My very first piece of reasearch was into the involvement of John Stanley in the affairs of the Island.

From the history of John Stanley, contained in the “House of Stanley” written by John Seacome in 1737 and contained in the Isle of Man archives, it is insinuated that John Stanley came from humble origins but became King of the Island within his lifetime.

Seacome makes it appear that all this was just a natural progression, facilitated by John’s steadfast service to the crown, but it leaves many questions unanswered.

Knut’s Empire

Cnut's Empire Around 1010, Knut of Denmark extended his empire to include England, and the Viking possessions of the Isles, Western Scotland, Eastern Scotland and the Isle of Mann.

The Danish Empire then collapsed, England, Eastern Scotland and Eastern Ireland were invaded by the Normans and the ownership of the isles reverted to Norway.

Strategic importance

The Importance of Mann From the time of the Edmund de Bruce invasion of Ireland, the Isle of Mann acquired a increasing strategic importance.

The English wanted control of the passage between Scotland and Ireland and bases in the Isle of Mann made that control possible.

In the Isle itself, proud of it’s Scandinavian heritage, there was a desire to continue to be ruled by their hereditary kings.


Irish High Kings The story of the Kings of Mann became entangled with the Irish high kings because of Gormflaith of Nass, who married not only Brian Boru but also Olaf Kvarren. This lady is particularly important as many of her descendants are important to the story.

Kings of Mann

Crovan and Sumerled Her grandson, Godfred Craven became King of Mann and was followed as such by his son Olaf (also known as “the Red”) and his grandson Godfed (also known as “The Black”)

Lathom Heritage Part 1 Olaf’s son-in-law Somerled, at that time lord of Argyll, invaded the Isle and Godfred the Black fled to Norway. The various contenders nominated as Kings of Mann in the fourteenth century were all descended from members of these families.

William Montacute

Montacute heritage part II William de Montacute, the Earl of Salisbury was descended from Olaf the Black.If the fact that Olaf had been ejected by Somerled and the island had been subjected to direct rule by Norway, England and Scotland in the intervening period, is ignored, William’s claim was good. It suited the English cause to declare the island as independent and offer William as King.

He was acceptable to the islanders who felt themselves once again to be responsible for their own destiny.

Sale of a kingdom?

Scrope Heritage Part 1 However in 1392, William’s son sold the rights to Mann to William le Scope, possibly as a result of killing his own son during a tournament.

Scope also had a claim to the kingship but not as strong as the Montacute’s. The claim came through through Scrope’s mother. The claim originated in a cousin of Godfred Craven whose daughter married into welsh nobility.

William le Scope

Scrope Heritage part II This diagram shows his claim came through the De La Pole family who therefore had the same claim. Yes the diagram is correct. Owain ap Gruuydd was also Lord de la Pole.

For convenience this diagram also shows how close the De La Pole family were to the Tudors. The upper part of this diagram shows that Tudor family also had its roots in the Kings of Mann but from an illegitimate child, Ragnald Godresson. Margaret Verch Thomas was a descendant of both Welsh and English royalty. Her marriage to members of both the De La Pole and Tudor families meant that there was a very close but not necessarily harmonious relationship between the two families.

Henry Percy

Percy Heritage- Part 1 in 1399 William Le Scrope chose the wrong side in one of the revolts against Henry IV was beheaded and his property including the Isle of Mann became part of the royal estate.

Because the english policy was to retain Mann as an independent kingdom yet another candidate with a claim to the throne of Mann, this time it was Henry Percy whose claim again originated with Godfred Craven but this time through Craven’s granddaughter, Uchtred of Galloway.

Percy Heritage  Part 2 Presumably because of their homeland lay close to the Scottish border this line contains much Scottish blood. The appointment did not last long. Henry Percy in association with Owen Glendower and Edmund Mortimer again revolted against Henry IV. He did not succeed and though he was still fighting against Henry in 1408 his possessions including the Isle of Mann, were again confiscated by the King in 1405.

Another person was required to be King of Mann. This time the choice fell on John Stanley.

John Stanley

John Stanley/186/The conventional view//1880 This is the conventional view of the marriage between John Stanley and Isabel LathomThis line entered the Lathom family through Alianore de Ferrers and therefore was not shared by John Stanley. Ihis is a second view of the”conventional”view of the Stanley Genealogy which is also shown at the beginning of the segment on “The Perfect Knight”.

This explains why the Stanley family deliberately confused the issue of John II’s parentage and why they were supported by the English establishment in doing so. It was essential that John II had an unassailable claim to the kingship of the Isle of Mann.

As it turned out it was unassailable. The Stanleys and their descendants the Murrays ruled Mann as an independent nation for more than three hundred years.

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.