It seems that in 1386 a second “Norman Invasion” was planned by the French. And a “stupendous” part of the preparations included a portable wooden town to house and protect the invaders when they landed. I found the following description in Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror, page 426 of my copy:- “….A huge camp enclosing… Continue reading The floating town the French invented for invading England in 1385/6….
Who do you think you are? has now completed eighteen series as British television’s predominant genealogy programmes. In that time, with an average of eight episodes per series, they have uncovered many celebrities with interesting lineage and some unexpected royal descendants, including Alexander Armstrong, Clare Balding, Danny Dyer, Frank Gardner and Sir Matthew Pinsent. Now… Continue reading More Royal ancestry
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
Here is a Daily Telegraph review of Charles, Earl Spencer‘s book about the sinking of the White Ship in 1120. It includes a lot of hypotheses based upon the survival of William the Atheling, the tenager who was Henry I‘s only surviving legitimate son but was the most prominent casualty of this maritime incident, arguably… Continue reading The White Ship
I’ve Gone Mediaeval. That may not be a surprise to most, but now you can come with me. I am co-hosting a new podcast from History Hit called Gone Mediaeval. I present an episode every Saturday, mostly covering the high and late medieval period. The other host is Dr Cat Jarman, a bioarchaeologist, who specialises… Continue reading Gone Medieval Podcast
My next book – due for release in October, all being well – is about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. They were one of Europe’s most fabulous power couples, ruling lands that spread from the North Sea to the Mediterranean. Eleanor was nine years Henry’s senior. When they married in 1152, he was a… Continue reading Eleanor the Crusader
Preface I conceived this article as a defence of King Henry V against the accusation that he was a war criminal. It became apparent, however, that my research was drawing me away from Henry’s campaigns towards a broader study of the origin and causes of the Hundred Years War. Soon, I was reading material going… Continue reading THE THREE HUNDRED YEARS WAR – Part 1: the Devil’s brood
A gentle and devotional life About seventy years ago, the historian John Harvey wrote this in an essay about King Henry VI: “The life and death, and the thwarting of his noble designs are one (sic) of the sorriest tragedies of English history. He was a victim of forces outside his control, for whose existence… Continue reading Henry VI: saint or sinner?
Would these be your five? Or do you have other suggestions? PS Who can spot their deliberate mistake?
Edmund Mortimer, later 5th Earl of March, was born on 6 November 1391. His parents were Roger Mortimer, Earl of March (1374-1398) and his wife, the well-connected Alianore Holland, daughter of Thomas Earl of Kent. In the view of many people, including the Westminster Chronicler, and the Welsh poet Iolo Goch (c1320-1398) Earl Roger was… Continue reading Edmund Mortimer 5th Earl of March