John Hardyng

(1793 words)

Throughout his extraordinarily long life, John Hardyng (ca. 1378-1465) had many roles – squire, soldier, constable, royal spy, cartographer, and forger – but he is most famous for writing two Middle English verse chronicles for the Houses of Lancaster and York during the Wars of the Roses.

Though Hardyng’s precise lineage is unclear, he was the son of a Northumbrian gentleman and may have been related to the Hardyngs of Beadnell or Trickley in Northumberland. By his own account, he was twelve years old when he began his career as a squire and soldier in the household of Sir Henry ‘Hotspur’ Percy, and twenty-five when he fought alongside his master at the Battle of Shrewsbury (21 July 1403). Hotspur …

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Peverley, Sarah. "John Hardyng". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 September 2013
[, accessed 28 November 2015.]