The mysterious “deep and fast-flowing” river that disappeared on New Year’s Day 1399….

  Both River Greta illustrations taken from this Mail article Well, here we are in 2021, which I hope it will prove an infinitely better experience than 2020. In the year 1399, some folk in Bedfordshire witnessed a “portent” that must have made them wonder what on earth that new year had in store for… Continue reading The mysterious “deep and fast-flowing” river that disappeared on New Year’s Day 1399….

The Earliest Roots of the Wars of the Roses: Edward II and Thomas of Lancaster?

  It may seem bizarre to go back to the reign of Edward II (reigned 1307-27) when talking about the Wars of the Roses, but bear with me. Edward and his cousin, Thomas Earl of Lancaster, got on together quite well in the early years of Edward’s reign. Gradually, though, a feud between them grew… Continue reading The Earliest Roots of the Wars of the Roses: Edward II and Thomas of Lancaster?

THE THREE HUNDRED YEARS WAR – PART 2: the just cause  

  Preface This is the second of three articles charting the course of continual Anglo-French conflict from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries. In the first article, I wrote about the rise and fall of the Angevin Empire, culminating in the Treaty of Paris (1259). This article picks up my narrative after the death of… Continue reading THE THREE HUNDRED YEARS WAR – PART 2: the just cause  

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?

Dyer or Dire?

Many of you will remember the episode of “Who do you think you are” in which Danny Dyer was revealed as a descendant of Edward III. In this new two part series, he “meets” a few prominent ancestors, some even more distant. The first episode began with Rollo, ancestor of the Dukes of Normandy, which… Continue reading Dyer or Dire?

How and why the House of York laid claim to the throne….

Here is an article from English Historical Review, 1st June 1998, telling of how and why Richard, 3rd Duke of York, laid claim to the throne of England. The root cause was an entail to the will of Edward III, who was admittedly in his dotage at the time. The entail, which excluded a female… Continue reading How and why the House of York laid claim to the throne….

The truth about Prince Arthur, Prince Henry, and Katherine of Aragon….?

As so often happens, acquiring a book for a specific reason leads to something else that is quite thought-provoking. In this case, the book is The Medieval Python: The Purposive and Provocative Work of Terry Jones, in which the subject of one of the eighteen contributions is Catherine of Aragon and her two marriages. Do not… Continue reading The truth about Prince Arthur, Prince Henry, and Katherine of Aragon….?

The little chapel in Westminster Abbey, beloved of Richard II….

Tucked away off the north ambulatory of Westminster Abbey, so small it doesn’t seem possible it’s anything more than an entrance to the adjacent Chapel of St John the Baptist (which is also known as the Chapel of St Erasmus) is the Chapel of Our Lady of the Pew. The original entrance to the St John… Continue reading The little chapel in Westminster Abbey, beloved of Richard II….