The Ormulum or Orrmulum is a 12th-century work of Biblical exegesis, written in early Middle English verse by a monk named Orm (or Ormin). Because of the unique phonetic orthography adopted by the author, the work preserves many details of English pronunciation at a time when the language was in flux after the Norman Conquest; consequently, despite its lack of literary merit, it is invaluable to philologists in tracing the development of English.
Orm was concerned that priests were unable to speak the vernacular properly, and so he developed an idiosyncratic spelling system to tell his readers how to pronounce every vowel, and he composed his work using a strict poetic meter that ensured that readers would know which syllables were stressed. Modern scholars can use these two features to reconstruct Middle English just as Orm spoke it. (read more . . . )
Siward Barn (Old English: Sigeweard Bearn) was an 11th century English thegn and landowner-warrior. He appears in the extant sources in the period following the Norman Conquest of England, joining the northern resistance to William the Conqueror by the end of the 1060s. Siward's resistance continued until his capture on the Isle of Ely alongside Æthelwine, Bishop of Durham, Earl Morcar, and Hereward ("the Wake"). Siward and his confiscated properties in central and northern England were mentioned in Domesday Book, and from this it is clear that he was one of the main antecessors of Henry de Ferrers, father of Robert de Ferrers, the first Earl of Derby.
Following his capture in 1071, he was imprisoned. This incarceration lasted until 1087, when a guilt-ridden King William, in expectation of his own death, ordered Siward's release. Firm evidence of Siward's later life is non-existent, but some historians have argued that he took up a career in the Varangian Guard at Constantinople, in the service of the Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. The sources upon which this theory is based also allege that Siward led a party of English colonists to the Black Sea, who renamed their conquered territory New England. (read more . . . )
Lincoln Cathedral (in full The Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln, or sometimes St. Mary's Cathedral) is a historic Anglican cathedral in Lincoln in England and seat of the Bishop of Lincoln in the Church of England. (read more . . . )