• This week in history 31 August – 6 September

    On this day in history events for 31st August to 6th September.

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  • The Martyrdom of Robert Samuel, Preacher, suffering for the true defence of Christ’s Gospel

    “The Martyrdom of Robert Samuel, Preacher, suffering for the true defence of Christ’s Gospel” is the title of the chapter of martyrologist John Foxe’s account of the imprisonment and death of Robert Samuel, former minister of East Bergholt Church in Suffolk, who was burned at the stake on 31st August 1555. Samuel was one of the Ipswich Martyrs, one of nine people who were executed between 1515 and 1558 for their Lollard or Protestant beliefs.

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  • Transcript from live chat with Susan Higginbotham

    For those who were not able to get to our live chat with Susan Higginbotham – you really missed a special chat – here is the transcript where we discuss John Dudley.

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  • British Monarchy Quiz

    Today we’re broadening our focus to the kings and queens of Great Britain. Test your knowledge with this fun quiz.

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  • “Gloriana”: Elizabeth I’s final years by Gareth Russell

    As part of Gareth Russell’s book tour for “A History of the English Monarchy: From Boadicea to Elizabeth I”, I’m delighted to welcome Gareth to the Tudor Society today, which is his home from home anyway! I hope you enjoy his article and please see the bottom of this post for details on how to enter the giveaway for a copy of his wonderful book. Over to Gareth…

    Elizabeth I’s decline began in her moment of apotheosis. The defeat of the Spanish Armada coincided with the death of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. In the middle of the victory celebrations, the Queen received the news that her childhood friend-turned-adult-love had passed away and she was heartbroken. It has long been surmised that Elizabeth would have married Leicester had he not already been married and his first wife, Amy Dudley (née Robsart), had not then been found dead in circumstances that looked suspiciously like murder or suicide. However, during a bout of serious illness when she thought she was about to die, Elizabeth made a point of denying that she had ever taken Leicester into her bed, no matter how much she loved him. Despite mountains of speculation then and since, there is in fact no firm evidence at all to suggest that Elizabeth I was not a virgin as she claimed. The risk of pregnancy, the loss of her reputation, death in childbed or yielding her authority to a man made celibacy by far her safest choice. We will never know, of course, what happened every day and night of her life, but it is worth pointing out that it should not be taken as axiomatic, as it too often is, that Elizabeth Tudor lied about her life-long virginity.

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  • Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon – Shakespeare’s Resting Place

    In today’s Claire Chats, I share with you some information on Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare was baptised and buried, along with photos Tim took on our recent visit.

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  • Letter from Princess Mary to her brother Edward VI – August 1551

    The following letter was written by Princess Mary, the future Mary I, to her brother Edward VI on 19th August 1551. Henry Ellis, editor of “Original Letters, Illustrative of English History…” explains:

    “The following Letter from the Princess Mary to her brother, is preserved upon the Books of the Privy Council. It is probably the best specimen which we have in our power to give of her talent at writing: and, with the singular Paper which follows it by way of comment, will show her to have been a woman of more intellect than the world has usually supposed. Queen Catherine Parr took great pains in the education both of Mary and Elizabeth.

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  • Taster: September 2015 Magazine

    Here is a taster of the September 2015 Tudor Life magazine. Inside you’ll find 68 pages packed with Tudor facts, features and fun. This month we have a special feature section on MOVIES, and you’d be amazed what you’ll learn about the truth behind the movies in this month’s edition

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  • September 2015 Tudor Life Magazine

    Lights, Camera, Action… September is “movie month” for the Tudor Life magazine. We’ve gone crazy with everything film related – but of course it is all in relation to the real history of the times!

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  • Childbirth in Medieval and Tudor Times by Sarah Bryson

    Childbirth is openly discussed in today’s society. Images of pregnant women appear in magazines and women giving birth can be seen on television and in movies. Yet during the medieval period, childbirth was deemed a private affair. Giving birth in the middle ages was a dangerous time for women and childbirth did not discriminate. Young mothers, older mothers, poor or rich mothers, all could die not only in childbirth but also due to complications afterwards. Sadly, more than one in three women died during their child-bearing years.

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  • 27 August 1549 – The Battle of Dussindale

    On 27th August 1549, the Battle of Dussindale took place, ending Kett’s Rebellion in Norfolk.

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  • Coming up on the Tudor Society

    Historian Gareth Russell is the editor of our monthly Tudor Life magazine and he’s been working hard on scheduling expert articles and also expert talks for the next few months. We are thrilled to bits that so many historians and authors want to be involved in the Tudor Society by offering their knowledge and expertise to our members – a big thank you to them and to all our members too for your continued support.

    Contributors to Tudor Life magazine in the coming months include:

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  • Susan Higginbotham’s Live Chat – 28 August 2015

    Just a reminder that Susan Higginbotham’s live chat is taking place on the Tudor Society chatroom this Friday (28th August) at 9pm US Eastern time.

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  • A History of the English Monarchy Book Tour

    Just to let you know that author and Tudor Life magazine editor Gareth Russell has embarked on a week long book/blog tour for his non-fiction history book A History of the English Monarchy: From Boadicea to Elizabeth I. He will be stopping here at the Tudor Society on 30th August but do catch him at his other stops too to enter the giveaways for a copy of his book.

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  • Margaret of Anjou, the Queen of the Wars by Heather R. Darsie

    Marguerite d’Anjou, more commonly known as Margaret of Anjou and wife to Henry VI of England, was born to René, Duke of Anjou, and Isabella, daughter of the Duke of Lorraine, in Pont-à-Mousson, France on 23 March 1429. Pont-à-Mousson lies in modern north-eastern France, close to the countries of Luxembourg and Lichtenstein. The Moselle river flows through Pont-à-Mousson and the skyline boasts the impressive Norbertine abbey, which was built in 1121. Young Marguerite spent her early years in the castle of Capua in Naples, Italy, where her father was titular king, and in the castle of Tarascon on the Rhône River. Marguerite was tutored by her well-educated mother and may have received some lessons from Antoine de la Salle, who tutored Marguerite’s brothers.

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  • This week in history 24 – 30 August

    On this day in history events for 24-30 August.

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  • St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre – 24 August 1572

    On this day in 1572, the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre took place. An estimated 3,000 French Protestants (Huguenots) were massacred in Paris, and a further estimated 7,000 in the provinces. According to tradition, Catherine de’ Medici persuaded her son, King Charles IX of France, to order the assassination of key Huguenot leaders who had gathered in Paris for the wedding of their leader, Henry of Navarre, to Margaret of Valois, the King’s sister.

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  • St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre 1572 – Primary Source Accounts

    Primary source accounts of the 1572 St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.

    Eye witness account, written by historian Jacques Auguste de Thou:
    So it was determined to exterminate all the Protestants and the plan was approved by the queen. They discussed for some time whether they should make an exception of the king of Navarre and the prince of Condé. All agreed that the king of Navarre should be spared by reason of the royal dignity and the new alliance. The duke of Guise, who was put in full command of the enterprise, summoned by night several captains of the Catholic Swiss mercenaries from the five little cantons, and some commanders of French companies, and told them that it was the will of the king that, according to God’s will, they should take vengeance on the band of rebels while they had the beasts in the toils. Victory was easy and the booty great and to be obtained without danger. The signal to commence the massacre should be given by the bell of the palace, and the marks by which they should recognize each other in the darkness were a bit of white linen tied around the left arm and a white cross on the hat.

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  • The Princes in the Tower – Philippa Langley aims to crack the case

    Philippa Langley, who, of course, spear-headed the Looking for Richard project, has announced that she is going to investigate the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower by teaming up with cold case experts.

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  • Battle of Bosworth Quiz

    As yesterday was the anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth, why not test your knowledge of this historic battle.

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  • Siege of Haddington

    On 23rd August 1548, Francis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury, arrived at the Siege of Haddington, in East Lothian, Scotland, with a large army.

    The siege was actually part of a series of sieges at Haddington, which were all part of the Anglo-Scottish war known as the War of the Rough Wooing, so named because it was had been started in 1543 by Henry VIII in a bid to secure a marriage agreement between England and Scotland, between Prince Edward and Mary, Queen of Scots.

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  • Transcript of Livi Michael’s Live Chat

    Here is the transcript from the live chat with Livi Michael. We had an amazing discussion about many things to do with Livi’s talk, and thank you so much to all those who attended – it was great fun!

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  • Charlecote Mill video

    In today’s Claire Chats I talk about my recent visit to Charlecote Mill in Warwickshire.

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  • 20 August 1588 – A Thanksgiving Service for the Armada Victory

    On 20th August 1588 a thanksgiving service was held at St Paul’s in London to give thanks to God for England’s victory over the Spanish Armada. The Armada had been defeated, obliterated in fact, yet the English fleet was left intact and only around 100 English men were lost in the skirmishes.

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  • Sexual Intercourse in Tudor Times by Sarah Bryson

    While in today’s modern times many people are more open with their knowledge and acceptance of sexual intercourse, during the Tudor period things were very different.

    The church played a major role in sex and the duties of the female body. The Virgin Mary and Eve, the mother of mankind, helped to develop people’s views of sexual intercourse, birth and the formation and function of the female body. Messages were conveyed not only through sermons but also through images and paintings. The act of intercourse, was tainted by the fall of Eve. Women were seen as inferior versions of men and were thought to be greatly susceptible to the devil and the dark forces. The Church taught that women’s bodies ran hot and thus they always desired sex and acts of fornication. Thus marriage and sex within marriage was the only way to control a woman’s desires. Sex was strictly confined to marriage and only for the purpose of reproduction.

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  • The Lost Colony – the Roanoke Colony

    On this day in history, 18th August 1587, the first European Christian was born in the New World. Virginia Dare was the daughter of Ananias Dare and his wife, Eleanor, daughter of Governor John White. She was born in the Roanoke colony, in what is now North Carolina, just days after the arrival of the colonists on Roanoke Island. Virginia was baptised the following Sunday.

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  • Thank you gifts coming soon!

    To celebrate the Tudor Society’s 1st birthday and the publication of our Tudor Society guide to Tudor Places of Great Britain in the autumn, and as a thank you to our members, we’ll be giving away two gifts to members…

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  • This week in history 17 – 23 August

    On this day in history events for 17-23 August.

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  • The Battle of the Spurs – 16 August 1513

    On 16th August 1513, a battle which became known as “the Battle of Spurs” or the Battle of Guinegate, took place at Guinegate (Enguinegatte) in France. It was a battle between the English, backed by Imperial troops, and the French and is called “the Battle of the Spurs” because the French knights, taken by surprise and realising that they were outnumbered and outmanoeuvred, fled on horseback, their spurs glinting in the sunlight.

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  • Unhappy Tudor Marriages Quiz

    A fun quiz on unhappy Tudor unions.

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