The Traitor’s Arms?

In 1840 workmen carrying out repairs to St Bartholomew’s Church, Ashperton, Herefordshire were collecting stones from the ruins of a nearby manor house when they discovered a heavy stone plaque, carved with an elaborate coat of arms, among the rubble. The stone was taken to the church for safekeeping and has hung on the wall… Continue reading The Traitor’s Arms?

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….


A tragic but  often overlooked  story of a prince and princess and a wicked uncle is that of Arthur and Eleanor of Brittany. (Two later boys who may or may not have  been killed seem to elicit much  more sympathy, probably at least in part due to  a certain  play and some maudlin Victorian art!)… Continue reading ARTHUR AND ELEANOR-TRAGIC SIBLINGS

Coming up in January

Annette Carson Why the photo of journalist Matthew Parris? He’s the host of BBC Radio 4’s excellent series Great Lives in which Philippa Langley can be heard nominating Richard III, with me sitting in as the ‘expert witness’, broadcast on Tuesday 6 January at 16.30, repeated on Friday 9 January at 23.00. For anyone outside… Continue reading Coming up in January