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The sad life of Elizabethan child actors

Elizabethan theater life may have been booming for playwrights such as Shakespeare, but it was not so rosy for children in theatrical troupes. University of Oxford professor, Dr Bart van Es, discovered evidence of systemic child abuse while researching his book, Shakespeare in Company.

Danelaw gravestone auctioned for UK£4,300

An unnamed London company recently purchased a 9th century, Anglo Saxon gravestone, engraved with a Celtic cross, for UK£4,300 at an auction by Duke's Auctioneers of Dorchester, England. The stone was original discovered "during road construction in the early 20th Century at Little Eaton, Derbyshire."

Knights In Battle present Feast of Arms at Fort Paull Museum

"It has been an absolutely fantastic day, really excellent," said Fort Paull Museum manager Gavin Spencer about the recent Medieval Day. Lucy Leeson of the Hull Daily Mail has the story. (photo and video)

Panels "hacked" from Devon church

Sometime in the week of August 2-9, 2013, vandals "hacked out" two 15th century, decorative oak panels, bearing the images of saints from Holy Trinity Church in Torbryan, England. The panels were part of a screen and "one of the best examples of their kind left in Britain." (video)

Lottery money to help Chester Farm

2,000 years of English history will be open for study thanks to a UK£4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore and investigate various sites at Chester Farm, in Irchester, England.

Branagh to bring Macbeth to New York stage

Sir Kenneth Branagh will bring his version of "the Scottish play" by William Shakespeare to the drill hall of the Park Avenue Armory in New York City in June 2014. Sir Kenneth said: "I am delighted that we have the chance to recreate Macbeth in this epic setting."

English heatwave reveals "X-ray" of Greys Court

Greys Court, near Henley-on-Thames, is an English mansion built in the 1550s. Now a major heatwave has revealed that the mansion was once much larger through "parch," areas of dead grass, outlining structures from the original building.

R.I.P. Lucius Valerius Geminus

Lucius Valerius Geminus is dead. In fact, he's been dead since the 1st century CE, but thanks to the discovery of his tombstone, archaeologists now know something about the Roman soldier who died in Oxfordshire.

Ancient horseshoe found stuck in a rut

Potholes may be a modern annoyance, but the recent discovery of a Roman horseshoe stuck in a rut shows that the problem is ages old. The 2000-year-old show was discovered recently under Liverpool Street in London. (photo)

South Kyme Festival showcases medieval re-enactors

A highlight of the year in Boston, Lincolnshire, England is the South Kyme Festival where medieval jousters compete and the proceeds go to charity. This year's festival featured two medieval re-enactment groups – The Woodvilles and The Knights of Skirbeck. (photo)

Remains of medieval boat found near Loddon, England

Archaeologist Heather Wallis is excited about the "particularly significant" discovery of a boat dating from between 1400 and 1600 CE during excavations of a drainage dyke near near Loddon, England. (photo)

Richard III Had Worms?

Ignominiously buried, scientists now believe that Richard III suffered from roundworms, an intestinal parasite.

Roman cemetery at Glevum excavated

Experts from Cotswold Archaeology have discovered a number of new burials in what they believe was the cemetery for the Roman city of Glevum, now Gloucester. "This is probably one of the most significant finds that has been made within Gloucester within the last 30 years. It will add greatly to the knowledge of the [city]," said archaeologists Stuart Joyce.

Tithe barn foundations revealed at Warwickshire construction site

In the Middle Ages, a tenth of a farmer's crops were stored in a tithe barn for use by the Church. Now the foundations of such a structure have been discovered at a construction site in Warwickshire, England. (photo)

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Portrait of Renaissance children with guinea pig is a first

A painting of three Elizabethan children is believed to be the first to show a pet guinea pig. The portrait dates to 1580. Guinea pigs were brought to Europe by Spanish merchants in the late 1500s, but proof they were kept has pets has only been found recently.

Reenactor creates replica of Bayeux Tapestry

A medieval reenactor in England has completed a 2:1 scale replica of the Bayeux Tapestry. The embroidery is 40 feet long and took 18 years to complete.

The mysterious buildings of Longforth farm

Archaeologists working at Longforth farm near Wellington, England, are puzzled by the discovery of a group of substantial medieval buildings, apparently abandoned between the 12th and 14th centuries.

The mystery of the missing manor

Excavations at an archaeological site at Longforth Farm in Wellington, England have discovered a 900-year-old medieval manor that never existed, at least in historical records. What is the building, and why has it disappeared from the records? Inquiring minds want to know.

Oyez! Oyez! A prince is born!

The recent birth of Prince George has led to a great deal of pomp and circumstance including the appearance of unofficial royal crier Tony Appleton, whose bell and bellow announced the blessed event. (video)

The tug-of-war over the Lindisfarne Gospels

The Lindisfarne Gospels are a British national treasure and should be part of the national collection, says the British Library. The Lindisfarne Gospels were written in the North and dedicated to St Cuthbert. They belong in Durham, says the Northumbrian Association. Who will win?

Lincoln Castle may hide Roman townhouse

The Lincolnshire County Council is sponsoring the restoration of Lincoln Castle in England. So far, archaeologists have found the remains of the Norman foundations of the castle and a previously-unknown Anglo-Saxon church. They expect to reach the Roman era soon in which they expect to find a Roman townhouse.

Staffordshire Hoard glass

A 2012 entry on the Staffordshire Hoard blog takes an "up close and personal" look at the use of glass in the gold artifacts of the Hoard. While the majority of gemstones in the objects have been identified as garnets, a number of the colored, transparent inlays are glass. The article includes a number of photos.

Leicester site reveals double coffin

The now famous car park in Leicester, England has revealed another interesting find - a stone coffin containing another lead coffin. This is the same site where Richard III's remains were found in 2012.

Social media may help choose patron saint of England

There are two camps in England when it comes to who would be the best patron saint, St Edmund or St George, and both are being promoted in a surprising way: Facebook. While George has been the preferred saint since Richard the Lionheart, Edmund is gaining support.

Lancaster Castle to become tourist attraction

The site of Roman forts, a prison, a court, an execution site and the Pendle Witches Trial, Lancaster Castle now has a new role to play: tourist attraction. For the first time in 900 years, the castle will be open to the public.

Stone priory seal restoration complete

In 2011, English metal detector enthusiast Tont Burke found a treasure in a Survey field with the discovery of a copper 12th Century seal matrix of Stone Priory, bearing the image of the Virgin and Child. Now, fully restored, the seal is returning to St Michael and St Wulfad's church in Stone. (photo)

Lyminge excavations shed light on the "Dark Ages"

After the Romans left Britain in the 5th century, the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes moved in, bringing their culture and architecture to the country. The recent discovery of what is believed to be an Anglo-Saxon royal feasting hall in the Kent, England village of Lyminge is shining a new light on the 7th century in England. Jason Urbanus of Archaeology has a feature story. (aerial photos)

Young scholars learn the alphabet in 17th century England

Throughout time, children have struggled to learn to write the alphabet. On its blog Collation, the Folger Library presents examples of not only 16th and 17th century writing manuals, but actual copy books of English children. One can almost see the clenched teeth of concentration in their work.

The impact of Shakespeare's investment

In 1594, William Shakespeare made a move that gave him financial stability and, some say, changed the way he wrote plays: he purchased a one-eighth share in the Lord Chamberlain's Men. One of those people is Dr Bart van Es of Oxford University's Faculty of English Language and Literature, who claims that the purchase gave the playwright a better relationship with and understanding of actors.