Monday, 25 January 2016

The word Stannary means belonging to tin mines and is taken from the Latin word Stanum.

The areas in Cornwall, where tin was extracted, were known as Stannaries and the law that affected them were known as Stannary Law. These Cornish Stanneries form part of the Duchy of Cornwall which was created by Edward III in 1337. 

Lostwithiel the county capital. 
It was the administration centre for county affairs and Cornwall's main stannary town.

Tin mining in Cornwall is ancient, and employed men in remote and outlying areas away from the main towns, and therefore they had their own rules and regulations. The early Earls and Dukes of this distant county reaped great rewards from mining and since early times the mines and the men working them have been protected by the crown. This institution had its its head wardens who were governed by the Lord Warden of the Stannaries. 

For more on the subject of Stannaries please visit my website at

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Mini History Blogs: Edward IV

King Edward IV became unwell in the Easter of 1483 and false news of his death and uncertainty as to who would take the throne was the talk in the major towns and villages of the realm. The city of York had received news on the 6th April 1483 (three days early) that the king was dead, convinced of this fact the city held a Requiem Mass the following day. Uncertainty about Edward’s replacement was also a concern, especially in the county of Lincolnshire.

More on this can be found on my website 

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Mini History Blogs: The Frozen Thames

It's cold and frosty in my part of the country this morning, looking out of my window I can see the trees and roof tops are crisp with a coating of frost and the puddles on the road have a thin covering of ice.
I should not complain though, in the winter of 1677 it was so cold in London that the mighty river Thames froze almost completely. In the 17th century there were no man made embankments, so the river flowed slower and therefore froze quicker.

That year the Thames froze so badly that the cities Frost Fair took place on the river itself. In 1814 it was so cold that an elephant was taken out on the ice.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Alan Rickman: The Baddy of all Baddies.

Actor Alan Rickman, the baddy of all baddies, has died aged 69. 
He was a favourite of mine, a great actor who never took himself too seriously. 

His most memorable role, for me, would be as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the the 1991 film Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. 

 A Brilliant Performance

It was only last year that  I read two articles, one entitled Baddies in Books and the other Best Film Quotes in History, both made me think of Alan Rickman's brilliant performance as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

You can read some of Alan Rickman's funniest lines on my website at

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Mini History Blogs: John Wenlock Prince of Turncoats?

Last night I was reading about Sir John Wenlock, an experienced diplomat and soldier, who has been called

"the prince of turncoats"

Sir John Wenlock, window in the Wenlock Chapel, St Mary's Church Luton

​Wenlock was a Lancastrian up to the Battle of Ludford Bridge in 1459 after which he left England as an adherent of the Yorkist Edward Earl of March. Following Edwards marriage to Elizabeth Woodville he followed Richard Neville's lead, eventually changing his allegiances to Lancaster when Henry VI was returned to the throne in late 1470.

​He was killed at Tewksbury some five months later.

You can read more about Sir John Wenlock on my website at

Mini History Blogs: A Proclamation for the Apprehension of Charles Stuart.

This fourteen by nineteen inch poster recently sold at auction for £33,000, it is a wanted poster, printed in black ink on a single leaf of paper. It is three hundred and sixty one years old and is in almost mint condition. This rare wanted poster, is a demand for the capture of King Charles II, it offers a £1,000 reward for the Kings capture which is equivalent to £75,000 in today's money.

 For more on this fantastic piece of history please click in my website at

Friday, 1 January 2016

Changing the New Year

Here in England, the date of the beginning of the new year has changed many times during our history. 
When William the Conqueror first placed his Norman boots on English soil, he decided to do away with the old Anglo Saxon New Year celebration of the Winter Solstice on the 25th December, he forced us to celebrate it on the 1st of January, so it would fit in nicely with the organisation of his coronation. 
No doubt the king went around shouting that it was his idea, but it wasn't, in fact it was Julius Caesar's. Caesar  decided that the God Janus, represented the New Year very well seeing as he could look into the past and the future at the same time. So everyone dressed up fancy clothes, (togas were a big favourite,) went around being nice to one another, doing as little work as possible, and consuming large amount of wine, dates, figs and honey. 
Sounds familiar.

More on the changes to the New Year can be read on my blog at