The denouement at Penmaenhead in 1399….

  When we think of Colwyn Bay today, we don’t think of vital historic events in August 1399, when a King of England, Richard II, was captured. This fact led to his deposition, imprisonment and suspiciously convenient death…culminating in the rise of the House of Lancaster in the form of his usurping first cousin, Henry… Continue reading The denouement at Penmaenhead in 1399….

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

Richard III and Harold II

We all know that Richard is directly descended from William the Conqueror, who is his eleven times great grandfather. Here is Richard’s pedigree to William in three parts – follow the yellow dots left to right. (N.B. the first few generations have the yellow combined with red and blue which lead to other ancestors). But… Continue reading Richard III and Harold II

Trial by combat attended by the King of England….

On 16th September 1398, at Gosford Green near Coventry, there was a tournament involving a trial by combat between Henry of Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford and Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. Almost the entire nobility of England attended this event, including the king, Richard II, who had ordered the trial to settle a dispute (concerning… Continue reading Trial by combat attended by the King of England….

If Edward IV didn’t dispose of Henry Holand, 3rd Duke of Exeter, who did….?

I must state from the outset that I could not find any contemporary likenesses of Henry Holand, so the above is of him as played by an actor unknown to me. The life of Henry Holand, 3rd Duke of Exeter—*actually 4th Duke, by my calculations, see below—has never been of particular interest to me, but… Continue reading If Edward IV didn’t dispose of Henry Holand, 3rd Duke of Exeter, who did….?

A Peterborough mystery

Peterborough is a well-planned city. The walk from station to Cathedral passes through two short subways, with an optional detour to start of the Nene Valley Railway heritage line, to a semi-pedestrianised street with the Cathedral ahead,  with a range of shops, restaurants and even a parish church on the approach. The Queensgate Centre includes… Continue reading A Peterborough mystery

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

Another take on Richard de la Pole

Here, the American blogger Samantha Wilcoxson writes about Lord Richard’s life in  his capacity as the last free son of John, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, and as an exile from the England of the first two “Tudors”, before dying at Pavia and being buried in the Basilica of San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro there (right). From Lord Richard’s Wikipedia page,… Continue reading Another take on Richard de la Pole

Might Richard have become Archbishop of Canterbury….?

  An oft-asked question arose again the other day. Had Richard been originally intended for the Church? He was the youngest son of the 3rd Duke of York, and the Church was the fate of most aristocratic youngest sons. It has been suggested to me that such early training would explain his beautifully precise handwriting.… Continue reading Might Richard have become Archbishop of Canterbury….?

Illustrated by SHW

Today in 1538-9, Henry Pole Lord Montagu, was beheaded for treason, after the “plot” involving his brother, Reginald, later a Cardinal. It was previously thought that Reginald was a sub-deacon for many years, was only properly ordained in late 1536 and thus could have married at any time before this. However, it is now clear… Continue reading Illustrated by SHW