Walking “Tudor” England

Suzannah Lipscomb has just completed another series on Channel Five, this time visiting the sites related to the “Tudors”. In the first episode, she concentrated on Henry VIII and the naval power he inherited from John Howard, Duke of Norfolk. The second was principally about the penultimate “Tudor”, Mary I, as well as Edward VI… Continue reading Walking “Tudor” England

Some Shakespeare scenes re-written

Henry V DRIVER (presses bell) BUTLER (opens door) DRIVER: Mr. Monmouth? BUTLER: Sorry, he is busy at the moment. DRIVER: Dauphin’s Sporting Goods here. I have a delivery for him; can he spare a moment to sign for it? Otherwise I’ll probably have to take it back to the warehouse. BUTLER: He is with some… Continue reading Some Shakespeare scenes re-written

Henry V: one of the most influential kings of England….

“…Henry IV [Bolingbroke, as Duke of Lancaster] returned to England and became swept up in the Lancastrian campaign to unseat Richard…” Come on, Henry IV was the Lancastrian campaign! He certainly wasn’t an innocent bystander who was swept along in the stampede. You’ll never convince me he didn’t return to England intent upon getting rid… Continue reading Henry V: one of the most influential kings of England….

The Bishop, the MP, the scientist, the historian and the brewer

The preacher at St. Paul’s stated that the late King’s surviving issue were illegitimate. On this occasion, it wasn’t Dr. Ralph Shaa on 22nd June 1483 about Edward IV’s sons but Rt. Rev. Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London and Westminster, on 9 July 1553 about Henry VIII’s daughters, at which time Jane was proclaimed. As… Continue reading The Bishop, the MP, the scientist, the historian and the brewer

The Royal martyr

If you wish to visit the site of a heresy execution or a memorial to a victim in England and Wales, there are several options, most of which date from Mary I’s reign. Aldham Common in Hadleigh commemorates the town’s Rector, Rowland Tayler. Oxford marks an Archbishop, Cranmer, together with Bishops Latimer and Ridley, whilst… Continue reading The Royal martyr

A most unpleasant surprise

Peter Cole was a tanner from Ipswich, although his year of birth is generally unknown. He found himself tried in Norwich for heresy and executed there, presumably in the Castle moat (below), which must have been something of a shock as it was 1587 and the heresy laws had been repealed again almost thirty years… Continue reading A most unpleasant surprise

The Grundisburgh martyr

Today in 1558, Alice Driver and Alexander Gooch were burned on the Cornhill in Ipswich. Her trial record, particularly her testimony, shows that Alice Driver freely admitted not sharing certain Roman Catholic beliefs and this was sufficient to convict her. Both are commemorated on this monument in Christchurch Park (left) and Driver by a road… Continue reading The Grundisburgh martyr

The ten worst Britons in history?

This is a very entertaining and well-illustrated 2006 article, choosing one arch-villain for each century from the eleventh to the twentieth. The all-male list includes just one King but two Archbishops of Canterbury. So what do you think?

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?

No smoke without …

Today in 1417, Sir John Olcastle was hanged and burned at Smithfield , as a leading Lollard and political rebel who had previously escaped from the Tower. He had been a High Sheriff of Herefordshire, an MP and a soldier under the Prince of Wales in Wales and France, all in Henry IV’s reign. One… Continue reading No smoke without …