1501 CE to 1600 CE

Mystery of Wolsey's missing angels solved

Once upon a time, four bronze angels adorned the gateposts of the Wellingborough Golf Club in Northamptonshire, England. No one paid much attention to them until two were stolen, but now all four, identified as Renaissance treasures, are the subject of a fundraising effort by the Victoria and Albert Museum. (photo)

French museum hosts Shakespearean costume exhibit

The National Centre for Stage Costumes in Moulins, France is playing host to an elaborate display of Shakespearean theatrical costumes entitled Shakespeare, l'étoffe du monde. The silk, satin and gemstone-studded costumes reflect designs from over a century of productions.

Lost village discovered on Scottish borderland

A number of 16th century documents mention the village of Philiphaugh, with its "tower, fortalice, manors, gardens, orchards and mills," on the border between Scotland and England, but the settlement has long ago disappeared. Now new excavations may reveal where the town once stood. (photos)

Enjoy Hampton Court - online

Are you an admirer ot London's Hampton Court Palace? If so, you will want to visit the website of Historic Royal Palaces and view a large gallery of photos of Henry VIII's residence.

The potency of Shakespeare's potions

It's Shakespeare's 450th birthday. In a feature article for the BBC's Future, Claudia Hammond looks at whether the poisons mentioned in William Shakespeare's plays, such as Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, could actually work.

Thamesreach celebrates Tudor Day

Members of the SCA Shire of Thamesreach recently took part in a celebration of Tudor Day at the Queens Elisabeth Hunting lodge in Epping Forest, England. Photographer PQNeiman was on hand to capture images of the day.

Shakespeare and the Scientific Revolution

Readers of Shakespeare's works could easily dismiss his interest in science at a time when the Scientific Revolution was happening around him, but author Dan Falk believes that the Bard was well aware of the developments.

Wark Castle vanguard of Flodden 500 project

The Battle of Flodden, between the Scottish and English kings, took place in 1513. Now the battle is being commemorated by experts and volunteers for the Flodden 500 Archaeological project. The focus for 2014 will be Wark Castle on the Northumberland side of the River Tweed.

London church with Shakespeare connection sought

St Leonard's church in Shoreditch, England, best known as the backdrop for the hit BBC series Rev, is believed to have been the site of the medieval church where Shakespeare worshiped. Now archaeologists plan to investigate the area in search of the original building.

New books of poetry at Project Gutenberg

A text copy of all 3 volumes of Thomas Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry was recently posted to Project Gutenberg. These books contain a great deal of poetry in middle and early modern English.

The Great Audley's mourning ring found in Norfolk

In his will, Hugh Audley, known as The Great Audley, 16th century philosopher, land owner and money lender - and owner of the land where Buckingham Palace now stands - left 11 mourning rings, designed to be worn by his mourners. Such a ring, linked to him, has been discovered in a south Norfolk field. (photo)

Fun with Bills of Mortality

For those interested in London's 16th century Bills of Mortality, but don't really want to do the research, comedian David Baddiel has the answer. The Bills are part of his 1997 comedy routine available on YouTube. PG-13 for Language.

Minding the medieval teen

Parents of unruly teenagers may sigh wistfully at the notion of sending their children elsewhere for training, a common practice of northern Europeans in the Middle Ages. William Kremer looks at the practice of fostering in an article for the BBC News Magaine.

Rocket cats?

Proof that gun powder technology captured the imagination of 16th century military minds can be found in a manual written by artillery master Franz Helm of Cologne, Germany who proposed strapping rockets to the backs of cats in order to "set fire to a castle or city which you can't get at otherwise." (photos)

New portraits of Shakespeare revealed

"I subjected the images to fundamental tests of identity and authenticity, and these revealed that we are dealing with true-to-life portraits of Shakespeare, one from his youth, the second from his old age," said Hildegard Hammerschmidt-Hummel about two recently-discovered portraits of William Shakespeare. (photos)

Society Knight uses both Pen and Sword

An SCA member from An Tir, Sir Brand deux Leons has achieved his dream, as his Shakespearean-style play "To Each Their Own" is now in publication. Sir Brand seeks funding and participation from the SCA performing arts community to help drive a full stage production of the work.

It's six books in one!

Medieval bookbinders may have been the precursors of eReaders when they developed the dos-à-dos (or "back-to-back") book with two or more separate texts and multi-hinged covers. One example is the beautiful devotional dos-à-dos book owned by the National Library of Sweden which includes six works. (photos)

O'Neill clan to be celebrated by renovation of Tullaghoge Fort

A UK£4 million renovation project will help Tullaghoge Fort, near Cookstown in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, to be developed into a major tourist attraction. The fort was the crowning place of the kings of Ulster, the O'Neills, until the 17th century.

Will the codpiece make a comeback?

Stephen Smith of the BBC News opines on one of our favorite accessories, on or off the battlefield.

Little hook protector of 16th century fashion

What could be worse than dragging your elegant skirts through the muck on the streets? Nothing, apparently, as revealed by the discovery of a 20mm (0.8 inch) long gold hook designed to hold up ladies' skirts when crossing a muddy yard. (photo)

Investigation of Shakespeare's last home to enter phase 2

Archaeologists have been working on the site of New Place, William Shakespeare's last home in Stratford-upon-Avon, since 2009 and have now discovered "as much as they can" about the site, which was demolished in the 18th century. (photos)

Polish "glosses" may have been written by Copernicus

Experts are studying the handwriting of scientist Nicolaus Copernicus to determine if recently-discovered glosses, or notes written on the margins, in a book from the library of the Seminary of Warmia Metropolis "Hosianum" in Olsztyn, Poland were written by Copernicus or by someone else.

New life for Lady and Unicorn Tapestries

The six "Lady and the Unicorn" tapestries, housed by the Musée National du Moyen Age in Paris, were showing their age with dust and sagging linings taking their toll, but the 16th century Flemish masterpieces were recently given new life with a complete restoration of the linings and a special vacuuming. (photo)

Crusaders still exist in Malta

Crusaders still exist on the islands of Malta, where reporter Elisabeth Eaves of the New York Times spoke with one for a feature article.

Disappearance of Roanoke Island settlers "closer" to being solved

In 1587, settlers from England arrived in what is now North Carolina to establish a colony at Roanoke Island. By 1590 they were gone. What happened to the colony has long been a mystery for historians, but experts are now getting "closer" to finding out what happened to the lost colony. Tanya Basu of National Geographic has the feature story.

Geneva Breeches Bible stolen from Welsh church

Thieves of a rare 16th century bible must have had a guilty conscience when they left a modern replacement bible in a locked case in St Mary's church in Trefriw, Wales. The Geneva Breeches Bible was produced by Protestants in Switzerland in 1589.

Free Shakespeare course offered online

On the Lochac list, Katherine Kerr reported that the University of Warwick and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust will be offering a free, 10-week, online course entitled Shakespeare and his World.

"Grubby, old pot" contains rare coin

For eight years, a grubby, old pot sat in a basement in Rothbury, England. It was not until recently that builder Richard Mason, who found the pot on Lindisfarne, took a second look, discovering a hoard of gold and silver dating to the 16th century.

Letters to Eung-tae tell story of love and grief

500 hundred years ago, a grieving wife wrote 13 love letters of Shakespearean pathos to her dead husband. The letters were buried along with the mummified remains in Andong City in South Korea, and tell "him she wants to see him and listen to him in her dreams."

The medieval debate over "the rule of the rod"

Debate over corporal punishment in schools continues to this day, but new research by Dr Ben Parsons, of the University of Leicester, shows that the debate is an old one. In his project, Discipline and Violence in the Medieval Classroom, Parsons examines writings from the Middle Ages and concludes that corporal punishment was not necessarily the rule of the day.