Hidden historical heroines (#38: Black Agnes)

Agnes, the Countess of Dunbar and March, (1312 – 1369) nicknamed “Dark Agnes” for her dark hair and swarthy complexion, was a descendent of Robert the Bruce, of whom famed Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott once said: “From the record of Scottish heroes, none can presume to erase her.” Despite a thorough trouncing by Robert […]

“Tiny scrap of humanity”: The love match of Richard II

On a miserable January day in 1382 the boy-king Richard II took to wife the daughter of the late Holy Roman Emperor, sister to the King of Bohemia, a young girl named Anne. Anne was a girl of modest beauty and no fortune, Richard’s court and subjects were openly hostile to the match. The Westminster […]

Hidden historical heroine: (#24: Margaret Drummond(s))

Our first Margaret Drummond (c.1340 – c.1375) was the second wife and queen of David II of Scotland. A member of the Scottish gentry, the young Margaret caught the eye of her king whilst he was married to Joan of the Tower, an English Princess – daughter of Edward II and Isabella of France. David […]

England’s “Black” Queens

  When you consider historical Queens of England, you probably picture sumptuous dresses, ropes of jewels, tumbling fair or chestnut curls and peaches-and-cream complexions. Would it surprise you to know that two queens of England are now considered by some historians and genealogists to have had “black” or Moorish ancestry? Interestingly, the two ladies – […]

Hidden historical heroines (#14: Eleanor de Clare)

  Eleanor de Clare (3 October 1292 – 30 June 1337) was a granddaughter to Edward I of England, joint heiress to the vast de Clare estates and the wife of the powerful, infamous Hugh Despenser the Younger.   Eleanor was born in Caerphilly castle in south Wales. Her father was Gilbert ‘the Red’ de […]

Hidden historical heroines (#03: Isabella MacDuff)

Isabella MacDuff (c. 1285 – c. 1313) is a heroine of the Wars of Scottish Independence, a series of military campaigns between the English and the Scottish in the latter part of the 13th and early part of the 14th centuries. She was the daughter of the Earl of Fife and became the Countess of […]

Hidden historical heroines (#01: Joan of Kent)

  Joan of Kent (1328 – 1385) was a granddaughter of Edward I. She was lauded by her contemporaries as the most beautiful woman in all of England and is known to history as the Fair Maid of Kent.   When she was just a babe in arms, her father – the Earl of Kent […]