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.

    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

    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

    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