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….

Athelstan–Our Greatest Monarch?

A recent poll searching for Britain’s ‘Greatest Monarch’, came up with the surprise winner of… drum roll, King Athelstan. Not that the Anglo-Saxon king wasn’t so great, but the winner is a little surprising since most people seem to have believed the ‘crown’ would go to Elizabeth I. (Yawn!) I hope the voters actually remembered… Continue reading Athelstan–Our Greatest Monarch?

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….

Marc Morris on mediaeval television programmes and films …

… programmes and films about the Middle Ages, not actually made during them – which would require an even greater advance that the Viking discovery of America before Columbus … Here he discusses: The Game of Thrones (2013), Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves (1991), Ironclad (2013), The Last Kingdom (2015), Vikings (2013), Braveheart (1995)

The complete, utterly biased dissing of the House of York….

  When I recorded the first episode of the Sky series Royal Bastards: Rise of the Tudors, I watched it on 23rd November, which is the anniversary of the day in 1450 when Richard 3rd Duke of York returned to London [and Parliament] with his sword unsheathed to claim his right. The docudrama series kicks… Continue reading The complete, utterly biased dissing of the House of York….

Trial by combat proved nothing in the end….

    Trial by combat was a last-ditch method of proving one’s case. Of course, it didn’t prove innocence or guilt, just that one or other of the combatants was luckier/stronger on the day. Nor did trial by water prove a woman innocent of witchcraft, because it killed her no matter what the outcome. If… Continue reading Trial by combat proved nothing in the end….

This Union: The Ghost Kingdoms of England

This is an excellent series on BBC4 about the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms that eventually evolved to fill the vacuum left by departure of the Roman legions. In the first episode, Ian Hislop visits East Anglia, particularly Colchester, Ipswich and Sutton Hoo, viewing some coins with Philip Wise and hearing about the Wuffingas, apparently descended from a… Continue reading This Union: The Ghost Kingdoms of England