Fun Fact of the Day: Louis IX Gave Henry III An Elephant

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The elephant was a gift from the king of France to the king of England in 1255.  It was kept in the Tower of London.  The event was recorded by chronicler Matthew Paris and he drew the image above showing the chained creature.  The original drawing is found in the Book of Additional Things held at the British Library (MS Cotton Nero D I).

The elephant was such a novelty to medieval England that the chronicler had to make two attempts to draw the trunk – you can see the first attempt slightly to the left of the elephant.

Source: [British Library: Medieval manuscripts blog]

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This entry was posted in Cool Document, European History, Fun Fact of the Day, Kings and Queens, Medieval History and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Fun Fact of the Day: Louis IX Gave Henry III An Elephant

  1. How sad for the elephant!

  2. Pingback: From the Garden: A Heffalump and Other Flummadiddle | Not So Distant Past

  3. Its arrival in London is supposed to have given the area the name of Elephant and Castle.

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