“You will build five balingers at your own expense.” Signed The King….

When it comes to medieval ships, it’s sometimes difficult to imagine what they were like. Cogs, crayers, shallops, barges, balingers, wherries and many others abound. Well, wherries of various descriptions are still around now, as are barges, but what we may fondly envisage as a brightly painted narrow boat was no such thing. Perhaps it… Continue reading “You will build five balingers at your own expense.” Signed The King….

Were the English, Welsh, Irish and Scots once all Celts…?

  I haven’t read Sir Simon Jenkins’ book The Celts: A Sceptical History, and to be honest I don’t think I’m likely to. Like Jenkins, I too am half-Welsh and half-English, but I don’t fancy being descended from “sociable sailors”. What’s the old saying about sailors having a girl in every port? I should imagine… Continue reading Were the English, Welsh, Irish and Scots once all Celts…?

The Death and Burial of Constance of York

(Reblogged from The Yorkist Age.) According to the Tewkesbury Chronicle Constance died in 1417 ( recte November 1416) but was not buried until 1420. This is hard to explain, and may simply be an error. However, given that Constance left no will behind her, there is a good possibility that her death was sudden and unexpected. She… Continue reading The Death and Burial of Constance of York

Lady Mary Howard married the bastard son of Henry VIII….

    I found the article below at this site where the numerous posts are Tudor-oriented (Henry VIII), but very interesting and informative. The article is given in full to tempt you into visiting the site to read all the others:- “….On November 25th or 26th, 1533, Henry FitzRoy married Lady Mary Howard. “….Mary Howard… Continue reading Lady Mary Howard married the bastard son of Henry VIII….

Pembroke didn’t pop the Weasel when it should have….!

Well, the first part of a riveting, absolutely factual series about Henry VII was warning enough. I confess to having had to read the first sentence twice, because first time around I thought Edmund Tudor was fighting against the Duke of York’s men and Edmund’s own wife, Margaret Beaufort, who was Henry’s underage mother. Shame on… Continue reading Pembroke didn’t pop the Weasel when it should have….!

What did the Kingmaker look like….?

Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, known to posterity as the Kingmaker, was a very prominent figure in the 15th century and featured in one of my very early books. He was born today, 22 November, in 1428. I’ve seen numerous depictions of him, but have just happened upon a drawing (see above) that I… Continue reading What did the Kingmaker look like….?

The Middle Ages and the movies….

  “….In The Middle Ages and the Movies eminent historian Robert Bartlett takes a fresh, cogent look at how our view of medieval history has been shaped by eight significant films of the twentieth century. The book ranges from the concoction of sex and nationalism in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, to Fritz Lang’s silent masterpiece Siegfried, the art-house classic The Seventh Seal to… Continue reading The Middle Ages and the movies….

A virtual tour of 17th-century London….

  I love virtual video tours of places and have just come upon an excellent one of mediaeval London. Well, 17th-century actually, but to my mind the scenes are appropriate for the 14th-15th centuries. You’ll find the tour here . Just scroll down the page a little. It’s well worth a look.

Thomas Seymour, Princess Elizabeth and hanky-panky….

Was Thomas Seymour guilty of any hanky-panky with his young stepdaughter Princess Elizabeth (to become Elizabeth I)? Well, yes, I don’t think there’s any doubt of that, but there has to be doubt about the extent of the hanky-panky. She was very young, around thirteen, and he was thirty-eight, so it certainly wasn’t runaway youthful… Continue reading Thomas Seymour, Princess Elizabeth and hanky-panky….

Richard III meets Philippa and Harry at the Wallace Collection….

We’ve been deluged with reviews and information about The Lost King, and we’re flocking to see it wherever we can. But one thing has always been thin on the ground, and that’s publicity photographs. We’ve had the same few, so finding another (not actually from the film itself) with Philippa Langley and Harry Lloyd looking… Continue reading Richard III meets Philippa and Harry at the Wallace Collection….