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….
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 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….
“ . . . . 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….
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….?
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….!
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….!
There was once a royal house, sometimes referred to as a palace, in the street named The Riole in London’s Vintry Ward, and Richard III granted it to his good friend and ally, John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk. The great house was called the Tower Royal, and, like so much of medieval London, it… Continue reading The great house Richard III granted to John Howard….
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….
We all know how Richard III’s reputation has been besmirched over the centuries. He was turned into a monster because the likes of More and Shakespeare pandered to the Tudors’ need to justify their seizure of the throne. Thus he became a creature of misshapen body and mind, capable of putting his own child nephews… Continue reading Richard III wasn’t the only dog to be given a bad name….