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The British History Podcast

The British History Podcast

Author: Jamie Jeffers

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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 histories of England, Scotland, and Wales.



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329 Episodes
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By 984 the Regency council had been broken and a new inner circle of nobles had been elevated.  And this development was accompanied by a rapid series of changes at the highest levels of the kingdom.The political rivals of this new council were rapidly losing power, with titles (and even lands) of wealthy dynasties being systematically funnelled to the King.  During this surge of political consolidation, no one was safe. Even the powerful Ealdorman of Mercia was exiled on charges of treason.
At 16 years old, King AEthelred was considered fully grown by Anglo Saxon standards. And as a bonus graduation present, the powerful Bishop AEthelwold of Winchester… who appears to have been the defacto head of state while AEthelred was a child… had died. With his passing, the power of the old guard had been broken and AEthelred was free to rule as a King. The regency period of his reign was officially over.  
Before we get back to our story, I’ve been seeing your conversations online and it made me realize I need to clarify something.  Some of you took the discussion of AEthelred’s unflattering nickname, and how he caught hell for some things that were out of his control or part of the common culture, and took that to mean that the BHP argues that AEthelred was a good king. He wasn’t.  He was an awful king in many respects.  What I’m trying to convey, and what I’m hoping you’ll get out of this series, is that the story of AEthelred (and how bad his reign was) was a great deal more complicated and nuanced than the stories regarding his reign imply. 
“Under AEthelred nothing was done; or, more truly, throughout his whole reign he left undone those things which he ought to have done, and he did those things he ought not to have done.”  That is the damning conclusion of  Edward Augustus Freeman, a Victorian historian, and epic beard grower.  
King Edward, like those before him, had died under mysterious and apparently violent circumstances. And the next in line for this increasingly bloody throne of England was his 12 year old little half-brother. Æthelred.  
“No man can make himself king, but the people have the choice to choose as king whom they please; but after he is consecrated as king, he then has dominion over the people, and they cannot shake his yoke from their necks.”  So reads the homily written by the famed writer, AElfric. He was writing his patrons, Ealdorman AEthelweard the Chronicler and his son, AEthelmaer, a decade or so after King Edward was killed.  
312 – King Edward

312 – King Edward

2019-04-2000:22:45

King Edgar is Dead… and in his place reigned his son, King Edward of England.And you’d think that we’d be referring to him as King Edward the First.  Or, if you wanted to fudge it a bit and give Edward the Elder some credit for forming the Kingdom of the Anglo Saxons… maybe King Edward II.Support the Show
311 – Team Edward

311 – Team Edward

2019-04-1100:42:25

King Edgar the Peaceable was buried at Glastonbury in 975. But weirdly that isn’t the end of his story. William of Malmesbury tells us that nearly a century later, in 1053, the Abbot Ailward re-opened the King’s tomb. Malmsbury doesn’t tell us WHY the monk opened the grave, so I suppose we can just assume Ailward was going through a goth phase.  What we are told is that when the Abbot opened the tomb he found Edgar laying in it perfectly preserved as if he was merely sleeping. Faced with an apparent miracle, or what we would today recognize as an obvious vampire, Ailward decided to press his luck even farther… and he cut into the flesh of the long dead King. Support the Show
310 – Political Theater

310 – Political Theater

2019-03-2900:32:512

Human beings can’t really be summed up in a nickname. Usually we are more complicated than a word or two. And sometimes, the nickname just doesn’t reflect reality. If you take  Edward the Elder, for example, the name probably conjures up an image of Gandalf. But Edward was only in his early 50’s when he died. Support the Show
You would think that someone named Edgar the Peaceable enjoyed a good reputation. But the closer you look, the more things start to look…off. And if you look closer than that, you start to get the sense that maybe things WERE off. Support the Show
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Comments (48)

Bluepixie44

Thank you for the substance (magnificent) and style if this podcast. I prefer a British accent, but I like your American accent. Your voice is not too light or too deep, you emote properly, and you stay away from those irritating filler words and vocal fry. THANK YOU! Please keep up the great work!!!

Jun 15th
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Dave Lockyer

Hi Jamie. You could come from Mars for all I care. The episodes are well researched, expertly delivered and thoroughly enjoyable. Just one wee gripe and I accept this might be wholly out of your control. I use an app called Castbox to listen to the BHP. Over the last couple of days, it will not list the episodes: says there might be a connection problem with my phone, which I know there isn't. Thought you should know.

Jun 11th
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Sean Danes

I liked the forest Gump music 😉

May 29th
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Jhonny Rodrigues

Hi. My name is Jhonny, I'm Brazilian. I'm using your podcast to learn more about English language and the British countrys. Thanks for that.

May 25th
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Rob Clarke

day leash lolol

May 17th
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Shawn Durand

the lupus/sarcoidosis comment had me laughing

Apr 12th
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Cody Cook

you gotta love how Jamie shits on any listener who comes at him with some preconceived notion or tries to steer his podcast intro what they want to hear.

Apr 1st
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Cody Cook

this episode deserves a frankly drinking game

Mar 23rd
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Juhana Valtonen

It would be amazing if the episode descriptions would tell which timespan the episode covers!

Mar 17th
Reply

Katie Louise Tyers

I am looking up the place names in this episode but one of the places I can't find is a place that sounded like 'Great Radding' what is the proper name for this place?

Feb 12th
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British History Podcast

Katie Louise Tyers The confusion might have been caused by my accent. Sorry about that. It's "Great Wratting."

Mar 8th
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Connor Bruce

Nice podcast thanks

Jan 21st
Reply

British History Podcast

Connor Bruce Thanks for listening!

Mar 8th
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Harvey Graham-Green

Why is this presented by an American?

Nov 7th
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Evelyn Rose

British History Podcast He heard your unmistakable American accent. I doubt he cares about your citizenship; I expected this podcast to be read by someone with a British accent, but I don't mind either way. See it as user feedback.

Mar 13th
Reply

British History Podcast

Harvey Graham-Green Because I decided to become a US citizenship a couple years ago. Before then, it was presented by a Brit. The bigger question is "Why do you care so much about my citizenship?" Seems pretty weird to me.

Mar 8th
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Wallace Schneider

I really like your podcast.

Nov 2nd
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Linda M Duncan

Many thanks for podcast. 😊

Oct 28th
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Peggy O'Connell

Umm I’ll

Oct 19th
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Monse Deang

THANKK YOUU!!! I REALLY LEARNED ALOT FROM THISS

Oct 14th
Reply

British History Podcast

Monse Deang NO PPROBLEM!!! THANKSS FOR LISTENINGG

Mar 8th
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Peggy O'Connell

Ungtn

Oct 1st
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Tomi Astrada

Thank you for this podcast! 🙏 it will help me a lot with my English history classes

Sep 20th
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Aðalbjörg Eva Sigurðardóttir

One of the best podcasts out there in my opinion.

Aug 30th
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Cody Cook

Jamie had some serious cotton mouth in this episode

Jul 9th
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