Lucy Hutchinson

Souch, John; Portrait of a Woman; National Army Museum; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/portrait-of-a-woman-182905

The sitter of this portrait is said to be Lucy Hutchinson (born Apsley) who was the wife of Civil War General John Hutchinson, MP. Lucy was a remarkable woman. She wrote what is thought to be the first epic poem produced by an Englishwoman. She was also a translator, and as if that was not… Continue reading Lucy Hutchinson

The Secret Diary of Edward VI (and other monarchs)

Yes, Edward VI and other monarchs wrote diaries. Here are some extracts : Edward VI, early 1547: “After the death of King Henry th’eight his son Edward prince of Wales was come to at Hartford by th’erle of Hartford and S[ir] Anthony Brown Master of t’horse for whom befor was made great preparation that he… Continue reading The Secret Diary of Edward VI (and other monarchs)

Who was first to lie in state in Westminster Hall….?

  One of the things that always springs to mind about Westminster Hall is the amazing hammerbeam roof, for which we have our 14th-century monarch, Richard II, to thank. He didn’t build the hall itself, of course, because that accolade goes as far back as King William II “Rufus” in 1079. And Rufus was disappointed… Continue reading Who was first to lie in state in Westminster Hall….?

Edward IV knew he’d made a big mistake with Elizabeth Woodville….?

The following sentence makes me want to smack Edward IV! Again. I fear I’ve wanted to smack him a great deal recently. Still, perhaps in this instance meant that he’d realised the damage that could ensue from a stupid marriage. Certainly he didn’t want the ‘error’ repeated. Not that he ever revealed the true extent… Continue reading Edward IV knew he’d made a big mistake with Elizabeth Woodville….?

Edward III and two comparisons

695 years ago today, Edward III became King of England at the age of fourteen and was crowned a week later. His father was definitely alive for almost another eight months and probably several more years. His mother, Isabella of France is regularly described by some writers as having a relationship with Roger Mortimer, 1st… Continue reading Edward III and two comparisons

Armoured knights and head injuries….

    With all the recent publicity and very real worry over the head injuries that are part and parcel of physical sports such as boxing, football and rugby, I’ve been prompted to consider similar injuries that must have happened in earlier periods of our history, when activities such as tourneying were very much the… Continue reading Armoured knights and head injuries….

A Viking chief’s ring found in a collection of cheap jewellery….

(Before I start, I assure you I won’t mention clay pipes! 😁) A  young Norwegian lady purchased a collection of cheap costume jewellery online, and when it arrived she discovered one item was the ancient ring shown above. It had once belonged to a Viking chief. Can you imagine such a stroke of luck? How… Continue reading A Viking chief’s ring found in a collection of cheap jewellery….

Treachery is one man’s meat and another’s poison….

    I have been reading a very interesting article from the Journal of Medieval History by E. Amanda McVitty, called False knights and true men: contesting chivalric masculinity in English treason trials, 1388-1415. (Vol. 40, No. 4, 458–477) There is an old saying that one man’s meat is another man’s poison, and by the… Continue reading Treachery is one man’s meat and another’s poison….

Another Anglo-Saxon burial ground that’s also a treasure trove….

  Exciting finds are still being unearthed, this time another Anglo-Saxon burial ground that is proviing to be a trove of treasure and information. “….The site, in Wendover, Buckinghamshire, contained 138 graves, with 141 regular burials and five cremation burials, which makes it one of the largest Anglo-Saxon burial grounds ever uncovered in Britain….” “….Items… Continue reading Another Anglo-Saxon burial ground that’s also a treasure trove….

The rediscovered abbot has now been reinterred in his beloved St Albans….

  In the above illustration I do believe the illustrator has endeavoured to create the real Abbot Wheathampstead (also Whethamstede), baldness and all, if the lack of hair around the ears is anything to do by. My interest in St Albans has hitherto been concerned with the 14th century, specifically the time of Abbot Thomas… Continue reading The rediscovered abbot has now been reinterred in his beloved St Albans….