If there’s one English Monarch who’s consistently had a ‘bad wrap’ it’s King John I. He’s the ultimate in abuse of absolute power, an archetypal villan – portrayed as the cruel King oppressing his people with taxes and arbitrary justice. But is this true ? Was his rule really as bad as folklore seems to say ?
Today, London is the financial capital of the world and for good or ill the hub of global banking and finance. How banking started in the capital is every bit as intriguing and mysterious as the ways that modern international finance seems to work today. Basically we owe it all to a religious order of heavily armed warrior monks who set up London’s first bank some 900 years ago.
If there is one thing that is a blight on modern life it is the rise of ‘compensation culture’. The idea that someone else is always to blame and you are entitled to some compensation no matter what. But the origins of this are far older than you might think.
Democracy isn’t a word that you would ordinarily associate with the Middle Ages. The most common perception of this time is of Kings, Bishops, Feudal over lords and right at the bottom of the ‘social heap’, the peasant all of them with no say in government. In fact it turns out this is not overall an entirely true picture and that elections were a reasonably common occurrence
Today we celebrate Christmas with a spirit of merriment, gift giving and (over) indulgence. But that begs the question … How was Christmas celebrated in the past? Or more specifically for our aricle here – the Middle Ages?
If the 4th July 1776 is remembered for the momentous statement that begins, When in the course of human events … then Saturday the 6th April 1320 should be noted for an equally stirring declaration of independence when another nation struggled for freedom from English rule.
There are key moments in history when on the decisions and actions of men the course of human history is changed forever. Sunday March 8th 1265 was such a day when the actions of the nobleman Simon de Montfort still reverberate down the centuries to us today, for on that day the first ever English Parliament sat.
The simplest of experiences can hatch eureka moments. Legend has it that despite all his inherited wealth and global travels, the ancient Greek philosopher Democritus hit upon one of the most fundamental of ideas in physics while sitting in the comfort of his own home.
Wednesday October 12th 1492 was no ordinary day, for on this day Christopher Columbus reached the New World. On that day, after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, the Italian explorer sighted a Bahamian island, believing he had reached East Asia.
English is a very rich languange indeed and is possibly the greatest gift that Britain has bestowed to the world. In this article we look at one of the oldest masters of them all Geoffrey chaucer, often described as the father of English literature.
Lihou island off of Guernsey’s west coast, at first, looks like a tranquil, if not rugged, haven of peace and security. But there is a darker more salacious history to it that would even make readers of today’s gossip mags gasp. In this article we look at foul murders and dark deeds in what was supposed to be a place of spiritual contemplation and service for God.
Most of us would like to think that Richard the Lionheart did in fact encounter history’s most famous outlaw, Robin Hood. So is there any chance that he ever did ?
If ever there was a unifying World language it would be that of numbers. The 10 digits we utilise are in universal use throughout the world. You have no problem ‘conversing’ with anyone in any culture. In this article we look at the remarkable story of numbers and how one man helped to introduce them into the European ‘vocabulary’ .
The cult of celebrity may be a modern phenomenon but the interest in the love lives and romances of others has always been a human curiosity. If the gossip magazines of today had existed 860 years ago they would have been full of the lurid details of one of the most famous romances in history; that of Abélard & Héloise.
Archaeological excavations of the Priory on Lihou island have unearthed, quite literally, some intriguing details about who lived there and has raised some serious question questions about what they might have been up too !