On the 20 January 1327 Edward II, a prisoner at Kenilworth Castle, faced a delegation. Initially he had been offered the courtesy of a quiet conversation with the bishops of Winchester and Lincoln in his private chamber. The news was most likely expected. Edward, they declared, was by the will of parliament and the community … More The End of All Things: The Deposition of Edward II, 20 January 1327
To celebrate the launch of ‘Edward II the Man: A Doomed Inheritance’, join me for a 30 minute talk and book signing at Waterstones Birmingham New Street on 18 January at 6.30pm. Find out who Edward II really was. What was his character like? Was he murdered in 1327, or did he find himself living … More Join Me: Waterstones (Birmingham New Street) Book Talk & Signing, 18 January 2018, 6.30pm
On this day, 2 January 1315, Edward II, most likely highly emotional, finally buried his longtime favourite and lover Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall, who had been murdered some two-and-a-half years earlier in June 1312. Gaveston, his boon companion since 1300, had risen sharply in status since Edward’s accession in July 1307 and had remained … More A Solemn Affair: The Funeral of Piers Gaveston, 2 January 1315
So like all good adventures, there eventually comes journey’s end. After many years of planning, researching and then a good two years of writing, the book is now, well, a book having been published on 15th November 2017. For those of you who have been following ‘A Writer’s Journey’ series, I last wrote an update … More A Writer’s Journey #8 Adventure’s End…well, kind of!
Interview with The History Geeks (December 2017) whose page on Facebook and Twitter covers all things that is wonderful about history. They asked some tough, but great questions… HG: What got you into history? SS: I have always been interested in history. I used to sit on my mum’s lap when I was little and … More Talking All Things Edward II with The History Geeks
Located on a limestone promontory overlooking the River Wye, Chepstow Castle, even today, dominates the landscape and takes the breath away. It’s both magnificent in its medieval might as it is in its beauty and attention to medieval craftsmanship. Built initially by William fitz Osborn and later William the Conqueror himself, Chepstow saw a succession … More Chepstow Castle: A Bastion of Medieval Craftsmanship
STOP PRESS FOLKS!! At 7.30pm on Thursday 23rd November, my book ‘Edward II the Man: A Doomed Inheritance‘ will be launched at the magnificent Gloucester Cathedral, the burial place of Edward II, and you are invited. Join me for an evening talk as I re-examine Edward II both as a man and a monarch, set against the … More STOP PRESS: Edward II Book Launch & You Are Invited (7.30pm, 23rd November 2017, Gloucester Cathedral)
Aymer de Valence is not a name that leaps out of the annals of history. Many would be hard pressed to place him, let alone have a sense of his many achievements. But his achievements were great, and he had an impressive pedigree; his great-grandfather being William Marshall, one of Christendom’s greatest knights. His career … More A Lesson in Loyalty: The Life of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (Part One)
When is a book a book? It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times in the last few months. For those of you who have been following my blog series, ‘A Writer’s Journey’, will remember that my manuscript, ‘Edward II the Man: A Doomed Inheritance’ was submitted to my publisher Amberley at the end of … More A Writer’s Journey #7: When is a book a book?
There have been many medieval kings who have produced a string of illegitimate children. Henry I is perhaps the most infamous of them all. He was so prolific in exercising his sexual appetites, that the number of bastard children is almost impossible to know for certain. At best guess, the suggested numbers are as high … More Medieval Bastardy: Adam, Son of Edward II
In my career in heritage, I sometimes get very special access to off limits or behind the scene spaces in magnificent medieval buildings. Recently, in my capacity as a lay member, I was given access to Gloucester Cathedral. This magnificent building is currently undergoing a major multi-million pound HLF funded programme of restoration, not to … More Project Pilgrim: Behind the Scenes & Heavenly Heights at Gloucester Cathedral
On this day 710 years ago, Edward I, that irascible and mighty king who had ruled England with an iron fist since 1272, died at Burgh-by-Sands, west of Carlisle. His death had been long in the coming, his health ailing steadily over the previous three years. The exact nature of his illness is unknown, but it … More A Leopard in Winter: The Death of Edward I, 7 July 1307
For nearly six hundred years, the title of Prince of Wales has in the main been bestowed upon the eldest surviving son of the ruling English, and later British, monarch. It has become something of a convention. Yet prior to 1282, the lands in Wales were in the north and west of the modern geographical principality, … More Principe Wallie: The First English Prince of Wales, 1301
Having spent the last week with a very painful wisdom tooth infection that passed into my jaw, I could only just about survive the insufferable pain because of modern day antibiotics and hardcore pain killers. For anyone out there who suffers from this malady, will know all too well that toothache or an infection in … More Medieval Toothache: Wisdom, Pain & Poultices
Well folks, that’s it. After a lot of hard work I have finally completed the manuscript. Yesterday I packaged everything up and sent it off to my editor Shaun so he and the team at Amberley can now begin the task of turning it into a formatted book in time for the release date on 15 … More A Writer’s Journey #6: Book Submission