Interludes with Cortana

So, new Dell laptop. Fearlessly and without the aid of any children or grandchildren I switched it on, and at once was assailed by this maiden of loud cheery voice who informed me her name was Cortana and could she assist me. She was astute enough to suggest I might want not to have her talking to me, and that was ok by her, which was fine by me, cheery voices are not required when setting up a new computer, not in this house anyhows.

Now all was well, save for trying convince McAfee I have a two year subscription in force and not their tweedly 28 day free one…I sense phone calls are in order, never much fun when contacting computer helplines, no matter how much info you have prepared for the call someone always manage to find some obscure question to ask you.

Well, truth be known that WAS my only problem. I have a new one; this lady Cortana. She has taken to asking me odd questions. I was about to check something  and Type Search when the following announcement appeared:

Remind me at Saturday 6pm

Convert 172 inches into centimetres.

This troubled me greatly. In the first instance I could not recall having put aside any time at 6pm on the coming Saturday for anything whatsoever, it was a possible blank piece of the day for me to do so as I wished. Then there was this question of converting 172 inches into centimetres. Why should anyone should think I wish to know how many centimetres are equivalent to 14 feet 4 inches was beyond me, there seemed no possible use to the business to my mind. Admittedly if you are one of those people who concern themselves over quantities of the consumption a particular species of edible fish and wished to demonstrate this in terms of length there might be some use. But for myself it was a random subject of no interest.

By good fortune though other domestic matters took my attention, such as trying get my other computer out of its state of complete cantankerous faux-collapse. As the fiendish device had been foiling my attempts at productive work for weeks and I now had a more sober and responsible machine, this task I set about with a cavalier attitude and the craven thing sank into meek submission.

Feeling quite superior, I went to checking with my new model and found Cortana was now advising me

My groceries are arriving

Flight BA 196

At this stage it was obvious the young lady was getting quite giddy in her attempts to be helpful. If she had troubled to consult a Google map or whatever else, she would have noticed the nearest supermarket of note is but three miles from our house and does not have a runway. This however did not occur to her for in her excitement she had now imagined a stalwart pilot had manoeuvred their craft into a 90 degree climb to be over our home, at which point bold members of the crew would be deploying parachuted goods to land all over our street. As I had not been consulted over the order, goodness what Cortana assumed would arrive. Happily the air space above our home was only intruded into by one light aircraft about its own business.

It now remains to be seen just what the lady will have believed to be of import to me, there are obviously a myriad of possibilities, and to suggest one might seem rude and spoil her fun.

Once the initial shock is over, the best strategy is to accept these little eccentricities for what they are.


Book Launch!- A True History of These Isles Vol II (or 2).

At last Vol II (or 2) of my A True History of These Isles is up and about on Amazon Kindle!      History Vol II

Still in the style of the Legendary 1066 and All That this volume covers the era from 1216 (sort of) after Bad King John (the Only, so far) and up to the Battle of Bosworth Field (22nd August 1485) and the downfall of Controversial King Richard III.

There were lots of kings, and other colourful characters in all of the Nations (alphabetically England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales) (chronologically Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England) and thus this was a great deal of fun to write.

In addition to supplying dates and a sort of correct of history I am, naturally hoping to cause a swath of controversy over some of my conclusions and interpretations; the true intention of any historian, as facts are often variable as well as being disputable.

To clarify what may seem sudden flourish of books (3) under my name. Vol I (or 1 or One) was original published in March 2017, but as with all good history books was 51vnj7ZqupL__SY346_updated in the light of new research, using Grammarly to clear up typos and a new improved headings system, thus was re-launched in January.


Book Cover 9My Fantasy Novel ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ was originally published in October 2017 and subsequently everything which was wrong was sorted out and re-launched in January.



Thus Vol 2 of the History is the only one of the three which is a truly Newly Published Book.

From tomorrow (1st Feb to Sunday 4th Feb) Vol 2 will be free on Kindle. Anyone who takes advantage of this offer and reads the book is invited to start a controversial debate over any of the dates, interpretations and conclusion asserting why these are wrong as there is nothing which sells a history book so well as someone publicly doubting the accuracy of the content.     

Take advantage of this easy method to learn about the Middle-Middle or Late-Middle Ages of these Isles (or yes and bits about France too because we were quite mixed up together in those days).

A True History of These Isles Vol.I- relaunch

A True History of These Isles Volume II Chapter 19- The End(s) of York and Lancaster, The Rise of Tudors


Edward IV died of too much on the 9th April 1483 and his son Edward (now the V) just 12 years old was crowned king, although Edward (the V) was in the care of his mother’s family (ie The Woodvilles) it appears Edward’s father, ie Edward IV had said in his will that his brother Richard should be Lord Protector which meant he was to look after the realm and his nephew. Regrettably, Richard didn’t like the Woodvilles and they didn’t like him; this did not bode well for young Edward (V) or his brother (Richard, Salisbury of, younger).

Richard (of Gloucester)

Richard was the youngest son of the grave and stern looking Richard Duke of York, being born 2nd October 1452. His formative years he had had his fair share of escaping, fleeing, fighting and generally being of The House of York. When Edward (the IV, that is) had been king Richard had remained staunchly loyal, looking after some of the north, helping invade France and being popular with The Common People (at the time). He had also sort of invaded Scotland with or for Edward when the Scots were arguing over which James was king. Up until the death of his brother Edward (you know which one!) he was considered by everyone apart from the Woodvilles and their affiliates (and Lancastrians lying low) as ‘Reasonable for a Duke’.

The Rivalry

As it will have been noticed in previous chapters rivalries between families and or powerful men in their own rite were not uncommon. In those days this did not mean just deliberately forgetting a birthday, not sending Christmas cards or ‘unliking’ them on social media. There often fatal consequences, Richard who as a result of the Wars was short on family whereas the Woodvilles were not and thus he may have felt threatened and was not inclined to flee anywhere. Thus has Lord Protector he acted as follows:

He protected little Edward by taking him away from the Woodvilles, executing a couple of them and locking Edward and his brother in The Tower (London of,) for their safety (sort of).

He claimed he was told by some clergymen that his brother had been supposed to marry one Eleanor Talbot who was by good happenstance dead by then. A scholar by the name of Titulus Regilius was consulted and he agreed Edward (IV) shouldn’t have married thus anyone called Woodville and subsequent children were not allowed to be kings. Thus, the only option was Richard, who became The III on the 6th July 1483.

The Princes, Did He or Didn’t He?

Much has been written, said or acted (sometimes very badly) on this subject and the general opinion of historians is that the two princes died on Richard’s watch. This, however, has been disputed by many people, so much so that there was much celebration when Richard (the III, not his nephew) body was found in a car park and re-buried in a church. There have been many interesting (and sometimes entertaining) theories on the subject, thorough and painstaking research has led this author to conclude, the following.

1.One or other or both of the Princes may have been murdered by someone on Richard’s orders, as no one wanted another minority, did they now? Look how that had worked out with Henry VI! And this sort of thing had been happening for centuries, a king had to do what a king had to do.

2. Both Princes may have been allowed to flee if they knew what was good for them and stay quiet on the mainland of Europe. And not come back as Pretenders.

3.Both Princes had been seemingly rescued by opponents of Richard then murdered to make him look bad. The Renaissance was starting, and all sorts of new dirty tricks were being invented.

4.Both Princes died of something which would have been dreadfully embarrassing as who was going to believe Richard and he couldn’t think up a good cover-up.

5.Everyone was fed-up of the Houses of York and Lancaster and wanted the whole lot cleared out, irrespective how, where or when.

6. Being jolly young lads they escaped of their own accord and ran away to join a company of travelling players with a view to becoming Pretenders

However, thanks to Shakespeare and the Tudors it was generally believed Richard had had the little princes cruelly slain in their bed or made to dress up in cute little velvet clothes and then got them slewed.

The matter will never be resolved, which is good news for historians and writers of historical fiction.


The Tudurs were a welsh family, although not princely were reasonably noteworthy, in a welsh way. Chance brought them to the centre of History.

No one had quite known what to do with Henry V’s young widow Catherine (once of Valois). Eventually she was packed off to Wales, where it was reckoned she could do no harm. One day looking out of a window, she chanced to see Owen Tudur (Sir) swimming (naked), whether this was by chance or he happened to be the sort of who knowingly swam naked when lonely young ladies were about is a matter of conjecture. Anyhow some say they were married, some say not, what is certain they had several children amongst whom where Jasper and Edmund both of whom married well (in a Lancastrian sort of way) and did service during the Wars of the Roses, but not in a way the Yorkists appreciated; Owen was possibly be-headed, and Jasper died of plague while in prison, so cannot be blamed for not washing his hands.

Edmund now took care of his young nephew Henry and they spent many years fleeing and returning to These Isles.

By now there were so few Lancastrian royals left that many of their supporters thought since Henry’s mother was a Beaufort (but on a small scale) whose family was sort of royal and as Henry could kind of claim descent from Cadwaldr, the last British King (and thus Welsh) of Britain, Henry had a sort of claim. Everyone took this seriously and he had to hide for the Sun of York, even in France. Eventually, however on hearing that every noble in England was pretending to be horrified by the not uncommon slaughtering of two young nobles Henry now an adult landed wisely in Wales and marched east knowing he was bound to bump into Richard (The III) eventually. At this stage to appeal to English supporters he styled himself Tudor.

Bosworth, Battle Of,

Richard depending on your preference had either been brooding in dark corners talking to himself, arranging for folk to be murdered, or being an average kingish sort of person when the news of Henry’s sort of invasion reached him. He at once rallied a Yorkist sort of Army and marched west knowing he was bound to bump into Henry (Tudor) eventually.

On the 22nd  (ish) of August 1485 after a lot of footling about the place the armies met in Leicestershire near Market Bosworth in a field, though which one is often argued over. Richard’s Army was mostly English, Yorkish and not wholly professional. Henry’s had some Lancastrians, quite a few Welsh and most importantly French and German mercenaries, care of the French, who were more than happy to have English kill each other off.

The battle swayed this way and that, noteworthy for the curious reason everyone called Stanley stood to one side to see how things went. Eventually, Richard who actually at this juncture did have a horse decided to put an end to the business by memorably charging straight at Henry, who give him his due memorably stood his ground. Richard hacked his way through the Tudor lines, but the mercenaries professionally closed ranks and thus Richard isolated with a few noble followers was hacked himself but did not surrender, thus was still very gallant; what Henry was doing apart from sitting nobly is not recorded. Someone found the crown and gave it to Henry.

Richard although now quite dead, but by the standards of the nobility quite respectably so was chopped up even more and thrown somewhere, eventually to be a car park and left to the mercies of Tudor commentators, Shakespeare and questionable interpretations by actors.

Henry became a VII.

And so, ended the Wars, Roses of, with nary a proper survivor of York or Lancaster in sight.


Consequences of, and A New Age Imported.  

During the many years of wars, lots of knights in their armour had been gallantly, foully or accidentally killed.

This happened just about the same time as gunpowder and long spears called pikes were being invented which meant any commoner could knock a noble off of a horse with comparative ease. Also, because the nobility had been chasing about the lands being such hysterics and opportunists, the old veneers were starting to wear off.

These innovations and changing perspectives coupled with the lack of surviving nobility meant the old Late, Late Medieval era was coming to an end and anyone who was still a living noble had to consider other ways to get to power aside from charging where the opposition was the thickest.

Also, because there had been so much fleeing to France etc and Calais was still in English hands, returning exiles were bringing back all sorts of continental habits such as revitalised trading links, better gunpowder and smaller ways to use it, more ships to sail longer distances, other lands to exploit and The Early Renaissance, which meant everything had to change.

This will be discussed in the next volume.

A True History of These Isles Volume II Chapter 17- The Wars (Roses of,) Actually Start

A True History of These Isles Volume II Chapter 18- Of Two Kings One of Twilight and One of Sunrise(ish)

A True History of These Isles Volume II Chapter 18- Of Two Kings One of Twilight and One of Sunrise(ish)


By early 1461 all pretence about loyalty to etc Henry VI was off. Nobles had not just been nobly slew(ed) in the battle at Wakefield but ungallantly executed. Thus, Richard (The late, York Duke of,)’s eldest surviving son Edward was going about saying he should be king. As he was in London with HIS army he convinced parliament to be in Accord with this and pass an Act. Since Henry VI had now taken to laughing and singing for no good reason many folk could see Edward’s point.

Margaret vs Warwick and Edward

At this stage, The Yorkist’s had a problem on 17th Feb 1461. A battle was fought between Warwick’s Yorkist forces and Margaret (Anjou & Queen) ‘s Lancastrians over (A) Who should have Henry (Warwick did at the time), (B) The road to London (Warwick also held that) and (C)  St Albans, which no one really cared about but happened to be where they met. Margaret’s forces won by manoeuvre, treacheries and having lots of plundering scots; she had Henry back, (still The VI, laughing and singing). Having taught her son Edward (Prince Wales of) about Yorkists he had prisoners’ heads chopped off. Edward (Duke York of,) should have been there but he was delayed on the welsh border by loyal Lancastrian Tudors and was obliged to fight a battle on the land of someone called Mortimer who was naturally very cross at the damage done. Aware that Edward was on the loose Margaret decided not to go south (to London) but north nearer her scot’s allies and also nab York which would make The Yorkist look all kinds of silly.

Eventually the two large armies met at Towton (which is  quite near York) on the 29th March 1461, as Edward said the people wanted him as King and as Margaret and her supporters had Henry VI (who was really not sure about anything) and said he was King, this was going to be a decider. It is recorded as the largest, bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil and was a Yorkist victory for the weather was against The Lancastrians. Some historians claim it didn’t really matter in the scheme of things; had they been in the ranks they might have had a different opinion.

In the aftermath, Margaret, Edward (her son), Henry VI (King of ?) and a few surviving Lancastrian nobles fled to Scotland. Margaret realising the Scots had lost some of their enthusiasm went, with many adventures back to France with her son (Edward, of course). As for Henry since he had already been classified as being in Two Parts (Young King. Vague King) was made into a Third Part and hidden in Scotland, Yorkshire and Northumberland, although this was not a very good plan as he was captured again in 1465!

Edward Officially The IV

On the 4th March 1461, with much celebration and a few accidental deaths due to said celebrations Edward was officially, legally (sort of) and generally made King of England.

Although 6 foot 4 inches tall, a tried and tested warrior, popular with The Nevilles (Northern, Large Retinue, Experienced at dirty tricks, Warwick’s family etc) and the ordinary people, many nobles families grumbled or said they had no opinion. This did not bother Edward as he was large, jovial and given to appetites, particularly in the areas of food and women.

Edward Annoys People He Shouldn’t Have Annoyed

The latter caused great consternation when he fell in love with one very common Elizabeth Woodville, who said she ‘wouldn’t’ unless they were married. Edward besotted (and IV) married her in secret, then told his council afterwards, who were even more cross than Mortimer and they said so. Warwick who had been busy making much of trying to arrange Edward’s marriage to a French (possibly) princess was made to look a complete fool in the eyes of the French, this didn’t take much encouragement and thus was even more cross than the Council (or Mortimer- but not an Edmund)

The Rise of The Woodvilles. Warwick Plots-Lots.

Whereas the Woodvilles were grasping, self-serving, conniving and rapacious in the usual ways, they were Commoners which did not suit the nobility at all, particularly Warwick who was losing his grip on Edward and in consequence took to plotting. In this, he was assisted by his son-in-law George, brother to Edward (IV, King, appetites etc), who was another younger son unhappy with just being a Duke ruling over everyone called Clarence and felt he deserved better. (see Thomas Brother of Henry the V)

Initially, this involved orchestrating a small rebellion in 1469 by a minor noble masquerading as Robin Throw-The-Woodvilles- Out, with a view to making George king, and they were victorious at Edgecot on 26th July. Although Warwick and the rebels had captured Edward (IV) the Robin was killed, so Warwick had to find another one. In the meantime, Warwick realised he could not rule without an Edward (IV), so was obliged to let Edward (IV) go. Edward accepting that this was ‘how things went’ was nearly willing to accept Warwick in a lesser role, but Warwick tried to capture him again, this plot was discovered and by tradition Warwick was obliged to flee the country and go to France.

Louis XI- Good at Plots.

Although Charles VII(of France) had been quite successful in the Roses Wars Of, by getting more of France off of The English, during his latter years he suffered from ill-health and his son Louis who reckoned it was his time and so became king by coincidence also in 1461, Louis (now XIth) didn’t have that many appetites, but was very good at plotting (and kept a universally large collection of spiders). So good were his plots that he managed to get Warwick (and possible George) to meet with Margaret (Still of Anjou and believing herself to be Queen) and organise a really good plot. After the traditional icy greetings and veiled insults had been exchanged Warwick, Edward and Margaret agreed to Louis’ way of doing things.

This was indeed a truly good plot. A sort of rebellion was raised in the north of England, Edward (VI) marched (with an army) to deal with it, Warwick and George (of Clarence) landed on the 13th September 1470 at both Dartmouth and Plymouth, the people were so impressed they rallied to this cause. Edward was nearly surrounded and fled to the Netherlands. Someone found Henry (VI-sort of) and Lancastrian rule was re-established. George was made Duke of York and Warwick ‘advised’ Henry (VI) who really had lost complete track of who was who.

International Politics Intervenes      

In 1471 Louis (XI) and the impressively named Charles The Bold (Of Burgundy) went to war over something or other. Burgundy was so powerful Charles was able to finance Edward (IV) to land in England, and thus annoy Louis. On 14th March 1471, Edward (IV, intending to be) naturally landed on the Yorkshire coast. Due to subsequent bad weather Margaret (Anjou and still tough with it), Edward (her son, might be Prince of Wales) and a lot of French reinforcements couldn’t arrive, and George decided he would be happier just ruling all the Clarences after all. Thus, Warwick was obliged to fight with who he had on the 14th April at Barnet, once more the weather was bad, so bad the Lancastrians got lost and fought each other, Warwick was captured and killed, and Edward was THE IV again.

The End of Lancaster (House of)

Margaret still determined eventually landed with son in tow, but on the 4th May at Tewkesbury was defeated by Edward who getting really fed up of the whole business had this other Edward who was old enough, executed. As a result, Margaret understandably was quite despondent and was captured and eventually put in the Tower of London, where Henry (no longer officially a VI) was too. In order to tie up, any loose ends Edward VI arranged for Henry to die of remorse. Since under the rules of Chivalry he was not able to execute Margaret he kept her locked up, in the Tower, with a lot of Guards, doors triple locked. He needn’t have bothered.

Other Business

Feeling quite secure and wishing to repay a favour Edward invaded France in 1475 in support of Charles The Bold (Burgundy), who didn’t turn up. As any further fighting was pointless Edward sold Margaret back to Louis who would know what to do with her and accepted a large bribe to go away from France which was what the original Peace Party had been banging on about in the 1420s!

George of York and Clarences started to grumble a lot between 1477 and 1478, hire men to make questionable horoscopes concerning Edward and tried to encompass him with them. Everyone apart from Clarence was tortured and executed, but he hired someone to rush into Parliament and say they were all innocent. Naturally, he was arrested, tried for treason (and probably Gross Stupidity) and of course found guilty.

At this stage, the writer wishes to clarify for American readers that he was not punished by having his butt stuck in a large barrel of wine. At his own request, he was drown in a said barrel, this may have been a cunning ploy to drink his way out and thus escape. He miscalculated, and his last words may have been ‘blub, blub’.

Edward and the Scots resumed invading in the 1470s each other on a small basis, but since the scots were involved in fighting over which James should be king, if at all, Edward decided to keep out of it and concentrate on appetites.

Eventually, he died of said appetites on the 9th April 1483.

Legacy of Two Kings

Although Henry was technically a king longer, he was essentially a tragic figure who was used and so had his name in the titles of three plays written by Shakespeare. Edward was robust, larger than Life but suffered from appetites and Woodvilles; thus, only qualified for minor play which is only attributed, but not performed.

They both lost The Hundred Years’ War.


All this left The Woodvilles and his Edward’s Younger Brother Richard to scrap over who controlled Edward’s two young sons and more importantly England….. It was going to be messy

A True History of The Isles Volume II Chapter 16- War of the Roses- 1421 to 1453 An Era of Councils (and a sort of king)

A True History of These Isles Volume II Chapter 17- The Wars (Roses of,) Actually Start

A True History of These Isles Volume II Chapter 17- The Wars (Roses of,) Actually Start

Between 1450 and 1460 turbulences reached new heights or depths depending on if you were on the wrong end of the sword. These are the essential episodes.

Henry’s Health- Richard in Ascendancy

Because Henry was incapacitated a new council was formed. Suffolk had been one of those put in and out of the tower and Henry had been obliged to banish him in 1450, some folk thought this a feeble idea and executed him at sea which Henry couldn’t do much about. Thus,Somerset by himself tried to stop Richard being on the council, but failed and ended up in the Tower, Cardinal Kemp died in 1454 which no one would have worried about (apart from popes, bishops etc) had he not been Chancellor, a person who was so important kings had to listen to (or execute) them, only kings could appoint one and Henry was not able to. So, since Somerset was in the Tower Richard was made Lord Protector, but wasn’t allowed to sit on the throne.

Queen Margaret Takes Centre Stage

Margaret was intelligent, quick-witted, determined and independent; qualities in women only appreciated in places like France, Italy and Spain (and Sometimes Scotland). Richard being very English thought she should just be quiet and give birth to heirs, Margaret being Margaret thought Richard should do as he was told. They didn’t get on and this was one of the major causes of Roses, The Wars of; Richard suspecting that Margaret was actually being the king (de facto, ad hoc, etc).

Henry’s Health Improves- That of England’s Doesn’t   

In 1455 Henry recovered found he was a father, said everything that Richard had done was wrong and Somerset should not be in The Tower. In this, he was supported by his wife Margaret (Queen and, Of Anjou)

At this stage it was obvious war would happen and everyone chose up sides. To make it easier, if people supported Richard, Duke of York, they were Yorkists; if people felt a king was always right and as Henry VI was of the house of Lancaster (Henry IV, of Parts I & II), they were Lancastrians. Yorkists went about telling people they should not be queasy about rebelling, because Henry IV (both parts) had tipped Richard (the II, not York, Duke of) off of the throne, and hadn’t been a proper king. (but that wasn’t Henry V’s fault-beyond reproach etc). No one actually picked flowers waved them at each other, this would have been thought frivolous.

The Wars of, Start

Not caring to be placed in a tower of any sort Richard assembled a much bigger army with a few more nobles, including the up and coming Warwick who had supported Henry VI but not Somerset, Warwick was also named Richard this appears to have no effect one way or the other. There were also Nevilles on one side and Percys on the other and was probably the reason for there being fighting.  Both sides met at St Alban’s on the 22nd May 1455 for the first official battle. Somerset was killed, neither Richard was, it was a famous Yorkist Victory, after which both Richards and other nobles rushed to Henry (the VI)’s tent and pledge loyalty to him and tell him he had been rescued. Henry being confused by so many Richards he believed them. And York, Duke of was back in charge.

Margaret Strikes Back

However, Margaret was having none of this and she convinced Henry VI to act normally. In 1456 York was told he was in wrong again and could not rule as the king and queen had found a new Somerset (Duke of), who importantly was also a Henry, which balanced thing up. York (the Duke) was packed off to Ireland and the Nevilles and Percys were told if they must fight they were only allowed to due this in the Far North, where only the Scots would be inconvenienced.

In 1458 Henry (King & VI) had an idea inspired by a Bouchier (Bishop-Arch, Canterbury, of). They both thought it would be a good idea if both sides walked along arm in arm, pretending they were all friends led by the king to St. Paul’s Cathedral. This would be a ‘love day’, preceeding by 310 years events in San Francisco (which to be fair had not yet been invented). As those taking part were mostly ruthless, conniving, battle-hardened men whose capacity to bear grudges was legendary this was not a success unless you count the fact that none of the participants killed each other on that day.

Warwick & York Assemble- It Doesn’t Work

Because the French had had success as pirates along the English south coast Warwick thought he would try his hand at this, but new at the game kept attacking Spanish and Hanseatic League (Germans, mostly) ships and was commanded to explain himself to Henry (VI, not Somerset, although it might as well have been). Instead, he opted to meet up with York and his eldest son Edward (note that name for future ref). The Yorkist army was bigger than the Lancastrian when they bumped into each other at Ludford Bridge, Ludow on the 12th October 1459 and should have won, but embarrassingly for Warwick a number of his men led by Andrew Trollope (Sir) who was secretly loyal to Henry (VI) deserted. Thus Warwick (Richard) with The Yorks were obliged to flee to Wales and then to Ireland although Warwick ended up in the West Country, due to the wind.

York & Warwick Assemble-This Time It Works

Although it seemed England was now back in the Lancastrian hands Henry started acting oddly again while letting his supporters get rich and corrupt in the usual way. This made the Common People angry (again).

Regrettably, for French people living in and around Calais, this was still in English hands and both Yorkist and Lancastrians would hold it, besiege it or flee there, sometimes all three at once. In 1460 the port was held by Warwick who practiced more piracy and arranged with Richard (the York one) to land in England again at Kent with his son George who was entitled to be Salisbury, Earl of, whether Lancastrians liked it or not.

The Yorkists then marched north (to York probably), Henry VI was sort of leading a Lancastrian army, and they bumped into each other on 10th July 1460 around Northampton. It rained and made the Lancastrian cannons soggy, thus the Yorkists charged victoriously. Although several loyal nobles nobly died defending him Henry was captured again! At this juncture, once again Richard, Warwick etc swore loyalty etc unto Henry. Although thinking there might be a troubling pattern developing here Richard began to consult family trees to see if he might be able to be king; this caused concern in some Yorkist ranks as they liked having an unworldly, vague sort of monarch as long as they controlled him.

Margaret Is Not Finished Yet

This, of course, did not suit Margaret (of Anjou, Queen, sometimes King, England of), who with son Edward (not the Richard of York’s one; her own) travelled north to Scotland. At this time Scotland was being run by Queen Mary (once of, of Guelders-in the area of Netherlands-Germany-fought over a lot). Her husband James II having been blown up by one of his own cannons and her son James III being too young. If there was one thing Richard and the Yorkists did not need was two intelligent, independent, determined, able Queenish sort of women getting together. Margaret asked for an army, Mary said she could have one if she, Mary could have Berwick, Margaret didn’t feel any particular attraction for the place and agreed. Margaret’s mistake was a failure to realise that England and Scotland had been scrapping over that area for centuries and just giving it away to the Scots angered many English folk, even if they lived in the South and didn’t know where Berwick was.

A Yorkist Tragedy. Margaret as Henry V (the unromantic side of his character)

Thinking he could settle the business Richard (still of York and thinking about being a Richard III) marched north. This time the armies actually met at Wakefield on 30th December 1460. Because of treachery and the Lancastrians having Trollope (see above Ludford Bridge etc.), Richard rode in the wrong direction and he and many Yorkists were slaughtered, including his son Edmund and several nobles.

Margaret then marched south telling her scots and very northern soldiers they could plunder as much as they pleased when they reached the south, they decided anything south of Wakefield was fayre game and much harm was done to the Lancastrian cause….

Meanwhile Richard’s Son- Edward had survived and was in London scaring people about Margaret’s army, which to be fair didn’t take much doing.

The results will be looked at in the next chapter…

A True History of The Isles Volume II Chapter 16- War of the Roses- 1421 to 1453 An Era of Councils (and a sort of king)

A True History of The Isles Volume II Chapter 16- War of the Roses- 1421 to 1453 An Era of Councils (and a sort of king)

It must be stressed this Chapter of The Wars of the Roses does not contain any battles or wars even those in France, Scotland, Ireland, Wales etc. These may or may not have had an impact on The True Wars of The Roses, but weren’t actually part of The Wars of, more a case of Wars During Of The Roses. It is essential this difference is kept in mind, because of the numbers of persons, families, factions, and bishops involved in the actual Wars (of) of The Roses, which at the time was not called The Wars of anything in particular. Or might have been termed The Cousins’ Wars by those not related to anyone involved.

I thought this clarification was necessary.

As stated previously although there were kings (Henry VI, Edward IV, Edward V (not much) and Richard III) they were only part of the whole business, but are useful as headings for certain episodes.

(In point of fact it was only when Henry VII (Tudor- Bosworth, Battle of, etc) came along did royalty actually take complete charge again.)

Henry VI- The Start of It

The Minority- Organised, Sort Of,

This Henry was born on 6th December 1421 and because his father Henry (The V, Agincourt etc) died not long after was sort of made a type of king on 31st August 1422, not that he noticed. As he was still obviously not able to sit on a throne much less wear a crown it was necessary to appoint a council to rule for him. Naturally the council was divided, and members hated each other, basically, the principal division was between:

The Peace Party who wanted to stop fighting The French, make as much money as they could by one means or another and were possibly corrupt. The principal organiser was Henry Bowlegs Bishop of Winchester but had to put up with Humphrey (Gloucester Duke of) who said he was entitled to be in charge of England, sort of. The latter was a jovial fellow and naturally more popular than a bishop.

The War Party who didn’t want to stop fighting The French, and were not corrupt but stern war-like men. These were sort of led by John (Bedford, Duke of) who said Henry (VI of) was also King of France because John said so.

This is one occasion where a bunch of self-serving corrupt men might have been the better option; at least if you were a French peasant

France- A Problem

France had never been as easy as Henry (The V, St Crispin’s Day etc) had made out. King Charles VI for some time had been colourfully but not amusingly mad. This had naturally resulted in a family feud over power in which Charles’ cousin John (The Fearless, apparently) Duke of Burgundy in 1407 had Charles’ uncle Louis (of Orleans and Armagnac) murdered. Thus, without Charles’ knowledge, a war broke out between the Armagnacs and The Burgundians and the English and although the latter two were supposed to be on the same side, everything got mixed up. Particularly as in 1419 John (still fearless was assassinated right back)

The Peace Party’s suggested solution would have been to accept a large bribe from the French (of either side) to go away (and take whatever moveable valuables they could snatch and become even richer). This would have been a more sanguine option

Things were made even more complicated when in 1427 a peasant girl Joan (Jean in French) said God had given her the task of chasing the English out of France. On certain theological grounds, this made sense as the thought of two bombastic, conceited, and aggressive nations united under one king (of either nation) would have been far too much for Europe to bear. Joan was very good at this, and in fine heroic tradition was betrayed, captured and martyred on 30th May 1431 which rallied French people and gained the Armagnacs (without Charles VI-now the dead) the moral high-ground and Bedford would eventually died of Joans etc.

Because Joan had managed to get Charles (The VII-quite sane and cunning) crowned king in Rheims on 17th July 1429, the English response was to plonk an English crown on Henry (the VI) little head on the following 6th November then get the kid off to Paris where they crowned him a King of France on 6th December 1431. By now, however, many French people were not willing to be ruled by English people and Henry was shuffled back to England quickly.

From then on, The English began to lose bits of France and The Burgudians weren’t so keen anymore. At any news of which Henry used to burst into tears which was not very encouraging. Naturally, all the nobles blamed each other as at this stage they were not allowed to blame a king.

The Era of Henry The VI A Ruler (Sort Of)- (1) Peace & Marriage.

In 1437 having reached the age of 16 Henry was supposed to be able to rule by himself, but didn’t. His council were still arguing, lesser nobles were engaged in very smallish wars with each other, ragged soldiers back from France and robbers were robbing, Scots were defending Scotland by invading bits of England, and the French were doing very well, by using large cannons which although not as romantic as ranks of bowmen, were more effective.

By now Henry (VI-ish) was fed up of Bad News From France and was persuaded by (Now a) Cardinal Bowtie and the up and comingly conniving Earl of Suffolk, this could be stopped if he married someone French and gave a few fiddly bits away. Margaret of Anjou was trotted out, all was arranged by Charles VII (still of France and doing quite well, thank you). Thus the pair were married on the 23rd of April 1445. Although there was official rejoicing there was actually a lot of grumbling, which caused Henry to dither, but Margaret being of sterner stuff made him stick with the territory bit of deal.

The Era of Henry The VI A Ruler (Sort Of- (2)- The Nobles Who Really Ran Things.

At this juncture Henry was being strongly advised by Dukes Suffolk & Somerset, the former being cunning, the latter being a Beaufit and tied to Cardinal Beaupeep. Both were not popular and kept on losing bits of France which were still English to The French with whom England was at Peace (or War) with. They were also getting richer and letting their supporters fight unlicensed wars and of course pillage. They were  dreadfully cruel having plotted for jovial old Humphrey (Gloucester, of, Duke) to be arranged for Treason (though actually for the worse crimes of being jovial and popular with the Common People). He was so shocked he expired on 23rd February 1447. Because he had been so jovial this was probably brought on by eating, drinking, appetites, etc, but The Common People said he had been poisoned and hated Suffolk and Somerset even more.

Growing in opposition was Richard Duke of York, as he was a great-grandson of Edward III some folk thought he would be a good king. For he was stern, a loof (in those days considered an acceptable branch of Christianity) and had been fighting the French, nobly and well, but at his own expense, whereas Somerset was paid a lot by Henry to fight them badly. Richard began to ask for his expenses and complain about Somerset and Suffolk, but being too powerful to be arrested, was sent in 1447 or 9 to Ireland, which didn’t stop him at all as he made ‘alliances’ there.

So  frenetic were events that nobles began to arrest and place each other in the Tower of London then say they ruled in the King’s Name, but as they all said they were loyal to Henry those in the Tower were freed, so they could arrest those who had arrested them.

To add to the confusion in 1450 more of France was lost and a very common person called Jack Cade rebelled, arrested London and hung nobles and clergy. He might have got away with it had he not started acting like a noble and so was defeated and massacred.

By 1452 Richard had quite enough and assembled; Henry was told by his advisors to do the same, when they both assembled at Dartford (Kent) Richard found he had fewer troops and even fewer nobles than Henry, so had to go away.

After all this and still more losses of bits of France, Henry quite understandably suffered a breakdown in 1453 and justifiably didn’t speak to or recognise anyone.

Thus the stage was set…….

A True History of The Isles Vol II Chapter 15- The Wars of the Roses as advertised by Shakespeare, William.

A True History of These Isles Vol.I- relaunch

There is a somewhat confused picture of the history of ‘These Isles’, no more so than amongst the inhabitants. The intention of this and subsequent volumes is to put the business straight….


As all authoratative works must have good presentation to maintain the veneer of credibility there has been a revision in terms of typing errors, one possibly misleading statement, and an overall tiding up in presentation of Volume I of ‘A True History of These Isles’.

The work covers the history of the Isles currently encompassing in alphabetical order England, Ireland, Mann, Scotland and Wales. This volume leads from the original colonisation up to 1216 AD/BCE (ish)

To make up to the folk buying a faulty copy, the revised edition is being put out on Kindle for free up to and including Thursday 18th January.

Although I am somewhat pleased with the content, as opposed to the quality of presentation I do admit to a certain disappointment that no historian has felt the need to launch a scathing criticism. For it is an acknowledged circumstance of works of history that to have true value someone must call into question their authenticity.

Still, it has only been in ‘Kindle’ since March of 2017 so there is still time

Links to extracts follow:

A True History of The Isles Part 4- The Romans (Part I) time.

A True History of The Isles Part 18- The Rule of William The Conqueror (and also The I)

‘Of Patchwork Warriors’- The 2nd Launch!

Book Cover 9

Firstly, the …errr….First Edition sold some copies. And despite what I thought was a thorough self-editing process was so full of typos, bad grammar & other stuff that didn’t work I was somewhat horrified. Thus I set to….errrr…to put it right (write?). And so the 2nd Edition now digitally sits in Amazon’s Kindle Store. With my very own ‘garage-approach-cover

Because some folk purchased a flawed copy, I’m putting this edition out on a free promotion from Friday 12th January to Sunday 14th January. So, to those out there with their flawed copy- please get yourself a free copy. Anyone else you can join in too. (It’ll be 0.99p or $0.99 from Monday 15th onwards). In a perfect world I would know everyone who purchased a copy and e-mail them a pdf, but I realise folk might not want to hand out e-mail addresses, etc. So it’s a bit of a ‘fudge’ as we say in the UK.

Anyways, for those of you who have not come across this book.

‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ is a fantasy work with heavy sf overtones (or undertones- decide for yourself). When comparing it with many fantasy works it is Fantasy-Lite, an easy-going (sort of) work charting the adventures of three young women pushed together by a powerful force. They face quirks of Nature, monsters, evil folk, crooked folk, grim sincere folk, well-meaning but inept explorers ‘bastions’ of the Empire seeking stability and of course each other. There are fights with sufficient blood & gore. There are discourses of varying sorts, one being long and technical just to prove what goes through some folks’ minds. Intrigues, badly thought out schemes, cunning strategies, half-baked ideas and hope-for-the-best actions abound. Humour is on the bawdy side, although satire and parody take place. Romance and scenes of an adult nature occur. Swearing is covered by mostly made-up words. Overall it is hoped the word ‘fun’ permeates the reading. The first drafts were hard work; the later ones and the editing were actually ‘fun’

Shameless Plug warning35fe5d2718a60f4046d53bdc1e2bd495

…. If you’ve never read fantasy or sf, or read one and not the other. You could start here.

And it’s Part I of a trilogy or more…no sure yet.

Thanks to Audrey for a generous review and Sha’ Tara for hounding me over errors


en_greekphilosophersI’m done……

A True History of The Isles Vol II Chapter 15- The Wars of the Roses as advertised by Shakespeare, William.


Because the Wars of The Roses are very interesting, long and confusing they had the historical effect of making kings’ reigns part of them and not as was usual the other way around.

As it is important that the wars are addressed as the main topic we should therefore bear in mind that although they started (sort of) in 1455 and sorted ended almost in August 1485 at Bosworth Field, Battle Of; the whole business didn’t really stop there and slopped over even until Henry The VIII.

Causes for Origins

The build up to the actual wars was a long and complex business and is best consider from Edward III who in addition to invading many places also had lots of sons.

Sons of

Edward, Black Prince,- eldest and easily the most famous who would have been king but he died in France of not washing his hands. Thus kingship eventually passed to Richard II, who though not very successful did have a play written about him.

Lionel Duke of Clarence- he was born on 29th November 1338. He was 7 feet tall and had a daughter Philipa whose height was not recorded. She married on of many Edmund Mortimers. From this union was descended a Richard, a Duke of York who in the 1450s used to sit in Westminster saying he was or at least should be in charge.

John Duke of Lancaster– Born on the 6th March in the very neat years of 1340. He was serious, intelligent, gifted and so very Gaunt. For a while he aided Richard IIand also tried to be Spanish.,

Edmund Duke of York Born 5th June 1341. Richard II said after he had died, but not before Edmund was to be king; others didn’t agree, including Edmund.

Thomas Duke of Gloucester The youngest being born in 1355. He was one of the lords who forced Richard II to say for a while he was doing a bad job. Eventually Thomas was murdered by or for Richard II, who, therefore, can be seen as a wicked nephew

Events Prior To The Wars (Roses of)

When Richard (the II) died of Henry (the IV) he had not left a son (well not one that anyone noticed). This allowed everyone who was a male relative to say they had a ‘claim’ to the throne.

Amongst these was Henry IV (both Part 1 & 2) son of John of Gaunt by his wife Blanche who was a Bowfort, a careless family who had lost their name until it was found by Richard II who had generously said they could keep it.

Although Henry IV (Part I) had been crowned others said as he had only usurped the throne this didn’t count even if he did have two parts (and anyway he’d had lice). After Henry IV died of rebellions (and lice) there came Henry V. Now whereas some had tried to argue with Henry V they had ended up beheaded etc so the matter was dropped, however when he died of campaigning in France he only left a baby son who was was in a minority. The country was therefore run by a council of barons under the following rules and conventions:

They had to officially claim they acted in everyone’s best interests.

They acted in their own best interests.

They had to hate at least two other members of the council.

They either had to support war with France or peace with France.

They tried to avoid the king getting involved in government.

This never worked out well.

Things became so chaotic that two grand families who had their house in York or Lancaster tried to be kings.


During this era there were three and a bit kings these were:

Henry VI- (31st August 1422- 4th March 1461 & 3rd October 1470 -11th April 1471) who was possibly a kindly fellow (most of the time) and very pious, but was a weak king who kept on being captured and rescued and eventually recorded as being in Three Parts.

Edward IV- (4th March 1461 – 3rd October 1470 & 11th April 1471 – 9th April 1483) who was brave, bold and enjoyed his food so much that his brother Richard once playfully called him This Glorious Bun of York. Unfortunately, he had lots of other appetites and died of them.

Edward V– (9 April 1483- 25 June 1483). Son of IV. Who as he was only 12 didn’t get much of a chance and was either replaced or misplaced

Richard III- (26 June 1483- 22 August 1485) who took the whole business of kingship very seriously. He was the last King of England to fight a serious battle in England while famously and seriously being killed doing so. He may have seriously murdered his nephews (See Edward V) which makes him naturally far more interesting than his predecessors. He had a play written about him.


Other folk who were as interesting if not more so were:

Edward IV’s father Richard The Duke of York who was not grand and old but stern, austere and told everyone he was king when he wasn’t.

Warwick Earl of; who was loyal to Henry, then Edward, then got fed up with them both and was loyal to himself.

The Earl of Gloucester who believed the answer to everything was to fight the French.

Queen Margaret wife of Henry VI who was French but preferred to be considered Of Anjou

And was easily the toughest of the lot.

Edmund Bowdiddly- A Duke of Somerset who believed the answer was not to fight the French but get very rich instead.

A proliferation of Edmund Mortimers

Naturally, the Scots.

Louis XI King of France, who won the Hundred Years War by cunning, deceit, plots and thus displayed more intelligence than the whole English lot put together.

The Tudors who were welsh who came in several types and sizes and eventually won the whole thing

Naturally there were also grasping rapacious families.

In subsequent chapters all of these will be dealt with in more details

A True History of The Isles Vol. II Chapter 13. Henry IV a king of II parts.

A True History of The Isles Vol II Chapter 8 – The End of the 14th Century and Richard II (well also his beginning too)






A True History of The Isles Vol II Chapter 14 – Henry V A Good Play but a Questionable king?

Overview and Introduction 

Born 9th August 1386 son of Henry (to be a IV), grandson of John (Gaunt) and great-grandson of Edward (The III and ‘Who Can I Invade next?’). Although a sort of cousin of Richard II, because Richard didn’t trust anyone Henry was once removed but once Henry’s father (Henry of the broken bollens) was exiled and Henry (the son) was only a boy and not in line to the throne Richard (the II), treated him kindly. He was indulged by being allowed try his hand at intimidating the Irish, being but a lad it didn’t work. He gained more experience when his father was king and he spent time fighting the Welsh until 1408, when because of his father’s various interesting ailments he was obliged to take part in government and argue with his father.

Eventually he became king 9th April 1413 when it snowed a lot which may or may not have had any relevance

Controversy over his Youth and Also Some Rebellions   

Some folk said Henry (now The V) had led a riotous and dissolute youth in common company. This would have been difficult when he was fighting the Welsh, then being in government and arguing with his father. This was probably a rumour spread about by folk because of his friendship with Sir John known for his Odd Castle, probably having a counterfeit flag and being a Bollard, whose beliefs asserted that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church were useless. In those days this notion was heretical.

Sir John’s Rebellion of 1414

Despite this Henry (V), was very fond of John (Sir) and it was only when Sir John organised a rebellion in 1414 which was to take place on the 12th night of Christmas when people would be so full of food and drink they would be mumbling and so Henry and his brothers would be easy to capture. Sir John would then proclaim himself in charge while everyone found Edmund Mortimer.  Most of Sir John’s supporters had assembled at St. Giles’ field, since he wasn’t using it. Others foolishly gathered at an inn at Smithfield, thus rather scattered and somewhat merrie they were scattered even more since Henry had found out about the plot arrived with his own army. Most rebels were massacred, beheaded etc, but Sir John fled and when he tried to organise another rebellion in Southampton Henry felt the friendship might be lacking something.

Sir John and Some Others’ Rebellion of 1415

Rather than planning slaughter lots of Churchmen and hide Henry, this plot was to properly slaughter Henry and, since he had been found put Edmund Mortimer on the throne whether he wanted it or not. Because Richard II had said Edmund should be king. As a Lord Scrope was involved Henry’s suspicions were raised (see previous Chapter Scrope- a bishop). Everyone was arrested and executed before they got a chance to say anything noble. Sir John fled once more but was captured in Wales in 1417, hung, burnt and thus reckoned to no longer be a threat. Edmund Mortimer was quite relieved.

Domestic Policy 

Because of an excess of rebellions in the reign of his father and now his own, Henry (The V) was very severe and stern, but in a fayre way. He said everyone who did not rebel was welcome to help him as long as they realised that at the end of the day he was The King. Everyone still surviving got the message.

The Return of The Hundred Years War

Henry’s Claim to The French Crown

Although Henry (the V) carried on with his father (Henry IV)’s policy of speaking English officially, this did not stop him from saying he should be King of France. He based his claim on the following legal points:

The Kings of England had ancestors who were related to French Kings and now the French royal line were beginning to run out of sons, so much so one was Posthumous and for a while France had to be ruled by the whoever was the tallest noble in the realm. Although this crisis had passed the current King of France, Charles VI said he was made of glass and claimed his son was a dolphin. Henry V being serious thought it therefore his solemn duty to take over.

A subsidiary point was The French were supporting Owain Glyndwr in his rebellions and The Scots in their invasions. As the King of England was the most important king of the Isles (Or so claimed by kings of England) it was also his solemn duty to invade France to stop this.

Henry thus wrote a very long letter to the French explaining this. Someone in the French Court who was generally legible told him he couldn’t be king because his ancestors were women and only men were allowed to be ancestors of french kings. One of Henry’s lawyers (naturally a bishop) pointed out the French were using Gallic law, which didn’t really count as it had been invented in a part of France which had been German for a very long time now. And in addition it was pointed out (quite forcefully) to the French that it was a stupid law as everyone had to have male and female ancestor. Henry naturally wrote back and told the French this.

Probably because Henry was now using English in all his correspondence and this was a very complex matter, something went very wrong in translation and the French sent him a box of tennis balls as a reply. By now Henry was so extremely serious (and stern) he decided the only recourse was to invade France.

The Invasion. Harfleur and Agincourt

In August 1415 Henry and a large fleet arrived at the friendly French port of  Have a Flower, but sadly for the citizens Henry was still being stern (and serious) and after besieging it for a while he adopted the tactic of having his army pretend they were all tigers, thus frightening the inhabitants into surrendering. The English then bravely caught all sorts of diseases, so they would be outnumbered by any French army. In the meantime they slaughtered, ravaged and were generally unpleasant. Henry hung a few men but only when they invaded churches. Eventually a large French Army found the small English army at Agincourt on 25th October. Henry cleverly made his army stand still behind a very muddy field, then roused their spirits by telling them that because it was St Crispin’s Day everyone could say Henry was their brother. He then scorned English gentlemen at home saying they were doing naught but holding their manhoods in bed; this sort of comment much humoured the soldiers . Thus, rallied and inspired the English bravely slaughtered the heavily armoured French cavalry who were being very chivalrous by moving slowly through the muddy field.

As a result, the French surrendered and told Charles VI’s daughter Catherine she would have to marry Henry. Because her father had invented a hobby of running around his castles, her mother Isabeau (of Bavaria) was trying her hand at ruling France and the nobles arguing so much they would cram into separate houses to avoid each other, Catherine understandably agreed.

There was much celebration in England.

Political Ramifications

Everyone was so in awe of Henry that the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund said he didn’t think the French having a french King was a good idea and Henry should be in charge. Also, religion was very chaotic as there were three popes; they were so scared by Henry that they agreed there should only be one of them and they resolved to stay in Rome. To celebrate this accomplishment the English gallantly sunk a Genoese fleet which was trying to seize Have a Flower, and then made life miserable for lots of French people who had no opinion on things one way or the other.    

Henry’s Continued Campaigns

After a brief honeymoon, Henry between 1417 & 1420 invaded the parts of France he previously missed and so was not sure if they had surrendered. There are no records of noble speeches;, at this stage he appears to have concentrated on killing people irrespective of station in life and seizing their towns. He must have returned to England at some stage because his son was born Henry (to be VI) was born on 6th December 1421. At this time he was in France retrieving lands lost by his brother Thomas. Thomas had been feeling somewhat low having found out that although he was a duke he was only allowed to rule men who were called Clarence; he’d died as a result of victorious Frenchmen at Bauge in 1421. In consequence Henry rode this way and that in a very stern (and of course serious) manner slaughtering folk and besieging places. Not paying proper attention he did not washing his hands properly and died on 31st August 1422.


Although famous for Agincourt and generally defeating French armies, Henry did not become King of France, was rotten to ordinary French folk and to be honest did not die in a very exceptional manner, thus if it were not for having a play by Shakespeare he might not have been considered a famous king.

And dying so early he left things in England in a questionable state.

A True History of The Isles Vol. II Chapter 13. Henry IV a king of II parts.