Patrick Boniface on the deaths in battle of regal warriors. According to a popular Czech tradition, before he committed himself to combat in a battle already lost, King John the Blind said, ‘God forbid that a Bohemian king should ever flee from a fight.’ Jang de Blannen (John the Blind) was born on 10 August […]
The Battle of Hastings in 1066 was not only a seminal event in British history, it is also widely regarded as a turning point in military history: the moment when a ‘Dark Age’ way of war based on heavy infantry gave way to a ‘medieval’ way of war based on armoured cavalry. But was this really so? Shift the focus from Hastings, and events take on a new aspect.
A huge, mountainous, landlocked Central Asian state, Afghanistan has defied invaders for 2,500 years. Jules Stewart takes a look at the country’s military longue durée. Taken in historical context, the 13-year presence of NATO combat troops in Afghanistan amounted to scarcely a footnote to centuries of foreign military intervention in the country. From the […]
Henry III was a believer in the absolute right of kings and did not care for Magna Carta or any early concepts of ‘the king in parliament’. This, coupled with an immense tax burden, led to demands for reform and the Provisions of Oxford in 1258. When Henry reneged on these commitments six years later, the […]
The Vikings have a formidable military reputation. But much of this, argues Martyn Whittock, is hype. We need some serious analysis. In AD 866 there were four independent Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England. By 874, there was just one. A ‘blitzkrieg’ of Viking attacks had obliterated three kingdoms. In eight short years, the Vikings had […]
Most people are familiar with the tumultuous events of England in 1066, but how much do you know about ‘the other Norman conquest’, launched a century after the Battle of Hastings? In spring of 1169, a small band of Normans set sail from South Wales bound for Ireland, landing in May of that same year. This […]
Tickets to English Heritage’s re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings this weekend are sold out, but here are 10 alternative ways to mark the 950th anniversary of William the Conqueror’s victory over the Anglo-Saxons.
Marking the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, October’s special feature focuses on the Norman Conquest. Here, we examine ten key dates in 1066.
Scone Palace will remember King Robert the Bruce by hosting a ‘History and Heritage’ day on Sunday 28 August in the palace’s grounds and gardens. The Strathleven Artizans, a Scottish historical group, will lead a day of activities, including dramatisations of Robert the Bruce being crowned King of Scotland, and some dramatic battle re-enactments for visitors to […]
It was the culmination of ten years of increasingly violent unrest between supporters of King Henry VI and his cousin Richard, Duke of York. Helen Cox takes us on a battlefield tour of Wakefield.