‘Fair Rosamund’

This locomotive ‘Fair Rosamund’ was the only one of its class to carry a name. It was, of course, named after Rosamund Clifford and usually worked on the Great Western Railway’s Woodstock branch, near Oxford. Rosamund Clifford (mistress of Henry II) came from Clifford Castle near Hay in the Marches. This castle was associated with… Continue reading ‘Fair Rosamund’

Thomas Stanley – warrior! (A little-known military exploit by our hero.)

In 1456 the aggressive King of Scots, James II, sent an armed expedition against the Isle of Man. As is well-known, Man was at this time a private lordship owned by the then Stanleys, who was known as ‘King of Man.’ Retaliation was swift and led by Stanley’s son, Thomas – yes, he of Bosworth… Continue reading Thomas Stanley – warrior! (A little-known military exploit by our hero.)

When is a Cage not a cage? When it’s a Stand.

Even as a child, I was fascinated by Lyme Cage. It stands on high ground, and to a casual observer has no obvious purpose. I remember being told it was used as a prison for poachers – hence the name – but this was neither its primary nor original function. A mere glance at a… Continue reading When is a Cage not a cage? When it’s a Stand.

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 appointment of women to the Garter. (Medieval era).

I have been trying to make sense of the method by which women were appointed to the Garter in the middle ages, and have concluded there was no system. Of course, as with the knights, who were nominally ‘elected’ by the other knights, it all came down to royal favour. But with the knights, there… Continue reading The appointment of women to the Garter. (Medieval era).

Some minor problems with Thomas More’s account.

King Edward, of that name the fourth, after that he had lived fifty and three years, seven months, and six days, and thereof reigned two and twenty years, one month, and eight days, died at Westminster the ninth day of April. King Edward was born 28 April 1442 and died 9 April 1483. He was… Continue reading Some minor problems with Thomas More’s account.

Walking Among Lions

Those of you who enjoy historical fiction featuring members of the House of York may like to know that Brian Wainwright is writing a trilogy of novels about Constance of York, Edmund of Langley‘s daughter. The first book in the series, Walking Among Lions, is already available from Amazon. It can be had in paperback,… Continue reading Walking Among Lions

The Talbot Dog

The origins of the Talbot dog breed are shrouded in mystery. ‘Talbot’ was one of many names which we know were given to individual dogs – the equivalent of ‘Rover’ or ‘Bonzo’. What is less clear is when exactly the Talbot dog breed emerged, It appears the Talbots were short-legged, usually white coated and of… Continue reading The Talbot Dog

The Rise of the Stanley family.

In the late 14th Century, the Stanleys were a gentry family, their power base lying chiefly in Cheshire, notably in the Wirral. Their ancestry might fairly be described as ‘provincial’. There were certainly no kings in their quarterings. This is not to say they were unimportant, but their influence was of a local rather than… Continue reading The Rise of the Stanley family.

Hard time to be a woman?

Of late I have read quite a few posts on Facebook bemoaning the tough lot women had in the Middle Ages. Well yes, their lives could be very hard. But so could those of medieval men. It’s important not to generalise too much. There were certainly men who valued their wives very highly. We need… Continue reading Hard time to be a woman?