Identifying another King

The monarch in question is Robert I (Bruce) and the investigation, as part of the Foundation for Mediaeval Genealogy’s Declaration of Arbroath Family History Project, is being carried out by the University of Strathclyde: Graham Holton has reported good progress in this press release: Genetic marker discovered for descendants of Bruce clan, January 2022.A distinct… Continue reading Identifying another King

A Bruce mystery

Here is a Daily Record article about a rather nice Scottish castle for sale, that was apparently built for Laurence Bruce, half-brother of Robert I … except that we can find no evidence that he ever existed. By both the same parents, Robert’s brothers were Thomas, Alexander, Neil (all executed in 1306-7) and Edward, the… Continue reading A Bruce mystery

“Yolanding”?

From 1281, the widowed Alexander III lost his three children and remarried to remedy the situation. His second wife was Yolande de Dreux, who he married in autumn 1285, but Scotland was plunged into the unknown within five months when he broke his neck, falling from a horse, travelling across the Forth to Kinghorn in… Continue reading “Yolanding”?

You can’t tell a castle book by its cover….

I love to see historic properties come up for sale. They are almost always wonderful on the outside and inside, but Earshall Castle in Scotland (55 miles from Edinburgh) has proved the exception. It’s the ancestral home of relatives of Robert the Bruce, but you wouldn’t know it. Yes, it’s beautiful and dramatic on the… Continue reading You can’t tell a castle book by its cover….

The Earls’ Rebellion

This is a quite remarkable article by Dr. Callum Watson about the revolt against David II in 1363. To summarise the background:David succeeded Robert I in 1329 at the age of five. He was exiled in France between 1334 and 1341. He was captured at the Battle of Neville’s Cross in 1346 and ransomed in… Continue reading The Earls’ Rebellion

A few years ago …

… we showed you, through the use of snooker balls, how it is significantly more probable that the Y-chromosome break occurred in the long Gaunt-Beaufort male line than the Langley-York line to Richard III.Although snooker was a nineteenth century invention, some earlier monarchs might well have enjoyed it: Harold II, whose informal wife (in more… Continue reading A few years ago …

A King under a Post Office?

Edward Balliol was crowned King of Scotland at Scone Palace, today in 1332. He, alongside Edward III, had won the Battle of Dupplin Moor and was able to supplant the eight year-old David II, although he was removed shortly later. He was also at the Battles of Halidon Hill and Neville’s Cross – the first… Continue reading A King under a Post Office?

A contemporary of the House of York

James III of Scotland’s reign overlaps the whole of Yorkist rule in England, succeeding on 3rd August 1460, more than seven months before Edward IV’s first coronation, to 11th June 1488. almost three years after Richard III’s death at Bosworth and including Henry VI’s re-adeption. His uninterrupted reign spanned the decisive battles of Mortimer’s Cross… Continue reading A contemporary of the House of York

Britain’s Lost Battlefields (with Rob Bell)

Channel Five’s reputation for history programmes has risen greatly over the past few years. At the heart of this, first in a Great Fire of London series with Suzannah Lipscomb and the ubiquitous Dan Jones, has been the “engineering historian” Rob Bell, who has toured bridges, ships, buildings and lost railways in his own amiable,… Continue reading Britain’s Lost Battlefields (with Rob Bell)

A tale of monarchs and national anthems

Anyone who has watched a Scottish rugby or association football match will be familiar with the Corries’ folk song O Flower of Scotland, which is played before their matches. The second line of the chorus (“Proud Edward’s army”) refers to Edward II, defeated at Bannockburn so that he never actually ruled Scotland although he may… Continue reading A tale of monarchs and national anthems