The “awkward mediaeval cities” (2)

Another such is Northampton. Like Oxford, most (all in fact) of the trains run to or from London, although the latter will reconnect to Cambridge in a few years, with Milton Keynes and Northampton joining the line via Bletchley. Northampton is only currently accessible from East Anglia via London, Birmingham, or switching to a coach… Continue reading The “awkward mediaeval cities” (2)

London: 2000 years of history (channel 5)

Who let Dan Jones out? At least, as in his last outing, he is accompanied both by a historian (Suzannah Lipscomb) and an engineer (Rob Bell), narrating and illustrating almost two millennia of the city’s past. In the first episode, we were taken through the walled city of “Londinium” being built and rebuilt after Boudicca’s… Continue reading London: 2000 years of history (channel 5)

The Grundisburgh martyr

Today in 1558, Alice Driver and Alexander Gooch were burned on the Cornhill in Ipswich. Her trial record, particularly her testimony, shows that Alice Driver freely admitted not sharing certain Roman Catholic beliefs and this was sufficient to convict her. Both are commemorated on this monument in Christchurch Park (left) and Driver by a road… Continue reading The Grundisburgh martyr

Witchcraft (2): The Pendle Trials

Lancashire, in the early 17th Century, was one of the poorest and least populated counties of England, where even many gentry families had an income of less than £100 a year. The Forest of Pendle, which lies between Burnley, Colne, Clitheroe and Whalley in a remote corner of the county close to the Yorkshire border,… Continue reading Witchcraft (2): The Pendle Trials

A Yorkist chronicler under Henry VII’s nose?

“Hearne’s Fragment” is a relatively little-known source on late fifteenth century England. It is mysterious in origin, missing in part and not entirely accurate in detail, perhaps using old-style years? To begin with, it gives Edward IV’s birth year as 1440 and errs in those of his brothers as well, although there is another possible… Continue reading A Yorkist chronicler under Henry VII’s nose?