In case you haven’t noticed …

… we like our anniversaries here at Murrey and Blue. Having received this book about anniversaries as a birthday present, I found a substantial amount of unfamiliar information and several new cases, but there were two noticeable lacunae: (14th June on the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt): “Sudbury‘s skull survives, in St. Gregory’s Church in Norwich …”… Continue reading In case you haven’t noticed …

The Wardrobe, the King’s Wardrobes….er, no The Queen’s Wardrobe….?

  During the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381, when the Tower of London was breached by the rebels and some of those sheltering inside were dragged out and executed, another person of note who was there was widowed Joan of Kent, Princess of Wales, mother of 14-year-old King Richard II. Well, the future Henry IV was… Continue reading The Wardrobe, the King’s Wardrobes….er, no The Queen’s Wardrobe….?

Richard the Lionheart….or Richard the pain in the you-know-what….

Well, my first introduction to Richard the Lionheart was in the 1950s…one of the many Robin Hood movies of that period, He was noble and chivalrous (George Sanders, as I recall, see below), while Prince John was a Blue Meanie of the highest order. Nothing much has changed since then. My opinion of both men… Continue reading Richard the Lionheart….or Richard the pain in the you-know-what….

The battling Bishop of Norwich….

  Well, many of us will remember fondly the Baby-eating Bishop of Bath & Wells of Blackadder fame. I’m not writing about him, but of the Bold Battling Bishop of Norwich, who donned armour on 17th May 1383 and set off on a disastrous crusade against the French in Flanders. Not long ago I wrote… Continue reading The battling Bishop of Norwich….

When it comes to receiving kickings, Richard II begins to catch up with Richard III….

  Oh dear, here we have 10 “facts” about Richard III’s predecessor namesake, Richard II. Yes, poor old Richard of Bordeaux gets it in the neck yet again. At this rate he’ll soon be Richard III’s equal. Well, maybe not quite, but you know what I mean. Firstly it’s stated that Richard of Bordeaux was… Continue reading When it comes to receiving kickings, Richard II begins to catch up with Richard III….

A new series of medieval murder mysteries….

  “….AN initiative to find the bones of Alfred the Great in the Hyde suburb of Winchester, sponsored more than 20 years ago by the City Council, has had a surprising outcome. This is the launch of a series of whodunnits in settings that many readers will find easy to imagine. “….The first title, Charter… Continue reading A new series of medieval murder mysteries….

The Decline of Villeinage

The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 is well-known, and it is often thought that the decline of serfdom, or villeinage, began at about this time. The truth is more complex. Like most English traditions, villeinage took a long time to pass and outlived its usefulness by many decades. Indeed Queen Elizabeth I still owned serfs –… Continue reading The Decline of Villeinage

More Lancastrian propaganda – about an earlier Richard and Henry….

How many of you have books on your shelves that you’ve had for years but have yet to read? I’m guilty of that, I fear. However, today I grabbed a book at random, to read while my car, name of Iggy, underwent his first MOT. When I arrived and was seated, I discovered that the… Continue reading More Lancastrian propaganda – about an earlier Richard and Henry….

The ghost of Archbishop Sudbury….

1381, the Peasants’ Revolt. Ah yes, it trips as easily off the tongue as 1066 and 1485. Well, there are other outstanding dates too, of course, but I’ll stick with these three as times of huge upheaval in England’s history. Not necessary for the better either, especially in the case of 1485. Simon Sudbury was… Continue reading The ghost of Archbishop Sudbury….

The food in medieval monasteries….

  What was the lifestyle of medieval monks in Britain? What went on in those wondrous abbeys that ruled their neighbourhoods, often with fists of iron? They had some harsh rules, not least that the people they lorded it over had to pay exorbitant sums to have their grain milled by the abbey. Woe betide… Continue reading The food in medieval monasteries….