An Irish take on the British peerage system

Here is an article from Niall O’Dowd of “Irish Central” to mark the accession of Charles III. It makes a number of good points, although some others are debateable:1) Wessex may have ceased to be as a Kingdom when Athelstan took over the others (Mercia, Northumbria and East Anglia) but it had Earls in the… Continue reading An Irish take on the British peerage system

Royal burial places

This post in the Times details the final resting place of every English and then British monarch since 1066, although Harold II (probably Waltham Abbey) is omitted. Note from the interactive map that there are four (plus the Empress Matilda) burials in France and one in Germany. There are none in Scotland, Wales, Ireland or… Continue reading Royal burial places

The origins of Whitehall….

The palace of Whitehall is usually associated with Henry VIII, but a house called White Hall occupied the “plot” well before then:- “….144 (f.52v, no.x’xvi). St. Martin in the Fields. 22 Oct. 1397. Charter of William Savage of London, William Skotte of Walpole, chaplain, and Thomas de Burgh, chaplain, granting with warranty to John de… Continue reading The origins of Whitehall….

A review of Westminster Abbey: Behind Closed Doors….

I have now watched all of the Channel 5 series Westminster Abbey: Behind Closed Doors, which is so packed with information that I hardly know where to begin with this review. Aha, did I hear you say the beginning might be a good idea? You’re right, so here goes with a selection of descriptions from… Continue reading A review of Westminster Abbey: Behind Closed Doors….

Wardship and Marriage

The right of wardship and marriage usually go together, but they were in fact separate rights. An example of them being divided is Thomas Despenser (later Earl of Gloucester.) His mother had his wardship but his marriage was granted to Edmund of Langley who used it for the benefit of his daughter. The feudal lord… Continue reading Wardship and Marriage

The art that made us

This is another fascinating BBC2 series, illustrating English and British history through the evolution of our art. The eight one-hour episodes, narrated by David Threlfall (Men of the World), feature:The Roman and pre-Roman periods, Beowulf, the Norman conquest and the Bayeux Tapestry;     The Black Death, Wilton Diptych, Piers Plowman, Chaucer, Julian of Norwich,… Continue reading The art that made us

Sassanachs don’t Like Mondays (allegedly)

Ormond versus Desmond In addition to the canonical list of battles, the sporadic chaos of the Wars of the Roses spawned one or two encounters between the heads of rival aristocratic families, of which the best known is the battle between the Berkeleys and Talbots at Nibley Green in Gloucestershire in March 1470. What is… Continue reading Sassanachs don’t Like Mondays (allegedly)

Might she have been Queen Elizabeth II….?

Well here’s something interesting. I confess that the Stuart period isn’t one of my strongpoints, and I know very little about Elizabeth Stuart, but the above portrait of her is very intriguing. Is she wearing the same crown that appears in the pictures beneath the main portrait? The crown in the little illustration on the… Continue reading Might she have been Queen Elizabeth II….?

Geoffrey of Monmouth, Oxford Castle and King Arthur

Originally posted on Giaconda's Blog:
King Arthur at the beginning of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain BnF, Latin 8501A, f. 108v Geoffrey of Monmouth is thought to have been born between 1090 -1100 in Wales; possibly at Monmouth but no written evidence remains to verify this. Geoffrey also signed himself…

A further anachronism

Many of you will have watched the 2014-16 BBC production of The Musketeers, the first series of which starred Peter Capaldi as Cardinal Richelieu. The third series was based on Dumas’ lesser-known sequels, in which Henrietta Maria, separated from her husband Charles I for her own safety and by mutual consent, is permanently residing with… Continue reading A further anachronism