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!

A strange perspective

This image was drawn to my attention on Instagram. Quite apart from the dubious nature of the “Tudor” descent of those monarchs, as attested to by several historians, the timeline is being stretched somewhat, from Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press to the Gunpowder Plot and even the Great Fire of London. Those of you… Continue reading A strange perspective

Channel 5’s “Inside the Tower of London”

This four-part series is narrated by Jason Watkins and heavily features Tracy Borman, Joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces. The first part dealt with the Peasants’ Revolt, which resulted in Simon of Sudbury‘s beheading and Borman travelled to St. Gregory’s in his home town to view the preserved head. She spoke about the animals… Continue reading Channel 5’s “Inside the Tower of London”

Conspiracy theories, Elizabeth I and Shakespeare….?

  If you go to here you will find examples of those intriguing possibilities, conspiracy theories. Well, some of them are too outlandish, but others…well, maybe…? Anyway, take a look and decide for yourself whether, for example, the Gunpowder Plot was really a put-up job by the Earl of Salisbury. Or whether Elizabeth the First might—just… Continue reading Conspiracy theories, Elizabeth I and Shakespeare….?

A request for authenticity

Today in 1606, the last of the “Gunpowder Plotters”, including Guido Fawkes, were executed at Tyburn. Some had been put to death the previous day whilst others, including Robert Catesby, were shot at Holbeche House , resisting arrest, soon after the plot was discovered. All of the executions were carried out by drawing, hanging and… Continue reading A request for authenticity

Coming up this year:

As you can see, Kit Harrington will soon portray Robert Catesby in a BBC drama about the Gunpowder Plot. Catesby, shot while resisting arrest, was one of the lucky ones. Then again, our folk memory of the seventeenth century is not entirely accurate. Here it is.

Bloody tales of the Tower….

I have only just found the series Bloody Tales of the Tower, previously on National Geographic and now on Channel 5 (http://www.channel5.com/show/bloody-tales-of-the-tower and http://www.natgeotv.com/za/bloody-tales-of-the-tower), and have to say that I enjoyed it very much. The presenters, Suzannah Lipscomb and Joe Crowley, are at ease in their roles and with each other, and do not adopt… Continue reading Bloody tales of the Tower….

The Hundred Years’ Grudge?

William Catesby, a Northamptonshire lawyer, was one of only three people executed in the aftermath of Bosworth, the others being a West Country father and son. From this and other circumstantial evidence, we are inexorably drawn to the conclusion that this happened because he was the only surviving layman who knew the details of Edward… Continue reading The Hundred Years’ Grudge?

To answer a visitors’ question:

We have had a few views recently, asking “why was arthur pole executed?”. Well, we don’t think he was. There were several Arthur Poles: 1) The first (Sir Arthur, 1502-35) was probably the youngest son of the Countess of Salisbury but there are no suggestions that he died from other than natural causes. 2) The… Continue reading To answer a visitors’ question:

Robert Cecil–Was he Shakespeare’s Real Richard III?

Robert Cecil—Was He Shakespeare’s Real Richard? It is quite astounding that many traditionalists still trot out the old ‘Shakespeare was right’ trope when referring to Richard III, even though more statements in his famous depiction have been proved to be wrong than ‘right’ in regards to this maligned king. Shakespeare was, of course, a dramatist,… Continue reading Robert Cecil–Was he Shakespeare’s Real Richard III?