The Tomb at King’s Langley

Quite by chance, I recently came across this rather ancient article written by, of all people, Enoch Powell: If Powell’s theory is correct, the tomb in which Edmund of Langley and Isabelle of Castile are buried was intended originally for Richard II and was reallocated after Anne of Bohemia died and Richard decided to commission… Continue reading The Tomb at King’s Langley

William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke

William Herbert, otherwise ‘Black William’ was born in 1423, the son of Sir William ap Thomas ‘the Blue Knight of Gwent’ and Gwladys ferch Dafydd Gam the ‘Star of Abergavenny’. His main claim to fame is that he was the first Welshman to become an earl in the peerage of England, except for Henry VI’s… Continue reading William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke

St. Philip Howard and the greyhound in the Tower

Philip Howard, lived from 1557-1595. He was the only son of Thomas Howard 4th Duke of Norfolk by his first wife, Lady Mary Fitzalan who was, of course, the Arundel heiress. Philip’s father was executed for treason against Queen Elizabeth I in 1572, which explains why Philip was not allowed to succeed as Duke of… Continue reading St. Philip Howard and the greyhound in the Tower

Some notes on the Vaughans of Tretower

If you fully understand the genealogy of the Vaughan family of Wales you are a better person than I. There were at least three branches, and probably more. I have come across the Vaughans of Hergest, a very interesting bunch; the Vaughans of Monmouth (see Sir Thomas Vaughan, executed 1483); and by no means least… Continue reading Some notes on the Vaughans of Tretower

The Strange Reluctance to Accept Facts

Much of history is simply interpretation. You can interpret events, and facts, in various ways. Often there is no absolute truth and the interpretation depends on the standpoint of the historian. For example, a passionate Welsh nationalist is likely to see the events of 1282 in a rather different light to the interpretation of an… Continue reading The Strange Reluctance to Accept Facts

The Ancestry of Sir Richard Pole.

Richard Pole is perhaps most famous for being the husband of Margaret Plantagenet, later Countess of Salisbury. But who was he? His maternal ancestry is relatively straightforward. He was the son of Edith St. John, who was the half-sister of Margaret Beaufort. So that makes him the (half-blood) first cousin of Henry VII. Edith St.… Continue reading The Ancestry of Sir Richard Pole.

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…!