Henry VII’s tax-raising friends….

If there is one thing a lot of people know about Henry VII—apart from his dastardly defeat of Richard III at Bosworth in August 1485—it is that the latter part of his reign was a dreadful time for England. His avarice became almost oxygen to him, and he allowed his ministers to inflict truly dreadful… Continue reading Henry VII’s tax-raising friends….


The word ‘tyrant’ is perhaps used too lightly. It is questionable whether any of the Plantagenets qualify when compared to this man: “Galeazzo Sforza (Duke of Milan) is also known to have had a cruel streak. He was a notorious womanizer who often passed his women on to his courtiers once he was tired of… Continue reading Tyranny

Shakespeare’s “Richard III” being filmed at Leeds Castle….

Here is a link to a Daily Mail article (28th November 2014) about the filming of “Richard III” for the BBC2’s forthcoming TV series “The Hollow Crown”, which is based on Shakespeare’s history plays. Benedict Cumberbatch is Richard, and the filming is at Leeds Castle in Kent. The article contains a number of interesting pictures.… Continue reading Shakespeare’s “Richard III” being filmed at Leeds Castle….

Today’s anniversaries:

Today is the annniversary of the death in 1416 of Constance of York, Lady Despenser and (for a time) Countess of Gloucester. She was one of many people of various conditions in life who inexplicably preferred the ‘tyranny’ of Richard II to the rule of Henry IV, and put their lives at risk to do… Continue reading Today’s anniversaries:


Recently I was in Great Malvern and visited the priory church in the centre of town. It is known for its 15th century stained glass, including the West Window which was commissioned by Richard Duke of Gloucester and his wife Anne. Although the original Doom/Day of Judgement scene in Richard’s window is no longer visible,… Continue reading LORD OF MALVERN CHASE

The first Ricardian song for Christmas ….?

The artwork of the Gold Angel painted by Graham Moores for The Legendary Ten Seconds The setting of the song: It was the year 1477, at the season of Christmas, that Richard, most royal of princes, bent his knee unto King Edward’s unworthy Woodville queen at Westminster. Such festive celebrations were all around as Richard… Continue reading The first Ricardian song for Christmas ….?

What makes a good medieval king?

Introduction Why is Edward 1 considered a great king? That is a question that has haunted me ever since I fluffed it in an O level’ exam more than fifty summers ago. My answer proved that a good memory is better than thinking it would be all right on the day. By chance, I recently… Continue reading What makes a good medieval king?

17th Century Consequences for the Stanley Family

‘Charles I exhibited an almost pathological distrust of the Stanleys, despite the instinctive loyalty shown by the earl to his king…The reasons for the king’s distrust are rooted deep in his own complex character, but it is certain that part of that distrust was based on the behaviour of Thomas, the first Earl of Derby,… Continue reading 17th Century Consequences for the Stanley Family