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 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

    227 The Reformation Parliament

    After Wolsey’s fall was a period of stalemate; but between 1529 and 1532, Henry’s thoughts crystalised, Anne became to be openly at his side – and a new weapon joined theRead More

    226 The Great Wether

    In 1529 the campaign for the King’s great matter, his divorce came to a climax. Wolsey persuaded the Pope to allow a court to be held in England under Cardinals CampeggioRead More

    225 Matters Great and Personal

    The king’s Great Matter as it was to be called, outraged and divided Christendom, and has been dividing us ever since. What motivated it? Who was responsible? The debate startsRead More

    224 Deadly Poison

    In 1520 the Pope threatened an obscure Augustinian monk with excommunication. Why ? What happened next? And how did the English react?        

    223 Venality or vitality?

    The traditional story of the English Reformation has been of a rotten, moribund, venal church, just waiting to be toppled by reformers, the pyre ignited by Luther’s teachings. But wasRead More

    222 From Hapsburg to Valois

    The diplomacy of the early 1520s culminated at Pavia, with the ruin of French hopes – and also English as Hapsburg for a while reigned supreme. Domestic politics saw WolseyRead More

    220a An Oasis Discovered

    Here’s my story of the church  St Bartholomew the Grand and its founder. There are pictures and the text at St Bartholomew the Great    

    220 Disguisings

    It is in the reign of Henry VIII that we first hear of the ‘masque’ – entertainment that drew from Mummers, Mystery plays, and ‘disguisings’. We talk about Anne andRead More

    219 Cloth of Gold

    Enter Thomas Boleyn, courtier, and the realities of being a courtier. And the field of the cloth of Gold; Henry and Wolsey’s mission to uphold the treaty of universal peace.Read More