Richard was the father of Richard, Duke of York and therefore the grandfather of Edward IV and Richard III.
On this day in 1415 the execution of Richard of Conisburgh on a charge of treason. Along with Henry Scrope and Thomas Grey he made an attempt to place Edmund Mortimer on the English throne. This rebellion would be known as the Southampton Plot.
Richard was the father of Richard, Duke of York and therefore the grandfather of Edward IV and Richard III.
Following the Battle of Lincoln in 1141, King Stephen was captured and imprisoned and Henry I's daughter Matilda, made her play for the crown, but her advantage lasted only a few months, she marched on London under the title of Lady of the English and the city was ready with their support. However, she refused the people’s request to have their taxes halved and on arrival in London she found the gates shut, the civil war reignited on 24th June 1141.
After Matilda's withdrawal, London was taken over by the forces of another Matilda, Stephen's queen who stood firm with her husband. Coming back onside was the Kings brother, Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester who had previously supported Matilda's cause, after the events in London, however, Henry had switched sides making his way to the City of Winchester.
Angered at Henry's abandonment of her cause Matilda's forces made their way towards Hampshire, arriving at Winchester's city walls on the 31st July 1141 taking everyone by surprise.
Henry soon took to his horse and fled the city, his army too, causing much destruction as they left.
Henry of Blois defense of Winchester against Matilda is seen as one of the turning points of the civil war. She managed to flee, but her key ally Robert of Gloucester was captured.
There is little that remains of Winchester's city walls, however, there is what is left of Wolvesey Castle (seen below) then the bishop’s palace, that most certainly saw some action in the July of 1141.
On this day in 1540 the execution of Thomas Cromwell, adviser and one-time friend to Henry VIII.
Chronicler Edward Hall wrote of Cromwell’s last words:
“ I am come hether to dye, … for … I am by the Lawe comdempned to die, and thanke my lorde God that hath appoynted me this deathe, for myne offence: For … I have lived a synner, and offended my Lorde God, for the whiche I aske hym
hartely forgevenes. And … beyng but of a base degree, … have offended my prince, for the whiche I aske hym hartely forgevenes, and beseche you all to praie to God with me, that he will forgeve me. O father forgeve me. O sonne forgeve me, O holy Ghost forgeve me: O thre persons in one God forgeve me. And now I praie you that be here, to beare me record, I die in the Catholicke faithe … . Many hath sclaundered me, and reported that I have … mainteigned evill opinions, whiche is untrue, but I confesse that like as God by his holy spirite, doth instruct us in the truthe, so the devill is redy to seduce us, and I have been seduced: but beare me witnes that I dye in the Catholicke faithe … . And I hartely desire you to praie for the Kynges grace, that he maie long … reigne over you. And once again I desire you to pray for me, that so long as life remaigneth in this fleshe, I waver nothyng in my faithe”.
And of his last moments Hall writes:
“committed his soule, into the handes of God, and so paciently suffered the stroke of the axe, by a
ragged and Boocherly miser, whiche very ungoodly perfourmed the Office.
After his execution, Cromwell's head was boiled and placed on a spike on London Bridge, his face it was said, looking away from the city. I often wonder about men like Cromwell why were they so eager to take the place of others who had gone to the block for not giving Henry what he wanted. Cromwell was in the pay of Cardinal Wolsey when he fell from grace in 1529, if he didn't learn anything then surely he must have been aware of the consequences of failing Henry when Thomas More was executed in 1535.
Or did he really think he was invincible?
On the 28th July in 1540 just nineteen days after the annulment of his marriage to Anne of Cleves, King Henry VIII took, as his fifth bride, the twenty-year-old Catherine Howard. Catherine was said to have been pretty - Henry's "rose without a thorn."
No doubt it never crossed Henry's mind what Catherine thought of him the fat 49-year-old - whose youthful physique had long gone.
Why did Catherine marry Henry then? The answer is quite simple, she married him because she had too.
Sadly, Catherine had let her new position as England's new queen go to her head and by the following year, she had begun a physical relationship with Henry's favourite courtier, Thomas Culpepper, which as we all know was her undoing.
While he was marrying Catherine, his friend and the fixer of his problems, Thomas Cromwell, was climbing the scaffold to his execution. I have every sympathy with all of Henry's wives, each of them had to suffer this menacing tyrant in their own different ways. Poor Catherine's problem was that she was young and naive and you could argue easily lead, notably by Henry's onetime sister in law Jane Boleyn - but that's another story.
This print of Catherine Howard is available for purchase by clicking on the link to my shop at the top of the page.
In 1333 Cornish born John Arundell had aided Edward III by supplying the king with troops at Battle of Halidon Hill on the 19th July of that year.
This battle was the result of Edward's support of Edward Balliol's claim to the throne of Scotland. Edward III's actions had broken the terms of the Treaty of Northampton, which he had agreed to three years earlier.
On this day in 1333 at Berwick on Tweed, for this service to the crown, John Arundell was rewarded with the granting of a charter which gave his manor of St Columb Major the right to hold a market every Thursday, also granted was the right to hold an annual fair on the ‘day and the morrow of the Feast of St Columba the Virgin.' This charter was issued at Berwick on Tweed by Edward III and signed John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall, Edward III younger brother
The text of the charter reads:
Roll 7th, Edward the Third. For Sir John de Arendel, the king to the same, health.
Know ye, that we of our especial grace, have granted and, by this our charter, have confirmed to our beloved and faithful John de Arendel, that he and his heirs, for ever, may have a market every Thursday at his Manor of St Columb Magna, and a fair every year, on the eve and on the day and the morrow of St Columba the Virgin, to these being witness..........given by our hand at Berwick on Tweed, the 23rd day of July 1333 at the battle of Halidown Hill, the 19th day of July 1333.
By writ of our Privy Seal.
The growth of the Cornish market town of St Columb Major owes much to the Arundell family. Known as the Great Arundells they were a powerful and noteworthy family. You can read more about them here:
Charles Wriothesley was an officer of arms at the College of Arms, in his Chronicle of England During the Reigns of the Tudors, he reported on the invasion, by the French, of the Isle of Wight in 1545.
"The 21 day of July the French galleys and navie came before Portesmouth haven, and landed certeine of theyre armye in the Yle of Wyght, and there burned and camped there about to the nomber of 2,000 men, and came every tyde with theyr gallies and shott their ordinaunce at the Kinges ships in the haven; but the winde was so calme that the Kinges shippes could bear noe sayle, which was a great discomfort for them. Three days later a muster of 1500 men was sent from the City of London to repel them, but by the King's command turned back at Farnham, the French having left the Isle of Wight and divers of them slaine and drowned."
This invasion formed part of the Italian War that lasted from 1542 to 1546. As part of these wars England, France, Italy, Spain and the Low Counties battled one another. It was in the Battle of the Solent on the 19th of July and as mentioned in a previous post on my page that Henry's flagship, the Mary Rose sank.
On this day in 1398 the death of Roger Mortimer, the 4th Earl of March,. Mortimer was killed in a skirmish in Ireland, rashly riding out alone towards the enemy. He was just twenty-four years old, this one foolish act cost him his life, he was just twenty-four years old.
Mortimer was considered heir presumptive to Richard.
The Mortimer History Society writes:
"Richard II identified Roger as the heir to the throne, apparently in an attempt to thwart the claims of Henry of Lancaster (the future Henry IV). In so doing Richard was ignoring both the accepted rules of succession and the entailment of the throne drawn up by Edward III*. It filled the Mortimers with false hope. Richard never officially recognised the Mortimers as having a claim; in fact, he placed them in an inferior position to his uncles in the order of precedence, and pointedly refused to acknowledge Roger as his heir in 1394. Nevertheless, it was widely believed that Roger would be the next king if Richard died childless."
Mortimer was buried at Wigmore Abbey, which incidentally is now owned by John Challis who played Boycie in the television series Only Fools and Horses.
I wonder how history would have changed if he had lived?
On this day in 1553, Mary, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon was proclaimed queen of England, Jane Grey, who had been placed on the throne by her father in law John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland was sent along with him to the Tower of London.
In the June of that year the Devise for the Succession of King Edward VI was signed, and on Edward's death on the 6th July, Jane Grey became queen.
Never crowned, she reigned for just nine days.
Jane's story is a tragic one, she along with her husband, Guildford Dudley were tried for treason in November 1553 and executed on the 12th of February 1554.
You can read more about that here:
On this day in 64 AD the fire in which Rome burned, and Nero (allegedly played the fiddle) began.
This eyewitness account of the fire comes from The Annals, a work by the Roman historian Tacitus some fifty years later. Tacitus would probably would have known of the fire himself, he was about seven at the time.
"Now started the most terrible and destructive fire which Rome had ever experienced. It began in the Circus, where it adjoins the Palatine and Caelian hills. Breaking out in shops selling inflammable goods, and fanned by the wind, the conflagration instantly grew and swept the whole length of the Circus. There were no walled mansions or temples, or any other obstructions, which could arrest it. First, the fire swept violently over the level spaces. Then it climbed the hills - but returned to ravage the lower ground again. It outstripped every counter-measure. The ancient city's narrow winding streets and irregular blocks encouraged its progress. Nero was at Antium. He returned to the city only when the fire was approaching the mansion he had built to link the Gardens of Maecenas to the Palatine. The flames could not be prevented from overwhelming the whole of the Palatine, including his palace. Nevertheless, for the relief of the homeless, fugitive masses he threw open the Field of Mars, including Agrippa's public buildings, and even his own Gardens. Nero also constructed emergency accommodation for the destitute multitude. Food was brought from Ostia and neighboring towns, and the price of corn was cut to less than ¼ sesterce a pound. Yet these measures, for all their popular character, earned no gratitude."
The eyewitness also states that Nero rushed back to organise help for his people by opening his own gardens as a shelter for the homeless. Regardless of that Nero was not a popular emperor and as the same eyewitness state
"for a rumor had spread that, while the city was burning, Nero had gone on his private stage and, comparing modern calamities with ancient, had sung of the destruction of Troy"
The adage he played the fiddle while his city burned reflected this, it was propaganda.
Also, what we know as the fiddle was not around at the time.
On this day in 1540, Henry VIII's marriage to his fourth wife Anne of Cleves is annulled.
In 1527, at the age of eleven, Anne was betrothed to Francis, son of the Duke of Lorraine, though the betrothal was broken in 1535. In 1539, urged by his chief adviser, Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII sought a marital alliance with the Duke of Cleves. Anne left for England that same year, and on 6 January 1540, she became Queen of England and Henry’s fourth wife.
The marriage was, however, already doomed to failure. Henry and Anne had met before their marriage, on New Year’s Day. It is commonly thought that Henry was disappointed in Anne’s appearance but it is more than likely she found her 'different' with her German clothing and mannerisms. On 24th of June, only six months after their wedding Anne was ordered to leave the court. The marriage was annulled on the grounds that Anne was still betrothed to Francis of Lorraine and that her union with Henry remained unconsummated.
Anne willingly (and wisely) agreed to the annulment, and she received a generous settlement as a result.
She became “the King’s Beloved Sister” and was given both Richmond Palace and Hever Castle.
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?