A medieval mystery in Stamford….

I love it when local historians delve into their area’s past and start unearthing curious things. This is what retired academic Linda Ball has done for the part of Stamford in which she grew up. St Paul’s Street, Stamford, was on the site of what was once either Greyfriars or Whitefriars. The medieval mystery of… Continue reading A medieval mystery in Stamford….

Spreading propaganda works both ways, as John of Gaunt discovered….

As we all know, the Tudors were masters of propaganda. The lies about Richard III poured forth throughout their usurpation, and still persist to this day. If they could say something unpleasant and derogatory about him, they did. Perhaps it was in their blood, of course, because they were descended (one way or another) from… Continue reading Spreading propaganda works both ways, as John of Gaunt discovered….

What really happened with Princess Cecily’s first two marriages….?

The following extract is from Not So Fortunate As Fair’: The Life of Princess Cecily Plantagenet by Sharon Champion:- “….At the age of five, she [Cecily] was betrothed to James, the infant son and heir of James III of Scotland. John 5th Baron Scrope of Bolton was sent as commissioner to negotiate a contract of… Continue reading What really happened with Princess Cecily’s first two marriages….?

More Lancastrian propaganda – about an earlier Richard and Henry….

How many of you have books on your shelves that you’ve had for years but have yet to read? I’m guilty of that, I fear. However, today I grabbed a book at random, to read while my car, name of Iggy, underwent his first MOT. When I arrived and was seated, I discovered that the… Continue reading More Lancastrian propaganda – about an earlier Richard and Henry….

Was the 3rd Duke of York like his youngest son in appearance….?

  When I posted on my Facebook page that it had been suggested to me I write an M&B article about the physical appearance of the 3rd Duke of York, a friend commented: “. . . .According to John Ashdown Hill’s biography of Cecily, he was probably tall because of some poem written about how… Continue reading Was the 3rd Duke of York like his youngest son in appearance….?

The story of the Crutched Friars in London….

The Priory of the Holy Cross, also known as the Crossed or Crutched Friars, near Tower Hill, was one of about forty-five religious houses and over one hundred parish churches in medieval London. Oh, how many of these wonderful buildings were lost forever in the Great Fire, never to be replaced? My recent contact with… Continue reading The story of the Crutched Friars in London….

A royal Christmas invitation for Matthew Paris of St Albans….

“ . . . . Christmas with the King [ Henry III ] doesn’t immediately sound like the social engagement you would expect for a Benedictine monk, but wind the clock back to the early 13th century and for one particularly colourful religious figure, a royal invitation was nothing out of the norm . .… Continue reading A royal Christmas invitation for Matthew Paris of St Albans….

Was the Black Prince a control freak where his wife was concerned….?

Before I start, I must apologise for the decidedly uncontemporary illustrations. They are an indulgence, I fear. The one above, of the Prince of Wales (known to posterity as the Black Prince) in armour at an army camp, his hands clasped behind his back, seems to me to probably capture him exactly as he was…all… Continue reading Was the Black Prince a control freak where his wife was concerned….?

Queen Joan? Oh, no she wasn’t….!

  The illustration above is from Dan Jones’s book Summer of Blood: the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. Part of the caption is “Queen Joan, Richard II’s mother, pleading with the rebels as the Savoy burned”. Elsewhere in the same book, Joan is referred to as the queen mother. According to Merriam Webster, the first known… Continue reading Queen Joan? Oh, no she wasn’t….!

It’s Alice Perrers’ biography, but the author puts the boot into Lionel of Clarence….!

Given her huge notoriety at the time, it’s odd that Edward III’s mistress, Alice Perrers, has (as far as I can ascertain) only garnered one biography. This is Lady of the Sun by F George Kay, 1966 (and seemingly never reprinted). There are no surviving contemporary likenesses of Alice, nor even a description of her.… Continue reading It’s Alice Perrers’ biography, but the author puts the boot into Lionel of Clarence….!