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?  

    195 The History of Europe Part VIII

    15th Century European kingdoms were wracked by internal division as well as international war. By the end of the century, many nations had achieved unity and some degree of internalRead More

    194 The Wars of the Roses

    When to declare the Wars of the Roses all finished and done? There are as many choices as there are for start dates. 1485 and the Battle of Bosworth has beenRead More

    193 The Blood of Innocents

    In 1483, the gates of the Tower of London closed on two innocent and defenceless boys; one, Edward, 12, captured and the other Richard, 10, given up by his mother.Read More

    192 Bosworth

    At last in 1485 Richard got to meet his challenger in person at the Battle of Bosworth – a meeting he needed every bit as much as Henry Tudor.   192Read More

    191 The Reign of Richard III

    Unfortunately for Richard he was never able to simply concentrate of governing the realm; the hangover of his accession, the presence of Henry Tudor abroad – these things constantly tookRead More

    190 Good King Richard?

    Part of the story to counter the propaganda of the Tudors is the view that Richard promised to be an exceptionally good ruler. The brevity of Richard's reign make an assessment difficultRead More

    189 The Most Untrue Creature

    Richard sought to start the reconciliation of the factions in the realm. But despite his triumphant progress through the Kingdom to York, trouble was brewing – including from the most unlikelyRead More

    187a Jane Shore by James Boulton

    Jane Shore lives among the list of the most famous mistresses – along with the likes of Roseamund Clifford, Alice Perrers. Like Alice, Jane lives and loved at the veryRead More

    187 Edward V

    The reign of Edward V is one of the great controversies of English history. This episode is as uncontroversial – just what happened. Then in 2 weeks time – weRead More

    186 The King is Alive!

    It was critical that the heir to the throne, the young Edward, was tutored and governed to be brought up to be a successful king – and so Rivers wasRead More

    185 Edward the King

    The 1470's were a marked contrast to the 1460's; a decade of complete calm, of control and authority. How did Edward do it?  185 Edward the King     EdwardRead More

    184 Edward’s Foreign Glory

    Edward IV fancied himself as a latter day Edward III, and with his love of the Garter tradition on the one hand and his determination to gain revenge for FrenchRead More

    183 The Brothers York

    They had a complicated relationship – Edward, Clarence and Richard; Clarence and Richard had often been left together with Cecily and Margaret while Edward was with his father. In the 1470s,Read More

    181 The 15th C Rural Economy

    We know that the Magnates and peerage made some cutbacks and prettified fewer of their residences – but what of the Gentry, who by and large would have 1 or 2Read More

    180 Lives and Loves of the Gentry

    Through the 15th century the Gentry become firmly established as the real rulers of the localities; and an enterprising part of England's economy. So it seems worth finding out a bit moreRead More

    179 The New Farmers

    After a period of grace, the 15th Century posed serious challenges for Magnates and the rural economy – prices fell, wages rose, Magnates had to cancel parties. But every cloud hasRead More

    178 The 15th C Economy I

    A rest from politics. The population of England remained stagnant or falling throughout 15th century. But that didn't meant there was no opportunity for towns or for commerce. You justRead More

    177 High Noon at Tewkesbury

    Edward's troubles were not over with the victory at Barnet. He still faced two more invasions – the Queen and Prince, and Fauconberg in the South East. It was the final showdownRead More

    176 The Readeption

    In 1470, Henry VIth was released by Warwick from the Tower, and re-established as the rightful king of England. The Usurper Edward IV was banished forever. Sadly for the Lancastrians,Read More

    175 An Unholy Alliance

    In 1470 the spin of the wheel of fortune was dizzying. Warwick had won, lost, won…where it ended nobody knew. But the most extraordinary thing of all was an alliance toRead More

    174 Warwick’s Rubicon

    In 1468, Warwick had a decision to make – as he himself said, 'It is a matter of being either Master or Varlet'.  174 Warwick's Rubicon George Neville, Archbishop ofRead More

    173 Rivers Rising

      There was a new faction at court – the Woodvilles, and they were there en masse. Were they really so bad? Had Edward boobed? And what did Warwick thinkRead More

    172 A Royal Marriage

    The first three years of Edward's reign were spent dealing stamping on the fires of the Lancastrian resistance. But then, he found time for something much more controversial than dis-embowelling,Read More

    171 Two Rulers

    In the aftermath of Towton, Edward started his work to restore a broad based regime – crushing the recalcitrant, welcoming the turncoats, re-establishing royal justice. He also had a party. MargaretRead More

    170 This Fair White Rose

     In 1461 the Queen failed to seize London,and retreated to the north. Warwick and Edward walked through London's empty gates and then chased north for the largest, and bloodiest battleRead More

    169 King without Rule

    After the victory at Northampton and the Act of Accord, it looked as though all Richard of York had to do was wait or the crown to be his. ButRead More

    168 With Horns and Trumpets

    Warwick swashed and buckled his way up and down the channel until the Yorkists were ready to invade England again. But on his return from Ireland with horns and trumpetsRead More

    167 The Triumph of Lancaster

    In 1459 the trigger point was finally reached; after a year of phony war, both sides preparing for war, the call for a great council in 1459 proving the triggerRead More

    166 The Reign of Queen Margaret

    In 1455 it briefly looked as though York had won; but in fact it solved nothing – the king remained the centre of power, and the king was weak. ByRead More

    165 Bloodshed

    In 1455, the quality and nature of the arguments and disputes about the king's fitness to reign and the need to reform the way England was governed changed very significantly.Read More

    164 Madness

    In 1452 and 1453 Henry enjoyed a brief spell where he was on top of his job after the events at Dartford. But fate had something in mind. 164 MadnessRead More

    163 The Cousins’ War

    How did previous generations view the Wars of the Roses? What are the interpretations of the Wars of the Roses now? This, and an introduction to some key families, areRead More

    153a Wycliffe, Hus and Bohemia

    This week a guest episode on Wycliffe, Hus and their influence on the history of Bohemia. With many thanks to Pete Collman from the Bohemican Podcast, and Travis Dow ofRead More

    153 The Medieval Working Woman

    Only 4% of women remained unmarried in the middle ages, and therefore for both men and women working life was a matter of team work. In towns in particular, womenRead More

    149 Sex, Childbirth and Children

    Medieval understanding of physiology had an impact on attitudes to sex, just as much as did the teachings of the church. Though who knows how much it had an impactRead More

    117 The Medieval Year

    The rhythm of the year would have been far more important to most medieval people that the goings on at Westminster and the court of the king. The stream ofRead More