THE SECRETS OF STRAWBERRIES

The use of strawberries in the works about Richard III written by Thomas More, Edward Hall, and William Shakespeare has always been puzzling to me, and I suspect, many others. The fact that strawberry are given such a prominent mention in the ‘council chamber’ scene where Richard reveals an, ahem, withered arm, is well known… Continue reading THE SECRETS OF STRAWBERRIES

THE TAILOR’S GUILD OF SALISBURY

In Salisbury Museum, a dimly-lit display exhibits the Tailor’s Guild charter of incorporation granted by Edward IV in 1461. The beautiful illumination of Edward’s Latinised name leaps out in all the vivid colours it was originally painted with in the 15thc. In this charter, confirmed the following year by Bishop Beauchamp, the King grants various… Continue reading THE TAILOR’S GUILD OF SALISBURY

MAD, MURDEROUS MABEL

Many people still hold to the idea that all medieval women were quiet, timid, and downtrodden, unable to defend themselves and at the mercy of others. Clearly they have never heard of Mabel de Belleme! Mabel was a Norman noblewoman, born sometime in the 1030’s to William Talvas de Belleme and his first wife, Haburga.… Continue reading MAD, MURDEROUS MABEL

More Secret Marriages!

Back in 2010, historian Dan Snow was married in secret to Lady Edwina Grosvenor, daughter of the Duke of Westminster. I’ve looked but I can’t see that Dan mentions Edward IV‘s probable ‘secret marriage’ to Eleanor Talbot in any of his Twitter or other postings on history. (He did once post a very entertaining picture… Continue reading More Secret Marriages!

Lancastrian Sword Returns to Coventry

A ceremonial sword which was carried before the mayor of Coventry in royal processions during the Wars of the Roses is making a return to the city this summer. Coventry was a Lancastrian town, loyal to Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou, and was England’s fourth biggest city at the time. It was also briefly… Continue reading Lancastrian Sword Returns to Coventry

A PRINT BY ROBERT WALTON

Recently I came across this print by Robert Walton, who was a 17thc printer and publisher. It was a part of a series of Kings. Although the rather bad poem beneath the picture toes the usual line, no doubt influenced by a certain Mr William Shakespeare’s then fairly new play, the drawing itself, although not… Continue reading A PRINT BY ROBERT WALTON

SALISBURY GREY FRIARS–BUCKINGHAM’S BURIAL SITE?

  Salisbury Grey Friars has all but disappeared from the archaeological record. Founded in 1225-8 , it was never a very large house, situated near the still impressive medieval St Ann’s Gate leading into Salisbury’s Cathedral Close. At the reformation, Grey Friars was destroyed and any extant buildings and stonework sold off and re-used (several… Continue reading SALISBURY GREY FRIARS–BUCKINGHAM’S BURIAL SITE?

IF THE SHOE FITS…

15th C fashion could be quite dramatic…and sometimes, to our modern eyes, a bit ridiculous. Nothing more so than the infamous Poulaine shoes, with their excessively long pointed toes that looked as if they were dangerous to walk in (the nearest we had to them in modern times were the Winklepicker shoes worn by Teddy… Continue reading IF THE SHOE FITS…

THE BISHOP’S PALACE IN WIVELISCOMBE

The remains of a summer Palace belonging to the Bishops of Bath and Wells has been discovered in the village of Wiveliscombe in Somerset. The 13th century palace had fallen into disuse after the Reformation and lay in ruins by the 1700’s…when the site was built over and subsequently lost, with the exception of an… Continue reading THE BISHOP’S PALACE IN WIVELISCOMBE

A PERIOD DEPICTION OF EDWARD IV & ELIZABETH WOODVILLE

Recently I came across these two roundels from a late medieval manuscript, held in the John Rylands Library, which depict Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville seated on thrones, crowned and holding their sceptres. These two miniatures are extremely colourful even after the intervening 500 + years and hold lots of interesting details, including, in the… Continue reading A PERIOD DEPICTION OF EDWARD IV & ELIZABETH WOODVILLE