Margaret of Anjou was married to Henry IV, Bosworth was in 1495 and Edward VI won at Tewkesbury….!

When an article is entitled War of the Roses: A Brief Timeline, subtitled ‘Emily Hewat gives a crash course on the history behind Yorkshire and Lancaster’s epic rivalry and the origin of the Roses Tournament itself’ one rather expects the correct times! But no. What you find is:- “….Our story starts in 1454 with the… Continue reading Margaret of Anjou was married to Henry IV, Bosworth was in 1495 and Edward VI won at Tewkesbury….!

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

The Welsh princess men found irresistible….

  When it comes to medieval ladies whose story I have always wanted to write but have never found the moment. something else always got in the way. One such lady is Princess Nest/Nesta of Wales, daughter of the last King of South Wales, whose life spanned the end of the 11th century and beginning… Continue reading The Welsh princess men found irresistible….

“The Buildings that fought Hitler” (Yesterday)

Once you have reached beyond the bizarre title, which sounds rather like a Dr. Who episode, this is actually a very good series. Rob Bell, the engineer who is becoming quite ubiquitous, demonstrates how the UK was ready to use ther natural and built environments, together with science, to repel and then restrict a German… Continue reading “The Buildings that fought Hitler” (Yesterday)

The Daughters of Edward I

Kathryn Warner‘s latest tome has arrived and soon raised memories of Ashdown-Hill’s Eleanor, as two of the daughters in question – Joan of Acre (twice) and Elizabeth of Rhuddlan – are among the ancestors of Lady Eleanor Talbot, Lucy Walter, “Mrs. Fitzherbert” (Maria Smythe) and Laura Culme-Seymour, as shown in Royal Marriage Secrets and replicated here.… Continue reading The Daughters of Edward I

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!

Sorry, Frederick Forsyth and John Stonehouse, but Henry VII did it first

I expect you all know the basic premise of Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal (published in 1971). A mysterious and ruthless assassin obtains a birth certificate and passport in the name of someone who died as a child, before setting out to kill de Gaulle. In 1974, John Stonehouse followed this method by “borrowing”… Continue reading Sorry, Frederick Forsyth and John Stonehouse, but Henry VII did it first

The Kingmaker’s Anger

I’m working on a biography of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick – the man best introduced as The Kingmaker. I have written on the Wars of the Roses, on Richard, Duke of York, and Richard III. Warwick has been a constant presence throughout. I spent some time in an earlier dispute over the throne of… Continue reading The Kingmaker’s Anger

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

Fit or fat? Knights with waspy waists….

  We all know that ladies of the Victorian era often fainted because their corsets were too tightly laced. A tiny waist was highly desirable. Well, it still is, of course, but not to such a ridiculous extent. This tortuous lacing would have been difficult enough for young women to endure, but Heaven alone knows… Continue reading Fit or fat? Knights with waspy waists….