Who’s coming to dinner (a guest post)

How did this happen? Am I dreaming? Is there some sort of Time-slip? Yet here I am, somehow “transposed” from my 21st century self to a Lady-in-Waiting, helping to host a secret dinner. I cannot understand how or why it has occurred, all I know is that it is the end of February 1485, after… Continue reading Who’s coming to dinner (a guest post)

The Traitor’s Arms?

In 1840 workmen carrying out repairs to St Bartholomew’s Church, Ashperton, Herefordshire were collecting stones from the ruins of a nearby manor house when they discovered a heavy stone plaque, carved with an elaborate coat of arms, among the rubble. The stone was taken to the church for safekeeping and has hung on the wall… Continue reading The Traitor’s Arms?

A royal Christmas invitation for Matthew Paris of St Albans….

“ . . . . Christmas with the King [ Henry III ] doesn’t immediately sound like the social engagement you would expect for a Benedictine monk, but wind the clock back to the early 13th century and for one particularly colourful religious figure, a royal invitation was nothing out of the norm . .… Continue reading A royal Christmas invitation for Matthew Paris of St Albans….

Epiphany – medieval and now….

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the following two definitions refer to the use of the word epiphany:- The manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12). Definition (1) A moment of sudden and great revelation/realisation. Definition (2) Epiphany has been a recognised feast of the Western Church since the 5th… Continue reading Epiphany – medieval and now….

King Edward IV’s Last Christmas….

Reconstruction of Christmas at Eltham 1482 – Historic England (illustration by Peter Urmston) In the 14th century it became a royal tradition to spend Christmas at Eltham, and by 1482, Edward IV also held his Christmas there. The top picture is an imagined scene of this Christmas in the great hall (pictured immediately above) with… Continue reading King Edward IV’s Last Christmas….

Christmas under Henry VII, complete with “foot sheets”. . .!

 I was browsing, and came upon the following interesting details about how Henry VII celebrated Christmas and Twelfth Night. It is from Christmas: Its Origin and Associations by William Francis Dawson, which I found in Google Books. The following extract has been tweaked a little by me, to create more paragraphs and thus make it… Continue reading Christmas under Henry VII, complete with “foot sheets”. . .!

Gourmet Magazine Does a Christmas Medieval Feast

Long before Gourmet Magazine went out of business in 2009, collapsed under too many overwrought articles on bovine emissions, it had been an intellectual colossus in the culinary world.  From the 1940s through the ’60s, it featured lush travel articles on world cuisine venturing into far-flung places such as Persia, Bhutan (“a taste of Shangri-La!”)… Continue reading Gourmet Magazine Does a Christmas Medieval Feast

How strict was medieval royal court mourning at Christmas….?

I know I have (more than once!) written of a strange string of coincidences connecting Richards II and III and their queens, both named Anne. Now I have come upon another question that puzzles me. It is well known that Richard II loved his Anne deeply, and was distraught when she died suddenly in the summer… Continue reading How strict was medieval royal court mourning at Christmas….?

Christmas 1483 at the court of Richard III….

What was Christmas like for Richard III? I’m thinking particularly of 1483, his first as king. He still had both his wife and child, and the future must have looked set for a long and prosperous reign. He was only to have two Christmases as king, and by 1484 he and Anne had lost their… Continue reading Christmas 1483 at the court of Richard III….