Where did weary medieval travellers sleep…?

  I find myself needing to research the sort of accommodation a weary medieval traveller might expect to find at an inn or hospice. Today we look at our picturesque 14th/15th16th century inns and have no trouble at all booking ourselves into handsome panelled rooms with low beams, latticed bay windows, fine four-posters etc. Oh… Continue reading Where did weary medieval travellers sleep…?

Athelstan–Our Greatest Monarch?

A recent poll searching for Britain’s ‘Greatest Monarch’, came up with the surprise winner of… drum roll, King Athelstan. Not that the Anglo-Saxon king wasn’t so great, but the winner is a little surprising since most people seem to have believed the ‘crown’ would go to Elizabeth I. (Yawn!) I hope the voters actually remembered… Continue reading Athelstan–Our Greatest Monarch?

What has MKJ started?

If you watched Channel Four on the first Saturday evening in January 2003, then you will probably remember Michael K. Jones and Tony Robinson discussing Edward IV‘s possible illegitimacy, followed by Britain’s Real Monarch, an investigation into the King or Queen of England if Edward had not existed or been debarred, leading through the Poles… Continue reading What has MKJ started?

From Yule Log to Buche de Noel

While the traditional Yule Log is associated with Great Britain – as its television broadcast/DVD version is associated with America – it seems to have originated in the misty past of Central Germany and Westphalia.   It is certainly of pagan origin as are many of our Christian customs.  To quote Sir James George Frazer in… Continue reading From Yule Log to Buche de Noel

Which medieval materials had which colours….?

While going through some of my old medieval research, I came upon a list that has given me pause to reconsider some of my descriptions of materials used for clothing. The list was in a paper read on 6th April 1911: XXII—A Wardrobe Account of 16-17 Richard II, 1393-4, by W. Paley-Baildon, Esquire., F.S.A. “….MATERIALS.… Continue reading Which medieval materials had which colours….?

Long live the King

This interesting tome has finally appeared in paperback. The opening Parts read like an abridged biography of the story familiar to us through Warner’s The Unconventional King, but to be read with an open mind as to whether Edward II survived his “official death” today in 1327 or not. The reader will re-learn the events… Continue reading Long live the King

Leslau, Holbein, More and Clement

Before I begin, I have two words of warning. The first is that a huge spoiler for my novels Loyalty and the sequel Honour unavoidably follows. Just so that you know! Secondly, the following is my telling of the theory researched and expounded by Jack Leslau, an amateur art enthusiast who believed that he stumbled… Continue reading Leslau, Holbein, More and Clement

The suppression of witchcraft, 1484 style….

On 5th December 1484 Pope Innocent VIII issued a papal bull known as Summis desiderantes affectibus (“desiring with supreme ardour”). Its purpose was to suppress the practice of witchcraft by any necessary means. The following paragraph is taken from the 1928 English translation of it:- “….Many persons of both sexes, unmindful of their own salvation and straying… Continue reading The suppression of witchcraft, 1484 style….

Some things never change

As this excellent article relates, Frederick Solms-Baruth III was among those convicted after “Operation Valkerie”, the Wagnerian name for the July 1944 plot to kill Hitler through a bomb in a suitcase. Led by Claus von Stauffenberg (left), it almost succeeded but von Stauffenberg and his co-conspirators were almost all tortured and many executed horribly as… Continue reading Some things never change

EADGYTH, A SAXON PRINCESS DISCOVERED

Shortly before Richard III’s remains were discovered, another ancient member of the English royalty was  found–the Saxon Princess Eadgyth who became Queen of Germany in 930 through her marriage to King Otto. Her father was Edward the Elder and so she was Alfred the Great’s granddaughter. She died at around 30 and was buried at… Continue reading EADGYTH, A SAXON PRINCESS DISCOVERED