Picking the Bones….

This ghost story was inspired after reading this post by my good friend sparkypus. And the Battle of Barnet just happened to take place at an earlier Easter. Oh, and there’s a nod toward Dickens, but the facts don’t cooperate with Christmas! The eve of the Battle of Barnet, Holy Saturday, 13 April, 1471 It was… Continue reading Picking the Bones….

Newport and the lucky/unlucky Staffords….

It seems to me, looking at the list in this article about Newport Castle, that a few members of the Stafford family came to sticky ends, some deserved, some apparently not. They may have been unlucky, but the family was wealthy and titled, so perhaps not that hard done by. In 1377 Hugh, Earl of… Continue reading Newport and the lucky/unlucky Staffords….

Rebellion in the Middle Ages

This is the latest of Matthew Lewis’ books and covers a longer period than any of the others, from Hereward the Wake’s emergence after Hastings to the beginning of the Wars of the Roses, almost as long a period as this book. Lewis is already an expert on “The Anarchy” (chapter 2) and the Roses… Continue reading Rebellion in the Middle Ages

Murder at Pencoed Castle….

Last night I watched a documentary about the 2016 murder of call girl Georgina Symonds by her lover, millionaire Peter Morgan. The story of the murder is intriguing enough, but I found myself being more concerned about the scene of the crime, the picturesque ruins of Pencoed Castle in Monmouthshire. It’s situated at Llanmartin, near… Continue reading Murder at Pencoed Castle….

The Rise of the Stanley family.

In the late 14th Century, the Stanleys were a gentry family, their power base lying chiefly in Cheshire, notably in the Wirral. Their ancestry might fairly be described as ‘provincial’. There were certainly no kings in their quarterings. This is not to say they were unimportant, but their influence was of a local rather than… Continue reading The Rise of the Stanley family.

The Case of Mary Blandy: Guilty or Innocent?

Originally posted on Giaconda's Blog:
Mary Blandy “Alas! the record of her page will tellThat one thus madden’d, lov’d, and guilty fell.Who hath not heard of Blandy’s fatal fame,Deplor’d her fate, and sorrow’d o’er her shame?”~”Henley,” anonymous 1827 poem The case of Mary Blandy divides opinion even today. Was she an innocent victim of…

Sir Edward Hungerford’s murderous lady….

According to this link, Sir Edward Hungerford , had a shocking story attached to his memory. Sir Edward’s second wife, was Agnes Cotell who died 20th February 1523/4. Ah, but that’s to understate the point, because she was actually hanged for murder. What happened? Well, her first husband was John Cotell, who was Sir Edward… Continue reading Sir Edward Hungerford’s murderous lady….

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….?


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