The Earls’ Rebellion

This is a quite remarkable article by Dr. Callum Watson about the revolt against David II in 1363. To summarise the background:David succeeded Robert I in 1329 at the age of five. He was exiled in France between 1334 and 1341. He was captured at the Battle of Neville’s Cross in 1346 and ransomed in… Continue reading The Earls’ Rebellion

Philippa Mortimer, Countess of Pembroke and Arundel – a short, interesting and little-known life

Philippa was the younger of the two daughters of Edmund Earl of March and Philippa of Clarence,and second youngest of their four children, being born in November 1375. Philippa lost both her parents at a very young age, but her future was provided for (eventually) by her marriage to John Hastings, Earl of Pembroke after… Continue reading Philippa Mortimer, Countess of Pembroke and Arundel – a short, interesting and little-known life

Philippa de Coucy

One of Edward III’s many grandchildren, Philippa de Coucy (born before April 1367) was the daughter of the important French nobleman Enguerrand, Lord of Coucy, by Isabella, eldest daughter of King Edward and Queen Philippa. Isabella was pretty much the definition of a spoiled princess, and contrary to the usual stereotype, pretty much did as… Continue reading Philippa de Coucy

Did Anne Boleyn plot Henry VIII’s death….?

I have to confess that I’m not sure about the headline of  this article. Just what royal row can be spoken of in the present tense is a puzzle. What does it matter to our present royals if Anne Boleyn had Henry VIII‘s demise in mind. If she did, she failed. The horrible lump lived… Continue reading Did Anne Boleyn plot Henry VIII’s death….?

Catherine of Aragon and the “creepy old man”….!

  It’s official, folks. Late in his reign Henry VII was “a creepy old man”! It’s true, because  Factinate.com says so! Henry VIII, was “a nasty middle-aged and old man”. In my opinion anyway, and Factinate agrees, more or less. Oh, and Catherine of Aragon was quite a woman! She had some pretty bloodthirsty ideas,… Continue reading Catherine of Aragon and the “creepy old man”….!

Digging up Britain’s Past: By George, I think she’s got it

This second episode of this Channel Five series, presented by Alex Langlands and Helen Skelton, took us to Elsyng Palace, a North London house built by Henry VIII but with question marks about its precise venue until recently. Very unusually, the presenters clearly stated that the “King’s Great Matter” concerned not a divorce from Catherine… Continue reading Digging up Britain’s Past: By George, I think she’s got it

This would explain a lot

Next month, David Starkey will be talking about Henry VIII on television again (1). However, in this Telegraph interview, he is compared to Henry in several ways, even suggesting that he is that King’s reincarnation. Sadly, the interviewer seems not to understand which of Henry’s marriage ceremonies were valid, or the difference between divorce and… Continue reading This would explain a lot

Agnes Lancecrona and Robert de Vere

Robert de Vere (1362-1392) Earl of Oxford, found great favour with Richard II and was elevated first to the title of Marquess of Dublin and then in October 1386 to the dukedom of Ireland. This was the very first dukedom awarded outside the immediate royal family, and was, in effect, a “fingers up” to Richard’s… Continue reading Agnes Lancecrona and Robert de Vere

Starkey on home territory

This BBC documentary was actually very good and it worked because Starkey spoke about a subject he knows inside out – the Reformation and Henry VIII, relating it to current affairs. From Luther’s theses, indulgences and translating the Bible, first into German then English, he moved onto Tyndale‘s efforts to smuggle it into England and… Continue reading Starkey on home territory

The contemporaries of Henry VIII

Genealogy Francois I of France died in the first quarter of 1547, after a reign of over thirty years, leaving only one legitimate son, Henri II. Whilst thought of as a cultured monarch, a patron of the arts and a linguistic reformer, he took an ambiguous approach to religious reform, (in which his sister Marguerite… Continue reading The contemporaries of Henry VIII