A Peterborough mystery

Peterborough is a well-planned city. The walk from station to Cathedral passes through two short subways, with an optional detour to start of the Nene Valley Railway heritage line, to a semi-pedestrianised street with the Cathedral ahead,  with a range of shops, restaurants and even a parish church on the approach. The Queensgate Centre includes… Continue reading A Peterborough mystery

Excavations at Bath Abbey

In 1485, there were 22 monks residing at Bath Abbey, the place where Edgar was crowned ‘King of the English’ in 973 AD. However, the abbey was in decline and by 1499, when Bishop Oliver King visited it, to his shock the building was ruinous. King began a rebuilding project, making it the last great… Continue reading Excavations at Bath Abbey

Thou canst marry; er, sorry, thou canst not….

I confess I had never considered this before. When Henry VIII made himself the head of the church in England, it became possible for hitherto celibate priests to marry. This situation continued under Henry’s son, Edward VI. But then, Catholic Queen Mary ascended the throne. . .and promptly sacked all those priests who had married.… Continue reading Thou canst marry; er, sorry, thou canst not….

The King’s bishop? What did John Russell know in 1483?

  “ ‘Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?’ ‘To the curious incident of the dog in the night time’ ‘The dog did nothing in the night time’ ‘That is the curious incident ‘ remarked Sherlock Holmes.”[1]   By applying his reasoning to this simple observation, the world’s… Continue reading The King’s bishop? What did John Russell know in 1483?

The meeting of the three Estates, 25 June 1483

It was not the first time that a Convention Parliament had effectively determined the succession. We might look, for example, the precedent of 1399, when just such an assembly deposed Richard II and (in effect) elected Henry IV, who was not even Richard II’s right heir. (He was the heir male, but strangely enough did… Continue reading The meeting of the three Estates, 25 June 1483

Significant opportunities missed?

Robert Stillington is likely to have been born in about 1420 and was consecrated as Bishop of Bath and Wells on 30 October 1465. As we know, in spring 1483, he confessed his knowledge of Edward IV’s bigamy. Based on Stillington’s evidence, the Three Estates voted to cancel the coronation of Edward V, inviting Richard… Continue reading Significant opportunities missed?

Another posthumously mobile Bishop?

We do know that Edmund Bonner , born in Worcestershire in about 1500, died in the Marshalsea Prison, today in 1569 and was buried secretly in St. George’s, Southwark. Rather like the head of Cardinal Morton, however, we cannot be certain that he remains there. As Bishop of London under Mary I, he (along with Cardinal… Continue reading Another posthumously mobile Bishop?

TREASON 3 – The Long Parliament 1649

Introduction “ The scaffold was hung round with black, and the floor covered with black, and the axe and block (were) laid in the middle of the scaffold. There were divers companies of Foot and Horse on every side of the scaffold, and the multitude of people that came to be spectators were very great.”[1]… Continue reading TREASON 3 – The Long Parliament 1649

“Cardinal Beaufort: A Study of Lancastrian Ascendancy and Decline” by G.L.Harriss

This 1988 volume reads very well and is an excellent summary of the life of the second (or first) son of John of Gaunt by his mistress Catherine de Roet. The language is very modern although the plain cover is a little reminiscent of many older books. There is relatively little material about Henry Beaufort’s… Continue reading “Cardinal Beaufort: A Study of Lancastrian Ascendancy and Decline” by G.L.Harriss