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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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388 Episodes
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Hi! Welcome to the British History Podcast. My name is Jamie, and this show is a chronological retelling of the story of Britain, from its very earliest days when prehistoric man shared the island with Giant Deer and massive earth grinding glaciers… all the way to the dawn of the Second World War. This show focuses upon the people, the drama, and the real life events that shaped and molded this island into a global super power. The stories that you’re going to hear in this podcast continue to shape us today and many of the lessons learned by our ancestors still apply to us. Support the Show
The last time we had episodes focusing upon the Scotcast, it was at the end of Season Two… at the end of roman Britannia, and quite a lot of things have changed for our friends in the north. So, as is our custom, now that we’re changing gears and focusing on a new era in the main story, lets break away from our Anglo-Saxon focus and check in with what’s been happening outside of the Anglo Saxon territories. Support the Show
So we will begin the account of what was going on with the Picts following the withdrawal of Rome with a rather discouraging fact… isn’t it nice when I can start an episode on an up note? In the Group A version of the Pictish Chronicle there are only 3 Pictish Kings before Kenneth MacAlpin who had any of their deeds recorded. Just three. Support the Show
This episode will cover the years 506 to 584 and will focus primarily upon: King Brude (also known as King Bridie), the King the the Northern Picts … also referred to as King of Fortriu and St. Columba, the man credited with converting the Northern Picts… and lesser known monster expert. Support the Show
To start with, we have nine praise poems that tell us of a mighty king of Rheged named Urien, who reigned in the 580’s and 590’s. Urien was no slouch and from the records, it appears that his kingdom stretched all the way to the Solway and he was also given the title of “Defender of Aeon” or Ayrshire… so we’re talking about a king who controlled an enormous stretch of land that included territories on both sides of the Wall. Support the Show
A sea of blood. Support the Show
“Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not show mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea.” Jeremiah 50: 41-42 This passage of the Bible, and others like it, were on the minds of the literate men of the church in the 9th century And you can see why, can’t you? The Christian nations of the west, even their monasteries and other religious houses, were being attacked by pagans. By the enemies of god himself. The vikings seemed to be the fulfillment of a dark prophecy. Support the Show
177 – The Road to 830

177 – The Road to 830

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Last episode I gave you a forest view of where we are going and, roughly, who these Viking raiders were as well as the scale of the impact that they will have upon Europe. And it really is something to behold. The Viking Age isn’t very long, but Europe hadn’t seen this level of rapid cultural, economic, and political change since the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Not even Charlemagne had the kind of far reaching impact as the Northern kingdoms and raiders. Support the Show
When we last left off we were talking about what a big deal King Egbert of Wessex was. And for good reason. In 829, King Egbert of Wessex held virtually all of the south and even demanded the submission of Northumbria after a battle at the River Dore, an event that earned King Egbert the incredibly rare title of Bretwalda… Britain ruler. This is how rare it was… there were only nine recorded Bretwaldas in all of British history. Just /nine/ times. His conquests also gained him a tremendous amount of money because, he had seized the mint of London and began issuing coins in his own name as the King of Mercia. King Egbert’s dramatic rise in power from 825 to 829 was meteoric and he absolutely earned his title of Britain ruler. At least from 825 to 829 Support the Show
When we left off last week, 35 ships launched from Denmark and set their course for England. As we have been learning, the Anglo Saxon kingdoms were now seriously in danger of Vikingr attacks for the first time, having lost the protection of the Frankish coast guard. Not only that, but over the last approximately 40 years, the Vikingrs and the kingdoms that supported them had been growing quite wealthy and powerful from plundering their neighbors and absolutely hammering Scotland and Ireland. Support the Show
The Music of Erich Zann By H. P. Lovecraft You can read a copy of the story at hplovecraft.com. Happy Halloween!
It’s 838. Only two years earlier the West Saxons were defeated by a fleet of Vikingrs, and they responded to this loss the way you would expect them to… by completely ignoring the loss and, instead, focusing on dynastic politics and making endowments to the church at Canterbury. And now another fleet of Vikingrs was sailing south, towards their allies in Cornwall. Support the Show
When we left off last week, the Vikingrs had established fortified bases in Ireland… Not only that, but after building the bases they decided to hang out there for the winter, choosing to stay in the relatively warmer climes of the British isles rather than return home to freeze in the long northern nights. Support the Show
182 – Ragnar Lodbrok

182 – Ragnar Lodbrok

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Ok, when we left off, a fleet of 120 ships set sail from Scandinavia. And at their head, according to legend, was Ragnar Lodbrok. Ragnar Hairy Breeches. Support the Show
This is a big event for Medieval Western Europe, and it doesn’t come out of nowhere. The surge of Northmen, and in particular the Danish attacks against Frankia, had a starting point. This wasn’t a simple matter of pagans picking a random point on the map and charging… the Vikingrs may have been motivated largely by money, but the Danish political structure had something else going on that was leading them to Frankish towns. Support the Show
When we left off last time we discussed the viking raids of Paris and Hamburg… though they were far more than the raids we’d seen in the last 40-50 years. Now we’re looking at fleets that number in the hundreds and we’re seeing the nobility on the continent, especially the Frankish nobility, hiring many of these men as mercenaries to fight against their local rivals. Western Europe is unravelling. Support the Show
When we left off last time, we were taking a look at the problem facing Europe that no one wanted to talk about. And this wasn’t like plague of people mistaking tights for pants. In that situation, the only solution is to ignore it until it retreats back to the darkest recesses of fashion. The viking raids worked differently, ignoring them only made them stronger… to make matters worse, the European nobility have been hiring bands of vikingrs as mercenaries in their own personal squabbles, bringing the vikingr bands deeper into European territory and leaving the peasantry completely defenseless. Support the Show
This episode is getting a bit into the political weeds and it’s for a very important reason. We’re seeing the development of that dynastic juggernaut we all know and love, the House of Wessex, and I want you to see how and why it’s forming into what it will eventually become. Because the successes of Alfred and the later successes of King AEthelstan, the first King of England, flow from things that were set into motion during these early days of the Viking era. So please keep that in mind when we’re talking about what the various dynasties are doing, because it really does matter… even though most people don’t talk about it. Alright, lets get to it. Support the Show
It’s Christmas day 854. King AEthelweard of East Anglia, a king who we know almost nothing about, is dead. The only evidence we really have that he was alive in the first place are his coins, and this is likely due to the fact that, throughout the Viking Age, succeeding bands of Scandinavian pyromaniacs destroyed the East Anglian written records. But coins don’t burn all that well, so at least we have that. Support the Show
Before we begin, I’d like to address something from our last episode. I told you about reports of Vikingr armies marching around the countryside near the Wrekin. I offered a variety of methods of reaching the Wrekin, all of which would have involved quite a bit of work. However, as some of you have noted on Facebook and Twitter, I left out the possibility that they may have gone up the River Severn. And I have no excuse for this one, I completely forgot the Severn. I don’t know why, but I did. I’m human, sometimes errors happen and all I can do is make a correction in the subsequent episode. So yeah, those Vikingrs patrolling the Wrekin may have sailed all the way around Wessex and Cornwall, or sailed through the Irish sea, past Wales, and then rowed up the Severn. That would certainly get them much closer to the Wrekin than, say, landing in East Anglia and marching. So fair point. We aren’t given details of how they got there, but that is definitely a possibility. Support the Show
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Comments (119)

ID21779531

Hello! Who can explain why doesn’t work 298,299 episodes?

Apr 12th
Reply

Fred Z

"The efficacy of Viking junk aside..." This guy can turn a phrase!

Apr 8th
Reply

Thomas Coll

well.... that's the first time that's happened to me on a podcast

Apr 1st
Reply

Christopher Gordon

🤣🤣🤣🤣

Apr 1st
Reply

lev van zutphen

it doesn't play after 15-20 mins

Mar 17th
Reply

Tim Rogers

So many negative comments. I love this podcast. I think he is funny, slightly controversial, but very informative and engaging. I love this podcast

Jan 28th
Reply

Napa Bear

@the British History Podcast .Have to say big fan man, been listening to your collection all episodes at least four times each just really intriguing stuff, your speaking voice is fantastic appreciate the hard work Jamie thanks man.

Jan 26th
Reply

Jade

Spatula 🤣😂

Dec 30th
Reply

tim brennan

Tired of cheap liberal comments regarding modern misogyny in the podcast as well as numerous other innapropriate comments over the years. I'm done. History of England podcast is better anyway. Jamie, you aren't the best thing since sliced bread, so stop talking like it. Too much self aggrandising, not enough concise well constructed language.

Oct 16th
Reply (3)

Matthew Hawe

stop dancing around the subject and give us what we want. 1066 and all that. faint heart never won fair maiden, so buckle up Jaimie and let's get down to business

Oct 9th
Reply

Thais Nascimento

🤯🤯🤯

Sep 22nd
Reply

Craig Prestininzi

I've been listening to you since the beginning, bet your little tirade at the start is so far off base that I can't trust your judgement. It puts everything you share in question. I am sorry, but you've lost me as a listener.

Sep 15th
Reply (3)

J Coker

booo who cares about the taffs, get back to england. just joking, good luck for next yrs 6nations boyos

Aug 4th
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John Romanous

'WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW W WWW WWW WW SAW TW

Jul 22nd
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EN _Paisley

You should stick to history.

Jul 6th
Reply (1)

Craig Coleman

best history podcast out there !

Jun 1st
Reply

Stiles

Aggressive diplomacy sounds like my marriage.

May 2nd
Reply

Stiles

Rule of thumb, If in doubt about Bede, then Bede is just making this shit up.

Apr 16th
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Aaron Britton

Loving this podcast so far!

Mar 22nd
Reply (1)

Cody Cook

it's episodes like this and boudica's rebellion that really invoke a visceral reaction from me and is the reason that I love this podcast

Feb 15th
Reply
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