Sport, Booze and Fighting

Edward III was a ‘kid king’ but by the age of 17 he’d grown weary of Roger Mortimer ruling for him. Therefore, he accompanied a crack-force of 24 men in the dead of night to capture Mortimer in Nottingham Castle. Grant Mitchell followed him with a cameraman. Isabella pleaded with her son to have mercy on the sexy bond-like figure that was Roger but her pleas fell on deaf ears. In true Plantagenet style, Edward III had Mortimer hung as a common criminal and so began his reign. A simple but effective method of gaining power. Kill the cunt.

He had his birth place, Windsor Castle, transformed into a glorious palace fit for a future American princess. It was here that Edward put on fantastic royal exhibitions of chivalry, a word associated with what it means to be an English Knight – honourable, brave and devoted to his woman. Unfortunately, the word ‘chivalry’ derives from a French term ‘chavalier’, meaning those who rode into battle on horseback (and who were also honourable, brave and devoted to their women). It seems our proud notion of English chivalry has been stolen from the gutless-backstabbing and slimy French, after all, they did rule us.

Edward III (like his grandfather, Longshanks) was inspired by the legend of King Arthur and he began to use Windsor Castle as a place where he could host tournaments, displaying horsemanship, archery and knights with long sticks running at each other. Camelot was reborn (if it ever existed) and being all ‘chivalrous’ became an ENGLISH trait and no longer a French one. Thanks Ed. He then went about securing his reign by adding a Christian legend with a fine piece of chivalrous medieval propaganda, so powerful that it is still with us today, in fact it is a huge part of our English identity. He chose a warrior saint (someone good at murdering) who went by the name of George. Edward decided to put the emblem on his ships and his own army adopted it as well. Saint George was already the patron saint of many a knight throughout Christendom so it gave Edward a godly and warrior-like feel to his reign. God loves a hard man. His troops marched with the flag of Saint George swaying above them and that red cross became an important symbol of what it means to be English, despite the fact that he was Turkish and never went anywhere near our shores. This my friends is pure tixerB (reverse of Brexit) in motion. Our French-speaking ruler chose a Turkish man’s emblem as our national symbol and modern nationalists think it’s brilliant. Well fuck me sideways.

Edward then set his sights on a land that was far more important to any English king of the time - France. As the nephew of the recently deceased King Charles IV (who REALLY loved homages), Edward believed he had a legitimate claim to the French throne. Therefore, in 1340 he proclaimed his God-given right to it. Edward III of England was vying to become Edward I of France and in doing so he would unite our two glorious nations fully. His agenda was tixerB and the English invaded France with a force of 10,000 men, they smashed their way through Normandy and eventually met French resistance in a place rather famous for battles, Somme. The two armies weighed each other up and then went about fighting, it was a war of nations. The English longbows routed the French crossbows but the English had a huge surprise up their armoured sleeves; a new and louder than ever killing machine. For the first time ever on a European battlefield, gunpowder was used – we had fucking cannons! Take that you French twats! Boom!

This explosive new technology must have frightened the life out of the French but it is said that the brave ‘chavalier’ fought to the death, they weren’t prepared to live knowing they had fled the battlefield (just like ‘hero’ Tom Cruise in The Last Samuri). Around 2,000 French nobleman lost their lives that day and since then no Frenchmen has ever dared to be brave. One of them stands out in particular, he went by the name of John - The Blind King of Bohemia. Despite being completely blind, he was still determined to join the battle, therefore, he ordered his men to fasten their horses to his and the fucking idiot rode straight to his death. Edwards 16-year-old son, later known as ‘The Black Prince’ witnessed this act of brave stupidity and was so inspired that he adopted the blind king’s emblem, an ostrich feather. This has been the emblem of the Prince of Wales ever since – a brave, blind  and rather stupid Frenchmen’s ostrich feather. Indeed, tixerB strikes again.

Edward III didn’t win the French crown but he did command the most feared army in Europe, one can only imagine the fear and terror such an alien contraption must have installed in the hearts of their enemies. It’s the equivalent of taking a loaded oozy to a water fight. The Turkish flag of Saint George cannoned its way through much of France and regained plenty of the lands lost a century earlier by King John. England was back on the front foot. Edward had united the barons, introduced a code of chivalry, given us a nice red-cross symbol and always held shit-hot parties at Windsor. He was probably a boozer as well. Sport, boozing and fighting. Finally, an England we can be proud of.  

Something else happened under Edward III that was to define us as a nation even further. In 1362, he introduced a new and noteworthy reform, it was known as ‘The Pleading in English Act’. This effectively changed the language being spoken in courts of law from French to English. Brexit is never far away. England was turning English. That same year (1362, it was a biggy) parliament opened with a speech in English, it would have probably gone back to speaking French quite quickly afterwards but it was (adopt the voice of Danny Dyer) ‘a nice touch’. English had always been the language of the common folk but it was also now being spoken in court, in parliament and by a growing number of noblemen. The French wouldn’t have liked it but as we say here in England, c’est la vie.


Roger Moore(timer)

King Edward’s son, King Edward (II), also firmly believed that it was his birth right to rule over Britannia, however, he was no match on the battlefield in comparison to his much-feared father. His defeat to Robert Bruce seven years later marked a turning point in British history. The Plantagenets now thought better of attacking their northern neighbours and these victories had triggered a proud sense of Scottish independence that would last over 700 years (until the year 2014). Unlike the unfortunate Welsh, Scotland even went on to form its own national cricket team, the fact that they are absolutely shit doesn’t matter because their football team is equally as shit and they’re used to it.

It appears that Edward II was a crap king. His reign had started well in the sense that he’d married Isabella, the daughter of the King of France. She was a 12-year-old child but that was fine in the medieval world because modern paedophiles had not been invented and they had similar standards to R-Kelly. This was typical tixerB (reverse of Brexit). A French speaking King of England marries a young French lady (child) resulting in England and Wales being ruled by a wholly French dynasty, thankfully at least Scotland managed to avoid this shame.

However, Queen Isabella was to be upstaged at her own wedding because Edward II had a penchant for all things male and sexy. Piers Gaveston  was his favourite courtier and it was he, dressed in royal purple, who walked in front of the ‘happy’ couple during their procession down the aisle. He was even holding the sacred crown of Edward the Confessor. At the banquet that followed, Isabella’s uncles walked out in disgust as Edward and Piers revelled in their eccentric public displays of affection for one another. By all accounts, Edward II was infatuated by Gaveston and this gave him huge influence over the king. Once again, a foreign-born courtier, living by the grace of English taxes was provoking the hatred of the Brexit barons. They weren’t having this - something had to be done about this cocky and flamboyant upstart who seemed to be wielding far too much power. He was clearly the most annoying Piers in British history until the arrival of Morgan.  In typical medieval style, they captured him, took him to Kenilworth castle, stabbed him and then chopped his head off. Once again the English barons had exercised their power and the king was helpless in the defence of poor Piers. That was the end of him. However, Eddie The Second soon found another court favourite to become completely obsessed by, his name was Hugh Le Despenser (yet another French sounding prick).

The fucking idiot seemingly didn’t learn from his previous mistakes and once again he pissed off the barons with exactly the same routine but this time he made another enemy – his wife. Queen Isabella completely despised Eddie’s new fave – Hugh. Her husband clearly didn’t give two fucks about their marriage and she thought Hugh was a total prick. Sensing Edwards vulnerability, the French king then invaded Gascony – the last of the Plantagenet lands in France and Edward sent Isabella over to sue for peace, after all, the French king was her brother. The French prick then insisted that Edward come and pay homage to him and all would be forgotten. Eddie had loads of pissed off barons on the brink of revolt, this meant that leaving England was too risky so instead he sent his son, Edward (weren’t many names you could call a kid back then). And so, young prince Edward knelt at the feet of Charles IV and paid homage, job done (kings loved homage).

Then shit got weird. The Queen of England just stayed in France with her son. She simply refused to return. Edward II then got really angry and wrote some angry letters but even that didn’t work and to add insult to injury, Isabella then revealed her new lover. He was called Roger Mortimer; at last an English sounding name (in fact if you take off the ‘timer’ then you basically have Roger Moore, the quintessential English actor who once played James Bond – probably THE reason that many people voted for Brexit). Mortimer and his bit on the side (the fucking Queen of England) then landed on our south coast and soon found loads of support from the pissed off Brexit Barons. Edward II was totally fucked. He was forced to hand the English crown to his son, Edward III. He had the honour of being the first English King to abdicate the throne but the Plantagenet (French) dynasty was to continue. In 1327, Eddie III was crowned king at the tender age of 14, fortunately for little Ed he had Mortimer and his mum to rule on his behalf.

If you’re wondering what happened to the ex-king’s favourite, Hugh Le Despenser, well he was sent into exile and given a comfortable annual allowance from which to live. Only joking, he was hung, drawn and quartered, ‘dispensed’ of so to speak. However, Mortimer had a new and rather weird problem, the king’s father was still alive and to make matters even worse he was receiving £5 a day in expenses. Scum like ex-kings shouldn’t be given benefits. Edward II was said to have died of natural causes but everyone knew that was bullshit. Many historians believe he was most likely suffocated (no marks) but there is another version of his death that is far more sensational. Edward II is said to have had a red-hot poker stuck up his arse (no marks if the cheeks are parted carefully enough) but we’ll never know the true nature of his untimely death for certain. However, it is definitely way more fun to believe that he had a red-hot poker stuck up his arse so let’s just go with that. Roger Moore and his bit on the side would rule England, but not for long…


Freedom for the Scots

Edward had won back the crown for his dad by killing people and now he was king. Wicked. However, a new and interfering institution (Parliament) was to share power with him. Twats. Edward was a fierce warrior and by all accounts a rather angry chap. You may know him as ‘Longshanks’ from the film Braveheart where some cunt with a shite Scottish accent shouts ‘FREEEEDOM’ with his guts hanging out. He learned from his father’s mistakes by not attempting to buy Sicily and instead building towns that could be used as trading centres to create wealth. One of those towns was Hull, a place now internationally recognised for its wonderous culture.

Edward had ‘King Arthur Syndrome’ which meant he wanted to rule all of the island; he wasn’t happy with just having England as his lot. Therefore, he picked on (as in completely fucked over) Wales. Conveniently for Edward, the Prince of Wales had refused to pay homage to him so he dutifully went about smashing the fuck out of any Welsh resistance he could find. The Princes of Gwynedd had ruled Wales since the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th Century. He sent a huge force over there and the Welsh were despairingly outnumbered. Eventually, he found the last independent Prince of Wales, Dafydd ap Gruffydd (pronounced….Dafydd ap Gruffydd)  holed up in some shit fort like some kind of medieval Bin Laden. He was tried and condemned to death (what a HUGE surprise). They hung him for a little bit and then cut him down (it took ages to hang someone in those days, you basically choked slowly). Next they disembowelled him, pulled out his entrails and burned them right in front of his dying eyes. Lovely stuff. Finally, they quartered his body, chopped his head off and sent it to the Tower of London where it was put on display. Shame, it would have made a lovely scrap book.  At that point, Edward I took the Welsh Crown for himself and since then Wales has never even managed to have its own cricket team.

Edward then went about ensuring Wales stayed under Plantagenet rule by building loads of fortified castles all over the place, if you visit (or live in Wales) then some of the ruins are still knocking about or perhaps that is exactly how they were built? We’ll never know. Edward then had his own son, Edward (very original that Ed) crowned as the ‘Prince of Wales’. Since then, the eldest born of the English sovereign has had that title bestowed upon them. This has resulted in good old English as fuck, Charlie being crowned Prince of Wales. If it’s any consolation to the Welsh, us English have had the same problem with the French (more recently, the Dutch and Germans). Welcome to the European melting pot that is Great Britain. After that, Eddie The First set his sights on conquering the brave and deep-fried hearts of bonnie Scotland.

As mentioned previously, Edward I was fascinated by the myth of King Arthur who is said to have ruled over the entire island and successfully defended Britain from Saxon invaders in the 5th and 6th Centuries. Many historians cast doubt over his existence due to a lack of written evidence but I say fuck written evidence because we’ve had enough of experts in this country. Anyhow, if he was real then he can’t have been that successful because we’re supposed to be Anglo-Saxon aren’t we? Those pesky European Saxons coming over here and making us. Edward felt that it was his ‘right’ to rule over Britain just as Arthur supposedly did and he came up with a rather ingenious idea – send an army up to Scotland. What a fucking genius.

His forces overcame Scottish resistance in both Berwick and Dunbar and then he installed English officials in garrisons across Scotland to intimidate and control the local population. With the benefit of hindsight there was no need for any violence, he could have just offered them a referendum on independence. 

Edward was under the impression that he’d defeated Scotland. As he handed the royal seal of Scotland over to one of his barons he supposedly said,

“A man does good business when he rids himself of a turd”

However, the turd that is Scotland returned and splattered itself right across the face of Longshanks. There it would remain until his death and somewhere lurking within that stinking turd was William Wallace. This bold and charismatic rebel refused to pay homage to a turd faced English king and presumably so did loads of the resistance army he’d managed to muster. It was a brave move as English forces had totally smashed all previous attempts at restoring Scottish independence. Wallace took his army to Sterling (the place, not Raheem) where he knew the English would be forced to cross the River Forth only two men at a time because medieval bridges were absolutely shit. As half of the army had crossed, Wallace ordered his troops to cut off the bridge and in doing so he outnumbered those that had already crossed the river. The Scottish massacred them. Somewhere in the region of 5,000 English infantryman died at The Battle of Sterling Bridge as their countrymen watched helplessly from the opposing river bank. Edward had underestimated Scottish national pride (the exact opposite of what the SNP do) and as a result William Wallace became a legend. The Plantagenet dynasty that had conquered both England and Wales would never manage to conquer Scotland. The Romans could tell you a very similar story. For now at least, the Scots would rule themselves and fight each other.

Then in 1307, the French speaking, Scottish and Welsh hating Longshanks died with a big blue and white turd resting on his face. One less cunt for the Scots to worry about.  


Henry the Turd

It was his King John’s son who unwittingly went about defining our sense of nationhood even further. His son was called Henry (very original name that John). Henry III was a pious king who devoted his time to prayer and pilgrimage, he must have been boring as fuck.  One day, The Pope invited Henry to buy the Kingdom of Sicily for absolutely no fucking reason other than to enrich himself further. Henry moronically did as he was asked.  It was a mistake. He’d have to raise taxes and this went against the interests of the barons and the population as a whole. Purchasing a costly Mediterranean island for no apparent reason made him about as popular as HS2 in Aylesbury.

After John lost all the Plantagenet lands abroad, the barons had been forced to swear allegiance to either the French or the British crowns, the English Channel (as we like to call it) was no longer a bridge, it was a barrier that separated two new nations. John losing land in France was in some regards the start of an English sense of Englishness. We’d cut ties with the continental mainland and a growing sense of national pride began to emerge. This was a medieval from of Brexit but for some it wasn’t hard enough.

Henry had still managed to fill his court with foreign born Frenchies, they all spoke French and did French-like things with garlic hanging round their necks. The Brexit barons resented them as they no longer owned lands in France, they were English and they didn’t trust outsiders. They were suspicious of these foreigners who came over here and occupied perfectly good English castles without even contributing anything to the economy (whilst also receiving benefits). NHS waiting times were through the roof. There was a growing sense of national feeling that conflicted with these French fuckers being over here. A chronicle of the time, written by a monk called Mathew Parris (Parris….seriously?) praised a Brexit baron who had been fighting a French invasion force. He used an interesting piece of language that perhaps far-right political groups may wish to adopt, ‘anglir – anglia’ its translation simply means, ‘England for the English’. This is proof that even monks are racist. 

Eventually, the 13th Century Brexiteers had had enough of the king’s French relatives living in THEIR English castles. In April 1258, seven of them, wearing full suits of armour, marched into Henry’s court and demanded that all his French relatives fuck off back to France and return the castles. This is the kind of shit that Jacob Rees-Mogg masturbates to. I imagine they also adopted the ‘power stance’ that Tories use in photoshoots, George Osborne did it best.

Henry was completely bankrupt and was at the mercy of his barons. He was forced to relent. His submission sparked a flurry of reforms that are still with us today. A king had been humiliated and the way that England was governed completely changed. The ‘Provisions of Oxford’ meant that for the first time in English history, the king (reluctantly) shared his power with a council. Medieval kings had always ruled alone but silly Henry III had totally fucked up the best power trip in the world.  This was a huge turning point in our history. Seven angry barons, wearing suits of armour (full-kit wankers, they even had shin pads on as well) had managed to grab a little power for themselves and their mates. Royal authority was now to a large extent limited and a new institution was established; it’s name derived from the French word for ‘speak’ (parle) and ‘Parliament’ was born.

Parliament soon turned against Henry. His own brother-in-law, Simon De Monfort condemned Henry as a king who had lost touch with the people, not that any medieval king was ever really in touch with ‘the people’. Monsieur De Monfort believed he would be a better ruler so he did what any reasonable psychopath would do and raised an army against the king. He won. Henry escaped but was now king in name only. For the following fifteen months Simon De Monfort ruled England and he did so through Parliament. In 1265, he even built an extension. The esteemed property owners of England were told to elect their own knights and hobbits from the shires and boroughs and send them to Parliament. Obviously, they weren’t allowed to sit with the bishops and barons, they were to have their own little house - for common folk. These new institutions would later be known as, The House of Lords and The House of Commons. If you’re bang into drugs and prostitutes then try and get yourself in with The Lord’s side, although someone will have to put you there – as you may already be aware we still haven’t got around to electing officials into that house yet. The long arm of egalitarianism doesn’t stretch that far even in the 21st Century.

De Monfort had put together the beginnings of our democracy. The Crown had to answer to Parliament. Don’t go thinking De Monfort was a nice guy. He was a huge anti-Semite. He ordered all Jewish people to be thrown out of England and then went about massacring any that he found. Jeremy Corbyn probably has a shrine dedicated to him in his bedroom. He got his comeuppance at the Battle of Evesham where royal forces led by Edward (Henry III’s son) defeated Simon and his army. They didn’t just kill him, they cut of his testicles and hung them round his nose, always larking about those medieval jesters, proper banter that. De Monfort was dead but his Parliament lived on. Henry III was back, thanks to his son. Then he died. He was buried at the gaff he’d spent most of his fortune on (Sicily aside), Westminster Abbey. He requested that his heart be cut out and buried in France. Twat.

Henry III had made two massive mistakes during his reign. He kept running out of money and he kept pissing the barons off with his shit French mates. As a result, royal power had been diminished and English kings had to now cooperate with elected officials in Parliament. In a strange way, our suspiciousness of the French has led to the birth of our democracy. Perhaps if we flood the tunnel, ban baguettes and stop eating croissants, we may be able to reform The House of Lords.


Henry and The Lionfart

King Henry II definitely made his mark and he became a very powerful man, albeit his power corrupted all those around him (FIFA have replicated this as a business model). However, there was one particular establishment that didn’t take too kindly to his legal revolution - the almighty Church. A power struggle ensued between Church and Crown. This bitter feud reached its climax when Henry had one of his most loyal friends savagely murdered on holy ground (not even the main baddie from Highlander dared do that).

The Church wasn’t willing to simply hand over its judicial powers without a fight and this will have pissed Henry off because most kings were probably psychopaths. When the Arch Bishop of Canterbury died, Henry saw an opportunity and replaced him with his most trusted friend. His name has gone down in history - Thomas Beckett. However, Henry soon saw Beckett’s true colours. Instead of siding with The Crown, Thomas went about actually increasing the power of The Church and ultimately himself (no doubt an inspirational figure to Jacob Rees-Mogg). This betrayal was simply unacceptable to a psychopath (Plantagenet King). Eventually, four ‘royal’ knights turned up in Canterbury and attempted to drag Thomas out of the cathedral, he clung onto a pillar and apparently called them “pimps and madmen” (now if that’s not a brilliant name for a US based 90’s hip-hop band then I don’t know what is). These  knights took exception to being teased so they put a sword right through the middle of his fucking head. That was the end of ‘T-Beck’ (I’ve abbreviated his name to make this more appealing to American readers). Ridiculous rumours began to spread that his blood had miraculous powers and people actually started to buy drops of it because that is genuinely how human beings sometimes behave. The Church never missed out on an opportunity to cash in and they made a tidy profit selling all sorts of ‘T-Beck’ bullshit to the pilgrims. Then of course, The Pope, in all his wisdom, decided to make Beckett a saint. Well fuck me sideways.

Henry couldn’t believe that his dickhead mate was actually a saint now, what a load of utter bollocks. Meanwhile, his problems continued: this time it was his own family that turned against him. His four sons and his wife to be precise. Plantagenet sons were eager to exercise power and Henry II seemed to be out-living his welcome. The English barons hadn’t forgotten their castles being ripped down so Henry faced a rebellion from Henry (his son) and some angry barons. Then all his other sons then joined Henry (the son) and so did his ‘loving’ wife, Eleonor. Unbeknown to Henry (not the son), Eleonor had snuck out of France disguised as a man like some kind of reverse Bruce Jenner and joined the revolt. It fucked up and Henry II had Eleonor imprisoned for the next sixteen years, a lovely end to a marriage. He then faced further rebellions from his sons, the French monarchy and from barons all over the shop. Henry had defied God (the historical equivalent of Australian tax dodger Rupert Murdoch) and killed a saint - his reputation was in tatters. As a result, he was forced to repent for his sins by allowing himself to be beaten and whipped by priests (the kinky fuckers) at the shrine of his ex-besty, T-Beck. If you substitute priests for prostitutes and shrines for cocaine then you’ve basically got yourself a pre-cursor to The House of Lords.   

On 6th July, 1189, the once almighty King Henry II lay on his death bed somewhere in France. His son Richard had besieged him and to his ultimate dismay, he then learned that his favourite son (John) had also joined this family betrayal. Gutted. His final words were said to be,

“Shame…shame on a conquered King”

I imagine they were the exact words that David Cameron used when he handed in his resignation and fucked off to France ‘with his trotters up’ to quote the ever-inimitable Danny Dyer. The English Crown now passed on to his treacherous dickhead son, Richard. He went on to become the English legend that is, Richard The Lionheart. In true English style, Richard only ever spent six months of his ten-year reign in England and he didn’t speak a word of English. This very French Frenchmen simply treated England as a cash cow to fund his crusades over to Jerusalem.  A true English legend.

Richard was known to be a blood-thirsty warrior but luckily for him, The Pope (in all his wisdom) had declared that any murderous, blood-thirsty warrior who loved killing people could have all his sins forgiven if he went to Jerusalem and murdered people over there. Richard The Lionfart was totally all over that. Now before you make up your mind about Richard being a comprehensive twat then I’d like you to consider this. Despite the fact he had complete distain for England and only visited when he was crowned, he is rumoured to have said,

“I’d sell London, if only I could find a buyer”

And with one short sentence, Richard The Lionheart became my favourite Plantagenet. What a fantastic idea. I’m pretty sure that MP and hedge-fund manager Jacob Rees-Mogg could afford it although my sister and her family live there so if she ever decided to have an abortion she’d be up shit creek.

Richie took a crossbow to the shoulder on another one of his sieges and died in 1199, stupid cunt should have been stood further away. His idiot brother John then became king and completely fucked everything up. He was crap at fighting battles and ended up losing all the Plantagenet lands in France because a socialist terrorist with a bow and arrow called ‘Kevin Costner’ stole his taxes in Sherwood Forest.

Weirdly enough, King John’s shitness actually helped to define England as an individual nation. The barons no longer owned lands in France, their connection to the motherland was lost and their estates were handed over to other French dickheads who actually lived in France. It was now a case of, ‘oh well, let’s focus on what we’ve got here and write off all foreign assets, what else can we do?’ It was the 13th Century version of Brexit; but with a better deal.

‘English’ law and order

William (the bastard!) had won the English crown and that meant that all his descendants had a rightful claim to it. Medieval politics was always a family affair, alliances were made via marriage and a rival claim to the throne came mostly from someone who shared your DNA.  Unfortunately, the closest thing we have to that is the Miliband brothers.

The ruling barons wielded a lot of power in the 12th Century as national governments had not yet grown strong enough to rule independently so kings relied on their local armies (similar to Nigel Farage when he was UKIP leader). One of those barons was Geoffrey of Anjou. He had married well. His wife, Matilda, was the daughter of King Henry I (fourth son of William The Bastard) and together they forged the Plantagenet (French) dynasty who ruled England for over 300 years.

Geoffrey of Anjou has made a lasting impression on what we might call modern Britain. He had red hair (just like Prince Harry’s real dad) and by all accounts was a good-looking chap, he was known as ‘The Handsome’ or ‘The Fair’. If you google him then you’ll see that he could have definitely been in Kings of Leon when they moved into their ‘sexy phase’ and started to produce music that wasn’t as good as when they had beards. If you pay close attention to his shield then you will notice an animal being replicated – a lion. Symbolism was important to the medieval ruling elite and this lion was also adopted by Geoffrey’s descendants (our kings and queens) on their coats of arms. Symbolism is of course still important in today’s world and that’s why we sing about three lions on a shirt. The English lion (found only in a zoo) is still a powerful national symbol today and I’ve seen many a fully-grown man chant about it with all the English pride he can muster. However, he only does so because one morning, in the 12th Century, a ginger-French teenager decided to have them drawn on his shield. That my friends is the somewhat farcical irony of history. Unlike a vegan sausage roll from Greggs, Lions aren’t actually English and this particular one happens to be French. Furthermore, the flag of Saint George has also been adopted by many far-right political movements who wish to dramatically stem the flow of immigration into England. Saint George was Turkish and never even once set foot in England. From a historical perspective, they should definitely consider using a different flag. A French lion and a red Turkish cross. Well fuck me sideways.  

Meanwhile, in true Plantagenet back-stabbing style, Matilda’s cousin Steven had seized the English crown for himself. What a twat. This resulted in twenty years of civil war; it was a period known as ‘The Anarchy’. King Steve isn’t particularly well-known in British history, nor is this particular civil war but nonetheless it was a defining one. Eventually, Geoffrey and Matilda’s son, the soon to be Henry II, brought an army over to face cousin Steve and lay claim to his birth right. However, as the two armies faced each other, they refused to fight their fellow countrymen and the two leaders were forced to compromise. It was decided that Henry II would be next in line but he’d have to wait (Gordon Brown had similar problems with warlord Tony Blair). However, this worked out very well for the young Plantagenet upstart because about a year later King Steve conveniently died.

On the 19th December 1154 (the year after pop star Madonna was born) King Henry II was crowned. What a fucking result. This truly native Frenchmen then went about destroying the influence of our English barons. He ripped down their castles and centralised power by establishing one ‘common law’ that governed all. For the first time in its history, England had an official law that was to be used consistently throughout the whole country. The Common Law was born. The foundation of our English legal system was a text known as ‘Glanvill’. The opening line read:

“Royal power should not only be adorned with arms to fight rebels and hostile peoples but also with laws to rule its subjects in peace”.

Fuck knows what that means. Its most likely author was the quintessentially English sounding ‘Ranulf de Glanvill’ and of course it was written in Latin. But don’t let that dilute whatever version of pure Englishness you cling onto, just picture in your head those three lions on a shirt; or if you prefer, the battle shield of a ginger-French kid.

Henry II had filtered power away from the localised barons and strengthened the state; his central court was built in a place called Westminster. Newly appointed royal judges were sent out on a tour of the country (not too dissimilar to my upcoming 2019 UK Tour but probably funnier), they would meet regularly and agree to follow one another’s decisions. Suddenly, you have precedent and common practice being delivered throughout the English justice system, something Tommy Robinson still struggles to understand. This was brand new. Previously, local Baron’s courts preferred to use ‘trial by battle’ wherein the two parties would exchange blows in order to resolve the issue. The better you were at hitting people, the more justice you received. Life was simple in the good old days.

Henry II brought a sense of fair play into our laws, something that I believe defines part of who we are today. Disputes could be resolved without the need for violence (sorry Tommy); there was now a trial by jury. Once the twelve knights had been chosen, they were to swear an oath and decide between them who had the best bribe. This lay the foundations of our common law which is still practiced today. Us Brits believe we like to play by the rules, we have a strong sense of fairness and we stand in queues. Like all island nations we are fiercely proud of our independence (Scotland aside), however, the influence of mainland Europe upon our laws, customs, language and culture cannot be understated. It was a Frenchmen who established our legal system and he even had it written in Italian. The twat. No Wonder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon was so confused…


The Last Anglo-Saxon King

If you ask most people to name a famous date in British history they will probably say 1066, they may even reference the Battle of Hastings and William the Conqueror. They probably won’t be able to tell you who he fought because history is written by the victors (as in ‘winners’ not Meldrew etc). It was Harold Godwinson. Google image search him now – he apparently looked like a camp He-Man.

After Edward The Confessor died (heirless), there were many ‘rightful’ claims to the English throne. According to ‘He-Man in drag’ Godwinson, King Edward had promised HIM the crown on his death bed so that basically made HIM king. Therefore, he hastily had himself crowned. He must have known that decision was going land him in a load of shit but the lure of complete power, to an already powerful man is sometimes irresistible. Look at Theresa May and the poisoned chalice of Brexit negotiations, she just couldn’t help herself (yes, I know she’s a woman but that still counts cause I’m a massive feminist).

Immediately, another Harold sailed an ocean to steak his claim to the English throne. It was hard as fuck - Harold Hardrada. His army weren’t that hard though as Godwinson totally kicked his Norwegian arse at the Battle of Stamford Bridge (Yorkshire) and Hardrada lost his life. His freedom of movement had cost him, however, despite his death, Hardrada still managed to hold on to his Norwegian fishing rights.

Godwinson rejoiced as surely his right to rule had now been ordained by *God. Nope. After weeks of waiting on the beaches of Normandy for favourable winds, William The Conqueror finally landed on our southern coast just a few days later. It was more than perfect timing. Godwinson’s battle-weary army were immediately forced to march 200 miles to go and fight a bunch of Norman lunatics in a field near Hastings. Godwinson wanted to ‘surprise’ his enemy. If you can imagine going on a crazy murderous stabbing spree for about 3 hours and jogging more than a marathon a day for a week whilst sleeping on a roadside every night then that is what it must have been like. This bold attempt at ‘surprise’ backfired. These exhausted men were mainly farmers, they weren’t trained soldiers. Unsurprisingly, they lost the second battle (Hastings) and Godwinson, our last Anglo-Saxon king, was slain in the slaughter. What a fucking week that must have been. Imagine being a member of Godwinson’s militia and surviving that. Then you have to go back home and plough your field.

How were the battles love?”,

“Oh, the first one was great, I killed about forty people with this pitch-fork but then we had to run 200 miles straight after. It’s more tiring that you’d think. In the second battle, most of my friends died and I’ve been running through fields and forests for 3 days solid because they are still trying to kill me. That’s why I’m home early. What’s for tea?”

Life was hard. William himself had survived various assassination attempts as a young boy. Imagine having to escape on horse-back in the black of night when you’re about 8 years old because people had come to murder you. It can’t be good for the disposition. That boy grew up to be a blood-thirsty ruler, the likes of which we didn’t see again until George Osbourne. William The Bastard’s legacy cannot be understated - he was the reason that our establishment spoke French for the best part of half-a-millennia. Moreover, his invasion actually helped define the English language as we know it today. Modern English is basically an amalgamation of old English and French (along with loads of other languages). To put it even more simply, it’s basically French but without the ridiculous need for feminine or masculine verb endings. Languages develop all the time, they’re in a constant state of flux. As it happens, the French are currently terrified that their language is becoming obsolete, it is almost being assimilated into the English language. We have over a million words, they only have roughly 100,000. The French language simply can’t keep up, its fading. Good. Admittedly, I do like cliché, rendezvous, touché and guillotine but the rest can perish for all I care. I believe the English language to be far superior; it has a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’.

If you are looking for French words within the English language then you won’t be disappointed, its riddled with them. Take for example the word ‘Parliament’, deriving of course from the French word ‘parle’ which means ‘to speak’. There are probably more examples.

The ‘cheese eating surrender monkeys’ have had a huge impact on our culture and ‘The Bastard’s’ victories on the battlefield are a big part of why. To be fair, I should mention that William wasn’t actually French, he was of course Norman; a descendent of the great Viking warrior ‘Rollo’ who was hard as fuck. Eventually, the French got so tired of being killed by the Vikings that they surrendered some of their land (a common theme embedded within French military tactics) and a new country was born, Normandy. You will have heard of it before because that area of the continent still retains that name. Operation Overlord (June 6th, 1944) landed on the beaches of Normandy just under a millennia later as allied forces once again rescued the French from their appalling military tactics of ‘here, you can have this land if you want it’. However, the 11th Century Normans were hard as nails. In order to secure his rule, William brutally crushed all further English rebellion, including the ‘Harrying of the North’ which involved his forces setting fire to most of Northern England, the devastation was so complete that even HS2 may still be cancelled.

I think it’s fair to suggest that William was not only a fantastic conqueror but also genuinely a bit of a bastard. What does this small but very defining segment of British history tell us about the present? It tells us that those who seek power should be careful what they wish for and it is also highly likely that they’re a twat.






* the medieval equivalent of Rupert Murdoch


We live in a world of apparent fake news; questioning a sources validity is a required skill in the barrage of b***s**t we call ‘today’. What is to be believed? Even Gary Lineker is confused because he just tweeted this,

“Whatever happened to the truth? I miss it.”

Very poignant Gary. I imagine he did ‘that face’ as he typed it (I’m referring to those puffed-out cheeks as he looked towards Bobby Robson during the 1990 World Cup because Paul Gascoigne was crying in a televised game of football). However, I think our esteemed Golden Boot winner does speak on behalf of a lot of bewildered people throughout Britain and beyond. Although, I must add that he is also falling for that age-old misconception; the past is morally superior to the present. Disclaimer: it isn’t (see Margaret Thatcher).

If you pay too much attention to social media then you will probably be depressed and also of the opinion that we are becoming increasingly polarised in our political views. Idiots (people) now have a platform in which they can openly express their hatred or contempt for others (we used to just think it). Additionally, the more dramatic and extreme your opinion, the more attention it will receive and so we enter a childish cycle of name calling. ‘Brexiteers’ are all racist and ‘Remoaners’ are all snowflakes; this simply isn’t true (although paradoxically it is). However, being rational doesn’t sell newspapers and that is why some people in the media sound like Nazis. There is a well-known Hitler quote that says,

“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed”.

At this stage, I think it is important to stress that I have a massive penis.

In the age of big data, the lies being told to us are becoming ever more sophisticated as our online activity is constantly monitored. Algorithms track who you follow, what you like and dislike, they learn about your habits and prejudices. The news is getting clever, it can be tailor made to stir the emotions of a particular individual because people are more attracted to sensationalised stories rather than statistics or figures. My penis is massive. The news is getting better at making us angry because it needs to compete for our attention, the news needs to be sensationalised otherwise it won’t even be newsworthy.

Information is everywhere and more accessible than ever before. Although it is now abundantly clear that my penis is huge, with such a variety of media outlets, finding a reliable source has become increasingly complex. Here is a small list of 21st Century excuses for news:

The Kardashians

A cat playing piano

Vegan sausage rolls

Can humans really be trusted with the internet? Many people prefer to talk about crap because it’s easier and not boring. To what extent does ‘Joe Public’ concern themselves with a genuine search for ‘truth’ per se? There are many distractions (football being the best). The struggle is real, the sacrifices that many of our ancestors made for us have become ‘weird stuff to know’ as people seem far more interested in the trivial aspects of life. However, in the age of big data, we can actually measure to some extent what people are interested in - we can investigate the most popular internet searches. As we are focusing on history here, I just typed ‘when did’ and here are the three most popular searches according to the algorithm:

When did Michael Jackson die

When did Fortnite come out

When did slavery end

Hurrah! History finished third! Well, in answer to that final question, which country do you mean? Are you claiming that slavery has ended in the 21st Century because I’m sure victims of human trafficking would argue it hasn’t? Don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you hanging, Michael died on 25/06/2009 and Fortnite came out on 25/07/2017. According to the increasingly influential algorithm that is Google, we are more concerned about Michael Jackson and computer games than we are about social equality. If you require further evidence of our historical apathy then I typed in ‘when was’ to my Google friend and ‘9/11’ came in third. When was a date? Hmmm. Americans rarely say dates in full because they’re too busy being fat or shopping and they also fail to write them the CORRECT way. Furthermore, if you’re going to miss out the year and only use 66.666% of a date then many of the ‘Bible Belt’ States will likely get confused and oh my God, I’ve just realised that percentage also represents the devil (who firmly supports gun control).

Many people rightly argue that most US citizens are incredibly stupid, however, I’m much more diplomatic. I argue that there are many different types of intelligence; we are good at doing different types of tasks. Although admittedly, some people are annoyingly good at most things and some people are totally wank at everything. I’m guessing you know people at both ends of the spectrum. The most impressive person ever for me was Da Vinci. The least? Probably Roy Keane.

I digress, the truth is that in my large-penised opinion, we aren’t as concerned about the historical process as we could be. Therefore, I have heroically took it upon myself to write a history-based blog that attempts to address this issue and hopefully inspires people to do some of their own research and then perhaps even buy tickets for my 2019 UK Tour. However, history is very similar to ‘jungle’ in the sense that it’s massive, so what shall we discuss? I have decided to look at the last 1000 years of British history because I clearly smoke way too much weed. Moreover, I despise the creeping Americanisation of our culture, which seems to be going completely unnoticed by most other racists, so this is also an attempt to celebrate Britishness. In order to understand our present, we must understand our past and if this blog inspires one person to buy tickets for my upcoming tour (or makes them believe that I have a massive penis) then it’s totally been worth it. And that my friends IS the truth.