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When the Plague arrived in Britain one chronicler described it as, ‘Death coming into our midst like a black smoke. A rootless phantom of no mercy.’ Bettany Hughes, Seven Ages of Britain: The Sixth Age: 1350 A.D. – 1530 A.D., Channel 4 2003
The poll tax of 1380: everyone rich or poor over the age of 15 had to pay 12 pence – a massive sum. ibid.
The freedom fighters soon paid for the revolt with their lives. ibid.
The legal profession was booming in medieval Britain. ibid.
The ravages of the Black Death had almost halved the male labour force. ibid.
Women flourish as apprentices to trade. ibid.
Most people lived and died farming the land. Bettany Hughes, Seven Ages of Britain: The Seventh Age: 1530 A.D. – 1700 A.D.
That rich, hugely powerful and profoundly medieval institution the Roman Catholic Church ... Catholic magic was giving way to Protestant pragmatism. ibid.
Success depended on becoming numerate. ibid.
The Reformation is an amazing story – the greatest destruction of our heritage in British history. Michael Wood, The Great British Story: A People’s History 5/8: Lost Worlds and New Worlds, BBC 2012
A Lollard revolt against King Henry V was crushed in 1414. But at the grass roots their ideas survived. ibid.
Henry ordered the closure or the dissolution of the monasteries. ibid.
The first Africans living in Bristol are recorded in the 1560s. ibid.
Evidence of Tudor mixed marriages. ibid.
The Tudor age saw the beginnings of Britain’s black communities. ibid.
Edward VI: Edward was a pious cold-hearted swot. ibid.
The [Protestant] Revolution would turn out to be an attack on the very way of life of the people. ibid.
There was a link between Protestantism and the rise of Capitalism and Industry. ibid.
Coal would be the driving force behind the Industrial Revolution. ibid.
In Ireland, England began a policy of plantations. ibid.
Four changes of religion in a single lifetime. ibid.
It was still state religion tied to the monarchy and backed by force. ibid.
In March 1625 it rang out to the death of the old king – King James. Michael Wood, The Great British Story VI: A People’s History 6/8: The Age of Revolution
Religion and culture would divide them. ibid.
The edges of Charles’ Great Britain were burning. ibid.
The war would split regions, neighbours and even families. ibid.
These were British civil wars. ibid.
There were war crimes ... How far would the revolution go? ibid.
On the streets of Dublin, Cromwell is still a swear-word. ibid.
The monarchy was restored but with a king whose powers were now limited. ibid.
The origins of empire and the industrial revolution ... Traditional industries began to mechanise. Michael Wood, The Great British Story: A People’s History 7/8: Industry and Empire
In the eighteenth century chains had many different uses ... As capitalism expanded it co-opted the world for its workforce and it didn’t care how it got them. ibid.
The steam-engine – invented in England in the early eighteenth century and perfected by James Watt. ibid.
The lunar men ... led by Matthew Boulton. ibid.
The Tolpuddle Martyrs – still a landmark in British labour history. ibid.
The rights of the British people were not handed down from on high but won by the people themselves – at a cost. ibid.
The Peterloo Massacre inspired new forms of social action. ibid.
There was still a huge gulf between rich and poor. In 1910 the chain-makers of the black country went on strike ... The most exploited were the women. Michael Wood, The Great British Story 8/8: A People’s History
In 1919 the Irish War of Independence – the Anglo-Irish War – brought the end of British rule after more than three centuries. ibid.
The Labour Party’s victory in the election of 1945 put in hand a visionary project by Sir William Beveridge. ibid.
1960: 533,000 textile workers; 1978: 209,000 textile workers. 1960: 700,000 miners; 1998: 9,000 miners in the UK. ibid.
This is the extraordinary tale of a peasant’s daughter who rose to wealth and status but lost it all. She survived the plague and lived through four changes of the state religion. She buried three of her children but gave birth to the world’s most famous poet. Michael Wood, Shakespeare’s Mother: The Secret Life of a Tudor Woman, BBC 2017
Her children would become haberdashers and glovers; two of them made it in the entertainment industry in London … Life expectancy then was thirty-eight. ibid.
She was born around 1535. ibid.
When Mary was twelve King Henry VIII died. ibid.
Stratford then was a small market town with maybe 1,200 people. ibid.
Wool was the mainstay of the economy. ibid.
This manuscript is sending out a clear message: England is once again a force to be reckoned with, and its kings want to be players on the world stage. Dr Janina Ramirez, Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings 3/3, BBC 2012
In 1476 William Caxton began printing in England. ibid.
A library has become something to aspire to. ibid.
You realise just how labour intensive the production of manuscripts was. ibid.
The Reformation caused the destruction not just of monasteries across the country but also many of their illuminated manuscripts. ibid.
The War becomes a battle for national supremacy and a fight for the moral high ground. Dr Janina Ramirez, Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War III: Agents of God 1415-1453, BBC 2013
His [Henry V] aim was the annexation of the entire province of Normandy. ibid.
With Charles dead, Henry V, King of England, would also become King of France. ibid.
31st August 1422: Henry died, aged 35. He was buried at Westminster Abbey. He never did become King of France. ibid.
Henry VI … the first and only time an English monarch would hold both crowns. ibid.
The disappearance of the two sons of Edward IV, successors to his throne, is the most infamous unsolved mystery in British royal history. Since his death, King Richard III has been accused of their murders and vilified by the monarchs who succeeded him. Even William Shakespeare immortalises Richard as a deformed usurper seizing the Crown of England amidst an ocean of blood including that of his nephews. But modern historians confess that this portrayal is riddled with inaccuracies. Mystery Files: Princes in the Tower, National Geographic 2010
Published accounts accusing Richard don’t start to appear until about fifty years after his death. Sir Thomas More, a statesman and lawyer, formulates the charge in his book History of King Richard III. ibid.