Louis Mountbatten: 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Viceroy of India

British naval officer Lord Louis Mountbatten accepted the Japanese surrender during World War II. He was the last Viceroy of India, and also mentor to Prince Charles. Mountbatten, known as “Dickie” to family and friends, was born Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas on 25 June 1900 at Frogmore House, Windsor. His parents were Prince Louis…

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…

Anne Neville

Anne Neville survived the political machinations of the Wars of the Roses, two marriages and died of tuberculosis, as Richard III deeply mourned her loss. She was born at Warwick Castle on 11 June 1456, the younger daughter of Richard Neville, the 16th Earl of Warwick—the great 'King-maker'—and Anne Beauchamp, a wealthy heiress. She spent…

Why Richard III Received Really Bad Press?

Richard was respected as a man of integrity who was loyal, humane and kindly but he became the most persistently vilified of all English kings. He was killed in battle without leaving a surviving heir. Charles Ross points out Richard ruled England for only twenty-six months after he accepted his dead brother Edward IV's throne…

The Battle of Bosworth and the Death of King Richard III

The Battle of Bosworth marked a turning point in English history as the House of York's' rule ended prematurely and abruptly as a new dynasty took over. It was “a most savage battle” but it was an ill-documented one, as only one eyewitness account survives. Richard III was the first English king killed in battle…

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…

Phillipa of Hainault: Queen Consort of Edward III of England

Philippa of Hainault and Edward III brought stability to the monarchy after his father’s disastrous reign. She was interested in education, art and literature. She was often portrayed as “bourgeois”—solid, comfortable and domestic—as her homely features and motherly figure are captured in Master Hennequin of Liège's fine alabaster effigy on her tomb. Her great amiability…