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The Other Two!

(79 Posts)
TerriBull Mon 12-Sep-22 10:35:09

So we've entered a new Carolean age. I think it would be interesting to have, from a historical point of view, some of the focus shifted from the omnipresent Henry V111 and The Tudors to the period of history that encompassed the reigns of Charles 1 and Charles 11. I don't remember covering this period when I was at school and from what I remember of my own children's history lessons there was a brief and cursory time spent on Charles 1 and The English Civil War. Given the importance of the outcome of that war and all that followed in the immediate aftermath, I can't help feeling that not only is this period of history very interesting but somewhat neglected and possibly there may be a new generation of children who may ponder on who were Charles 1 and Charles 11.

FannyCornforth Mon 12-Sep-22 10:50:41

Yes, it’s always The Romans, The Tudors and The Victorians.
Not just as taught in school, but in popular culture too

Casdon Mon 12-Sep-22 11:05:27

I think it depends when and where you went to school. I was taught about the whole period of monarchies between 1066 and the Victorians in different years at middle school age, 11-14 in the early 1970s - anybody else remember Judge Bradshaw’s hat? (It’s strange what sticks in your mind from school History lessons, thanks Mr Thomas!

FannyCornforth Mon 12-Sep-22 11:10:29

Casdon I’ve just googled JB’s hat, thank you!
I remember lots on The Poor Laws, The Enclosure Acts and crop rotation confused
Nothing very fascinating!

J52 Mon 12-Sep-22 11:23:10

Long ago, before the National Curriculum, schools were able to decide on how history was taught.
Some of us, myself included, were probably taught history based on the chronological order of Kings and Queens.
Doesn’t happen today.

JackyB Mon 12-Sep-22 11:39:23

I hadn't thought about the fact that we were all steered towards the Tudors because of the parallels between the two Elizabeths (Are there even any?), but it is a very interesting point.

The time of the Tudors saw the change in a society based on religious beliefs and doctrines and the Reformation is a theme running right through it. While even today, the church is behind many of our traditions and customs, laws, morals, annual events, etc, it is not all that shapes our society.

Nowadays surely it is more relevant to look at secular change which was taking place in the 17th century, with the Civil War, the Republican movement and the radical shift in the position of the monarchy.

AGAA4 Mon 12-Sep-22 11:39:52

I don't remember learning much about the first two King Charles. It has sparked my interest so may be a new history project for me.

Casdon Mon 12-Sep-22 11:45:51

JackyB

I hadn't thought about the fact that we were all steered towards the Tudors because of the parallels between the two Elizabeths (Are there even any?), but it is a very interesting point.

The time of the Tudors saw the change in a society based on religious beliefs and doctrines and the Reformation is a theme running right through it. While even today, the church is behind many of our traditions and customs, laws, morals, annual events, etc, it is not all that shapes our society.

Nowadays surely it is more relevant to look at secular change which was taking place in the 17th century, with the Civil War, the Republican movement and the radical shift in the position of the monarchy.

It’s all relevant I think JackyB, and that’s probably one of the downsides of the narrowing of the school curriculum, which encourages detailed study of a few periods in history, rather than a broader view. I went on to do History at A Level because of my teacher bringing it alive at that critical 11-14 age, and it was the irrelevancies as well as the long term fit into history that stuck with me. Who else was taught how eccentric Disraeli was and that he wore his rings on the outside of his white gloves for example!- knowing that made me find out lots about him for myself too.

Boz Mon 12-Sep-22 11:46:42

The Stuarts were poor breeders (legit heirs) and dogged by suspicions about their Catholicism which led to them being ousted.
It is nice to remember that our Queen owes her lineage to the daughter of James l of England and Scotland who married into the German aristocracy leading to the ascension of George 1.

Ilovecheese Mon 12-Sep-22 11:49:35

I also studied the Stuarts for A level. I agree it must depend when one was at school. The Tudors and the Stuarts are the most glamorous periods of history though, so maybe more likely to hold children's interest.

Jane43 Mon 12-Sep-22 11:54:01

We did European history - the Hohenzollerns, Hapsburgs etc and it was really boring so I dropped History as soon as I could.

Lexisgranny Mon 12-Sep-22 11:55:27

As very young child I remember our teacher reading from a book called Heroes from History. We heard about Arthur and his burnt cakes, Robert the Bruce and the spider, Harold and the arrow in his eye etc etc. all these stories awoke what has become a life long interest in history. So much so, one young grandchild told another that I should be asked an historical query, adding that I would be sure to know because I was there for most of it!

TerriBull Mon 12-Sep-22 11:59:03

FannyCornforth

Yes, it’s always The Romans, The Tudors and The Victorians.
Not just as taught in school, but in popular culture too

Personally Fanny, I could never get enough of the Romans, so glad they came, not that the Iceni and other tribes appreciated them if Boudica was anything to go by. Nevertheless, all those wonderful straight roads, artefacts and they brought carrots too!

I also think there needs to be come sort of chronological order J52, it never ceased to amaze me just how much jumping about in disparate periods of history there is now. I think one thing I took from an over zealous catholic education the birth of Jesus proved to be linchpin in the timeline of history for me, the ancient civilizations that came before the Romans straddling a period of before during and after the birth of Christ and the invaders and settlers up the time of Norman Conquest, Middle Ages and then permanently stuck on Planet Tudor. I felt I at least has some perspective of what came before and after. The downside during my schools years was the inordinate amount of time we spent on The Tudors and The Reformation, well of course being a catholic school they had an axe to grind. After school every historical book, film or play there were so many of them at the time, Six Wives of Henry V111, Anne of a Thousand Days. Not that it stopped there, now we have Wolf Hall and it's sequel. Sometimes I want to shout "He wasn't our only bloody king, although bloody he undoubtedly was!"

It did occur to me that some kids may wonder who the first two Charles were and in the way, there was much talk about the new Elizabethan age, relating that time to Elizabeth 1 when our late Queen was new to the throne, or so I read. With that in mind, now might be a good time to focus on the reigns of Charles 1 and 11 given as father and son they were so inter linked and the causes and effects of the all important Civil War which triggered a seismic shift in the balance of power.

Just a thought!

M0nica Mon 12-Sep-22 12:13:53

I clearly went to scholl (1950s) when the school curriculum covered the whole of British History from 1066 to, in my case 1914, any later counted as politics and current affairs. However you needed to do O and A level history to study everything.

For DH who went the science and maths route, history ended in 1688, just at the end of the Carolinian period when William and Mary came in. As I did do O and A level History, I got the full run.

I think history periods go in and out of fashion outside the classroom. As a child I remember that popular history was entirely Roundheads and Cavaliers, although mainly cavaliers, because of their long hair, lovely clothes and fantastic hats.

We then went through a period of obsession with the period between roughly 1725 and 1830, whether jane Austen novels or War and Peace and lots of books and and art exhibitions. This hit rock bottom with the Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth, that paid scant respect to the book plus that dreadful Ruth Rendell (?) Murder at Pemberley or something.

We are now in the Tudor period. I haven't watched any of the Hilary Mantell shows.

We now seem to be back in the early 20th century with things like Downton Abbey.

I would like to see the 15th century and the War of the Roses revived. They would make wonderfully gory computer games, if you liked such things.

JackyB Mon 12-Sep-22 12:18:09

Jane43

We did European history - the Hohenzollerns, Hapsburgs etc and it was really boring so I dropped History as soon as I could.

I regretted not having done much about the Stuarts, and also more European history. Even reading Jane Austen and other 19th century novels you can't avoid Napoleon.

Now I live in Europe I am having to learn all about the Holy Roman Emperors, the Habsburgs, the Wittelsbacher, Zähringer, Hohenzollern dynasties, and it is so confusing and all intertwined.

It is a relief when we visit places where the Romans and Celts lived, or churches significant in the Reformation (I live very near Worms, for example) - at least they are easier to grasp!

Fleur20 Mon 12-Sep-22 12:21:08

I got The American Revolution, The French Revolution and The Battle of Langside!!!
Our history teacher was the most boring teacher imaginable... stood at the front of the class and read out of a book.... totally monotone delivery....
Anything else I know about history I either found out for myself or from TV.
1970's Scottish secondary school......

Dinahmo Mon 12-Sep-22 12:22:37

When I was young I spent some of my birthday money on "Children of the New Forest" by Frederick Marryat which is set during the Civil War. That book got me interested in history. Being interested in fashion I also loved the outfits that Charles 11 wore.

biglouis Mon 12-Sep-22 12:22:39

Both the previous "Charles" were very interesting characters.

Charles I believed implicitly that he was responsible only to God - which led to his inevitable clashes with parliament in a country which was moving away from absolute monarchy. He was given innumerable opportunities to become a true constituitional monarch but refused. Hence losing his head!

Charles II relentlessly pursued many of those who had signed his father's death warrant. However he did manage to transition to being a consititional (rather than an absolute) monarch. He was certainly a very popular king because of his fondness for having a "good time". He is said to have sired 14 illegitimate children yet had no legitimate heir.

toscalily Mon 12-Sep-22 12:24:34

Lexisgranny that made me laugh, hope they do not consider you too ancient. I agree TerriBull, I have always had the birth of Jesus as the point from which I went back or forward in history. We did cover an awful lot of Charles 1, Charles 11, Cromwell & the Civil War one year (most of the year!) which looking back was because our history teacher was very, very interested in that period, unfortunately he did not bother much with Queen Victoria & her reign. I don't suppose that would happen now because of the National Curriculum. I enjoyed history at school and have continued to do so and am somewhat surprised when I have met people who consider it irrelevant.

maytime2 Mon 12-Sep-22 12:59:40

I did not know until this week that yet again there was a instance of the first born dying and the second son becoming King. This happened when Henry, Prince of Wales died at the age of 18 and Charles I ascended to the throne. This has happened so many times in the past, e.g. Prince Arthur dying and Henry V111 coming to the throne, Princess Charlotte dying in childbirth and her cousin Victoria ascending the throne.
On the subject of the teaching of History we started with the Egyptians then the Romans and finally ended with British History up to 1914. Being Welsh we were also taught Welsh History from the Romans upwards. My daughter was taught in a piece meal approach. She learned about Hitler's rise to power, but very little else.
I should add that History was my favourite subject in school and is something that I still enjoy reading about. I'm ashamed to say that I know very little European history.

sf101 Mon 12-Sep-22 13:09:26

I can remember doing the Egyptians and a lot about mummies and a nice day out at the British Museum to them. Then we jumped to the Corn Laws, maybe I was just so bored I forget the rest. We had to take dictation at a rate of knots in most history lessons.
Since leaving school I have become much more interested in it.

nanna8 Mon 12-Sep-22 13:10:05

We learnt about Charles 1 in vast detail at my intensely Protestant school. We also learnt about the Restoration but not in so much depth. It was very interesting, especially the period leading up to the beheading. It is a little surprising that Charles was named Charles, hope it doesn’t put a mozz on him! Still, my Dad was also a Charles and he had a fairly fortunate life.

sf101 Mon 12-Sep-22 13:10:28

should read to see them.

grandtanteJE65 Mon 12-Sep-22 13:11:42

Did you all go t o school in England?

I am asking because in Scotland we spent a great deal of time on the Stuarts - all of them from Marjorie the daughter of Robert the Bruce who married a member of the Stewart clan . A memorial cairn to Majorie, who poor woman died of a miscarraige due to falling off her horse while on the way from Paisley to Abbots Inch can be seen to this day where the accident occurred.

We made our way thorough the reigns of all six kings called James, the life of that redoubtable lady, Marie de Guise the wife and widow of the fiifth James, the calamity of their daughter's life, throught the union of the crowns, where James the sixth mysteriously mutated into James I, continued with Charles I, the Civil War, Charles II , Queen Anne, the old and young Pretenders, and even squeezed Arabella Stuart in, before landing on the House of Hanover and the union of the Parliaments.

This was, of course, after we had covered the Scottish and English Middle Ages.

What did you learn at school in England?

nanna8 Mon 12-Sep-22 13:18:55

In London we learnt about England in particular ,with a bit of Wales thrown in as being the original inhabitants. We started about 1066 and went right through to the causes of World War 2. Not so much about Scotland except for James 1 and Elizabeth 1 and her beheading of Mary Queen of Scots and events surrounding that. A little about Cromwell in Ireland but more in England. Causes of the First World War, the Russian Rev and a lot of European history especially the French Rev. I loved history, we had very good teachers but of course it was biased, as all history is.