I have been trying to make sense of the method by which women were appointed to the Garter in the middle ages, and have concluded there was no system. Of course, as with the knights, who were nominally ‘elected’ by the other knights, it all came down to royal favour. But with the knights, there… Continue reading The appointment of women to the Garter. (Medieval era).
Joan Holland was born about 1380, one of the many children of Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent and his wife Alice Arundel (aka Fitzalan) and the second-eldest daughter. It seems to have been Kent’s policy to marry his daughters into every family that could conceivably inherit the throne. Accordingly, towards the end of… Continue reading Joan/Joanne/Joanna Holland, Duchess of York
Here is a heartfelt lament. Some books are always widely lauded, and rightly so, but what happens when one finds a blooper within the hallowed pages? In this instance I speak of A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century, by Barbara Tuchman. It’s packed full of detail, and a great read…until that one blooper leaps… Continue reading A pinch of salt reflected in A Distant Mirror….
The following extract is from Not So Fortunate As Fair’: The Life of Princess Cecily Plantagenet by Sharon Champion:- “….At the age of five, she [Cecily] was betrothed to James, the infant son and heir of James III of Scotland. John 5th Baron Scrope of Bolton was sent as commissioner to negotiate a contract of… Continue reading What really happened with Princess Cecily’s first two marriages….?
Before I start, I must apologise for the decidedly uncontemporary illustrations. They are an indulgence, I fear. The one above, of the Prince of Wales (known to posterity as the Black Prince) in armour at an army camp, his hands clasped behind his back, seems to me to probably capture him exactly as he was…all… Continue reading Was the Black Prince a control freak where his wife was concerned….?
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
We all know how Richard III’s reputation has been besmirched over the centuries. He was turned into a monster because the likes of More and Shakespeare pandered to the Tudors’ need to justify their seizure of the throne. Thus he became a creature of misshapen body and mind, capable of putting his own child nephews… Continue reading Richard III wasn’t the only dog to be given a bad name….
For those of you who do not know, I am very fond of Dartington Hall. I read all I can about it, and its history, originally because of an intention to write about its creator, the first Holand Duke of Exeter, but now because I just plain love the place as well. These Holand Dukes… Continue reading The Holand Dukes rose against Richard III? Wrong!….
Once again, while rooting around for information that might be of use in a book I intend to write about figures in the court of Richard II, I have found an interesting snippet. This time my thoughts are jolted with regard to the name of Richard III’s horse, White Surrey. I have never particularly liked… Continue reading Richard III and White Surrey….