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.
In our most recent podcast reviewing John Balliol, we let you know about an offer for Rex Factor listeners available with Audible (the leading provider of audiobooks). By following the link below, you can enjoy a free 30-day trial and a free audiobook from their huge range of titles:
By signing up using this link, we get a little bonus from Audible, so this is a free way for you to support the podcast and you get an audiobook of your choice completely free!
Ali is a keen audiobook user and is going to be reviewing his latest listens in the podcast and his first audiobook was “Three Sisters, Three Queens” by Philippa Gregory, focusing on the two sisters of Henry VIII and his first wife, Katherine of Aragon. If you’ve got any audiobook suggestions for Ali then let us know!
Today (18 October 2016) is the 1,000th anniversary of the oft-forgotten Battle of Assandun and a brief period of Viking dominion in England. We look at the events of 1016 and the battle itself as well as considering how this encounter helped set in motion the twists and turns that would culminate in the rather more famous Battle of Hastings 50 years later.
The death of Margaret the Maid of Norway in 1290 saw the failure of the direct line of the Scottish royal family and left the throne empty. Somehow, the Scots had to decide who should be the rightful king without finding themselves falling into civil war – but who would get to wear the crown? Read on to find out more or listen to our review of Margaret the Maid of Norway here, which includes a discussion of the Great Cause.
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.
Something strange and disturbing happened in our latest special episode – Ali took control! For one episode only, Ali and Graham swapped places (physically as well as metaphorically) as Ali took the role of expert. Impressively, Ali even came with lots of research – that research being his university dissertation!
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.