The Stanley who could have been King.

Ferdinando Stanley (1559-1594) was very briefly 5th Earl of Derby. He was descended from Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suffolk, and according to the terms of Henry VIII’s will, which had statutory force in this respect he was the heir to Elizabeth I, since the Scottish branch were excluded. It is worth mentioning that he was… Continue reading The Stanley who could have been King.

Leaks, thistles and crosses of all kinds….

No, I haven’t made a boo-boo, the subject line of this article from Inside Wales Sport does indeed say “leaks”. A friend has wondered if this means Wales is a land in dire need of plumbers! This was a clear invitation to examine the rest of the article for further bloopers. I’ll start with England’s… Continue reading Leaks, thistles and crosses of all kinds….

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

Medieval thoughts of Stonehenge and the solstices….?

I remember the good old days when a visit to Stonehenge meant actually walking around inside it, instead of having to view it from paths at a distance. You could just park and walk, without all the razzmatazz that applies today. Some people even sat on the lower stones! Shock, horror. Closing the monument off… Continue reading Medieval thoughts of Stonehenge and the solstices….?

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!

Sir Bevis Bulmer – son of Smithfield

Bevis Bulmer certainly didn’t have a good start in life. He was about one when his parents were executed for high treason on the same day in May 1537, having been caught up in the Pilgrimage of Grace. Sir John, from a prominent Yorkshire family, was hanged and beheaded whilst Margaret, his mother who may… Continue reading Sir Bevis Bulmer – son of Smithfield

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 MYSTERIOUS BRISTOL CROSS

In the back of the beautiful Stourhead gardens stands a mysterious piece of  old Bristol–the Bristol High Cross. When you first see it, you almost think it might be a modern folly, but it is the ‘real thing’, a medieval cross. In the 1700’s such relics of the past were considered  old-fashioned and valueless; in… Continue reading THE MYSTERIOUS BRISTOL CROSS

The Mayflower

Below is William Halsall’s 1882 portrait of the Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor. It is obviously imagined as the original ship was almost certainly broken up at Rotherhithe in 1624, a more extreme case than  the “Streatham portrait“, which post-dates it’s purported subject’s death by about forty years. From the spelling of the title, the background… Continue reading The Mayflower

Plantagenet Ireland and Poynings’ Law

It is fair to say that most medieval English kings had little interest in Ireland except as a source of revenue. (The same was probably true about England and Wales but it seems too cynical to say it, and at least they did live there.) Prior to the Bruce invasion, Ireland yielded between £5000 and… Continue reading Plantagenet Ireland and Poynings’ Law