“….the beautiful, unspoiled Mediterranean town of Patara is the birthplace of the bearded gift-giver, who we look out for with such excitement on Christmas Eve. Or rather, the birthplace of the third century Christian saint whose life of kindness and miraculous do-goodery created a legend which has evolved down the centuries, and given us the… Continue reading From St Nicholas to Sir Christmas to Old Father Christmas to Santa Claus….
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
Edward IV and Elizabeth Wydeville. Original 15th century stained glass panels. Royal Window North West Transept Canterbury Cathedral Canterbury Cathedral, of all the cathedrals I have managed to visit, remains firmly on my ‘favourites’ list. I lived there for a while many years ago, having been entranced by the city and cathedral on… Continue reading CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL AND THE ROYAL WINDOW
Below is William Halsall’s 1882 portrait of the Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor. It is obviously imagined as the original ship was almost certainly broken up at Rotherhithe in 1624, a more extreme case than the “Streatham portrait“, which post-dates it’s purported subject’s death by about forty years. From the spelling of the title, the background… Continue reading The Mayflower
Why do the Salem Witch Trials continue to fascinate after three hundred and twenty five years? Why do tourists and locals, wiccans, witches, warlocks and wizards continue to walk the crowded streets of this pretty little seaside city in Massachusetts in search of magic and mayhem? What propels them to stroll the narrow streets, licking… Continue reading Witchcraft (4): Witchcraft American Style
November is upon us and speedway fans in the northern hemisphere are now in hibernation, but at least two or three of the top clubs owe their roots to the events of the seventeenth century. Following our article on rugby clubs and the “Wars of the Roses” , here they are: 2017 PREMIERSHIP: Somerset Rebels… Continue reading More sport and history – C17 this time
Introduction “ The scaffold was hung round with black, and the floor covered with black, and the axe and block (were) laid in the middle of the scaffold. There were divers companies of Foot and Horse on every side of the scaffold, and the multitude of people that came to be spectators were very great.”… Continue reading TREASON 3 – The Long Parliament 1649
Guest author Richard Unwin explains the context behind the discovery of those convenient bones: Charles II came to the throne in 1660 after the period of Commonwealth when England, and particularly its entertainments, had been suppressed by Puritan authority. The security of the new reign was precarious and there were many in the country opposed… Continue reading The Propaganda of Charles II