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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 Immigrants 1330-1550

    Multipage Article

    An HA Podcast with Professor Mark Ormrod of the University of York looking at the research project England's Immigrants 1330-1550.  In this podcast Professor Ormrod explores the extensive archival evidence about the names, origins, occupations and households of a significant number of foreigners who chose to make their lives and livelihoods in...

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  • Foreigners in England in the later Middle Ages

    Article

    Friend or foe? In an era when there are great debates about immigration and what constitutes nationality, Mark Ormrod introduces us to a new research database which reveals that immigration was an important feature of economic, cultural and political debate in the period 1330-1550... In the Middle Ages, the political...

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  • French chivalry in twelfth-century Britain?

    Article

    The year 1066 - the one universally remembered date in English history, so well-known that banks advise customers not to choose it as their PIN number - opened the country up to French influence in spectacular fashion. During the ‘long twelfth century' (up to King John's death in 1216) that...

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  • Harold Son of Godwin

    Article

    To lecture on Harold Godwinson, earl of Wessex, King Harold II of England, in the year 1966 at Hastings is a presumption. We appear to know much about him, and yet in fact there are many gaps in knowledge. Much information, so plausible at first sight, proves unreliable on closer...

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  • Henry V

    Article

    Christopher Allmand updates his earlier pamphlet on Henry V, taking into account research and ideas explored by historians over the last 50 years, to produce a much more rounded view of Henry V. The book is split into three parts - Henry V in history; Henry as he is viewed...

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  • Henry V in the cinema

    Article

    Public attitudes to Henry V are very much influenced by WilliamShakespeare's interpretation. Richard Inverne discusses howShakespeare's version has been translated into cinematic form byLaurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh.Shakespeare indulges himself considerably with his own relatively recent history - Richards II and III, Henrys IV, V and VI, for example. Subsequently...

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  • Kilpeck Church: a window on medieval 'mentalite'

    Article

    In the village of Kilpeck, about eight miles south-west of Hereford, may be found the small parish church of St Mary and St David, justifiably described by Pevsner as ‘one of the most perfect Norman village churches in England’ (Pevsner 1963, 201). Seemingly remote today, in the twelfth century the...

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