MEDIEVAL POSY RINGS – GIVEN WITH LOVE…

‘Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring?’ ‘Tis brief, my lord’ * This beauty is reputed to have been given by John of Gaunt (1340-1399) to his mistress and subsequent third wife, Katheryn Swinford (1350-1403).  The inscription reads ‘alas for fayte’ which was probably a nod to Gaunt and Katherine’s illicit loveContinue reading “MEDIEVAL POSY RINGS – GIVEN WITH LOVE…”

A COLLECTION OF REVOLTING REMEDIES FROM THE MIDDLE AGES

Revolting Remedies from the Middle Ages. Edited by Professor Daniel Wakelin.  Published by the Bodleian Library Oxford. Under the Dreaming Spires of Oxford – well Oxford University to be precise – a group of students have compiled and transcribed this entertaining selection of remedies from  medieval manuscripts in the Bodleian Library  Here in their bookContinue reading “A COLLECTION OF REVOLTING REMEDIES FROM THE MIDDLE AGES”

St DUNSTAN-IN-THE-EAST, SURVIVER OF DISASTER, NOW TRANQUIL HAVEN.

The peaceful garden…a tranquil spot to sit a while in the busy heart of the City of London.  Photo Haarkon co.uk.  St Dunstan-in-the-East was already ancient when John Stow wrote about it in his Survey of London Written in the Year 1598.  Not to be confused with St Dunstan-in-the West, Stow described the church as ‘a fairContinue reading “St DUNSTAN-IN-THE-EAST, SURVIVER OF DISASTER, NOW TRANQUIL HAVEN.”

THE MYSTERIOUS CHEAPSIDE HOARD, DISCOVERY AND FURTHER ADVENTURES….

The Cheapside Hoard.  Discovered beneath the floor of an ancient cellar during the demolition of 30-32 Cheapside in 1912. How the owners of such jewels must have shimmered in the candlelight.  Photo 1websurfer@Flikr. The Cheapside Hoard as it has become known was discovered in June 1912 at 30-32 Cheapside when workmen were demolishing a trioContinue reading “THE MYSTERIOUS CHEAPSIDE HOARD, DISCOVERY AND FURTHER ADVENTURES….”

SIR PAUL PINDAR c.1565-1650. AND HIS HOUSE IN BISHOPSGATE

The façade of Sir Paul Pindar’s house in Bishopgate.  Now in the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Photo Victoria and Albert Museum Collection Sir Paul Pindar acquired the site in what was then known as  Bishopsgate Street Without in 1597 and begun building the house, later known as Pindar’s House,  shortly afterward at the corner of HalfContinue reading “SIR PAUL PINDAR c.1565-1650. AND HIS HOUSE IN BISHOPSGATE”

RICHARD WHITTINGTON c.1350-1423. MERCER, MAYOR AND A MOST BENEVOLENT CITIZEN OF LONDON

A delightful artist’s impression of ‘Richard Whittington dispensing his charities’.  Artist Henrietta Ray before 1905 oil on canvas.  Royal exchange. Even the most disinterested in history children would recognise the name Dick/Richard Whittington and also his best, and only friend,  his cat,  most of them being familiar with the rather delightful folk story, which dates back toContinue reading “RICHARD WHITTINGTON c.1350-1423. MERCER, MAYOR AND A MOST BENEVOLENT CITIZEN OF LONDON”

SIR THOMAS BURGH c.1430-1496 AND GAINSBOROUGH OLD HALL

Gainsborough Old Hall.  Photo thanks to Graham Oxford Photography Street. Sir Thomas Burgh was the builder  of Gainsborough Hall, as seen today,  after inheriting the original building in 1455 on the death of his mother Elizabeth Percy,  when he was 24 years old.  The building and enhancement, which took place over the course of  20Continue reading “SIR THOMAS BURGH c.1430-1496 AND GAINSBOROUGH OLD HALL”

Coldharbour – An Important Medieval London House

A segment of the Visscher Panorama of London 1616 showing Coldharbour after the earlier medieval house had been demolished by the Earl of Shrewsbury c.1585 and rebuilt up to the waterfront.  The rebuild incorporated many tenements ‘now letten out for great rents to people of all sorts’ (Stow).   Image Peter Harrington Rare Books. FurtherContinue reading “Coldharbour – An Important Medieval London House”

CROSSBONES – BURIAL PLACE OF WINCHESTER GEESE AND ‘THE OUTCAST DEAD’ – BERMONDSEY, LONDON.

Shrine of many ribbons at the entrance to Crossbones Cemetery.  Photo Kay Nicols.  It’s harder to find a more sadder place in South London than the site of Crossbones Burial Ground, Redcross Way,  which is a side street tucked away off the busy Borough High Street, South London.   It’s safe to say that manyContinue reading “CROSSBONES – BURIAL PLACE OF WINCHESTER GEESE AND ‘THE OUTCAST DEAD’ – BERMONDSEY, LONDON.”

RALPH NEVILLE, 2ND EARL OF WESTMORLAND – HIS HOME, BRANCEPETH CASTLE AND BURIAL IN BRANCEPETH CHURCH.

Ralph Neville, 2nd Earl of Westmorland c.1406-1484 and one of his wives.  Fine oak effigy once in Brancepeth Church, County Durham.  Destroyed 1998. Drawn by Charles Stothard c.1815. An interesting life if somewhat tinged by tragedy.    Ralph Neville 2nd Earl of Westmorland, born at Cockermouth in Cumbria (c.1406-1485) was the son of Lord JohnContinue reading “RALPH NEVILLE, 2ND EARL OF WESTMORLAND – HIS HOME, BRANCEPETH CASTLE AND BURIAL IN BRANCEPETH CHURCH.”