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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Malcolm had a tough act to follow in the form of his grandfather, David I, who had taken Scotland to a position of unprecedented power. However, Malcolm was only a boy and he was facing rebellion all across Scotland and a Rex Factor behemoth in the form of Henry II in England asking for his land back. Would the good times continue to roll, or would Scotland be brought back to earth with a bump?
To listen to Malcolm’s episode, click here, or read on to find out more.
One of Scotland’s most significant monarchs, David I developed from a protege of Henry I to take advantage of the Anarchy in England to expand Scotland’s borders to an extent never seen before or since. A cultured and religious man, David’s reign also saw extensive reforms that had a lasting impact on Scotland. However, did his reign also represent the death of Gaelic Scotland in favour of the Norman world? And were his victories built on sand?
To listen to David’s episode, click here or read on to find out more.
At the start of the twelfth century, the Scottish monarchs were caught in the net of England’s Norman kings and seemingly incapable of siring heirs. As yet another son of Malcolm III came to the throne, would Alexander I be able to steady the ship and set Scotland on a new course?
Listen to Alexander’s episode here or read on to find out more.