Edward The Confessor

First Great Seal of Edward the Confessor Edward was born in 1003AD in Islip, Oxfordshire, the son of Ethelred and Emma of Normandy. He was just ten years old when he was sent to Normandy with his brother Alfred to escape the Danish invasion. While there, he became interested in religion and it was this piety, plus reportedly attending daily confession that earned him the title “Confessor”. He was not a worldly or decisive man and is considered weak and uncertain by some historians. He did however forge strong links between the old English church and Rome, sending bishops to Pope Leo IX’s councils in 1049 and 1050AD.


Bosworth Field

The Battle of Bosworth Field as depicted by Philip James de Loutherbourg (1740–1812) History has been less than kind to Richard who had for many years been a loyal supporter of his brother Edward. What caused him to seek the throne for himself we shall never know, but Lord Stanley’s treachery finally ended his brief reign.

Richard began his bid for the throne when he lodged the young King Edward in the Tower which was at the time, a royal residence as well as a fortress “for his safety” and the business of the realm continued with royal writs now being issued under the seal of Edward V and countersigned by Richard with his motto “Loyeaulte me lie”, until suddenly stopping on the 8th of June. On the 16th June, postponement of the coronation, scheduled for 22nd June was announced and a new date set for the 9th November.


The Battle of Stamford Bridge

Every schoolboy knows of Harold’s defeat at Hastings. How different that outcome might have been had Harold not been distracted and weakened by Hardrada’s invasion and Tostig’s treachery.

While much has been written about the King Harold’s struggle to repel the Norman invaders at Hastings on the 14th of October 1066, less attention has been given to an equally important battle fought by him and his forces just nineteen days earlier at Stamford Bridge in the East Riding of Yorkshire.


Irish Library, English Books

Just a few hundred yards from the Pantheon in Paris, tourists who wander slightly astray will happen upon a narrow street where the Irish flag flies.  This is the rue des Irlandais and the building over which the green, white and orange tricolour flies is the Centre Culturel Irlandais – the Irish Cultural Centre in the heart of the French capital’s Left Bank. The Irish presence in the area goes back well over three centuries.