A skeleton in the priest hole – House Historian

Priest hole in Havrington Hall, Worcestershire (Wikimedia/Quodvultdeus)

Yes, it’s true, I have researched a house where a skeleton was uncovered in an old priest hole! Certainly, one of the most unusual stories I’ve heard in researching the history of house…

Source: A skeleton in the priest hole – House Historian

How Catherine de Medici Made Gloves Laced with Poison Fashionable | Atlas Obscura

Source: How Catherine de Medici Made Gloves Laced with Poison Fashionable | Atlas Obscura

A pair of embroidered leather gloves from from c.1615. (Photo: Valerie McGlinchey/WikiCommons CC BY-SA 2.0 UK)

Throughout history, Catherine de Medici has been considered something of a sorceress, a 16th-century  French queen and banking heiress adroitly trained in the mixing of potions and capable of murder without a hint of remorse. One legend that has helped this reputation to endure is the story of Jeanne d’Albret, the Queen of Navarre.

France in the 1500s was a place of constant civil war between Catholics and Protestants. Jeanne d’Albret fiercely defended the Protestant cause in France and declared it the official religion of her kingdom, much to the displeasure of Catherine, a strict Catholic who was married to King Henry II of France. In an effort to unite the country, a marriage was arranged between d’Albret’s son, Henry, and Catherine’s daughter, the Princess Marguerite. What happened next has long baffled historians.

Correspondence from mother to son in the months leading up to…

Source: How Catherine de Medici Made Gloves Laced with Poison Fashionable | Atlas Obscura

Underground Manchester: Tunnels, a tube station and even shops hidden beneath the city’s streets revealed – Manchester Evening News

Lying just below the surface of Manchester sits a complex network of underground tunnels.

Several kilometres of subterranean passageways and spaces stretch under large parts of the city centre and beyond.

These tunnels include the remnants of a tube station that never was, a communications bunker, air raid shelters, canals and even shops.

Author Keith Warrender has written two books on the subject, Underground Manchester and Below Manchester, and regularly gives talks on what is below the surface of Manchester.

Keith, who took the took the above pictures during his various trips below ground, said there is evidence of tunnels being used below the city for several hundred years.

He added: “It was something that interested me and I began to research the subject and started to…

Source: Underground Manchester: Tunnels, a tube station and even shops hidden beneath the city’s streets revealed – Manchester Evening News.

Blood of the martyrs

The Lost City of London - Before the Great Fire of 1666

Memorial to Catholic martyrs at TyburnMemorial to Protestant martyrs at West SmithfieldMemorial to Protestant martyrs in Stratford  The burning of BradfordThe burning of the Protestant martyrs at Stratford

On this day in 1556, some 20000 people gathered in Stratford to witness the burning at the stake by the Catholic Queen Mary Tudor of thirteen Protestants (eleven men and two women) accused of  heresy.  There is a memorial to the martyrs outside the church of St John in Stratford.

A number of Protestant heretics were also burned at the stake by Mary  in West Smithfield, many of whom were later buried in the nearby church of St James  in Clerkenwell.  There is a memorial to three of them, namely, John Bradford, John Philpot and John Rogers,  in West Smithfield.  John Foxe gives an account of the burning of Bradford – and Leaf(e) – in his “Book of Martyrs”, published in 1563, which reads as follows:

“ … When Bradford and Leaf came to the Stake … , they lay flat on their faces, praying to themselves…

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