Wednesday, 29 June 2016

William Ayscough, Bishop of Salisbury

As chaos engulfed the streets of London in the summer of 1450, William Ayscough, Bishop of Salisbury was a
frightened man, most probably believing that the mob who had plotted his death at the beginning of the year would now put their plans into action. 


The death in the February of Adam Moleyns, murdered on a beach at Portsmouth and the murder three months
later of William de la Pole off the coast at Dover must have playing on Ayscough's mind, and with Jack Cade's rebel's drawing ever closer, Asycough left the city heading for his home in Dorset. 

You can read more of Asycough's story on my website at 

Monday, 27 June 2016

Jack Cade's Rebellion

It was towards the end of June in 1450 that London was about to be plunged into turmoil and whose streets would
run red with blood. ​

This conflict came to be known as Cade’s Rebellion and it was one of the most important uprisings to take place in England since the Peasants Revolt some sixty-nine years earlier.

Cade's story continues on my website

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

In June 1553, Edward VI's Devise for the Succession was signed by one hundred and two members of the royal council, in it he named his cousin Lady Jane Grey as his heir, and disinherited his half sisters Mary and Elizabeth.
In the chaos following Mary being proclaimed queen, the signatories stated that they were forced to sign the document by John Dudley, the Duke of Northumberland.
John Dudly Duke of Northumberland

What were John Dudley's motives?

Saturday, 18 June 2016

1483: Pontefract Castle, Yorkshire

Three Castles: 

Thomas Vaughan's Story Chapter Ten

Did Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III intend that Thomas Vaughan, Anthony, Lord Rivers and Richard Grey die?  

I don’t believe he did.

There are those who believe that Vaughan, Rivers and Grey were not granted a trial and were murdered on a direct order of Gloucester.

The Crowland Chronicler writes an account of their arrest as 

“Immediately after, this circumstance being not yet known in the neighbouring town, where the king was understood to be, they suddenly rushed into the place where the youthful king was staying, and in like manner made prisoners of certain others of his servants who were in attendance on his person. One of these was Thomas Vaughan, an aged knight and chamberlain of the prince before-named.”

You can read more on this on my website at

Thursday, 16 June 2016

The Battle of Stoke

16th June 1487

Lying on the banks of the River Trent, these fields, about twenty of them, cover an area that on a summer's morning in 1487 the Battle of Stoke was fought. History books and Shakespeare himself tell us that the Battle of Bosworth was the last battle in the Wars of the Roses, it was not. To be fair, it was the battle that saw the end of the Plantagenet dynasty when Richard III lost his life to a pike man and his crown to a Tudor. 

Two years later, at Stoke Field, Henry VII found himself in same position, defending his crown and facing a rebel army who were intent on placing a Plantagenet on the throne, albeit an impostor. 

You can read more about the last battle of the Wars of the Roses on my website

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Thomas Vaughan: The Beginning of the End

Chapter Nine: The Arrest

Edward’s mighty castle at Ludlow stands on a raised area of land overlooking the River Teme that lies on its western and southern borders, the town itself lies on the castle's eastern side. The original castles foundations were built some twenty five years following the conquest of England, and by the beginning of the 14th century it was under the ownership of Roger Mortimer, the one time lover of Edward II’s queen. By 1425 it was the principal residence Richard, Duke of York and soon to be a symbol of Yorkist authority. Edward IV and his brother Edmund were both educated at Ludlow and in 1473 Edward established a home here for his young son, entrusting family and loyal members of his court with the princes care and education. The medieval household was strictly hierarchical, each position was placed in order of importance and at its head a person of equal importance to the lord, and Edward's household was no different.

“To Love and Wait Upon” is the motto of Sir Thomas Vaughan. Vaughan was a knight, an administrator and Chamberlain to Edward V yet he is only ever mentioned as one of the three men executed, in 1485, on the order of Richard Duke of Gloucester. Vaughan held an important role in the court of Edward IV, yet very few people are interested in him. Here is my attempt at telling his story.

Thomas Vaughan’s story continues on my website.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Louis XIV's Court at Versailles.

When Louis XIV of France was twenty seven he transformed his father’s hunting lodge into a lavish royal residence at Versailles. He moved his government from Paris and expected his nobles to move and live there too, this rather​ clever tactic enabled him to keep an eye on any potential rivals, so as you might imagine, ​it was not long before his nobles were falling over one another in a effort to gain the king’s favour, if they succeeded they would secure themselves a​ place in the Versailles court hierarchy.

You can read more of my blog on Louis XIV and Versailles on my website

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Mini Histories: The Order of the Garter

Just yesterday I was reading of William Montague, one of the twenty six founding Knights of the Order of the Garter, an order in which chivalry and honour where held in high esteem. However, actions by one man, was consider by another, to have
"let the side down" so to speak.

You can read more on my website

Thomas Vaughan: At Ludlow

Chapter Eight: At The Court of the Prince of Wales.

Having defeated the Lancastrians, Edward arrived triumphant at the city's gates and along with him, and heading for the tower was Margaret of Anjou. Before Edward could settle into his second attempt at kingship, there was the problem of what to do with the other man still holding that title, Henry VI, however, that problem was soon resolved. The matter of the incarcerated king was discussed at length by Edward, his brothers and their close advisers and a decision made, it was probably Richard who was sent to inform the Constable of the Tower of the King's decision. Henry was more than likely smothered, to all it would look like the king died in his sleep. Henry’s death is dated to 17th of May, only eighteen days following Edward’s victory at Tewkesbury, historians still argue over who was responsible for this poor man's demise.

“To Love and Wait Upon” is the motto of Sir Thomas Vaughan. Vaughan was a knight, an administrator and Chamberlain to Edward V yet he is only ever mentioned as one of the three men executed, in 1485, on the order of Richard Duke of Gloucester. Vaughan held an important role in the court of Edward IV, yet very few people are interested in him. Here is my attempt at telling his story.
Thomas Vaughan’s story continues on my website. 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Versailles: A Review

Versailles, which aired last night on BBC2, was jam packed with intrigue, there were nobles of the court with their hugelace collars, trying their very best to avoid paying tax while working to convince the king that the best course of actionwas to catch the next coach back to Paris. There was a French version of Thomas Walsingham, opening everyone’s letters and brandishing assorted lethal weapons that he was not a bit scared to use, and then there was the obligatory sex scene two minutes into the watershed (not thirty two as I mentioned to someone yesterday.)

You can read more of my review of Versailles on my website at

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Hector, Achilles and Ajax.

According to the Illiad, a rather grand Greek poem, Hector was an ideal warrior and the defender of Troy.
He was a Trojan prince and the first-born son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba and hero of a number of Trojan victories, whose exploits were told in the aforementioned Illiad by Homer. 

Two of his famous battles are with Ajax and Achilles. 

Ajax was a Greek hero and grandson of Zeus, whose hand to hand battle with Hector lasted most of the day. Hector breaks into the Mycenaean camp burning all the ships, the only way he feels he can defeat the Greeks, Ajax is said to have leapt from ship to ship brandishing a spear and holds off Hectors army single-handedly. 

You can read about these two battles on my website