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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  • 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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  • The Great Charter

    Article

    The following introduction to and translation of Magna Carta was made for the use of my pupils and is here published in response to a suggestion that it may be of use to others. The Charter bristles with technical legal terms and its Latin is often ambiguous since the language...

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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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  • MOOCs and the Middle Ages

    Article

    Deirdre O’Sullivan explains how history courses such as England in the Time of Richard III are now freely available to people anywhere in the world who have online access. She reports that in the past two years 40,000 learners have followed this course. MOOCs (Massive Open Access Online Courses) are...

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  • St Peter’s-ad-murum, Bradwell-juxta-Mare

    Article

    Marie Paterson discovered this historical and spiritual structure many years ago and it continues to affect her. In Essex, on the northern shore of the Dengie Hundred, overlooking the mouth of the Blackwater estuary, proudly stands the lonely Saxon chapel of St Peter’s-on-the-Wall. Erected on the site of the Roman...

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  • Saxons, Normans and Victorians

    Article

    When Queen Victoria died in 1901, the Annual Register remarked that the feeling of forlorn-ness which swept the country had no parallel since the death of King Alfred. The men of the new century were driven to seek a Saxon parallel. So too were men at the beginning of the...

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  • Welsh archers at Agincourt: myth and reality

    Article

    Adam Chapman debates the evidence for a Welsh presence among Henry V’s highly-successful force of archers at Agincourt in 1415. Michael Drayton, in his poem of 1627, The Bataille of Agincourt, described the Welsh presence in Henry V's army: ‘who no lesse honour ow'd To their own king, nor yet...

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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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  • On the campaign trail: walking the Hundred Years War

    Article

    In the tradition of landscape historians, Peter Hoskins has explored some of the route marches taken by English armies during the Hundred Years War.After the battle of Crécy in 1346 and the capture of Calais by Edward III in the following year the Hundred Years War settled into an uneasy...

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  • The archer's stake and the battle of Agincourt

    Article

    Our perspective on how archers performed in battle is enhanced byMark Hinsley's research into their use of protective stakes.On the approach to Agincourt in 1415 a small skirmish took place at Corbie, on the Somme. A force of French men-at-arms sallied out from the town and cut up some of...

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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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  • 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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  • Scots Abroad in the Fifteenth Century

    Article

    (Historical Association Pamphlet, No. 124, 1942) Dunlop's research into the occupations and attitudes of Scots abroad during the 15th century uncovers some surprising revelations about all members of the Scottish ex-pat society. She particularly notes the ‘scurrilous' opinions of the French regarding Scotsmen's behaviour. While Scottish diplomatists and envoys tended...

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  • The making of Magna Carta

    Article

    Magna Carta provided a commentary on the ills of the realm in the time of King John. Sophie Ambler looks at what grievances were addressed in the Charter, how the Charter was made, and what the Charter. The world from which Magna Carta came - the world of ‘bad' King John...

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  • Magna Carta: oblivion and revival

    Article

    Magna Carta was to go through a number of revisions before it finally took its place on the statute book. Nicholas Vincent takes us through the twists and turns of the tale of the Charter's death and revival after June 1215.  The Charter issued by King John at Runnymede is perhaps...

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  • Magna Carta and the Origins of Parliament

    Article

    In February this year the four surviving originals of Magna Carta were briefly brought together in the Houses of Parliament. John Maddicott, examining the Charter's role in the early development of Parliament, shows that the setting was well chosen. What did Magna Carta contribute to the origins of parliament? If...

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  • The Scottish Parliament by Robert S. Rait

    Article

    This short pamphlet by the former Historiographer Royal for Scotland, Robert S. Rait, provides an introduction to the Scottish Parliament from its early origins to the Acts of Union of 1707.

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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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  • 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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