Charles I

Dying for his king – or how a would-be Parliamentarian ended up a dead Royalist

There is a picture in the National Portrait Gallery that I have always been particularly fond of. Originally, I was drawn to it more because of the formal garden in the background than the sitters in the foreground (this was when I was thinking BIG when it came to garden design), but every time I’ve …

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When a Spanish señorita set an English princely heart aflutter

There are many things one can say about Charles, James I’s second son, the rather uninteresting and sickly spare that was destined to live forever in the shadow of his beloved and admired older brother Henry Fredrick. One could call him lucky, seeing as big brother died in typhoid fever, thereby making Charles the heir. …

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Of a man and his wandering head

Today, I thought we’d spend some time with a certain Oliver Cromwell. Well, to be quite correct, not so much with dear Olly himself as with his mortal remains. (I call him Olly, ok? Others call him Noll. I imagine he prefers Oliver when amongst casual acquaintances, and as to what his wife calls him …

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One very incendiary little book…

In a simplified version of history, the Scottish Covenanter movement sprang from a smouldering fire to a huge bonfire through the actions of one Jenny Geddes. A devout member of the Scottish Kirk, Jenny was in St Giles that day in 1637 when the dean chose to read from the new Book of Common Prayer, …

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