Bolingbroke and his flute….!

I feel it’s time to take another pop at a Lancastrian King Henry. On this occasion it’s Henry IV, the warlike Lancastrian usurper who murdered his cousin Richard II and stole the crown. A process that led to the Wars of the Roses. So definitely not one of my favourite kings. When it comes to… Continue reading Bolingbroke and his flute….!

Medieval tarts that look just like mince pies….

  “….‘Payne puff’ appears on the menu for a feast held for King Richard II and John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster, by John Fordham, Bishop of Durham, at Durham House [see here] in London, on September 23rd 1387. It was served on the third course which also included pottages (an almond broth and a… Continue reading Medieval tarts that look just like mince pies….

The Appellant Arundel died of unspecified causes….?

  From here :- “….Richard FitzAlan, 11th Earl of Arundel, 9th Earl of Surrey, was born 1346 to Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel (c1313-1376) and Eleanor Plantagenet (c1318-1372) and died 21 September 1397 of unspecified causes….” Um…unspecified causes? The earl was attainted and publicly beheaded by Richard II (who didn’t do it in person, of course). Arundel was probably the richest man in… Continue reading The Appellant Arundel died of unspecified causes….?

‘Great magician, damned Glendower'(Part 3.)

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.)

‘Great magician, damned Glendower'(Part 2.)

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'(Part 1.)

‘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.)

A wonderful old house with de la Pole history….

  The above illustration is of Wingfield College, which is on the market for an incredible £1.75million. (Surely that’s an error?) Oh my, it’s a dream residence for anyone who loves things medieval. Even more desirable is the fact that it has some significant historic connections. It was first granted to Sir John de Wingfield,… Continue reading A wonderful old house with de la Pole history….

Off with the old weaponry and on with the new….

If ever an entry in the Close Rolls of Henry IV was evidence of warfare being at a crossroads between the old and the new, it’s surely this one. Poised between two ages, it concerns arms left by the late Richard II in the great hall of Dublin Castle. Richard had been in Ireland immediately… Continue reading Off with the old weaponry and on with the new….

Bad grammar and untruths, not just about Richard III….

  Oh dear, Gloucestershire Live has been very sloppy. In this article about Dukes of Gloucester, Richard of Gloucester did away with George of Clarence! Then we get “When Henry IV dies, his brother Richard becomes protector and puts the two princes in safekeeping in the Tower of London. And they are never seen again.” If… Continue reading Bad grammar and untruths, not just about Richard III….

The Tomb at King’s Langley

Quite by chance, I recently came across this rather ancient article written by, of all people, Enoch Powell: If Powell’s theory is correct, the tomb in which Edmund of Langley and Isabelle of Castile are buried was intended originally for Richard II and was reallocated after Anne of Bohemia died and Richard decided to commission… Continue reading The Tomb at King’s Langley