The Rough Wooing: Uniting Scotland and England under Tudor rule

Henry VIII negotiated a marriage treaty for his son Edward and Mary Queen of Scots. He pursued an aggressive policy when the Scots rejected the treaty’s terms. The English defeated the Scots at Solway Moss on 24 November 1542 and took 1,200 captive. James V died three weeks later, leaving his week old daughter Mary…

The Magna Carta: England’s First Written Constitution

The Magna Carta was originally intended as a peace treaty between the king and his barons, but it became the cornerstone of liberty in the English-speaking world. English kings became more powerful and influential after 1066, through the Norman system of centralised government and the acquisition of Normandy. King John of England King John was…

Marie Antoinette: Queen Consort of Louis XVI of France

Austrian-born Queen Marie Antoinette was solely blamed for bankrupting France with her extravagance and executed during the French Revolution. Marie Antoinette was born Maria Antonia Josepha Joanna on 2 November 1755 at the Hofburg Palace, Vienna. She was the youngest daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and Maria Theresa. She was promised in marriage…

Margaret of Anjou: Queen Consort of Henry VI of England

Margaret of Anjou is best remembered as a vengeful and ambitious woman who brought war and misery to England. She also participated in one of the bloodiest civil wars. Margaret of Anjou was born 23 March 1430 at Pont-a-Mousson, Lorraine. She was the second daughter born to René of Anjou and Isabelle of Lorraine. René…

Joan of Arc: The Maid of Orleans

Angelic voices instructed Joan of Arc to free the French from English rule and crown the Dauphin as Charles VII at Rheims. Joan of Arc was approximately born on 6 January 1412 to farmer Jacques d’Arc and his wife Isabelle Romée in Domrémy, a village located between Neufchateau and Vaucouleurs in Lorraine, which remained loyal…

The Diamond Necklace Affair

Marie Antoinette was innocent but her reputation was destroyed when she was implicated in a scandal leading to France's disillusionment with the monarchy. Court jewellers, Charles Böhmer and Paul Bassange, were commissioned by Louis XV in 1772 to create the most opulent diamond necklace as a special gift for his mistress, Madame du Barry. It…