Does a griffin’s head have legs in the air 😯….?

  Here is another little puzzle to thwart my writing intentions. Always liking some background ‘colour”, I started chasing up the armorial devices of the Chadertons of Lancashire. I discovered the main one featured a griffin. So I resorted to my copy of The Royal Armory (the weight of which tests my aging muscles!) There… Continue reading Does a griffin’s head have legs in the air 😯….?

A pinch of salt reflected in A Distant Mirror….

Here is a heartfelt lament. Some books are always widely lauded, and rightly so, but what happens when one finds a blooper within the hallowed pages? In this instance I speak of A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century, by Barbara Tuchman. It’s packed full of detail, and a great read…until that one blooper leaps… Continue reading A pinch of salt reflected in A Distant Mirror….

The Stanley who could have been King.

Ferdinando Stanley (1559-1594) was very briefly 5th Earl of Derby. He was descended from Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suffolk, and according to the terms of Henry VIII’s will, which had statutory force in this respect he was the heir to Elizabeth I, since the Scottish branch were excluded. It is worth mentioning that he was… Continue reading The Stanley who could have been King.

Windleshaw Chantry

Windleshaw Chantry dates from about 1415 and is the oldest structure extant in St. Helens. (Now Merseyside, formerly Lancashire.) It is an unusual example of a detached chantry, not part of some other religious building. Locally, it is sometimes known as Windleshaw Abbey, though in fact it was never an abbey or even a priory.… Continue reading Windleshaw Chantry

Sir John Dalton and the wealthy widow….

  I have seen the above painting used an an illustration for the abduction of Guinevere. All that’s lacking are the fluffy kittens with pink satin bows. If it was really a medieval abduction, it wouldn’t be anything resembling this idyllic springtime scene, but much more likely to be as the illustration below! I’ve posted… Continue reading Sir John Dalton and the wealthy widow….

The Harringtons of Hornby Castle and the Stanleys

Most people are aware of the story of the original Hornby Castle. Sir Thomas Harrington and John, his elder son, were killed fighting at Wakefield in the Yorkist cause. John Harrington left two daughters – Anne was five and Elizabeth four at the time – and the Stanleys, assuming them to be their grandfather’s heirs,… Continue reading The Harringtons of Hornby Castle and the Stanleys

Yet another C17 coincidence

The English Civil War often looked like Round Two of the Wars of the Roses with, geographically, Yorkists morphing into Parliamentarians and Lancastrians becoming Royalists. One parliamentary commander was a Richard Neville and another bore the name of Ralph Assheton, as we shall show, descended from the Vice-Constable of the 1480s: Colonel Assheton, of Middleton,… Continue reading Yet another C17 coincidence

Old maps of Lancashire….

It so happens that I am writing about the Holands, a noble family that originated in Lancashire and rose to prominence in the 14th and 15th centuries. The town of Upholland records their name. And what should come my way? A link to old maps of Lancashire! An extract from one of these maps is… Continue reading Old maps of Lancashire….

The castles of Lancashire….

  I have to admit that when I think of England’s many castles, I don’t always think of Lancashire. But this article names and features no fewer than twelve. So read and enjoy!  

A Naughty Anchorite

Isolde de Heton, a widow, retired to a hermitage attached to Whalley Abbey with the intention of living as an anchorite. Henry VI appointed her to the position during 1437-38. Isolde, besides having a roof over her head, was to receive a weekly food allowance that included twenty-four loaves of bread and eight gallons of… Continue reading A Naughty Anchorite