The Middle Ages
The Middle Ages were a period of massive social change, burgeoning nationalism, international conflict, terrible natural disaster, climate change, rebellion, resistance and renaissance.
The Britain of Henry II, and of his sons Richard I and John, was experiencing rapid population growth, clearance of forest for fields, establishment of new towns and outward-looking crusading zeal. Legacies of the Norman invasion of 1066 remained. The aristocracy spoke French until after 1350, so saxon 'ox' and 'swine', for example, came to the table as French boeuf and porc.