Britain & Ireland

Women and social history can be overlooked themes in periods where records tended to focus on money, religion and Kings. While those latter themes are covered in this section so are features on individual women, their relationships with power and how they were able to influence politics and the people around them. Social history is also addressed through the stories of Hermits, soldiers, tax records and revolting peasantry with nobles. Read more

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  • 1066 in 2016

    Article

    David Bates explores modern-day research into the complexities behind the politics and conflict of 1066, providing us with some new interpretations and perspectives. The many activities that took place around the time of the 950th anniversary of the battle of Hastings have shown that the year 1066 continues to have...

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  • 1066: The Limits of our Knowledge

    Article

    As the most pivotal and traumatic event in English history, the Norman Conquest continues to generate controversy and debate, especially among those who know little about it or enjoy passing judgement on the past. Who had the better claim to the English throne, William the Conqueror or Harold Godwineson? Was...

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  • 1450: The Rebellion of Jack Cade

    Article

    ‘When Kings and chief officers suffer their under rulers to misuse their subjects and will not hear nor remedy their people's wrongs when they complain, then suffereth God the rebel to rage and to execute that part of His justice which the partial prince will not.' Thus did the Tudor...

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  • 1497, Cornwall and the Wars of the Roses

    Article

    Ian Arthurson reasseses the Cornish rising of 1497 on its 500th anniversary. On the 400th anniversary of this rebellion there was a good deal of agreement about the Wars of the Roses: ‘The slaughter of people was greater than in any former war on English soil ... The standard of...

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  • A European dimension to local history

    Article

    Trevor James raises the prospect of broadening our approaches to local history to take a wider European perspective. When Professor W. G. Hoskins published his The Making of the English Landscape in 1955, he taught us how to observe and understand the topography of our landscapes, urban and rural, and...

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  • A medieval credit crunch

    Article

    The project: A three-year research project started in December 2007 with the aim of investigating the credit arrangements of a succession of English monarchs with a number of Italian merchant societies. The study, based at the ICMA Centre, University of Reading, is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)....

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  • Agincourt 1415-2015

    Article

    Agincourt has become one of a small number of iconic events in our collective memory. Anne Curry explores how succeeding generations have exploited its significance. In his budget statement of 18 March 2015 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced £1m had been awarded to commemorate the 600th anniversary...

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  • Alfred versus the Viking Great Army

    Article

    Stunning archaeological discoveries have shed new light on the reign of Alfred the Great and his struggles with the Vikings, revealing the might of the Viking armies and the international connections of his kingdom.

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  • An Intimate History of Your Home - Lucy Worsley

    Article

    ‘You've gone over to The Dark Side'. These were the words of a well-respected historian to whom I'd been enthusing about the pleasures and perils of Dressing Up. During 2009-10 I spent several months in historic costume, recreating the habits and rituals of domestic life in the past. It was...

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  • Anglo-Saxon women and power

    Article

    Elite Anglo-Saxon women played a powerful role in the religious affairs and politics of their day and were important patrons of learning and culture.

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  • Anne Herbert: A life in the Wars of the Roses

    Article

    May I introduce you to Anne Herbert, Countess of Pembroke? I'm very fond of this modern imagined portrait by Graham Turner, partly because of the colour and detail but chiefly because it conveys a respect for the people who lived in the past and especially for Anne herself. My interest...

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  • Bayeux

    Article

    Bayeux, 23 kilometres west of Caen, was the first French town to be liberated in 1944 - on 7 June in fact, the day after the landings. Yet its origins go much further back than that: its first bishop was consecrated in the fourth century. It became part of Normandy...

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  • Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People

    Article

    Much research has been devoted in recent years to Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People (EH), completed in 731 at the joint monastery of Monkwearmouth- Jarrow; but in one crucial respect little progress has been made: the editing of the text. The excellent edition published by Charles Plummer in...

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  • Black Death to global pandemic: London then and now

    Article

    Christine Merie Fox compares the impact of the Black Death on fourteenth-century London with our present-day experience. In 1347, a terrifying disease was carving a path from the East into Northern Africa and Europe. Its entry point into Europe was the south of Italy, via merchant ships from the Black Sea. The...

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  • Britain and Brittany: contact, myth and history in the early Middle Ages

    Article

    Fiona Edmonds evidences the enduring links between Brittany and Britain throughout the early Middle Ages. Every year many thousands of British holidaymakers travel to Brittany in search of beaches, bisque and bonhomie. As they board the ferry, they may notice that they are travelling from one Bretagne to another. The names...

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  • Dangerous Women of the Scottish Wars of Independence

    Article

    Kate Ash-Irisarri shows how three redoubtable women had significant roles in the difficult and dangerous period of the Scottish Wars of Independence.

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  • Edward III & David II - Pamphlet

    Article

    When Alexander II met his tragic death at Kinghorn in 1286, the event was speedily to put an end to the cordial relations which had prevailed for a hundred years between England and Scotland and to substitute chronic hostility for two and half centuries. Edward I, fresh from the conquest...

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  • Edward the Confessor and the Norman Conquest

    Article

    Nine hundred years have elapsed since the death of Edward the Confessor, the last English king descended directly from Cerdic, king of Wessex in the sixth century - and so from the pagan gods. Nine hundred years are a long time; and if Edward had been succeeded by a son,...

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  • Eleanor of Aquitaine’s journey

    Article

    Danielle E.A. Park takes us on a journey across the Pyrenees and Alps with a redoubtable woman. Eleanor of Aquitaine has acquired a reputation as something of a femme fatale. Her considerable inheritance of Aquitaine, marriages to two kings, the allegations of an affair with her uncle Raymond  of Poitiers,...

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  • England’s Saintly Landscape

    Article

    England’s Saintly Landscape, Trevor James, Lichfield Press, 2020, 95 pp, £10-00. ISBN 978-0-905985-94-7 The author is quick to credit W G Hoskins and Eilert Ekwall and their influence is readily apparent in the enthusiasm that permeates this study. Trevor James’ contention is that church dedications, place names, pilgrimage routes, local industries, fairs and...

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