Henry I is probably under a nursery school, and might be best left there….!

  There are kings…and there are admirable kings. I’m afraid that from what I’ve heard about Henry I, he’s best left where he is! My friend hoodedman has written: “….It’s funny how Henry is not regarded as a controversial king despite maybe being implicated in his brother’s death in the New Forest, kept another brother… Continue reading Henry I is probably under a nursery school, and might be best left there….!

Bamburgh Castle Roundhouse Excavation

Bamburgh Castle is a site with a long, frequently dramatic history. A wooden Saxon fortress built by Ida the Flame-bearer, a place frequented by saints such as Oswald and Aidan, a seemingly impregnable fortress attacked by William Rufus with his siege castle ‘Evil Neighbour’, and the first English castle to fall to cannon-fire, when Warwick… Continue reading Bamburgh Castle Roundhouse Excavation

THE THREE HUNDRED YEARS WAR – Part 1: the Devil’s brood

Preface I conceived this article as a defence of King Henry V against the accusation that he was a war criminal. It became apparent, however, that my research was drawing me away from Henry’s campaigns towards a broader study of the origin and causes of the Hundred Years War. Soon, I was reading material going… Continue reading THE THREE HUNDRED YEARS WAR – Part 1: the Devil’s brood

Who was old Hick Heavyhead then….?

  We all know that our royals have had nicknames – Longshanks, Rufus, Crouchback, Good Queen Bess, Prinny and, of course, Tricky Dicky. But HICK HEAVYHEAD????? 😲 And who was it? Richard II. Apparently because he was opposed to war when his barons wanted to swarm over to France and kick seven shades out of the… Continue reading Who was old Hick Heavyhead then….?

The Death of Robert, Earl of Gloucester

In writing Stephen and Matilda: Cousins of Anarchy, I was keen to apply the same narrow-eyed pursuit of solid facts that I hope comes across in my books on the Wars of the Roses. More than being about battles and, well, anarchy, I wanted to discover the real personalities behind the stories, the people who… Continue reading The Death of Robert, Earl of Gloucester

Castles for Sale

After a long period of being up for sale, it seems Sheriff Hutton Castle has at last found a buyer. With any luck, maybe there will be better access to the ruins than in the past. SHERIFF HUTTON SALE In the same week the announcement {link to 4th June) came that Sheriff Hutton was sold,… Continue reading Castles for Sale

James Tyrrell’s Ancestor

You may know or suspect from a previous post in Murrey and Blue, that Sir James Tyrrell, Richard’s henchman, was a direct descendant of Sir Walter Tyrrell, the ‘Killer Baron’, who fled during a hunting expedition with King William II (Rufus) after shooting him with an arrow. It is not known whether this was an… Continue reading James Tyrrell’s Ancestor

William the B … er, Conqueror

This piece, by Marc Morris in History Extra, describes the events that followed the previous usurpation from France. A lot more violent, indeed, than the early reign of the first “Tudor”, although his son and grandchildren changed that …

When Robert Curthose Sat On The Throne

It is perhaps not a well-known fact that during World War II, many priceless historical treasures were crated up and shipped out of London for safe storage. At least, I wasn’t particularly aware of something that now makes perfect sense. I found out about this whilst visiting Gloucester Cathedral and touring the amazing crypt beneath… Continue reading When Robert Curthose Sat On The Throne

The “historically aware” Murderer (2012)

Alfred John Monson was born in 1862. His parents were Rev. Thomas Monson and Hon. Caroline Monckton, putting the first two Barons Monson and the Viscounts Galway among his close ancestors. Both of his parents were descended from Anne of Exeter through the Earls of Rutland. Monson was a confidence trickster with three small children,… Continue reading The “historically aware” Murderer (2012)