Shakespeare and Greenwich | The Shakespeare blog

The remains of the Tudor palace at Greenwich

There is something special about the place where important events took place, no matter how long ago. Even where there are no remaining signs on the ground people still visit: perhaps the draw is that these sites make us use our imaginations so strongly.

It’s always surprising to find bits of the London that Shakespeare knew beneath…

Source: Shakespeare and Greenwich | The Shakespeare blog

Lost London – The Great Conduit…

Exploring London

CheapsideLocated at the junction of Cheapside and Poultry, the Great Conduit, also known as the Cheapside Standard, was a famous medieval public fountain.

The Great Conduit (the word conduit refers to column fountains fitted with ‘cocks’ or taps for dispensing the water) gave access to water piped using gravity four kilometres from the Tyburn into the City largely via lead pipes.

It was constructed by the City Corporation from the mid-13th century after King Henry III approved the project in 1237. It was rectangular-shaped timber building with an elevated lead tank inside from which the water was drawn.

It took the name ‘Great’ after further conduits were built further west in Cheapside in the 1390s. There were at least 15 conduits or standards scattered about the City by the time of the Great Fire in 1666.

It was rebuilt several times over its life, notably in the reign of King Henry VI, but after being severely…

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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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The Mad Monarchist: Princely Profile: Thomas Cardinal Wolsey, “Ipse Rex”

Originally posted on The Mad Monarchist

Known as the personification of the problems in the Catholic Church of his time, Cardinal Wolsey was worldly, wealthy and ambitious. Yet, like most figures of the Renaissance or any period in history Wolsey had his good points as well as his failings. He rose to prominence during the reign of King Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty and was a major figure at court as well as acting as an envoy to the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian. When Henry VIII came to the throne Wolsey’s star was to rise even higher, and the young king had complete trust in the clever churchman. One way this came about was mutual ambition. Henry VIII wanted power and glory and would abide no one who tried to discourage him. Wolsey realized this and was always eager…

Read more: The Mad Monarchist: Princely Profile: Thomas Cardinal Wolsey, “Ipse Rex”.