King Edward’s complicated relationship with the Welsh

Sparked by a post yesterday, in which a historian commented that King Edward had a Welsh guard and didn’t ‘hate’ all Welsh as some people seemed to think, I feel compelled to comment. First off, Edward was an English king who had the interests of the English crown and the English people first and foremost. He conquered all these countries from that position, with the idea that English law/church/language/culture (and that means Norman, really) was far superior to the barbaric north and west. That doesn’t mean he hated all Welshmen. Read More…

The Succession of 1290 (Scotland)

When Alexander III of Scotland died in 1286 by falling off a cliff (which is another whole story–what king dies falling off a cliff when riding from one castle to another alone in the fog? Whatever.), he left Scotland without a king. He had one living grandchild, Margaret, otherwise known as the ‘Maid of Norway’. She was the child of Alexander’s daughter, who’d died at her birth, and Erik, the King of Norway. The succession was already in trouble after King Alexander’s only son died, two years earlier:  “When Prince Read More…

Early Parliament and the Representative Process

It’s impossible to give a truly detailed account of the history of democracy in Great Britain on a blog, but  elections and the idea of representation by people over whom monarchs rule dates back to the Middle Ages. From Anglo-Saxon times, the Saxon Kings of England consulted with their high ranking lords on matters of state. This continued after the Norman Conquest in 1066 AD, and continued throughout the Middle Ages. The Magna Carta, signed by King John in 1215, is often held up as a turning point in democracy. It Read More…