Archive for September 2014

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A Bridge Too Far…

  On many occasions, the future of English history has turned on the result of a medieval battle: this was very much the case, nearly 1000 years ago, when an Anglo-Saxon force engaged in the bloody slaughter of Norwegian invaders at a crossing of the River Derwent in Yorkshire. On 25th September 1066, Harold Godwinson



Battle of Britain Day – 15th September

In a divisive world, it is so easy to forget the men and women at home and abroad, who sacrificed so much to keep safe, the domestic and international freedoms that made Britain the country that it is, or perhaps was… 15th September is Battle of Britain Day: why ?  Because on that hugely significant day



Heroes and Heroines

Historically, 7th September has been one of the busiest and most impactive days of the year. Let’s start with a famous victory secured over 8 centuries ago…. On 7th September 1191, during the Third Crusade, the 33 year old King Richard I of England defeated the Moslem warrior Saladin, at the Battle of Arsuf, about



The Last of Six

  On 5th September 1548, the former Queen, Catherine Parr died at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire after contracting puerperal fever.  Six days earlier, she had given birth to her only child. Catherine had outlived her former husband Henry VIII by a year, one month and eight days.  Within five months of King Henry’s death, Catherine was



A Secret in Life and Death

  426 years ago on 4th September 1588, Queen Elizabeth I lost the man who was her friend, her confidant and almost certainly her lover.  Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester died at Cornbury Park near Oxford; he was 56 years old. Dudley was on route to Buxton in Derbyshire to ‘take the baths’ and would have



A Crown, War and Death….

  Today, we commemorate the beginning of a renowned but over-hyped medieval reign and the end of what was effectively, a military dictatorship…. On 3rd September 1189, King Richard I ‘Coeur de Lion’ was crowned in Westminster Abbey.  Unusually, Richard took his own crown from the altar and passed it to Archbishop Baldwin who then proceeded



London’s burning, London’s burning…

  At around 2am on Sunday 2nd September 1666, a small fire started at the house of Thomas Farynor, ‘The King’s Baker’ in Pudding Lane near London Bridge. The baker’s family was trapped indoors but managed to scramble through an upstairs window to an adjoining property, but their maidservant who was too frightened to try: she