9 Things You May Not Know About Wimbledon — History in the Headlines

Originally posted on History in the Headlines.

1. King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II, once raised a royal racket at Wimbledon.

While most British rulers catch the action from the comfort of Centre Court’s royal box, the Duke of York, the future King George VI, took to Wimbledon’s lawns as a competitor in the 1926 men’s doubles tournament. After capturing the Royal Air Force’s tennis championship, Sir Louis Greig, the duke’s mentor and advisor, garnered an automatic berth in Wimbledon and selected the future monarch to be his doubles partner. Their first-round opponents, Britons Arthur Gore and Herbert Roper Barrett, displayed little royal deference in smashing Greig and the duke in three easy sets, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2. No doubt King Henry VIII and some other royals would have locked Gore and Barrett up in the Tower of London for such insolence, but King George VI, who remains the only royal to ever compete at Wimbledon, was gracious in defeat.

2. Wimbledon was first staged to pay for croquet equipment.

While croquet plays a distant second fiddle today, it was the All-England Club’s sole sport when the organization was formed in 1868. Lawn tennis did not appear at the All-England Croquet Club until 1875, and the first tennis championships were scheduled in 1877 to raise money to purchase a pony-drawn roller for the croquet lawns. There would be little need for the roller, however, as the club’s grassy…

via 9 Things You May Not Know About Wimbledon — History in the Headlines.

Richard III – The Answers

Matt's History Blog

There are a glut of articles saturating the press at the moment posing some pretty unpleasant questions about Richard III. Maybe it’s time for some answers. We are constantly asked why we are celebrating a child-killing tyrant, or what Richard III ever did for us. Sadly many of the articles cannot answer their own questions because their content demonstrates such a fundamental lack of understanding of the real issues.

Richard III has divided opinion for over 500 years and shows no sign of ceasing to do so as he is laid to rest for the second time in his long and eventful after-life. The Richard III Society exists to promote the re-examination of Richard III and his times. Contrary to the popular impression, most Ricardians are not the ‘loons’ David Starkey sees or any of the other names bandied about, none of which are complementary and all of which are…

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KRIII Visitor Centre Review

Matt's History Blog

I have heard plenty about the King Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester. Some positive, including the recent architectural award that the centre won, but plenty that was less complimentary. I finally made it there to judge for myself with my daughter and, for those who may be interested, here are my thoughts on the exhibition, entitled Dyansty, Death and Discovery.

Richard III Statue outside Leicester Cathedral Richard III Statue outside Leicester Cathedral

After buying our tickets, the first room to which we are directed is a flag stone floored chamber containing a throne, on which sit two discarded roses facing defiantly away from each other. This room offers an introduction to the Wars of the Roses from key figures in the live of Richard III – Cecily Neville, his mother, Richard Neville, the Kingmaker Earl of Warwick, Richard’s guardian as he grew to manhood, Vincent Tetulier, an armourer creating harness for Richard, Anne Neville, Richard’s…

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