Britain’s Most Historic Towns (2)

This excellent Channel Four programme, presented by Professor Alice Roberts, with Dr. Ben Robinson in the helicopter, has returned for a new series. The early venues were Dover (World War Two, visiting the underground base, concentrating on the retreat from Dunkirk and subsequent Channel defence, meeting some survivors, wearing ATS uniform and riding in a… Continue reading Britain’s Most Historic Towns (2)

The Rise of the Clans

Neil Oliver‘s latest history series has been shown through December on Monday evenings (BBC1 Scotland) and twenty-four hours later on BBC4. The first part, of three, showed how the power vacuum caused by the sudden deaths of Alexander III and his granddaughter was resolved through the clan system and John Balliol’s abdication so that alliances… Continue reading The Rise of the Clans

Edward Bruce, Ill-Starred King of Ireland

On the Hill of Laughart,near Dundalk, Co. Louth, in Ireland,  lies a large, speckled stone slab  covering the remains  of a man called Edward Brus…thebrother of the rather more famous Robert the Brus, KING OF Scotland. (The actual ‘Braveheart’.) Little known, Edward was, briefly, the High King of Ireland, but ended up dying in battle… Continue reading Edward Bruce, Ill-Starred King of Ireland

Treason from a Scottish perspective

This article tells the story of Scottish treason in the time of William Wallace, Robert I and afterwards, through the tradition of oral history. The image below is supposedly of Hugh le Despenser the Younger, although there must be some cases more relevant to Scotland.

PEDRO I, THE CRUEL OR THE JUST?

Pedro I, Peter the Cruel, was the great great grandfather of Richard III and Edward IV, through Peter’s daughter, Isabella, wife of Edmund of Langley.(Another daughter, Constance of Castile, married John of Gaunt.) Pedro or Peter has an interesting story—his life, his death and his subsequent reputation. Born August 30, 1334, Peter was the last… Continue reading PEDRO I, THE CRUEL OR THE JUST?

Another DNA case

The father of James Duke of Monmouth is usually assumed to be the future Charles II, who freely acknowledged his resonsibility. There exists a scientific proof, as published on p.36 of Beauclerk-Powell and Dewar’s Royal Bastards, through Y-chromosome tests comparing Monmouth’s male line descendants the Dukes of Buccleuch with the Dukes of Grafton, St. Albans… Continue reading Another DNA case

Quite an unfortunate family

Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, cannot be called unlucky. The story of his revolt against Richard III, ending in Salisbury at the start of November 1483 is so well known that even Shakespeare has the right end of this particular stick. However, his family suffered fates that they didn’t always deserve so obviously: 1)… Continue reading Quite an unfortunate family

Use of the Salic Law

A Salic Law (dating from c.507-11) stated, among other things, that a kingdom must be inherited agnatically. Women are to be excluded from the Crown, as are men who would only inherit through the male line. How did this affect different European countries? FRANCE: applied more rigidly as time went on, precedents being created in… Continue reading Use of the Salic Law