Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Ludford Bridge, 12th October 1459

On the 12th October 1459 the Yorkist army regrouped at Ludford Bridge following their victory at Blore Heath less than a month earlier. Discouraged by the size of Henry VI's army, the Yorkist retreated finding themselves opposite the Lancastrians across the River Teme. During the night many of York's army deserted, followed by a retreat the next morning, many of York's men following the traitor Andrew Trollope who had decided to switch sides.

The Battle of Ludford Bridge saw no noble deaths (because there was no battle) but as you can imagine with such a large desertion in the Yorkist ranks the victors of the 'battle' were the Lancastrians.

You can read a (Lancastrian) account of the events of this day in the Roll of the Parliament head at Coventry a month later on my website.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Duke of Somerset: Edward Seymour

On the 11th of October 1549, Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset was arrested and brought before King Edward VI at Richmond. 

The events leading to the civil unrest of 1548, such as Kett's Rebellion and the Prayer Book Rebellion a year later, were laid firmly at Seymour's door. Edward Seymour was in favour of religious reform and against the system of enclosure which affected the livelihood of those living and working on the land, however Seymour's ideas for social reform were frowned upon by the likes of John Dudley, the Duke of Northumberland, who gave his support to the wealthy landowners. 

Edward Seymour's story continues on my website

Saturday, 8 October 2016

King John and Isabella of Angouleme

There seems to be a bit of a disagreement among historians as to the reasons King John married his second wife Isabella of Angouleme, some say it was born out of lust, others out of the need to control the areas that neighboured Angouleme.

John, it has been said, took an immediate fancy to Isabella, the daughter of Audemar the Count of Angouleme, and was quick to make a play for her. John certainly loved women, he was unfaithful to both his wives and kept numerous mistresses, some of them married women, so it is easy to believe that he was determined to have her and was not going to take no for an answer.

You can read more on my website at

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Family History: Hunt of Barnstaple and Braunton

The story of the lives of men and women such as my Hunt ancestors more often than not pass through time unnoticed, yet their story is as important to history as those of the famous and whose names we hear over and over again. Researching a family's history from a personal point of view is rewarding, but it is important because through our ancestors we can see the affect of actions, by those who rule and govern, have on our country and ultimately ourselves.

The agricultural labourer witnessed many changes in his rural society, my first Hunt ancestor was living in Barnstaple in the early reign of King Charles I, this small West Country port changed from Royalist to Parliamentarians and back again no fewer that four times and this affected trade, driving my ancestors to find work in the countryside.
The second generation of Hunt ancestors were born just a few days into a country that was governed, not by a anointed king, but a Lord Protector.

The story of my West Country ancestors the Hunt family can be read on my website. 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

2nd October 1452: The Birth of King Richard III

A Guest Post by Author Matthew Lewis

DWhilst looking for inspiration for my introduction, I came across Dan Snow's article in the Guardian about the social media site Twitter, in which he wrote that Twitter brings " new and varied experts into your orbit" and this is certainly true of Matthew Lewis.

Twitter was how I first became acquainted with Matthew, it was during those exciting months of 2013 when every Ricardian's eyes were glued to their Twitter feed, waiting for the next update following the find, in Leicester, of the remains of Richard III. During the following four years Matthew became the author of a number books, both fiction and non fiction. This year he published a much needed biography of Richard, Duke of York.

Matthew never keeps his wealth of knowledge to himself, and I am pleased to say that he has very kindly agreed to write an article on Richard III, the last English king to be killed in battle, on the anniversary of his birth, this day in 1452. 

Richard III 

Some time between 1455 and 1460, a poem was written detailing the multitude of children that Richard, Duke of York and his wife Cecily Neville had been blessed with, though many had not survived infancy. The last portion of the poem ran;

John after William next borne was
Which both be passed to God’s grace.
George was next, and after Thomas
Born was, which son after did pace
By the path of death to the heavenly place.
Richard liveth yet; but the last of all
Was Ursula, to Him whom God didst call.

You can read the rest of Matthew's article on my website at

Saturday, 1 October 2016

King Henry III

Henry III or Henry of Winchester was the eldest son of King John by his second wife, Isabella of Angouleme, he was born at Winchester on the 1st October 1207.

Henry is said to have been intelligent and quick to master the problems of administration and government, he was also seen a "uncomplicated, almost naive man, and a lover of peace," yet all this is hardly mentioned, historians preferring to write about Simon de Monfort who not only stole Henry's crown but also his limelight.

The dissatisfaction of Henry's barons culminated in the Second Barons War in 1263.  It was Simon de Monfort who lead the rebellion against Henry, and after the Battle of Lewes in 1264 both the king and his son Edward, later Edward I, were captured and it was de Montfort who ruled in his name. Eventually, de Montfort lost the support of many of Henry's disaffected barons, this along with Edward escaping his captors and raising an army was the beginning of the end for de Montfort.  After the Battle of Evesham, Simon de Montfort met a grizzly end and Henry regained his throne.

My blog continues on my website at