Æthelflæd was one of the most remarkable figures of the Anglo-Saxon period who played a crucial role in the creation of the nation of England. The daughter of Alfred the Great, consort and then ruler in Mercia, she worked with her brother, Edward the Elder, to defeat the Vikings and brought up Athelstan, who would finish the job of unifying the Anglo-Saxon people under one nation.
Listen to her 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?
Malcolm IV, King of Scots
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.
Malcolm I had the unenviable task of following the long reign of Constantine II in a period when the Saxons were expanding and the Vikings had a new champion in Erik Bloodaxe. The Battle of Brunanburh in 937 was supposed to bring to an end the conflict around York in northern England, but the death of Athelstan just two years later launched a decade of conflict in what Michael Wood has dubbed a “Dark Age Vietnam”. Constantine II managed British politics to Scotland’s advantage but could Malcolm I enjoy the same success? Listen to the podcast episode here or read on to find out more. Continue reading →
In 900, the idea of Scotland as nation state was still very much in the fruition. The last four monarchs had died by violent means, Viking raiders were on the rampage while the rise of an increasingly imperial Anglo-Saxon England under Athelstan threatened to reduce Scotland to a vassal state. The reign of Constantine II, therefore, was a make or break for Scotland and perhaps the most significant in its formation as a country. Listen to the podcast episode here or read on to find out more.
A BBC news story today revealed that descendants from those who fought on either side of the Battle of Bosworth were set to meet in Leicester as part of the commemoration of Richard III’s reinterment. This is now, however, surely overshadowed by the fact that one of the ancestors who fought at Bosworth was a man called Sir Marmaduke Constable, about whom you need to know three things: firstly, his name was Sir Marmaduke Constable; secondly, he had a long and interesting career in a turbulent period of English history; thirdly, he was eventually brought to mortal conclusion by a frog.
Richard III kept a pretty low profile for the first 527 years after his defeat and death in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, but since his exhumation in 2012 his diary has been much more active. The next week will see him re-interred at Leicester Cathedral (after which his activity levels will quieten down considerably) so read on to find out what is happening where and when, and how you can follow the all of the events.
After four years of podcasting, we have finally come to the end of the series and are ready to reveal your favourite royal dynasty and to crown the Rex Factor champion. Alfred the Great, Henry II and Elizabeth I were the three finalists and the winner was decided entirely by the public vote. Read on to find out who will forever wear the Rex Factor crown…
The Rex Factor play-offs are officially underway! Group A consists of six monarchs (Alfred the Great, Athelstan, Henry I, Edward IV, Henry VIII and Charles II) but only three of them can go through to the semi-finals, so they need YOUR vote. The survey is open now until 31 March. Read on for a quick refresh of the Group A monarchs and for details on how you can vote to decide the outcome.