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

The real meaning of “Year of Grace”….

Yes, I’m saying it again: one does learn something new every day. This time it’s an explanation of the phrase ‘Year of Grace’. I had not really given it any thought at all, imagining it simply meant the year granted by God’s Grace. Well, in point of fact, it does mean that, but not in… Continue reading The real meaning of “Year of Grace”….

The Traitor’s Arms?

In 1840 workmen carrying out repairs to St Bartholomew’s Church, Ashperton, Herefordshire were collecting stones from the ruins of a nearby manor house when they discovered a heavy stone plaque, carved with an elaborate coat of arms, among the rubble. The stone was taken to the church for safekeeping and has hung on the wall… Continue reading The Traitor’s Arms?

THE THREE HUNDRED YEARS WAR – PART 3 : the dogs of war

Preface This is the third of three articles charting the course of continual Anglo-French conflict from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries. The first, covered the rise and fall of the Angevin Empire, and the Treaty of Paris (1259). The second, continued my narrative from the accession of Edward I until the Treaty of Bretigny… Continue reading THE THREE HUNDRED YEARS WAR – PART 3 : the dogs of war

THE THREE HUNDRED YEARS WAR – PART 2: the just cause  

  Preface This is the second of three articles charting the course of continual Anglo-French conflict from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries. In the first article, I wrote about the rise and fall of the Angevin Empire, culminating in the Treaty of Paris (1259). This article picks up my narrative after the death of… Continue reading THE THREE HUNDRED YEARS WAR – PART 2: the just cause  

The Mortimer Succession.

It used to be suggested that Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, was nominated as Richard II’s successor in the Parliament of 1385, but this was questioned by historians due to lack of supporting evidence. It appears that March was in fact so nominated in the Parliament of 1386. (Source – (Ian Mortimer, ‘Richard II and… Continue reading The Mortimer Succession.

Did Richard III prefer to travel his realm by land, river or around the coast. . .?

Here is a question that has bugged me for some time now. If, during medieval centuries, a journey could be made around the English coast, rather than across country, was the sea option likely to be chosen? I will take a particular example. It’s from the 14th century, but could be from the 13th or… Continue reading Did Richard III prefer to travel his realm by land, river or around the coast. . .?

Why I dislike John of Gaunt….

As Ricardians, we know very well now, history can be twisted to suit. The matter of those strawberries and what happened next, for instance. I mean, the different versions are legion, even to the point of whether or not Thomas, Lord Stanley was ever present at all, let alone injured in a scrap and obliged… Continue reading Why I dislike John of Gaunt….

How the House of Mortimer was cheated….

Here’s how the great House of Mortimer petered out and was supplanted by a Lancastrian usurper who killed the reigning king and stole his throne. Then, under the House of York, the House of Mortimer triumphed again….until, in 1485, along came another Lancastrian usurper to kill the reigning king and steal the throne….. Never trust… Continue reading How the House of Mortimer was cheated….

And the king’s hair seethed with lice at his coronation. . .!

Do not read on if you’re squeamish about blood-sucking parasites. No, I’m not referring to Henry VII, but his equally usurping Lancastrian predecessor, Henry IV. When we think of medieval coronations, and see contemporary illustrations, we see the glamour, colour and solemnity of the occasion, hear the singing, smell the incense, observe the wonderful robes… Continue reading And the king’s hair seethed with lice at his coronation. . .!