It is the end of the year – and in time-honoured fashion, it seemed good to me to produce a test. Being a bear of little brain and imagination, I felt the need to steal someone else’s – which means that you can probably find the answers somewhere online for a small (or even huge) fee. But i think you’ll agree, once you’ve taken the test, that it was all worthwhile in the end. Our subject is early mediaeval European (but mainly English) history.

*1. Give the dates of at least two of the following:

  • William the Conqueror
  • 1066

*2. What is a Plantagenet? Do you agree?

*3. Trace by means of graphs, etc.,

  • The incidence of scurvy in the Chiltern Hundreds during the reign of Rufus
  • The Bosom of the Pope (Squared paper, compasses, etc, may be used.)

*4. Expostulate (chiefly) on

  • The Curfew.
  • Gray’s Energy in the Country Churchyard

*5. Estimate the size of

  • Little Arthur
  • Friar Puck
  • Magna Charta.

6. Fill in the names of at least some of the following:

  • _______________
  • _______________
  • Simon de Montfort

7. King John had no redeeming features. (Illustrate.)

8. Arrange in this order:

  • Henry I.
  • Henry II.
  • Henry III. (Do not attempt to answer more than once.)

*9. (a) How far did the Lords Repellent drive Henry III into the arms of Pedro the Cruel? (Protractors may not be used.)

      (b) Matilda or Maud? (Write on one side of the paper only.)

*10. How would you dispose of:

  • A Papal Bull?
  • Your nephews?
  • Your mother? (Be brutal.)

*11. Which would you rather be:

  • The Sheriff of Nottingham?
  • A Weak King?
  • Put to the Sword?

*N.B. – Candidates over thirty need not attempt questions 10, 2, 5, 3, 4, 11, 9, or 1.

In case you don’t recognise this, it is Test Paper II from the indispensable and ingenious 1066 AND ALL THAT by W.C. Sellar & R. J. Yeatman (first published in 1930). If you have never read this book, do you mind if i simply suggest that you have failed? The way to rectify this serious imbalance is to suggest you read the preface quoted here and then buy the book:

COMPULSORY PREFACE

(This Means You)

HISTORIES have previously been written with the object of exalting their authors. The object of this History is to console the reader. No other history does this. History is not what you thought. It is what you can remember. All other history defeats itself. This is the only Memorable History of England, because all the History that you can remember is in this book, which is the result of years of research in golf-clubs, gun-rooms, green-rooms, etc.

For instance, two out of the four Dates originally included were eliminated at the last moment, a research done at the Eton and Harrow match having revealed that they are not memorable. The Editors will be glad of further assistance towards the elimination, in future editions, of any similarly unhistorical matter which, despite their vigilance, may have crept into the text.

They take this opportunity of acknowledging their inestimable debt to the mass of educated men and women of their race whose historical intuitions and opinions this work enshrines. Also, to the Great British People without whose self-sacrificing determination to become top Nation there would have been no(memorable) history. History is now at an end (see p.123); this History is therefore final.

W.C.S. R.J.Y.

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