It is not my purpose to describe the Glyndŵr Rising in detail. The story is far too complex to be contained within a blog post. The reader who is interested in the full tale would do well to consult (for example) The Revolt Of Owain Glyn Dŵr by R.R Davies, an excellent work. The initial… Continue reading ‘Great magician, damned Glendower'(Part 4.)
Owain‘s service to Arundel included taking part in the naval victory over the French in 1387 in which a wine fleet was captured. Such was the booty that the price of wine in England fell through the floor. He may well also have been involved in Arundel’s attack on the French coast a few months… Continue reading ‘Great magician, damned Glendower'(Part 3.)
Owain‘s training as a lawyer certainly did not stop him from pursuing a military career. in 1384 he is found undertaking garrison duty at Berwick in the retinue of the Flintshire knight Sir Gregory Sais. Sais was a renowned knight, with extensive combat experience in France, particularly Gascony. (He is also a good example of… Continue reading ‘Great magician, damned Glendower'(Part 2.)
‘Great magician, damned Glendower’ is how Shakespeare makes Henry IV refer to his elusive Welsh adversary. Of course, we all know that Shakespeare was principally a dramatist and a great distorter of historical truth. Nonetheless, it’s likely that this quote accurately reflects Bolngbroke’s feelings of frustration as he struggled to deal with Owain ap Gruffudd… Continue reading ‘Great magician, damned Glendower'(Part 1.)
I have long wanted to attend the re-enactment of the Battle of Shrewsbury and also visit the church of St Mary Magdelene. In 2022 I finally managed it. It was touch and go, although I had booked my train ticket some weeks back. These days such an excursion demands a lot of effort and I… Continue reading Shrewsbury Battlefield and the memorial church of St Mary Magdelene
Joanna was the daughter of that Richard Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, who was executed by Richard II in 1397. In 1392, when she was about 17, she was married to William Beauchamp, Lord Bergavenny, younger brother of the Earl of Warwick, who was 55. They had a son, Richard, who eventually became Earl of Worcester,… Continue reading Joanna Fitzalan, Lady of Abergavenny
We originally posted on this issue here. In summary, in 1431 or thereabouts, Alianore, Lady Audley, and her husband James were trying to demonstrate in the Church court that Alianore was legitimate and thus the heiress of her father, Edmund, Earl of Kent by Constance of York. Kent’s surviving sisters and the heirs of the… Continue reading The Audley Case of 1431 Redux
In a tiny town in Wales, a ruined castle stands on rising ground amidst a haze of dark trees. An atmospheric round tower, cracked by time; shattered walls, the remains of hall and chapel. Privately owned, a garden drops down the hillside before it, to an old house which appears to contain much castle stonework.… Continue reading THE STRANGE LEGEND OF USK CASTLE
The Golden Dragon of Burford in Oxfordshire isn’t a takeaway! It’s the pagan banner of the Anglo-Saxon King of Mercia, Aethelbert, who was defeated at the Battle of Burford in AD 752 by Cuthbert, King of the West Saxons. Aethelbert’s golden–dragon banner was taken, and for centuries the outcome of this battle was celebrated in… Continue reading On the trail of the golden dragon of Wessex….
Here’s how the great House of Mortimer petered out and was supplanted by a Lancastrian usurper who killed the reigning king and stole his throne. Then, under the House of York, the House of Mortimer triumphed again….until, in 1485, along came another Lancastrian usurper to kill the reigning king and steal the throne….. Never trust… Continue reading How the House of Mortimer was cheated….