More Mythology of Richard III

The Mythology of Richard III was one of the late John Ashdown-Hill’s fine and well-researched books, which tried to dispel some of the ingrained tall tales about the much-maligned King. Unfortunately, ‘MORE Mythology’ seems to come up all too infrequently, and I am not necessarily talking about Thomas More, although his name often arises still… Continue reading More Mythology of Richard III

What really happened in 1385, when the Earl of Stafford’s son and heir was killed on a Yorkshire road…?

On Sunday, 16th July 1385 (maybe 18th) there was an incident at Bustardthorpe, which is south of York on the road to Bishopthorpe, where King Richard II was staying at the (arch)bishop’s palace. A large portion of his army and nobles were encamped close by because the English were en route for Scotland, intending to… Continue reading What really happened in 1385, when the Earl of Stafford’s son and heir was killed on a Yorkshire road…?

Did Richard III prefer to travel his realm by land, river or around the coast. . .?

Here is a question that has bugged me for some time now. If, during medieval centuries, a journey could be made around the English coast, rather than across country, was the sea option likely to be chosen? I will take a particular example. It’s from the 14th century, but could be from the 13th or… Continue reading Did Richard III prefer to travel his realm by land, river or around the coast. . .?

Is this narrated by a computer…?

Right, for this little exercise one needs observant ears. Yes, ears. You see, whoever—or whatever—narrates this small video has a very strange way of doing it. His/its diction is oddly mechanical, to say the least and some of the words are barely comprehensible. Yet it is English, I’m sure of that! Apart from the above,… Continue reading Is this narrated by a computer…?

Richard III wasn’t the only dog to be given a bad name….

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….

Why bury a chest of books….?

Here is a puzzle, circa 1400. Why would a usurped king’s half-brother bury a chest of books in the ground at the church in his Devon estate? The usurped king was Richard II, the half-brother John Holand, Earl of Huntingdon (had been Duke of Exeter), the Devon estate Dartington. This was just before Holand joined… Continue reading Why bury a chest of books….?

What happened to Coldharbour on Richard III’s death. . . .?

Yes, another post about Coldharbour (above) which stood  in Upper Thames Street, London. But this time it concerns an apparent omission in ownership. It is a known fact that after Bosworth, Henry VII turfed the College of Heralds out of Coldharbour and handed the property over to his mother, Margaret Beaufort. Isn’t it? I mean, there’s… Continue reading What happened to Coldharbour on Richard III’s death. . . .?

When, exactly, was Elizabeth of Lancaster’s first marriage dissolved….?

A source at the National Archives says that John of Gaunt’s daughter Elizabeth was married to the boy, John Hastings, Earl of Pembroke, on 24th January 1380. She was about 17, he was about 8. She then “disagreed” with the marriage, because of her husband’s youth and inability to consummate the marriage, and the source… Continue reading When, exactly, was Elizabeth of Lancaster’s first marriage dissolved….?

Edmund Mortimer 5th Earl of March

Edmund Mortimer, later 5th Earl of March, was born on 6 November 1391. His parents were Roger Mortimer, Earl of March (1374-1398) and his wife, the well-connected Alianore Holland, daughter of Thomas Earl of Kent. In the view of many people, including the Westminster Chronicler, and the Welsh poet Iolo Goch (c1320-1398) Earl Roger was… Continue reading Edmund Mortimer 5th Earl of March

An angelic Tudor mystery in Devon….

The great hall at Dartington Hall, near Totnes in Devon, is a magnificent example of 14th-century architecture, but there is a little oddity that not everyone will notice. It concerns the supporting figures on the corbels supporting the five-bay hammerbeam timber roof. The figures are angels holding the heraldic shields of the families that have… Continue reading An angelic Tudor mystery in Devon….