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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

The Ladies are King – England’s Top Ten Monarchs

1.    Most people will know that Queen Victoria is the mother of all British monarchs.  She succeeded to the throne on 20th June 1837, following the death of her Uncle William IV; she was just 18 years old.  Victoria’s remarkable tenure continued for 63 years and 216 days {or 23,226 days}, which makes her

Thomas Cranmer. A Simple Man in a Complex Age

Thomas Cranmer lived the most extraordinarily complex life in very difficult times.  He founded the Anglican Protestant Church and more than any other cleric, was responsible for shaping the nascent Church and developing forms of worship that could be understood by the English in their own country.  He was witness to the monumental decisions and

Murder in the Cathedral

After 1164, the previously intense relationship between King Henry II and Archbishop Thomas Becket deteriorated beyond recovery.  Frequently, when former friends fall out, arguments are bitter and very personal and so it was with Henry and Thomas.  The King demanded money, which he claimed was owed to him from Becket’s term as Chancellor of England.

Saint Thomas Becket and Canterbury Cathedral

The history of Canterbury Cathedral, one of the world’s great religious centres, is linked inextricably with the life, murder and canonisation of Archbishop Thomas Becket.  Without the shrine, the flow of pilgrims and the commensurate wealth, Canterbury might well have become just another cathedral. Literature and films have celebrated and dramatised the conflict between Thomas