Not Another National Park in the Pilliga? Locals See Red Over Greens’ Proposal

Does the Pilliga really need another National Park? The region already has two – Mt Kaputar and the Warrumbungles, plus the Pilliga Nature Reserve. The State Government has not ruled out the possibility, but countless lives remain in limbo. Member for Barwon, Ian Slack-Smith, has called upon the Government several times to end the three-year…

Charles II Hides In Oak Tree To Escape Oliver Cromwell’s Army

Charles II was forced to hide in an oak tree at Boscobel on 6 September 1651, following his disastrous defeat at the Battle of Worcester three days earlier. He was crowned in Scotland and had led a small army across the border to reclaim the English throne which had been lost two years earlier, when…

Mary I of England (1553-1558): Bloody Mary

Mary I survived a difficult childhood—separated from her mother, rejected by her father and suffered poor health—to restore Catholicism to England and produce an heir. Mary was born in 1516 at Greenwich Palace, the only surviving child of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Henry was initially disappointed but he proudly showed off his…

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…

Thomas More: The King’s Good Servant

Thomas More is best remembered for his refusal to acknowledge Henry VIII supremacy over the Church and later executed. More was considered a genius by his contemporaries. Thomas was born in London on 7 February 1478, the son of Judge John More. He was taken into the Archbishop of Canterbury John Morton’s household as a…

Mary Boleyn: A Short Biography

Mary Boleyn’s life is retold—somewhat inaccurately—in both the novel and the movie, The Other Boleyn Girl. She had numerous affairs including two kings. Not much is known about Mary’s early life. She was born c 1499 at Hever Castle, Kent—the home of Sir Thomas Boleyn and Lady Elizabeth Howard. She was the eldest of three…

James IV of Scotland (1488-1513): Scotland’s Renaissance King

James IV brought unity, international status and the Renaissance to Scotland but his foreign policies proved his downfall. James encouraged artists, musicians and writers at his court. The first printing press was established in 1507.  His reign was also a time of peace and prosperity. His parliament passed the first compulsory education act in 1496.…

The Provisions of Oxford: Simon de Monfort’s Reforms

The British parliament’s origins began with the Provisions of Oxford when the barons took control of the government, key appointments and reform of common law. English kings always summoned gatherings of ministers and barons to discuss state matters. They were known as Witans under the Anglo-Saxons or great councils (colloquia) after the Norman Conquest. They…

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…