Vikings in Oxford: What Led to the Attack of 1009 AD

Originally posted on Giaconda's Blog:
Viking ships at sea with warriors on board. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration “We all need earnestly to strive that we might gain God’s mercy and compassion, and that with his help we might resist our enemies. Now it is our will that all the people perform a…

Medieval Jewish Settlements in Oxford

Originally posted on Giaconda's Blog:
The Crypt at Oxford Castle – built on Anglo-Saxon foundations The first Jewish settlers arrived in Oxford not long after the Norman Conquest, around 1075AD residing in the commercial heart of the city at St Aldates which became known as Great Jewry Street, close to the original C8th oxen…

The “awkward mediaeval cities” (2) : Northampton

Another such is Northampton. Like Oxford, most (all in fact) of the trains run to or from London, although the latter will reconnect to Cambridge in a few years, with Milton Keynes and Northampton joining the line via Bletchley. Northampton is only currently accessible from East Anglia via London, Birmingham, or switching to a coach… Continue reading The “awkward mediaeval cities” (2) : Northampton

THE LOST CHAPEL OF THE PRINCE BISHOPS

Once upon a time, in the 13th century, in the grounds of Auckland Castle, there stood a mighty northern chapel that was almost as large as St George’s at Windsor and bigger than St Stephen’s Chapel at Westminster. The Prince-Archbishop Antony Bek was its founder, a man so powerful it was said by some that… Continue reading THE LOST CHAPEL OF THE PRINCE BISHOPS

Further travels in enemy territory: Oxford

Oxford (Oxenford) is obviously a compact and historic city although visiting specific buildings at short notice is difficult at present. Christ Church Cathedral (England’s smallest for the largest diocese) and the Ashmolean Museum (currently organising a Rembrandt exhibition) were unbookable whilst the Pitt-Rivers Museum didn’t open until September. I went for the Bank Holiday weekend… Continue reading Further travels in enemy territory: Oxford

A pleasant surprise

In recent years, Dan Jones’ posing and fanciful Crimewatch-style re-enactments, together with Starkeyesque conclusions formed before he started, has marred quite a few series on mediaeval history. Now he seems to have changed tack completely with this series, covering canal building from the middle of the eighteenth century and – yes – I rather enjoyed… Continue reading A pleasant surprise

The Royal Progress of Richard III

Following his coronation, Richard III – like all medieval monarchs – went on his “royal progress” through the realm.  Along with an entourage in excess of 200 household men, ecclesiastics, supporters, and administrative officials, he visited towns and cities as far west as the River Severn, as far north as the River Ouse, and as… Continue reading The Royal Progress of Richard III

The Bishop, the MP, the scientist, the historian and the brewer

The preacher at St. Paul’s stated that the late King’s surviving issue were illegitimate. On this occasion, it wasn’t Dr. Ralph Shaa on 22nd June 1483 about Edward IV’s sons but Rt. Rev. Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London and Westminster, on 9 July 1553 about Henry VIII’s daughters, at which time Jane was proclaimed. As… Continue reading The Bishop, the MP, the scientist, the historian and the brewer

Shakespeare theatre producer discovers he is related to First Folio publisher….

Discovering one’s illustrious ancestors appears to be quite the thing these days, and now we have someone who is descended from the man responsible for publishing Shakespeare’s First Folio. “….A theatre producer who has brought the Elizabethan era to York City Centre and Blenheim Palace has discovered that he is related to the man who… Continue reading Shakespeare theatre producer discovers he is related to First Folio publisher….

Britain’s Most Historic Towns (2)

This excellent Channel Four programme, presented by Professor Alice Roberts, with Dr. Ben Robinson in the helicopter, has returned for a new series. The early venues were Dover (World War Two, visiting the underground base, concentrating on the retreat from Dunkirk and subsequent Channel defence, meeting some survivors, wearing ATS uniform and riding in a… Continue reading Britain’s Most Historic Towns (2)