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.

    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

    264c Rebel Queen 4 War

    Mary’s letter of 10th July brought home an uncomfortable truth that Northumberland had expected to avoid – that Jane must fight for her crown. If an army could be found ToRead More

    264b Rebel Queen 3 Rivals

    Mary had a decision to make – submit, fight or flee. She took the decision with her household – and they raised the rafters with their cheers.   To findRead More

    264a Rebel Queen 2 Proclamation

    On the morning of 9th July 1553 the 16 year old Jane was walking in the Grey manor at Chelsea in blissful ignorance. Then the Duke of Northumberland’s daughter, Mary Sidney,Read More

    263 The Devise

    Edward VI’s ‘Devise for the Succession’ would plunge England into turmoil. Was it his own work, or was it the work of a manipulative and power hungry Northumberland? Here’s what happened.Read More

    262 Northumberland

    John Dudley, as Duke of Northumberland for a while dominated the King’s Council – and was a man with the imagination to change the rules. And the Edwardian Reformation continued,Read More

    261 The Trouble with Mary

    In 1550 Edward’s views on reformation began to harden – and brought him into conflict with his sister. Under pressure from King and Council, Mary decided that she must fleeRead More

    260 A Double Coup

    Somerset came away from the Commotion Time with a wobbly reputation. Could he survive politically ?   Transcript Let me take you to London. The year is 1548, about aRead More

    259 The Time of Camps

      1549 was a year of upheaval which led to rebellions which offer a fascinating window into English society. It also  saw the publication of the Book of Common Prayer,Read More

    258 Protector Somerset

    Somerset was an effective soldier, and as uncle to the king he seemed like an ideal choice as Protector. Would he prove an effective political? Good Duke, Bad Duke or justRead More

    256 The Boy King

    Poor Edward’s reign tends to be ignored, sandwiched as it is. This week we pay it proper respect – what has history had to say of the lad, what were theRead More

    253 Europe IX Confessionalism Unleashed

    How the rise of Calvinism, the Catholic Reformation and the peace of Augsberg combined with attitudes towards heresy to divide Europe along harsher, confessional lines. The Hapsburg Empire under Charles VRead More

    Roman Bath Museum Worship

    Discussing what the Roman Baths can tell us about Religious worship in the Roman world, and introducing two of the Roman Baths’ most illustrious characters – the Goddess, Sulis Minerva, andRead More

    TTME Cricket

    The greatest game invented by the human race. An Indian game accidentally invented by the English. A game for heroes. But we are not talking about tiddlywinks here – instead, this weekRead More

    Roman Bath Museum Day to Day

    The second episode in our series looks at how the Roman Baths operated day to day, the infrastructure and technology, how they were managed, what went on when visitors enteredRead More

    251 The End of Days

    In 1546, Gardiner and the religious conservatives moved their sights from Cranmer, to the new darling of the evangelical cause – the Queen. Getting evidence from Anne Askew was the keyRead More

    Roman Bath Museum Discovery

    This is the first of three special episodes from the wonderful Roman Bath Museum at Bath. Experts from the museum talk about Bath’s history, from before Rome to Georgian Bath toRead More

    250 Catherine and Anne

    In 1545 the struggle between conservative and evangelical, between mumpsimus and sumpsimus grew more intense as Catherine Parr’s household shed an evangelical light over the court. And into this situation cameRead More

    248 To Arms!

    In 1544 Henry traveled to France and hauled himself into the saddle for his last chance to emulate Henry V. A little like his predecessor, he was also investing in a royal Read More

    249 Knaves I Cannot Rule

    It’s time for a naval encounter, marked by the sinking of the Mary Rose, and then we set the scene for the cut-throat politics of the last years with Richard Rich,Read More

    247 Queen Catherine the Third

    The arrival of Catherine Parr (and family) and preparations for war in France. And rather a lot of digressions. Transcript Last week I mentioned that after his despair at CatherineRead More

    246 A Rough Wooing

    In 1542, Henry’s sought war with France; but before that, he must make sure his northern borders were safe. So began the Rough Wooing, as Henry sought to bring a Pro-EnglishRead More

    245 The Prebendaries Plot

    In 1543 religious conservatives were in the ascendant, dominated the aristocratic Privy Council and a wave of prosecutions for heresy followed. When some of Archbishop Cranmer’s own parishioners  of Kent soughtRead More

    244 No More Time to Dance

    Catherine had made a decent start of being queen. And it was really in no body’s interest to reveal her old life. But dangers and memories were all around –Read More

    243 A Jewel for Womanhood

    In 1540 a new member at court, Catherine Howard, caught the eye of a king struggling with his marriage to Anne. By July Anne was gone and Catherine had embarkedRead More

    242 Anne and Thomas

    Anne arrived in England to be greeted by 6 burly disguised middle aged men. 1540 was a year neither Anne of Cleves nor Thomas Cromwell were to remember – with affectionRead More

    241 The Illness of King Henry

    Henry’s attitude to illness, and possible medical explanations for his character  and events of his realm. And a negotiation starts for a new wife. A royal marriage proposal: Amelia andRead More

    239 Henry VIII and his Realm

    Henry wanted a different relationship with his nobility – a service, court based nobility. Royal power meanwhile must be extended and enhanced. Today we look at Tudor lordship and royal power inRead More