Archives for: March 2008


Permalink 04:23:04 pm, by Email , 123 words   English (CA)
Categories: Kings And Queens, British History

Jane Seymour

Portrait of Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII of England, by Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Jane Seymour was the third of King Henry VIII wives, and a replacement for Anne Boleyn. History has recorded her as a pious, docile, well-born lady from a powerful family, who married the King because her brothers told her to.

Jane was queen for about 18 months, and she never had a coronation ceremony. She died of puerperal fever just 12 days after delivering Henry's long awaited boy, Edward.

Above her grave, there was for a time the following inscription:

"Here lieth a Phoenix, by whose death
Another Phoenix life gave breath:
It is to be lamented much
The world at once ne'er knew two such."



Permalink 09:06:04 am, by Email , 219 words   English (CA)
Categories: Kings And Queens, British History

Catherine Parr Queen Consort of England and Ireland

Catherine Parr (c. 1512 – 5 September 1548), also known as Katherine or Katharine Parr(e)

Catherine Parr was the last of King Henry VIII wives. It is believed she was more a nurse than a wife, in his old and sick state, although this has been challenged by historian David Starkey in his book Six Wives. Either way it is almost certain Henry did not make much of a husband.

Catherine had been twice widowed, and, though childless, loved children, and was the one wife who truly embraced Henry's children and tried to normalize relations between them and the king. She was very intelligent, and taught herself Latin as an adult. She was the only queen who was able to save herself when she did something to greatly offend the king.

After Henry's death she married Thomas Seymour, the younger of Jane's brothers, and Lord Admiral. She died after delivering the only child she ever had, Mary Seymour. The last mention of Mary Seymour on record is on her second birthday, and although stories circulated that she eventually married and had children, most historians today believe she died as a child.

A recent news item on an auction that included a lock of Catherine Parr's hair.

Wiki entry on Catherine Parr

Sudeley Castle - One time home, and burial place of Catherine Parr



Permalink 10:34:39 am, by Email , 242 words   English (CA)
Categories: War And Conflict, British History

Make Love Not War

The peace symbol turns 50........

It started life as the emblem of the British anti-nuclear movement but it has become an international sign for peace, and arguably the most widely used protest symbol in the world. It has also been adapted, attacked and commercialised.

The BBC has a terrific article this week devoted to the history of the peace symbol. Here is a snippet:

It had its first public outing 50 years ago on a chilly Good Friday as thousands of British anti-nuclear campaigners set off from London's Trafalgar Square on a 50-mile march to the weapons factory at Aldermaston.

The demonstration had been organised by the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War (DAC) and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) joined in.

Gerald Holtom, a designer and former World War II conscientious objector from West London, persuaded DAC that their aims would have greater impact if they were conveyed in a visual image. The "Ban the Bomb" symbol was born.

He considered using a Christian cross motif but, instead, settled on using letters from the semaphore - or flag-signalling - alphabet, super-imposing N (uclear) on D (isarmament) and placing them within a circle symbolising Earth.

The sign was quickly adopted by CND.

Holtom later explained that the design was "to mean a human being in despair" with arms outstretched downwards.

Full article here

Wishing all of our readers who celebrate it a Happy Easter Weekend, and a hope for true peace in our lifetimes. :D



Permalink 03:48:40 am, by Email , 28 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesday, Museums And Historic Sites

Wordless Wednesday - "Tuesday Edition"

The National Gallery in London.

Happy Wordless Wednesday! And Thank You For Stopping By!

For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants please click here.

Image Credit: WIKI



Permalink 08:59:36 am, by Email , 111 words   English (CA)
Categories: Americana, Holidays And Traditions, British History

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Postcard mailed in the United States in 1912

Saint Patrick's Day is an annual feast day which celebrates Saint Patrick (circa 385–461 AD), one of the patron saints of Ireland, and is generally celebrated on March 17.

May the blessing of the rain be on you—
the soft sweet rain.
May it fall upon your spirit
so that all the little flowers may spring up,
and shed their sweetness on the air.
May the blessing of the great rains be on you,
may they beat upon your spirit
and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there many a shining pool
where the blue of heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.

Saint Patrick's Day!



Permalink 09:55:48 am, by Email , 129 words   English (CA)
Categories: Kings And Queens, British History

Catherine of Aragon

Katherine of Aragon (16 December 1485 – 7 January 1536)

Catherine of Aragon was the daughter of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, and the first of English King Henry VIII's wives. Catherine first married Henry's older brother Arthur, who died only months after the wedding. Henry married her shortly after he came to the throne. Though she was often pregnant during their long marriage, only one of her children, Mary, survived. In the 1530s, Henry broke with the Catholic church to get an annulment to his and Catherine's marriage. He wanted to marry a younger woman who could give him a son.

"Katherine of Aragon" as a young widow

Please note that Katherine is the spelling accepted by scholars, and used by the queen herself. Catherine is the popular, but modernized spelling.



Permalink 08:12:07 pm, by Email , 30 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesday, The Ancient World

Wordless Wednesday

Augustus Caesar - Emperor of the Roman Empire

Happy Wordless Wednesday! And Thank You For Stopping By!

For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants please click here.

Image Credit: WIKI



Permalink 01:39:39 pm, by Email , 149 words   English (CA)
Categories: Kings And Queens, British History

Anne Boleyn

Portrait of Anne Boleyn by an unknown artist, 1525.

Anne Boleyn was the second wife of King Henry VIII, and the younger woman who it had been hoped for would give him a son. Anne was in her 20s when Henry began to court her. She had lived much of her life in Burgundy and France, and was well versed in courtly behaviour.

After a more than 10 year ordeal of breaking with the church and annulling his marriage to Katherine of Aragon, Henry secretly married Anne. She was a few months pregnant at the time.

The baby was a girl, Elizabeth, future Queen and namesake to the Elizabethan age.

Anne, too had failed Henry in the eyes of his court, as she went on to miscarry her next pregnancies. Eventually the powerful nobles turned Henry against her, and, after 1000 days as queen, she was executed for adultery, incest, and witchcraft.



Permalink 09:58:00 am, by Email , 281 words   English (CA)
Categories: Arts And Culture, History In The News, British History, Museums And Historic Sites

Cash opens up literary treasures

A map presented to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain and understood to have possibly been used in their discussions with Columbus in advance of his discovery of the New World in 1492

British treasures - including the earliest book written in the English language - are to go on display following a £5m gift the BBC is reporting. Read on:

The artefacts at the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library are currently accessible only to a few scholars.

The gift, from Oxford publisher Julian Blackwell, will go towards the creation of an exhibition hall at one of the library's sites.

Other treasures include an embroidered handwritten book by Queen Elizabeth I.

The Bodleian Library has a copy of almost every book printed and an extra 5,000 books are added to its catalogue each week.

It is the main research library for the University of Oxford and occupies several sites across the city.

The new centre will be named the Blackwell Hall in recognition of the donation and will form part of a £70m redevelopment of the New Bodleian Library.

Four original copies of the Magna Carta, written in the 13th Century, and one of only eight Gutenberg Bibles are among the artefacts held by the library.

The earliest complete book written in English, Gregory the Great's Pastoral Care, translated by King Alfred in about 890 AD is another of the treasures.

There are also many original handwritten texts of popular classics such as Frankenstein, as well as more than 10,000 medieval manuscripts.

Full BBC article here

This is very exciting!

A handwritten and hand embroidered volume by Queen Elizabeth I, dated 1545

What a wonderful gift to students, and those of us who just love QEI! :D


Pastime with Good Company

Pastyme With Good Companye

Welcome to the blog of amateur historians Matthew James Didier and Sue Darroch. Partners in life and in crime, we endeavor to entertain you with snippets from our combined historical research. Past time with good company indeed, as we shall introduce you to Kings and Knaves, Queens and Mistresses, Cons and Heroes, from our collective past......from events well known to those perhaps all but forgotten, we will do our best to bring you interesting historical factoids from around the globe. It is our belief that through understanding our past we will all gain a better perspective on our future.

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