The British History Podcast show

The British History Podcast

Summary: iTunes is restricting our list to 300 episodes for some reason. To access all episodes, click subscribe. The BHP is a chronological retelling of the history of Britain with a particular focus upon the lives of the people. You won't find a dry recounting of dates and battles here, but instead you'll learn about who these people were and how their desires, fears, and flaws shaped the histories of England, Scotland, and Wales. Support the Show

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  • Artist: Jamie Jeffers
  • Copyright: Copyright © 2011 The British History Podcast, Inc. All rights reserved.


 265 – The Battle of Tettenhall; and Zombies, maybe. | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 31:32

There is so much that the Chronicle hides from us after the death of Alfred. Edward’s apple seems to have fallen fairly far from the tree, because the record his court produces during his reign is spare even by Anglo Saxon standards. But even with all of its contradictory statements and black holes, the Chronicle couldn’t hide the fact that a storm was coming. Support the Show

 264 – The Lost Rebellion | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 38:48

In the year 909 we get an odd entry from the Chronicle. “This year St. Oswald’s body was removed from Bardney into Mercia.” It’s an weird entry that caps a very strange section of the Chronicle. In the seven year period from 902 to 909 we’ve got three blank years, two star gazing entries, one entry about Chester getting refurbished in 907 and then finally the discussion of what happened to the bones of Saint Oswald in 909. Even for the Chronicle, that’s pretty sparse. Support the Show

 263 – AEthelflaed and Ingimund | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 24:51

When we left off last episode, war had come to Mercia. Ingimund and his Scandinavian allies abandoned their peace treaty and were seeking to expand their borders, but according to the Irish Annals and the Welsh annals, it wasn’t AEthelred Lord of Mercia who was organizing the defenses. It was AEthelflaed, Queen of the Saxons. Support the Show

 iPhone Podcasts: Enabling Continuous Play | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2:11

I can't believe I have to do this... but this is the world we live in now.

 262 – AEthelred and AEthelflaed | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 27:12

A year after Edward took the throne – in year 901, while he was still fighting AEthelwold’s rebellion – something strange appeared in the Charters. This event doesn’t get discussed in the Chronicle. But these Charters reveal that in 901, there was an enormous gathering of the important political figures of Wessex. This gathering took place in Southampton, and the charters reveal that (with the exception of the Bishop of Worcester), all of the Bishops of Kent, Sussex, and Wessex were present. This council was also attended by AEthelweard, Edward’s younger brother, as well as Edward’s two sons… AEthelstan (his eldest son, and the son of Ecgwynn), and the infant Aelfweard (the newborn son of Edward’s new wife, AElfflaed). Accompanying Edward to this meeting was his household, his thegns, and important figures from Winchester. There is a lot of interesting things going on at this meeting, as revealed in the witness lists of these charters. One of them is that, the infant AElfweard (the child of Edward’s new marriage) was listed above AEthelstan, Edward’s first born. Support the Show

 261 – The Anglo Saxon Chronicle and the Mercian Register | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 24:26

I hope that after the last few episodes (and honestly, the last few years) have dispelled the myth of elegance that surrounds monarchy. Especially medieval monarchy. Support the Show

 260 – King Edward’s Forgotten Love Life | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 23:32

Sometimes life comes at you fast. So much happens in such a short space of time that you barely have a chance to take note of where you’re at and, only after it’s all passed, only /then/ do you have a chance to say “oh my god, what /was/ all of that?” I wonder if that’s what Edward’s life was like in late 902. The death of his father, the push for the Crown, his elevation, the subsequent rebellion, the fight with the Danes of East Anglia and Northumbria (with the aid of his cousin), the construction of his mother’s abbey and the completion of his father’s abbey… and finally the death of his mother. It was a lot. But here’s the thing. That’s not all of it. That’s just the stuff I’ve told you about so far. Support the Show

 259 – The Last Stand of the House of AEthelred | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:00

It was an audacious move. To take possession of two towns, to fortify himself inside the Royal Estate of Wimborne (the resting place of his father), and to do all of this after taking an unnamed nun as his wife. But that was what AEthelwold son of AEthelred did. As we discussed last week, we aren’t told who the nun was, but based on the events and the geography of AEthelwold’s rebellion, there’s a good argument to be made that… as AEthelred sat in the estate of Wimborne… as he organized his defenses and maintained the morale of his supporters who resided within the Estate… he was accompanied by AEthelgifu, daughter of Alfred the Great and sister of King Edward. Support the Show

 258 – The Rise of King Edward I of Wessex | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 27:25

On October 26th, 899, Alfred the Great died. He left behind his wife, Eahlswitha, as well as his grown children. I imagine that the loss of Alfred was probably quite difficult on all of them. It’s always hard to lose a family member. But for Edward… the designated heir… what must that have been like? I mean, look at it from Edward’s perspective. Edward was probably somewhere in his 20s at this point, was an AEtheling, and was the designated heir to the throne. His whole life had been in preparation for this moment. All the tasks and responsibilities handed down to him, all the charters and meetings with ealdormen, all the military appointments and time in the field. All of it was building up to /this/. Support the Show

 BHP Pub Quiz #28 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 5:22
 257 – Political Accommodation Within The Danelaw | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 36:34

Things in Britain are changing rapidly. In Scotland the MacAlpin dynasty is rising, and with it comes the merging of the Scottish and Pictish cultures. A similar blending is happening in the Anglo Saxon regions. As we’ve see in the last few episodes – cities are changing, economies are emerging. And the sudden appearance of new placenames – some which are Danish and others that are a blend of Danish and Old English – tell us that cultures are changing too. Support the Show

 256 – Scandinavian Settlement in England | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 27:38

For the last few episodes we’ve been discussing the way life has been changing in Southern Britain. While the dramatic battles and political maneuvering dominated the story of the last season, you’re now learning of the many of the changes that were changing how lives were lived on the island, and some of them weren’t a direct result of the Northmen raiders. Instead, these changes were part of an overall shift in how the Anglo Saxons saw their place in the world. It was a cultural shift as much as it was anything else, and central to it were the changing attitudes towards land. Support the Show

 255 – Londonwic to London | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 34:00

London is a world unto itself, and it has been for most of its very, very long history. One of the weirdest things about the city is that it contains its own separate city – distinct from the rest of London. It has its own laws, its own government, its own walls. The City of London is a city within a city. And it gets a lot of attention, not to mention money. Currently it houses the financial district which houses the most powerful banking institutions of not only the UK, but the entire world. Support the Show

 254 – Worcester | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 23:23

If you read of old Britain… even if you read of modern Britain… you’d be forgiven if you thought it was all London. And London does soak up a ton of the spotlight. It’s like the Stonehenge of the non-neolithic period. You can’t avoid it. And we won’t here, either. London will be covered regularly, because it has to be. But today, lets talk about a different town. Because while London is important, it’s not the only urban center on the island, and while we’ve been talking about the development of the economic landscape of the Anglo Saxon territories during the Viking Age… we haven’t yet talked about how these town specifically functioned and developed. So today, let’s use Worcester as a non-London Anglo Saxon case study. Support the Show

 253 – Anglo Saxon Market Towns in the Viking Age | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 26:10

Cultures change all the time – yours is changing right now, in ways you may or may not realize. It’s a completely normal, everyday fact that has been with humanity since we began. Probably before we began. And yet, telling the story of how a culture changed is extremely challenging. Cultural shifts are messy, they’re chaotic, and they come with a boat load of caveats and exceptions. The entire theme of the BHP, right from the start, has been that people can’t be pigeon holed. They’re complicated, unique, and they never perfectly fit into a category. And yet, even as we acknowledge that, we must recognize trends and norms and traditions – if for no other reason than they do actually change over time. Support the Show


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