A New Tudor Royal Wedding less than two weeks after Anne Boleyn’s execution

On the 30th of May 1536, King Henry VIII of England and Lady Jane Seymour were married at Whitehall palace at the Queen’s Closet.  Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, who had married Jane’s predecessor, now dead Anne Boleyn, and the Tudor monarch in the winter of 1533, conducted the quiet...

End of the Capets: the beginning of the Valois royal dynasty

On the 29 May 1328, King Philippe VI of France, once simply Count de Valois, was crowned at Reims Cathedral.  The nearest male relative to the last Capetian monarch, Charles IV of France known as the Fair (le Bel), Philippe inherited the throne because of the direct male line of...

The visit of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to England in 1522

On the 26th of May 1522, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V arrived at the English city-port of Dover.  Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York, as well as his entourage of approximately 300 Englishmen, specially selected for this occasion in advance, greeted the Habsburg emperor.  At the time of the emperor’s...

Release of ‘Robin Hood’s Widow’ (part 2 of our Robin Hood Trilogy)

Attention! Our New Novel was released on the 8th of May 2020! Robin Hood’s Widow (The Robin Hood Trilogy Book 2) by Olivia Longueville and J. C. Plummer is now available in both e-book and paperback formats from Amazon. You can learn more information about our Robin Hood project on...

King Henry II’s illegitimate half-brother: Hamelin de Warenne, a man of unwavering loyalty

Hamelin of Anjou, or Hamelin de Warenne as he would become known years later, was the illegitimate son of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, Touraine, and Maine.  His mother seems to have been Adelaide of Angers; he also had two illegitimate half-sisters – Emma and Mary of Anjou.  Hamelin himself...

A fateful royal marriage only a few weeks after Eleanor’s annulment

Today marks another anniversary of a royal marriage that helped create the vast and once very powerful Angevin Empire.  On the 18th of May, 1152, Henry Plantagenet, also known as Henry Curtmantle and Henry FitzEmpress who would soon become King Henry II of England, married Eleanor (Aliénor) of Aquitaine in a private ceremony...

Fra Girolamo Savonarola: execution of an unorthodox friar in Florence

On the 23th of May 1498, Fra Girolamo Savonarola and his two most fervent supporters – Fra Girolamo and Fra Domenico – were escorted out of their prison into the main Florentine square (Piazza della Signoria).  They faced a high ecclesiastic tribunal, who condemned them as heretics and schismatics, having...

Marriage of François d’Angoulême and Claude of France

On the 18th of May 1514, François d’Angoulême, the future King François I of France, married his distant cousin Claude, the eldest of the two surviving daughters of Queen Anne and King Louis XII.  The quiet ceremony took place in the atmosphere of lament in a chapel at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, which...

Golden Florentine Renaissance: Sandro Botticelli

Sandro Botticelli, born as Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, lived at the time when all things intellectual, humanistic, and progressive flourished in the Florentine Republic.  The city was truly the cradle of the new era dawning.  The artist belonged to the Florentine School under the patronage of Lorenzo de’...

Day of mourning: executions of George Boleyn and the other men unjustly condemned

Today is a day of mourning for historians and Tudor enthusiasts.  On the early morning of the 17th of May 1536, several men, among them the queen’s own brother, were escorted out of the western entrance of the Tower under heavy guard.  They were George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford, as well...

The Lion is Snared

Historians and history enthusiasts know the legends and tales about Richard the Lionheart, the third son of King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Perhaps one of the most fascinating stories of his reign is the account of his travels after leaving the Holy Land and his capture in...

Leonardo Da Vinci: a genius’s life in Italy and his last years in France

Leonardo Da Vinci was born on the 14 or 15th of April 1452 in the Tuscan town of Vinci, in the Republic of Florence.  He was undoubtedly the quintessential Renaissance man, one who spent most of his life in Italy and his last years in France.  Leonardo’s areas of interest...