Sunday, 21 May 2017
May 19th is of course the day Piers Gaveston surrendered to Amyer de Valance at Scarborough Castle on very favourable terms. From a Tudor point of view, it's also the anniversary of the execution of Anne Boleyn - my heroine from very early childhood. A remarkable woman, who had flaws and many virtues. I've been to the Tower of London on May 19th previously, to see the famed basket of roses that have appeared for many, many years and the other bunches of flowers that have begun to appear over the years. This year there were many more bunches of flowers than I've ever seen. Here's a selection of photos from May 19th.
And in my own garden, my Anne Boleyn rose bush was in bloom!
Sunday, 14 May 2017
The new issue of The History of the Royals has a fabulous article about Edward II by Kathryn Warner. It's a 2 page article and focuses on the possible survival of Edward II. It's a forerunner to Kathryn's book 'Long Live the King', out on June 1st. Can't wait!
Monday, 1 May 2017
As promised, here is an update on the Gaveston Cross. And it's not good news, I'm afraid. I contacted the Leek Wootton and Guy's Cliff History Society, who were very helpful. Bertie Bertie Greetheed was responsible for the monument, completing it in 1821. The Greatheed family had purchased the land in 1720 from Dame Charlotte Beaufoy. Samuel Greatheed was a Whig politician and married Lady Mary Bertie, daughter of the Duke of Ancaster. Bertie Bertie Greatheed was their son. It was his ambition to build the Gaveston Cross, inspired it seems by a previous commemoration carved into a rock. The original inscription was:
EARL OF CORNWALL
There is evidence of this inscription being here from at least 1656. It could well have been there many, many years before. So does this mean that the spot where Piers was killed was well known? Bertie Bertie Greatheed was obviously keen to commemorate the historical event that happened on his family's land, rather than having a personal interest in Piers Gaveston. Blacklow Hill was known to be the site of ancient settlements, with coins dating from Roman Britain found there. From the picture above, you can clearly see how the surrounding trees and wood that have now grown around it. The Gaveston Cross remains the property of Greethead's descendants and is on private property. It is a Grade II listed monument, but it is up to the landowner, not the local council, to maintain it. So it seems it has been left to decay. Such a shame!