J.J.N. McGurk

‘The pleasure of books possessed me from childhood’ wrote this twelfth-century historian. Among other work, William of Malmesbury, writes J.J.N. McGurk, produced an Historia Novella, extending until 1142.

Tracked down to a ‘hut in the cavern of a rock’, writes J.J.N. McGurk, Desmond met his death at the hands of fellow Irishmen.

In 1579 James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald, cousin to the 14th Earl of Desmond, took up arms against the English foe.

"Friar Bacon's Study", in Oxford.

J.J.N. McGurk profiles Roger Bacon; a 13-century Franciscan, with a reputation as a necromancer, who showed a remarkable combination at Oxford and in Paris of philosophic and scientific gifts.

J.J.N. McGurk describes the life and times of a controversial philosopher of the early twelfth century.

Under Kings John and Henry III the Jews were often heavily taxed. By the reign of Edward I, writes J.J.N. McGurk, they had lost their usefulness to the Crown and were expelled from England.

Detail from Valle Romita Polyptych by Gentile da Fabriano (circa 1400)

J.J.N. McGurk describes the life of the tall, corpulent and silent Aquinas, the greatest of medieval philosophers, who worked and taught in Italy, France and Germany during the thirteenth century.

J.J.N. McGurk describes how Jewish settlements in England followed the Norman Conquest, and pogroms began only a century later.

During the long reign of Henry III, writes J.J.N. McGurk, England was a turbulent country with an ambitious, bold and able baronage.

J.J.N. McGurk reflects on the eighth centenary of Becket's martyrdom.