A King Under Heel: The Ordinances, 1311

In early March 1310, another highly volatile parliament was underway in England in which the king, Edward II, clashed vehemently with the majority of his magnates. His cousin, Thomas of Lancaster, six years his senior and now the figurehead of noble opposition to the crown’s perceived overindulgences, began proceedings by reading out a barbed petition, … More A King Under Heel: The Ordinances, 1311

Ancient Customs & Conflict: Edward II & the Contrariant Rebels (Part Two)

[Following on from ‘Ancient Customs & Conflict: Edward II & the Contrariant Rebels (Part One)‘, below is the concluding part to what happened next]. ~ As the Christmas court broke up in early January 1321, the Marcher lords, which now included Roger Mortimer of Wigmore, recently returned from Ireland, retired to their estates and began … More Ancient Customs & Conflict: Edward II & the Contrariant Rebels (Part Two)

Ancient Customs & Conflict: Edward II & the Contrariant Rebels (Part One)

Hugh Despenser the Younger had risen in both position and power since his marriage to Edward II’s niece, Eleanor de Clare, in 1306. Although the marriage arranged by Edward I was a great match and an acknowledgement of his father’s loyalty to the late king, it did not come with great tranches of land or … More Ancient Customs & Conflict: Edward II & the Contrariant Rebels (Part One)

The Birth of a King: War, Politics & Lifelong Symbolism

On St Mark’s Day, 25 April 1284, the day on which the people of medieval England would parade through their villages carrying veiled black crosses while praying for good harvests, good weather and good health, a forty-three year old woman was in labour.[1] For hours, surrounded by some of the women of her household, headed … More The Birth of a King: War, Politics & Lifelong Symbolism

An Errant Son: Edward II & the first exile of Piers Gaveston

‘You base-born whoreson! Do you want to give away lands now, you who never gained any? As the Lord lives, if it were not for fear of breaking up the kingdom, you should never enjoy your inheritance’.(1) These are the colourful words reported by the chronicler Walter of Guisborough. As this fearsome attack was made, … More An Errant Son: Edward II & the first exile of Piers Gaveston

STOP PRESS! Sneaky Preview of ‘Robert the Bruce: Champion of a Nation’

So sat at home this weekend I was not expecting a knock on the door from the delivery man. But that’s just what happened and with him, he brought a box of books from my publisher, Amberley. Thinking he was dropping off copies of the paperback version of my first book ‘Edward II the Man: A … More STOP PRESS! Sneaky Preview of ‘Robert the Bruce: Champion of a Nation’

The Enemies Within: Robert the Bruce & the Soules Conspiracy, 1320

‘Robert the Bruce’, King of Scots is best remembered to history for overcoming the might of English imperial aggression, beating back Edward II, most memorably as the victor of the Battle of Bannockburn. In war and diplomacy too, with tact and unbending determination, Robert won his victories against the greatest of odds. He was, in … More The Enemies Within: Robert the Bruce & the Soules Conspiracy, 1320

The Maid of Norway: The Child Queen of Scots, 1286-1290

‘The Maid of Norway’ is a name or title that echoes out of the mists of history. Yet, ask anyone to embellish, and few can place her or better still begin to tell her story. It’s unsurprising, given that Margaret, the last of the Scottish royal house of Dunkeld, lived, ruled and died all by … More The Maid of Norway: The Child Queen of Scots, 1286-1290

Loyalty & Ambition: The Heritage of Robert the Bruce

Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick and seventh Lord of Annandale, is best known to history as Robert I, King of the Scots (r.1306-1329).  His dramatic rise to fame, a consequence of war, murder and political astuteness, against the backdrop of the First Scottish Wars of Independence, is well known. Once he had the crown, … More Loyalty & Ambition: The Heritage of Robert the Bruce

The Murder of Piers Gaveston: A Fourteenth Century Account

The murder of Piers Gaveston, lover and confidant of Edward II on 19 June 1312 is well known to many. The story of his rise to the earldom of Cornwall, and subsequent clash with the mainstay of England’s nobility is also well documented.[Click here for:- Piers Gaveston: Life, Love & Death (An Overview)] But one of … More The Murder of Piers Gaveston: A Fourteenth Century Account

Thou art a Villain: The Changing Nature of Treason in the Middle Ages

The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries have many defining features, yet one in particular stands out for its political significance. Unlike the preceding centuries, politics in England became increasingly violent, especially among the nobility – the earls and baronial class. While rebellions had occurred at key times during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries – notably with … More Thou art a Villain: The Changing Nature of Treason in the Middle Ages