Halifax Day schools 2018/19

orange box directionsI am pleased to be able to offer the following courses at The Orange Box, 1 Blackledge, Halifax, HX1 1AF.


Courses run from 10.00 am until 3.30pm with a half hour break for lunch as well as a short break in the morning and the afternoon.

The information contained in this post may also be found on a separate page which is bookmarked at the top of the blog.

1)  Thursday 27th September 2018   10.00 am – 3.30pm

Inconvenient Wives

The story of Robert Dudley, Amy Robsart,

Lettice Knollys and Elizabeth I

Amy Robsart exhibited 1877 by William Frederick Yeames 1835-1918

Explore the scandal Elizabeth I’s relationship with “Sweet Robin” at the beginning of her reign and the events surrounding the death of Amy Robsart.  We will use the accounts of various ambassadors as well as William Cecil’s words on the subject.  We will chart Dudley’s relationship with Amy and assess the evidence, including the Cumnor coroner’s report as part of an exploration of the different theories about her death.

We will then consider Dudley’s proposal to Elizabeth at Kennilworth Castle in 1575 as well as his relationship with Francis Howard and second marriage to Elizabeth’s own cousin, Lettice Knollys and its consequences.

Inconvenient Wives The story of Robert Dudley, Amy Robsart, Lettice Knollys and Elizabeth I


Inconvenient Wives The story of Robert Dudley, Amy Robsart, Lettice Knollys and Elizabeth I


2) Thursday 25th October 2018    10.00 am – 3.30pm

Gloriana: a life in ten pictures


elizabeth-1-rainbow-portraitAn overview of Elizabeth I’s life and reign using a few of the two hundred pictures associated with the monarch from the Clopton Portrait to the Ditchley Portrait.  Find out more about the iconography behind Elizabeth’s portraits, the so-called “mask of youth” and the cult of Gloriana.


We will explore Elizabeth’s early years; the scandals of Thomas Seymour and Robert Dudley; Wyatt’s Rebellion; the marriage proposals; an overview of foreign policy; some of the key plots against her; religion and the question of succ



Gloriana: a life in ten pictures

A day school at the Whitworth Centre inclusive of a buffet lunch.



3) Thursday 29thNovember 2018  10.00 am – 3.30pm

The Conqueror’s women

adela.jpgFind out about the formidable and influential, Matilda of Flanders, wife of William the Conqueror and her daughters.

It is said that William was faithful to his queen throughout their marriage but their courtship was not without its drama.  Later their relationship would be tested when Matilda chose to support their rebellious eldest son Robert against his father.

The pair had nine or ten children of whom six were daughters about whom popular History knows little. One was given to the Church prior to William’s invasion of England another become the mother of King Stephen. We will explore the role of aristocratic women, including the nuns and Saxon ladies who may have embroidered the Bayeux Tapestry and investigate the scandal of Constance  who may have been murdered by her own servants.

The Conqueror’s women


4) Thursday 21stMarch 2019  10.00am -3.30 pm

Isabella of France –

the She-Wolf, her husband and their lovers.


isabella of france.jpgThe only queen of England to order the execution of a king. Find out about the arranged marriage to the most handsome man in Europe and the consequences of his disastrous infatuations with his favourites.

Find out how Isabella turned from a loyal wife, a political mediator and mother to four children into she-wolf leading the most successful invasion of England since the conquest. We will also explore how she came to have possession of her husband’s heart – in a silver casket.


We will explore the role of Roger Mortimer, the queen’s lover and the impact of the Earl of Kent’s rebellion. We will also consider her punishment and rehabilitation at the court of her son Edward III.

Isabella of France – the She-Wolf, her husband and their lovers.


5) Thursday 25thApril 2019  10.00am -3.30 pm

Joan of Kent

 princess of controversy and first Princess of Wales


joanplantagenetFind out about Joan’s childhood in the aftermath of her father’s execution for treason including her life at the court of Philippa of Hainault.


The marital escapades of the Fair Maid of Kent are documented in Froissart. We will explore medieval marriage through Joan’s clandestine relationship with Thomas Holland; her bigamous but politically strategic marriage to William Montacute and her third marriage to the Black Prince.


We will also consider Joan’s importance as the mother of the child Richard II despite her lack of  official status, her reputation for piety and her popularity with the peasants.


Joan of Kent – princess of controversy and first Princess of Wales


6) Thursday 23rd May 2019  10.00am -3.30 pm

Thomas Fairfax- A Yorkshireman’s Civil War


thomas fairfaxWe will explore Fairfax’s role in the Bishops’ War and the Fairfax position in the escalating dispute between King and Parliament before following his progress from Seacroft Moor to Adwalton.

We will chart Fairfax’s swift progression through the first and second civil wars from local politics to the national scene. From there we will move on to the trial of the king, regicide and the establishment of a republic. We will consider his role at Colchester and Burford.

We will explore Fairfax’s relationship with his wife Anne the key political figures of the period and also Fairfax’s literary contributions.


Thomas Fairfax- A Yorkshireman’s Civil War




What people have said about other courses I have taught:

“Very enjoyable,” “interesting,” “learnt a lot,” “brilliant course as usual with this tutor.” “knowledgeable,”  “fascinating.”

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