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…

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…

Margaret Tudor: James IV of Scotland’s Queen

Margaret Tudor led a very turbulent life, causing scandal. She married three times, and, like her brother Henry VIII, had trouble obtaining divorces. She “had the faults of the Tudors without their brains”! Margaret was born on 28 November 1489—“a sturdy, healthy child”—the eldest daughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. She was a…

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.…

Eleanor Hibbert: Best Known as Jean Plaidy, Victoria Holt and Philippa Carr

Eleanor Hibbert wrote 183 books, including three children’s novels, under several pseudonyms during her fifty-year career. Over 14 million copies were sold worldwide. Hibbert was born Eleanor Alice Burford on 1 September 1906 in Kensington, London. Her father Joseph was an “odd jobs” man with no steady profession but he passed on his avid love…

James Francis Edward Stuart: The Old Pretender

The Old Pretender was a pessimist living in exile whose attempt to claim the English, Scottish and Irish thrones failed in The Fifteen Jacobite rising. James Francis Edward was born 10 June 1688 amidst the warming-pan scandal. He fled with his mother, Mary Beatrice of Modena, to France when William of Orange’s invasion led to…

The Glorious Revolution

The foundations for Britain's constitutional monarchy were laid when James II was forced to abdicate in favour of William III and Mary II. The origins of the Glorious Revolution, also known as the War of the English Succession or the Bloodless Revolution, began with the conflicts during Charles I’s reign which led to the Civil…

The Birth of James Francis Edward Stuart

The Old Pretender was born amidst controversy as the Warming-pan Baby, and survived against all odds. James II had produced two daughters, Mary and Anne, from his first marriage to Anne Hyde. They became increasingly important when their uncle Charles II failed to produce a legitimate heir. Anne died in 1671 but she had supported…