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. The History of England is available on iTunes and a podcatcher near you.

    302 England’s Garland

    This beautiful technical drawing of Revenge was left by Matthew Baker; unlike the equally beautiful Anthony Roll of 1545, it is technically accurate, created by one of England’s greatest shipwrights.Read More

    301 Black Tudors

    Black Africans began to make their way in increasing numbers to England – firstly mainly via trading countries like Spain and Portugal, but increasingly direct. What sort of lives didRead More

    300 Trade and Exploration

      Elizabeth’s reign famously saw England enter the search for new markets with which to trade and explore. In this episode, we focus on trade with West Africa, and John Hawkins’ infamousRead More

    299 West Africa

      A horribly brief introduction to the West African kingdoms with which the Portuguese started to trade and a smidge of their backstory, before the English began to arrive inRead More

    298 A Curate’s Egg

      What started as a curate’s egg of an episode, ends up with an introduction to a new player, Francis Walsingham, and the story of the St Bartholomew’s Day massacreRead More

    297 Servant of Crime

      Through the 1560s, the progress of the reformation gave both the Protestant Godly and Catholics much leeway and wriggle room. A series of events in the late 1560’s and earlyRead More

    296 Rising of the North

      The saga of the life and times of Mary Queen of Scots continues, but in 1568 something stirs in the north of England… Transcript Last time, I left you withRead More

    295 Marvellous Good Order

    In Scotland Mary’s grasp on her kingdom begins to wobble. In 1566, Elizabeth’s parliament also gives her serious grief, drawing an increasingly waspish response.              Read More

    294 Alarms and Excursions

      Did Elizabeth have a foreign ‘policy’? If so what principles drove it – dynasty, parsimony, protestantism? This week Elizabeth intervenes in Scotland and France.   Transcript   This week,Read More

    293 Sex and Marriage

        Dudley was for long considered the front runner for any possible marriage; but there was a long list of suitors. And Elizabeth was under pressure from the badgersRead More

    292 The Queen’s Marriage

    What were the issues around marriage for Elizabeth and her subjects? Because as the continuing barney between the two of them would prove, it really mattered to both parties.  Read More

    291 Queen and Court

      How did Elizabethan government work, and what was Elizabeth’s court like? Transcript This week I thought we should have a bit of context, why don’t we? Over the nextRead More

    290 The Religious Settlement

    Elizabeth’s England was awash with expectation – from Mary’s bishops demanding that no change be made to Mary’s church, to a wave of Protestant Marian exiles returning with visions ofRead More

    289 Elizabeth Regina

    A game of 2 halves this week; the major themes of Elizabeth’s reign and then the Funeral of Mary and Elizabeth’s  coronation . Ooh, and the appointment of Cecil asRead More

    288 Elizabeth I and the Historians

        Transcript Hello everyone and welcome to the History of England Episode 288 Elizabeth I and the Historians. We left Elizabeth passing through Temple Bar, with professions of loveRead More

    287 Enter Good Queen Bess

    Transcript Let me take you to London on a January morning in 1559. It’s cold, and there had been a light dusting of snow, and in January London 1559 letRead More

    285 Reformation of Manners

    How far did parish life change in the 16th century, and how far was the Reformation responsible? What did 16th century folk enjoy themselves, and how did that change over the century?  Read More

    283 Little Commonwealth

    The patriarchy, love and marriage, gender roles and huswifery, the daily grind and a bit about food and clothing. It’s a smorgasbord.   Transcript We have a few times talkedRead More

    282 Parish and Protest

    The parish was the essential and ever present canvas on which most lives were painted in early modern England. We discuss how it changes, it’s harmonies and the context of protestRead More

    281 Winners and Losers

      The population growth and inflation of the 16th century had different impacts depending on your situation. And the difference was land. Plus we talk about the regions and landscapes ofRead More

    280 The Land was Never So Full

    The start of a suite of 7 episodes about social and economic issues charts the changes in population and how the society it affected described itself. Please help with the HistoryRead More

    278 The King’s Honour

    The return of the King meant demands for the English to enter a war they did not want, and in which none of their interests were really at stake. Transcript The DukeRead More

    277 A Firm Hand

      The story of the Marian persecution. And of a Queen’s need to have her Prince at her side to help with the alarms and excursions of protestant rebels. TranscriptRead More

    276 The Reformation of England

    The plan was that 1555 saw the transformation of England – the birth of an heir for Mary and Philip, the launch of a new Reformation Anglicae to re-invigorate Roman CatholicismRead More

    275 The Time of Trial

    Once Pole had returned and parliament had re-enacted the heresy legislation after the brief Edwardian holiday, the Marian church could at last exercise the full force of the law against protestants. JohnRead More

    273 Pope II – The Return

    In 1554, 300 schoolboys of London played out the divisions of their parents on the fields of Finsbury. It was an instructive backdrop to the return of Papal authority inRead More

    272 The Spanish Marriage

    In July 1554 Philip finally landed in England, and all went very well; Mary and Philip were married, and were kind to each other, there was a great pageant ofRead More

    271 Most Faithful Subject

    Once Wyatt had been dealt with, Gardiner, Renard,Mary – all could see a greater target in their sights. The surely the Lady Elizabeth had been involved, and here was the chanceRead More

    HiT Henry V

    In celebration of St George’s Day, we watched Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V. Was it a triumph of the order of Agincourt’s, or worse than the Duke of Bedford’s haircut?  

    270 Wyatt’s Doom

    Mary faced the biggest challenge to her reign in 1554 as the London Trained Bands, the White Coats, joined Wyatt’s army of Kent. She responded like a Tudor appealing toRead More

    269 Scorn and Ill Will

    In 1553, Mary’s real religious policy become clear. More worrying for many was the announcement of her choice of husband Philip of Spain. Some blokes met in a pub to figureRead More

    HiT Das Boot

    Not quite sure how many times I have watched Das Boot, but it is legion. A story of the war in one campaign, of the comradeship on board, and the terrorsRead More

    268 This Hand Offendeth

    After Mary rode into London in August 1553, Thomas Cranmer must have known he would be in the firing line – and yet at first nothing happened. And it wasRead More

    267 Girt with a Sword

      Mary was well aware that it was critical for her to establish her right and authority as equal to that of any king; and she consciously pursued that aim. WhichRead More

    266 Mary – Bloody or Otherwise

      After her brave and audacious rebellion, Mary became Queen in 1553. Historians have not been kind to Mary for many centuries. What have they been saying? What are they sayingRead More

    Gold, Praise and Glory

    Same Hume introduces English trade and exploration in the Tudor era  – the trade companies that spring up after 1550 and the discovery ventures that follow. With a bit ofRead More

    Joseph Lancaster

    Joseph Lancaster is little known today, but in the first half of the 19th century his name was everywhere. He was described as ‘the poor child’s friend’ as he made educationRead More

    Elizabeth Chadwick and Eleanor of Aquitaine

      Author Elizabeth Chadwick gives her insights into the life and times of Eleanor of Aquitaine. To find out more about Elizabeth’s three Eleanor novels, visit her website https://elizabethchadwick.com/eleanor-of-aquitaine/  

    265 Live Still to Die

      After Mary’s victory, Jane Grey was imprisoned comfortably in the Tower, and spent her time studying – and had a reasonable expectation of long, if a little dull,  life. Until in 1554Read More

    264g Rebel Queen 8 The Duke

    The game played out, the Mary entered London and the Duke was to die. But Northumberland had one more surprise to spring To find out more about our programme, andRead More

    264f Rebel Queen 7 Regina

    Whether Jane and Guildford understood the commotion in the city outside the Tower we do not know, but it was the duty of her father, the Duke of Suffolk, to breakRead More

    264e Rebel Queen 6 The Fleet

    Around the 14th July a ship called the Greyhound sailed into Orwell Haven. Its captain was in gaol in Lowestoft, its crew had smashed open the cash box. Meeting withRead More

    264d Rebel Queen 5 Resistance

    Northumberland made good speed towards East Anglia and Mary, and his army swelled with troops and artillery. But in London, the mood was ugly, and Mary was having some success too.Read More