Wedding of Let and Percy


Wedding of parents,

Peggy and Norman


A Tome inside Bath Abbey


Merchant Navy War Memorial


Golden Hinde, London


Olympic Torch carrier running through Sutton 2012


Temple Bar Memorial


HRH Queen Elizabeth II in Epsom


Railway Permanent Way (Track) workers

at London Bridge remodelling


Golden Anniversary

Peter and Gloria 2009

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Bust of Theodosius I / Theodosius the Great, Roman Emperor of the East, then Roman Emperor
Bust of Theodosius I / Theodosius the Great, Roman Emperor of the East, then Roman Emperor

Our part in the Roman Empire


Our part in the Roman Empire

Theodosius I (11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was a Roman emperor from 379 to 395. During his reign, he succeeded in a crucial war against the Goths, as well as in two civil wars, and was instrumental in establishing the creed of Nicaea as the orthodox doctrine for Christianity. Theodosius was the last emperor to rule the entire Roman Empire before its administration was permanently split between the West and East.

Theodosius the Great is in my Family Tree and is my;-

great-grandfather of wife of uncle of husband of sister-in-law of 15th great-grandaunt of wife of 32nd great-grandfather, on my maternal side.

Valentinian the Great is also in my Family Tree and is my;-

2nd great-grandfather of wife of uncle of husband of sister-in-law of 15th great-grandaunt of wife of 32nd great-grandfather, on my maternal side.

So, neither are particularly close, and a lot of generations ago.

Also mentioned below are some Goths, under the command of Athanaric. He is considered the first king of the Visigoths, or Thervingi, who later settled in Iberia, where they founded the Visigothic Kingdom.

More Goths but this time Ostrogoths, under Alatheus.


It should be noted that this article is almost entirely constructed with snippets or extracts from Wikipedia, who I thank for so much information. 

Our part in the Fall of the Roman Empire


Our part in the Fall of the Roman Empire

There are some that say the Fall of the Roman Empire commenced with Valens, Roman Emperor of the East, when he fought the Goths at the Battle of Adrianople, near Hadrianopolis in Thrace. Which he both lost, and lost his life at. The beginning of the end.

See my article below to read about some of the goings on about that time.


However, I believe that the die was cast a long time before that, and it was not because of a battle with an external force, such as the Goths. No, the whole system had failed and was marching inexorably to its own self destruction.

My article below is a small slice of time presented in an approximate timeline, with information extracted from Wikipedia, which in turn lists many sources. It includes murders, children being declared Emperors, and then dying young.  Power struggles, usupers, and political manipulation. Between ancestors on my Family Tree.

Follow my Tree back a little further to another relative;-

Constantine I Constantine the Great, Roman Emperor
BIRTH ABT. 27 FEB 272 • Niš, Serbia

DEATH 22 MAY 337

paternal grandfather of wife of great-granduncle of wife of uncle of husband of sister-in-law of 15th great-grandaunt of wife of 32nd great-grandfather

House of Constantinian

He died in the year 337, as did a lot of other people. Frequently relatives.

I shall call this the Constantine Purge of 377


Another extract from Wikipedia, this time about Constantine II.

On 1 March 317, he was made caesar. In 323, at the age of seven, he took part in his father's campaign against the Sarmatians. At age ten, he became commander of Gaul, following the death of his half-brother Crispus. An inscription dating to 330 records the title of Alamannicus, so it appears that his generals won a victory over the Alamanni. His military career continued when Constantine I made him field commander during the 332 winter campaign against the Goths. The military operation was successful and decisive, with 100,000 Goths reportedly slain and the surrender of the ruler Ariaric. He was married prior to 336, although his wife’s identity remains unknown.

While Constantine I had intended for his sons to rule together with their cousins Dalmatius and Hannibalianus, soon after his death the army slaughtered almost all of their male relatives, including Dalmatius and Hannibalianus. Burgess observed from numismatic evidence that Constantine II and his brothers “not only seem not to have fully accepted the legitimacy of Dalmatius and viewed him as an interloper, but also appear to have communicated with one another on this point and agreed on a common response.”

He was soon involved in the struggle between factions rupturing the unity of the Christian Church. The Western portion of the empire, under the influence of the Popes in Rome, favoured Nicene Christianity over Arianism, and through their intercession they convinced Constantine to free Athanasius, allowing him to return to Alexandria. This action aggravated Constantius II, who was a committed supporter of Arianism.

The three brothers were not named as Augusti until 9 September 337, when they gathered together in Pannonia and divided the Roman territories among themselves. Constantine received Gaul, Britannia and Hispania.

In what seemed to be an attempt to distance themselves from the massacre, the three brothers proceeded to print coins of Theodora, whom their murdered relatives had been descended from.[6] The evidence indicates that Constantine II was the one responsible for designing and producing the coinage at the start, as well as convincing his brothers to do the same. Woods considered it to suggest that he was more sympathetic to Theodora’s memory than his brothers, possibly because his wife may have been a granddaughter of Theodora.

It appears that Constantine was left unsatisfied with the results of their meeting, as he soon complained that he had not received the amount of territory that was his due as the eldest son. Annoyed that Constans had received Thrace and Macedonia after the death of Dalmatius, Constantine demanded that Constans hand over the African provinces, to which he agreed in order to maintain a fragile peace. Soon, however, they began quarreling over which parts of the African provinces belonged to Carthage, and thus Constantine, and which belonged to Italy, and therefore Constans. Even after campaigning against the Alamanni in 338, he continued to maintain his position. The Codex Theodosianus recorded Constantine’s legislative intervention in Constans’ territory through issuing an edict to the proconsul of Africa in 339.

In 340 Constantine marched into Italy at the head of his troops to claim territory from Constans. Constans, at that time in Naissus, detached and sent a select and disciplined body of his Illyrian troops, stating that he would follow them in person with the remainder of his forces. Constantine was killed by Constans's generals in an ambush outside Aquileia. Constans then took control of his deceased brother's realm. After his death, Constantine was subjected to damnatio memoriae, which his other brother Constantius II also followed.

Families of the Middle Ages - Beauchamp


Families of the Middle Ages - Beauchamp

Beauchamp family

There are two early instances which to-day have not been linked, Beauchamp of Bedford and Beauchamp of Elmley.

First known

Earliest known Beauchamp of Bedford

Hugh de Beauchamp was recorded in the Domesday Book and died after 1101. 

Hugh may have been from Beauchamps in Normandy or perhaps from Calvados. No connection has been established between Hugh and Walter de Beauchamp,

Hugh was a tenant-in-chief with lands in Bedfordshire. His landholdings in Bedfordshire have been considered to have made him the first feudal baron of Bedford. At the time of the Domesday Book he held 43 manors in Bedfordshire and additional landholdings in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. The core of Hugh's lands were those held before the Conquest by Eskil of Ware and men sworn to Eskil, with additional lands coming from thegns and sokemen in the county.

Hugh witnessed a charter of King William the Conqueror, which can only be dated to sometime between 1070 and 1089, where he is named as "sheriff", but it is unclear whether he was sheriff of Buckinghamshire or of Bedfordshire.

Earliest known Beauchamp of Elmley

Beauchamp is sometimes known as Walter de Beauchamp of Elmley, to distinguish him from the members of the Beauchamp family of Bedford. He married the daughter of Urse d'Abetot, who is usually named Emeline, although her name is not given in contemporary records. Urse d'Abetot was the Sheriff of Worcestershire from around 1069 to around 1108. Beauchamp may have been a tenant of his father-in-law prior to his marriage. Nothing is known for sure of Beauchamp's background before he first witnessed a royal charter sometime between 1108 and 1111



Roger Beauchamp 1st Baron Beauchamp of Bletso
BIRTH Unknown

DEATH 1380

great-grandfather of wife of 8th cousin 20x removed



The great families of the Middle Ages


The great families of the Middle Ages - England

Which may include Wales and Ireland.

Middle Ages, the period in European history from the collapse of Roman civilization in the 5th century CE to the period of the Renaissance (variously interpreted as beginning in the 13th, 14th, or 15th century, depending on the region of Europe and other factors).

This article was going to be about the Earls of England in the Middle Ages, also known as the  Medieval period, however, on reflection, that would be too narrow a viewpoint.

Having spent some time building my Family Tree for this period, it is amazing how many of the families inter-marry, probably for wealth and power, followed by in-fighting. Cousin against cousin, but not down the pub, or as part of the wedding reception. No, throw together an army of up to 50,000 souls, and then set about killing as many people as possible, especially your cousins who are fighting for the other side. So many of my Tree are recorded as Slain at the Battle of ... . It is understandable how the period became known for its cruelty, and brutality.

Part of the objective of this article is to list those families that were significant in the period, after the Norman invasion up until the 15th Century, but also to help clarify the interrelationship between the families, together with the various ranks and positions they obtained, sometimes before losing their head. I have considered adding the royal families of Britain, France, Italy and the Holy Roman Empire but concluded that would potentially be counter productive. There were so many power alliances, joining one throne to another, that the whole matrix may become full. The exercise would become futile, other than to demonstrate that that we already suspect. All the Royal Families are connected.

Our part in the Southampton Plot


Our part in the Southampton Plot

An extract from Wikipedia

In the Parliament of 1414, Richard was created Earl of Cambridge, a title formerly held by his elder brother, Edward, 2nd Duke of York, who had earlier ceased to be Earl of Cambridge either by resignation or deprivation of the title.

Richard's creation as Earl of Cambridge in 1414, however, brought with it no accompanying grant of lands, and according to Harriss, Cambridge was "the poorest of the earls" who were to set out on Henry V's invasion of France. As a result, he lacked the resources to equip himself properly for the expedition. Perhaps partly for this reason, Richard conspired with Lord Scrope and Sir Thomas Grey to depose Henry V of England and place his late wife Anne's brother Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March, on the throne. On 31 July, Mortimer revealed the plot to the king. Later, he served on the commission that condemned Richard to death. Although Richard pleaded with the king for clemency, he was beheaded on 5 August 1415 and buried in the chapel of God's House at Southampton (now St. Julien's Church, Southampton). The fleet set sail for France a few days later, on 11 August 1415.

Act for the Keeping of Parish Registers 1538


Act for the Keeping of Parish Registers 1538

As family historians we own a debt of gratitude for the creation of this act in Henry VIII's 29th year of reign. Without it and the subsequent similar act from Queen Elizabeth in 1558, we would not have such extensive records to assist us in our hobbies or professions.

A good précis of the history is found at Family Search, 'History of Parish Registers in England', reproduced in part below.

Medieval - In medieval times there were no parish registers. For some years before the Reformation, monastic houses (especially the smaller ones) the parish priest had been developing the custom of noting in an album or on the margins of the service books, the births and deaths of the leading local families.

1538 - Through the efforts of Thomas Cromwell a mandate was issued by Henry VIII to keep parish registers. This order that every parson, vicar or curate was to enter in a book every wedding, christening and burial in his parish. The parish was to provide a sure coffer with two locks, the parson having the custody of one key, the wardens the others. The entries were to be made each Sunday after the service in the presence of one of the wardens. The mandate was enforced under a penalty of 3 sols, 4 deniers for the repair' of the church. These entries were made on paper, sometimes upon loose sheets. The bishop in their visitations were to see that the names of sponsors were duly entered in the registers of baptism. The parishioners penalty was divided between the poor box and repairs for the church.

1558 - Queen Elizabeth passed another law that was a duplicate of her father's . Many more registers began at this date. Many of these very early records are hard to read plus being written in Latin and are often very sparse - giving only the fathers name at a Christening and only the persons name in a burial entry. The registers were the property of the incumbent minister and each parish was required to maintain a chest in the parish church for the safe keeping of the same. In time other records were kept in the chest such as poor law records, which were actually the civil parish records. Other records kept in the chest were removal orders, bastardy bonds, overseers of the poor accounts, Tithe award and Maps, Enclosure Awards and Maps, Church Wardens Accounts, etc.

1597 - Registers were to be made of parchment instead of paper, and annual reports of all parish register entries were required to be sent to the appropriate bishop, called Church of England Parish Registers (BT). No doubt the reason we have gaps in some of the early parish registers or they do not exist at all, is that the paper had disintegrated and were not available. In some areas earlier registers were destroyed at this time and some were recopied on parchment.

Some ministers made copies for the Bishop as entries were made in the register, some waited until the end of the year to make these copies. Some entries could have been missed. Most often the original parish entry is more complete.

1598 - The entries that were made on paper, sometimes upon loose sheets, and sixty years later these registers were ordered to be copied upon parchment in books, so that the registers which still survive dating back to 1538-1539 (perhaps about 1400 to 1500 in number). Therefore, any parish which survived this date are rarely the original entries. Some of the earliest paper registers had disappeared even before the transcription was ordered.


Social economic history


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