standard in the Coronation procession. The role may have lost some of its original 'pazzaz' but he is still the 'Queen's Champion'.

Beheaded by Vikings

Sir Thomas Dymoke was made famous by being captured prior to the Battle of Stamford Bridge by another relative of ours ( King Harald Hardrada of Norway ) which took place at the village of Stamford Bridge, East Riding of Yorkshire in England on 25 September 1066, between an English army under King Harold Godwinson and an invading Norwegian forces and the English king's brother Tostig Godwinson. After a horrific battle, both Hardrada and Tostig along with the majority of the Norwegians were killed.

Although Harold repelled the Norwegian invaders, his victory was short-lived: he was defeated and killed at Hastings less than three weeks later...beginning the Norman Conquest my more of our relatives. The battle has traditionally been presented as symbolising the end of the Viking Age, although in fact major Scandinavian campaigns in the British Isles occurred in the following decades, notably those of King Sweyn Estrithson of Denmark in 1069–70 and King Magnus Barefoot of Norway in 1098 and 1102–03.

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