It looks like I’m directly related to Sir Rhys ap Thomas (1449–1525) loyal supporter of Henry Tudor, Henry VII. Some sources claim that Sir Rhys personally delivered the death blow to King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, using his poleaxe. More about this in future posts.
My latest translation, the German version of Eve’s War: Operation Locksmith, available soon. Sandra has translated seven of my books and is always a pleasure to work with.
The oldest surviving diving suit in the world, from Finland, early 18th century.
During the Second World War, R.V. Jones was the Assistant Director of IntellIigence (Science) and a man Churchill knew he could trust.
When the Nazis introduced a radar system called Wotan, R.V. Jones figured out how it worked by assuming that it used a single beam. He based his deduction on the fact that the Germanic god Wotan only had one eye.
More family tree news. Possibly my greatest family history discovery to date. I traced my tree back to the Welsh nobles and their genealogies link my family to one of the greatest figures in Welsh history, my 23 x great grandfather, Rhys ap Gruffydd (1132 – 1197), The Lord Rhys, ruler of South Wales.
Strange phenomenon. I named my character Eve Beringar in my Eve’s War series because I liked the name. Now, I discover that Eleanor Beringar of Provence, Henry III’s wife, is my 23 x great grandmother. She was renowned for her beauty, learning, writing and as a leader of fashion.
The Hodsolls were lords of the manor in Ash, Kent during the medieval period. Later, they owned considerable amounts of land and property in Kent, Sussex and London.
My 12 x great grandfather, John Hodsoll, was born in Cowfold, Sussex in 1534. His first wife, Anne, died at a young age and he married his second wife, Faith Thomas, in Cowfold in 1557.
A gentleman farmer, John enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle. With Faith, he produced at least eight children, seven of them girls, along with my direct ancestor, William Hodsoll.
John enjoyed a long life, dying in 1618 in Cowfold, aged 84. He left a detailed Will, which offers an insight into his life.
John left approximately £2,000 in his Will, mainly to his ‘beloved wife, Faith’, and their children. That sum equates to 110 years of a skilled craftsman’s wages. He also left his vast estates to his family.
A servant, Caesar, and the poor people of the parish were also beneficiaries of John’s Will. Caesar received £5, the equivalent of 100 days wages for a skilled craftsman, while the poor received ‘the summe of three pounds sterling apeece’.
The affectionate tone of John’s Will suggests that he truly loved Faith. Along with money and land, she received ‘all such mares kyne and calves with all such hay corne fodder and provision of victualls for houshould as shalbe belonginge unto me at the tyme of my decease, plate and houshold stuffe, and her weddinge ringe and one paire of Braceletts of goulde w’ch I lately gave her and one ringe of myne with a deathes heade lately belonginge to my first wife.’
John lived most of his life durning the Elizabethan era and would have witnessed the devastating plague of 1563, which claimed the lives of 80,000 people, William Shakespeare’s plays, the exploits of Francis Drake, the Anglo-Spanish war, the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the death of Elizabeth I.
Faith was the daughter of the Reverend Tristram Thomas, Rector of Alford in Surrey. Her name and upbringing suggest that religion played a key role in her life, in this instance Protestantism. In regard to religion, she lived during a turbulent time, but doubtless benefited from Elizabeth’s support for the Protestant Church.
John and Faith lived during the glory days of the English Renaissance, when literature, art, music and architecture flourished. A remarkable time to be alive.
As ever, thank you for your interest and support.
2 replies on “Dear Reader #84”
As always, Hannah, your posts are compulsive reading. What incredible discoveries we can make when we look to the past. Keep it up!
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Reblogged this on Grant Leishman – Author.
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