The Wandering Butler: John, 6th Earl of Ormond

FAMILY BACKGROUND The Lancastrian leader who faced – or failed to face – Thomas, Earl of Desmond, at the Battle of Piltown in 1462 was the fourth of the five children born to James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond (otherwise known as the White Earl), and his countess Joan Beauchamp, daughter of William Beauchamp, Lord… Continue reading The Wandering Butler: John, 6th Earl of Ormond

Digging for Treasure

There are several interesting archaeology series on television and Channel Five has now joined in with an ensemble programme, headed by two familiar personalities (Dan Walker and Michaela Strachan) and a similarly ubiquitous chief archaeologist (Raksha Dave), but with more of an emphasis on metal detecting for the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme, including Roman… Continue reading Digging for Treasure

The Rise of the Stanley family.

In the late 14th Century, the Stanleys were a gentry family, their power base lying chiefly in Cheshire, notably in the Wirral. Their ancestry might fairly be described as ‘provincial’. There were certainly no kings in their quarterings. This is not to say they were unimportant, but their influence was of a local rather than… Continue reading The Rise of the Stanley family.

The Middle Ages and the movies….

  “….In The Middle Ages and the Movies eminent historian Robert Bartlett takes a fresh, cogent look at how our view of medieval history has been shaped by eight significant films of the twentieth century. The book ranges from the concoction of sex and nationalism in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, to Fritz Lang’s silent masterpiece Siegfried, the art-house classic The Seventh Seal to… Continue reading The Middle Ages and the movies….

A joust involving two Scottish lords who don’t seem to have existed….

Excerpt from The Brut or The Chronicles of England, ed. Friedrich W.D. Brie (London, 1906), pp. 343-4, 348. “….[1393]….And in the seventeenth year of his [Richard II‘s] reign, certain lords of Scotland came to England to win renown through deeds of arms.   And these are the persons:  The Earl of Mar, who challenged the Earl Marshal of… Continue reading A joust involving two Scottish lords who don’t seem to have existed….

Do you know your medieval sovereigns….?

I can’t say that I’m the world’s most brilliant participant when it comes to quizzes, but I had hopes with this one . Oh dear. I may have got the English ones right, but Scotland tripped me up once. As for France…. I don’t know my Louis’ from my Charles’. Shame on me! But there… Continue reading Do you know your medieval sovereigns….?

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”?

Richard of Gloucester attacks Dumfries in 1482….

  “….540 years ago on 22nd May 1482, the English led by Richard, Duke of Gloucester (the future Richard III) led a large raiding party across the Solway Firth. The raid was a reprisal to punish the Scots for the devastation they had caused in Cumberland during the previous winter….” The above is an extract… Continue reading Richard of Gloucester attacks Dumfries in 1482….