Up to 1300 men were executed following the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685. But did you know that members of James II's court, including the queen, made an awful lot of money from the sale of those rebels who were sold as slaves to the West Indies.
The famous battle in which King Richard III lost the crown of England to Henry Tudor can be seen carved in stone on part of a heraldic shield found in the moat of Hampton Court in 1910.
You can see that the Tudors have represented the outcome of the battle by having a crown carved on top of a hawthorn bush. The Hawthorn bush and the crown are highly symbolic representations of both the Battle of Bosworth - the end of the Plantagenet dynasty and Henry VII - the beginning of the Tudors.
It is interesting isn't it, that even thirty years into the Tudor reign this dynasty was still trying to justify their weak claim to the throne of England.
Click on the link to view a video of the shield.
“I am simply trying to speak for hundreds of women and children throughout the country who cannot speak for themselves”, and the damage that she believed alcohol caused to communities"
On the 24th February 1920 Nancy Astor, the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons, makes her maiden speech on the topic of the perils of drink.
Viscountess ASTOR: I shall not begin by craving the indulgence of the House. I am only too conscious of the indulgence and the courtesy of the House. I know that it was very difficult for some hon. Members to receive the first lady M.P. into the House. [HON. MEMBERS: “Not at all!”] It was almost as difficult for some of them as it was for the lady M.P. herself to come in. Hon. Members, however, should not be frightened of what Plymouth sends out into the world. After all, I suppose when Drake and Raleigh wanted to set out on their venturesome careers, some cautious person said, “Do not do it; it has never been tried before. You stay at home, my sons, cruising around in home waters.” I have no doubt that the same thing occurred when the Pilgrim Fathers set out. I have no doubt that there were cautious Christian brethren who did not understand their going into the wide seas to worship God in their own way. But, on the whole, the world is all the better for those venturesome and courageous west country people, and I would like to say that I am quite certain that the women of the whole world will not forget that it was the fighting men of Devon who dared to send the first woman to represent women in the Mother of Parliaments. Now, as the west country people are a courageous lot, it is only right that one of their representatives should show some courage, and I am perfectly aware that it does take a bit of courage to address the House on that vexed question, Drink…. Do we want the welfare of the community, or do we want the prosperity of the Trade? Do we want national efficiency, or do we want national inefficiency? That is what it comes to. So I hope to be able to persuade the House. Are we really trying for a better world, or are we going to slip back to the same old world before 1914? I think that the hon. Member is not moving with the times... He talks about the restrictions. I maintain that they brought a great deal of good to the community. There were two gains. First, there were the moral gains. I should like to tell you about them. The convictions of drunkenness among women during the War were reduced to one-fifth after these vexatious restrictions were brought in. I take women, because, as the hon. Member has said, most of the men were away fighting…. I do not think the country is really ripe for prohibition, but I am certain it is ripe for drastic drink reforms. [HON. Members: “No!”] I know what I am talking about, and you must remember that women have got a vote now and we mean to use it, and use it wisely, not for the benefit of any section of society, but for the benefit of the whole. I want to see what the Government is going to do...
(Parliamentary Debates, Vol. 125 10 Feb 1920 to 27 Feb 1920 (p 1623-1631).
The troubled descent of the crown of England through our numerous monarchs proves to be endlessly fascinating. Equally fascinating is the descent of the French crown, and no more so than the period of time when Charles VI and VII were kings.
Charles VI's early reign was under the regency of his four squabbling uncles, there was mental illness, an invasion by our English king and four heirs, all who died leaving a fifth son, Charles VII who was born on the 22nd February in 1403, to pick up the pieces.
Charles VII's reign was not unlike his nephew Henry VI of England's, it was a time of indecisiveness and uncertainty where too many people had their own ideas of how the country should be run and were not afraid to say so - Henry VI had his Somerset and his Duke of York and Charles had his Joan of Arc.
Its time for another virtual adventure into the lives of my Devon family, the Meavy's. For the past couple of weeks they have been eagerly awaiting news of the coronation of King Harold - not that they know who he is of course! Little do they know that William of Normandy has landed on Pevensey Beach in Sussex with every intention of snatching Harold's golden crown.
As the Meavy's happily skin yet another rabbit for tea, Harold and his battle weary men are trudging their way though the mire and mud of middle England to sort out the invader, but William it seems, is having trouble with England - quite literally.
As he places his shiny new Norman boots on the beach he stumbles and falls, a collective gasp is heard, but the Conqueror, knowing that his men believe this is a bad omen shouts -
“See I already have England in my hands.”
How clever he is!
If my Meavy ancestors could hear him they would know that they are in real deep trouble, for this new king would have their county totally under his control by 1068.
My previous chapters on the Meavy family can be read here.
On this day in 1741, the death of Jethro Tull.
Jethro Tull played an important part in the Agricultural Revolution, his horse drawn seed drill sowed seeds in neat rows and this was one step in improving the lives of farmers such as the family of my great grandmother.
"During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Cornwall had grown prosperous from agriculture, unlike today, agriculture was the mainstay of the counties economy, an economy which was based on small farms, most with under one hundred acres of land that specialised in dairy, stock rearing and horticulture. Horses had replaced oxen and winter crops were grown and the potato was the staple diet of the poor. It was during this period that my 4x great grandfather, William Mitchell, farmed over 90 acres of land on the west coast of Cornwall."
The above is an extract from my great grandmothers story, her family were farmers in Cornwall in the early 18th century. Their full story appears on my website.
Ambrose Dudley, the fourth son of John Dudley, died on the 21st February 1570 from complications of an amputation of a gangrenous leg. He was nice chap by all accounts.
Dudley's effigy with hands raised in prayer can be found at the Beauchamp Chapel of the Collegiate Church of St Mary, in Warwick.
22nd February 1797: The Battle of Fishguard or The Last Invasion of Britain.
Not afraid of twelve drunken French soldiers looting her village, Jemima Nicholas 'boldly marched to meet these French invaders' with just a pitchfork, she bravely rounded them up and imprisoned them in the local church. Jemima has gone down in Welsh folklore as the heroine who thwarted the plans of Napoleons 1,200 strong army in their attempt to attack Bristol and London.
Some historians have put forward the theory that the army mistook Jemima and the other Welsh women for British forces because their traditional black hats and red cloaks were similar to their uniforms. How drunk were they?
The full story of this invasion can be found here:
22nd June 1557
In the town of Lewes were ten faithful servants of God put in one fire, the twenty-second day of June, whose names follow: Richard Woodman, George Stevens, W. Mainard, Alexander Hosman, his servant; Thomasin à Wood; Mainard's maid; Margery Moris; James Moris, her son; Dennis Burgis, Ashdon's wife, Grove's wife.
Of the which number Richard Woodman was the first; concerning whose apprehension, first by his enemies, and of his deliverance out of Bishop Bonner's hands; then of his second taking again by the procurement of his father, brother, kinsfolks, and friends; also of his sundry examinations and courageous answers before the bishops; and lastly of his condemnation, and of his letters sent to his faithful friends, here followeth to be declared by his own words and relation reported. Which Richard Woodman, by his occupation, was an iron-maker, dwelling in the parish of Warbleton, in the county of Sussex, and diocese of Chichester, of the age of thirty years and somewhat more.
Foxes Book of Martyrs
My ancestor played his part in the capture of Richard Woodman you can read about it here
20th February 1547: The Coronation of Edward VI at Westminster Abbey, he was just nine years old. Because of his young age Edward's new council made his uncle, Edward Seymour, Lord Protector.
However, waiting in the wings was the Hooded Claw himself - John Dudley.
History is so interesting isn't it? Do you love the story of King Alfred's unsuccessful afternoon in the kitchen or King Cnut unsuccessful attempt not to get his feet wet? Maybe you're interested in when the Normans landing on our shores or the stories of an era closer to our time?
- The Ancestors
- Bustaine of Braunton: Introduction
- Hendley of Cranbrook >
- Hunt of Barnstaple Introduction >
- Lakeman of Mevagissey >
- Meavy Introduction >
- Mitchell of Crantock: An Introduction >
- Mohun of Dunster: Introduction >
- Scoboryo of St Columb Major >
Thomas Vaughan: An Introduction
- Smith of Barkby Introduction >
- Taylor Introduction >
- Tosny of Normandy >
- Toon of Leicestershire: Introduction >
- Underwood of Coleorton Introduction
- History Blog
- Wars of the Roses Blog
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