Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

After Arbroath - the Soules conspiracy

In my post the other day about the Declaration of Arbroath I pointed out that not a few of the signatories, for all the ringing phrases in the Letter to the Pope, were capable of switching allegiance both before and after the Arbroath meeting. This point is drawn out in an article in yesterday’s "The National", a Scottish pro-independence newspaper, which shows how within only four months of the writing of the Letter five of those named in it or who sealed it were caught out in a conspiracy against King Robert I. They appear to have sought to place the rival claimant, Edward Balliol, son of King John I, on the throne. This was the Soules conspiracy and demonstrated the extent to which those close to the King were not necessarily loyal and his limited success in building up support.

The article can be read at 

The first part of what is a regular column has some interesting results from a survey conducted by the National Trust for Scotland about people’s knowledge of Scottish history and their appetite for learning more about the country’s past.

No comments: