The Earliest Roots of the Wars of the Roses: Edward II and Thomas of Lancaster?

  It may seem bizarre to go back to the reign of Edward II (reigned 1307-27) when talking about the Wars of the Roses, but bear with me. Edward and his cousin, Thomas Earl of Lancaster, got on together quite well in the early years of Edward’s reign. Gradually, though, a feud between them grew… Continue reading The Earliest Roots of the Wars of the Roses: Edward II and Thomas of Lancaster?

Was there a monstrous serpent and treasure hoard near Ludlow…or not?

  We all know Thomas of Walsingham. Well, not personally, of course, although sometimes it seems like it. He was a very busy fellow, and did not always record simple ‘history’, but included some strange stories as well. In the year 1344, he recorded a ‘remarkable tale’ about John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, 7th… Continue reading Was there a monstrous serpent and treasure hoard near Ludlow…or not?

The ghosts and urban legends of Scarborough….

  To the best of my knowledge I’ve never seen a ghost, although when I was six/seven and living near Castle Archdale on the shores of Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, our landlady’s dog, named Master Dash, sat on the steps outside the great house (no longer there) and howled. He was a soft old… Continue reading The ghosts and urban legends of Scarborough….

Was the younger Despenser buried in two places at the same time….?

We Ricardians know all about the problems, if not to say mysteries, that can arise from the final resting places of famous figures from the past. It doesn’t help that in the medieval period especially a person’s remains could be moved from place to place. Edward IV had his father and brother moved from Pontefract… Continue reading Was the younger Despenser buried in two places at the same time….?

Mer de Mort reviewed

Anything new from the Legendary Ten Seconds is always to be greeted with delight, and this new album does not disappoint. It tells the story of the House of Mortimer from its beginnings in France, to its ultimate destiny on the throne of England, through its descendants of the House of York, Edward IV and… Continue reading Mer de Mort reviewed

Dyer or Dire?

Many of you will remember the episode of “Who do you think you are” in which Danny Dyer was revealed as a descendant of Edward III. In this new two part series, he “meets” a few prominent ancestors, some even more distant. The first episode began with Rollo, ancestor of the Dukes of Normandy, which… Continue reading Dyer or Dire?

The 10 greatest medieval royal romances? Some, maybe….

Well, my opinion only, of course, but where are John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford/de Roët? I don’t believe his first wife, Blanche, was his greatest love. That honour went to Katherine, for love of whom he went to extraordinary lengths, enduring scandal and opprobrium, but eventually making her his third duchess. And managing to… Continue reading The 10 greatest medieval royal romances? Some, maybe….

Were Edward II and Isabella maligned too….?

The above illustrations are an indication of the generally accepted view of the reign of Edward II. He preferred men and ignored his wife. She resented this, took a lover and turned successfully upon her husband, becoming the “She Wolf” of legend. So let us go back to the beginning. On 25th January 1308, Edward… Continue reading Were Edward II and Isabella maligned too….?

LORD OF THE NORTH

Richard duke of Gloucester: courage, loyalty, lordship and law[1]   “ Men and kings must be judged in the testing moments of their lives Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because, as has been said, it is the quality that guarantees all others.” (Winston Churchill 1931)   Introduction I do not suppose… Continue reading LORD OF THE NORTH

THE GIFFARD CHANTRY-MEDIEVAL PAINT AND EARLY PLANTAGENETS.

In the quiet village of Boyton in Wiltshire stands the Church of St Mary’s, known locally as ‘Blessed Mary of Boyton.’ Dating from the early 13th century it contains several unusual and startling features, including a medieval oven where priests baked the sacramental bread. It is probably most famous, however, for the chantry of the… Continue reading THE GIFFARD CHANTRY-MEDIEVAL PAINT AND EARLY PLANTAGENETS.