The History of England

The History of England
The rich and varied story of the English people in regular chunks

290 The Religious Settlement
Jun 1 • 35 min
Elizabeth’s England was awash with expectation - from Mary’s bishops demanding that no change be made to Mary’s church, to a wave of Protestant Marian exiles returning with visions of Geneva. How to avoid a religious warlike that soon to engulf France?…
289 Elizabeth Regina
May 11 • 38 min
A game of 2 halves this week; the major themes of Elizabeth’s reign and then the Funeral of Mary and Elizabeth’s coronation . Ooh, and the appointment of Cecil as the Queen’s Secretary. See for privacy and opt-out information.
288 Elizabeth I and the Historians
Apr 26 • 26 min
Elizabeth’s reputation has been broadly positive except for Catholic historians, established by the man pictured, William Camden (1551-1623) though sometimes rather cold and unsympathetic. More recently the debate has questioned her level of control. See…
287 Enter Good Queen Bess
Apr 12 • 22 min
In January 1559, Elizabeth finally entered London, and on the day of her coronation, she processed through London. Elizabeth’s personality turned the event into a more than just a spectacle - it became a conversation. See for privacy and…
286 Sex and the Reformation of Manners
Dec 28, 2019 • 46 min
What concerned society about sexual behaviour and why ? How did they intervene in the way people lived their lives; what did you have to do to be whipped at four corners of the churchyard? And what impact did the Reformation have. See…
285 Reformation of Manners
Dec 15, 2019 • 35 min
How far did parish life change in the 16th century, and how far was the Reformation responsible? What did 16th century folk enjoy themselves, and how did that change over the century? See for privacy and opt-out information.
284 Popular Culture in the Ritual Year
Oct 20, 2019 • 39 min
The Lord of Misrule, the Boy Bishop. dancing the Morris and May games. A little about the celebrations of the ritual year, and how things changed. See for privacy and opt-out information.
283 Little Commonwealth
Oct 13, 2019 • 39 min
The patriarchy, love and marriage, gender roles and huswifery, the daily grind and a bit about food and clothing. It’s a smorgasbord. See for privacy and opt-out information.
282 Parish and Protest
Oct 6, 2019 • 41 min
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 protest See for privacy and opt-out information.
281 Winners and Losers
Sep 22, 2019 • 42 min
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 of England. See for privacy and opt-out information.
280 The Land was Never So Full
Sep 8, 2019 • 40 min
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. See for privacy and opt-out information.
279 Who Wished All for the Best
Aug 25, 2019 • 36 min
1558 was a fateful year for England which would have a fundamental impact on its future. Find out why. See for privacy and opt-out information.
278 The King’s Honour
Aug 11, 2019 • 29 min
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. See for privacy and opt-out information.
277 A Firm Hand
Jul 28, 2019 • 35 min
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. See for privacy and opt-out information.
276 The Reformation of England
Jul 14, 2019 • 38 min
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 Catholicism in England See for privacy and opt-out information.
275 The Time of Trial
Jun 30, 2019 • 31 min
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. John Rogers was the first to go. See…
274 Not to Destroy but to Build
Jun 16, 2019 • 36 min
When Pole told parliament that he came to build he meant what he said., and would deliver, in part. And join us on Flick Chat See for privacy and opt-out information.
273 Pope II - The Return
Jun 2, 2019 • 31 min
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 in the form of Cardinal Reginald Pole. See for privacy and opt-out…
272 The Spanish Marriage
May 19, 2019 • 35 min
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 of welcome in London. Join us on Flick Chat See for…
271 Most Faithful Subject
May 5, 2019 • 36 min
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 chance to remove a thorn. See for privacy and opt-out information.
270 Wyatt’s Doom
Apr 21, 2019 • 32 min
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 to her people at the Guildhall. See for privacy and opt-out information.
269 Scorn and Ill Will
Apr 7, 2019 • 30 min
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 figure out how they could stop that happening. See for privacy and…
268 This Hand Offendeth
Mar 17, 2019 • 62 min
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 was his own defiance that caused the queen to take action. This is story of Cranmer’s defiance. See…
267 Girt with a Sword
Mar 10, 2019 • 33 min
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. Which did not stop people worrying about her choice of husband. See for privacy and…
266 Mary, Bloody or Otherwise
Mar 3, 2019 • 31 min
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 saying now? See for privacy and opt-out information.
265 Live Still to Die
Dec 16, 2018 • 38 min
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 1554 Thomas Wyatt and her father Henry Grey, raised rebellion. See…
264g Rebel Queen 8 The Duke
Dec 9, 2018 • 21 min
The game played out, the Mary entered London and the Duke was to die. But Northumberland had one more surprise to spring See for privacy and opt-out information.
264f Rebel Queen 7 Regina
Dec 8, 2018 • 18 min
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 break the news See for privacy and opt-out information.
264e Rebel Queen 6 The Fleet
Dec 7, 2018 • 17 min
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 with Sir Henry Jermingham may well have changed the course of history. See…
264d Rebel Queen 5 Resistance
Dec 6, 2018 • 16 min
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. See for privacy and opt-out information.
264c Rebel Queen 4 War
Dec 5, 2018 • 16 min
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 See for privacy and opt-out information.
264b Rebel Queen 3 Rivals
Dec 4, 2018 • 16 min
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. See for privacy and opt-out information.
264a Rebel Queen 2 Proclamation
Dec 3, 2018 • 18 min
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, came to call See for privacy and opt-out information.
264 Rebel Queen 1 Gathering
Dec 2, 2018 • 41 min
The life of Lady Jane Grey to 1553, and the fate of Edward VI is settled as the vultures gather. The first in our series on the succession crisis of 1553. See for privacy and opt-out information.
263 The Devise
Nov 25, 2018 • 45 min
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. See for privacy and opt-out information.
262 Northumberland
Nov 18, 2018 • 41 min
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, step by step, to transform religious practice. See for…
261 The Trouble with Mary
Nov 4, 2018 • 35 min
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 flee the country for the safety of the firmly Catholic Empire See for…
260 A Double Coup
Oct 30, 2018 • 43 min
Somerset came away from the Commotion Time with a wobbly reputation. Could he survive politically ? See for privacy and opt-out information.
259 The Time of Camps
Oct 14, 2018 • 36 min
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, Cranmer’s masterpiece which would form the bedrock of the English church for centuries See…
258 Protector Somerset
Oct 7, 2018 • 37 min
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 just Duke? Over the next few episodes, we’ll find out. See for privacy…
257 His Blood Crieth out against Thee
Sep 16, 2018 • 40 min
Within week, Edward Seymour was safely ensconced on the seat of power. But brother Thomas was not impressed, and would involve three women - Catherine Parr, Princess Elizabeth and Jane Grey in his attempt to gain power and influence See…
256 The Boy King
Sep 9, 2018 • 30 min
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 the controversies of his reign and the players that trod its boards? See for privacy and…
255 Europe XI The Spanish Century
Sep 2, 2018 • 45 min
By 1600, the Spain and her Empire was acknowledged as the richest and most powerful state in Europe. the hardworking Phillip II worked into the night deep in his massive palace of El Escorial to keep the wheels turning. But by his death in 1598, the seeds…
254 Europe X Chaos and Threat
Aug 19, 2018 • 43 min
Our survey of 16th century Europe moves on to the growth of the Ottoman Empire under Suleyman, and the chaos of the French religious wars. See for privacy and opt-out information.
253 Europe IX Confessionalism Unleashed
Aug 12, 2018 • 51 min
How the rise of Calvinism, the Catholic Reformation and the peace of Augsberg combined with attitudes towards heresy to divide Europe along harsher, confessional lines. See for privacy and opt-out information.
252 Henry VIII - Judgement Day
Jul 22, 2018 • 73 min
Alternative views of the Big Man presented in this week’s megasode and your chance to vote and be entered into the prize draw for coins kindly donated by Halls Hammered Coins. Thank you Simon.Here’s the link to the episode on the website…
251 The End of Days
Jun 24, 2018 • 44 min
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 key - and they would stop at nothing to get it. See for…
250 Catherine and Anne
Jun 3, 2018 • 36 min
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 came a noblewoman from Lincolnshire, Anne Askew.…
249 Knaves I Cannot Rule
May 27, 2018 • 34 min
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, Thomas Wriothesley and William Paget. See for privacy and opt-out…
248 To Arms!
May 20, 2018 • 34 min
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 navy; and this time, it’s an investment that would last. See for…
247 Queen Catherine the Third
Apr 29, 2018 • 33 min
The arrival of Catherine Parr (and family) and preparations for war in France. And rather a lot of digressions. See for privacy and opt-out information.
246 A Rough Wooing
Apr 22, 2018 • 32 min
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-English part to power in Scotland, and then bully her into a marriage alliance. See…
245 The Prebendaries Plot
Apr 15, 2018 • 39 min
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 sought to discredit him Gardiner saw an opportunity…
244 No More Time to Dance
Apr 1, 2018 • 40 min
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 - as were temptations See for privacy and opt-out information.
243 A Jewel for Womanhood
Mar 25, 2018 • 33 min
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 embarked on her new career as queen of England. See for privacy and opt-out…
242 Anne and Thomas
Mar 18, 2018 • 40 min
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 affection in one case, or at all in another. See for privacy and opt-out…
241 The Illness of King Henry
Mar 11, 2018 • 34 min
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. See for privacy and opt-out information.
240 Henry VIII in Ireland and Wales
Feb 25, 2018 • 39 min
The 1530’s saw radical changes in both Ireland and Wales, following Cromwell’s same policy as applied to the northern borders. The outcomes though, were to be very different. See for privacy and opt-out information.
239 Henry VIII and his Realm
Feb 11, 2018 • 34 min
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 in the north of England. See for privacy and…
238 The Fight Back
Feb 4, 2018 • 36 min
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. See for privacy and opt-out information.
237 Dissolution and Destruction
Jan 21, 2018 • 33 min
At the start of 1538, the end of monasticism was widely predicted, and by 1540 the larger monasteries were all gone. Along with an assault on the veneration of relics and saints, the traditional practice of religion was deeply affected. See…
236 The Burning of Derfel Gadarn
Jan 14, 2018 • 35 min
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. See for privacy and opt-out information.
235 Pilgrimage of Grace II
Jan 7, 2018 • 35 min
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. No royal army of any size stood between them and London.…
234 Pilgrimage of Grace I
Dec 17, 2017 • 33 min
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 monasticism brought forth a bellow of distress. See for privacy and opt-out…
233 Obedience
Dec 10, 2017 • 31 min
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 a shock coming. See for privacy and opt-out information.
232 Evangelicals
Dec 3, 2017 • 35 min
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 English transformed the situation See for privacy…
231 The Scandal of Christendom Debate
Oct 29, 2017 • 50 min
Some of the arguments about Anne Boleyn’s life and career, to help you make you make your choice and vote on the History of England Facebook page before 19th November. 4 Prizes to be won! See for privacy and…
230 The Execution of Anne Boleyn
Oct 22, 2017 • 43 min
On May Day 1536 at Greenwich, Anne and Henry could put their worries aside. Everything was well with the world as they watched the joust. Then Henry left suddenly and was seen arguing with Henry Norris. Find out what happened next. See…
229 The Reign of Queen Anne Boleyn
Oct 15, 2017 • 53 min
We discuss what we know about Anne as Queen consort, and chart the progress of the break with a thousand years of tradition in the declaration of royal supremacy. See for privacy and opt-out information.
228 Mistress Anne Boleyn, Scandal of Christendom
Oct 8, 2017 • 40 min
The start of 4 weeks of fun, debate, voting and prizes as we consider the life of Anne Boleyn and decide whether Catherine was being fair in describing Anne as the Scandal of Christendom. This week a summary of the life of Anne to 1532. You can find out…
227 The Reformation Parliament
Oct 1, 2017 • 46 min
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 the king - the exocet that was Thomas Cromwell. See for privacy and…
226 The Great Wether
Sep 24, 2017 • 47 min
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 Campeggio and Wolsey. On its success or failure would rest Wolsey’s own future. See…
225 Matters Great and Personal
Sep 17, 2017 • 47 min
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 starts here. See for privacy and opt-out information.
224 Deadly Poison
Sep 10, 2017 • 38 min
In 1520 the Pope threatened an obscure Augustinian monk with excommunication. Why ? What happened next? And how did the English react? See for privacy and opt-out information.
223 Venal or Vital?
Sep 3, 2017 • 40 min
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 was the late medieval church really in such a rotten state? See…
222 From Hapsburg to Valois
Aug 20, 2017 • 40 min
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 Wolsey discredited for the first time, and the Boleyns arrive at court. See…
221 The Finest Buck
Aug 13, 2017 • 30 min
Henry had shown a hint of the man he would become in 1510 by the execution of Empson and Dudley. In 1521, the Duke of Buckingham was in his sights, as Europe’s Universal Peace sank beneath the waves. See for privacy and opt-out…
220 Disguisings
Jul 30, 2017 • 37 min
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 and Mary Boleyn’s education - and Shakespeare and the word ‘bump’ See for…
219 Cloth of Gold
Jul 23, 2017 • 35 min
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. See for privacy and opt-out information.
218 Universal Peace
Jul 2, 2017 • 31 min
Wolsey had tried war with France, they’d tried war by proxy, they’d tried peace. In 1518 the most remarkable of their plans - the Treaty of Universal peace where 20 states guaranteed the peace of Europe. See for privacy and opt-out…
217 The Cardinal’s Hat
Jun 25, 2017 • 35 min
Being made a Cardinal in 1515 gave Wolsey the perfect opportunity to give the vainglorious side of his nature full reign. He made full use of it. See for privacy and opt-out information.
216 Love and Marriage
Jun 11, 2017 • 30 min
The story of a love affair - probably. In 1514 Henry married off his 18 year old sister to the gouty, siphilitic, toothless 50+ year old Louis and sent her to France., She came back a year later married to someone else entirely See for…
215 Hero of War
May 28, 2017 • 29 min
In 1513 there were two English victories. One of them would have a profound effect on English history. The other one was mainly a mad dash in pursuit of a bunch of cavalry eager to escape. See for privacy and opt-out information.
214 The Road to War
May 21, 2017 • 31 min
The path of Renaissance diplomacy was both torturous and without scruple; as Henry finds out as he thirsts for glory. See for privacy and opt-out information.
213 Background to War
May 14, 2017 • 30 min
Historians have identified the 16th and 17th centuries as a time of revolutionary change in Europe, driven by military technology. We talk a bit about that, and about the personalities Henry VIII was up against. See for privacy and…
212 Pleasure and Liberty
Apr 30, 2017 • 31 min
Henry VIII was released by this accession to the courtly, chivalric life of the hunt, and masque, and tournaments. In this he was encouraged by by Council - while his father’s ‘peace party’ got on with the business of ruling. See for…
211 Heaven Smiles Earth Rejoices
Apr 16, 2017 • 32 min
The accession of Henry VIII was greeted with a huge sigh of relief and great enthusiasm. His court was to change immediately, and politics for ever. Although the Book of the Courtier would not appear until 1528, it could have been written for the Tudor…
210 Bloody Beast
Apr 2, 2017 • 36 min
How Henry has been assessed by historians through the ages, and the controversies of his reign. And assessments of the man himself. See for privacy and opt-out information.
209 Exploration
Mar 26, 2017 • 37 min
Through the 15th century, Portugal explored the African coast in search of the Indies and the fabulous wealth of the trading networks with the East - such as those of Mansa Musa from Timbuktu. Until the great expeditions of Columbus and Da Gama led to the…
208 I Heart Henry
Mar 19, 2017 • 30 min
What happened when Henry was gone. And the report card - was Henry an incompetent tyrant, a fun loving saviour of England’s future - or something in between? Should we listen to Francis Bacon or to Henry himself? See for privacy and…
207 The Underworld
Mar 5, 2017 • 29 min
While the young prince Henry built a group of aristocratic companions and longed desperately for the joust, his father drove his hatchet men Dudley and Empson ever further into the dark world of extortion and oppression. But in 1509, Henry fell ill again.…
206 Descent to the Underworld
Feb 26, 2017 • 29 min
Henry had found two hatchet men to replace Reginald Bray - Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley. They spread their tentacles and contacts through London and England, and used the Council Learned to drive their master’s policy to extort every possible fee ‘to…
205 Do Not Let Me Perish
Feb 19, 2017 • 33 min
In the early 1500’s Henry VII saw many of his closest confidentes and supporters die. Catherine of Aragon was to be one of those who suffered as a result. He also built the rather magnificent palace at Sheen, renaming it Richmond; not knowing that in a…
204 Governing the Early Tudor State
Feb 5, 2017 • 35 min
Henry made changes to the English court, administration and legal system. He increased the health of royal finances, and tried to make the justice system work better, based around the JP. But many of his actions would be seen as setting a path to tyranny…
203 The Spanish Princess
Jan 22, 2017 • 33 min
After negotiations that would win prizes, it was finally time for Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth’s pride and joy Prince Arthur to marry the Spanish Princess, Catherine of Aragon. See for privacy and opt-out information.
202 Scotland, Cornwell and Warbeck
Jan 8, 2017 • 35 min
The travels of Perkin Warbeck take him to Scotland, marriage and war; which leads to taxes, which leads to rebellion. T’was ever thus. See for privacy and opt-out information.
201 Poyning’s Law
Dec 25, 2016 • 32 min
Ireland in 1495 was almost 3 societies living side by side. We take a trip to Ireland, hear about the Great Earl, and the law that became known as Poyning’s law. Plus, Perkin arrives - will Ireland welcome him as it did Lambert? See for…
200 Printin and Perkin
Dec 11, 2016 • 37 min
The appearance of a new pretender - Perkin Warbeck in Ireland was to distort Henry VII’s domestic and foreign policy for the rest of the 1490’s. See for privacy and opt-out information.
199 The New Men
Nov 27, 2016 • 32 min
Henry VII’s ambitions were to rule in the French style - to better control and increase his income. He gathered around him bureaucrats - new men he could trust and who depended on him rather than the nobility of the court. We also start the story of…
198 Mothers and Wives
Nov 13, 2016 • 35 min
In 1485 and 1486 Henry established the foundations of his reign through parliament, and established his household. The relationship between his wife and his mother would always be a matter of some debate. See for privacy and opt-out…
197 The Story of Henry VII
Oct 30, 2016 • 34 min
The personality of Henry VII, the story he created of himself, and how history has treated his reputation. See for privacy and opt-out information.
196 England at the Dawn of the Tudor Age
Oct 16, 2016 • 38 min
England in 1485 was at once a deeply traditional medieval society - and yet poised at the edge of change - economic, social, religious and political See for privacy and opt-out information.
195 The History of Europe Part VIII
Sep 25, 2016 • 38 min
15th Century European kingdoms were wracked by internal division as well as international war. By the end of the century, Rome was no more, Christendom was increasingly disunited and new monarchies were on the way. See for privacy and…
194 The Wars of the Roses
Sep 18, 2016 • 37 min
1485 was not the end of the Wars of the Roses; the fear of dynastic strife lasts well into Henry VIII’s reign. But we draw a close at the battle of Stoke, and ask what the Wars changed - if anything. See for privacy and opt-out…
193 The Blood of Innocents
Sep 4, 2016 • 50 min
In 1483, the gates of the Tower of London closed on two innocent and defenceless boys; one, Edward, captured and the other Richard, given up by his mother. As far as we know, neither of were seen outside the walls again. See for privacy…
192 Bosworth
Aug 28, 2016 • 38 min
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. See for privacy and opt-out information.
191 The Reign of Richard III
Aug 21, 2016 • 38 min
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 took his attention away. See for privacy and opt-out…
190 Good King Richard
Aug 14, 2016 • 37 min
Some argue that in a short time Richard showed that he good have been one of England’s best rulers - is there any justification for the idea of Good King Richard? See for privacy and opt-out information.
189 Richard III Prize draw
Aug 7, 2016 • 5 min
The result of the voting…and the winners of prizes! See for privacy and opt-out information.
189 The Most Untrue Creature
Jul 31, 2016 • 37 min
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 unlikely quarter See for privacy and opt-out…
188 Richard III - Knave, Fool or Saviour?
Jul 24, 2016 • 51 min
3 interpretations of the events of 1483 to help your all important vote - did Richard plan to usurp the throne; fall into it by mistake; or step into the breach to save the kingdom? See for privacy and opt-out information.
187 Edward V
Jul 9, 2016 • 48 min
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 - we have the big debate and prizes, at THoE Facebook Page. It all starts with the death of Edward IV…
186 The King is Alive!
Jul 3, 2016 • 35 min
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 was given the job, in Ludlow on the Welsh borders, and there was time. Then in 1483 the king fell ill. See…
185 Edward the King
Jun 26, 2016 • 37 min
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? See for privacy and opt-out information.
184 Edward’s Foreign Glory
Jun 19, 2016 • 32 min
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 French support for Lancaster, a European adventure looked on the cards. See for…
183 The Brothers York
Jun 12, 2016 • 38 min
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, things came to a head. See for privacy and…
182 Games and Beasts
Jun 5, 2016 • 38 min
An odd episode, where we talk about games they played in medieval days; and then completely unconnected, some of domesticated animals and where they came from. See for privacy and opt-out information.
181 The 15th Century Rural Economy
May 22, 2016 • 34 min
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 2 manors? And the peasantry and their yardland? See for privacy and opt-out…
180 Lives and Loves of the Gentry
May 14, 2016 • 34 min
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 more about them. See for privacy and opt-out…
179 The New Farmers
May 8, 2016 • 36 min
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 has its silvery lining; and trouble for some was opportunity for others - the…
178 The 15th C Economy I
Apr 24, 2016 • 35 min
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 just had to look for it a bit harder. See for privacy and…
177 High Noon at Tewkesbury
Apr 17, 2016 • 34 min
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 showdown between Lancaster and York. See for privacy and opt-out…
176 The Readeption
Apr 10, 2016 • 34 min
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, Edward IV was determined to reclaim the throne when he landed at…
175 An Unholy Alliance
Apr 2, 2016 • 36 min
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 to be made, with the help of Warwick’s 14 year old daughter, Anne See…
174 Warwick’s Rubicon
Mar 20, 2016 • 34 min
In 1468, Warwick had a decision to make - as he himself said, ‘It is a matter of being either Master or Varlet’. See for privacy and opt-out information.
173 Rivers Rising
Mar 12, 2016 • 31 min
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 think - what would he do? See for privacy and opt-out information.
172 A Royal Marriage
Feb 20, 2016 • 34 min
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, and he found it under an oak tree. See…
171 Two Rulers
Feb 7, 2016 • 34 min
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. Margaret meanwhile traveled to build support for another return.…
170 This Fair White Rose
Jan 31, 2016 • 31 min
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 battle of English soil. See for privacy and opt-out…
169 King without Rule
Jan 17, 2016 • 33 min
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. But in the north and west, the Lancastrian opposition was growing. See for privacy and opt-out…
168 With Horns and Trumpets
Jan 10, 2016 • 39 min
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 trumpets blowing, Richard of York had a shock for his allies. See for…
167 The Triumph of Lancaster
Dec 12, 2015 • 38 min
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 trigger point. By the end of 1459 the fortune of one of the two sides would lie in ruins. See…
166 The Reign of Queen Margaret
Dec 5, 2015 • 36 min
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. By 1457, he had lost his status as Protector, and the Queen was effectively the new ruler of England. See…
165 Bloodshed
Nov 28, 2015 • 37 min
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. At St Albans, blood was spilled. See for privacy and opt-out…
164 Madness
Oct 31, 2015 • 36 min
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. See for privacy and opt-out information.
163 The Cousins’ War
Oct 17, 2015 • 32 min
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, are what this week is all about. See for privacy and opt-out information.
162 The Return of York
Sep 30, 2015 • 34 min
It’s still 1450. Because it was something of an eventful year. Richard of York, sat in Ireland, was worried - his name had been bandied about by Jack Cade and his rebels. See what happens… See for privacy and opt-out information.
161 Captain of Kent
Sep 12, 2015 • 34 min
1450 was an eventful year. The fall of Suffolk, and now Kent was once again in flames, just as it had been in 1381. This time the leader that emerged was one Jack Cade. See for privacy and opt-out information.
160 The Fall of Suffolk and Normandy
Aug 16, 2015 • 35 min
By 1445, William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk was clearly Henry’s most trusted adviser. He faced a difficult task - to steer a bankrupt nation into the harbor of peace. Avoiding the ship of France trying to sink her on the way in. Would they make it? See…
159 From Arras to Tours
Aug 9, 2015 • 40 min
Through the late 1430’s and early 1440’s the situation in Normandy got no better, Alice Chaucer until a failed expedition convinced Henry and Suffolk that peace was required at any price. And the result was the Treaty of Tour and a royal marriage. See…
158 Catastrophe at Arras
Aug 2, 2015 • 35 min
In December 1431, Henry VIth became the only king of England crowned king of France in France. Which sounds great. But in fact it was a sign of English weakness than English strength. And at Arras things got substantially worse. See for…
157 Joan of Arc
Jul 16, 2015 • 40 min
In 1428, the English were still sweeping all before them. Then came a figure so famous, that she was selected by Bill and Ted for their history project - and what greater recognition can there be than that? See for privacy and opt-out…
156 Reivers
Jul 5, 2015 • 36 min
There’s really often little practical difference between what we call politics and some of what we call crime. Essentially it the history of the struggle for power by a bunch of aristocratic families. And a smidgen of life on the Borders.
155 The Wonder Years
Jul 4, 2015 • 35 min
While Bedford and talented commanders like Salisbury were alive, the cause of the English in France was far from dead. But in 1423, buoyed by the arrival of the Scots, the French launched a fresh campaign into Normandy, and quickly took the mighty town of…
154 Henry VIth - A Weak King
Jun 27, 2015 • 34 min
An introduction to a new reign - Henry VIth, a name to make grown men tremble - and to the political leaders that dominated it. See for privacy and opt-out information.
153 Medieval Working Women
Jun 13, 2015 • 36 min
Only 4% of women remained unmarried in the middle ages, and therefore for Harvestingboth men and women working life was a matter of team work. In towns in particular, women might find their opportunities for specialised work more limited than men, but not…
152 Death of a Conquering Hero
May 31, 2015 • 32 min
Henry’s talents ran as much to managing his back yard as it did to war; this week how Henry organised his kingdom for war, and the last days of his life. Plus a guest bonus from Kevin Stroud and ‘The History of English’. See for privacy…
151 The Bridge at Montereau
May 24, 2015 • 33 min
In 1420, Henry faced an uphill battle again; his negotiations had failed with both Dauphinists and Burgundians, and instead they’d patched it up. So he faced an alliance - Dauphinist, Armagnac, Orleanist, Burgundian - Scot - against the English. And then…
150 Conquering Hero
May 17, 2015 • 37 min
By 1417, Henry had sorted out his support in England, and was able to launch a war of conquest in Normandy. After butchery at Caen, castles and towns fell, and by June 1418 the final and biggest prize stood before Henry - Rouen, second city of France.
149 Sex, Childbirth and Children
May 9, 2015 • 31 min
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 impact on everyday life. And something about how childbirth fitted into community life, and…
148 Women and 1066, and Marriage
Apr 19, 2015 • 29 min
As far as women were concerned, was 1066 generally a Good Thing, a Bad Thing - or just a Thing? That’s the main item of debate this week, along with a bit about marriage, and a toe-curling piece about how to get out of an unwanted marriage contract by…
147 Women and Anglo Saxon England
Apr 11, 2015 • 34 min
Unaccustomed as I am to social and economic history…here is the first of a bit of a thread over the next few weeks and months about some social stuff, and indeed with a bit of a focus on women. Due to popular demand. We start of this thread with a look at…
146 Agincourt Campaign Part III The Battle
Apr 3, 2015 • 36 min
And so at last to one of England’s most famous battles. Outnumbered and trapped, Henry and his English and Welsh faced the cream of the French warrior class. See for privacy and opt-out information.
145 The Agincourt Campaign Part II
Mar 28, 2015 • 35 min
Henry probably now intended to be King of France or Duke of Normandy as a minimum. So what he planned was a war of conquest, not just the traditional chevaucee. It’s likely that he planned to start with Harfleur, take it quickly and then advance to the…
144 The Agincourt Campaigns Part I
Mar 15, 2015 • 36 min
There is little doubt that Henry Vth always intended to fight in France - unless they completely rolled over. Which was unlikely; the French were perfectly ready to fight and on the surface at least united in the face of the English threat, and looking…
143 Champion of Christ
Mar 7, 2015 • 33 min
Last week we wondered about Henry - Monster or Hero…? This week you could look at it either way, as Henry faces the Lollards and his old pal, Sir John Oldcastle. See for privacy and opt-out information.
142 Greatest Man - or Monster?
Mar 1, 2015 • 36 min
Henry Vth is a man who has a reasonable claim to be the greatest of English kings. But what did contemporaries think of him? Successful he was no doubt - but in his rigid piety and ruthlessness was he also a monster? See for privacy and…
141c The Romans in Britain Pt 2 by Richard Norton
Jan 10, 2015 • 32 min
And here we are with the second installment of the Romans in Britain, taking us to the fall of the western Empire. See for privacy and opt-out information.
141b The Romans in Britain Pt1 by Richard Norton
Jan 4, 2015 • 27 min
For some reason, don’t know why, my interest in English and British history starts with the Anglo Saxons. Not before. Don’t ask me why - no idea. I love Ancient Greece, Rome etc etc - but no interest in the British stuff. Sorry. Fortunately, Richard…
141 De Heretico Comburendo
Nov 9, 2014 • 38 min
With John Wycliffe and the Lollards in the 14th century, heresy finally came to England. Up to this point, rural England had been notable for avoiding the religious turmoils that sprung up from time to time through the continent.
140 Fathers and Sons
Nov 2, 2014 • 32 min
In his final years, Henry faced a new challenge - from his ambitious son Henry. Ill and tired, For a while he loses control to the young bucks, the new generation, the men of his son. See for privacy and opt-out information.
139 The Fall of Glyn Dwr
Oct 18, 2014 • 35 min
The younger Henry enters our story full time as he leads to fight to Glyn Dwr. And for the alternative Prince of Wales after the failure of the French invasion the light went out of his rebellion. It wasn’t all over yet - Harlech and Abersytwyth still…
138 Glyn Dwr and the Showdown
Oct 12, 2014 • 32 min
In 1405, yet more rebellion in England, this time from the north led by an Archbishop; and the crowning glory of Glyn Dwr’s diplomacy led to the arrival of the French on the shores to wipe the English out in Wales See for privacy and…
137 The Battle of Shrewsbury
Oct 4, 2014 • 29 min
The battle of Shrewsbury of 1403 is one of those battles that deserves to be more remembered than it is - along with Lincoln in 1217 for example. The issue at Shrewsbury was who would rule England - Henry IVth or the Mortimers and Percies.
136 Glyn Dwr Ascendant
Sep 14, 2014 • 31 min
In 1402 and 1403 Glyn Dwr’s power and influence grew. As Glyn Dwr looked for foreign allies, Henry was forced to look north, and look closely at the loyalty of those around this. See for privacy and opt-out information.
135 Glyn Dwr Rising
Sep 6, 2014 • 32 min
As he looked around after dust of the Epiphany Rising had settled, Henry began to realise that he had problems that would make his life difficult; a mega fall in royal revenue, a restricted group of magnates to call on. Plus, things were stirring in the…
134 The Golden Child Made King
Aug 23, 2014 • 29 min
The reputation of Henry IVth has changed through history - where he’s remembered at all! So we look at that - we are left with those that think Henry was inadequate, and those that he did the best job possible in the circumstances. And then we deal with…
133 The History of Europe Part VII
Aug 15, 2014 • 33 min
This week we finish off our survey of Europe, bringing us up to date with Byzantium, and the threat from the East. But we’ll also bring you up to date with Scandinanvia, Russia and France. See for privacy and opt-out information.
132 The History of Europe Part VI
Aug 10, 2014 • 34 min
The growth of Aragon and its mediterranean empire, consolidation and political change in Northern Italy, fragmentation in Germany; Jan Hus, heresy and the Council of Constance. See for privacy and opt-out information.
131 The History of Europe Part V
Jul 26, 2014 • 28 min
Ths episode is the first of 3 to bring us up to date with the history of Europe to the time of Henry IVth. This week it’s all about the Economic development of Europe, and about some of the technological change that impacts on it
130 Usurpation
Jul 6, 2014 • 28 min
In 1399 Bolingbroke and Richard were locked in a struggle - who would rule England and how. See for privacy and opt-out information.
129 Dominion
Jun 29, 2014 • 33 min
At last in 1397 Richard would have felt that he had put his past humiliation from the Appellants behind him. But he was no happier or secure. He gathered his private army of Cheshire Archers around him and looked out at the world outside the court with…
128 The Narcisist
Jun 21, 2014 • 34 min
In 1397, Richard finally saw the chance to try to get his revenge on the Appellants - Gloucester, Arundel and Warwick. So the parliament of September 1397 was momentus. See for privacy and opt-out information.
127 A Model of Chivalry
Jun 7, 2014 • 33 min
Henry Bolingbroke, Earl of Derby, son of the most powerful magnate in England, was a golden child blessed with every advantage. While Richard tried to get his royal feet under the throne, Bolingbroke left the wife to bring up the children and headed out…
126 An Uneasy Calm
Jun 1, 2014 • 36 min
Between the Appellants crisis of 1388 and 1397, Richard ruled with increasingly confidence. He was hardly the most impressive English king but he appeared to have cast off the wildness of his early days, and accepted the need to rule together with his…
125 Accusatio
May 24, 2014 • 36 min
By 1387, it was becoming clear that the Wonderful Parliament of 1385 had not solved the problem. Pressure had been building, and Gloucester, Warwick and Arundel were far from satisfied - and felt far from safe. The showdown came at the Merciless…
124 The Character of a King
May 4, 2014 • 39 min
From the end of the Peasant’s Revolt in 1381, England continues to be managed by the Council, but the young Richard began to have more and more influence. And despite his youth and lack of sole control, what he does manages to raise concern rather than to…
123 Wycliffe and the Lollards
Apr 22, 2014 • 39 min
Wycliffe’s views finally began to attract the enmity of the church; and the crown, in the form of Richard, was no longer prepared to protect him - though unexcited about suppression. By 1384, open discussion at Oxford University of Wycliffe’s ideas were a…
122 Wycliffe and a University Education
Apr 19, 2014 • 38 min
Wycliffe’s writings were to prove controversial and proved an interesting early echo of the Reformation. They heavily influenced the view of Jan Hus and the movement in Bohemia. And his ability to develop and present those views owed a lot to Oxford…
121 Counter Revolution
Apr 12, 2014 • 35 min
After Richard had broken the revolt in London at Smithfield it was time to tackle the chaos outside London. The Counter Revolution took something between 1,500-7,000 judicial executions, and did nothing to solve the breaches in a divided society. Also…
120 …Who was then the Gentleman?
Mar 29, 2014 • 34 min
In June 1381 the revolt came to London. Before long, London was in flames, and the qualities of the young king Richard, and his advisors, were tested to the limit as they were made prisoners in their own castle. See for privacy and…
119 When Adam Delved and Eve Span…
Mar 22, 2014 • 34 min
On a hill outside Blackheath, just to the south of London, a hedge priest called John Ball is preaching to a massive crowd of pesants. When Adam delved and Eve span, he asked, who was then the Gentleman? What a great question. So why are there thousands…
118 Introducing Richard II
Mar 16, 2014 • 34 min
Richard arrived with the expectation of a nation on his shoulders - the son of the illustrious hero Edward the Black Prince. So what was Richard like, and how has history treated him? See for privacy and opt-out information.
117 The Medieval Year
Feb 16, 2014 • 30 min
The rythmn 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 of Christian festivals, the odd old survival from days pagan, the demands of the natural world -…
116 The Good Parliament and a Bad Death
Feb 9, 2014 • 38 min
There were now unusual expecations for the parliament of 1376. But in fact a revolt from the Commons was brewing, dismayed by the failures of the war. The Good Parliament set a number of precedents but John of Gaunt did not allow it to stand for long. And…
115 The Rotten Apple
Feb 2, 2014 • 31 min
From 1371 to 1375 the army went from bad to worse. An English fleet was destroyed at La Rochelle and Poitou and the Saintonge fell to the French. The great counter attack by Gaunt in 1373 was a disaster. And in 1374 the end of English rule in Gascony…
114 The Worm in the Apple
Jan 18, 2014 • 33 min
On the face of it, the 1360’s were a continuation and celebration of the great victories of the 40’s and 50’s. In 1364, Charles of Blois was defeated and killed at Auray. In 1364 John II died, to be replaced by Charles Vth, and in 1367 the Black Prince…
113 Fashion in the 14th Century
Jan 11, 2014 • 31 min
Fashion finally comes to town in the 14th Century. At the start of the century people are wearing what they’ve been wearing for centuries. By the end of it there are a wide variety of styles people may choose. See for privacy and opt-out…
112 On the Crest of a Wave
Dec 31, 2013 • 32 min
After the victory at Poitiers and capture of the French King, the English seemed to hold all the cards, and the Treaty of Bretigny in 1360 for a while maintained this illusion. Edward basked in his glories, and made sure he had provided for his thre…
111 Poitiers 1356
Dec 1, 2013 • 41 min
1356 saw one of the greatest exchange of arms of the war. Early in the year, the Duke of Lancaster attacked into Normandy and with lightening marches ran rings round the French King. Then in the south the Black Prince attacked into the Poitou, seeking to…
110 Fire and Sword
Nov 17, 2013 • 36 min
In 1354 - 1355 Edward and his court wavered between optimism that a negotiated settlement was within their grasp - and determination to continue to prosecute the war. The Treaty of Guines looked to have given Edward more than he could have hoped for -…
109 War between the Wars
Nov 10, 2013 • 32 min
The period between 1347 and 1353 was one of low level war and violence; punctuated by more or less effective truces. But even the truces don’t stop the low level local violence that saw a creeping chaos in areas of France. Meanwhile at home, Edward’s…
108 What has the Black Death ever done for you?
Nov 3, 2013 • 37 min
The theory runs that the Black Death transformed medieval society. With a dramatic shortage of labour, the English peasant was able to demand whatever wages and terms they wanted - liberating hte English from serfdom. Is this true? And what other impacts…
107 The Death of Joan
Oct 19, 2013 • 31 min
In 1348 a 14 year old royal princess, Joan, set out from Portsmouth to marry Pedro of Castile. Her route went by Bordeaux, and with the massive trousseau she carried - enough to fill an entire ship - she would have expected a comfortable journey. But Joan…
106 Neville’s Cross, Calais and Roche Derrien
Oct 13, 2013 • 32 min
By the end of the march across Normandy in 1346, Edward had accepted that he was not going to be able to hold French territory. But he had a clear objective - Calais. Philip meanwhile now hoped that the Scots would invade an empty, defenceless England and…
105 Crecy
Oct 5, 2013 • 36 min
In 1346 Edward invaded finally launched the invasion he had hoped to lead in 1345. The target was Normandy a devastating raid through northern France, a glorious victory in battle followed by - well who knows. There followed a tense camapign that tettered…
104 Lancaster and the battle of Auberoche
Sep 27, 2013 • 37 min
Edward had little intention of keeping the truce for long. After a brief period of reconstruction, he repudiated the truce a year early. And so enters one of the most attractive figures of the hundred years war - Henry of Grosmont, the Earl of Derby, the…
103 The War in Brittany
Sep 1, 2013 • 35 min
1341 saw a serious political crisis - Edward returned home determined to put his English administration, parliament and particularly Archbishop in their places. In fact it’s Edward who is forced to back down and accept a punitive legislative programme to…
102 Highs and Lows
Aug 31, 2013 • 33 min
In 1340 against all the odds - of numbers and quality - Edward defeated Philip VIth’s Great Army of the Sea at Sluys. The impact on morale, English and French was dramatic. But none the less Edward’s campaign still failed at the walls of Tournai, and his…
101 King of France and England
Aug 17, 2013 • 32 min
Edward faced a weary time, a weary time. His allies demanded money, he had none to give them. So they refused to fight, while the French closed in on Gascony and raided the south coast of England. Edward handed out impossible orders, sacked perfectly…
100 Theatres of War
Jul 4, 2013 • 28 min
Edward had traditionally received much of the blame before the start of the Hundred Years War. But in fact there were many reasons why France and England ended up going to war, and many of them relate to French aggression and support for the Scots. And in…
99 Year One of a Hundred
Jul 2, 2013 • 36 min
There were many reasons why France and England went to war, relate to French aggression. The trigger was the declaration by Philip VI that he has removed the Duke of Aquitaine (Edward) from his lands. A pretty clear declaration of war. See…
98 The Disinherited
Jun 30, 2013 • 29 min
In the early 1330’s, Edward was a hero searching for a way to undo the humiliations visited on him by Mortimer and by the French. And Edward Balliol, son of the ex king of Scotland John Balliol, gave him his chance. At the battle of Dupplin Moor, Balliol…
97 Above all Princes of his Age
Jun 23, 2013 • 32 min
In 1330 a group of Edward’s friends gathered together at the foot of the rock on which Nottingham castle stands. They had learnt of a secret passage that led to Mortimer’s private chambers, and were looking to free their lord from Mortimer’s fierce grip.…
96 A History of Medieval Europe Part IV
Jun 8, 2013 • 36 min
With the defeat of the Hohenstaufen, surely the Papacy had finally won it’s battle for supremacy? Actually not. A new challenge rode into town in the form of Phillip IVth of France. And meanwhile the very success of the struggle against the Emperor was to…
95 The History of Medieval Europe - Part III
May 26, 2013 • 32 min
Frederick II renewed the argument that had been going on since the time of Otto the Great - Emperor or Pope? This time there would be a solution one way or t’other. Meanwhile the unity of Christendom itself was under threat - ironically from one of it’s…
94a The Mysterious Death of Edward II
May 24, 2013 • 33 min
Listen, think and vote at or The History of England Podcast facebook group Now, traditionally, Edward II is supposed to have died after an unfortunate meeting with a red hot poker. Which has always been my firmly and fondly…
94 The Reign of Isabella and Mortimer
May 11, 2013 • 30 min
After Edward II’s abdication in January 1327, England was ruled on behalf of the new King Edward III by Queen Isabella. But while Isabella probably wanted a life of respect, comfort and personal wealth Mortimer was hungry for power. This wasn’t to be a…
93 The Wages of Tyranny
May 4, 2013 • 28 min
With the fall of Lancaster, the Despencers were off the leash, and able to vent the full force of their avarice on England. Their power and Edward’s inability to control them even came between the king and Isabella - so that after a diplomatic mission to…
92 The Fall of Lancaster
Apr 20, 2013 • 33 min
In 1322, things finally came to a head, and rebellion was out in the open. Lancaster must have had a fighting chance, but it all goes to show that the reign of Edward is essentially about a struggle between mediocrities. See for privacy…
91 The New Favourites
Apr 1, 2013 • 28 min
In the 1310’s, Robert Bruce’s ambitions grew - not simply content with throwing the English out of Scotland, or burning the north of England - he now wanted to establish his own Empire. And so his brother Edward was sent to invade Ireland, where he would…
90 How to hold a parliament
Mar 30, 2013 • 31 min
The modus tenendi parliamentum is a very unusual document from around this time. It describes how parliaments should be held, but also includes a number of very interesting claims about the primacy of the commons. It’s interesting for the procedures and…
89 The Great Famine
Mar 23, 2013 • 27 min
For a long time we have been having a ball, economy wise - the medieval warm period, towns springing up all over the place, prices gently rising, population growing. So the Great Famine of 1315-1317 came as a terrible shock. Over 500-750,000 people died,…
88 Politics, scandal, intrigue and turmoil
Feb 23, 2013 • 31 min
The period between 1308 and 1311 was dominated by the attempts of the barons to resolve the issues left unsolved from Edward I’s reign; and by the scandal and disruption caused by the king’s favourite, Piers Gaveston. The conflict and turmoil led to…
87 Scandal was brought upon the People
Feb 16, 2013 • 30 min
This week, and introduction to Edward II, quite probably the most reviled king in English history. So this week he have a bit of a survey of how history has treated the lad, and the chroniclers that have given him his reputation. And then we kick of the…
86 Handing over
Feb 10, 2013 • 30 min
In 1305 two Scottish lords had a fall out next to the altar of a church in Dumfries. One them, Robert Bruce, resolved the argument by sticking a knife in the other, John the Red Comyn. Robert then raised the standard of rebellion and with the support of…
85 Crime and Punishment
Feb 3, 2013 • 36 min
A digression this week - the state of the crime and punishment in 14th century, and the story of the theft of the crown jewels in 1303. We also get the final and rather gruesome end of William Wallace in 1305. See for privacy and opt-out…
84 War, Tournaments and Victory
Jan 19, 2013 • 34 min
We spend a bit of time in this episode having a bit of a catchup up - about arms, armour and armies, and about warfare for real and for pretend. Despite that we also find time to talk about the seeming final surrender of the Scots in 1305 - so how about…
83 Crisis
Jan 12, 2013 • 34 min
From 1297, things became harder for Edward. The relentless pressure of external wars led to increased taxation. This continuous pressure on the magnates, church and people eventually led to a resistance. Edward’s personality didn’t help; up to now, he had…
82 The Sucker Punch
Dec 30, 2012 • 34 min
Since the Treaty of Paris in 1259, England and France had been friends, united by a monarchy with close ties and relationships. So when in 1293 a dispute blew up over a sea fight in the Channel, Edward clearly didn’t expect it to become a problem. But in…
81 The Great Cause
Dec 22, 2012 • 32 min
Through a stunning piece of bad luck, Alexander III left no heirs. And now there was no clear successor to his throne of Scotland. For the search for the right successor, the Scottish Guardians of the Realm turned to Scotland’s friend - England. But…
80 In which we Dawdle
Dec 2, 2012 • 30 min
When Edward I arrived back in 1289 from Gascony, he was in many ways at the height of his awesomeness. A chivalric monarch, a leading stateman in Christendom, and at least partly responsible for legal reforms, that will cause a historian to call him ‘the…
79 Conqueror and Statesman
Nov 24, 2012 • 31 min
The second Anglo Welsh war was very different in character to the first. Here was a genuinely national uprising against rule by the English. Here was a war with no compromise - where Edward clearly decided from the start that the only long term issue was…
78 The Crisis in Wales
Nov 17, 2012 • 31 min
In 1270, you would have been more likely to pick Alexander, king of Scotland or Llewellyn of Wales as the leader most likely to breach the peace. Edward looked more like a candidate for a peace prize. And, Wales was more united than ever; at the Treaty of…
77 Reconstruction
Nov 10, 2012 • 33 min
The country Edward came back to in 1274 wasn’t in particularly good nick. Crime was on the rise, with a general disaffection with the regime as the benzedrine of de Montfort’s years continued to race through the nation’s veins. The magnates were used to…
76 The Personal Rule of Henry III Part 2
Oct 21, 2012 • 28 min
The last 5 years of Henry’s rule were pretty eventful. The Statute of Marlborough confirmed the changes of the Provisions of Westminster, but royal power remained based on the pre-Provisions of Oxford basis. Edward whiled away his time by going on…
75 Nemesis
Oct 13, 2012 • 27 min
In April 1265 Gilbert de Clare had left court in something of a huff. De Montfort was well aware that if he lost de Clare, his whole hold on power would be threatened. See for privacy and opt-out information.
74 The Wheel of Fortune
Oct 13, 2012 • 32 min
In 1264 when De Montfort set out from London he would have been conscious that this was a last throw; after losses to the Royalists in the midlands his only chance was a decisive victory. Lewes gave him that victory, and opened a remarkable period in…
73 Return of the Jedi
Oct 6, 2012 • 31 min
In 1262, it looked for all the world as though the royal party was back in control and the whole struggle for reform was over. But that was before you take into account the ability of Henry, Eleanor and their son to get up the collective English nose. So…
72 The Empire Strikes Back
Sep 22, 2012 • 26 min
Things looked pretty good for the reformers in 1259; but at the heart of the reform movement were faultlines that weakened them, and made them vulnerable. The differing aims of the magnates; the avarice of de Montfort; and the fact that would pague the…
71 Enter the Leopard
Sep 15, 2012 • 29 min
We sort of get back to the political narrative this week, but only sort of. We discuss the young prince, Edward, who will be one of England’s most famous kings at some point and is already an important political player, and we bring oursleves back up to…
70 13 C Lords, Knights and Gentry
Sep 8, 2012 • 31 min
The 13th Century sees the start of changes that will come to full fruit in the 14th Century - the development of the role of the knight in the shires, the appearance of the ‘Gentleman’, Bastard Feudalism. See for privacy and opt-out…
69 13th C Life - Merchants and Magnates
Sep 2, 2012 • 34 min
Wool was the wealth of England, the great trade that brought wealth and prosperity to England. The people who really made the money were the big ticket Italian Merchants. This week we also look at the life of Magnates, the super-rich during the period,…
68 13 C Life - Peasants fighting back…and Towns
Aug 5, 2012 • 27 min
Being a Peasant was no doubt a pretty hard existance. But they were not without their methods of fighting back, and protecting their rights. This week also we look at the history of towns in the 13th century, as the economy continues to grow.
67 13th Century Life - Peasants
Aug 5, 2012 • 30 min
Over the 13th century, economic growth continued. For the Peasantry, this gave some opportunities; more chance to sell their produce and get involved in a wider range of money making ventures. It meant that population growth continued, since cottagers and…
66 The Road to Revolution
Jul 15, 2012 • 32 min
In 1258, the resentments all came together and the pot boiled over. The pope Alexander did his vassal no favours what so ever by pushing so hard that Henry had to ask his great men for more money.Together with some blazing rows between the Lusignans and…
65 Why was Henry III so unpopular?
Jul 7, 2012 • 31 min
It seems strange. Henry III was a likeable enough chap, who did his best to keep a harmonious court, and gave England an extended period of peace. And yet it’s all going to go up in flames around him. So the question is, why was he so unpopular?
64 The Personal Rule of Henry III - Part 1
Jun 27, 2012 • 28 min
Henry III brushed off his great officers of state and the priod of 1234 to 1258 is a period of personal rule. Henry finds himself a wife, a new personal favourite in the form of Simon de Montfort, and makes one last attempt to regain Poitou.
63 The Last Great Justiciar
Jun 23, 2012 • 28 min
From 1227 to 1234 we are sort of in betweeners - the minority has ended, but Henry’s government in still dominated by the old guard, people like Hubert de Burgh. But it doesn’t go well - money is still tight, Henry’s campaigns in France aren’t great, and…
62 The Minority Abroad
Jun 2, 2012 • 29 min
Harmony with Scotland, the career of Llewellyn the Great, the loss of Poitou. During the minority of Henry, English prestige and power was at something of a low point - with the one exception of Gascony, where a supreme effort brought one success. And…
61 The minority of Henry III
May 19, 2012 • 33 min
The years between 1219 and 1227 saw the gradual resumption of royal power. It also saw a power struggle between Peter des Roches, the Bishop of Winchester, and Hubert de Burgh the Justiciar. By January 1227 when Henry took control of the royal seal, that…
60 The Regency of William the Marshal
May 7, 2012 • 31 min
A man was needed to guide England through a civil war and minority. So who do you think they picked? The answer was of course William the Marshal who was now a very old man by the standards of the time. The Earl of Chester was politely asked, given the…
59 Magna Carta and the Death of a Tyrant
May 5, 2012 • 38 min
Bouvines wasn’t the cause of the Baronial revolt, but it probably was John’s last chance to avoid it. In 1215 at Runymede Magna Carta was signed. It’s extremely unlikely that John ever intended to allow the treaty to survive - and his untimely death at…
58 Tyranny and Death
Apr 21, 2012 • 30 min
From 1213 to 1214, John seemed to have got his problems more under control, and had built an alliance that looked to be capable of taking on Philip. There was trouble in the background caused by the tyranny of his rule and relationship with his barons,…
57 The Excommunicate
Apr 6, 2012 • 30 min
John took a detailed interest in administration, and made effective changes to the way things worked. Partly his interest was motivated by the need to raise money - as inflation ate away at his earnings, and his desire to reconquer France magnified his…
56 The History of Medieval Europe Part 2
Mar 31, 2012 • 35 min
The Holy Roman Empire to the death of Barbarossa, the briefest of histories of Norway, Denmark and Spain, and the 4th Crusade. It’s action packed. See for privacy and opt-out information.
55 The History of Medieval Europe Part 1
Mar 25, 2012 • 27 min
From Charles Martel and the battle of Tours in 732, through Charlemagne and Otto the Great, the first installment concentrates on France, Germany and Italy and takes us to the shores of Gregory VIIth. See for privacy and opt-out…
54 Fighting Back - A Bit
Mar 17, 2012 • 25 min
John immediately launched attempts to get his lands back - and ran into the Barons. He does run up a pretty good Navy though. And we hear of Roland the Farter. See for privacy and opt-out information.
53 Torn Apart - the Loss of an Empire
Mar 11, 2012 • 31 min
After the defection of William des Roches the military situation was poor for John but not irretrievable. Unfortunately, John failed to provide the leadership needed. He distrusted his barons; he panicked and had no coherent strategy. When he killed…
52 John Softsword
Feb 18, 2012 • 28 min
As a younger man, John had been given the nickname Lackland because unlike his brothers he didn’t have his own appanage. At the Treaty of Le Goulet in May 1200 he acquired the name Softsword - people couldn’t understand why he’d signed away Gisors, parts…
51 The Fouler Presence of John?
Feb 11, 2012 • 30 min
In 1199, Richard the Lion Heart died after being shot by a cook outside the castle of Chalus in the Limousin. The Empire was split between supporters of Arthur and supporters of John. Philip was for himself, with a bit for Arthur. That year was one of…
50 Defence of the Empire
Feb 4, 2012 • 34 min
The war between Richard and Phillip went on from 1194-1198 in fits and starts; usually there was no more than 3 months of fighting before a truce came along. But the general flow was steadily in Richard’s favour when in 1198 they agreed to make peace.…
49 Travel Chaos
Jan 22, 2012 • 29 min
Richard set off from Outremer right at the end of the sailing season - October. He knew the Duke of Austria, the Holy Roman Emperor, Count of Toulouse and King of France were out to get him, so very sensibly tried to slip across their lands in disguise.…
48 Richard and the Third Crusade
Jan 15, 2012 • 32 min
Was the Third Crusade a success or a failure? While it failed to achieve its objective, it was the most successful after the First Crusade. It rescued Outremer from an eradication that looked all too likely in 1190. The Crusade was controversial even at…
47 The Fall of Jerusalem
Jan 15, 2012 • 32 min
For 50 or so years after the capture of Jerusalem, Outremer was a part of the political and military dance between Christian and Muslim states. Then in 1144, signs of Muslim unity begin to appear through Nur ed Din when Edessa falls, and by 1150 one of…
46 Richard and the Road to Outremer
Jan 8, 2012 • 30 min
Richard set off from Sicily probably intending to go straight to the Holy Land. But a chance storm enforced a landing at Cyprus, where the locals were not friendly. Which meant that Richard ended up conquering the place in it’s entirety, putting it’s…
45 Packing the Bags
Dec 17, 2011 • 30 min
Richard came into the lands of his father and was crowned at Westminster in 1189. For the next 6 months he was packing his bags, cleaning the fridge and getting ready to go. He sets up his administration, makes sure his borders are safe and sets off for…
44 The Lionheart
Dec 17, 2011 • 25 min
To most contemporaries, Richard I was a hero. Since then his reputation has suffered badly, until even Winston Churchill describes him as the worst of our Richards - which given the other two is going some. So we look at how history has treated the guy,…
43 The Greatest of all Monarchs
Dec 12, 2011 • 30 min
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42 English Justice and the Invasion of Ireland
Nov 19, 2011 • 27 min
So here are two completely unconnected subjects then! Henry is responsible for reforms to the process of English justice that had a long lasting impact on English Justice - including the development of Common law and the Jury system. OK, so he wasn’t…
41 Murder in the Cathedral
Nov 10, 2011 • 29 min
After Thomas recanted from his signature of the Constitutions of Clarendon, things got really nasty. Before long, Thomas was in exile, and Henry couldn’t care less. But by 1167 the political situation had changed - Henry wanted to crown his son, and the…
40 Bishop Trouble
Nov 5, 2011 • 28 min
The 1160’s. A time of consolidation of the Angevin Empire, still ruled by a dynamic, young and aggressive Henry. But mainly remembered for the start of the struggle between church and state - or more accurately, the struggle between Henry and Thomas…
39 Ruling the Angevin Empire
Oct 30, 2011 • 25 min
Bear in mind at all times that Henry, while being a Good King, was a tyrant. Still, he was a tyrant who ran a mean administrative system for the time. This week, the nature of the Angevin empire, how it was ruled, and a bit about travel and economy.…
38 Born of the Devil - the Angevins
Oct 16, 2011 • 26 min
Geniuses, devils, spoilt brats, villains, heroes; war, sex, violence, bravery, treachery, peace, reform… the Angevins that founded the Plantagenet dynasty have it all, in spades. Not so much history, as soap opera. This week we kick things off with the…
37 12th Century Life - Village, Town and Trade
Oct 9, 2011 • 29 min
12th Century England was envied for it’s fertility and yes it’s climate. Any during the 12th century, the population of England and its towns and villages expand. But by and large, this is expansion without growth, and for many average income falls. 37…
36 Magnates and Churchmen
Oct 1, 2011 • 28 min
After joining Henry II’s household, William’s rise was steady - but with the arrival of Richard the Lion Heart it really took off. By the time of his death he was one of the most powerful men of the realm. We also look at the church - the village priest,…
35 12th Century Life - A Knight’s Tale
Sep 25, 2011 • 29 min
Medieval England thought of it’s people in 3 estates - those who fight (nobles), those who pray (churchmen) and those who work (peasants). This week in the history of England we look at the life of the nobility, through the life of William the Marshal.…
34 Anarchy III - Resolution
Sep 18, 2011 • 27 min
Stephen and Matilda fought themselves to a standstill, until the Empress tires of the struggle, and essentially leaves the stage around 1149. Many of her key supporters die - Miles of Gloucester and Robert of Gloucester - weakening her resolve and…
33 Anarchy II - Matilda’s Big Chance
Sep 10, 2011 • 26 min
1141 was a turbulent year in England’s history. The Civil war had reached an early deadlock, dramatically broken by the capture of the king at the Battle of Lincoln, and the defeat of the Empress at Winchester. 33 Anarchy II - Matilda’s big chance…
32 When Christ and his Saints Slept
Sep 4, 2011 • 30 min
‘…they said openly that christ and his saints slept’. This stunning phrase gives us an image of devastation hat led to the period being called ‘The Anarchy’. In this episode, we look at how the Stephen came to power and how the whole thing started. Click…
31 Henry I - Normandy and the Succession
Aug 13, 2011 • 29 min
Henry was a Norman king like any other - Normandy was in his blood. For 30 years, he controlled the diplomatic game to keep Normandy in the Empire. The one thing he couldn’t control was the succession. When William the Atheling died in the disaster of the…
30 Henry I - Barons, Warfare and Wales
Aug 6, 2011 • 27 min
The fight with Robert gave Henry a great chance to replace the old conquest families with his own men, and particularly in the Welsh Marches. And this week we also do a catch up on what’s changed in warfare since Anglo Saxon times, and look at the…
29 England in the reign of Henry I
Jul 30, 2011 • 27 min
After the initial struggle for succession and baronial revolt, England itself was pretty peaceful during Henry’s reign. The church & state debate needed fixing. And Normandy was a constant battle, and so big taxes were needed to pay for war. Henry was an…
28 The Lion of Justice
Jul 23, 2011 • 26 min
The youngest of William the Conqueror’s sons, Henry, wasted no time shedding tears for his brother Rufus. He got himself crowned, anointed and blessed. The next 6 years were to be dominated by the struggle with his other brother for control. Download 28…
27 Hateful to his People and Odious to God
Jul 18, 2011 • 25 min
Rufus fell out big time with Anselm, his Archbishop of Canterbury. Unusually for Medieval Man he was impious and irreverent. Meanwhile, the Welsh struggled for independence against Norman tyranny, and make a better fist of it than the English. This week…
26 William Rufus, Normandy and the First Crusade
Jul 11, 2011 • 30 min
William Rufus was a flamboyant, red faced, pudgy and irreverant bloke, but none the less his father’s favourite son. So Dad tipped him the wink and he left the death bed to take the throne of England from his older brother. And spent his reign trying to…
25 Death of a Conqueror
Jul 2, 2011 • 24 min
The last years of William the Conqueror’s reign were mainly the meat and drink of the Norman King - beating off other feudal lords, keeping your nobles down, trying not to let your sons eat you. But plus there was, of course, the super-famous Domesday…
24 Revolt of the Earls
Jun 18, 2011 • 27 min
It took William the Conqueror a few more years until he felt safe from the English. But when the Revolt of the Earls collapsed in 1075, English revolution was over - and we are into the continual cycle of feudal rebellion. This week in the History of…
23 William the Conqueror and the subjugation of England
Jun 11, 2011 • 27 min
After 1066 William the Conqueror set about ruling his new kingdom. The impression we get is that England rolls over rather easily - where was the heroic struggle we might have expected? This isn’t the full story; the Conqueror spent the first years…
22 1066 and Goodbye to all That
Jun 4, 2011 • 33 min
1066 was a year that changed a lot of things - though not as much as you might think. 3 experienced war leaders fought for control of England - and we all know who won, so no need to worry about plot spoilers. The History of England podcast takes us… See…
21 The Normans - a race unbridled
May 22, 2011 • 24 min
The Normans made a massive impact on Europe, not just England. They went on to establish a kingdom in Southern Italy, and lead the Crusades and the resulting state of Outremer. So the History of England looks at where they came from, with a brief history…
20 Anglo Saxon England in the 11th Century
May 19, 2011 • 25 min
Anglo Saxon England has been seen by some commentators as a bit of a basket case by 1066 - out of date and ready to be conquered. But actually England had its great strengths that would have been the envy of continental monrach, if they’d spent any time…
19 Edward the Confessor
May 14, 2011 • 25 min
Edward enjoyed one year of indpendendance in 1051-2, before the retun of Godwin forced him into humiliating submission. But after Godwin’s death the following year, the rest of his reign was broadly peaceful and prosperous, with the odd local difficulty.…
18 The End of the Danish Dynasty, Edward the Confessor and the Rise of the Great men
May 7, 2011 • 29 min
Cnut’s dynasty survived him by only 7 years, and in 1042 the house of Cerdic returned in the form of Edward the Confessor. Edward is an enigma - weak man or determined survivor? This week the History of England podcast looks at how he came to the throne…
17 Cnut the Conqueror
Apr 28, 2011 • 27 min
Cnut was pretty much the complete king. Conqueror of the English, ruler of a Scandinavian empire that spanned 4 countries. And a man who knew how to win the peace as well as the war. The History of England podcast this week looks at his reign. Cnut was…
16 Edmund Ironside and Cnut
Apr 22, 2011 • 27 min
In 1012, Aethelred looked down and out. But Svein died, and Edmund Ironside appeared on the scene. Suddenly, Aethelred was a real king and all action, and Cnut was forced to flee. But he came back, and 1016 saw one of the great confrontations of English…
15 Aethelred, Svein Forkbeard and years of misery
Apr 8, 2011 • 25 min
The Danish threat is notched up a few levels, and Aethelred the Unready and the English state is brought to it knees. The Vikings are too fast, skillful and mobile, and are much better led. Podcast: Download 15 Aethelred, Svein Forkbeard and years of…
14 Aetheled the Unready and the Rising Tide
Mar 27, 2011 • 28 min
Aethelred’s mother gets her son onto the throne at last. But it’s not long before the disadvantages of kingship become clear, as the Danes begin to return with increasing force. Aethelred turned 18 in 983, and by 984 has sent his mother away and reigns…
13 Another and last Golden Age
Mar 15, 2011 • 24 min
Edgar the Peaceable’s reign was a golden age of peace, prosperity and monastic reform. Unfortunately, once he’d gone his wife stuck a knife into her stepson, and the trouble starts over. But his reign should be remembered as the apogee of the Anglo Saxon…
12 The last King in Jorvik
Mar 12, 2011 • 23 min
Edmund the Magnificant and Eadred finally defeat Eric Bloodaxe, the last king of Jorvik. But there are some social clouds on the horizon in the History of England. Download Podcast 12 The last king in Jorvik Click and Play: 12 The last king in Jorvik See…
11 His Years were full of Glory
Jan 21, 2011 • 37 min
A Athelstanthelstan was a dynamic and effective ruler, in war, law, and diplomacy. As a war leader he established at least nominal overlordship of all Britain; his marriage alliances included the greatest of European rulers; and he increased the age of…
10 English Conquest
Jan 20, 2011 • 38 min
The story of a brother and a sister - Æthelflæd and Edward, and their bid to reclaim the lands of the Danelaw, the north and east of England being settled by the Danes. Northumbria had it’s own problems with migration of Norse from Ireland. See…
9 Pillar of the Western People
Jan 19, 2011 • 27 min
In 892, the vikings returned - and found a very different, much better prepared Wessex waiting for them. Until in 899, Alfred died to be succeeded by his Son, Edward, who would in the end turn the tables on the Vikings. See for privacy…
8 Reconstruction and defence
Jan 18, 2011 • 30 min
Alfred had earned Wessex and period of respite, between 878 and 892. In this time, Alfred laid the foundations not just for the defense against renewed invasions, but for the successes of the 10th century. See for privacy and opt-out…
7 Alfred the Great and the fight for survival
Jan 17, 2011 • 31 min
Between 871 and 878, Wessex came close to extinction, as the Great Heathen Army, the Great Summer Army, and Guthrum the Dane came to conquer. See for privacy and opt-out information.
6 The Great Heathen Army
Jan 16, 2011 • 31 min
Everything changed for Anglo Saxon England in 866; the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok came for conquest, not just treasure and slaves. See for privacy and opt-out information.
5 The Noble Wolf
Jan 15, 2011 • 37 min
Æthelwolf hasn’t always had the best press. None the less he laid the basis of an effective and well organised state centred on the traditional heartlands of Wessex, and one better placed to meet the Viking threat than other kingdoms. See…
5a Pirates from the North
Jan 14, 2011 • 32 min
The Vikings visited fire, destruction - and trade - on a bemused and terrified 8th C Europe. Who were they, where did they come from, where did they go and and why? See for privacy and opt-out information.
4 Greater Wessex
Jan 13, 2011 • 39 min
The death of Offa & his son led to the bloodletting normal when the succession was a bun fight. But this time round, it would have longer term consequences for the balance of power. See for privacy and opt-out information.
3 The Mercian Supremacy
Jan 12, 2011 • 39 min
After Wulfhere, Aethelred and Aethelbald laid the foundations, a prince from the Hwicce, Offa, took Mercia to its greatest achievements. See for privacy and opt-out information.
2: The Rise of Mercia
Jan 11, 2011 • 28 min
Pretty much a century in just one, fun-filled episode - 650 ish to 750 is. It’s Mercia’s turn - an increasingly integrated Mercia, growing in power. With yer Wulfhere’s and Æthelbalds, Mercia’s hegemony was held back only by Ine of Wessex and Wihtred of…
1.8 Revival
Jan 10, 2011 • 34 min
Towns had simply disappeared along with the post Roman economy by 500. But slowly by 600 there’s tiny shoots of recovery discernible - so we talk about towns. And we have a hack at something a little tiny bit more literary, and talk of Continental…
1.7 Conversion
Jan 9, 2011 • 30 min
At the start of the 7th century England was a basically pagan country; by the end of it it was officially at least Christian. While no doubt many pagans still held on, Whitred of Kent’s laws began to embed Christianity into the fabric of English kingdoms.…
1.6 The Life and Times of Penda II
Jan 8, 2011 • 35 min
Through much of the 7th Century, Penda increased the power and influence of the Mercians. He built his kingdom as a traditional warrior, tribal leader - defeating the Northumbrians, and East Anglians, raiding and gathering treasure, rewarding his…
1.5 The Life and Times of Penda I
Jan 7, 2011 • 37 min
7th Century England was inherently unstable, populated by a patchwork of communities, petty kingdoms successful and less so. Into this pagan mix also comes the lure of Christianity again. Meanwhile, in central England a pagan warrior called Penda became…
1.4 Founding Kingdoms
Jan 6, 2011 • 34 min
It’s difficult to know how much to believe of the stories relayed in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle about the formation of the early kingdoms - do they simply reflect the history they wished they’d had? Plus, was Arthur a legend or reality? See…
1.3 Building a New World
Jan 2, 2011 • 31 min
What kind of society had arrived in Roman Britain? How how did societies and communities form and become the kingdoms before the days of the Heptarchy? See for privacy and opt-out information.
1.2 Adventus Saxonum
Jan 1, 2011 • 37 min
The traditional story of the arrival of the Anglo Saxons is one of death and destruction, and the catastrophic and complete replacement of a British population by a new Germanic race within a generation. But there are other theories too - much more…
1.1 Change and Calamity
Dec 31, 2010 • 33 min
This is the story of late antique Britain. How in the 3rd to 5th centuries, Britain went through two waves of economic dislocation and transformation, that changed the face of British society. See for privacy and opt-out information.
1 Anglo Saxons: Sources and Historiography
Dec 24, 2010 • 32 min
The people who kept a written record of the Anglo Saxon age, and what later generations thought about the Anglo Saxons. See for privacy and opt-out information.