• The Château du Clos Lucé

    The Château du Clos Lucé is situated just 400m from the Château d’Amboise. It was built on Gallo-Roman remains in 1471 after the land was given as the Manoir du Cloux by King Louis XI to Etienne le Loup, a former kitchen boy who had become a favourite of the king.

    [Read More...]
  • 31 July 1548 – Letter from Elizabeth to Catherine Parr

    On 31st July 1548, the fourteen year-old Elizabeth, future Elizabeth I, wrote to her stepmother Catherine Parr, the Dowager Queen. The letter was written just before the pregnant Catherine took to her chamber, and just weeks before Catherine died of puerperal (childbed) fever. Elizabeth wrote:

    [Read More...]
  • 30 July 1540 – Executions of Reformers and Catholics

    On this day in history, Catholics Thomas Abell, Edward Powell and Richard Fetherston were hanged, drawn and quartered at Smithfield for refusing to acknowledge the royal supremacy. Also, at Smithfield that day, religious reformers Robert Barnes, William Jerome and Thomas Garrard were burned at the stake for heresy. Reformers and Catholics being executed on the same day – I wonder what the common people made of that!

    [Read More...]
  • 29 July 1588 – The Battle of Gravelines

    Defeat of the Spanish Armada at Gravelines, Philipp Jakob Loutherbourg the Younger.

    Defeat of the Spanish Armada at Gravelines, Philipp Jakob Loutherbourg the Younger.

    On 29th July 1588, the day after the English had wrecked the crescent formation of the Spanish Armada at Calais with five hell-burners (fire-ships)and caused havoc, they attacked the Spanish fleet. This battle is known as the Battle of Gravelines because it took place just off the port of Gravelines, a Spanish stronghold in Flanders, part of the Spanish Netherlands, but near the border with France. The Duke of Medina Sedonia had been unable to reform the Spanish fleet at Calais, due to a south-easterly wind, and was forced to regroup at Gravelines.

    The English had learned from previous encounters with the Spanish fleet and so used new and more successful tactics. They had learned from capturing the Rosario in the Channel that the Spaniards could not easily reload their guns, so with their smaller and lighter ships the English were able to provoke the Spaniards into firing, but keep out of range and then close in for the kill.

    [Read More...]

  • This week in history 27 July – 2 August

    On this day in history events for 27 July – 2 August.

    [Read More...]
  • The Paternity of Catherine and Henry Carey by Sarah Bryson

    In my last article, Unravelling Mary Boleyn, I wrote about Catherine and Henry Carey, the children of Mary Boleyn. There have always been questions surrounding the paternity of Mary Boleyn’s children as around the time that both children were conceived Mary Boleyn was not only a married woman but she was also the mistress of Henry VIII.

    [Read More...]
  • Wars of the Roses Personalities Quiz

    Test your knowledge on the people and families of the Wars of the Roses in this fun quiz.

    [Read More...]
  • The Wedding of Mary I and Philip of Spain – A Primary Source Account

    On 25th July 1554, the feast day of St James, Mary I married Philip of Spain, son of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The wedding took place at Winchester Cathedral and the ceremony was performed by Stephen Gardener, Bishop of Winchester and Mary’s chancellor.

    In the appendix of The Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary, and especially of the Rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt, written by a Resident in the Tower of London, edited by John Gough Nichols, there is an official account of the preparations for the wedding and the wedding itself by the English Heralds:

    [Read More...]
  • Outdoor Tudor Games and Pursuits

    In this week’s Claire Chats I talk about outdoor games and pursuits enjoyed by Tudor people, including stool ball, quoits and Last Couple in Hell.

    [Read More...]
  • 24 July 1567 – The Abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots

    On 24th July 1567, Mary, Queen of Scots, who was imprisoned at Lochleven Castle and who had recently suffered a miscarriage, was forced to abdicate. The Scottish crown was passed on to her one year-old son, James, who became James VI of Scotland, with his uncle, Mary’s illegitimate half brother, James Stewart, Earl of Moray, acting as regent.

    Claude Nau de la Boisseliere, Mary’s private secretary, recorded this event in his memoirs, which were translated from French into English as The History of Mary Stewart: From the Murder of Riccio Until Her Flight Into England:

    [Read More...]
  • Online Course – Gloriana: the life and times of Elizabeth I, 1533-1603

    I’ve had an email from the Cambridge University Institute of Continuing Education about an online course they’re running in 2016 on Elizabeth I. It looks really good so I just had to share the details.

    [Read More...]
  • Taster: August 2015 Magazine

    Here is a taster of the August 2015 Tudor Life magazine. Inside you’ll find 70 pages packed with Tudor facts, features and fun. This month we have a special feature section on coronations, and you’d be amazed what you’ll learn.

    [Read More...]
  • August 2015 Tudor Life Magazine

    Here’s the August 2015 magazine with all our regular items and contributors plus lots of fascinating articles. This month we have a “Coronation Special” section with articles from a number of eminent historians….

    [Read More...]
  • Catherine Carey and Henry Carey by Sarah Bryson

    Henry Carey by Steven van Herwijck

    Henry Carey by Steven van Herwijck

    Today is the anniversary of the death of Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, Privy Councillor and Lord Chamberlain, in 1596, so it seems appropriate to share this article by Sarah Bryson on Henry and his sister Catherine.

    On 4th February 1520, Mary Boleyn married William Carey, a young, handsome, athletic man who a member of the King Henry VIII's household and also a distant cousin of the King. The match was well made, as Mary Boleyn's father, Sir Thomas Boleyn, was on the rise and was making a name for himself at court. The wedding took place at Greenwich and Henry VIII himself was present, giving the newly married couple a gift of 6s 8d.

    Mary would go on to give her husband two healthy children. Mary's first child, a daughter named Catherine, quite possibly named after Queen Catherine of Aragon, was born in 1524. Catherine would become a constant figure at court until her death on 15 January 1569. At the age of just fourteen, she was appointed as a maid of honour to Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII's fourth wife. Then, on 26 April 1540, Catherine married Sir Francis Knollys and she went on to give her husband thirteen children! After the deaths of Henry VIII and his son and heir Edward VI, the Catholic Mary I came to the throne. As Protestants, Catherine and Francis feared for their safety and fled the country with their youngest children. Catherine and her family spent several years travelling the Low Countries, where Catherine was to give birth to one of her children.

    Upon Mary I's death, Elizabeth I came to the throne and in 1559 Catherine was appointed as a lady of the Queen's bedchamber. Returning to England, Catherine took up this highly prized position. Her status meant that she was to tend to the Queen's personal needs, sleep at the foot of her bed when required and help dress the Queen, among other duties. It was a position of intimacy and one which Elizabeth I came to cherish.

    Tragically, Catherine died on 15 January 1569 at Hampton Court. Queen Elizabeth I is reported to have been grief-stricken and she gave her beloved cousin a lavish burial at Westminster Abbey which cost £640 2s. 11d.

    Mary Boleyn's second child, a son named Henry, was born on 4 March 1526. He too would become a prominent and impressive member at court throughout his life. In May 1545 he married Anne Morgan and the pair had twelve children together, nine of them sons. During his early years, he became a diplomat and a member of parliament. When Elizabeth I came to the throne, Henry was knighted and on the 13 January 1559 he was created Baron Hunsdon and granted substantial lands and a yearly pension of £4000. On 31 October 1560 Henry was appointed as Master of the Queen's hawks and then on 18 May 1561 he was created a Knight of the Garter.

    Henry Carey played a prominent role over the years helping to protect the North from England's Scottish neighbours. On 23 October 1571, he was appointed warden of the east marshes, which afforded him even greater responsibilities in protecting the north of England. On the 16 November 1577, Henry was appointed as a member of the Privy Council, allowing him greater access not only to the Queen but to the administration of England's policies.

    During 1583, Elizabeth I re-appointed Henry as captain of the gentlemen pensioners and in July 1585 he was appointed as Lord Chamberlain of the Household, as well as continuing his privy councillor duties. Henry was active in political life until his death on 23 July 1596 at Somerset House. Just like his sister Catherine, Henry Carey was buried at Westminster Abbey, the expenses of this paid by his cousin Elizabeth I. It is rumoured that on his deathbed Elizabeth I offered Henry the earldom of Wiltshire, a title held by his grandfather Thomas Boleyn. However, Henry refused the title stating that if Elizabeth did not think him worthy of the title while he was alive he would not accept it now that he was dying.

    Elizabeth I died childless in 1603 and it was through Catherine and Henry's children that the Boleyn bloodline continued.

    Sarah Bryson is the author of Mary Boleyn: In a Nutshell. She is a researcher, writer and educator who has a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education with Honours and currently works with children with disabilities. Sarah is passionate about Tudor history and has a deep interest in Mary Boleyn, Anne Boleyn, the reign of Henry VIII and the people of his court. Visiting England in 2009 furthered her passion and when she returned home she started a website, queentohistory.com, and Facebook page about Tudor history. Sarah lives in Australia, enjoys reading, writing, Tudor costume enactment and wishes to return to England one day.

    Notes and Sources

    • Jonathan Hughes, ‘Stafford , Mary (c.1499–1543)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2009, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/70719, accessed 6 June 2015.
    • Sally Varlow, ‘Knollys , Katherine, Lady Knollys (c.1523–1569)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oct 2006; online edn, Jan 2009 http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/69747, accessed 6 June 2015.
    • Wallace T. MacCaffrey, ‘Carey, Henry, first Baron Hunsdon (1526–1596)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Sept 2014, [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/4649accessed 6 June 2015.
    • Weir, Alison (2011) Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings, Ballantine Books, New York.
    • Wilkinson, Josephine (2010) Mary Boleyn: The True Story of Henry VIII’s Favourite Mistress, Amberley Publishing, Gloucestershire.
  • The Importance of Katherine Parr and Challenging Myths by Alex Taylor

    We tend to think of her as the woman who comes from nowhere, she’s not. In many ways she’s the most interesting, the most exciting, the best educated, and the cleverest of Henry’s wives. -David Starkey

    Katherine Parr has been remembered through history as King Henry VIII’s sixth and final wife. The fortunate wife that survived. She has been labelled as merely Henry’s nurse, tending to the sickly king’s infirmities. Essentially, she is believed to be little more than Henry’s companion in his final years, with no great achievements of her own. She is often viewed as a wife of lesser importance, in contrast to the hugely popular Anne Boleyn whose legacy has been carried through centuries of intrigue and fame. This article intends to demystify the myths associated with Katherine Parr’s turbulent life, thus to reveal a more realistic view of a women who was well read, deeply religious and ultimately important during her time.

    [Read More...]
  • What to expect on the Tudor Society website

    Claire in one of her videos.

    Claire in one of her videos.

    We've had lots of new members recently so I just wanted to write this post to let them know, and to remind 'old' members, what to expect from Tudor Society membership on an ongoing basis. It really is important that you log in on at least a weekly basis to get the most of your membership as there is new content being added all the time.

    Weekly

    • This week in history - Every week Claire shares "on this day in history" events for the week ahead. She posts these every Monday.
    • Quiz - A Plantagenet/Tudor quiz is posted every Sunday for you to test your knowledge and have some fun.
    • Claire Chats video - Every Friday a "Claire Chats" video is posted on the site. Claire discusses a variety of Tudor history topics, people and places.
    • Articles - Articles by regular contributors (Sarah, Claire and Alex) are shared every week. Claire also adds bios, primary sources and other resources on an ongoing basis, as well as news on events, book launches etc.

    Monthly

    • Tudor Life - The Tudor Society monthly magazine is published on the site towards the end of each month for you to read online or download.
    • Expert Talks - Each month we host a talk from an author, historian or history expert.
    • Live chats - Later in the month, we host a live chat on the chatroom with that month's expert speaker. This means that you can watch/listen to their talk and then ask the expert your questions.
    • Giveaways - There is a book giveaway at each live chat.

    It really is worth logging-in on a regular basis and why not pop into the forum while you're here? Ask a question, share your opinion, start a discussion, have fun...

    Archives

    Everything is archived on the site so you can catch up on all the magazines, videos, talks, articles, quizzes etc. that you have missed. Just browse the "categories" in the right-hand side menu.

    We hope you'll enjoy being a member.

  • Livi Michael’s “Rebellion” out 13 August

    Author Livi Michael is one of our August speakers (yes, we’ve got 2!) and I just wanted to let you know that the second of her “Wars of the Roses” novels, Rebellion, is due out in the UK on 13th August as a paperback and kindle. It is also coming out on kindle on that date in the US.

    [Read More...]
  • Non-fiction history books for 99c/99p each – 21 and 22 July

    Following on from last week’s special on historical fiction books, MadeGlobal Publishing’s non-fiction history books are kindle countdown deals today and tomorrow (21 and 22 July) at 99c/99p each on Amazon.com and Amazon UK.

    [Read More...]
  • This week in history 20 – 26 July

    On this day in history events for week 20-26 July.

    [Read More...]
  • John Knox: A Faithful Admonition to the Professors of God’s Truth in England

    On 20th July 1554, John Knox, theologian and a leader of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, published his pamphlet A Faithful Admonition to the Professors of God’s Truth in England.

    [Read More...]
  • The Children of Plantagent and Tudor Monarchs Quiz

    Test your knowledge on the offspring of the Plantagenet and Tudor monarchs with this fun quiz.

    [Read More...]
  • Mary I proclaimed Queen – 19 July 1553

    On 19th July 1553, thirteen days after the death of her half-brother Edward VI, Mary, eldest daughter of Henry VIII, was proclaimed queen in London in place of Queen Jane, who had been proclaimed queen on 10th July.

    The Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London records:

    [Read More...]
  • Unravelling Mary Boleyn by Sarah Bryson

    Today we have an article by Sarah Bryson, author of Mary Boleyn: In a Nutshell and a regular contributor to the Tudor Society.

    Mary Boleyn is most certainly a woman of mystery. Her younger sister was Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII and Queen consort of England. Mary’s brother was a well-known member of Henry VIII’s court, who was evangelical in his religious beliefs and who, like his sister Anne, ended up on the scaffold. Mary’s father was also an important member of Henry VIII’s court. Thomas Boleyn was a talented man, who was fluent in French and who was sent on many missions as an ambassador for England. He was cunning and smart and used his skills and wits to provide a fantastic education for his children, as well as to further himself and his family at court. And yet when we look at Mary’s life compared to her famous siblings and father so little is known.

    [Read More...]
  • 18 July 1509 – Edmund Dudley convicted of treason

    On this day in history, 18th July 1509, Edmund Dudley, administrator, President of the King’s Council in the reign of Henry VII and speaker of the House of Commons, was convicted of treason after being blamed for the oppression of Henry VII’s reign. He was charged with conspiring to “hold, guide and govern the King and his Council” and ordering his men to assemble in London during the final days of Henry VII’s life.

    In the Third Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records (1842), we have the record of “Trial and conviction of Edmund Dudley, Esq. – Constructive Treason – Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer, London, 18 July, 1509. 1 Hen. VIII”:

    [Read More...]
  • Transcript of Elizabeth Goldring’s talk

    Here’s the transcript from our live-chat session with Elizabeth Goldring. Well done to Ceri for winning a copy of Elizabeth’s beautiful Robert Dudley book.

    [Read More...]
  • La Cartuja, Granada

    El Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, now known simply as La Cartuja de Granada, is a Carthusian monastery in the city of Granada. The Carthusian Order once had twenty-four monasteries in Spain, but the majority were closed in 1836 and their lands confiscated and sold. Only four now remain inhabited today: Miraflores (Burgos), Montealegre (Barcelona), Aula Dei (Zaragoza) and Porta Coeli (Valencia).

    [Read More...]
  • August Magazine Cover Reveal

    It’s not long until our brand-new August Tudor Life magazine will be available to members. This month we’re focusing on “Coronations” and there are many things that you wouldn’t believe unless you knew that they were true!

    [Read More...]
  • Robert Sidney’s Poems

    Today marks the anniversary of the death of Robert Sidney, 1st Earl of Leicester, poet and courtier, in 1626.

    His notebook, which held a collection of poems and sonnets, and showed the revisions he made to them, was discovered in Warwick Castle’s library in the 1960s. It had a 19th century leather binding and researchers found that it had been acquired in 1848 after the library at Penshurst Place, Sidney’s home, had been broken up and sold. Although the poetry collection had been misattributed, scholar Peter Croft was able to identify Sidney’s handwriting and he went on to edit and publish Sidney’s poems with Oxford University Press. The British Library purchased the notebook at Sotheby’s in 1975 and it is now part of their collection, with reference Add. (Additional) MS 58435.

    [Read More...]
  • This week in history 13 – 19 July

    On this day in history events for week 13-19 July.

    [Read More...]
  • John Dee

    John Dee, astrologer, mathematician, alchemist, antiquary, spy, philosopher, geographer and adviser to Elizabeth I and various influential statesmen during her reign, was born in London on 13th July 1527.

    [Read More...]