History

The Italian Winemakers Who Once Controlled England’s Money

This was a bit of a rabbithole I fell into while researching for my latest 'What Happened 700 Years Ago' column. It's a fascinating story, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It's the 1270s. London is starting to grow: it will soon become the financial hub of northern Europe, but… Continue reading The Italian Winemakers Who Once Controlled England’s Money

History

The Two Deaths of Edward II

The information used here comes from this post by Dr Ian Mortimer on Edward's death. It's worth noting that I'm not totally convinced by the argument, and that the debate over Edward II's death is still unsettled, with Edward II scholars coming to vastly different conclusions on the same evidence. But the argument is one… Continue reading The Two Deaths of Edward II

History

The Parliament of September 1313

I've always enjoyed those 'what was happening on this day xxx years ago?' kinds of posts. I think they give us some insight, because it helps us to imagine those events happening in real time. So I'm talking about Edward II's parliament of September 1313 - 707 years ago exactly, down to the month. (source:… Continue reading The Parliament of September 1313

History

Edward II And The Necromancer Who Tried To Kill Him

When I was at uni, I spent an awful lot of time digging through dusty old books. Our uni library was perfect for someone like me: the history section had loads of history journals and Victorian reprints of medieval documents, and the law section had a whole row dedicated to the records of the Court… Continue reading Edward II And The Necromancer Who Tried To Kill Him

History

The Story of Piers Gaveston

There was once a king of England called Edward II. I've talked about him a lot before, but here are some things you ought to know about him. They thought he'd be a good king. He looked the part and he spoke well. Chroniclers say he was great at persuading people to his side, that… Continue reading The Story of Piers Gaveston

History

When Edward II Saved His Wife From A Burning Tent

If you know a bit of English history, you know Edward II. He was the king who was killed by a red-hot poker being shoved up his behind. (Note: that almost certainly didn't happen.) He was a tyrant, he abused his power and was ultimately punished for it when his wife returned from the continent… Continue reading When Edward II Saved His Wife From A Burning Tent

British Castles, History

Pontefract: The Key to The North

This post is part of my Grand Castle Tour! You can find articles on lots of other castles here! I just want to start this post by saying: don't get too excited. Pontefract castle ain't there anymore. We have the English Civil War to blame for that - the bane of medieval historians. It was… Continue reading Pontefract: The Key to The North