Edward II’s nieces: The Clare Sisters

… and so to the dark green volume in Kathryn Warner‘s series about Edward II, his family, his associates and his era. This one details the lives of three sisters with seven husbands between them and a lot of interesting descendants, including Richard III (and siblings), his wife and his sisters-in-law. The eldest, Eleanor de… Continue reading Edward II’s nieces: The Clare Sisters

Identifying another King

The monarch in question is Robert I (Bruce) and the investigation, as part of the Foundation for Mediaeval Genealogy’s Declaration of Arbroath Family History Project, is being carried out by the University of Strathclyde: Graham Holton has reported good progress in this press release: Genetic marker discovered for descendants of Bruce clan, January 2022.A distinct… Continue reading Identifying another King

“Yolanding”?

From 1281, the widowed Alexander III lost his three children and remarried to remedy the situation. His second wife was Yolande de Dreux, who he married in autumn 1285, but Scotland was plunged into the unknown within five months when he broke his neck, falling from a horse, travelling across the Forth to Kinghorn in… Continue reading “Yolanding”?

You can’t tell a castle book by its cover….

I love to see historic properties come up for sale. They are almost always wonderful on the outside and inside, but Earshall Castle in Scotland (55 miles from Edinburgh) has proved the exception. It’s the ancestral home of relatives of Robert the Bruce, but you wouldn’t know it. Yes, it’s beautiful and dramatic on the… Continue reading You can’t tell a castle book by its cover….

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

A contemporary of the House of York

James III of Scotland’s reign overlaps the whole of Yorkist rule in England, succeeding on 3rd August 1460, more than seven months before Edward IV’s first coronation, to 11th June 1488. almost three years after Richard III’s death at Bosworth and including Henry VI’s re-adeption. His uninterrupted reign spanned the decisive battles of Mortimer’s Cross… Continue reading A contemporary of the House of York

Britain’s Lost Battlefields (with Rob Bell)

Channel Five’s reputation for history programmes has risen greatly over the past few years. At the heart of this, first in a Great Fire of London series with Suzannah Lipscomb and the ubiquitous Dan Jones, has been the “engineering historian” Rob Bell, who has toured bridges, ships, buildings and lost railways in his own amiable,… Continue reading Britain’s Lost Battlefields (with Rob Bell)

A tale of monarchs and national anthems

Anyone who has watched a Scottish rugby or association football match will be familiar with the Corries’ folk song O Flower of Scotland, which is played before their matches. The second line of the chorus (“Proud Edward’s army”) refers to Edward II, defeated at Bannockburn so that he never actually ruled Scotland although he may… Continue reading A tale of monarchs and national anthems

THE STRANGE LEGEND OF USK CASTLE

In a tiny town in Wales, a ruined castle stands on rising ground amidst a haze of dark trees. An atmospheric round tower, cracked  by time; shattered walls, the remains of hall and chapel. Privately owned, a garden drops down the hillside before it, to an old house  which appears to contain much castle stonework.… Continue reading THE STRANGE LEGEND OF USK CASTLE