The Emperor Charles V was the grandson of Maximilian I (Richard III’s friend and step-nephew-in-law), a nephew of Catherine of Aragon (and thus by marriage to Henry VIII) and father-in-law of Mary I. In February 1547, he feared death at the hands of a Italian mercenary (Pierre Strozzi) and wrote a fiendishly coded letter to… Continue reading Breaking the code – Charles V
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’
Henry VI was a pain, and Richard II was NOT Richard III….!
Henry VI is not my favourite king, in fact I think he was a real pain in the posterior, whether in his lucid moments or not. This link is to a paper about him, which I confess to not having finished because I lost faith in its accuracy. No fewer than three times Richard II… Continue reading Henry VI was a pain, and Richard II was NOT Richard III….!
How to cast a “Richard III”
Here is a Guardian article about Arthur Hughes, who qualifies for the role in that he is male, disabled (in a subtle way) and was only thirty when chosen by the Royal Shakespeare Company, as was Richard III in June 1483 when chosen by the Three Estates. He isn’t an octogenarian, a woman or pretending… Continue reading How to cast a “Richard III”
Why did the builders of Stonehenge, West Kennett Long Barrow and Silbury Hill disappear….?
I have just been watching an episode of Blowing up History, in which the prehistoric stone monuments at Stonehenge, West Kennett and Silbury Hill were investigated. The discovery of a large upturned bell-shaped pottery jar at West Kennett led to the revelation that it was the work of the so-called Beaker People of Europe,… Continue reading Why did the builders of Stonehenge, West Kennett Long Barrow and Silbury Hill disappear….?
Sir Ernest Shackleton: “What the ice gets, the ice keeps”
“For scientific discovery give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.” —Antarctic explorer Sir Raymond Priestly For those new to Shackleton, it might seem counterintuitive to celebrate the leader of a failed… Continue reading Sir Ernest Shackleton: “What the ice gets, the ice keeps”
Grey Friars building and car park up for auction in Leicester….
With a guide price of £4 million there will be an auction of this large edifice (the Grey Friars Building) that stands right next to where the remains of Richard III were found. The auction is to be on Wednesday, February 15. It’s Grade II listed, but not only because of its proximity to where… Continue reading Grey Friars building and car park up for auction in Leicester….
Royal burial places
This post in the Times details the final resting place of every English and then British monarch since 1066, although Harold II (probably Waltham Abbey) is omitted. Note from the interactive map that there are four (plus the Empress Matilda) burials in France and one in Germany. There are none in Scotland, Wales, Ireland or… Continue reading Royal burial places
Ten years ago today …
… it was announced that the remains discovered on the site of the Leicester Greyfriars were indeed those of Richard III. On this page you can see both mitochodrial DNA lines: the first by John Ashdown-Hill and the back-up by Leicester University, both to collateral descendants in Commonwealth nations. Here you can see how easy it… Continue reading Ten years ago today …
The Lost Plot (by the Guardian) and ‘The Lost King’ Exhibition
A number of film critics have now viewed the new Steve Coogan movie, THE LOST KING, about the finding of Richard III’s remains. Reviews have been mixed but generally quite positive; I imagine it might be one of those ‘marmite’ films, which viewers either love or loathe. A exhibition in The Wallace Collection had also… Continue reading The Lost Plot (by the Guardian) and ‘The Lost King’ Exhibition