A few years ago, we showed that Robert Catesby, directly descended from Sir William Catesby, sought to kill James VI/I, a descendant of Henry VII, by gunpowder 120 years after Henry had Sir William hanged after Bosworth.This second case, of which I was reminded in Kathryn Warner‘s The Despensers, doesn’t involve direct ancestry on both… Continue reading Another Hundred Years’ Grudge
NEW DISCOVERIES AT PONTEFRACT CASTLE
Pontefract Castle was, in its day, the Windsor of the North. Large and seemingly impregnable , it had two massive tapering towers that rose up to over a hundred feet high, a landmark visible from miles away. It was the scene of many historical events–in 1322 Edward II executed his cousin, Thomas of Lancaster here,… Continue reading NEW DISCOVERIES AT PONTEFRACT CASTLE
The Despensers: The Rise and fall of a mediaeval family
Here is another of Kathryn Warner‘s volumes in which the genealogy is central but there is plenty of history about the principal individuals that comprise the structure of the book. These range from Hugh Despenser the Justiciar, who fell at Evesham in 1265 opposing Henry III, to his son and grandson (the latter married to… Continue reading The Despensers: The Rise and fall of a mediaeval family
Rebellion in the Middle Ages
This is the latest of Matthew Lewis’ books and covers a longer period than any of the others, from Hereward the Wake’s emergence after Hastings to the beginning of the Wars of the Roses, almost as long a period as this book. Lewis is already an expert on “The Anarchy” (chapter 2) and the Roses… Continue reading Rebellion in the Middle Ages
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 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
Yes, that Thomas of Lancaster
He lost his head at Pontefract so what was he doing on sale in Colchester? This Kathryn Warner post gives a lot of detail about Thomas Earl of Lancaster’s life, rebellion and execution six days after the Battle of Boroughbridge. Here we explained the circumstances in which John Ashdown-Hill is seeking his remains, to solve… Continue reading Yes, that Thomas of Lancaster
THE GIFFARD CHANTRY-MEDIEVAL PAINT AND EARLY PLANTAGENETS.
In the quiet village of Boyton in Wiltshire stands the Church of St Mary’s, known locally as ‘Blessed Mary of Boyton.’ Dating from the early 13th century it contains several unusual and startling features, including a medieval oven where priests baked the sacramental bread. It is probably most famous, however, for the chantry of the… Continue reading THE GIFFARD CHANTRY-MEDIEVAL PAINT AND EARLY PLANTAGENETS.