Robert II (1371-90)

Although famous for their James’s, the Stewart royal dynasty actually began with Robert II in 1371. For Robert to get things off to a flying start he would need to find a way to deal with the threat of invasion by Edward III, a rebellious nobility in Scotland and the relentless ambition of his own sons. To find out how he got on, listen to his podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

Continue reading

David II (1329-71)

As the son of Robert the Bruce, David II had a very high bar to reach. In taking the throne as a child with a young Edward III determined to avenge English humiliation and put Scotland back in its place, the bar was threatening to disappear into the clouds. With a rival for the throne in the form of Edward Balliol and the impending drama of the Hundred Years War, could David II keep his throne and save his country, or would the hard work of the Bruce be undone? To find out, you can listen to his podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

Continue reading

Robert the Bruce (1306-29)

Robert the Bruce is one of the most famous names in Scottish history, but can the real man live up to the legend? There was certainly a lot on his plate with Scotland bereft of a king and under the rule of Edward I of England, but could Robert the Bruce restore liberty to Scotland? Listen to his podcast here or read on to find out more.

Continue reading

William Wallace (the real one)

While William Wallace wasn’t an Australian in blue face paint shouting “FREEDOM!” in an historically dubious surrounding, he was nevertheless a real warrior who fought for Scottish independence in the late thirteen century. But who exactly was the real William Wallace and does he deserve the Rex Factor? Listen to his episode in the player below or read on to find out more.

WilliamWallaceBraveheart

Continue reading

Thomas Becket (Special Episode)

Our latest special episode is on Thomas Becket, the boy from Cheapside who rose to the extraordinary heights of Archbishop of Canterbury and then to the (perhaps less desirable) status of martyr. We trace the whole of his life and look in depth at how his rapid rise ended with his tragic and brutal murder in 1170. You can listen a preview of the special episode below or read on to find out more about Thomas Becket and how to purchase the episode.

ThomasBecket

Continue reading

John Balliol (1292-96)

After the dynastic crises of the past decade, John Balliol took on the leadership of a country in 1292 that was seriously divided and heavily indebted to Edward I, who was determined to make as much capital out of this debt as possible. Would Balliol be able to carve out his own path and make Scotland great again, or would the might of Edward I be too much for him to handle? To find out more, read on or listen to his episode here.

john-balliol-king-of-scotland-offers-homage-to-king-edward-i-of-england-1292-chroniques-de-france-ou-de-st-denis-illuminated-manuscript

Continue reading

Margaret the Maid of Norway (1286-90)

For the first time in its history, Scotland faced the prospect of a queen regnant – a female ruler! And not just any female ruler but a Norwegian one at that and still only a child. With rival claimants threatening the prospect of civil war, could the Scots keep the kingdom together? Would Margaret be able to rule successfully? And who’s that English chap on the horizon building lots of castles in Wales…

To listen to Margaret’s episode click here or read on to find out more.

maidofnorway-001 Continue reading

Alexander III (1249-86)

Alexander III was only a child when he became king but his reign would come to be seen as a golden age in Scottish history. Alexander needed to restore unity following the divisions of his minority, re-establish Scottish independence from the encroaching ambitions of England and finished his father’s work in recovering the Western Isles from Norway – a pretty big to-do list, but would Alexander III be up to the task? To find out, listen to his episode here or read on to find out more.

alexander_iii_and_ollamh_righ

Continue reading

Alexander II (1214-49)

Alexander II was something of a man on a mission to remove all the grey areas from medieval Scotland. Determined to assert Scottish independence from England, while at the time subduing the parts of Scotland which still clung to the memories of their own independence, he was a ruthless and highly efficient monarch. But by taking on so many old rivals and enemies, was Alexander II doomed to fail? Listen to his podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

Alexander_II_(Alba)_i

Continue reading

William the Lion (1165-1214)

William the Lion had one of the longest reigns in Scottish history and it was largely dominated by his determination to win back the Earldom of Northumberland. The problem was, he was going to have to win it back from Henry II, one of England’s most powerful and successful kings. As if that was not enough, there were unresolved issues with dynastic rivals and rebellious territories within Scotland. To find out how William got on, listen to his podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

A_Chronicle_of_England_-_Page_184_-_William_the_Lion_Taken_Prisoner

Continue reading