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The British History Podcast

Jamie Jeffers

Society & Culture, History, Documentary, Education, Courses

4.6 • 6.6K Ratings


The BHP is a chronological retelling of the history of Britain with a particular focus upon the lives of the people. You won’t find a dry recounting of dates and battles here, but instead you’ll learn about who these people were and how their desires, fears, and flaws shaped the scope of this island at the edge of the world. And some of those desires are downright scandalous.

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469 Episodes

444 – Holy Beef

Based on the e-mails I have been getting, some of you are having a hard time understanding why on god’s green earth did Odo think he could just trot down to Rome and become the new Pope. The truth is he was less crazy than we might think, and I’m going to take a moment […] The post 444 – Holy Beef first appeared on The British History Podcast.

Transcribed - Published: 5 April 2024

443 – We’re Bigger Than Jesus

In this episode we delve into the tumultuous reign of King Gruffydd ap Cynan of Gwynedd and the political intricacies of William’s relationship with Matilda and his ambitious half-brother, Bishop Odo. It is an intricate web of power struggles, betrayals, and shifting dynamics between church and state that will only grow more complex and dangerous. […] The post 443 – We’re Bigger Than Jesus first appeared on The British History Podcast.

Transcribed - Published: 26 March 2024

442 – Mynydd Carn

Norman interventionism into their neighbors was only just beginning… and the events at Mynydd Carn gave them just the excuse they needed. The post 442 – Mynydd Carn first appeared on The British History Podcast.

Transcribed - Published: 15 March 2024

441 – God Bothering

Northumbria was back at it again. The Continental Bishop turned Earl was dead. Most of his men lay slain at Gateshead, or BBQed in that Church. And any left alive were locked inside Durham Castle. The post 441 – God Bothering first appeared on The British History Podcast.

Transcribed - Published: 27 February 2024

440 – This is Fine

King Malcom and the Scots had spent the last several months raiding the northern reaches of England. They had murdered the English with impunity, took even more as slaves. But eventually they decided they had their fill and returned back to their homeland. And they took with them anything that hadn’t been nailed down. The post 440 – This is Fine first appeared on The British History Podcast.

Transcribed - Published: 11 February 2024

439 – Juggling Responsibilities

There was no getting around it. William had been humiliated. The post 439 – Juggling Responsibilities first appeared on The British History Podcast.

Transcribed - Published: 3 February 2024

438 – Robert’s Rebellion

The little guy’s rebellion was about to get pretty big. The post 438 – Robert’s Rebellion first appeared on The British History Podcast.

Transcribed - Published: 23 January 2024

437 – Everyone’s Pissed

The hall exploded into chaos. The knights sitting outside of the firing line stared in shock, trying to process what was happening. Men stuck closer in tried to dive out of the way. The unlucky knights… the men standing right next to Robert when his brothers’ opinions came raining down… Well, they were screaming […] The post 437 – Everyone’s Pissed first appeared on The British History Podcast.

Transcribed - Published: 6 January 2024

436 – Taking the Piss

Welcome to the turbulent period of 1076 to 1078, where family tensions, political intrigue, and military challenges force William onto his back heel. And it all starts with the invasion of Dol… something that, in comparison with 1066, should be an easy victory for the aging Conqueror. The post 436 – Taking the Piss first appeared on The British History Podcast.

Transcribed - Published: 23 December 2023

435 – Trials and Tribulations

Once in a while, the Chronicle has a hot take. Here is one of my favorites: “the more men spoke about just law, the more unlawfully they acted.” The scribes dropped that one on the lines for 1087, but it could have easily applied to 1075 and 1076. The post 435 – Trials and Tribulations first appeared on The British History Podcast.

Transcribed - Published: 18 December 2023

434 – The Boys

By the mid 1070’s, the House of Normandy was struggling and I’m not talking about William here, I’m talking about his lineage – because as busy as William had been in his cross-channel land grabs, he had still found time to have A LOT of kids. The post 434 – The Boys first appeared on The British History Podcast.

Transcribed - Published: 9 December 2023

433 – North Wales: I Love Mess

In 1075 King Bleddyn’s star was on the rise. He ruled over both Gwynedd and Powys. He struck fear into those he met on the battlefield. He had demonstrated himself such a threat that the Normans actually tried to assassinate him…repeatedly. But he was still very much alive, kicking ass and taking heads.

Transcribed - Published: 22 November 2023

Bonus Episode on Courtliness

Here’s a 15 minute sample of what we’re talking about on the Member’s feed.

Transcribed - Published: 21 November 2023

432 – The Revolt of the Earls

It was 1075 and Waltheof, the last remaining English Earl, was not in England. He was on a boat, headed for Normandy. And when word of his trip reached the Earls Roger and Ralph, they probably panicked.

Transcribed - Published: 11 November 2023

431 – The Gang Has A Wedding

From 1066 to 1071, William had been at war with the English. Five long years of conquest, insurrections, and rebellions. And here’s the thing about that. William didn’t even really seem to like England that much. Not the culture, definitely not the people.

Transcribed - Published: 27 October 2023

430 – Is It Good To Be King?

We’ve been spending a lot of time with England lately… and there’s a good reason for that. England was the main target of the Norman invasion, and everything changed for the Kingdom when William arrived. Furthermore, the nature of our surviving sources is that they were more likely to survive if they were Norman sources. […]

Transcribed - Published: 19 October 2023

429 – Power Brokers and Power Breakers

To the North, in Scotland, reigned King Malcolm Canmore. We have been following his story for a long time now, and for good reason. After all, it literally intersects with the infamousMacbeth… But King Malcolm Canmore was and remains one of the most powerful, and longest reigning, Scottish Kings to date.

Transcribed - Published: 27 September 2023

428 – Tightening the Grip

Five years of fighting. The conquest of England wasn’t something that was resolved on a single day in October of 1066. William had been fighting this thing for five years… and they were long years.

Transcribed - Published: 12 September 2023

427 – Hereward: Back Into the Mist

Thirty thousand pounds. That’s what the Gesta claims Hereward charged the Normans for the return of their warlike Abbot Turold.

Transcribed - Published: 28 August 2023

426 – Everyone Has Their Limits

The once mighty Godwinson dynasty was gone…

Transcribed - Published: 21 August 2023

425 – Hereward: The Fall of Ely

It was late October of 1071, and Hereward was out with a column of his rebel fighters, foraging and pillaging Norman allied settlements for supplies.

Transcribed - Published: 7 August 2023

424 – Hereward: ft. Judas Priest

If the story of Hereward wasn’t what you were expecting, you’re not alone. Researching this tale has been just as wild an experience as hearing it. In fact, between this episode and the last one, I came across another fascinating tidbit about our favorite French witch.

Transcribed - Published: 27 July 2023

423 – Hereward: The Lion, The Witch, and the War Hero

Ok, when we left off William hired a witch to help with his rebel problem, Hereward disguised himself as a potter and infiltrated the Norman camp while William was out hunting, and in the end a bunch of Normans were slain and Hereward barely escaped with his life thanks to the speedy hooves of his […]

Transcribed - Published: 7 July 2023

422 – Hereward: The Man, the Myth, The Legend

The situation in Ely was getting out of hand. The Liber Eliensis speaks of how Hereward and his army carried out raids far and wide, bringing with him bands of a hundred men or more.

Transcribed - Published: 28 June 2023

421 – The Wake at Ely

Word soon reached King William’s Court that Hereward remained free. Even worse, the man tasked with capturing the Wake (William de Warenne) had barely escaped with his life.

Transcribed - Published: 20 June 2023

420 – The Wake and the Earl

Hereward was returning to Ely with his men. The upside was they were taking literal boatloads of treasure with them.

Transcribed - Published: 9 June 2023

419 – The Wake at Peterborough

You may have noticed that Hereward the Wake seems to keep disappearing from the story and then reappearing again. This reflects the actual record, where he pops up only to vanish back into the mist just as quickly. His life appears to have been enigmatic. We only know him by these tidbits. But, even those […]

Transcribed - Published: 26 May 2023

418 – God’s Chosen

When we left off, William (satisfied with the damage he had inflicted upon the people of the North) marched south towards Chester. And as he rode off, King Malcolm III of Scotland took the opportunity to ravage what was left of Northumbria.

Transcribed - Published: 12 May 2023

417 – The (far more than four) Horsemen

When we ended the last episode. William and his knights had ravaged the North. He had spared nothing and no one. Men, women, children, animals, buildings, even the plants. Everything between York and Durham was annihilated, a stretch of nearly 100 miles.

Transcribed - Published: 1 May 2023

New Member’s Episode on the Wild Hunt

Transcribed - Published: 24 April 2023

416 – The Harrying of the North

Weeks in the rain and cold, marching through mud and picking through forests, had finally – in spite of Northumbria’s best efforts – ended with William reaching his goal. The King arrived in York.

Transcribed - Published: 17 April 2023

415 – Cry Me a River

William was charging North. If he was going to hold on to his new kingdom, he had to counter this threat in person.

Transcribed - Published: 24 March 2023

414 – The Uprising

News of the victory at York spread fast, and people everywhere were finding their courage.

Transcribed - Published: 17 March 2023

413 – The D

It was Fall of 1069, and the Danes were coming.

Transcribed - Published: 4 March 2023

Dispatches from Hoth

Let it go, let it go.

Transcribed - Published: 23 February 2023

412 – The B Word

The Godwinsons are back in England. Harold’s sons, along with a fleet of 64 Irish ships loaded down with fighters, have just hit the shores. And it seems like they were students of history, because they were taking up the traditional family business.

Transcribed - Published: 18 February 2023

411 – Tell it to St. Peter

Things in the North were dire. This was a problem, because as Orderic tells us, this wasn’t just a minor local revolt. This was intended to be much bigger.

Transcribed - Published: 11 February 2023

New Members Episode and a Site Update

Transcribed - Published: 3 February 2023

410 – The F Word

They appeared as if from nowhere. A great force of men and horses… armed to the teeth… charging towards the city of York. Where the fuck did this army come from? And who was that in the back? Was… was that William the Bastard? He was supposed to still be in Normandy.

Transcribed - Published: 27 January 2023

409 – The First Sparks

Earl Robert lay dead at Durham. Along with 700 of his men. At least. The Chronicle bumps the numbers up a bit, claiming Earl Robert had died 900 of his soldiers at Durham. Either way, that’s a lot of dead Normans.

Transcribed - Published: 20 January 2023

408 – Kerosene

Happy New Year! It was 1069… nice… and as the new year dawned…things in England were getting a bit weird.

Transcribed - Published: 14 January 2023

407 – Robbing the Hood

I feel for the English commoners in the late 1060’s. They had nothing to do with the arrival of the Normans… everything they suffered was the result of the actions of the nobles. Exclusively.

Transcribed - Published: 6 January 2023


Strap yourselves in. It’s finally happening.

Transcribed - Published: 3 January 2023

Dispatches From The Front

Transcribed - Published: 9 December 2022

406 – King’s Rook Takes Pawn

In early 1068… as William was preparing for the tactical Coronation of Matilda… the three sons of Harold Godwinson were in Ireland. They had come to meet with King Diarmad of Dublin and prepare an invasion force to re-take England.

Transcribed - Published: 2 December 2022

405 – Hereward the Wake: The Bourne Identity

Here is the beginning of Hereward the Wake. And to tell this story, we have to begin with the legend, because nothing in this story is straightforward. Probably because at least some of it is true.

Transcribed - Published: 17 November 2022

404 – The Coronation of Queen Matilda

Gytha and her supporters had fled into the Severn Estuary, and it was the final nail in the coffin of the Exeter rebellion. With no help coming, they were forced to negotiate a peace. But this wasn’t exactly a victory for William, either. He’d been on the throne for scarcely over a year, and he’d […]

Transcribed - Published: 3 November 2022

403 – The Siege of Exeter

Exeter stood in open defiance against William and his army.

Transcribed - Published: 20 October 2022

402 – Fire Sale

Earl Osulf II of Bamburgh was a Northumbrian, and he had earned his seat ruling over the region North of the Tyne in true Northumbrian fashion.

Transcribed - Published: 24 September 2022

401 – Norms and Normans

Last week we left off with Dover with some good old fashioned french on french violence… Count Eustace had attacked and attempted to seize the Southern Town… and lost. In fact, he had lost so badly that his poor young nephew (who had never fought in battle before but, trusting his uncle, joined him on […]

Transcribed - Published: 16 September 2022

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