The British History Podcast show

The British History Podcast

Summary: 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. iTunes is restricting our list to 300 episodes for some reason. To access all episodes, click subscribe. Support the Show

Join Now to Subscribe to this Podcast
  • Visit Website
  • RSS
  • Artist: Jamie Jeffers
  • Copyright: Copyright © 2011 The British History Podcast, Inc. All rights reserved.


 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

 252 – The Coming of the Anglo-Scandinavians | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 26:04

At the start of 867, there were four major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in Britain. By 874, three of the four – Northumbria, East Anglia, and Mercia – had lost their independence. That’s a timespan of only 7 years, and in that 7 years the political landscape of Britain had changed dramatically and permanently. That’s insane. For scale, that’s just barely longer than Lost. Imagine being a free kingdom back when you thought something interesting was going on with Walt, and then being fully under the control of a foreign government by the time that you realized that everyone was just hanging out in a church with Hurley… for some reason. And as an aside, what the hell was Lindelhoff thinking when he wrote that? It’s been over a decade and I’m still annoyed. Support the Show

 251 – Chapter Seven: England | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2:08

We are entering a new era in the BHP. Support the Show

 BHP Pub Quiz #27 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 5:04
 250 – The Year 900 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 36:56

It’s the year 900. We’ve closed out another century, and the 900’s are looking as tumultuous as the 800’s. But before we move forward in our story of our Island – still in many ways at the end of the world – the BHP is going to take a moment to look at what is happening with the rest of human civilization around the globe around the year 900. History, like society, only makes sense with context. A lot was going on for everybody and it all has important implications for how we became the people we are today. This is just a brief snapshot – a way to get our bearings for where Britain sits among the rest of the world’s civilizations. It’s going to be a whirlwind tour – and there are unfortunately still some significant gaps. I’ll point those out as we come to them. But here we go – the world of 900 CE. Support the Show

 249 – Kenneth MacAlpin and the Birth of Scotland | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 33:40

We’ve reached the end of an era. It was late 899, and Alfred (who has been our central figure for dozens of episodes) was at last at rest. But with his death, there was a sudden opening at the top levels of West Saxon politics and Alfred’s son, Edward, was a top contender for that position. Support the Show

 248 – The Death of Alfred the Great | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 25:04

By 897, everything Alfred had known…. changed. He was barely in his 20s when he took the throne and he hadn’t had a chance to stop for a breath for the decades that followed. He had been king for over half of his life, and in those years he’d proven himself to be an energetic and inventive king. Wessex under his rule had been transformed. Defensive structures, public infrastructure, educational reforms, legal reforms, military reforms, and even the creation of a written history. He had even changed the concept of Kingship within the Anglo Saxon territories. Under Alfred, the entire Realm from the very top (and the concepts of what makes a noble, with everything from their powers to their obligations to scholarship) all the way to the bottom (with the duties of the peasants and the organization of their lives)… all of it had been molded to fit his vision. And even though it had been a difficult task, even though he had even lost his kingdom for a time (quite likely due to a coup)… in the end, he got what he wanted. Support the Show

 247 – Our Wooden Wall | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 22:32

The Danes encamped at Bridgnorth had been campaigning for years. Many had come here with Haesten and the Appledore fleet. They were the veterans of the continental campaigns. And for years now they had been fighting tooth and nail with the Anglo Saxons. But despite all the time they had spent here. Despite their massive numbers, their surprise marches, their end runs, their seizure of territory… despite the fact that they had made allies with (and campaigned alongside) the kingdoms of Northumbria and East Anglia… despite all of that, they had nothing to show for their efforts. Support the Show


Login or signup comment.