Henry of Derby’s “family” wasn’t his family at all….

  Research has recently taken me all over 14th-century Europe, and in the course of this I happened upon the information that wives did not accompany embassies. Well, I’ve now acquired a book entitled Expeditions to Prussia and the Holy Land made by Henry Earl of Derby, published by The Camden Society. The future Henry… Continue reading Henry of Derby’s “family” wasn’t his family at all….

Was 29th March a day of retribution for a certain 14th-century lord….?

  For the past two/three years I have been grappling (off and on, so to speak) with some defiant dates. No doubt I’ve bewailed this particular problem before because my interest in the lord concerned is quite considerable. Not least because he may have had great significance for the House of York. So here goes… Continue reading Was 29th March a day of retribution for a certain 14th-century lord….?

A mystery man named Avery Cornburgh….

  “….Cornburgh, originally from Cornwall and later of Gooshayes (Essex), was yeoman at the Lancastrian, Yorkist, and Tudor courts and a man of considerable power….” The above extract is from this article I confess I had never heard of Avery Cornburgh (died 1487) who was apparently a close friend of John Howard, Duke of Norfolk.… Continue reading A mystery man named Avery Cornburgh….

Richard III led the Third Crusade….? 😮

“….we may be getting very close to full-circle on the Assassin’s Creed timeline, as whatever game comes next will apparently revolve around Richard III…. “….Richard III has appeared in Assassin’s Creed before, but only in a small speaking part in the very first game. Richard, then King of England, led the Third Crusade into the… Continue reading Richard III led the Third Crusade….? 😮

Eleanor the Crusader

My next book – due for release in October, all being well – is about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. They were one of Europe’s most fabulous power couples, ruling lands that spread from the North Sea to the Mediterranean. Eleanor was nine years Henry’s senior. When they married in 1152, he was a… Continue reading Eleanor the Crusader

Another C12 female monarch

For nineteen years, as Matthew Lewis relates here, England was torn between Matilda, Henry I’s only surviving legitimate child, and Stephen of Blois, his nephew. She married Geoffrey of Anjou before their son Henry II succeeded her rival, but her position was difficult because of her gender. The concept of a “Queen Regnant” was unknown… Continue reading Another C12 female monarch

A pastoral tale

This article investigates why, as the Mediaeval Warm Period drew to a close, Britain (and particularly England) developed differently to many nations of Southern Europe. Sandbrook mentions two major cultural factors: the tradition of salting bacon because ham could not be dry-cured and the evolution of the wool trade through the systematic elimination of the… Continue reading A pastoral tale

Our Knight’s Oath Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Historical Accuracy

I attended a renaissance faire in the U.S. recently and must relay something that happened. The faire’s king knighted all ladies and lads (including adults) who wished to be knighted. But first, they had to sit through a vigorous lecture by one of the king’s minions. First, said minion asked the audience to name some… Continue reading Our Knight’s Oath Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Historical Accuracy