Sir Edmund Cockayne

The Cockayne family eventually established themselves as lords of the manor of Ashbourne (Derbyshire) for all practical purposes – in truth, it was a manor that belonged to the House of Lancaster, and they served in the roles of bailiff, steward, and so on. As time went by they took on wider responsibilities and became… Continue reading Sir Edmund Cockayne

Were the Wars of The Roses an Inevitability?

In my spare time I have been reading Henry IV by Chris Given-Wilson. It’s a massive book, full of information, probably the most complete work on Henry since Wylie’s four-volume effort in the 19th Century. Frankly, I’m finding it hard going. Not because it’s a bad book (it isn’t) or because Given-Wilson is a bad… Continue reading Were the Wars of The Roses an Inevitability?

The advantages of marrying young

Although the medieval practice of child marriage seems strange to us, if not repulsive, there were advantages that arose from it, particularly for the bride. For example, Anne of Gloucester, Richard II’s cousin and daughter of Thomas of Woodstock married the Earl of Stafford at a very early age. He died while she was still… Continue reading The advantages of marrying young

Meet Harry Hotspur….

And here we have…Harry Hotspur. The picture is from here, an interesting site about the Percy family. This is said to be a very good likeness of Hotspur, although how anyone can really know that I’m not sure. Clearly he conforms to a Percy “type”. The section dealing with the Percys under Richard III is under construction,… Continue reading Meet Harry Hotspur….

How the House of Mortimer was cheated….

Here’s how the great House of Mortimer petered out and was supplanted by a Lancastrian usurper who killed the reigning king and stole his throne. Then, under the House of York, the House of Mortimer triumphed again….until, in 1485, along came another Lancastrian usurper to kill the reigning king and steal the throne….. Never trust… Continue reading How the House of Mortimer was cheated….

STATEMENT IN STONE

Most old castles will have graffiti both old and new pecked into their stonework somewhere. People like to leave A symbol for posterity (often unfortunately.) Very few ancient buildings, however, have the owner’s name graven into them for for eternity. Not so at Caldicot in Wales. If you walk around to the back of the… Continue reading STATEMENT IN STONE

Edmund Mortimer 5th Earl of March

Edmund Mortimer, later 5th Earl of March, was born on 6 November 1391. His parents were Roger Mortimer, Earl of March (1374-1398) and his wife, the well-connected Alianore Holland, daughter of Thomas Earl of Kent. In the view of many people, including the Westminster Chronicler, and the Welsh poet Iolo Goch (c1320-1398) Earl Roger was… Continue reading Edmund Mortimer 5th Earl of March

The Battle Of Shrewsbury, 1403

In order to appease (as he hoped) the Percy family Henry IV granted them all those parts of southern Scotland that they could conquer. Despite advice from Northumberland that royal assistance was not needed he set out in the summer of 1403 to march to the borders with a small army to support their siege… Continue reading The Battle Of Shrewsbury, 1403

Saving The Prince of Wales

One of the most intriguing stories of the English medieval ages – and like most good stories this one is upfront and personal – involves Prince Hal (the future Henry the Fifth) and the Battle of Shrewbury that took place on July 21, 1403.  For whatever reason, this particular story is overlooked in Shakespeare and… Continue reading Saving The Prince of Wales