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Excavating Past Population Structures by Surname-Based Sampling: The Genetic Legacy of the Vikings in Northwest England

The method of historical surname-based ascertainment promises to allow investigation of the influence of migration and drift over the last few centuries in changing the population structure of Britain and will have general utility in other regions where surnames are patrilineal and suitable historical records survive.

How the death of a Queen led to 68,000 people being fed

Here lies the distinguished Queen Matilda the second,
who surpassed both young and old in her time.
Pattern of morals, life’s adornment,
she was for all.

Danish ferocity and abandoned monasteries: the twelfth-century view

Apart from brief accounts of attacks on Lindisfarne and Donemutha in the 790s, there are almost no accounts of Viking attacks on Anglo-Saxon monasteries in contemporary sources. There are however many in twelfth century sources, most of them fictive or largely so. This article tries to explain why twelfth-century authors found it so important to invent stories of Viking brutality towards monks and nuns and what ideas and material they used to create their stories

Epiphany: Three Kings Day

A look at the history behind Epiphany and Twelfth Night.

Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci to tour British Isles in 2016

Throughout 2016, ten of the finest drawings by Leonardo da Vinci in the Royal Collection will travel to four museums and galleries across the United Kingdom and Ireland in a new exhibition.

Edward I and the Appropriation of Arthurian Legend

I recount some of the various activities of Edward I where he appears to use Arthurian legend in a political context, making no attempt to draw conclusions about the nature of national identity in thirteenth century England, but rather to demonstrate the potential of this era for re-evaluation and reinterpretation by those interested in pursuing such matters.

Time and Clocks in the Middle Ages

What is told by hands, measured in sand, and announced with bells?

The Charters of the Cinque Ports – Are They Still Needed?

The heyday of the Cinque Ports was in medieval times when they provided a vital navy for the protection of the realm. Today, the Cinque Ports, and their charters, still exist.

Did people in the Middle Ages take baths?

A closer look shows that baths and bathing were actually quite common in the Middle Ages, but in a different way than one might expect.

An introduction to the investigation into the mental health of female medieval mystics

While the Medieval ascription to madness is known, in the light of recent psychological and medical insights, I will explore alternative explanations for the extreme behaviour of devout women in the Middle Ages.

Continental Women Mystics and English Readers

In 1406 Sir Henry later Lord Fitzhugh, trusted servant of King Henry IV, visited Vadstena, the Bridgettine monastery for men and women in Sweden. Vadstena was the mother-house of the Order of the Most Holy Saviour and had been founded by the controversial continental mystic St Bridget of Sweden, who had died in 1373 and had been canonized in Fitzhugh was so impressed by what he saw that he gave one of his manors near Cambridge as the future site for an English Bridgettine foundation.

The Scrope and Grosvenor Controversy, 1385-1391

Caught at an event wearing the exact same outfit as someone else? Well, what if you wore the same coat of arms to a battle? In 1385, King Richard II of England invaded Scotland with his army. During this invasion, two of the king’s knights realized that they were using the same coat of arms.

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