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J D Wetherspoon’s The Last Plantagenet in Leicester….

The Last Plantagenet - Wetherspoons

The first J D Wetherspoon pub mentioned in this list of such hostelries in Leicester , is The Last Plantagenet. No prizes for guessing who that might be. The writer treads a diplomatic line about the discovery of Richard’s remains, by saying: “…his burial site was finally uncovered by an archaeological project…” No names, no pack drill!

My only quibble is that this site is one of the increasing number to have an initial video that, literally, starts shouting out of the screen. This time it was Star Wars. Not only that, however, but the controls to stop or silence it, are either useless or deliberately switch back on again, uninvited. It’s intrusive, aggressive and not acceptable. It also has the opposite effect on me from the one intended, in that it infuriates me! I shouldn’t have to shut ALL sound off simply to silence these pests. I hope that by the time this post is being read, the offending video will no longer be in place!

 

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John Ball and Colchester

Here are some of the panels just inside the door of the Colchester Playhouse, now a theatre-themed public house. They illustrate John Ball, after whom a minor town centre road is also named, becoming a priest, a prisoner at Maidstone and then participating in the 1381

Peasants’ Revolt (from 30 May), fighting at Blackheath (on 12 June) and then being executed at St. Alban’s on 15 July that year.

Now it’s 3-0

A few months ago, we wrote to say that there were two JD Wetherspoons named after Richard III – the Lord High Constable in Gloucester and the Last Plantagenet in Leicester – but none after Henry VII. Now, having been reminded that Richard created the Court of Requests, there is one by that name in Oldbury, Sandwell.

They really do seem to know their history …

Furthermore …

As we wrote a few weeks ago, there are two JD Wetherspoons named specifically for Richard III, in Gloucester and Leicester. Is there one, in Wales perhaps, named after Henry VII?

This list confirms that this is not the case. At best, “Tudor”-ists could only claim that “The Lord Caradoc” (left) in Port Talbot might refer to Sir Matthew Craddock but actually it is someone from the twelfth century.

Evidently, this particular company is very historically aware and the town’s name is connected to Richard’s sister-in-law.

Those Howards again

Mid Anglia Group, Richard III Society

GoldenLionWe all know by now that the Red Lion in Colchester was originally the White Lion because this was the emblem of the Howards but was renamed because the family was out of favour at James I’s accession.

History definitely wasn’t on my mind today but fish and chips in Ipswich town centre was. I chose the Golden Lion, a well-known Wetherspoon by the Cornhill, and read the above note on my menu. Again, it is a former White Lion in Howard country and is unrecorded before 1571, unlike the Colchester venue which is established as the home of Sir John Howard in the years before the Mowbray Dukes of Norfolk became extinct in 1482.

The latter date is significant because the fourth Howard Duke of Norfolk, Thomas, was executed in 1572 for treason that encompassed marrying Mary of Scotland. His attainder was not reversed until the Restoration, perhaps because…

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Richard’s in the driving seat….!

the-last-plantagenet-1

I can’t agree that Leicester is shamelessly “milking” Richard III for all he’s worth. On the contrary, it seems to me that it’s Richard in the driving seat, and Leicester is having to rush around to keep up with him! Not that Leicester is complaining. Why should they? Richard was an excellent king who knew what he was doing, so of course they bow to his commands! I would too.

The above comments were inspired by this article.

Wetherspoons now have two hostelries named after Richard, the other being The Lord High Constable of England, in my home city of Gloucester. Come on Wetherspoons, York, why not a Duke of Gloucester? Or a Good King Richard?

The menu at Wetherspoons, Gloucester Docks.

To see a list of all Wetherspoons, go here.

 

The “Colourblind Cartographer” came to Ipswich

Many of you will remember reading, perhaps in “The Last Days of Richard III”, how John Speed went to Leicester looking for the site of the Greyfriars but confused it with the Blackfriars which was in a far worse state of repair thus no royal body could possibly have survived.

Yesterday, I lunched at the “Robert Ransome” in Ipswich – table 22 in case you ask. On the wall were several interesting photos, including Speed’s 1610 Ipswich map. Apart from his unaccountable failure to include the railway station, it compares well with the town four centuries later.

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