The most popular girls’ names in Tudor England

Portrait of Elizabeth Knollys, Lady Leighton (b. 15 June 1549, maid of honor early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth

What were the most popular names for girls in England during the 16th century?

The Quirky Questions of Wynkyn de Worde

Chicken or egg? Photo by Ruben Alexander / Flickr

From the ‘chicken or egg’ question to age of a mouse, some of the riddles from England’s oldest joke book.

Ring Out the Old: Medieval Bells in England

Rabbit tolling church bells from the medieval devotional Book of Hours

Of the bells that survive, the oldest may be in St. Chad’s Church in Claughton in Lancashire.

The Mad Norse King

King Sigurðr depicted by Gerhard Munthe (1849–1929)

What happens when the mental health of a medieval King of Norway declines and falls into madness? The story of Sigurðr the Crusader, who reigned for over 25 years, reveals a fascinating account of mental illness from the 12th century.

The Medieval Magazine: Medicine in the Middle Ages (Issue 40)

medieval mag 40

For our fortieth issue we focus on medieval medicine, with a feature article on how a 13th century surgeon treated brain injuries, and what Isidore of Seville wrote about medicine in the 7th century

Books – Conquests: Hearts Rule Kingdoms by Emily Murdoch

Conquests by Emily Murdoch

A look at author Emily Murdoch’s book, Conquests, from her series, ‘Conquered Hearts’

What’s New for History Lovers at the Getty


Danielle Trynoski takes a look at two new exhibitions at the Getty Centre – Eat, Drink, and Be Merry and The Edible Monument – with curators Christine Sciacca and Marcia Reed

How Many Medieval Saints Are There?

Medieval saints in British Library MS Additional 16997  f. 137

Even a quick glance at medieval history will reveal that there are A LOT of saints from the Middle Ages. How many are there? The short answer is that we don’t know exactly, and that the number is still growing.

Gargoyles: Mysterious Monsters of the Middle Ages

Gargoyle - photo by Aitor Aguirregabiria / Flickr

I love gargoyles. While there are so many beautiful pieces of sculpture that have survived the Middle Ages, like so many people, I’m drawn to those strange and ugly funny faces, not least of all because I can’t figure out what they’re for.

‘One Thing I Know’: Werewolves Are a Thing

werewolf moon

In his Otia Imperialia, Gervase of Tilbury tells of many strange creatures he knows all about. One of these creatures is the werewolf.

How Much Do You Know About Ancient and Medieval Africa?

Africa Map from 1502

Test your knowledge and see if you can guess these sites of ancient and medieval Africa

Do You Know The Meaning Of These 21 English Words From Centuries Past?


Quit twattling and take the quiz – these were words spoken in England from the Middle Ages and Early Modern eras…

The Medieval Magazine: From Samhain to Halloween (Issue 39)

medieval mag 39

It’s our Halloween issue – we take a look at the medieval origins of the festival.

What Viking Weapon Would You Wield?

Viking sword - photo by Åge Hojem, NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet  / Wikimedia Commons

Use this quiz to find out what Viking Weapon you would wield in combat!

Celebrating Agincourt 600 at the Wallace Collection

Italian Gauntlets, 1390, inscribed wit hthe words, 'AMOR' (love). The Wallace Collection. Photo by

This week, historians around the world are gearing up to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, one of the most significant battles of the Hundred Year’s War.

Five Myths about the Battle of Agincourt

myths of the battle of agincourt

Anne Curry explains that ‘no other battle has generated so much interest or some much myth’ as the Battle of Agincourt, fought on October 25, 1415.

Meet the Real Ulrich von Liechtenstein

Ulrich von Liechtenstein in the Codex Manesse

If you’ve ever seen A Knight’s Tale, you’ll know that the titular knight takes on the name of Ulrich von Liechtenstein in order to joust on the tournament circuit and win the hand of his lady fair. What you may not have known is that there seems to have been a real thirteenth-century knight named Ulrich von Liechtenstein, who spent his youth jousting to win the heart (and body) of a capricious lady, and then wrote a book about it.

Which Invader Of Britain Are You Descended From?

One of the earliest surviving copies of Ptolemy's 2nd century map of the British Isles. Originally published in Ptolemy's Geographia. This is the second issue of the 1482 map, also printed at Ulm, which was the first woodcut map of the British Isles and the first to be printed outside Italy. Photo courtesy National Library of Wales / Wikimedia Commons

Roman, Saxon, Norman or Viking? Find out your real British Heritage :)

The Emperor’s Spooky Night

Night view of the Castle and Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic. Photo by Jorge Royan

Emperor Charles IV reveals in his autobiography what happened to him one night at Prague Castle, and how he saw a huge swarm of locusts.

Back to the Middle Ages!

back to the middle ages

In honour of the film Back to the Future, we want to know which date back in the Middle Ages you would want to see. Pretend that you have a DeLorean with a flux capacitor and enough fuel for 1.21 gigawatts of electricity – pick which date from this list you would go back in time to!

Dan Jones and the Five-Minute Medievalist

Dan Jones - photograph from Dan Jones / Wikipedia

Dan Jones on Magna Carta, Russell Crowe, Radiohead, and the brand-new book he’s just started working on.

The Medieval Magazine: The Battle of Agincourt (Issue 38)

medieval mag 38

October 25th will mark the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, one of the most famous battles of the Hundred Years War. In this issue, we take a look at how the story of the battle has been written over the centuries, and answer why the English longbow was such an effective weapon in the Later Middle Ages.

Medieval Lisbon: Carmo Convent

View of the majestic Gothic tomb of King Ferdinand I (1345-1383), along with several other Gothic sarcophagi inside the Carmo Monastery museum. Photo by

Part III of my series on Medieval Lisbon. This visit took me to Carmo Monastery and museum.

Why was the Longbow so effective?

Longbows at the Battle of Agincourt

One of the most feared military weapons of the Middle Ages was the longbow, used to legendary effect by the English in The Hundred Years’ War. While the longbow has gone down in history as a mighty weapon, what exactly was it and why was it so effective?

A Medieval Love Letter (and eat your meat)

Medieval Love Letter

‘I pray you, my own sweet cousin even as you love me, to be happy and to eat your meat like a woman.’

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