From 1281, the widowed Alexander III lost his three children and remarried to remedy the situation. His second wife was Yolande de Dreux, who he married in autumn 1285, but Scotland was plunged into the unknown within five months when he broke his neck, falling from a horse, travelling across the Forth to Kinghorn in… Continue reading “Yolanding”?

The humble beginning of Sheriff Hutton….

Below is an interesting little snippet from the Calendar of Patent Rolls for 1382: You’ll find the original record here. And so Sheriff Hutton was born! Who would have thought that from such beginnings would rise one of the most important castles in Yorkshire? A plot on which to enclose a wall of stone and… Continue reading The humble beginning of Sheriff Hutton….

Henry VIII and Oedipus had something in common….

    Did you know that Henry VIII had an Oedipus complex? Nor did I, but according to J.C. Flugel, a psychologist with an interest in psychoanalysis, that was always Henry’s problem. In a 1920 work entitled On the Character and Married Life of Henry VIII Flugel described how, in an attempt to “uncover a… Continue reading Henry VIII and Oedipus had something in common….

Two Huggin Lanes, two churches of St Michael….

  The 14th-century story of John of Gaunt enjoying dinner in a friend’s house (including oysters, I understand) in the city of London when rebels ransacked his palace of the Savoy in the hope of laying hands upon him. He escaped, but not before cracking his shin (or some such part of his anatomy) on… Continue reading Two Huggin Lanes, two churches of St Michael….

The HANDSOME Duke of Burgundy….?

At the moment I’m trawling around medieval rulers in Europe. And lo! I’ve come upon this gentleman: His contemporary likenesses aren’t much better, so why was he called Philip the Fair/Handsome? Was it tongue-in cheek? If you look through the various recreations of him in this link below, if they’re even halfway accurate you can… Continue reading The HANDSOME Duke of Burgundy….?


Many people still hold to the idea that all medieval women were quiet, timid, and downtrodden, unable to defend themselves and at the mercy of others. Clearly they have never heard of Mabel de Belleme! Mabel was a Norman noblewoman, born sometime in the 1030’s to William Talvas de Belleme and his first wife, Haburga.… Continue reading MAD, MURDEROUS MABEL

The Kingmaker’s Anger

I’m working on a biography of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick – the man best introduced as The Kingmaker. I have written on the Wars of the Roses, on Richard, Duke of York, and Richard III. Warwick has been a constant presence throughout. I spent some time in an earlier dispute over the throne of… Continue reading The Kingmaker’s Anger


Elizabeth Woodville Royal Window Canterbury Cathedral Reblogged from A Medieval Potpourri sparkypus.com Very soon after the clandestine marriage of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville had taken place in 1464 it became abundantly clear to the old nobility that the siblings of the new Queen would henceforth be having their pick of the most sought after heirs and heiresses of… Continue reading THE MARRIAGES OF THE SIBLINGS OF ELIZABETH WOODVILLE

Elizabeth Vernon, Countess of Southampton.

Elizabeth Vernon, who lived from 1572 to 1655, was a maid-of-honour to Queen Elizabeth I. In 1598, while serving in that capacity, she became pregnant by Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton (1573-1624) who is perhaps best remembered as a patron of Shakespeare. Queen Elizabeth was not amused, and had the pair of them thrown in… Continue reading Elizabeth Vernon, Countess of Southampton.

A visit to Beccles (2016)

Originally posted on Mid Anglia Group, Richard III Society:
To visit this town, by the southern extremity of the Broads, the Group assembled at the King’s Head, a short walk from Beccles station on the East Suffolk Line. After this, we met Murray’s late grandfather James Woodrow, local historian, to show us around the town.…