Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Marriage of Henry Tudor

One Step Nearer to a Royal Flush

The penultimate battle of the Wars of the Roses had ended with the death of Richard III at Bosworth. Henry of Richmond was England's new king, but Henry would have to fight one more major battle to rid himself of the mighty Plantagenet dynasty. One way to secure his claim to the throne of England would be to marry into his rival's family.

​On the 18th of January 1486, Henry did just that. 

Elizabeth of York, as the eldest daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, and whose two younger brothers had disappeared, would be a sparkling jewel in Henry's brand new crown. 

Execution of Henry Howard Earl of Surrey

The 19th January 1547 saw the execution of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. He had been charged with high treason and found guilty.
Howard has been branded 'reckless and arrogant' and he was a bit of a rebel in his youth. He had a noteworthy military career and was a religious reformer, a suspected supporter of Anne Askew who perished at the stake for her religion only six months previous, at her death she is said to have quoted one of Howard's poems. Howard, just like Askew was interrogated by Thomas Wriothesley.
Henry Howard was the last person to be executed during the reign of Henry VIII. 
He had been sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, but this was later commuted to beheading, his father, the Duke of Norfolk was luckier, he escaped the executioners blade only because Henry had died before the execution could be carried out.
Henry Howard was first buried at All Saints Church in Barking, however his remains were later removed by his son to Framlingham in Suffolk.
His beautifully decorated tomb you can see below.

You can read about Henry Howard's trial on my blog on my website

Mini History: The Death of Edmund Crouchback

Edmund Crouchback, son of Henry III and Eleanor of Provence, was born on the 16th January 1245.

14th century image of a knight, thought to be Edmund with Saint George, taken from a manuscript held at Oxford's Bodleian Library.
Edmund's nickname Crouchback is thought to be derived from the black cross he wore on his back during his time in the Crusades. However, his second son Henry of Lancaster, also went by a nick name, that of Wryneck (the same name as a bird who can turn its head almost 180 degrees.) This condition we know now of as Torticollis, where the muscles of the neck cause the head to twist to one side.

Although there seems to be no evidence of Edmund having any physical deformity, we can only wonder if he suffered from the same and passed it to his son, Henry's condition being more noticeable. 

For more history bites, why not take a look at my website at

Mini History: The Rough Wooing

We know the eight year war between Scotland and England in Henry VIII's time as the Rough Wooing. In Scotland it was known as Eight/Nine Year War.

King Henry VIII's idea to marry his son Edward to the infant Mary, Queen of Scots, was an attempt to create a new alliance between the two countries and thus stopping an invasion of England by France via Scotland.

The term Rough Wooing comes from George Gordon, a Scottish nobleman who remarked.
"We liked not the manner of the wooing, and we could not stoop to being bullied into love"
However the term wooing in regards to war comes from the pen of Walter Scott whose romantic ideals changed the way we view history today.

For more about history, why not visit my website Meandering Through Time can be viewed by clicking the link below.


Thursday, 12 January 2017

Family History: Meavy in Devon

The Pre Conquest Family
How many years my ancestors lived on the exact piece of land that is now Meavy is something that will never be determined, but I think that I can say, and with some certainty, that they were of the tribe of British people who came to be known as the Celts. I can only assume that they were always at Meavy, but equally they could have wandered in and settled there from some other area of Devon. It is not too hard to visualise the early settlement in which the Meavy family lived as a quiet and desolate area that was protected by a river on both its sides. 

At the very beginning of the 6th century, the Saxon invaders push westward was halted at Badon Hill in Wiltshire and according to the 9th century Historia Brittonum, it was a victory by the Britons with King Arthur at their helm, a victory that held the Saxons at bay for over seventy years. 
Duodecimum fuit bellum in monte Badonis, in quo corruerunt in uno die nongenti sexaginta viri de uno impetu Arthur; et nemo prostravit eos nisi ipse solus.

"The twelfth battle was on Mount Badon in which there fell in one day 960 men from one charge by Arthur; and no one struck them down except Arthur himself"

This families story continues on my website 

Mini Histories: John Singer Sargent and the National Trust

12th January 1856: The Birth of John Singer Sargent.

12th January 1895: The National Trust was founded by three Victorian philanthropists Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley.  

Bringing the two events together on my page is Shakespearean actress Ellen Terry.

Mini Histories: The Battle of Edington

King Alfred was, as Edward Freeman, English historian calls him "the most perfect character in history’ an English hero, who in my opinion, is a match for Henry V and outshines Richard I by miles.

England had been over run by the dreaded Vikings, they had taken Northumbria, East Anglia and Mercia, only Alfred's Wessex was left. Alfred's battle at Edington took place between the 6th and the 12th May in 879 was fought on the side of a double ditched iron age hill fort, against an uncoordinated band of Vikings under its leader Guthrum, is not often remembered. Forgotten too is that he persuaded Guthrum to convert to Christianity.

Alfred's control of these marauding Vikings paved the way for the future unity of England.

Mohun and De Tracy Family

While ​researching my medieval family history I have found numerous examples of the loss of reputation, land and wealth - all that has taken one generation to accumulate, taken away by the next. The de Tracy and the Mohun family are just one example. During the reign of King Stephen, the ancestors of William de Tracy, one of the murderers of Thomas Becket, feature in my family history, they benefited from the downfall of my ancestors, the Mohuns.

The de Tracy's held at least two baronies in Devon, that of Barnstaple and Bradninch. The Mohuns held the barony of Dunster in Somerset.

My blog continues on my website at


Richard III by John Gilbert

Below you can see a rather amusing depiction of Richard III by Victorian artist Sir John Gilbert. Gilbert has Richard looking like an old man whose lost his walking stick. As usual Richard is depicted as malicious, here he has an evil eye, he is crooked and sinister but with a penchant for black fur and funny hats, and it seems unable to walk unaided!

Christies of London had it up for auction and its final selling price was £2875.

The painting is oil on canvas and is entitled The Arrest of Lord Hastings, it is signed by the artist and is dated 1871.

For more on this click on the link below

Family History

Studing YOUR Family History

The writer of the letter below points out the amount of people who have the Norman king, William the Conqueror, as their ancestor, I am one of them. I find it really annoying when people pooh pooh this connection by pointing out that there are hundreds of thousands of people in the same position.... as if I didn't realise that.

 My blog continues on my website at 


Thursday, 5 January 2017

As a Cornish Earl, a crusader, a negotiator, and a very wealthy man, its not hard to see Richard of Cornwall as good guy, you may even go so far as to consider him a bit of a hero, and maybe he was, but as far as his connections with Cornwall are concerned he was also manipuative and greedy. ​Richard of Cornwall was born the second son of King John and Isabella of Angouleme on the 5th January 1509, he was just fifteen months younger than his more famous brother, King Henry III.

My blog on Richard, Earl of Cornwall continues on my website at

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Catherine of Valois

On the 3rd February 1437 occurred the death of Catherine of Valois, Queen to Henry V, and after his death to Owen Tudor. Catherine's marriage to Tudor is not documented, but from their relationship the mighty Tudor dynasty sprang.