English

New theory of St John's College skeletons: Viking raiders

Once believed to have been victoms of the St Brice's Day Massacre, 37 skeletons found on the grounds of St John's College, Oxford in 2008, are now believed to have been executed Viking raiders.

Anglo-Saxon artifacts win Renaissance Museum Award

A treasure of Anglo-Saxon artifacts, found in Loftus, England between 2005 and 2007, has won the Renaissance Museum Award in Durham. The collection has been on display at the Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar, since May 2011. (photo)

Hurrah for the pirate king!

Diver and shipwreck  hunter Todd Stevens thinks he has found a wreck worthy of Hollywood: The John, the craft of notorious privateer John Mucknell, known as the Pirate King of Scilly.

Did Stonehenge unify Britain?

Experts from the Stonehenge Riverside Project have concluded that "Stonehenge was built as a monument to unify the peoples of Britain, after a long period of conflict and regional difference between eastern and western Britain."

13th century Aberdeen Bestiary on display

The Aberdeen Bestiary, a 13th century illustrated book of animals, will be on display at Aberdeen University for the first time. The book, which once belonged Henry VIII, has been in the care of the university for nearly four centuries. (photos)

Elizabethan pottery hoard found in England

A large amount of glazed late16th century pottery has been found in a garden in Rainford, England. The find includes many drinking vessels.

British remember "lost" Jewish cemetery

In 1231, the Jews of Oxford, England were given a small piece of land for a cemetery. The site was used until 1290 when Edward I expelled all the Jews from the country. Now a memorial stone has been placed to mark the "lost" burial ground.

Archaeologists hunt for site of Battle of Lewes

In 1264, England's King Henry III refused to honor an agreement given to his barons, thus initiating the Battle of Lewes and prompting the creation of Parliament. Now an archaeological dig is underway to locate the site of the historic battle.

Early Shakespeare theater found

Archaeologists from Museum of London Archaeology report that they have discovered the remains of a playhouse where Willianm Shakespeare staged some of his earliest plays. The Curtain Theatre north of the river Thames in Shoreditch pre-dated the Globe.

Public invited to view ancient remains in Wakefield

Officials at Wakefield Cathedral in England have invited visitors to pay respects to recently unearthed remains, dating to the Middle Ages, discovered during renovations to the church. The remains are scheduled to be reburied.

Town councillor recruited to translate mysterious text

Workmen renovating a medieval house in St Katherine’s, England, have enlisted the help of a former mayor to translate the ancient text discovered on the ceiling. The writing is believed to be Latin.

Mercia Movement hopes to return government to Anglo-Saxon times.

Some British citizens, disgusted with the current government, are looking to their Anglo-Saxon roots for inspiration. They would like to institute a new level of "civic engagement" harking back to the moots and witans of the post-Roman times.

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.