Philip Howard, lived from 1557-1595. He was the only son of Thomas Howard 4th Duke of Norfolk by his first wife, Lady Mary Fitzalan who was, of course, the Arundel heiress. Philip’s father was executed for treason against Queen Elizabeth I in 1572, which explains why Philip was not allowed to succeed as Duke of… Continue reading St. Philip Howard and the greyhound in the Tower
It is not just King Richard III who has had numerous scientific tests done on his mortal remains. Tests have also recently taken place on the jawbone of Louis IX of France who died in 1270 while on Crusade in Tunisia. Louis is also known as ‘The Saint’ and was the husband of Margaret of… Continue reading LOUIS IX OF FRANCE–THE BONES SPEAK
England and Wales abound with saints who have never figured very highly—or even at all—in the estimation of Rome. British saints rarely seem to reach the hallowed list, unless they were of the calibre of Becket. But in their local area these saints were much revered and of considerable importance. One of them is… Continue reading The mystery of William of Norwich….
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
This article is from 2017, and tells that they may have found the last resting place of Father Christmas. BUT, Father Christmas still comes around every year, right? So he can’t have turned up the toes of his fur-lined boots. Therefore this St Nicholas chap is someone entirely different. Ask any child!
New Year’s Eve now and New Year’s Eve in the mediaeval period actually refer to two different calendar days. Old New Year’s Eve was 24th March. For an easy-to-understand explanation, please go to here, but whichever the day, it was still New Year’s Eve. We now celebrate it with much fun, laughter and hope, but… Continue reading The truth about the Christian New Year’s Eve….
6th July is a day of three saints, St Godelva (d. 1070), St Sexburga of Ely (679-700) and St Merryn of Andresey. I have only previously heard of St Sexberga. Were they all celebrated on this day in medieval churches? (The above illustration is merely an example of an early church – the building depicted is… Continue reading The three saints of 6th July….
In 2020 there are planned commemorations of the martyrdom of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. King Henry II blew his top, shouted words to the effects of ‘Who will rid me of this turbulent priest? and four knights clunked off towards Canterbury, thinking the King would reward them well if they disposed of Thomas. The… Continue reading RETURN OF THE TURBULENT PRIEST’S TUNIC
‘Not exactly the horse’s mouth’ In Josephine Tey’s spellbinding novel ‘The Daughter of Time’, Detective Inspector Alan Grant has a reputation for being able to spot a villain on sight. Whilst in hospital with a broken leg, Grant is idly flipping through some old postcard portraits to while away the time. He turns over a… Continue reading SIR THOMAS MORE , A MAN FOR ALL REASONS: SAINT OR SINNER?
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?