“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 heroines (#32: Eleanor Cobham)

Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester (c.1400 – 7 July 1452), was the mistress and then second wife of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, the youngest son of King Henry IV. Eleanor was convicted and imprisoned for ‘sorcery’ and ‘treasonable necromancy’ in 1441 and forced to make a public penance in the streets of London – all […]

The chilly coronation of Henry V

Today in History: 9th April 1413  Right now, in the UK, the weather is all that anyone seems able to talk about. “It’s snowing!” people keep telling me, like I don’t have eyes, shaking their heads incredulously. “In April. It’s April!” My Facebook newsfeed is populated with pictures of limp, grey snowmen and effusions of […]