Monday, 22 August 2016

Please welcome a very special guest...

I have royalty on my blog today - courtesy of friend and author, Jennifer Wilson
Hi Angela, and thank you for hosting me on your blog!
You're very welcome Jennifer, so what is this all about?
Today, 22nd August, is the 531st anniversary of one of the most decisive battles in British history – the Battle of Bosworth.  It ended, in just a few hours, the Wars of the Roses and the Plantagenet Dynasty, and marked the start of one of our most notorious dynasties – the Tudors, starting with Henry VII.
So, you might (fairly) ask – how does this link with Angela’s current theme of travel and living in a foreign country?
Well, monarchs have always been amongst the most travelled people, whether acknowledging or rewarding their loyal subjects, over-seeing their widespread houses and lands, invading to try and expand said lands, or, in the case of Richard III, heading into exile.
If we’re being pedantic, Richard wasn’t king whilst in exile, ‘merely’ Duke of Gloucester, but between October 1470 and March 1471, he escaped England with his brother, Edward IV, having just evaded capture by the Earl of Warwick’s forces.  During this time, Richard spent time in Veere, now a picturesque town, with sadly little left of what Richard would have seen during his visit, but one street is still named Warwijcksestraat, after a gate which was built in fear that Warwick would invade, looking for Plantagenet prey.  Richard subsequently travelled to The Hague, even then a centre of international politics.
Richard's funeral
But this wasn’t Richard’s first urgent Channel crossing.  Ten years earlier, aged only eight, he and his brother George (later Duke of Clarence, he of drowning-in-Malmsey infamy) had been sent to the Low Countries for their safety.  They returned only when their elder brother had claimed the throne, having spent time in Bruges, where much of the medieval town is still largely as they would have known it, including the grand market square.
Richard subsequently travelled throughout England in his various roles, and even invaded Scotland in support of his brother, but his last journey abroad was as part of Edward’s invasion of France in 1475.  Richard’s was the largest private contingent which took part, and he was with Edward during negotiations with the French king, Louis XI.
Time abroad, or travelling in general, has always been seen as an education.  Unfortunately for Richard, one man had fourteen years of such education: Henry Tudor.  Fourteen years of brooding, plotting and waiting for a chance to strike; on 22nd August 1485, the two men met in battle.  And sadly (from my perspective, at least), we all know how it ended for Richard Plantagenet.
But still, Britain loves nothing more than an underdog, and of the two, Richard III is by far the better known, and certainly the one who has captured the public’s imagination, especially since his re-interment in Leicester.  He definitely captured mine, inspiring Kindred Spirits: Tower of London, and my current work-in-progress.
Therefore, on this, the 531st anniversary of his death, spare a thought (and raise a glass) to Richard III!

About the author : Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for
history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III).  She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating.

Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since.  In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online.  Her debut novel Kindred Spirits: Tower of London was published by Crooked Cat Publishing in October 2015.


  1. A great post to read. I'm fascinated by Richard the Third. I recently visited Towton battlefield, the bloodiest battlefield in England, so they say. Its now a quiet and peaceful place.

  2. Fab blog and read, love the photos too.

    1. Thank you for visiting and glad you enjoyed the post.