Adeliza of Louvain, Queen of England

The Freelance History Writer

A noblewoman kneeling in front of Christ - most likely Adeliza of Louvain, from "The Shaftesbury Psalter" A noblewoman kneeling in front of Christ – most likely Adeliza of Louvain, from “The Shaftesbury Psalter”

Matilda of Scotland, the first wife of King Henry I of England died in May of 1118 and in November of 1120, Henry’s only son and heir William Adelin died in a tragic ship wreck. Henry was left with only his daughter Matilda as his heir and she was married to the German emperor Henry V. While it wasn’t impossible for a women to rule his kingdom, the White Ship disaster forced Henry to consider remarrying and working on getting a new heir.

Henry didn’t want his nephew, William Clito, son of his elder brother Robert Curthose, to inherit the throne and negotiations for a marriage to Adeliza of Louvain may have begun even before the loss of William Adelin. On January 6, 1121, after taking counsel, Henry announced to a large assembly…

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The Bryce Report … Whatever Happened To The Evidence?

First World War Hidden History

The Bryce Report was a propaganda coup of the highest order. It was translated into 30 languages and dispersed across the globe by every British propaganda service. In the United States, the New York Times of 13 May 1915 ran Bryce’s ‘verdict’ on three full pages, over twenty-four columns, with pictures and unequivocal headlines. A measure of their clear success may be derived from the opening passage which began by stating that

New York Tribune newspaper images to underline propaganda against Germany over atrocities in Belgium - The Rape of Belgium

‘Proofs of the atrocities by the German armies in Belgium – proofs collected by men trained in the law and presented with unemotional directness after a careful enquiry are presented in the report…headed by Viscount Bryce, the famous historian and formerly British Ambassador at Washington’ [1]

With headlines that screamed ‘German Atrocities Are Proved’ and ‘Premeditated Slaughter in Belgium’, ‘Young and Old Mutilated’, ‘Women Attacked, Children Brutally Slain, Arson and Pillage Systematic’, ‘Countenanced by Officers’, ‘Wanton Firing of…

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The Bryce Enquiry … But You Cannot Speak To The Witnesses

First World War Hidden History

1st_Viscount_Bryce_1902 - Viscount Bryce author of the Bryce ReportOf the milestones in the Propaganda war aimed at the heart of America, arguably the most devastating was the Bryce Report, the Report of the Committee on Alleged German Outrages [1] which examined the conduct of German troops in Belgium, the breaches in the rules of war, and the inhumanity perpetrated against the civilian population. Lurid stories of German atrocities came first hand from the many Belgian refugees who fled to Britain in August and September 1914 and filled newspapers of every political hue. None howled louder than the Northcliffe stable. On 12 and 17 August the Daily Mail railed against ‘German Brutality’, including the murder of five civilians corroborated by sworn statements from ‘witnesses’. Coming as it did when news from the front was scarce, such damning stories caught the public imagination and set it on fire. On 21 August, Hamilton Fyfe, a Northcliffe journalist who had served on…

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World War One: A Centenary


I hope that nobody is unaware of the fact that 2014 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the start of the First World War, in August 1914. To many of you, especially those still young, it might seem like a dusty old piece of history, played out on TV in black and white. You may well consider that it has no relevance any more, and it is of no interest to you whatsoever. You will have no intention of sitting through the endless documentaries, dramatised reconstructions, or worthy coverage of commemorations. Please think again. We can all learn much from the follies of this tragic conflict, and the reasons that it began.

My own grandparents were born in the year 1900. Both of my grandfathers were lucky enough to not have to serve in this war, as they only reached the required age of 18 as the war ended. Other…

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History And Other Thoughts: The May Queen

Re-blogged from History And Other Thoughts: The May Queen


Marie-Jose of Belgium was brought up to become Queen of Italy, but she only stayed on its throne for 35 short days, which gained her the affectionate nickname of May Queen. The last Queen of Italy was born on 4 August 1906 in Ostend. She was the only daughter and youngest child of King Albert I of Belgium and his Queen, Elizabeth, Duchess of Bavaria. Her parents were very devoted to each other and Marie-Jose grew up in a tight, close family.

Her peaceful existence was disrupted by the First World War. The 8 year old princess was then sent, for her safety, to school in England, while her parents stayed in their country, sharing the hardships of its people, and her older brother Leopold, then just a teenager, served as a soldier. The princess, though, was allowed to visit her family. During these visits, she witnessed the horrors of the war and helped her mother in her hospital work, tending to the wounded soldiers…

Read more: History And Other Thoughts: The May Queen.