A pedant writes…

In the aftermath of certain historical novels I have read recently, I should like to give the following information, in the hope it will be helpful to authors, editors (if they still exist) and indeed readers. SLAVERY – Although slavery was quite common in England in Anglo-Saxon times, it was became less usual after the… Continue reading A pedant writes…

Matilda Burghersh – wife of Thomas Chaucer, mother of Alice, Duchess of Suffolk.

It has taken me a long time, but I have finally figured out how Matilda, wife of Thomas Chaucer, fits into the Burghersh family tree. I was confused because Matilda is sometimes called ‘the Burghersh heiress’. Odd that, I thought, given that Elizabeth, wife of Edward Despenser was ‘the Burghersh heiress.’ Truth is, they were… Continue reading Matilda Burghersh – wife of Thomas Chaucer, mother of Alice, Duchess of Suffolk.

Unwanted heirs? The Mortimers in the 1390s

It has been established now that Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, was declared heir to the throne by Parliament in 1386 – not 1385 as commonly believed. This Parliament was very much at odds with Richard II (it set up a one-year Commission to run most of his affairs, much to Richard’s displeasure.) So it… Continue reading Unwanted heirs? The Mortimers in the 1390s

There’s been another Murrrrdah…!

Maud Neville of Scotton, Lincolnshire, was the daughter and heiress of Sir Philip** Neville and Sarah (birth name unknown) and was born in about 1360. She married Sir William Cantilupe, a substantial landowner and member of a family which, historically, been of considerable importance in England. ** Some sources say Ralph. Take your pick. Allegedly,… Continue reading There’s been another Murrrrdah…!

Joanna Fitzalan, Lady of Abergavenny

Joanna was the daughter of that Richard Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, who was executed by Richard II in 1397. In 1392, when she was about 17, she was married to William Beauchamp, Lord Bergavenny, younger brother of the Earl of Warwick, who was 55. They had a son, Richard, who eventually became Earl of Worcester,… Continue reading Joanna Fitzalan, Lady of Abergavenny

John of Gaunt by Kathryn Warner

This is a very valuable new biography of John of Gaunt. As usual with this author, the incredibly complex network of family relationships is successfully navigated. There is a fair amount of ‘correction of the record’. For example, Duchess Blanche did not die of plague in 1369, but of unknown causes in 1368. Duchess Constanza… Continue reading John of Gaunt by Kathryn Warner

Sir Thomas Pilkington

Sir Thomas Pilkington, of Pilkington, Bury and various other places, led his tenants and retainers to Bosworth to fight for Richard III. Whether they got there in time is not 100% clear but Sir Thomas was attainted and lost his Lancashire lands. You’ll never guess which family received them. Yes, those caring, sharing Stanleys, in… Continue reading Sir Thomas Pilkington

Sir Humphrey Audley

Sir Humphrey was one of the very numerous children of James Tuchet, Lord Audley, by his second wife Alianore Holland (daughter of Constance of York by Edmund Holland, Earl of Kent.) Their family is so large that it confuses creators of family trees and it is hard to be absolutely certain just how many siblings… Continue reading Sir Humphrey Audley

Ralph Neville, second Earl of Westmorland.

Ralph Neville (about 1406 to 1484) was the son of Sir John Neville and Elizabeth Holland. Sir John was the eldest son of Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland by his first wife, Margaret Stafford, while Elizabeth was one of the late 14th Century’s answer to the Mitford Sisters, the Holland sisters who married anyone who… Continue reading Ralph Neville, second Earl of Westmorland.

Richard II’s visit to Edward II’s tomb, 1390.

Edward II‘s “tomb” is, as is well-known, to be found in Gloucester Cathedral. What is less well-known is that Richard II wanted it become a shrine, and for his great-grandfather to become St. Edward of Caernarfon. Interestingly, we cannot even be entirely sure that Edward II’s remains lie in the tomb. Kathryn Warner has produced… Continue reading Richard II’s visit to Edward II’s tomb, 1390.