388 Runaway Down

    July 1643 would see two critical contests at Bath and in Yorkshire. And the death of The Patriot

    387 Sinews of War

      Early 1643 was not a good idea for peace. By April, both the Scots and English parliament had tired of Charles’ negotiating style and started talking to each otherRead More

    384 The Breaking Storm

    Charles’ situation in August looked dire. But at Shrewsbury, soldiers came to his call, arms reached him from Henrietta Maria, and in October he had an army, and set ofRead More

    382 War of Words

    Both sides lay out their stalls. And Henry Parker lays out some underlying foundations of English political thought


    Big, ambitious and absorbing portrait of a genius who helped change the world

    381 Six Days

    Six days in January 1642 which changed the course of English history

    380 Irish Revolt

    A revolt and massacres in Ireland, and the struggle over the Grand Remonstrance. 

    378 Protestations

    In a time of national danger and an explosion of print and debate, the Protestation Oath of 1641 was a remarkable act of nation building

    375 Divisions

    Charles’ response to the Scottish Declaration was severe; but it also caused a division in the Junto, and among MPs. Meanwhile, as poublic religious debate exploded, divisions also grew betweenRead More

    370 Reduce to Obedience

    ‘I expect not anything can reduce that people to obedience but force only’ Charles wrote in 1638. The following year that would be put to the test. in the First Bishops War (Bishops not included).

    Place Names – a Shedcast

    English place names are a direct window in into the lives of our ancestors – an insight into the origins or remarkable features of ancient settlements. Here’s a brief survey of how to decode some of them.

    368 A Prince’s Punishments

    In 1633 Thomas Wentworth arrived in Ireland – and despite great administrative efficiency, managed to separately outrage each of the components of Irish Society Meanwhile in London, William Prynne and John Lillburne stood form against tyranny.

    367 New England

    The colonists that traveled to New England were very different to the Chesapeake, and the society they established also very different. For the indigenous peoples, the shock would be every bit as severe.

    366 The Chesapeake

    Colonisation of the Chesapeake would be driven by its climate and its most successful crop – tobacco, defining the social structure of the colonists and the society they would form, and the impact they would have on the indigenous peoples.

    365 The Hub of Empire

    ‘By what right?’ In this episode we think about how the early English colonisers viewed their Westward Enterprise, and legitimised their activities. And then turn to the region Eric Williams described as ‘The Hub of Empire’. The Caribbean.

    364 Before the English Came

    The 1630’s saw an acceleration of English colonisation in the Americas. What cultures and peoples will they meet when they get there? A horribly brief survey of cultures north of the Rio Grande before the English came.

    363 Laud Unleashed

    With Parliament banished, there was little restraint on Laud and Charles to implement the reforms they felt were needed to improve the quality of religious observations and the spiritual wealth of all English. Not everyone would approve their efforts.

    362 Free Men not Villeins

    In 1637 Charles sought an example to squash opposition to Ship Money, and chose a minor country squire. John Hampden refused to back down.

    The Favourite

    This 2018 film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos is a glorious tragi-comedy about the lives of three women – Queen Anne, Sarah Churchill and Abigail Hill.  It travels the full spectrum from barking mad to genuinely moving. It is a blast.

    Henry Stuart

    Henry Stuart’s death as eldest so and heir of James I & VI Henry gives us one of those great ‘what if?’ moments in history, like the death of ArthurRead More

    361 Charles in Charge

    Charles had done the right thing of we wanted to avoid parliaments – reducing costs by making peace. But, how was he to raise money to clear that £2m debt? Well, two words came in to play – many, and various.

    The Great Escape

    Released in 1963 The Great Escape has got to be one of the definitive tales of derring-do, the ultimate escapism, in the ‘film is fun’ genre. What role would you have had if you had been there?

    360 Charles Abroad

    Relationships with the other kingdoms was definitely the royal preserve. But policy options might vary, from favouring the desires of his protestant subjects, to the Spanish faction on the privy Council. But his clout was always hampered by the poor state of the Royal Navy

    HiT Chariots of Fire

    I remember back in 1981 this film was a sensation; we were all running around on beaches in slo-mo. Has it stood the test of time, though, and is it any more than a bit of fluff?

    359 Charles is At Home

    Charles was determined to run his court completely differently to his father. Controlled, regulated, ordered; an example of a warm, loving and enlightened household that would prove an example of the majesty and stability of his reign.

    HiT Bright Star

    Jane Campion’s Bright Star was released in 2009 and featured on the lives of Fanny Browne and John Keats in the last years of Keat’s life. Abbie Cornish and Ben Wishaw do a brilliant job of recreating their lives

    358 New Counsels

    Was it an ‘Eleven years tyranny’ or ‘Halcyon Days’ that followed 1629? Either way, foreign ambassadors were not hopeful of England’s future. But Charles first priority was to reduce the Vipers of parliament to submission.