Of, or relating to, a Medieval social structure where, in theory, the nobility would protect everyone, the peasants would pay for this protection by working the land, and the clergy would pray for everyone. In the secular world, the monarch was at the top of the pyramid, with each layer of nobility and commons owing services or favour to the layers above and below them. Although the term relates to the Middle Ages, it was not actually coined until the 16th century, so some medievalists don't like it.
Fact of the Day
In 1252 Henry III was given a polar bear by King Haakon of Norway. He kept it in the Tower of London on a long chain so it could swim in the Thames.
Quote of the Day
"I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends. "
~ Abraham Lincoln
On This Day
1534 Nun Elizabeth Barton was executed at Tyburn for prophesying against Henry VIII and his marriage to Anne Boleyn.
1653 Oliver Cromwell dissolved the Rump Parliament with the words: 'Let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!'
1889 Adolf Hitler, future leader of the Nazi Party and dictator of Germany, was born at Braunau am Inn in modern-day Austria.
1912 The author of the legendary novel Dracula, Bram Stoker, died aged 64, possibly of syphilis or overwork.
1964 BBC 2, the third British television station, was launched, but it was interrupted by a power cut at Battersea Power Station.
1968 Tory right-winger Enoch Powell delivered his infamous 'Rivers of Blood' speech to the General Meeting of the West Midlands Area Conservative Political Centre, criticising immigration from the Commonwealth.
1974 Catholic James Murphy, a petrol station owner from County Fermanagh, became the 1,000th victim of the conflict in Northern Ireland.
1999 Twelve students and a teacher were killed by gun-wielding fellow students at Columbine High School. The two perpetrators went on to commit suicide.