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.

    TTME Magna Carta

    Magna Carta has a reputation as one of the foundational documents in the development of the rights of the individual and in limiting he powers of monarchs. What does it actuallyRead 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

    HiT Charge of the Light Brigade

    Director Tony Richardson came from a background of kitchen sink dramas that challenged the accepted social norms. In Charge of the Light Brigade, he brought that same critical eye toRead More

    HiT A Man for all Seasons

    High drama, a man dying for his beliefs, a roll call of brilliant actors – and presented with best picture at the Oscars by Aud herself. Who ask for more (haRead More

    TTME The Longbow

    For a while, from the 13th to 15th centuries, the king of England possessed a military tool that no other nation appeared to be able to imitate. The argument is whether it hadRead More

    HiT Amadeus

    Amadeus combined music, drama, hagiography and a spot of crime mystery. It won 8 awards. Has it stood the test of time, and how faithful to history was it in itsRead 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

    HiT Master and Commander

    Master and Commander is a tale of community and belonging, friendship and the ‘failure of fellowship’ on board the good ship surprise. There’s a bit of war, derring do 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

    HiT – Zodiac

    Zodiac is a 2007 true crime film directed by David Fincher, and starring Jake Gyllenhall, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey, Jr. It tells the story of the search for the ZodiacRead 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

    TTME English Accents

    Are English accents a joy and delight, a sign of rich diversity or irritating and divisive? And what is it about the Midlands that makes everyone think they can ignoreRead More

    TTME Ska

    Roifield presents the proposition that Ska is not just important because it’s the one musical form everyone can dance to.   Hi all…and welcome to Episode 2, where Roifield usesRead 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

    238 The Fight Back

    In 1539, Henry became convinced that religious reform was going too far. Cromwell and Cranmer failed to see the signs and during the 1539  the act of Six Articles shocked evangelists.Read More

    236 The Burning of Derfel Gadarn

    In 1537 and 1538 the doctrinal debate intensified with the Evangelical cause appeared to advance step by step. Cromwell discredited the monastic movement by attacking the veneration of relics. The execution of JohnRead More

    235 Pilgrimage of Grace II

    By December 1536 there were 50,000 rebels camped around Pontefract Castle while inside their leader Robert Aske composed a petition of 24 articles, to re-instate traditional religion and the Pope.Read More

    234 Pilgrimage of Grace I

    It is not true to say that Henry died a Catholic without the Pope. The 1530’s were a time of increasing doctrinal confusion which together with the attack on monasticismRead More

    233 Obedience

    With Anne’s death the traditionalists breathed a heavy sign of relief. now all the bad stuff would stop – evangelical reform would be reversed, Mary would be re-instated. They had aRead More

    232 Evangelicals

    From the mid 1520s, the church authorities began to face a more serious challenge from evangelicals like Thomas Bilney and Hugh Latimer. And in 1526 and 1534, Tyndale’s New Testament in EnglishRead More