King James VI of Scotland, James I of England podcast….

  Here is a link to a BBC podcast about King James VI of Scotland, who, of course, became James I of England and was the first of our Stuart monarchs. I can’t say I’m a Stuart expert, being much more interested in the Plantagenets, but a monarch is a monarch!

Pastime, passtime, pastance….?

I know there are different ways of spelling one word…especially when it comes to the British/US versions (we’re separated by the same language, right?) but sometimes I come across a word that I have only ever seen spelled one way, yet it suddenly pops up with an extra “s”. In this instance the word is… Continue reading Pastime, passtime, pastance….?

I HAD A LITTLE NUT TREE

Recently while perusing a book of folklore, I came across this traditional rhyme- I had a little nut tree, Nothing  could it bear But a silver nutmeg and a golden pear; The king of Spain’s daughter Came to visit me; And all for the sake of my little nut tree. Apparently, this rhyme is supposed… Continue reading I HAD A LITTLE NUT TREE

Elizabeth Hopton, Countess of Worcester, died 1498.

Elizabeth Hopton happens to be the present author’s 14th Great Grandmother, which prompted an interest in her. I think it is fair to say she is little-known. Of course, she did not (to our knowledge) involve herself in national politics, become the King’s mistress, murder the Princes in the Tower or get in trouble for… Continue reading Elizabeth Hopton, Countess of Worcester, died 1498.

An Irishman abroad but not for much longer?

“Red” Hugh O’Donnell (1572-1602) was an Irish chieftain who fought a series of battles against English armies between 1595 and the beginning of 1602 (during the Nine Years’ War which actually ran from 1593 to 1603), one of his less successful opponents being the Earl of Essex. O’Donnell ruled Tir Chonaill in the extreme north-west… Continue reading An Irishman abroad but not for much longer?

The O’Donnells, the Four Masters and the Personnel of the Wars of the Roses

In the context of the current search for the remains of the Red Hugh O’Donnell who died in Spain in 1602, I thought that readers Murrey and Blue might be interested in a few vaguely Wars-of-the-Roses-related snippets from the O’Donnell history of the fifteenth century. In 1434 Red Hugh’s predecessor Niall Garbh O’Donnell was captured… Continue reading The O’Donnells, the Four Masters and the Personnel of the Wars of the Roses

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

An unexpected conclusion

Who do you think you are? is always an interesting programme and is disappointing to see only eight episodes in the series. In the past, Sir Matthew Pinsent, Frank Gardner, Danny Dyer and Clare Balding have all been revealed as proven descendants of Edward I. That has not happened in 2019 and few lines have… Continue reading An unexpected conclusion

Seeking another Scottish consort

(Saint) Margaret of Wessex, great-granddaughter of Ethelred Unraed, granddaughter of Edmund Ironside and great-niece of (St.) Edward the Confessor, died just three days after her husband, Malcolm III was killed at Alnwick in 1093. She, as eventual heiress to the House of Wessex, was the ancestor of every subsequent Scottish monarch except Donald Bain, Malcolm’s… Continue reading Seeking another Scottish consort

Plantagenet Ireland and Poynings’ Law

It is fair to say that most medieval English kings had little interest in Ireland except as a source of revenue. (The same was probably true about England and Wales but it seems too cynical to say it, and at least they did live there.) Prior to the Bruce invasion, Ireland yielded between £5000 and… Continue reading Plantagenet Ireland and Poynings’ Law