English

British Library successful in purchase of St Cuthbert's Gospel

In 2010, the British Library began its quest to own the St Cuthbert Gospel, a manuscript discovered in 1104 when the saint's coffin was opened after a Viking raid. The book was finally acquired from the Society of Jesus (British Province), or Jesuits, for UK£9m.

"Funeral achievments" of Henry V showcased in British Museum clip

In a short video clip on YouTube, Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor discusses the helmet, sword and saddle believed to have belonged to Henry V from his tomb in Westminster Abbey.

Medieval crozier and ring found at Furness Abbey

Furness Abbey, one of the most powerful and richest Cistercian abbeys" in England, was the home of well-fed, well-heeled monks and abbots. Now it is the site of several rare archaeological finds including a silver-gilt crozier and a jewelled ring in remarkable condition. (photo)

"Absolutely fantastic" digitization project by Oxford and Vatican libraries funded

A US$3.17 million , four-year project, funded by the Polonsky Foundation, will make available for the first time materials from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana and the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford.

Is American English More Period than British English?

Linguists have reconstructed how Elizabethan English sounded, and it is closer to some American pronunciations than current British ones. The modern British accent developed relatively recently -- late 1700s and early 1800s.

Wenlok Jug stolen from English museum

A hunt continues to recover a medieval bronze jug stolen from the Stockwood Discovery Centre in Luton, England. The "nationally significant" Wenlok Jug was taken from the museum May 12, 2012.

Hard tack and salt beef and beer, oh my!

Scientists from Oxford University have determined the diet of sailors aboard the Mary Rose, based on the study of 80 skeletons from the Royal Naval Hospital, as well as the shipwreck. Their report has been published in the American Journal of Phsyical Anthropology.

New book on the Tudor minstrel to be released

On his blog Muhlberger's World History, Steve Muhlberger announces an upcoming book The Songs and Travel of a Tudor Minstrel by Andrew Taylor.

Welsh and Cornish have purest British DNA

This year, attendees of the Royal Society's summer science exhibition in London will hear the results of an extensive DNA survey of Britain which will proclaim "that Welsh and Cornish people were among the most genetically distinct groups in the country."

The myth of the "Tudor Era"

"The word 'Tudor' is used obsessively by historians," says Dr Cliff Davies of Oxford University "But it was almost unknown at the time." Davies research shows that the term "Tudor" was rarely used during the period.

The writers of Shakespeare

On his blog, The Drum, journalist Bob Ellis returns to the controversy of the authorship of Shakespeare's plays with examples of how the bard - or any modern playwright - can claim complete ownership of his work.

The Dark Ages: Everything old is new again

In a new documentary, filmmaker and historian Michael Wood compares the economic gloom and social unrest of modern Europe with conditions in the western world at the beginning of the Dark Ages.

Anglo-Saxon woman found buried with cow

Archaeologists excavating a late 5th century CE grave in Cambridgeshire, England have come across something completely uniquie - a women buried with a cow. This is the first known burial from this period of a woman with an animal in England, and the first case of anyone being buried with a cow.

English as linguistic "vacuum cleaner"

Linguist David Crystal loves the English language and its habit of adopting words from other languages. In a recent NPR interview, Crystal discusses English as a "vacuum cleaner of a language," and his book The Story of English in 100 Words. (audio)

Glassmaking at Glastonbury dated to Saxon era

Experts from the University of Reading now believe that glass-making around England's Glastonbury Abbey may be some of the industry's earliest in Great Britain. Chemical analysis will be used to date the glass, which believed to be from the 680s, the time of the Saxon King Ine of Wessex.

1000 years of London's records in new book

A new book by David Pearson looks at 1000 years of records for the city of London. London 1000 Years: Treasures from the Collections of the City of London is reviewed by Paul Lay on the History Today website.

"All's Well" with Thomas Middleton

A pair of professors from Oxford University believe they have confirmed William Shakespeare's collaborator, at least for the comedy All's Well that Ends Well. They believe it is Thomas Middleton, who worked with the Bard on Timon of Athens.

Thieves steal crusader statue from church window

Sometime between May 13-16, 2012, thieves chiseled the small stone statue of a knight from a window frame in St Michael's Church in Castle Frome, near Ledbury, England. The little knight is thought to commemorate a knight in the Crusades.

Husband honors wife with burning Viking boat

“I loved her very much, she wished for that sort of funeral, so that’s what she got," said Francis Mulcahy about the Norse funeral he arranged for his recently-deceased wife. Francis constructed a replica longboat to carry wife Karine's ashes as a fitting farewell.

The Tudor court from Cromwell's point of view

Henry VIII and his succession of wives continue to capture the imaginations of historians and readers of history. Now, a new novel, Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel, follows the life, trial and death of Anne Boleyn and the involvement of Thomas Cromwell. Peter Green of The Book blog has a review.

British couple share passion for history

Tony and Claire Thorpe of Dorset, England should never have met. He's a "heathen warrior in chain mail armour," and she's a World War II French nurse.

Hadrian's Wall Heritage receives UK£500,000 grant

The central section of Hadrian's Wall in northern England has been listed on the Heritage at Risk register for some time, but now a grant of UK£500,000 from the SITA Trust will allow Hadrian's Wall Heritage to repair and preserve the important historical site.

Medieval English Alabaster Sculptures from the Victoria & Albert Museum

Art Services International has brought an exhibition of Medieval English Alabaster Sculptures from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London to the United States.

Elizabethan shipwreck is sunk again

Adding insult to injury, a ship that sank in the Thames in 1574 is now being resunk in a lake in Leicestershire, England. The wreck will be used as an aquatic classroom to train underwater archaeologists.

New excavations may shed light on York's Saxon past

Archaeologists have long known about the Roman and Viking heritage of York, England, but little of its Saxon past, but new excavations of York Minster may shed some light on the unknown era.

Lincoln Castle's Magna Carta to receive new vault

Lincoln Castle, in Lincolnshire County, England, will receive a facelift thanks to grants and fundraising amounting to almost UK£19m. Improvements will include a new viewing vault for the Magna Carta. (video)

Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad

The World Shakespeare Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon, England has a unique offering this year, a new take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet called Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad where the couple are not divided by family squabbles but by religious sects.

Take 1000 stewed sparrows...

Peter Ross, principal librarian at the Guildhall Library in London, loves researching food of the past. His obsession has led to a new book The Curious Cookbook: Viper Soup, Badger Ham, Stewed Sparrows & 100 More Historic Recipes.

New Glastonbury Thorn vandalized

In 2010 vandals damaged the fabled Holy Thorn tree of Glastonbury, England, said to have been a cutting of the thorn first planted by Joseph of Arimathea. Now the replacement tree, planted soon after, has also been vandalized.

Cirencester's Roman amphitheatre to be revamped

The Cirencester town council has plans for their city's Roman ruins, including "the remains of one of the largest Roman amphitheatres in Britain."