I’ve loved and lived with the story of the history of the English for as long as I can remember. This is my retelling of that story, in a regular, chronological podcast; we go from the cataclysmic end of Roman Britain, and at some point will get all the way through to the present day.

shed-2I am a history graduate, but I am not a professional academic historian; I am essentially a bloke in a shed. Here you can see a picture of the shed, which is not pretty, but at least I have left out the sound of the rats in the rafters. And one of the daughters did paint the end pretty colours, so it’s looked worse. Anyway, enough of the shed. It is a silly place.

I’ve done everything I can to make this good, rigorous history – but it’s not a dry retelling of events. You’ll find my love of and enthusiasm for our history, and some of the things that make me laugh.  You’ll find the great events and people for sure – but also some of the byways as well as the highways, of how people lived, their language, and the forces that shaped their lives and destinies.

To get the best out the podcast it’s best to follow it through chronologically to some degree at least. Ideally that means from episode 1 and onwards, but to be honest don’t think you’ll struggle too much if you start in the middle. A bit like a soap opera – you’ll pick up who’s who.

Members, and who or what is Swyncombe Limited? 

You can now also Become a Member of the History of England – it’s a nice way to support the podcast, and you get 90 minutes of special ‘Shedcasts’ each month – plus access to the complete back catalogue of Shedcasts.

Now that I am turned professional podcaster. Well, now that I have a paid-for service, I have set up a company. It’s called Swyncombe Ltd – it’s possible you’ll come across it. There is one Director – me! It makes me feel very important. It has a trading name – The History of England, and a registered office which is 30 Nelson Street, Leicester LE1 7BA. It’s registered in the UK, Company Number 10376438. 

Our Patronsladybird

As you’ll soon find out, we have two patrons of the Podcast, who stay with us throughout, and gives us a lodestone so
that we can always find our way home. Neither of them have any idea. In fact neither of them are actually animate, which is an issue. One of my abiding memories of childhood, before everything got complicated, is of devouring the stories of English history – especially the Ladybird books of course. So there’s one the old version of the Ladybird Kings and Queens of England. Here’s a nice picture – and it’s the pictures that have stayed with me for ever.

sellar-and-yeatmanAnd the other is the immortal, the irrepressible Sellar and Yeatman, and their memorable history of England. Actually as a kid I never liked it – I took England’s story far too seriously. But it’s grown on me – it reminds us that Academics might tear trips off each other to get at the latest version of the truth; but it takes a long time to change the history that most of us recognise. I sometimes think there are two histories – the one spoken of in the ivory towers, and the other the one the rest of us recognise. King John, hate it or loathe it, will always be Bad king John.

And now we have been joined by a mascot. After a bit of a vote-ette, listeners decided Woolliam Marshalthat the person they wanted to represent them was William Marshal. And so Felecia created our very own, and here he is, Wooliam Marshal, Knit of the Garter. There are two Woolia here, because one lucky listener will have possession of Wooliam II after the Members’ survey  2017.

Nor will it hurt, by the way, to like Douglas Adams and Monty P. And I’m thinking of making Dylan the Dog a patron too, but since he can’t eat it, he probably won’t be interested.

Who is the podcast for? 

This is a podcast for people who love history, but also want something to keep them entertained and sometimes amused while they cycle, run, do the ironing, swim, walk, commute – or even try to get to sleep. I hope you’ll find it to be the smooth end of a pineapple.

This Website

There’s this handy website to help you along with things like maps, biographies, background information, original sources, places to go for more information. Maps are essential aren’t they? And try out the Regnal Lists – pretty (ish) looking lists of monarchs in different places at the same time. They are a triumph, if I do say so myself.

It is also where you can become a member, support me in my endeavours, and get extra podcasts for a small and very reasonable fee.

Privacy Policy

You can read it by clicking on this link to the Privacy Policy


388 thoughts on “About the History of England

  1. Sent a small donation yesterday and have just realised our Paypal account is in my wife’s name. Wanted to mention it because I offered to buy you a pint and didn’t want you to think you were being chatted up by some creepy woman.

  2. Wonderful Shedcaster ~ Really, a profile page needs to have a picture of you. Or, at least, a picture of your shed. And your dog. Your shed and your dog and you, ideally.

        1. Oh that’s you.
          Very good.
          Very informative, even all the way over here in Australia. Also – just- a graduate of history.

  3. I’ve been re-listening to the series recently and today I got to the revised version of episode 97 (now with the new music), but unfortunately, unlike all the others that I’ve reheard so far; while the new music plays in both speakers, the vocal track only plays in the left speaker.

  4. Hi David, just wanted to say how much I’m enjoying your podcast. I started a few weeks ago and I’m up to !066 and thereabouts. I sent a donation which is in no way adequate to the hours of entertainment you’re providing me but there you go! I really hope you manage to keep it up and make it all the way to the 20th century (19th century?). Phil

  5. Hi Phil! And donation received, most generous, I now love you forever, just like giving a dog a sandwich! Really glad you are enjoying it. Have you tried the Anglo Saxon England version? Only goes up to Offa as yet, but more professional…

  6. Good luck on the new site. I have two problems with it. It does not render well in Firefox on Linux. At least for me, and if I knew how to send you a screenshot showing the problem, I would.
    Second, it is harder to download episodes now. I don’t see any direct link to download episodes. There is some javascript nonsense to play an episode, but I want to download to a media player. I mean no insult to your coder, as I think all javascript on the web is nonsense. The idea of visiting a web site and running unvetted code is something any person who cares about security would reject.

    1. Hi Ralph. if you can email a screenshot to david54031@gmail.com that’d be grand. The downloading direct link, if I understand correctly, this been raised by someone else and we will fix – I think you want to download direct from the web page? The last comment…my degree is history with a focus on the medieval…but I will pass it on!

  7. David! I love the new site! All your labor neatly organized into easily accessible chunks and bits for us all to totally geek out on. Congratulations, sir. Well done indeed.

  8. Hi David, I’ve just started listening to these podcasts and they’re great. I studied Medieval History so it’s a topic close to my heart but I’m still learning new things every day by listening to you. They’re a great way to pass the time at work! I know a lot more now, especially about the earlier bits e.g. the Anglo-Saxons (I specialised in later Medieval history).

    As I’m a bit behind, what’s the most up to date email we can use if we have any questions?

    1. Hi Christine…and thanks! I also specialised in later Medieval History – the Conqueror in particular; but remember one very interesting essay I had to do on the migration, which seemed to focus mainly on interpreting shards of pottery! Email me whenever you like on david54031@gmail.com

  9. I have resubscribed after being auto-unsubscribed after a month. The auto-email that goes out when you’re unsubscribed is heartrending. Have no fear David, I love the podcast and Shedcasts (LOL at the Shed-ule) and have no intention of unsubscribing!

  10. Oh Happy Day! I received some money with instructions to spend it just on myself this Christmas. So I bought a year subscription to my favorite podcast! yay!

  11. Discovered your podcasts a week or so before Christmas and have been listening to them every spare moment since – as well as recommending them to others. Great work.

    1. Thank you for the support, thoroughly lovely of you! Long may it last…you’ve a few days worth of content to catch up on…

  12. Hello David,
    I discovered your podcast a couple weeks ago in frozen Minnesota. I listen to you everyday. Great information that has provided me a different view of English history.

  13. Hi David,
    I discovered your podcast a few weeks ago, and have been listening every day. It’s a great show, and I love the humor and sense of perspective you bring. That and the accents. As I can’t get enough, and am quickly closing in on getting up to date, I was wondering where to find the rebroadcasts of the early Anglo-Saxon period. Thanks for a great show!

  14. David-

    Been listening for two years whilst walking the dog, building tables in my workshop, driving out and about. Your shedcast brings me a lot of joy–you talk about history the way I think about it; in detail but with an eye to the odd bit here and there but mostly in an integrated whole, and with humor. Billy the conq is my fave.

    But now to matters more serious, to wit: I want to become a paid subscriber but your website steadfastly refuses to accept my entreaties. Or my credit card. It is time to for payback, sir. Please help me succeed.

    Dan from Vashon Island WA

    1. Hi Dan

      Thank you for your kind comments! Billy the Conq does seem to be popular…my prof way back when was less keen…

      I am equally distressed that the website is refusing to accept payment – more than I can say! So distressed I went and signed up for monthly membership myself – it’d better be good!

      But I have to say I managed to sign up by a debit card fine; could you give me a bit more information about where you had the problem? With credit card, or did you go the PayPal route?

      I will try to help! I sent you an email also…may have gone into spam…can I check you are trying to log in at https://thehistoryofengland.co.uk/become-a-member/?

  15. Hi David,
    Through a search for podcasts on Tudor history, I have discovered your podcast and am thoroughly enchanted…to the point where I’ve started from the very beginning. Thank you for the education and entertainment!

    Jessica / New Glarus Wisconsin

    1. Superb. Pretty sure I’ve never been called enchanting, so that’s very nice of you! Hope you enjoy it – when you get up to date, let me know who your favourite character was, and we can through it open to debate…

  16. Don’t know if this is the right place–do you have discussion boards? Anyway, from the states comes this quote from Dave Brat (gotta love the name), a hard-right wing u.s congressman: “We all ran on exactly the themes the president ran on,” Brat added. “We’re with him, but somebody’s gotten into his ear.” That sounds an awful lot like magnates and peasants bringing concerns to the king that he is being led astray by the bad advice of his evil councilors. Nice to see the paradigm’s the same, no matter the century or the country.

    1. Discussion board would be a great idea wouldn’t it? Jesse and I have discussed it. And yes, your’re right. Which kinda makes Trump a king then…

  17. I started on The History of England only last year, and having blasted through many episodes (much to the detriment of my other podcast listening) I have finally caught up (after a side trip to the Anglo-Saxon ‘casts) … and learned about Shedcasts! I am now a proud and grateful subscriber. Thank you, David, for the many hours of enjoyment (and quiet/not so quiet laughter — I grew up in Surrey and dearly miss British humour here in Silicon Valley, saved only by quoting Python dialogue with like-minded geeks. BTW, are you planning on building another shed? ). Keep the podcasts coming!



    1. Thanks Karl, and welcome. And what a good point! How could I have missed two Sheds Jackson? Actually I do in fact have two sheds – just that one of them is uninhabitable. So I qualify!

  18. Hi David,

    I’m like Karl – started listening late last year (the day after the US election – I could no longer stomach current affairs), doubled back through the Anglo-Saxons, and now have (nearly) caught up. I wasn’t looking forward to making do with a mere episode a week, so the members’ podcasts will be most welcome. One suggestion: sometimes I find myself wondering how old your protagonists are at key moments of their lives, especially their deaths – I don’t recall you mentioning Richard the Lionheart’s age at death, for example, or Richard III’s. Other than that, I’m loving it. Picture me with the History of England podcast in my ears as I walk the beaches of Port Fairy, on the rugged south-west coast of Victoria, Australia, petrels wheeling overhead and gales blowing in across the Southern Ocean all the way from Antarctica.


    1. Hi Steven – and yes I agree, the age these folks did what they did is fascinating – because often they are barely knee height to a grasshopper. Actually, I thought I was doing this, so I shall re-double my efforts! And I shall try to image the Petrels. Are the screeching like Gulls, are they dive bombing you are you approach the cliffs, are they raiding the nests and young of the unwary? I can feel the wind in my whiskers as I write…

  19. I really look forward to your podcast – such a nice combo of information and humor. I have always downloaded them through iTunes, but if I become a member, would the extra podcasts be downloadable that way? If I don’t get some new podcasts I will never get my gardening done, plus we are going to a “destination wedding” in Scotland in June so I want to bone up on Scottish history.

    1. Hi Jenny…Yes! You can indeed download through iTunes. But to my delight I see that you have already signed up which is lovely, and so you should have instructions. Let me know if you have any problems. PLUS i am very excited for you that you are going to Scotland and are going to hit eh museums to see Pictish Stones. I was at university for 4 years, studying history – and didn’t even know Picts had stones. For shame. Now, I would love to be up there with my new found knowledge…

  20. Hi David. Not sure if this is the right place for this but I have forgotten my password (I am a member). Can’t see a way of getting it reset. Please help!
    Love the podcasts and don’t want to miss any, especially as you are now on my homeland.
    Thanks, Alison.

  21. Hola David, from sunny California! Your brother Jonathan is a regular hiking companion and recommended your podcast/site, otherwise I would have never run into it. So far I have listened to the Henry VIII episodes and find them absolutely compelling. It takes a special touch to make history come alive. As I listened, I found myself laughing out loud at times with your editorial “warbling”! You really suck the listener in with not only your carefully presented research but humor and voice inflection. Jonathan said you “don’t bite,” so am interested in your opinion of history re-creators/presenters like Lucy Worsley. Is she too much of a lightweight? Should I be embarrassed at having such guilty pleasure at watching such things as “Tales from the Royal Wardrobe?” I enjoyed the points you made about the selling of the royal image (i.e. the Holbein portrait of Henry) and she made some similar observations in her episode. I can tell it’s an incredible effort putting together these podcasts, so rather than staying a lurker I just become a member. Thanks so much from a new California fan.

    1. Hi Leslie, and how delightful that my sibling is fulfilling his brotherly duty in spreading the word! I am impressed! I am also very glad you asked my opinion on Lucy Worsley…though it’s a bit difficult. *sigh* So, the less reputable part of my nature, the one I try to keep hidden from view, is essentially that of a green eyed monster. All that recognition, all those resources and support to make all those programmes! It’s unfair. But sadly, she’s also terribly good. After all, she’s earned her historical chops by being the Chief Curator at Historical Royal Palaces; and she does a very good job of making history engaging. No, I hate it, but she’s good!
      Thanks for the kind words, and hope you continue to enjoy it – and thanks for becoming a member.

  22. David, David, David. I have just finished a six month odyssey of listening to all of the podcasts from Number 1 to 212. Finished yesterday and gave myself permission to subscribe. Imagine my relief that there is more! Looking forward to future pods from faraway California. Ed

    1. Brilliant, thanks Ed, Welcome and I hope the Shedcasts do the job. I ought to offer some kind of prize to folks to have completed all the podcasts…humm..

    1. Sorry Gene, I have been away and, horror of horrors, without internet. Glad it’s all fixed.

  23. David, A quick query. I note that you have a Patreon account as well. I signed up/donated here, but as I also have a Patreon account I was curious if there is any overlap in terms of access as I use their app. Not critical, just wanted to ask. The podcast is a joy and I am almost all caught up. One of my all-time favorites, to be sure.
    Cheers, Jonathan

    1. Hi Jonathan – I try to remember to post the members only podcasts on Patreon, so that members can use the app there; and if I remember I put a link for the free history of England too, but don’t generally download the file…cheers, David

  24. Hello David! I found your podcast in an attempt to fill the month long gap between my beloved History of English podcast updates, and I’m happy to say I love your podcast just as much! I am still in the 40s episode-wise so I won’t be caught up for some time, but that suits me fine. For now, there is always new content! Thank you for the time and effort you put into educating us! History with a laugh. Fantastic.

  25. Hi David, I started listening to your podcast about a month ago from the beginning and wanted to drop a line saying how much I am enjoying it. I studied the Charles I / Civil War / Restoration era in college but my knowledge of England in the Dark Ages up to the Tudors was limited mostly to a bunch of names, regnal numbers, and battles — and now it is great to finally get to understand just what this Alfred guy so great, etc. Great work!

    1. Hi James, and thanks very much! i’m delighted you covered the civil war though; one of my very favourite periods, and I thirst to get there.

  26. Hi David,
    After been a listener to The History of the English Language for awhile now I have recently started listening to yours and am thoroughly enjoying it so far. Being an American your podcast helps make my commute a little more fun and informative. Thank you!

      1. Hi David and all. I too have taken advantage of your stories in my daily commute. Really entertaining and certainly informative. I can’t get enough of the Anglo-Saxon stories; and I have to admit The Last Kingdom got me wanting to look into what the real story was – and I was pleasantly surprised it follows very well. If I were to have found your podcasts when you were (re) doing the Anglo-Saxon stories, I would have asked to hear more of the women and wives. I am really intrigued with the story of the women, starting with the story of Alfred’s daughter Althelflaed. The Last Kingdom story gave hints of Ealhswith that I wanted to find out if she had the influence suggested. And other women that seem to have a great more impact than most histories (including yours) seem to slide past, like Elenor of Aquitaine and so on. There’s not much history I can find on the early women of Britain except a BBC documentary on She Wolves. Perhaps if you add any further on them on the Anglo-Saxon podcast?

        But I’m loving what you’re doing. Thanks!

        Jon Hillman

        1. Hi Jon – I think there are probably two things going on here sadly…one is the essential maleness of history. Really very little survives of a personal nature about any historical figure from the middle ages (biographies of secular leaders like Alfred and William Marshal are really quite exceptional). Then make that times 10 for women. The other reason is that I have been guilty of the same thing – I’ve tried to put it right more recently, but honestly it’s difficult to find the time to go backwards. I harbour the ambition to do so in the shedcasts, if I can carve out a few moment from Scotland and the Tudor stuff! I did also do something on Aethelflaed; there’s an article here https://thehistoryofengland.co.uk/resource/aethelflaed-lady-of-the-mercians/, and podcast 10 https://thehistoryofengland.co.uk/2011/01/21/10-english-reconquest/.

          Eahlswith is a case in point. Asser, Alfred’s contemporary biographer, never actually mentions her by name, she appears as witness to no charters. Wew know she founded a monastery, and that Alfred left her land in 3 very significant locations (Edington and Lambourn the sites of the battles of Edington and Ashdown; and Wantage, his birthplace. That’s pretty much it. So this is where a good novelist comes in – Cornwell gives her a character, and because he’s good, he accentuates the few things we do know – that she lives in troubled times, that she’s religious, that she has children.

          There is a book called ‘Queen Consorts’ by Lisa Hilton which is good, there are plenty of good general books now about women in history…hope that helps a little bit!

  27. Aha, a picture of the most famous shed since the manger in Bethlehem! Good on you, David. I confess I’ve been absent as a listener for the better part of a year. I do get Facebook notifications in my email though I don’t do Facebook anymore, really- it just never caught on with me. I still have not explored the Anglo-Saxon podcast yet or any of this shiny new stuff you have, but am proud to say, “I knew him when”.

  28. Hi Rob….and there’s a claim for me!Thanks for checking in, as the longest serving Patron of the Shed.

  29. Just wanted to say how delightful this podcast has been. I’m only on Ep 52, and am thrilled that I have so many more to listen to. Keep up the good work! Greetings from western Canada

  30. Hi David. I just wanted to say that I only recently discovered the podcast. I’m an expat who has been out of the UK for nigh on two decades and miss the history and archaeology (and smokey-bacon crisps). The length of the episodes is perfect for my 45 commute and I’m working my way up from ep1.
    One funny thing, twice this week “The Kingdom of Elmet, near York” has come out of my generic MP3 player just as I’ve been driving past the sign of a company called “Elmet Industries”. Well I thought it was funny. Keep up the good work. For it is good.

  31. These podcasts are amazing, they’re so engaging and positive and easy to listen to, and really funny, I have been recommending them to everyone- great podcasts thank you!!

  32. I found my way to your podcasts after hearing you as a guest on Kevin Stroud’s “History of English.” I must admit that it took time to attune my Texan ear, not so much to your accent, but to your English turns of phrase and the rapid way you rolled through them. No problem now, as I strangely find myself saying “everyone went potty” or “he didn’t give a tinker’s curse.” I guess I’ve been commuting and listening for about 6 months and have reached the happy convergence where Kevin is a regular guest on your podcast. Sir Winston impressions are my favorite.

  33. What a wonderful find! You have been making my almost 4 hour daily commute (yes, I did say 4 hours daily – the price for wanting to live in something larger than a shoebox in Washington DC) almost bearable. I am only up to Henry V but await the Wars of the Roses with barely concealed enthusiasm. What will David’s take on Richard III be I ask myself. I should know soon!

    Thanks and regards from the furthest Washington, DC bookdocks.

    1. I share your pain. I had got to 3 hours 10 minutes daily. Thanks so much for the comment and hope you keep enjoying it. I can recommend loads of other great podcasts too!

  34. David,
    I am a listener from the States and absolutely love your telling of the history of England. I have listened up through the early reign of Edward the first but then it seems a lot of the podcasts from that point until well into the war of the roses do not work as I keep getting an error saying that page cannot be found. Any idea on this? Thanks again for the great listen, I enjoy it on my hourly commute to and from work!

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Josh – I can’t recreate the problem; I’ve emailed you to ask for some specific pages and I’ll investigate further. There are some benefits to commuting!

  35. So, I am an American. Even worse, the reviled ‘Southerner’; but we in the south tend to relish our history. I have found that the podcast never fails.
    (1) You are indeed engaging. The fact that it is told by a human rather than a cold wet fish (with their toes showing) means I can identify.
    (2) You have allowed history to not be just boredom between events. It’s as if after Willie the Konk said “well I just won the Battle of Hastings so nothing to do till Agincourt.” The parts in between are there now.
    (3) I feel like many of the things an thoughts that I have found to be fundamental, even absolute have a backstory. ‘Where here it ’tis!’

    I am now on episode 160; even having listened to several episodes two or three times. I even felt a tinge of despair when you took time off; even though that would account for approximately 2:12 seconds in between podcasts. I have had time to want to say ‘hey, keep the word at the beginning’ knowing that unless I knew Mr. Peabody (and I am a wee bit older than Sherman) that my opinion was pointless.

    I ask for zero changes. You are a historian in the truest sense; but you are also an artist. So… if you could speak to Monet, would you say, ‘yeah… lillies. You know what about clowns?’ Well, not me. I say that the shed has proved its worth. I love the bird chirping in the background.

    Special thanks to the History of English podcast that mentioned you. I turned you on and a month and a half later I am listening to two or three episodes a day.

    One last thing. THANK YOU for using AD and BC. Our dating system is not an arbitrary system started on a Tuesday of January year zero. This is a brave thing; but the right thing.

    1. By ‘eck, thanks, that is all very lovely of you indeed. You can be my new best friend! Kevin and I need to get together again actually, I love his podcast and it was great to have him weekly wording for a while. Anyway, thanks a million – and enjoy the wars of the Roses.

      1. As many times is the case, I a thought occurred to me that I had omitted.
        I challenge the common declaration that you are not a historian. In my opinion, history is owned by the human itself. Families tell their stories to their kids to pass on, that is our very legacy. The ‘professional’ historian tends to have such a small audience that you wonder if it is nothing more than a small club. You have spread your legacy out to a much broader audience. This sharing of the story of England means more can know it and understand its relevance.
        You are able to remove the tediousness of many elements; thereby allowing greater understanding. So, while some may know the preferred breakfast of William Rufus, you have had a bigger impact telling of the love of hunting by the Normans and how that was a major plot device that even gives us understanding of the stories of Robin Hood. Meanwhile the ‘Professionals’ have deep books that delve into facets of history; the seven people who read that may have been enriched.
        They say that the Velvet Underground only sold a thousand albums; but those thousand albums formed a thousand bands. That is your legacy as well. I hear your style amongst others; and that is not a bad thing. A human telling human history. Or as you say… ‘context is everything in history’.
        Carry on my good man. Carry on.

        1. Well it’s very lovely of you Robert. I certainly get a kick out of telling the story that I’ve always loved, and trying to keep it as accurate as I can. Thank you for the encouragement, it makes a big difference to me – and for a comparison to the Velvet Underground! Too much though!

  36. Hi David,
    As a Scottish listener from Canberra in Australia I’ve learn’t a very great deal from you in a pleasurable and thought provoking manner. Listening to you (cycling mostly) from the very start I’ve been impressed at the way you lay out your sources, discuss their bias and then proceed to contextualise chronologically. You are very even handed, non gender biased and have a happy turn of phrase. All of which is admirable. Thank you for all your work to make our history come back to life. Bloody brilliant!
    Many thanks
    David Turnbull

  37. Hi David! I am so glad I found your podcast! I recently listened to your episode talking about Sheep and yarn making (#178?). I am a knitter and independent yarn dyer and really enjoyed the information. I may be the only one wanting to know more. If you are able to share your sources for that episode or can get in touch with me that would be great. Mainly because I am looking into becoming a part time spinster (literally) as well. Thanks so much and if you ever want something knitted, I’d be honored to make you something!

    1. It’s so long ago! I have the memory of a mouse Felecia. All I can remember from here is this famous article by Eileen Powers. Famous? An article on the Wool Trade? Can this be?! Al I can say is that I have shared this one document with more than any other! Not sure if this does it for you – its the economics really, not the manufacturing processes. Let me know if you are ever into the idea of knitting historical figures for the History of England listeners!

      1. Thank you for the article David! I really appreciate it! And yes I’d love to make some figures. If you’d like to contact me via email to discuss who you’d like to see knitted up and other details feel free. Thank you again!

      2. I will actually read this! Not because I am fascinated by wool, but because of what I heard about the Cotswalds. I heard that area got rich on wool in the middle ages. They built strong stone houses and other buildings that will last. Then when the bottom fell out of the wool trade further development slowed to a crawl. As a result we have these wonderfully preserved towns that have been left in piece by all the moneyed folk living in London and building the new stuff there.

        1. Hi Bob, and your explanation sounds very credible; I must admit that I have been round the Cotswolds (which as you say is beautiful) and knew of the wealth the trade brought there – never quite made the connection with the preservation of the stone buildings I must admit! But as I say, it all sounds very credible – the wool trade does indeed steadily decrease, overtaken then by the cloth trade, which may well have been much smaller in the Cotswolds.

  38. Hi David, just to say that my commute to work has improved immensely since finding your podcasts. I too am up to 1066 and have listened via your new podcasts featuring posh microphone! One query, I probably retain 5% of the information in your podcasts! Do you know of a good resource that summarises each King’s highlights (not hair)?, ie a paragraph on Edwards the Elder etc just to jog my memory? If not, I will create my own! Thanks again, Ian

      1. Thanks David, I had no idea about Luise’s work this looks ideal. This podcast has given me a new perspective on my home Chester too. Offa’s dyke, Watling Street, battle of Chester. And now I know why we have a restaurant on the Dee called Edgar House! Thanks again, membership is on my Christmas list!

  39. Hello David,
    As we all know by now everyone in medieval times had the same name (almost). (I tell my class that 80% of women at this time were named Elizabeth, Joan, Margaret, Anne, Alice, Agnes, Mary, Jane, Katherine)

    As we get into Tudor times, I see more and more last names, but do you know when women started to take the last name of their husbands?

    Love your podcast. You are a treasure.

    1. Cindy, honestly and sadly, I do not know the answer. It’s an interesting question but all I turned up was that in Sweden apparently it didn’t happen until the 1920s, which is interesting, since it means it’s certainly not a standard. I’ll keep looking. And thanks!

  40. I absolutely love the shedcast. I started a couple months ago at the beginning and am currently on Henry II and (and Eleanor of Aquitaine, my favorite queen!). I listen every weekday on my commute in the car. You are hilarious. Truly, I don’t literally LOL very often, but you have me laughing in my car all alone almost daily. Yet, at the same time, the cast is very informative and straightforward. I’m becoming a member soon (working it into the budget). Keep up the excellent work!

  41. Hi David…just discovered your work through my son who has downloaded you onto my Ipod. Love your work [and humour as I have a copy of ‘1066 and All That’] but I nearly fell off my chair while listening to Episode 77 ‘Reconstruction’ when you seemed to indicate that Eleanor of Castile was the daughter of Eleanor of Provence! I am assuming your righted this wrong at a latter point 😉

    1. I’m quite rubbish at family relationships actually – the thing I am pulled up for mostly. This one would have raised a few eyebrows I would have thought; it’s a long time since I did the episode, but that would have been a little incestuous wouldn’t it? I had a look at my script, and couldn’t see me having written that – maybe I said something off the cuff?

  42. Hadn’t noticed this before but I see that you say that it wouldn’t hurt to like ‘Monty P’. It took several minutes for me to figure out that you were not referencing Monty Panesar. In fact there have been disappointingly few references to cricket so far, other than William Marshal, ‘Malcolm’ to his friends…

    1. Hmm, it’s a good point. But it is a cultural problem; a reasonable proportion of loyal History of England listeners know nothing of Cricket. Actually I think I have mentioned cricket a few time – I’m sure I remember referring to the one that goes straight on haven’t I?

  43. Hi David,
    I have been falling in love with your podcast increasingly for some 6-8 months. I’m almost caught up with you now and, honestly, have loved every minute of it. It got into podcasting to help me through my daily commute where I live in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. You have completed a trifecta together with Mike Duncan’s “Revolutions” and Robin Pierson’s “History of Byzantium”.
    Anyway, thank you for your very excellent work. Over the last couple weeks, I decided to check out the website for the first time and become a supporting member. Which I have now done. As a brand new baby shedcast supporting member, I am really blown away by the quality of your site and the resources that you have marshaled.
    I took my degree in classical history and enjoyed every minute of. To make a living, I’ve had to sink to the pedestrian depths of software development (which I also love). Your podcast has been a great source of history nerdery and sustenance for me in the dank subways of Washington.

    1. Can I admit something? I saw you arrive as a member, and there was, as there is with every single new Shedcast member, there was a thrill of excitement, ad small and subtle fits pump…obviously, these are not the cool and controlled characteristics of a leading entrepreneur, but hey…

      Like you, I arrived at podcasts to deal with the daily commute, and Mike Duncan turned a potentially negative experience into something of a joy; sometimes I was genuinely irritated when the train arrived. So I have much to thank him for. I am slightly envious of software engineering. Sadly I have the logic capabilities of a bucket but you know, one day…

      And finally one day you will have to explain the genesis of your email address. But mainly, thank you for your kind words, and for joining.

  44. Hey David-

    I live this podcast and am happy to be a member. My question is how your rate the popular tv shows available now, such as “The Last Kingdom,” “Vikings,” “the White Queen,” The White Princess,” and “The Tudors” among the many others.

    I’m a huge fan of the Anglo Saxon podcast you did and thank you for that.

    Thanks for all you do. I am a mid 30 American and can’t get enough of your wit and the stories that couldn’t be made up….I often wonder if all this is true!

    Keep it up!

    1. Hi Mike

      I annoy myself with my lumpen inability to watch most of these programmees; I strongly suspect that I would love them, and yet never get round to watching them. I’m a bit the same with TV historians. So I can’t help sadly with the Vikings, White Queen and Princess sorry. The last Kingdom I think is pretty good; I am based because I love the books, and I think the lead character should be a bigger, more heavyset man, but the arrogance and obligation of the warrior and the relationship with a genius like Alfred is well done I think.

      The Tudors…well look, I managed half an episode, and a chapter about it generally by Susan Bordo. It looks like a fun, colour filled spectacle, but I literally felt a physical pain when I watched Jonny what’s his face, and heard that he refused to get old fat and ugly with Henry; and saw Margaret of Austria turned into a bit of eye candy. The puritan in me, usually VERY deeply hidden, rose to the fore! (Actually I think the physical pain was figurative).

      That’s all I can contribute sadly. I’d like to watch the White Queen, anything that promotes medieval history is good with me. Thanks you for listening to the podcast, it is a continuing wonder and thrill to me that people do so!

  45. Absolutely love the podcast. For many reasons ( like teenage children and health issues) life is extremely stressful at the moment. So at the end of the day, I reward myself with a few episodes and a cup of tea. Funny, fascinating and a balm to a frazzled lady. Thank you David

  46. How lovely, thank you Sarah, and I shall enjoy, spiritually at least, enjoying a cup of tea with you at the end of the day.

  47. Hi David. I am absolutely loving both your podcasts. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this for all of us. I hope to become a patron cause I want you to keep going.
    PS I bet you LOVE M.R. James.

  48. I was listen along to Food in the AS period. My wife is a member and I eavesdrop. I thought came to mind about the rise and fall of venison consumption in the post Roman period. Deer are not a deep forest animal but live on the verge between forest and feild. The Kalapooia of Oregon wood burn off forests to increase deer habitat. I imagine that reforestation of the post Roman would have dramatically increased deer habitat and the deer population. With the decrease in Roman cultivated crops this would lead to a boom in deer consumption. As reforestation continued the deer population in the mature forests would decrease which would lead the aristocracy to form deer parks formed by to conserve deer.

  49. Purchasing an annual subscription and going behind the paywall was perhaps the best decision I’ve made since I decided to stop shaving. Love the Shedcasts. Looking forward to The History of Wales…perhaps as a musical?
    Thank you for providing us hundreds of hours of intelligent entertainment. THIS is what I hope the Internet is evolving towards.

    1. I do like posts like these! The History of Wales – A Musical. I like it. By the way you do know that my one attempt to play a musical instrument was Mull of Kintyre on the guitar and after two months the family forced me to stop trying?

      Anyway, thank you, it’s lovely to have your support.

  50. Hi
    I live in a small moorland village (169 pop) in North Yorkshire established by St Mary’s Abbey York in around 1150 We have a very active History Group and have published three co written books in the last 6 years. I have set myself the task of writing a Medieval Village publication 1066-1483 (approx.) to attempt to bring that era of the village to life.
    I have found your site wonderful especially as I walk two labs for at least an hour every day (pod casts :-)) Although I am a Durham lad I am an honorary Yorkshireman so haven’t donated yet but I will after a good session on “Old Peculier”

    1. Hi Jim, and thanks. I’m incredibly impressed with anyone who can produce a book – so lets us know when you’ve done it. We could post it on the FB sire for example. Also quite impressed you’ve managed to get a Yorkshire membership card. You must have been there a while!

        1. What do you mean Robin? It’s just a piece I wrote plus the original text if that’s what you mean?

  51. Hey there David, I’m sure it’s been asked but who plays the perfect and lovely guitar intros on the podcast? Inspired.
    Oh, and I promise I will get onto sending a donation… Feel free to send me a nudge by email 😉

    1. Hi Sam. It’s my mate Davie. He chose the tune because he knows I like Led Zep; it’s an old Irish folk tune, Black Water Mountainside that Jimmy Page used as inspiration for Black Mountainside.
      I’ve put you on an automated mailer; you’ll get a nudge email every 5 minutes.
      I’m not proud…!

  52. I sent this to the email listed, but it was returned undelivered! Alas and alac. Perhaps this will reach you. Two different credit cards were also declined, but that’s probably a different problem. Help!

    David, I know your IT staff is busy tending to the millions of weekly downloads that your podcast empire produces. However, I was hoping you could spare a crack member of said staff to look into a downloading issue I am having. My podcast feed for THOE is stuck trying to download 187a, Jane Shore. It recently stuck similarly on 186, the king is alive I believe. 186 finally downloaded. The app is reporting download not found on 187a.

    Additional info for crack IT professional: I am using RSS Radio 4.5.6. I have maybe 2 dozen other podcasts and none of them seem to have a problem. For shows such as THOE I use the setting Download: Oldest Unlistened or Oldest Two Unlistened. This allows me to catch up with podcasts in chronological order. If an episode is stalled like this, it just stays stalled until I notice it and skip it or it finally downloads. Since this has occurred twice now close together I assume there may be problems with other episodes too.

    BTW, I really enjoyed the redo of the Anglo Saxon episodes. I was kind of sad when they ended.

    Thanks again!

    Tucson AZ

    1. Hi Bob – I have sent you an email with apologies and an explanation; but in brief, please look for guest episodes now on the separate History of England – Guest episodes podcast. Cheers. David (otherwise known as the cracked IT Team)

  53. I’ve been a little worried about getting the Shedcasts downloaded, but your step-by-step how to for iTunes was simple and I had no trouble. Thanks for the assist. I’ve remarked before, but the ancillary work you put into this endeavor makes it really special and helps make it a can’t miss podcast. Happy Spring Break to you. I switched districts this year and now have 2 week “holidays” instead of just one and it is spectacular. I can recharge and get work done outside of teaching, plus get ready to teach again. Although my nearly 13 yo son has determined you’re too funny to try to fall asleep to at night. 🙂

    1. Thank you Eric’s Mom,m and that is particularly kind of you; it’s difficult to judge if all the extra time is strictly worth it,. but a) I enjoy it and b) imaginging all those names and monarchs and places seems a nightmare to me, so a bit of help seems worthwhile. I do agree two weeks makes such a difference – it takes a week to switch off. Have fun!

  54. Ok I am about to start listening to the Tudor period podcasts (my least favourite period – I blame my A levels. ) But I can officially say that I love your podcasts!

    I listen to a quite a few history podcasts but your is the only one that makes me laugh as well as always keeping me interested.

    In fact I think it may be time to take out the credit card and become a Member!

    1. A great idea, obviously. The key will be though, as to whether or not I can keep your interest through the Tudors then…hmm…tell me why you didn’t like them? I only ever did 19th century at O and A level, so was rather jealous of folks like you.

  55. I think it was really because A levels sucked all joy out Irish & English Tudor history! I mean the stress…..!
    I have faith that you will make it far more interesting.

  56. David, American listener here…the HOE podcast has been a revelation, and a boon to my commuting. Want to really thank you. After over a year of avid listening I’m ready to become a member. Question: Will the members-only History of Scotland podcast be on iTunes and downloadable like HOE, or are the eps only available through this webpage? My car makes a perfect acoustic tabernacle for every nuance, and I’d hate to have to be tethered to headphones, ya know?

    P.S. Your scholarship is first-rate; I’ve found a new historian, and Dan Jones can suck it.

    1. Thank you, you are too kind…though Dan’s scholarship I suspect is even better AND he’s much more of a looker than I am…But I am very grateful for the vote of confidence, it makes a big difference.
      You can download and listen to shedcasts in exactly the way you can the free History of England. There is a slightly different process, in that you have to add the URL and enter the password I give you when you sign up – but the result is the same. does that make sense?

  57. My podcast software cannot download episodes 241 to 246. 247 and 247a have downloaded OK. Is there a problem with these episodes?

    1. Dominic, no they seem OK; these are hosted by Acast, and are working there and on iTunes…

  58. Dear David, your podcast has saved me during the many agonizing hours of sitting in traffic over here in Seattle on my way to work. Sometimes I even listen to in while rummaging in my own shed…. seems fitting, I think 🙂 Bravo and three cheers from across the pond!

    1. Hi Anne, and thank you so much. I am glad to be with you in the traffic and in the shed!

  59. David, your podcast has been getting me through long commutes, long flights and long runs for the last 18 months so signing up as a member was long overdue. Thank you for the many hours of education and laughs already.

  60. David I absolutely love the podcast! I listen non stop. I only wish you had an option for us poor college students on the shed cast. Perhaps in the future!

  61. Dear David,

    I am just writing to say a massive thank you for you History of England podcast! I started from episode one back in January this year and I’ve made it all the way through to the most recent (251).

    I really love your podcast – it is absolutely brilliant! Your conversational style is natural and fantastic, I especially love your blending of historiography and human stories.

    I’m actually re-training as a History Teacher in September and your podcast has really helped to re-ignite my passion for history and given me a wonderful overview so far.

    I’ve got a birthday coming up and hopefully I’ll be receiving a membership (if the hints to my wife have paid off) so I can listen to all of your members’ shedcasts and continue my Crowther fix!

    So to stem the tide of fanboy ramblings, I will leave it here and just really want to emphasise how much I love the ‘cast.

    Many thanks,
    Matthew Lowe
    (Big Fan)

    1. Hi Matt, and thank you very much – you are very kind! It makes such a difference to hear from people. Good luck with the history teaching – I am in awe of good teachers. I still remember a fair proportion of my history teachers.

  62. Hello! I’ve been slowly working my way through the podcast starting from Episode 1. I’ve noticed that several of the “a” episodes are missing from the feed. At least the feed as my Android PocketCasts app sees it. I’m currently on Episode 92, and you mentioned in Episode 90 and 91 that there was an “a” episode describing a battle in Scotland. On that note, I have also found that Episodes 22a, 24a, 31a, 43a, 52a, 61a, 72a, 92a, 96a and 99a will not download (my app says the files are missing). Can you tell me where I might acquire these mising episodes?

    Thanks for the great podcast!

    1. Hi Brian – yes I’m sorry, about that. iTunes have a policy what limits the number of episodes in each series to 300, and I am approaching that. So I have moved most of the ‘a’ episodes to a new podcast called The History of England Guest episodes – that’s on Itunes so you’ll find them all there. I did announce it somewhere but it gets lost of course. And thanks for listening!

      1. Ah. Thanks for that tidbit. I’m using PocketCasts on Android. I found The History of England Guest episodes on their Discover section, so I think I’ve got most of them now. There are a few missing from my earlier list, but not many.

        Episode 100, Theatres of War isn’t downloading from the main podcast feed.

        If I find more, I’ll come back and respond again.

        1. Thanks. I don’t understand Ep 100; it downloads from iTunes and runs on the website. Don’t know what to suggest, except if you could use the website just for this one episdoe?

  63. David – A year or three ago I realized I needed a hobby. A list of hobby ideas I conjured through Google recommended listening to podcasts. “Podcasts?” I thought, “what could I possibly find to interest me that’s produced by random folk in their basements?” (or sheds, as the case may be). Being a humble history grad, I searched for history podcasts… and found yours. I liked it right away, but the time period you were covering then was a bit obscure for my taste. “I’ll check back in a year or so,” I said to myself, “and maybe he’ll be up to the Tudor era.”

    And so you are, and I’m back, and I intend now to re-begin at episode 1 because you are just so blasted good at what you do. You’re well read and well sourced and you haven’t let either of those facts go to your head to the point that you begin to take yourself too seriously.

    So grateful for your wit and historical integrity. You have a standing invitation to lunch should you ever find yourself in Wisconsin in the States.

    Honestly, I am in awe of what you do, much as I occasionally find myself awed by Gareth Russell, good old Diarmaid, and even sometimes Starkey. Props to you, as the kids say.

    1. Amy you are very kind indeed. And actually your message is very important, because with the Reformation we have arrived at a topic that people still seem to find very immediate, and which plenty of folks appear to still feel passionately cross about, as though it still could be talked away. And of course with Empire and all, that’s going to get a lot worse! So I have had to shake myself a few times not to get too serious about it, and keep it light and as fun as I can make it. My ambition has always been simply to tell the story I love in a way that people enjoy and is as balanced as I can make it. So thank you very much for your note it is very helpful. And Wisconsin – Milwaukee, home of Happy Days? One day I will take you up on the offer of lunch!

      1. Home of Happy Days indeed. Should you ever visit, we shall take selfies in front of the bronze Fonzie statue. (Yes, someone decided we needed one of those.)

        As for some feeling the need to relitigate the Reformation.. . I suppose that’s natural, to an extent. Everyone wishes that this or that particular genie could be stuffed back in the bottle. But history generally only moves in one direction, doesn’t it? Having been brought up Anglican and later swimming the Tiber to Rome, I get it that many on both sides just can’t let it drop. Then there are the rest of us who can regard history with a wry grin and the sense of resignation that says, “well, *that* happened.”

  64. Dear sir,

    I was introduced to your History of England podcast earlier this year, and was immediately struck by your blend of fact, interpretation, and humor. I’ve heard you say that people complain about all the names, but frankly, we’re not listening to take an exam; the important ones recur often enough to show their importance and the rest add some flavor.

    I find the way you present the material equally as important as the material itself; you have a great sense of timing, without which the podcast would be dry and dull, regardless of the jokes. For a bloke in a shed, you’ve done a smashing job right from episode 1.

    I’m curious, though…how far will you go before The History of England would need to be called Nearly Current Events in England?

    1. Hi Jay, and thank you! And thanks also for joining membership by Patreon – i’ll Send a patreon message about joining.

      I have decided not to think about the end date; after all, as I progress it seems there is so much more to say that i go more and more slowly, so it may be like Zeno’s paradox and the arrow can never reach its target! But I’d guess WWII to be a good place to end?

  65. David, I very much I enjoy your podcast! While I am a “yank”, I have always been a huge fan of European medieval history. And recent genealogy work revealed I am a Welsh and British descendant from all sorts of directions within my family tree. As a historian, you may recognize one of my more infamous ancestors — William Herbert (don’t hold that against me — the nickname “Black William” would seen to indicate he may not have been the most popular chap). Anyhoooo – your podcast is a delightful means to learn more English medieval history in particular. I joined as a member today. Thanks for your efforts, very well done.

    1. He’s fine as far as I know – a good supporter of the Yorkists, so can’t be all bad! And thank you so much for joining – I hope you enjoy the shedcasts.

  66. Hello David,
    Just wanted to let you know I very much enjoy your podcasts. Hate to say that Outlander got me hooked on Scotland which then lead me to learn about Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth 1 then The Plantagenets and and the Wars of the Roses and them cumulated into my first trip to Britain this summer. I’m still riding on a high from this trip and now reading and watching the Last Kingdom and now I’ve found your Anglo Saxons podcast and it is so helpful! Thank you for providing these wonderful
    podcasts! You have been “ the icing on the cake” for me in learning and retaining English history. And I love your humor! You keep me entertained while cycling and walking!
    O’Fallon , Illinois

    1. Dorrie, thank you so much for joining, I cannot thank you enough. Now, Outlander – I literally managed to see my first episode last night – it was very good. I love the concept as, sadly, I also love the Highlander film. I hope you enjoyed your visit – I am very pleased you felt England interesting enough to visit, and I hope we did not disappoint you. I hope you enjoy the shedcasts – but either way, let me know what you think.

  67. Finally paid my dues to you, David -and as a fully paid-up member too.. looking forward to the specialist shedcasts. Nice work fellah x

    1. Fantastic, thank you. Hope you enjoy the shedcasts. There’s quite a library of podcasts up there now – it’d be great to know from you how easy it is to find what you want.

  68. Dear David
    For the programme on Somerset the Protector you asked us to comment on the use of music and human interest detail. I really didn’t like it. Background music is a curse of many documentaries (have you ever seen BBC4 for example) and it is really distracting. It makes it hard to hear the words. It is patronizing. It reminds me of why I usually dislike history on TV – too many pictures, too much emotion, not enough history. Your podcasts are a place to feel secure – secure that we can learn some proper history, with plenty of analysis. Not too much academic stuff, but, importantly, not too little. Just the right amount in fact. Music shifts the balance in the wrong direction. And so does too much human interest stuff. I love your asides, your personal interjections, the genial modern comparisons, and hilarious accents. But it would be no good if there were too much. And there isn’t. It’s just right. Please don’t give us less. But please don’t give us more. The Somerset programme was horrid. The silly sound of prison gates shutting, the dramatic music to indicate, if we hadn’t been listening properly, that something important was to be revealed, all intruded and made me ill at ease. I could go on, but you’ve probably stopped reading. All the best

    1. Hi Mark, and thanks for commenting. The results of my extensive survey; well, of my survey seem to be reasonably conclusive, and they are in line with your comments. I mean there are a number of folks in favour, but the balance is against so that’s Ok then – it saves me a bag of time it must be said. We’ll have the odd bit of fun here and there maybe, when the spirit moves me…

  69. David,
    First, I would like to thank you you for all of the pleasure your podcasts have brought me. Your skills at presenting what could be dry and boring history in an interesting and (most importantly to me) humorous fashion is very rewarding. I am cu
    rrently up to Episode 120 and a thought occurred to me: Have you given any consideration to gathering your scripts together and publishing them in book form? I, for one, Would love having a transcript of your presentations (humoured included) as a reference tool when listening to earlier podcasts again. Thank you for your work and please continue the great job you are doing.

    1. Hi Donald, and thank you very much! You are very kind, but mainly I am glad that you are enjoying it. A book, though, I think, is not for me; I enjoy the feeling of intimacy you get when speaking and talking about this history (aka I like the sound of my own voice) and sadly I think there are many better authors than I. the world of podcasting has been a real gift for me, and I shall stick to that! I am trying now though to put transcripts up in each post so once you get to about episode 250 you’ll find they are available…!

  70. Hi David- Love your podcast and wonderful website. I was curious if you’d ever consider a go at the History of the United States. We tell our history very poorly. In fact, no history class I’ve had in grade school or high school ever made it past WWII. I often wondered if that was because they wanted to end it on a high. Seems to be downhill from there > Korea > Vietnam. Anyways I think you would do it more justice than any of my other history teachers. Point #2: Maybe there a stopping point when approaching current times, as I’ve heard from others, it takes decades sometimes to really sort out the historical content of modern times – your thoughts? I really love listening to your podcast on History of England (I’m on Episode 57). It made a deary 1500 mile drive to from California to Texas quite tolerable. If you’ve ever been to Texas you would know that’s saying alot.

    1. I’d rather like to go to Texas; closest I got was New Mexico. But I am told it;s a big place and assume therefore long journeys…

      I find the idea of doing histories of other nations very scary; doing the history of Scotland is deeply troubling for example! And actually, I must admit the people I have interacted with through the History of England from the US to be very well informed about their own history – if rather self critical in my view. It is very kind of you, and I will face a dilemna I am constantly thinking about; what do I do when it comes to Britain’s overseas empire in which England is of course so deeply involved? So inevitably I’ll have to do something…anyway thank you for the invitation!

      I must admit that I find it impossible to think of Margaret Thatcher for example as history. But I suspect the we (and I) view events even 1000, 1,500 years ago through the lens of my own world view. Maybe it’s harder for more recent events, but I think it’s probably a matter of degree rather than an absolute impossibility.

      Anyway, thank you very much for getting in touch, and for the kind words!

  71. Hello David. I’ve been a fan of your podcast for about a year and finally became a member last week. The tipping point was your story about Eleanor of Aquitaine. I have loved the first two episodes and can’t wait for the rest of the story. I think I shared with you before that I wanted to name my daughter Eleanor after her but my husband vetoed that. The name has a bit of an old lady connotation here in the US. I’m also looking forward to the story of Jane Grey. Years ago when in London, I saw her cell in the Tower where she carved her name, and her story has fascinated me since then. Many thanks for your entertaining and informative podcasts.

    1. Hi Debbie, thank you very much and welcome! I hope I do Eleanor justice; actually the name had a bit of a revival here for a while, so not so old lady. We use Ethel for that…! Hope you enjoy my attempt to cover Jane and Eleanor

  72. Hello David. I hate to admit that I can’t fall asleep without listening to your podcast at 0.8x speed with the 1 hour sleep time out on (otherwise your voice wakes me up after one sleep cycle). I also hate to admit that I hate missing a single minute of every fascinating episode so if I do fall asleep prior to the evening’s hour’s worth, I have to rewind the next night up until the bits I remember hearing. As you can see, your podcast has become rather an intricate part of my daily routine. I hope this is an encouragement to continue shedcasting for at least the next 40 years (I’m 43 so I reckon that should get me to retirement age when hopefully I be sleeping most of the day). Thanks for everything. PS You’ll have my money for years to come. Every possible episode I can get my hands on is like gold or medicine. Or both.

    1. Hi Cathy and well, after such praise I don’t think there is anyway I could stop podcasting! As if I’d want to anyway.Thank you, long may it last.

  73. Hello David and Wooliam!
    I love the podcast and the shedcast, and they are so enjoyable they have driven the radio into second choice position when I’m pottering about, something not even John Humphrys in his ghastliness had managed to do.
    I live and work in Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, around a natural harbour which has been at the centre of British maritime history for several hundred years – indeed, I work for the Port Authority there. From the earliest Bronze Age habitations around the Pembrokeshire coast, to the connection with Sir Wooliam, to the mentions in Cymbeline, to the birth and later triumphant landing of Henry VII, to the whaling industry, the building of Nelson’s fleet, the Royal Dockyard, Brunel’s dreams of the transatlantic passenger service, the Palmerston forts, the Zalinsky dynamite cannon, centuries of fishing, the earliest days of ecological conservation, the WW2 depot and the Sunderland flying boats, the rise of oil in global markets, the construction of the Millennium Falcon, the decline of oil and the rise of gas, and now the transition into climate-change-driven world, this amazing natural harbour has a many-phased story which is a magnificent concentration of almost all of British maritime history.
    Having listened to and enjoyed your fieldtrip podcasts (fieldcasts?) from Bath, I wondered if you might be interested in doing a ‘Britain and the Sea’ field trip and location-based podcast for the shedcast series? It’s an excuse for a holiday in beautiful Pembrokeshire, I could help with appropriate local historical contacts, and could probably sort out a boat trip to view these historic locations in their proper context, from the water.
    If this seems like a good idea rather than rampant lunacy, then please let me know, so I can email you and talk about ideas and details.

    Best wishes, and Nadolig llawen,

    Jonathan Monk
    Gannet-wrangler to the Stars
    The Soggy West

    1. Hi Jon, and thank would be magnificent! I’d love to do it. It will be a while – I appear currently to be caught in a work/play/Diploma maelstrom of doom, but when I finish the 3 day a week job I am doing currently (end of May) I will have 3 more days a week in which to do history again. I have never been to Pembrokeshire, so, yes, sounds wonderful!

  74. Hello David, I’m an Australian who really didn’t know too much about the history of the motherland until I blundered across your podcast. I’ve donated a small amount today for your efforts but finances on my teachers pension doesn’t allow me to join for a year.
    Just wondering how on earth did all these kings from Anglo Saxons to Norman’s etc manage to raise enough GDP to be able to fund all the battling, castle and church building?!? I’m sure it must have cost an enormous amount.

    1. Hi Andrew – and thank you! And you are quite right – the cost of war was a massive cause of change throughout European history. During medieval Europe this was simply what the elites did – their job was to fight, their estates were there to raise money to prepare them for war, or sustain them in it. Church building though always astounds me; you can arrive in the smallest village and find a magnificent stone church. In the early modern period, the rising cost of war would lead to absolutist in Europe, and parliamentary representation in England. Despite all their efforts, there was a constant shortfall in resources.

  75. Well David I’ve now gone down a rabbit hole in a casual research on how foreign currency could have been obtained by the Saxons. After all to get enough capital to buy the weapons of war and marble for altars, you need cold hard cash. More cash, I should imagine, than basic agricultural goods would supply. Reading from a Wikisource I found that slavery in the British Isles must have been a very good earner. https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_History_of_British_Commerce/Volume_1/Chapter_2
    Even the kids and m/inlaw were valuable commodities. I suppose this means that we should never get too romantic about the character of people who evolved into Alfred’s England.

    “And in the contemporary biography of Wulfstan, who was Bishop of Worcester at the time of the Conquest, the following curious account is given:—”There is a sea-port town called Bristol, opposite to Ireland, into which its inhabitants make frequent voyages on account of trade. Wulfstan cured the people of this town of a most odious and inveterate custom, which they derived from their ancestors, of buying men and women in all parts of England, and exporting them to Ireland for the sake of gain. The young women they commonly got with child, and carried them to market in their pregnancy, that they might bring a better price. You might have seen with sorrow long ranks of young persons of both sexes, and of the greatest beauty, tied together with ropes, and daily exposed to sale; nor were these men ashamed, O horrid wickedness! to give up their nearest relations, nay, their own children, to slavery.”

    1. Yes indeed; I have been meaning to do an episode on slavery in the Anglo Saxon times. The vikings of course raided for slaves and sold them around Europe – famously didn’t Pope Gregory see Angles being sold in the slave markets in Rome? The north African pirates were raiding the coast of England for slaves at least until the 17th century. In Domesday, slaves made up about 10% of the population. It is only in modern times that we have managed, if not to entirely banish slavery, and at least make it illegal.

      I am also very interested in the cash thing, and the two are linked in more subtle ways than straightforward selling. Slavery disappears in England after 1066, largely because landlords see more profit in having serfs rather than slaves, because they can then charge then rent. The process whereby society found enough bullion widely enough distributed is a bit obscure.

  76. Been listening to the podcast for just under a year now, and what a joy it has been! Wanted to personally thank you David, you’ve officially made me a podcast-listener after years of outright refusal.

    I’ve been speeding through due to a regular commute that’s perfect for it – currently just got to Bosworth Field and I’m excited for the Tudors! I’m a history graduate myself, and medieval England was my focus. Actually I studied for a time at St. Andrews, and I’ve heard some references throughout that you know the place! Was a big fan of Saint Salvators myself, alongside the lovely Butt’s Wynd.

    Anyway hope you are continuing strong in the new year. Thanks again for all your work!!

    1. Thank you! I have to say there’s a world of brilliance out there once you get going. And you lucky thing to have been to St Andrews! I did my degree there, and it was a beautiful place to be, and enormous fun. Thank you for the kind words.

  77. I am a Yank living in the Pacific Northwest (relatively close to Seattle). My family and I have new to the UK once and are planning another trip there this summer. I’ve been listening to your podcast for a while now (I’m up to the 100 Years’ War) and have been hearing place names of some places we visited. I’m wondering if you know of any history podcasts of localities that can be listened to as one drives. For instance, sort of driving directions that take you to certain places and explain the important historical events in that locality.

    I’ve been loving listening to your podcast. I’ve been finding English history so fascinating. Thank you for any advice you might have to share.

    1. Hi Mike, and thanks for listening – glad you are enjoying it. I am sorry I can’t help you with a podcast with the history of localities; odd, it is something I have wanted to do for a while, and someone contacted me with a business idea – but that’s all gone quiet, and I can’t find the time!All of which says…no, sorry! But if you find something do let me know!

  78. Consumed the entirety of History of England in the past 6 months, fell into withdrawal, became a member and am now on to History of Scotland. Currently on the what happened to the Picts episode (which really should have been called “Picts or it didn’t happen”). I support the opinion that the Picts were Gaelicised in language and religion and that it was mostly a shifting of identity rather than population.

    1. Hi Jason and glad you are enjoying it. There seems to be a common theme actually, moving away from the idea of genocide towards acculturalisation. The same historiographical change has happened with the story of the Anglo Saxon invasions. Anyway, hope you keep enjoying it.

  79. David
    I am a huge fago to n of the podcast and the shedcasts. Becoming a member was a great decision and I am caught up on everything. The best part is your sense of humor.
    I am traveling to the UK in May (visiting family, etc) and I would love to go to Loughborough or Leicester while I’m there and buy you a pint and a meal at your favorite pub. I’ll be staying in London, but coming from the states, the distance from London the Loughborough is nothing.
    Thank you for hours of enjoyment listening to all your podcasts

    Phil Pomerantz

    1. Hi Phil and I am so pleased you are enjoying the shedcasts. I’m amazed you are up to date; there should be a medal!
      As it happens, I am not longer an inhabitant of either Loughborough or Leicester. Like so many I moved to work in the South, and so I am near Oxford. Meeting up in Oxford would allow you to visit a city which some would say has more to look at than Loughborough, though I could not possibly comment. I’m, around Mid May, so do let me know, I would be more than delighted to meet up for a pint.

  80. Hi David,
    I’m in that really fortunate position of having come across your podcast recently and although I’ve been binging (I am approaching the reign of Longshanks), I’ve still got a long way to go and that brings me joy. You keep me company on my long daily car journeys, I love the tone and content of your pods, informative and entertaining and you take dad jokes to the next level. I’ve laughed out loud so many times, people must think I’ve lost the plot.
    I’d say keep up the good work but you already have, I’m only on September 2012, I’ve got years to go, but I’m sure you understand the sentiment.

    Thanks for everything you do.

    1. Thanks Will, and I hope you keep enjoying it – there’s a long way to go. The daily commute has somethings to say for it at least!

  81. Hello David,
    I wanted to say well done and congratulations on such an entertaining podcast. I am a history graduate of a UK university who returned to Europe about 18 months ago after 20 years in the USA and came across your work. Hat’s off to you for the superb way you have shone light on those particularly labyrinthine periods such as the relations between the various Saxon kingdoms and the intricacies of events leading to the War of the Roses. Not only that but managing to keep listeners abreast of key social, economic and European developments- always with a welcome dash of humor- represents a true tour de force.

    Even as a history graduate I have learned so much. Still riveted by the story of the murder of the Duke of Burgundy on the Bridge of Montereau , the madness of War of the Roses (York forever!) etc etc.

    I am catching up fast (up to episode 170 now) and will happily be joining as a member today. Thank you again for so many hours of education and enjoyment

    1. Hi John, and thank you, so very nice of you. I would like to claim some higher historical purpose for covering Europe as well in brief, but partly it’s just because there are such extraordinary incidents along the way – the Bridge of Montereau is just extraordinary isn’t it?
      Very glad you are enjoying it, and thanks for signing up!

  82. I started this voyage with the Anglo-Saxon History and as the centuries past I increasingly wanted to share a pint with my hilarious historical guide…but I live in the US. One day, a day late and a dollar short I realized I could. David, please spend my shedcast membership on a pint and not marmalade…”brilliant’

    1. Right, challenge accepted. I will designate your membership to the beer fund. Though after my birthday yesterday I’m not sure I’m ever going to drink again so…! But OK done.

  83. Thank you, David, for this podcast. I listen while at work, I’m an avionics technician specializing in GPS upgrades: horribly tedious stuff. While i’m tangled in wires I thoroughly enjoy your dulcet tones. My coworkers mock me with affected accents and epithets (Lord Asher of Coxley is the puerile favorite), yet I endure. I find myself often laughing aloud at your puns and references. Anywho, you are helping to fill a major gap in my historical knowledge, my American education seeming to have entirely skipped over English history as unimportant. I would like to say that I might have finished my history degree if I had more teachers like you, but the reality is that I was a rubbish student at university. I’m trying to catch up to current, being on episode 255 as if this writing.
    Again, thanks so much.

    1. Thanks Asher, brilliant to hear from my my lord! That is the central core problem of formal education is it not? However brilliant your teachers (and I had some excellent teachers) in the background there’s always a hint of compulsion. So nice to be able to choose where and when to take an interest. Hope you enjoy the Tudors!

  84. Hi,
    Greetings from New Zealand. Late onto the podcasts but a now addicted. Can’t think how I could endure my daily commute without listening to a good baron’s revolt. Just had the passing of Thomas Becket, poor lamb. Never liked history at school but now inspired to take some study seriously. I can say that your podcasts (and website) are A Good Thing.

    1. Welcome Martin, and thanks! I have always thought that one of the joys of no longer being at school is that you can pick your education, so hope you enjoy the story – at the current rate of progress, I’ll be doing it for a few years yet. And thank you, for the Ultimate Acolade!

  85. David,
    I am sad. For more than two years, I’ve spent a delightful few hours each weekend listening to your podcasts as I putter around the house. Seeing the number of episodes in the hundreds and then adding scores more when I became a member and, on top of that, finding your other podcasts, I was lulled into feeling I’d never run out. But, of course, I did.

    Each episode is a jewel and my great pleasure. I continue to look forward to my weekend listening with great anticipation – but a little regret, knowing I no longer can drown myself in historical Crowtherisms. Thanks for the enjoyment and keep it up!

  86. Almost to episode 100. This podcast has made work fly by the past month and given me many ideas for places to visit the next time I make to England. Thank you very much!

  87. This podcast is fucking hilarious and so well done. I listen to it every day as I walk to campus (I am an British Literature PhD student in the US). Thank you for all of the good historian work and all of the jokes (I frequently laugh like a crazy person while walking alone–probably not helping my social life at all.) Never thought I would find a podcast that is as nerdy as I am about history, etc.). Thank you so much! The minute I am not a broke graduate student I will become a member!! Rain check. 🙁

      1. I was tempted, but look, I am trying to be a serious historian and couldn’t possibly tamper with the evidence

        1. That’s what I get for not proofreading, but as long as it is for posterity’s sake then I guess it’s worth it!

    1. Excellent! I could only be more delighted by you becoming an enormously successful historian with money to burn when I shall welcome you into the world of shedcasts. Very glad you are enjoying the podcast, and thank you

  88. Also: Just listened to episode 222 and your impersonation of how we Americans say words like “France” and other “a” words get an A+–HILARIOUS.

    1. I had forgotten. I’m tempted to listen again…I should expunge all impersonations,, and yet it’s difficult to resist…

  89. Question: I am listening to episode 258 and I am PRETTY sure you just said “the lesser of two weevils.” Did you? If so: that is the most amazing play on words that I am going to use starting now. If not, PLEASE use that from here on out.

    1. I did say that, and it is an immortal gag…but not mine, sadly. It comes from Master and Commander. Still it is good isn’t it?!

          1. My cousin was actually an extra in that movie. He was one of the crew I think? I’m such a terrible family member that I still haven’t gotten around to watching it. I will take this as my sign from God to do just that.

  90. I also very much enjoy your podcast, especially your care with accuracy and, of course, your sense of humor. I discovered the podcast only a few months ago so I am only up to the Hundred Years War. Please don’t stop and leave me hanging like so many of your protagonists. I want to also thank you for helping me get in shape. Now I can better convince myself to work out because, well I get to to also find out what happens next. Lastly, please encourage your family to continue their guest appearances. Wonderfully wry without disrespecting the material. Thanks again..

    1. Hi Allen, and thanks! I cannot stop now of course because I need to find out what happens…really pleased you are enjoying it, though not sure I can approve of encouraging the work out thing. I’m sure it’s not good for you!
      I will pass your comments across to the family. Sadly, they are less malleable than they used to be!

  91. Just a comment after listening to the latest “Things that Made England; specifically, concerning your discussion about dinner vs. supper and lunch vs. dinner; growing up on a farm in rural SW Ontario, Canada, we always called them dinner and supper; it wasn’t until I was in university before I shifted to lunch and dinner to “fit in”; I always figured it was a rural/urban divide; your discussion with Roifield was the first time that I had heard that difference couched in terms of class. Anyway, great podcasts; I subscribe to History of England, History in Technicolor (BTW, why technicolor and not technicolour?) and Things That Made England; I look forward to new episodes. Thanks for all of your work. I also appreciate the humour.

    1. Hi Scot, and interesting the difference made it over the Atlantic. Maybe the differences are caused by different things in Canada? An d we went for Technicolor because it’s actually a trademark, so we figured we ought to be complaint. I am very glad you are enjoying it, and thanks for listening!

  92. Thanks so much David. Brilliantly engaging podcasts about a subject so many other folks fail to bring to lifr.
    I am only up to episode 95 (mid 14th century), and frankly only started whilst trying to fill in the post roman, pre-norman gap in my knowledge.
    I had just finished the penguin translation of the icelandic sagas (a bit like hardwork at times) and realised how little i knew about my own country. Tried a few books and it was sooooo dry.
    You were just what i needed.
    Many, many thanks.

  93. Hello David

    I love this podcast! You do such a great job writing and presenting the material. What a joy.

    I have one question about the recent interviews that I listened to on Lady Jane Grey and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

    It seems like recently more and more podcasts are using the present tense to describe historical events. Why is that a thing? For me it is confusing and takes me out of the narrative.

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

    1. Hi Scott, and that’s such a good comment, that I’m going to post it for discussion . It’s called the present perfect I think – I saw an angry article on it relating to historical novels recently. The aim, of course, is to try and make events more immediate. I am sure I use it from time to time – often I find myself writing it out of the script as I review it just before I record, because when written, it looks weird. Anyway, I shall take note and use it sparingly! And, thank you for your kind words!

  94. Love, love, LOVE this podcast. Only up to episode 40 but looking forward to catching up – and then I think I would like to start again!

    1. Thank you Gail, i am so glad you are enjoying it. Episode 40 was Henry II wasn’it – happy days! Hope you continue to enjoy it, it is a lot of fun to write!

  95. I recently found your podcast! I am up to episode 17, King Cnut. I just can’t overstate what a terrific achievement your podcast is. The writing, the delivery, the humor… and I know making it comprehensible and digestible in oral form is no small feat. Thank you, thank you!

    From grateful American!

    1. Hi Susan, welcome, and thanks so much for listening. I hope you continue to enjoy it, there’s plenty more to come!

  96. End of End of Days poll: do not find the promised link on the webpage but please carry on. I’m eagerly waiting for the completion of William the Marshal; can’t possibly get enough Pembroke.

  97. Just finished up the Eleanor series, it was brilliant as always! For some reason the survey isn’t working for me so I’m putting in my vote here.
    1. Yes, yes, yes please keep doing these biography series!
    2. Timing was just right as well.
    Also, putting in my vote for Margaret Beaufort for a future bio. I was also interested in Boudica, but as we found out when my husband and I “encouraged” (strong-armed) our 7 year old into doing a class project on her, there’s not a lot of detailed info out there on her. Not surprising given how long ago she lived.
    Thank you for making our Sunday morning something to look forward to. Keep up the great work!

  98. I’m a big fan of your podcast but up front I am a Marxist and from the private property joke to the enclosures episode it’s very clear you’ve never read a word of Karl Marx’s Capital or worse. There’s also the whole book on podcast by librivox. Otherwise I have no complaint with your podcast besides the detail episodes and the more economic and particular production process history the better. People who are squeamish can skip ahead.

    1. Sadly you are correct – probably in your worse; closest I have ever got is Hobsbawm. And thank you!

  99. I absolutely love your podcast; I am almost caught up, at episode 262…and finally joining up. I’m almost afraid to get to the latest episode, because then I have to wait for more; but I guess then I will start on all them member extras 🙂


    1. Congratulations on almost catching up…and such great news that you have become a member! Hope you enjoy it all

  100. Just donated. I am a bit late as I am about to listen to episode 96. Your shed cast has followed the Mike Duncan’s History of Rome and his Revolutions and Robin Person’s ongoing History of Byzantium in my feed. You are in great company, deservedly.

    I must say that your contemporary topical humor and references charm me. I shared Monty Python and the Holy Grail for 16 years with 13 year olds on their annual four hour bus trip to Yosemite. Most of them wanted to play it again on the return trip. I cannot hear a chain saw in a wooded area without thinking that a large wooden bunny is under construction. I could go on about the Tolkien asides but suffice to say – thank you for sprinkling the history of England with the touchstones of 20th century British popular culture. Oh dear, and thank you for the rarely heard use of “ruth.” Is there a more fitting word for what was lacking in houses of the powerful?
    Love the shed cast, as I head into the years of the Black Prince when the English bowmen made hay, I am looking forward to your perspective. Many thanks

  101. As of today, Im in the mid 140s. I love your diversions. Please divert a couple minutes 2 help us Americans and others understand Ben Stokes’ historic performance. Look forward 2 hearing it when i get there.

    1. Hi James, and thanks. Ad what a suggestion! I don’t know that I could to b e honest; so much is about knowing the game. England were bowed out for 67 in the first innings which is a catastrophically low score. England had lost 9 of their 10 wickets 70 runs away from the target and that means that Leach was no batsman – he could have been bowled at any moment. So Stokes hit an enormously fast score with that threat, for a last innings total higher than any other in the match. All these things….words fail me…

  102. David

    Having just discovered the History of England podcast a few months ago I am now catching up at the rate of about 4 episodes a day (long tube journey). As a fellow graduate of St Andrews (Medieval History) I was to thank you for almost singlehandedly reviving my interest in English Medieval history. I must also congratulate you on the brilliant and obscure (though not to some of us) references – Fountains of Wayne Stacy’s Mum hit me this morning. Just brilliant.

    Though it looks like I have 100 episodes to go covering a mere 100 years. 1 year an episode? Phew!

    1. Hi Gavin, and congratulations on having been to St Andrews! And doing the real deal, Medieval History to boot. I blotted the copybook by doing History…
      And thanks! Sadly I think the references are starting to take over a bit! But there’s so much more information available I am getting very slow. Anyway, thanks, and hope you continue to enjoy it

  103. David,

    I have been listening to you since almost the beginning. I certainly remember listening to the “original” Anglo-Saxon history episodes. So I’m sure that it has been at least 8 years.

    I have thought of writing to you often – although I never have before.

    In fact, there have been times when I thought we might actually have been twins separated at birth – despite the fact that I live in Canada. We are of an age (I turned 54 last June). I also have children who are grown – or almost so. Their opinion of me seems to roughly parallel your family’s opinion of you (a cross between affection, eye-rolling toleration and thorough exasperation). Instead of a shed, I have a basement – which has been specifically designed and maintained to discourage visitations from other family members. It is one the places where I listen to you most often – because, of course, it is where I do the ironing! For whatever reason, our senses of humour appear to be bizarrely similar. I also enjoy a good Monty Python reference at almost any time (again, something that my family is sadly much less open to). I can (and do) spoonerize almost at will (once again a skill sadly underappreciated in my household). I adore a good pun or play on words – I particularly enjoy your references such as “as distinct lack of ruth”. I have also been known to use expressions such as “you pays your money and you takes your chances”; “love it or hate it”; “tinker’s damn”; and many others that seem to come from the same lexicon as yours. Although I don’t think I have ever heard you use one of my Grandmother’s favourites (and subsequently mine) “Each to his own said the old lady as she kissed the cow”.

    All of which is to say that thoroughly enjoy all of your podcasting. I find the blend of deep expertise with the subject, wit, humility and style of delivery to be better than, quite literally, anything else I listen to. I do a little dance of joy (at least mentally, depending on whose company I am in at the time) whenever I notice that a new one is available. I am truly delighted that you have managed to make podcasting more than a hobby. I cheered you mightily when you took “the big step” of trying to make it your livelihood. It was a courageous decision and I very glad that it has worked out. I hope your enterprise continues to thrive.

    In summary. Thank you. Thank you for the podcast which have informed and entertained me for years. Thank you for continuing to do so. Thank you for your wit, your candor and your thoughtful analysis. I look forward to many more years of absolute pleasure listening to you.

    Sorry for the lengthy post. I guess I have been saving it up for a while…

    Iain Christie

    1. Hi Iain, and I think you are due some sort of prize! I must admit I have always assumed there’s just a limit to how much of one voice any person can listen to, so thank you.
      I have always wanted a basement! When Jane and I were buying our first house I tried to so hard to find one – but it’s not so common over here – so I am deeply envious. I have been extraordinarily lucky in life it has to be said; at some point something terrible is going to happy to even things up. Being made redundant from a company I’d worked in for 11 years gave me a cushion to give things a go; it’s due to everyone’s generosity that it has worked out and I am thoroughly grateful!

      I shall try to work your Granny’s excellent saying in somewhere, it deserves an airing. And thank you for such a lovely email, Iain, it makes it all worthwhile, and it’s so good of you to take the trouble.

  104. David, don’t even think of something terrible happening! I was just thinking the other day what in the world I would do if you (for any reason!) stopped doing the podcast. I start my day with you (on my deck with coffee & crocheting, with the woods in view and birds chirping along; I also end my day with you (so often I re-listen to parts of those episodes the next day that I missed as I drifted off). And on weekends, you make the chores fly by. I listen to other podcasts, but your approach and particular sense of humor are unique and addictive 🙂 I can’t wait to someday retire and do a walkabout England and Scotland to see the sites discussed. I do have some English ancestry (though mostly French, via first Canadian settlers – and Swedish, so I’m a mix of ancestral enemies!); look forward to exploring that bit of English heritage.
    Thanks again for the great podcast!

    1. That sounds rather idyllic! (sitting on the deck with coffee, crochet and woods I mean!). I hope you do make it over – and look me up if you do. Thank you for listening – there would be little point else!

  105. Okay, I’m late to the party having only listened to about 80 episodes. I love your sense of humor and your retelling of history. Enough plaudits. I wonder, when did Arabic numerals make their way to England? Was this mentioned in a podcast and I missed it, or is it something I have to look forward to?
    Thanks for this wonderful work!
    Tom Nelson

    1. Can there be enough plaudits?! That’s a great question, and no I had not covered it. And I think it’s surprisingly late; texts being produced in Italy int eh late 13th century using Arabic numerals, and really taking off in the UK with printing in the 15th. Good golly.

  106. I am absolutely enthralled with your podcast. I discovered it about a month ago and am already on Edward III’s reign. I became an anglophile several years ago when I traced a direct ancestor to Buckland Monachorum in West Devonshire (Captain William Perry who sailed to Virginia in 1611). Planning a month long visit to England next year and have already marked several places to see based on your series. Your podcast will make my experiences that much more enjoyable.

    1. Thank you Christian, I am very pleased, and it is lovely of you to take the trouble to post a comment. I hoe you have a fantastic visit!

  107. David – we wish you a speedy and complete recovery. Your podcast is special because of the wit and wisdom you bring to what could otherwise be a dry recitation of names and dates. Get well soon – we miss you and look forward to your return.

  108. David,
    I simply LOVE your podcasts. Your style is delightful, funny and engaging. Sending you lots of love, peace, healing and positive vibes from across the pond for your recovery.

  109. To my detriment I only came across your Podcast recently. It is fantastic! Then yesterday I learned that you will be taking time off to recover due to an illness. While ordinarily I would wish you a speedy recovery, because I have started from episode 1 and I’m only on episode 74, as you can see, I have a very looonnnnggg way to catch up. As a result, I will selfishly tell you to take all the time you need to make a full recovery!! Hopefully by the time you return, I will be able to listen to the new episodes in real time.

  110. Hello David, I hope this message finds you relaxed and recovering. As you may know, it is Thanksgiving week here in the US. When thinking about things I am thankful for, I am so thankful to have (very recently) discovered your podcast. Your voice now accompanies me as I make meals (and eat them), do various chores, etc; you are a lovely companion. In trying to describe to friends/family how I have become so enthralled, I have described your knowledge, humor, Blackadder references…but I just found a response you wrote (some years back) to a post from a listener that seems to encapsulate you/the overall sprit of your podcast. The writer very rudely criticized you/accused you of ignorance and mistakes, and generally made disparaging comments. Yet you responded in good humor and openness to criticism; the strongest thing you said was ‘ouch’. I love how direct, and positive and matter of fact you are, admitting biases where you have them, being open and calm in disagreeing with folks, sources etc. Now I am just gushing, so I’ll cut to the chase.

    All of this is to say I am grateful for all the hard work you have put in over the years, as I can continue to listen to your funny and dulcet tones while you recuperate. The podcasts enlighten me and brighten my day. Also really enjoy the HiT, the TTME, etc. BE well and all the best to you and those you love. Kathryn

    1. Hi Kathryn, and thank you so much, what a lovely message. I have to tell you that although there’s a deal of perspiration involved, I cannot tell you how much I love doing the podcast, and what a thrill it is that people get something out of it – it’s a matter for regular self pinching to make sure I am not dreaming!
      Thank you Kathryn; things are moving on, and with a bit of luck I’ll be able to restart before too long. Thank you again. David

  111. Hi David,
    I wanted to write and say hello! I used to listen to your podcast when I myself was an undergraduate of History, several moons ago (I would have been… 18 or 19? at the time). Now, I have found you again on the recommendation of my fiancé, another history major. I live in Ottawa, Canada and you have been accompanying me to and from work for the past few months; you’ve even recently started to join me at the gym. I really enjoy your dry, witty, British humour. I’m so relieved to see that you are still putting out episodes.
    Take care and all the best.


    P.S. I love hearing the birds chirping outside your shed!

  112. Dear David
    I am so sorry that you have been unwell, but hope that you are on the way to recovery.
    I can only add a voice to the many who have praised your knowledge, humour and irrévérence along with the sound of birds outside the shed. I have enjoyed the passage of time from Saxons to Normans and then onto Williams Edwards and Henry’s. I look forward to hearing you talk about Elizabeth 1 in your inimitable way.
    Get well soon

  113. Dear David

    Being a long time listener, but always a bit tardy on my downloading (only download monthly) I’ve only just heard that you are poorly and recuperating. From a great fan who will miss your lovely tones and humour on their daily commute, get well soon and look forward to hearing from you in the spring time.

    Totally loving all the podcast, especially now we are in my favourite period the Tudor’s.

    Until next year, keep well


  114. Hi David,

    I’ve left you a review, but in case you don’t see it I wanted to let you know that I’m a huge fan and in awe of what you’ve achieved from your shed! This is, without a doubt, my favourite historical podcast. As a history buff I have tried many podcasts, but they are often quite dull or dry. Not so with you! I love your jovial manner and your deadpan sense of humour makes for an interesting listen every time. It is clear that you do an incredible amount of research for every episode and your book and podcast recommendations are really useful. A favourite moment of mine so far was the recommendation of a book by my former dissertation tutor, David Carpenter, who is a genius! How you find the time to do so much research and record an episode in quick succession is a wonder to me! I’m sorry to hear that you have been ill and wish you a speedy recovery so that you can get your life back to normal again and continue the fantastic work!

    1. Hello Amy, and I am so envious! How lovely to have worked with David Carpenter, I love the way he writes and his insights. I’m rather missing medieval England I have to tell you, and so for members I am sneakily going to be doing it all over again from an economical and social angle, but don’t tell anyone!

      Thank you so much for your kind words. The thing is that it’s such a joy to do, I don’t really do much else now that my hobby has become my job. It is an unbelievable privilege. Which is probably why I’ve fallen ill just to remind me – like those skulls in late medieval paintings…with a bit of luck, however, it wont belong before I am re-united with my mic! Anyway, thank you again.

  115. Hi David,

    I am so sad to hear you’ve been sick. I love your podcast, and have gotten so much joy out of your humor, analysis, and humanizing of historical figures and events. Thank you so much for your work, and I wish you a speedy recovery!


  116. Hi David,

    Just sending a quick note from Canada to wish you a speedy recovery. I am not sure I have ever felt quite as concerned to hear about someone I have never falling ill before – a tribute to you and the effect of having listened to you for a very large number of hours as you have worked up to Elizabeth I.

    After so many hours, I am as appreciative as ever, if not more so. I feel as if I am experiencing someone accomplishing something truly great as I listen to you. It has been an incredible accomplishment in which I look forward to continuing to participate in my bit role.

    All the very best,


  117. Best wishes and prayers to you in your health struggles from Los Angeles. I can’t effectively express how much I appreciate the podcast, but I can confirm that the history of England has made an unreasonably long commute tolerable for many months now (with the added benefit of enriching my knowledge base). I hope you feel better soon and know that you have a far-reaching impact from the shed.

  118. Best wishes on your speedy and uneventful recovery, and thanks for your splendid and highly entertaining podcast. You’ve got at least another 400 years to cover by my reckoning, so please impress on the doctors the need to pull out all the stops.

  119. I am a new listener (on ep56) and I just had to tell you how much I enjoy your shedcast. Graduate degree in U.S. History (yawn) here, I have always loved U.K history more. Your coverage is so detailed and you make each episode so compelling and interesting I could not possibly fall asleep (sort of the idea when I started out). Wishing you a speedy recovery. I will become a Patreon supporter as soon as I return a few Christmas gifts. Thank you again.

  120. Thanks for making these podcasts I really enjoy them. They have inspired me to become a history teacher when I grow up. I’m just 13 so that will be a while but I can still listen till then. Get better soon.

  121. Hello David!
    Brand new member here. I really enjoy your work, David, and I am grateful for your efforts. I have a bit of catching up to do on all of this amazing content, and now that I am a member, I will immediately delve into the Scotland podcast. Some months ago you pointed me to the Penguin edition of Asser, and I thoroughly enjoyed that along with a copy of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that I picked up. I can imagine the solitude of the “rude and bare” shed, so I hope it’s good to know that you have fans and friends around the world – in my case, just across the pond. Best wishes, David. I pray that you are on the mend, sir.

  122. Long-time U.S. listener who had recently been on hiatus, waiting for you to get back to the reign of Elizabeth. So I didn’t know you were AWOL until I checked in and learned of your recent illness. Just wanted to send you a short note wishing you well and thanking you for the hours of pleasurable education you’ve given me. VIII’s size and wives. Now, on a recent trip to France, I made my wife and friends go out of our way so we could visit Chinon and Fontrevault. Now let’s get back to the Tudors!

  123. Dear David

    Just wanted to add my best wishes for your return to full health. I’ve been waiting for your return by a) listening to all the episodes for the second time (I first discovered you in February), and then listening to the new Anglo-Saxon episodes. Excellent as always.
    Your enthusiasm, humour and informality mean that you really feel like an old friend and so I think all of us miss you more than just a teacher or lecturer.

    Get we’ll soon (if I may presume to call you) my friend.


  124. Hi David,
    I just want to let you know that I’m thinking about you and hoping you are on the road to recovery. I’m a little behind on the episodes and only just found out you’ve been ill. You are my favorite podcaster, and I appreciate all the work you do to educate and entertain us. Much love to you and your family.

  125. I found this podcast on Spotify (I hope you some renumeration from them given that I subscribe to Spotify).

    Love it .. Hoping you feel better and continue on . Maybe you could do a History of Canada podcast 🙂 …

  126. Ran across your podcast while listening through the History of the English language podcast. I love this. You keep me company at work, which consists of me, parked in a chair, pushing pixels around on television shows 8-10 hours a day. Also, thank you for the welcome distraction from *waves at America burning down around me* for a few hours a day. Best to you!

  127. David – have been a fan for many years. We exchanged emails on “Master and Commander” a couple of years ago. Why couldn’t that have been the Maritime Movie Series of the 2000’s instead of that silly Pirates of the Caribe… tripe! I wish you a full recovery and return to the Shed! I’ve been back to the beginning in anticipation!

    John in Charleston SC

  128. Hello David,

    I hope your recovery is going well and that you are returning to old pleasures once more.
    I discovered your podcast about three years ago, when I first delved into the wonderful world of podcasts. Yours was an immediate favourite, and I still get that “Christmas excitement” whenever a new episode comes out. It accompanied me as I moved into my first home and nowadays, I actually look forward to doing the chores just so that I can get my weekly dose of English history! You have set the gold standard for independent podcasts, in my view only equalled by Mike Duncan’s Revolutions. The English (actually British) Civil Wars and Restoration England is absolutely my bag, so I am desperately trying to keep a lid on things as we inch closer and closer to that most fascinating of centuries.

    I wish you the speediest of recoveries, and I am looking forward to hearing again the familiar guitar chimes from the Shed (which I suspect isn’t that far away from me, seeing as I live in a rather lovely little city by the Thames…).

    Thank you for your wonderful podcast.


  129. David
    I have just spent the last ten months or so listening to your entire podcast series (around an episode every day).
    I am a history enthusiast and my book shelves bulge with history books, including biographies of all English monarchs going back to Offa, Oswald etc. So I have a decent amount of knowledge. Despite all this, I learned so much more from your podcasts than I had previously read (and I reconnected with some forgotten stories).

    Your style and approach is superb: the perfect combination of authority, wit, seriousness and lightheartedness. Best of all, you are able to bring it all to life by telling stories – ultimately what history is all about. To my ears you are the John Julius Norwich of history podcasts.

    I am so sorry to hear that you are not well at the moment – until you make a speedy and full recovery I will have to find something else to fill the History of England hole that has appeared in my daily schedule. Whatever it will be will be nothing more than a pale imitation of your good self.

    Thank you for the amazing work and for keeping me entertained and informed this last 10 months.


  130. I am going back to the start and relistening, and it is just as delightful and informative as the first time around. I wanted to pop over here and let you know that, and I have the wonderful surprise to see your responses posted today!! I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to “see” you here. I hope you continue on your recovery, and keep clear of this bug. Best of luck and good health to you and yours!!

  131. Listening to this podcast for the past couple of months has been a source of great pleasure in the midst of what’s surely a tough time for many. I am now up to Bad King John: each episode just gets better and better. I am going to have to get my hands on some of those Ladybird booklets you discuss – not something we had in the US when I grew up.

    I am so glad I found this! Keep up your amazing work Mr. Crowther, and get well soon!

  132. O frabjous day! Calloo Callay. You’re back!

    Wonderful news. Take it easy though.

    Kind regards


  133. Hello David, and here’s a “get well soon” from Germany for you!

    I really enjoy your podcast, helps me take my mind off my depression and things… unpleasant.

    Love your sense of humo(u)r. Ups. Can’t decide which dialect to write in just now.

    Anyway. Get well soon and thanks for the great work even through tough times!

    Best wishes,

  134. Hi David, I’ve been listening to History of England for about a year now around the time I finished my undergraduates in medieval history, and it is a joy to listen to. Everything about it is spot on and your sense of humor frequently has me laughing like a fool in public. I am almost caught up with the regular series so I got a membership for the juicy shedcasts to keep me entertained through the summer. Thank you for all you do!

  135. I just discovered your podcast about 3 months back. My family is from various locals in the UK and while I’m Canadian your podcast gives me a glimpse of their world. Although I’ve yet to hear anything about them, I’m sure it’s just a minor oversight, or covered in a later podcast 😉

    I’ve just started episode 78, so I’ve got a bit of catching up to do. I would like to thank you for giving me something to help get through these strange times.

    1. Thanks Robert, and of course I imaging there’ll be a week long expose on the Longfield family, um, sometime!

  136. Hi David, thanks for your podcasts, I do love them and want to become a member. But, I keep trying to use my Discover card and keep getting a declined notice. I have contacted Discover, I am told they have not declined anything from your membership (or anything ever on my account). Which might mean there is a glitch in your sign up system. So, now that I have canceled my Audible account so I could listen to your shows instead…. Without using my debit card are there other suggestions?

    1. Hi Barbara and thanks for getting in touch. I seem to remember the processing company I use suggesting thayt the Discover card not be accepted; I have no idea, I have never heard of the card sadly, but I went with their advice. I am sorry it’s causing you a problem. There are two other options; firstly to pay by becoming a $5 a month member through Patreon, from the home page button. Or secondly by selecting Paypal in the ‘Become a member’ checkout process/. Do either of these work for you?

  137. Hi David,

    I only recently discovered your podcast (just before lockdown actually) and have somehow already find myself on episode 246 in a matter of weeks – how time flies!

    I just wanted to say the podcast is absolutely brilliant, so informative and entertaining, it’s quickly become my favourite. Thank you so much!

  138. Just became a member. Love the podcast. Curious how you manage to produce so much content. It is really remarkable.


    1. Thanks Bernard, and I’m glad you are enjoying it! The reason for the quantity is that a) I love it – what else would I do? and b) I have no other life…!

  139. As a complete history geek, can I just say how much I treasure your podcasts. I have only recently discovered you and podcasts for that matter-always many miles behind the trends as I am, but I’m already at number 109. I have tried a few history podcasts but however good they are, yours is better. No shouting over enthusiasm, just calm, witty, clear delivery with so much extra information available on your website. Thank you so much for all you do, it has helped to keep my sanity during lockdown.

    1. Thank you Ali, I blush! Glad you are enjoying them and thank you so much for your kind words

  140. Hi David. Incredible what you do. A boon to the world!
    Just wondering if you know of any (available) recordings of ‘The Nine Herbs Charm’. Only ones I can find are only translations of the Old English.

  141. I have been listening to your podcasts for several months now, and am at 96. Joined as an annual member, and I am catching up on William the Marshall shedcasts. I get to number 16, and I hear your raspy voice and that you were gone for 8 weeks, and in hospital, and having to go back. And in true American fashion I am: OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG. I actually got teary eyed myself, as I have come to love your podcasts and your somewhat offbeat humor. (Also my husband was seriously ill many years ago, and I know how scary that can be.) I know I am years behind, but I hope you are okay, and healthy and happy. I wish you all the best, as does my dog who I am walking while I listen to you, and my bike, and my walking poles-all who are part of my listening now. Thank you for this wonderful podcast. I am very happy to be a member of it.

    1. Hi…and thanks for being a member you are thereby a star! I’m glad you are enjoying it, since I love writing it, and it’s very kind of you to get in touch

      I am much stronger now than I was and having a good time; more treatment ahead, but I am confident all will be well, and I can warble on podcasts for years to come.

  142. It is such a pleasure to have you back! I had just got up to date (from the start) when you were struck down with whatever ailed you and I was devastated. Had to listen to other podcasts instead but they seem to lack the “rough end of a pineapple” approach. So many very serious americans!

  143. Hello, David. Just to let you know I’ve just made right via PayPal my listening to the History Of England from July 2018 to July 2019. Somehow my regular subscription stopped and I’d just noticed it so I made a one-time donation for last year.

    I sent you a note about this privately (I’m the Cornwall-descended listener on my 6th time through) but wanted to let others know to check their subscriptions and make sure they’re supporting the best podcaster out there.

    Also, and apropos of nothing, you’re right about The Clash.

    Keith Pearce

  144. Hi David – thank you for what you do! Spotify suggested I would like your podcast as I am an avid listener of Mike Duncan’s The History of Rome. I now have a good chunk my time planned out while riding out the rest of the pandemic between the two. Joined THOE as a member as I’m keen to get access to your other resources as I find myself googling along “who is Bede” “who is Geoffrey of Monmouth” and so on. Really love getting history of England and loads of laughs at the same time. Keep doing what you’re doing and looking forward to enjoying my membership.
    Gratitude from Santa Monica, CA
    v a n e s s a

    1. Hi Vanessa – and well done Spotify! Glad you are enjoying it. It is interesting how much background information everyone knows about their own history, just in general; ion doing a history of Scotland it’s been fascinating how hard it is to write without that basic background of knowledge. Anyway, thank you for taking the trouble to get in touch and for your kind words

  145. I admire the clarity of your royal family trees. I am publishing a book which incudes a number of profiles of late medieval and early modern leaders and one mother who was also a leader in fact. Ineed to include family trees of the houses of Normandy,Plantagenet, andTudor. I would like to use your family trees for these royal houses .Would you allow me to do so and on what terms? I am happy to give you and your website credit for their use. I expect the book to have a limited circulation of under 1000 so if you could give me a break, I would really appreciate it.The book will probably sell in Canada only.Its labour of love as I am retired and enjoy history. Thank you.I will be making a donation, of course. Peter Howden, Barrie, Ontario,Canada

    1. Peter, you can use them for free with my best wishes. I’m always very impressed with anyone with the courage to publish a book!

  146. David,
    Your podcast is a sheer delight!
    EDUCATIONAL – as an American I am continually astounded by the machinations of the British royalty, especially now as I listen to the War of the Roses segments.
    HILARIOUS – viva your “digressions.” Am sure I look quite strange as I laugh hysterically during my daily pandemic walks … and I seem to have developed a bit of an accent too!
    COMFORTING – if Britain has made it through this most colorful history, maybe the world today WILL endure these unsettled times.

    Was unaware of your health issues but pray all is well now.
    The world needs more “blokes in a shed” like you.

    1. Hi Peggy, and it is very lovely of you to take the trouble to get in touch and write. I am glad you are enjoying it – It is a hoot to write. Maybe we’ll look back on these days and laugh…not sure, but just maybe!

  147. David,

    I’m an American, but have always been interested in Medieval stuff and found your podcast to be a great way to dive in while doing some running. I never learned the majority of this stuff in school, so a bit of it goes over my head but it is still entertaining and I have learned a great deal. I am in the middle of the King John episodes and hope to make it all the way through. I have one question; since England was conquered by the Normans, do/did English people identify as Anglo Saxon, French, or something wholly different?

    1. That’s a great question; I think they may have identified still as tribes, as English and norman, until by the 12th-13th centuries a combined English identifiy comes together. But its a matter of some debate!
      Glad you are enjoying it anyway!

  148. Thanks for being such a source of inspiration David! I’ve been a fan for a long time now and I’m enjoying every minute of your work, please do keep it up, simply can’t wait for the next episode! As a proud Cornishman I particularly enjoyed how well you covered the history of Cornwall’s interactions with the Vikings and Wessex in your earlier episodes.

    Listening to your work finally gave me the inspiration to launch my own historical podcast recently, thank you for being an inspiration to an amateur podcaster needing a confidence boost!

    I’d be flattered if you’d fancy giving it a try, especially as your own podcast is only a couple of hundred years behind where mine starts: anchor.fm/steel-wheels

    1. Hi Ben, and excellent! I had a listen, and you speak beautifully and production is great – very professional indeed. I look forward to listening to some more; I’m not going to lie to you, I think railway safety is a little too niche for me, but I’ve no doubt I’ll dig into future episodes, because like most sane people it’s difficult not to admire the functional and artistic beauty of the old steam beasts in particular, and the process of development of the railway system. Are you on Facebook? If you are, come along and join the group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/314746805305339/. I’ll do a post sending people to your podcast.

    2. Oh Ben, incidentally someone on Facebook noted that it’s not on iTunes. ignore me if you are in the middle of doing that ignore me, but I would note that iTunes remains still exponentially the largest market place for podcasts, and well worth the effort of getting it up there

      1. Hi David,

        Thank you so much for both the shout out and the feedback, at this rate I won’t be able to get my head through the door! I did think it might be a little niche, but it has been an immeasurable confidence boost to me to hear your kind words, thanks so much!

        I have speedily taken you up on your offer and have sent a join request to the group 🙂

        As for iTunes, unfortunately the upload is being handled by my podcast hoster, and the magical internet elves that make it all happen appear to currently be on strike, probably something about byte/elf relations in the workplace again.

        I’ve been assured that they’re hard at work on it however so here’s hoping they’ll get it all sorted in time for Christmas!

        1. Hi Ben and yes I saw you join – welcome! The thing about niche, it has to be said is that in these days when there are corporations, highly branded and advertised famous people piling into what used to be relatively virgin territory, I think nicje may be the very best thing. The tradition of podcasting is about personality and personal passions (in my view) and there are much more niche podcasts that have been going strong for years have have a vibrant enthusiastic following – Space Rocket History for example. It might take a while, but there are loads of railway enthusiasts out there, and they’ll find their way.

          One day when you are up for it, maybe a more historically oriented episode, I invite you to put an episode (in advance of publication on your feed please) on my history of England feed as a guest episode. it’s a great way for me to have a week off (!), and the very best way for you to reach an audience – and you can shamelessly promote the podcast. Just let me know – ,y email is david54031@gmail.com.

  149. What can I say? I’m genuinely flattered at such and offer, I would absolutely love to contribute a guest episode! I will start thinking something up right away and send it over to you to see if it passes muster, thank you very much!

    Couldn’t agree more with regards to the podcasting scene. I’ve found that my little niche produces some really devoted fans and keeps the interest alive, as well as making me feel much more connected with my audience, I love it 🙂
    It’s so nice to keep out of the commercialised podcast world, and I hope to continue to for many years to come 🙂

    I have also had word from the internet elves, I am now live on iTunes/Apple apparently, so yay:


  150. I just wanted to thank you for providing a brief and incredibly entertaining respite from our political scene in America. You have kept me sane and grounded.

  151. I am an unapologetic anglophile that simply adores you and your shed! I frequently take the long way home or run an extra mile because I have to hear the rest of the podcast or start the next. You’ve been my almost daily historical tour guide, sage, and muse since I serendipitously found you in 2018. I’ve gone down so many awesome rabbit holes because of something I’ve heard from you. What a singular joy learning is and what a safe place to escape to when my American Gothic gets a bit too Gothic, if you know what I mean. It reminds me that we as a species have survived worse.

    But my lord. America and Britain certainly are testing that notion that we learn from history.

    Can’t wait to work my way through the members only podcasts.
    Be kind to yourself please.

    1. Thank you, I am very glad you enjoy it! And yes, so right; it’s much more comfortable talking about tumultuous events safely 300 years in the past than it is living through them!

  152. David,
    I am a high school history teacher in Oklahoma, USA. I found your podcast earlier this school year, and I love it. It is my favorite history podcast. I admire your ability to join the depth of historical geekdom with an entertaining sense of humor. Your presentation is perfect.
    I created a class entitled History through Film, and I am wanting to construct a British History through Film class. My thought was to begin with Becket as an introduction to Plantagenet rule and continue all the way through The Queen–the end of the 20th century. Do you have any suggestions for movies that have an educational value for British history?

  153. Dear David,
    Last year, as the lockdowns started, a close friend recommended your podcast. I’m an anglophile and ex-pat Aussie who lives in the U.S. So, I began listening when heading out on my morning jogs. Words cannot express how grateful I am. The past 10 months have not been easy on this side of the pond. But I think that applies no matter what pond you live by or which side you find yourself on. Anyway, thank you. I deeply hope that my family and I find ourselves in England in the near future. I look forward to torturing them with half-remembered facts from the podcasts (I will make sure to claim all errors and annoyance for myself). I would be delighted if I had the opportunity to buy you a pint or sit down for a cup of tea. But use the membership for your own pint and cup regardless.
    Kind regards.


    1. Hi James, and thanks for joining, very kind of you. And I’m glad yoiu are enjoying the podcasts, hope you find something in the shedcast library too.
      Yup, the COVID disaster has hit particularly hard here – buit when it’s done, and if your travels do bring you here, please do look me up, we have a couple of good pubs not too far away we could sample!

  154. Hi David, have dropped you an email as well, but just wanted to say how much my daughter and I are enjoying both the Anglo Saxons and, as paid members, the History of Scotland. My early morning dog walks around Dunkeld are even more enjoyable, if that were possible.

  155. Hi David,

    I wanted to say thank you for all that you’re doing.
    I’m a 19 year old Literature/Linguistics student who’s trying to figure out how to get through her first year of uni mid-pandemic. Turns out The History of England Podcast helps. A lot. It chases away the silence of a uni dorm, which can be unbelievably helpful when you’ve been staring at the same four walls for a fortnight in isolation, and you’ve previously been used to the noise of a large family and a dog. The Podcast is just complex enough to demand I focus on the story instead of whatever worry is lurking in the corner, and fun enough to be a break from studies. (Actually, it’s been incredibly useful in providing an in-depth historical background to my studies, which is a rather wonderful accident, because it really doesn’t feel like work.)
    Sometimes it’s been all I want to do in a day. I have found myself saying ‘Just get through lectures x, y and z and then you can get back to Worsely and his Very Important Hat’ or ‘Go for your covid test, and then you can listen to Richard III blunder the Wars of the Roses’ or whatever else. Often, it makes me laugh, which is always important, but particularly so right now.
    So thank you. I found you through the YouTube Colab you did with Extra Credits, and I’m very glad I did. I’m at episode 250 something. We’re just about to debate the general opinion of Henry VIII. I’m looking forward to it, and glad I have another 50 or so to go before I run into the need to wait for each episode! I have a feeling I’ll just go back to the beginning and start again when that happens!
    Also, many many thanks for keeping the main podcast free – student budgets and all that.

    1. Thank you Tamara for such a lovely note! I am so sorry the pandemic has hit during university – it must make such an awful difference to the experience of being there.

      I am very glad you are enjoying the podcast; it has to be said that I love doing it, and have to pinch myself when people write in – so it’s a win for doth of us. Good luck – and let me know how you vote!

  156. Hi David,
    How I wish you had taught me history at school, although that would have been odd as we are roughly the same age. You have brought this previously stuffy subject to life with clarity and humour and I am completely hooked. Although it has taken me a few years to get to Henry VIII shuffling off this mortal coil, I am concurrently revisiting from the beginning and am now once more on crusade with the Lionheart.

    Being the same age, I had to chuckle at your reluctant Mirror dinghy experiences with your father in the 1970s as my father was inflicting the Mirror dinghy experience onto me at the same time. However, rather than being on the open sea like you, we were usually stuck with no wind in an old quarry in the rain in Devon. I have been a landlubber ever since!

    Oh yes, and my lot, London Irish, are playing at your Tigers this very evening. Come on you Irish!

    1. Ah thank you, you are very kind! And how funny you have had the same sailing experience – to be fair, at least our father’s tried to light the fire of enthusiasm, however unsuccessfully.
      I have been to see the Irish several times; I have 3 children; I said to them we should all support a local team, and we went to see the Wasps and the Irish. One chose wasps, the other Irish; and my son the Tigers. What is it about children? From that point on also, the Tigers got hammered everytime they came down to play. So I don;t hold out much hope for tomorrow!

  157. Hi David. I teach legal history at Charles Darwin University in Darwin Australia. May I have your email address so that I can make an official approach to you for permission to use some excerpts from your History of England audio regarding King Athelstan.

  158. Hello, I’m listening to episode #314 and am curious as to why you referred to Muhammad Ali a name that he changed in 1964.

    1. Hello. Yes, that is a little odd on reflection; maybe because the name Cassius Clay is so good? But now you’ve mentioned it, I suppose it could be construed as being pointed in some way. I can edit Muhammad Ali in easily enough, I would hate for anyone to get the wrong idea, though it’ll have to wait for a few days since I have the luxury of being away!

  159. Hi David. I’m trying to figure out how to get the Shedcasts and/or The History of Scotland on iTunes Podcasts, which is where I listen to your other three (HoE and HoASE and HoE Guest Episodes). I tried searching on your name but have had no luck. Is there a trick to this?

    1. Hi Sarah

      I see you have just become a member, thank you! You need to be a member to see the History of Scotland. You should have had an email telling you how to download all the shedcasts, including the History of Scotland; but sometimes they get caught in spam. Here’s a description of how it all works! Let me know if you still have problems

      You can download the Members’ Shedcasts to a mobile phone – most podcast apps will accommodate password-protected podcasts. You need to set Shedcasts up as a separate series, they don’t come as part of the History of England free episodes. Help on doing this is here: https://thehistoryofengland.co.uk/members/howtodownloadshedcasts/.
      There are over 75 hours of Members’ podcasts now in a few series – Shedcasts, Britain and the Sea, and extended biographies too – biographies of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and William the Marshal, with a new series started recently about Margaret Beaufort.
      There is also a History of Scotland, now on it’s own website https://thehistoryofscotland.co.uk/. Your login information will allow you to log in to either website, and all episodes appear on the same members feed as the History of England. Look for ‘HoS’ in the episode title.
      I aim to give you as close to 90 minutes of new podcasts each month as I can. The best place to see easily what’s available is on the ‘Podcasts’ drop down list at the website or on the members page once you are signed in at https://thehistoryofengland.co.uk/members/
      There is also a technical support page for members here: https://thehistoryofengland.co.uk/resource/members-technical-support/

  160. So I’ve been greatly enjoying these podcasts for the past couple of years, and…

    Actually, as an American descendant of Edmund Dudley, I’d like to note that I didn’t necessarily enjoy learning what a soul crushing bureaucrat he was, under Henry VII. Not especially glorious lineage you know.

    My dear mother, Margaret Dudley (she believes there’s a line of Margaret Dudleys? Who knows…), is rather proud of the Dudley line, though most of that due to Governor Dudley of South Carolina. I simply can’t tell her about Edmund’s rise to relative wealth and position. I’ll have to make something glorious up, when the creative spirit is upon me.

    ….so as I was saying … it’s just NOW … in episode 212 … that I realize who “Billy the Conq (or as I imagined it: “Conc”)” is.



    I’m just … I mean … I … well … … now I know.

    1. Oh now hang on Allen; while it’s true Edmund was, you know, not exactly a free spirit of soul breaking poetry, he did produce The Tree of teh Commonwealthm and the next two generations in particular are pretty interesting. I think I’m with your wife on this.

      Well done on rumbling the Billy the Conq thing – better late than never I think, it deserves gold star. Not sure I’d have used the term to his face

      Thanks for listening Allen – and glad you are enjoying them!

  161. Hello David
    I was rather late to the party in terms of your brilliant podcasts – but am now devouring them at a rate of knots through lockdown and they are definitely a good thing (capital G capital T). I am thoroughly enjoying all of your historical matherings and references to the rough end of pineapples – especially your episodes on social history which are terrific. You also do a great job of filling in previously incomprehensible bits like the Wars of the Roses which I had rather given up on as just a homicidal game of royal whackamole between Henrys V and VII – I could go on and on. I recently got to the episode where you let us know you had been ill and was moved to finally join as a member – not least because I wanted to say a big thank you. I very much hope you are on the mend and feeling as a giant refreshed. Sorry for mathering on….

    John Maitland

    1. Hi Johnny…and I’m not sure you were wrong in your initial judgement of the Wars of the Roses! I’m really glad you are enjoying them – it is a hoot to write, and I’ve got to the stage where I’m not sure what else I would do with my life. I am much, much better thank you, thanks to the NHS, and thank you so much for becoming a member – I hope you enjoy the shedcasts

  162. Hello, I have just stumbled across your website whilst looking up some details on the Saxons and have now become a member. The history of Britain has long fascinated me and I can’t get enough of it, so I am now really looking forward to listening to everything once I can decide where to start

  163. Hello David,
    Thank you so much for your brilliant podcast. I discovered it rather late, but I quickly went through all the episodes and, as an anglophile and a lover of history, I am having a blast! The breadth of the topic is impressive, and this is exactly what I was looking for: a lively and detailed story, in chronological order, of England throughout the ages. The humorous tone helps a great deal, too! Being French, though, I probably missed most of the jokes and cultural references. Hopefully I’ll get better as time goes by!
    Cheers from Occitanie,

    1. Bonjour Manu!
      Thank you so much for your comment, and lovely of you to listen! I must say I feel a thrill of fear; you will hear my awful French accents and things, bristle at the length of the coverage of Agincourt and the paucity of coverage of the exploits of people such as Bertrand de Guescelin! Forgive me…
      I hope despite these things, that you continue to enjoy it. Mwerci!

  164. Thank you for this! I am delighted to have found you and will let my students know, too. In fact, I just alerted
    a friend who is a nautical archaeologist to your discussion of the English and the sea — it is just what he has
    been looking for. I look forward to everything else you’ve been doing! All good wishes,
    Jenny Wollock

  165. Hello David
    My daughter gave me a HOE membership as a gift last year. I would like to transfer the annual membership renewal fee from here to myself. How do I set that up? Her name is Catey Pease. My name is Rod Pease

  166. Hello David
    I am just a regular American bloke in a small town in Oregon. I have roots in Essex circa 1650. I have been desperate to find a podcast that explains British history by an actual British person. Everything about this podcast is exactly what I’ve been looking for, even the reference to Douglas Adams and Monty P, both of which I have loved since I was a kid. All that to say this, thank you for sharing you love and passion for the history of England. I’m just beginning but I am looking forward to taking this journey with you, even though I’m starting about 10 years late. Cheers.

    1. Hi Rusty and thank you so much – I do love a compliment! I am delighted that you are enjoying it, and long may that last!

  167. Does anyone out there know where one might find a source that will list the Livery Badges and Livery colors of the nobility during the Tudor Period. I am trying to research the Livery badges and livery colors for the nobles in the court of Elizabeth I.

  168. Hello David:
    I love the podcast, especially the humorous historical comments which are, without fail, much funnier than anything that Shakespeare ever wrote. Thank you for sharing your talents and passion for history. I have a question about the theme music: Are the “tabs” – the finger placement instructions for guitar players – available?

  169. Hi David,
    I was wondering if you’d be interested in interviewing me on your podcast about the Boer Wars and other clashes that followed European settlement of southern Africa. Those are what my 40+ episode first season of Forgotten Wars Podcast is about. Towards the end of the season I dismantle the myth that the British “invented” concentration camps.
    If anything along those lines interests you, I’d be eager to hear from you soon.

    Take care,
    Michael Buster

    Apple Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/forgotten-wars/id1535351938
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1k29pbrJRBj7XWIrPHCTVQ?si=WnWXjvMjRTCDFohCDMQS2A&dl_branch=1

  170. David –
    I’m a huge fan, and I couldn’t want a better version of the period you cover. And of course your sense of humor enlivens the whole thing, just right. Meanwhile, I’m a painter and serious student of art history. You can’t study European art history without noticing a certain island country asleep at the wheel for several key centuries, artistically speaking. Frankly, England missed the early, middle and late Renaissance, not to mention Mannerism and the Baroque. We can’t name any English artist before Hogarth that is of any widespread note, and meanwhile an equally Protestant country of similar size just across the Channel is producing a stream of stupefying geniuses. So give England it’s writers, explorers, scientists, and entrepreneurs, where is its Rembrandt, Durer, Bellini, Velazquez, et al? I mean Shakespeare does sort of equal several hundred European painters (I often think of Brueghel as the Flemish Shakespeare) in terms of importance, but that makes it even more strange that his painterly counterparts were at the same time doing work of surpassing mediocrity – just check out the National Portrait Gallery for that period.

    Factors like the Reformation, geographic isolation, and the lack of a widespread urban middle class purchasing art were obviously in play, and it certainly didn’t help that the Brits chose to trash a far, far greater portion of their visual heritage than anywhere else in Europe (the Taliban should be jealous), but there has to be more to the story. Is this something you know someone has covered, or that you might address at some point? It’s such a drastic gap in English cultural production that it begs a discussion. Thanks!

    1. Hi again Gary. As yes, I rather agree and have often thought the same. Also with music – with the exception of Purcell (Despite our attempts to claim Handel) it’s something of a desert.
      I have no answer!

  171. Hi David,
    This is an amazing podcast. I have been listening on the train on the way to work. Great for beating history quizzes and even the random question asked by the colleague. By the way, I have been planning to get myself a mug from the shop for Christmas, do you ship to Singapore?

  172. I always enjoyed history at school but was always frustrated that the curriculum of the 1970s stopped at 1901. So for last 40 years ive read books and about the period after 1901 as well as recently getting into podcasts from which a nice computer algorithm presented me with “other podcasts you may like” and hey presto your one jumped straight out the screen at me a few months ago. So now 102 episodes on, oh and extended dog walk every morning to listen to a whole episode, im loving the podcast. I like it being chronological but i appreciate it also when you have to side-track to set context to understand the situation as well as the explaining how society was functioning and of course the light hearted approach. The resources section is also a great help. Thank you for starting this project and will catch up in about 10 months!

    1. Thanks Nicholas, and lovely of you to write! I’m very glad you are enjoying it and using the resources – to which I have no added for ages! Must do better…!

  173. Great podcast! I’m currently through the 1200s and will most definitely need to purchase a mug or t-shirt as a thank you for the show.

    In case you didn’t know, the “Show Website” link in the United States Apple Podcast app points to “thehistoryofengland.com”, which is being sat on by a domain seller, instead of thehistoryofengland.co.uk.

  174. Hi David
    I think you are doing a great job and have just treated myself to membership. I have been bingeing on your podcasts for several months now. I particularly want to listen to your Eleanor of Aquitaine biography. As a keen reader of Bernard Cornwell’s Last Kingdom series and also Sharon Penman’s novels it is great to find that their historical settings are so well done that the recorded history underlying their stories becomes even more interesting.
    May I make a podcast suggestion? How about one on the history of the Isles of Scilly? (My favorite holiday location)
    Will just mention that on the Norman Kings family tree you have Eustace born before his father Stephen.

    1. Hi Briony, and welcome ! I do hope you enjoy the shedcasts. And I am always open t suggestions. As it happens I have long had a plan to do a brief series on the history of the English Islands – that is to say, Islands governed by the English crown; this was after a lovely visit to Sark. So I love your suggestion, and I will do it!

  175. Hello David, I am a new listener to your History of England. I’ve been listening to the very granular British History Podcast and appreciate that you get the job done without dragging out a story. Around episode 40ish you mention schools and that there was one in Yarm, at least I think you said Yarm but my earphones are not that good. I live in Georgia in the USA and I am originally from Yarm (if that’s what you said). Do you know Yarm? Not many people outside the Tees area have heard of it.

    1. Thank you Barry. sadly I get steadily slower I must say! Now, I have not been to Yarm sadlyl all I have dne I think is read about the Tribute centre I think they uncovered there, if I remember correctly. I am sorry for that though – hopefully I’ll have an occasion to put that right someday !

  176. Hi, David. Wonderful podcast. Really enjoy the writing: the drama, the concise but well-explained battle tactics, the wit; oh goodness your commentary on “Love Day” had me in stitches, among many other interludes. And your DELIVERY. So self-assured, so engaging. Delightful.

    But as every sunny day is followed by rain: I am sometimes appalled by the way you seem to take dynastic claims and medieval expectations of kingship SERIOUSLY. It’s one thing to have forbearance and forgive medieval Englishmen for their attitudes. But to share these attitudes seems an odd choice. You have sympathy for John Ball and his revolutionaries. Hooray! But in the next breath you seem to tacitly agree that, so long as he isn’t a tyrant or a fool, aristocrats with a better dynastic claim have more right to rule England. You don’t seem to feel that dynastic claims are silly excuses leech-like aristocrats use to seize power. In fact, you hardly seem to view them as leeches on society at all.

    If you were a bit less upfront about your views, I’d be fine with that. I don’t expect history podcasters to share my opinions. But you do “take sides” as it were and I am not always happy with what I hear in consequence. Your open nature shows a stark acceptance of the twisted logic of hereditary rule. You seem to take seriously English claims over Gascony and Aquitaine. You seem to think that it doesn’t matter whether an Englishman or a Frenchman rules part of France. I say that fundamentally, the English have the right to be ruled by Englishmen and the French have the right to be ruled by Frenchmen, both now and since the dawn of time, regardless of what people at the time thought. Even before nationalism, people like Joan of Arc had a dim knowledge of the Frenchman’s natural right to self-rule, like a vision seen through a glass darkly. And that right trumps all considerations of good or bad governance. I shudder to think what you will say during the age of the British Empire. God forbid you should make excuses for that cruelest of institutions. I pray not!

    And I fear that you also have greater respect for kings who are successful in war and who have grand and glamorous natures. Inconceivable! Less importantly but also frustratingly, you seem to feel that Warwick was prideful for wanting domination in England. How is that ANY more prideful than accepting the crown of England? What could have been more prideful than Edward IV becoming king? Was Edward IV somehow justified in that pride because he was a closer relative of Edward III? Stuff and nonsense. Warwick did the hard work and the dirty work and he had JUST as much right to control England as Edward IV. IOW, neither had any right to rule without the formal, specific, pre-established consent of the people. Pre-established, mind you. Medieval hereditary rule is an abomination and I don’t think I’m paranoid to sense that you have a comfortable feeling with the hereditary principle. Again, I shudder to hear what you have to say about the Glorious Revolution of 1688. I will be greatly disappointed if you don’t see 1688 as a straightforward triumph for “truth, light and decency.”

    Anyway, I’ve yammered on enough. You refer to the liveried affinities as “mafia gangs” once or twice, but I would hope that would extend to medieval kingship, however glamorous the king in question is. Anyway, I enjoy the show greatly, and after this I will leave a glowing review on iTunes. Thanks again for your efforts.

    1. Hi Jack, and I’m delighted you are enjoying the podcast!

      Um, who are we to judge the attitudes of our forebears? To them society was unimaginable without a monarch and as we see frequently when the monarch does not fulfill their function, death and chaos ensues. The idea that France had pre-ordained boundaries is just viewing the past through the lens of today, and it is impossible to understand previous generation through such a lens. Interesting views on the hereditary principle…let me know when you die and I’ll come and help myself to your property. Since medieval people believed that the lands of the monarch belonged to him/her.

      I’ve no intention of wandering through history handing out my moral judgments – including on the British Empire, or indeed on any of the other myriad Empires the world has seen. That’s got absolutely nothing to do of course, with my views about how we should organise our present and our future.

      Anyway – BRACE! Jack, BRACE! I look forward, with some delight, to irritating you some more.

      1. With respect, the opinions of the common Englishman in the 1400s, regarding the sanctity of the king’s inheritance, seems to have been malleable. The King’s rights are sacrosanct until he is defeated and imprisoned, at which point the NEW king’s rights are “sacrosanct.” One suspects a nation of harried folk simply trying to avoid the headsman’s axe.

          1. In answer to your question, yes! Episode 56a history of Scotland was exceptionally helpful. I was frequently going back to listen to other episodes because I was lost. I was even seeking additional information on Wikipedia or other sites to try to understand how it all fit together without luck.

            . But it wasn’t until I listened to your episode that everything came together! Specifically, the shifting forces and the reasons for them. Why was Scotland initially siding with the parliament and then later withdrawing? What did they want from the king and why did they later side with Charles? What were the divisions within the English parliament that kept them from affectively aligning with the Scots against Charles? How were the Scots in Ireland related to the covenanters? I t’s amazing how it all came together after listening to your show. Thank you!

            Incidentally, this was how I first became addicted to The History of England. I was having trouble understanding early Anglo-Saxon history and how England formed from Wessex, Mercia etc. and very much as you did with the wars between the three kingdoms you tied it all together for me with humor and warmth. Unfortunately now you can never stop because we will hunt you down and force you to continue explaining things.

            Thx again.


          2. Thank you Eric, I’m glad it helped. I got into a bit of a jam – problem of not getting the pace right I think. I got into the same problem with early medieval Scotland too I think – all got too complicated.

  177. David,

    I am enjoying the dark ages podcast. Thanks to you. Thank you for your wonderful podcast and for your support of other independent Podcasters!

    Erik B


    I am enjoying the dark ages podcast. Thanks to you. Thank you for your wonderful podcast and for your support of other independent Podcasters!

    PS: please provide more “Britain and the sea“ when you get a chance. .

    1. Hi Erick, and I’m pleased to hear it! And yes….I keep thinking of Britain and the Sea it’s calling to me but I seem to be short of time! I will get to it one day…

  178. Hi David!!

    I am a member, new as of a few months ago. Love your podcast!!! I have found that in my genealogy that I am a direct descendant of William the Marshall etc. What a crazy family!!

    I hope to take a trip over to Europe to visit. Please send me an email so I can look you up sometime if I visit.

    I reside in Texas.

    Take care!! Great podcasts!!! Just fabulous!

    Deana Armstrong

    My email hcjobdiscovery@gmail.com

  179. Your podcast is so interesting and enjoyable that I’m going to be a member and use the app. I never use downloaded apps, so it’s all your fault. I’m going to start from the beginning (again!) and try to get all the Ethels and the Reads straight this time.

    1. I’d like to formally apologise for leading you to the Dark Side. But thank you! and gives all the aethels my best regards, and tell them I miss them all

  180. David —
    I’m a long-time listener and fan. First, I wanted to say thank you, and, second, I wanted to turn the tables on you a bit a recommend a book for you to read. Professor Adrian Chastain Weimer of Providence College in Rhode Island earlier this year published a very good book on the political conflict between the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Crown following the Restoration. Weimer, A Constitutional Culture: New England and the Struggle Against Arbitrary Rule in the Restoration Empire (University of Pennsylvania Press 2023).

    1. Hi there -and thank you! I’m always pleased to get a new recommendation; though there is a waiting list! Very glad you are enjoying it

  181. Will there be more “History In Technicolor” episodes??? I’m addicted to it! It’s my favorite podcast.

    1. Hi Kristin, and thank you so much for your enthusiasm! It’s a bit tricky time-wise because of Wolf’s job & stuff, but we plan to keep going as we can. We’ve got an episode on a fun film called Dick we jus need t edit, and we are all geared up for Napoleon…! Amy suggestions welcome!

  182. Hello David, I’m in Episode 3, moving slowly back and forth, as I do listen in order to get to sleep. I’m glad that practice is mentioned in the introduction, as it’s otherwise awkward to admit without fear of seeing rude. I did go to iTunes to leave a well-deserved RAVE REVIEW, but couldn’t find the show. Thank you so much for many things; the detailed history, the great linguistic jokes (Ruth!) and the wonderful mastery of story-telling that brings the people to life and provides meaning and context. I’m so happy that there are so many episodes, as all of them bear a second listen.

    1. Hi Cynthia,and I have to admit there is a show I use to get me to sleep too. Not saying which one though! Very gald ytou are enjoying it, and thanks for taking the trouble to get in touch

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