There’s been another Murrrrdah…!

Maud Neville of Scotton, Lincolnshire, was the daughter and heiress of Sir Philip** Neville and Sarah (birth name unknown) and was born in about 1360. She married Sir William Cantilupe, a substantial landowner and member of a family which, historically, been of considerable importance in England. ** Some sources say Ralph. Take your pick. Allegedly,… Continue reading There’s been another Murrrrdah…!

Was 29th March a day of retribution for a certain 14th-century lord….?

  For the past two/three years I have been grappling (off and on, so to speak) with some defiant dates. No doubt I’ve bewailed this particular problem before because my interest in the lord concerned is quite considerable. Not least because he may have had great significance for the House of York. So here goes… Continue reading Was 29th March a day of retribution for a certain 14th-century lord….?

MAD, MURDEROUS MABEL

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

Henry I is probably under a nursery school, and might be best left there….!

  There are kings…and there are admirable kings. I’m afraid that from what I’ve heard about Henry I, he’s best left where he is! My friend hoodedman has written: “….It’s funny how Henry is not regarded as a controversial king despite maybe being implicated in his brother’s death in the New Forest, kept another brother… Continue reading Henry I is probably under a nursery school, and might be best left there….!

Pucklechurch and the death of a king….

According to The Folklore of Gloucestershire by Roy Palmer, there was a traditional dish in the south of the county known as whitepot, and it was served at Whit Sunday “revels”. The ingredients of whitepot were: “….four quarts of milk, a pound of flour, a pound of golden syrup, eight eggs, two ounces of butter,… Continue reading Pucklechurch and the death of a king….

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 Evidence in the Ice

Over the past 20 years or so, advances in archaeology have enabled us to test isotopes in human and animal teeth, showing possible places of origin and effects of diet; we can extract DNA and unlock the genome, not only finding living relatives but having a good guess at hair and eyes colour and other… Continue reading The Evidence in the Ice

The HS2 Murder Mystery

Just as the construction Crossrail exposed human burial grounds, so has HS2. Here, in Wendover, Buckinghamshire we have an Iron Age burial that is likely to have followed a murder, possibly a ritual murder, or an execution.  An Iron Age  man was discovered, face down, his unusual  position indicating that he was most likely bound… Continue reading The HS2 Murder Mystery

Richard III and the Pharaoh….?

Last night I settled down to watch a two-hour documentary I’d recorded from the History Channel. No, it wasn’t about Richard III, or even the English medieval period, but about the Fourth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. Specifically about the discovery of the long-fabled fourth pyramid, some five miles from Giza: here Unfortunately, I haven’t been… Continue reading Richard III and the Pharaoh….?

The ghosts and urban legends of Scarborough….

  To the best of my knowledge I’ve never seen a ghost, although when I was six/seven and living near Castle Archdale on the shores of Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, our landlady’s dog, named Master Dash, sat on the steps outside the great house (no longer there) and howled. He was a soft old… Continue reading The ghosts and urban legends of Scarborough….