Tag Archives: England

Robert Curthose invasion of England in 1101

Robert Curthose invasion of England in 1101


Robert, Duke of Normandy, nicknamed Curthose for the shortness of his legs and hence his leggings, was the oldest, nicest and least effective of William the Conqueror’s three sons. Brave, generous, good-natured and trusting, he was easily outmatched in statecraft, ruthlessness and cunning by his younger brothers – William Rufus and Henry.

Making the Virgin Queen

Making the Virgin Queen

Elizabeth I of England gained iconic status as the Virgin Queen. By refusing to bow to convention and take a husband who might rule for her, she carved out a role as one of the most formidable monarchs that England had ever seen. While this may have been a conscious political decision on Elizabeth’s part, she had been profoundly influenced by the experiences of her female relations and rivals.

Place to visit: Warwick Castle

Place to visit: Warwick Castle

The origins of Warwick Castle can be traced back to the Saxon fortification which Ethelfleda, daughter of Alfred the Great, used to defend against invading Danes. The first castle, however, to appear on the site was a wooden motte and bailey constructed in 1068 at the command of William the Conqueror. Throughout the Middle Ages, under successive earls of Warwick, the castle was gradually rebuilt in stone. By the 14th century, it was a towering medieval fortress and the stronghold of the mighty Beauchamp family.

Public transport under Tudors and Stuarts

Public transport under Tudors and Stuarts

The public transport at the beginning of 17th century was almost non-existent. If you wanted to risk your life, you could take a ferry across or along the Thames in London, but the watermen were notoriously rude, the river was effectively an open sewer, and the boats occasionally sank. Rich people had horses to ride and carriages to be carried in, but everyone else had to walk. All that was to change in 1643, when a Captain Baily, who had once sailed in the fleet of Sir Walter Ralegh, launched a fleet of his own.

A Legal Looting in Medieval England

A Legal Looting in Medieval England

In 1547, Thomas Michell murdered Eleanor and John Sydnam and then killed himself. Knowing Michell to be “a man of great possessions”, the local undersheriff, Nicholas Sarger, rushed to the murderer’s home to seize his belongings. When Sarger arrived, he found Michell’s neighbours already in the house, busily removing everything they could carry. And they weren’t the only ones taking an interest in the dead man’s effects for, soon after, Nicholas Heath, the king’s chief almoner, launched suits against Sarger and the others, claiming that the goods belonged to him.