The Decline of Villeinage

The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 is well-known, and it is often thought that the decline of serfdom, or villeinage, began at about this time. The truth is more complex. Like most English traditions, villeinage took a long time to pass and outlived its usefulness by many decades. Indeed Queen Elizabeth I still owned serfs –… Continue reading The Decline of Villeinage

The Stanley who could have been King.

Ferdinando Stanley (1559-1594) was very briefly 5th Earl of Derby. He was descended from Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suffolk, and according to the terms of Henry VIII’s will, which had statutory force in this respect he was the heir to Elizabeth I, since the Scottish branch were excluded. It is worth mentioning that he was… Continue reading The Stanley who could have been King.

“Historically accurate” movies as voted for in 2017….

Well, it’s interesting to see the top 33 “historically accurate” movies , as voted for in 2017 by IMDb readers. I confess to being disappointed that only three of the medieval period made it to the list (which is in number-of-votes order). Well, three if Elizabeth actually counts as medieval. This last of the Tudor… Continue reading “Historically accurate” movies as voted for in 2017….

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

The history of Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset….

This interesting, very readable article is about Henry VIII’s illegitimate son Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset. It’s interesting and very readable, and definitely not anti-Richard III, mostly the opposite in fact. But it doesn’t spare Henrys VII and VIII. I enjoyed reading it in spite of a few bloopers that are nevertheless not… Continue reading The history of Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset….

Elizabeth Vernon, Countess of Southampton.

Elizabeth Vernon, who lived from 1572 to 1655, was a maid-of-honour to Queen Elizabeth I. In 1598, while serving in that capacity, she became pregnant by Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton (1573-1624) who is perhaps best remembered as a patron of Shakespeare. Queen Elizabeth was not amused, and had the pair of them thrown in… Continue reading Elizabeth Vernon, Countess of Southampton.

It’s all in the blood….

Seeing family likenesses is always irresistible, and few can deny that Henry VII and his mother are practically identical…well, except that as far as I know he wasn’t inclined to dress up to resemble a nun! From this I conclude that Beaufort blood is the key. Just how much Beaufort blood is arguable, of course.… Continue reading It’s all in the blood….

The Grafitti of the Tower of London

REBLOGGED FROM A MEDIEVAL POTPOURRI The graffiti commemorating the Dudleys.  Beauchamp Tower.  Photo Spitalfieldlife  I am, to be honest not a fan of graffiti, also known as graffito, neither do I know anyone who is. However, if you are talking historical graffiti, and from no less than the Tower of London, well that is definitely… Continue reading The Grafitti of the Tower of London

King James VI of Scotland, James I of England podcast….

  Here is a link to a BBC podcast about King James VI of Scotland, who, of course, became James I of England and was the first of our Stuart monarchs. I can’t say I’m a Stuart expert, being much more interested in the Plantagenets, but a monarch is a monarch!

Did Amy Robsart fall or was she pushed….?

  Not our period, but Amy Robsart’s  is a story that has always fascinated me. Did she fall, or was she pushed…? I think we all have our theories. I believe Dudley was behind it and shot himself in the foot, so to speak, because Elizabeth took fright. She already knew she was playing with… Continue reading Did Amy Robsart fall or was she pushed….?