The Epping hunting lodge of Queen Elizabeth I….

If, like me, you’re puzzled by this unusual, rather stark old building (which doesn’t look real or even English!) then this article explains: “….Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge is a Grade II* listed building that has been saved as a museum. This old timber-framed and plastered building is a unique example of a Tudor ‘grand stand’.… Continue reading The Epping hunting lodge of Queen Elizabeth I….

The quiet Woodville….

  Whenever we hear the name Woodville (various spellings) we’re inclined to think of Elizabeth Woodville and her grasping relatives. We’re told they had goodies thrust upon them by Edward IV, and that they were foisted in marriage onto almost all the leading families of the realm. One couldn’t go anywhere without encountering Woodvilles in… Continue reading The quiet Woodville….

Elisabeth Brooke, Marchioness of Northampton.

Elisabeth Brooke had a very eventful life! My attention was drawn to her as she was a descendant of Constance of York and Thomas Despenser through their daughter Isabelle’s first marriage to Richard Beauchamp – the Richard Beauchamp who became Earl of Worcester as opposed to her second husband, also Richard Beauchamp, the Earl of… Continue reading Elisabeth Brooke, Marchioness of Northampton.

Obituary: Author Bertram Fields

Lawyer Bertram Fields, who practiced law under the shortened form of his name, Bert, recently passed away at the age of 93 from complications of a Covid-19 infection. Ricardians will remember him as the author of the excellent ROYAL BLOOD, in which, with a lawyer’s skill, he dissected much of the traditionalist viewpoints, even taking… Continue reading Obituary: Author Bertram Fields

Who was St Patrick…?

Oh, the power of folklore. I was brought up in Cilfynydd, near Pontypridd. A mountain/very large hill rose behind the village and high on it was a spring which everyone called Paddy’s Well. I was told it got its name because St Patrick passed that way and drank from it. No doubt there are as… Continue reading Who was St Patrick…?

Scandal in Salisbury

Recently I had a rare opportunity to visit Church House in Salisbury. Used for administration of the diocese today, it is an attractive medieval/post-medieval building retaining many original features, and has an interesting but sometimes rather murky past. Originally it was built in the 15th century by a merchant called William Lightfoot, and was known… Continue reading Scandal in Salisbury

The “awkward mediaeval cities” (3) : St. Alban’s

Unlike Northampton and Oxford, St. Alban’s (City) is on the Thameslink network and also has a branch line to Watford Junction. Accommodation can be expensive but the less historic Luton is surprisingly convenient as a base, being about fourteen minutes away on the same line and costing about five pounds for a day return. Turning right… Continue reading The “awkward mediaeval cities” (3) : St. Alban’s

Thomas Seymour, Princess Elizabeth and hanky-panky….

Was Thomas Seymour guilty of any hanky-panky with his young stepdaughter Princess Elizabeth (to become Elizabeth I)? Well, yes, I don’t think there’s any doubt of that, but there has to be doubt about the extent of the hanky-panky. She was very young, around thirteen, and he was thirty-eight, so it certainly wasn’t runaway youthful… Continue reading Thomas Seymour, Princess Elizabeth and hanky-panky….

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