• Midsomer Murders History Header Bell Ringers

    The Bell Ringers from Midsomer Wellow

    (Caution: Contains spoilers for Episode: 05×03: Ring out your Dead)


    Tom and Joyce Barnaby are sitting at the table in the kitchen, and Tom is looking through numerous papers, most of which are in front of him. In 1860, the vicar of Midsomer Wellow was thrown down a well and died. Before that, there had been real trouble with the local bell-ringers because he had tried to force them to attend services and had had their beer barrel removed from the ringing room. Although the case was obvious, the evidence was lacking and the witnesses remained silent.

  • Doom Paintings

    (Caution: Contains spoilers for Episode: 16×02: Let us prey)


    Towards the end of the 11th century, people began to worry – again, it must be said – that the world was coming to an end and that the Last Judgement was imminent. Scholars kept calculating new dates based on possible coded references in the Bible and other Christian writings. (Nothing unfamiliar to us when we think of the hullabaloo surrounding 21 December 2012. But fear of God was more widespread then).

  • Midsomer Murders History Header Witch-Hunting

    Witch-Hunting in Midsomer County

    In view of the upcoming International Women’s Day, let’s talk about two historic women from Midsomer County: Mary Bloxham and Katherine Malpas. Both women were helpful, clever women with good knowledge of healing and curing who lived in Midsomer County in the 17th century. Both were discredited and murdered as alleged witches.


    (Caution: Contains spoilers for Episodes: 05×02: A Worm in a Bud, and 07×06: The Straw Woman)


    Witch-hunting is not a medieval invention. It was not until the early modern period, i.e. the 15th and 16th centuries, that the persecution and condemnation of women who did not conform to the ideal of womanhood began: A God-fearing person, submissive to all men and authorities.

  • Midsomer Murders History Header Widows Skimmington Fayre

    The Widows of World War 1

    (Caution: Contains spoilers for Episode: 09×05: Four Funerals and a wedding)


    Joyce’s mother, Muriel, is a guest at the Barnaby home. Much to the chagrin of Tom Barnaby, who gets on well with his mother-in-law, but doesn’t seem to have a warm relationship with her. Nevertheless, he gets the conversation going at home after work. Cully wants to go to Broughton for the Skimmington Fayre. Her parents are less than enthusiastic, but her grandmother is more so. Everyone but her seems to know the origins of the Skimmington Fayre and is enlightened.

  • Midsomer Murders History Header Public Footpaths

    Public Footpaths

    (Caution: Contains spoilers for Episodes: 02×03: Dead Man’s Eleven, 09×02: Dead Letters, 13×01: The Sword of Guillaume, and 14×04: The Oblong Murders)


    The Barnaby family are looking for a new place to live in Fletcher’s Cross and have a bite to eat in the Queen’s Arms, outside, in the garden. As they leave the pub, they are approached by Zelda Frasier. She is collecting signatures for the petition of the Fletcher’s Cross Ramblers Association, who are fighting for the right of way through Robert Cavendish’s estate. It’s a public footpath, but the landlord has blocked off part of it without permission.

  • Midsomer Murders History Header Austen Orczy

    Jane Austen & Baroness Orczy in Midsomer County

    (Caution: Contains spoilers for episodes: 10×07: They Seek Him Here, & 19×05: Death by Persuasion)


    The idyllic landscape of Midsomer County is well known. No wonder Jane Austen and Baroness Emma Orczy, two famous writers, are said to have stayed here. Or is that just a story?

  • Header Midsomer Murders History Boxing Bare-knuckle fight

    Sports History in Midsomer, pt. 1: Boxing

    (Caution: Contains spoilers for Episode: 13×06: The Noble Art)


    Cricket is played in many episodes – even actively by Sergeants Gavin Troy and Ben Jones – but unfortunately the history of cricket is never discussed, and football is completely absent. However, there are mentions of historical events in three other sports, each involving very successful Midsomer County sportsmen: chess, Formula 1 and boxing. See: Sports History in Midsomer, pt. 2.

  • Header Midsomer Murders History Chess Formula 1

    Sports History in Midsomer, pt. 2: Other Sports

    As well as playing a lot of cricket, Midsomer has been very successful in chess, Formula 1 and boxing. The famous boxing match of 1860 is a topic for another time: here we look at chess and F1 first.


    (Caution: Contains spoilers for Episodes: 06×01: A Talent of Life, 14×01: Death in the slow lane, 15×05: The Sicilian Defence, and a little bit of 05×03: Ring Your Dead und 19×03: Last Man Out)


    In 1893 there was a world champion from Bishopwood in Midsomer County: Reverend Stannington.

  • Saint Frideswide

    (Caution: Contains spoilers for Episode: 12×04: The Glitch)


    The Midsomer Cycling Club from Aspern Tallow – adults and young people – often go cycling, today along the old pilgrim route to an old church ruin. On the top of a hill they take a short rest. Down in the valley, the destination is already in sight: The Abbey of St Frideswide in the Valley of Midsomer Sanctae.

    While some of the children continued to cycle at a fast pace, the adults stopped to chat. George Jeffers interrupts their conversation to look down at the ruins of the church.

  • Header Midsomer Murders History Sword of Guillaume

    The Sword Of Guillaume

    (Caution: Contains spoilers for Episode: 13×01: The Sword of Guillaume)


    To begin with, there is a disappointment: The Sword of Guillaume mentioned in the episode is as fictitious as Sir Richard Guillaume himself. And there is no connection between the Battle of Hastings and Brighton.

    I could end this article with that, but the Battle of Hastings was real, and there are small, subtle mentions and connections to Midsomer. And so there is this article.