The Tudor Society
  • Tudor Cooking with Claire – Soul Cakes

    As today is Halloween and it was traditional for medieval people to go “souling” at Hallowtide, I thought I’d make soul cakes. Mine are a bit more like soul “cookies” as I rolled them quite thin, but I hope you enjoy my video and why don’t you try out the recipe?

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  • Medieval Ghost Stories

    In today’s Claire Chats Halloween special Claire shares some traditional medieval ghosts stories.

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  • 30 October 1485 – Henry VII is crowned king

    On 30th October 1485, Henry Tudor, 2nd Earl of Richmond and son of Lady Margaret Beaufort and the late Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, was crowned King Henry VII at Westminster Abbey.

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  • Sir Walter Ralegh

    Here is a brief bio or factfile of Sir Walter Ralegh, the famous Elizabethan explorer:

    Birth – c1552, perhaps 22nd January, in East Budleigh, Devon, England.

    Parents – Walter Ralegh and Catherine Champernowne, niece of Kat Ashley, governess and friend of Elizabeth I. Catherine was married twice and Ralegh’s father (also Walter) was her second husband.

    Siblings – Ralegh’s mother had sons from her first marriage and from her second marriage, a total of five. Three of Ralegh’s half-brothers were prominent at the Elizabethan and Stuart Court – John, Humphrey and Adrian Gilbert. His brother, Carew Ralegh, was also prominent.

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  • Eat, drink, and be merry – A virtual exhibition

    Thank you to our art historian Melanie V. Taylor for letting me know about this wonderful virtual exhibition which has been designed to complement “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: Food in the Middle Ages and Renaissance”, an exhibition organized by the Manuscripts Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles which is on now and which runs until 3rd January 2016.

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  • November 2015 Tudor Life Magazine

    The Tudors thought about death around the start of November, and so for this month’s magazine we’re doing the same. You’ll be fascinated by the detailed articles we’ve put together for you to enjoy… though some are a little bit gruesome – be warned!

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  • Desiderius Erasmus: An Exceptional Mind by Heather R. Darsie

    Erasmus: his name is synonymous with humanism, education and intelligence. Across Northern Europe several Erasmus programs exist at universities, so students may pursue their studies at multiple universities and in multiple languages. During his lifetime, Erasmus corresponded with such notable people as Sir Thomas More and John Colet. Erasmus assisted Hans Holbein in his quest to move to England, and advised Anne of Cleves’s father when he was writing religious tolerance laws.

    Desiderius Erasmus was born on 27 or 28 October 1466 or 1467* in Rotterdam, Netherlands. His exact date of birth is not known. The second son and an illegitimate child of his father, a priest, and mother, a physician’s daughter, Erasmus was sent to school at the age of five. In about 1484, when Erasmus was approximately eighteen years of age, his parents both died of plague. Erasmus’s three guardians sent Erasmus and his brother to a new, more conservative school run by the Brethren of the Common Life. There, Erasmus studied Latin and Christian theology.

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  • This week in history 26 October – 1 November

    On this day in history dates for 26th October to 1st November.

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  • Bibles and Bible Translators Quiz

    How much do you know about the Bible translators and Bibles of the Tudor period? Test your knowledge with this fun quiz.

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  • Battle of Agincourt Radio Programme

    In this “In our Time” BBC Radio 4 programme from 2004, Melvyn Bragg discusses the Battle of Agincourt with guests Anne Curry, Professor of Medieval History at Southampton University; Michael Jones, medieval historian and writer; John Watts, Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at Corpus Christie College, Oxford.

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  • The Battle of Agincourt by Heather Darsie

    As you may have read in this month’s Tudor Life magazine, 25th October marked the feast day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian, and following the victory of England over France on 25 October 1415 at the Battle of Agincourt, the day became a celebration of that event too. Celebrations included bonfires, revelry and the crowning of a King Crispin.

    Today, Heather Darsie shares an article with us on the Battle of Agincourt back in 1415.

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  • Cooking with Claire – Tudor Buttered Sweet Potatoes

    In today’s Claire Chats video, I am cooking Buttered Sweet Potatoes from Elinor Fettiplaces’s Receipt Book: Elizabethan Country House Cooking edited and modernized by Hilary Spurling. The original book was compiled by Lady Elinor Fettiplace from Oxfordshire in 1604 and it’s a treasure trove of Tudor recipes divided into the months of the year. In the October section, I found a recipe entitled “To Butter Potato Roots” and that’s what I have made.

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  • The Physical Decline of Henry VIII by Sarah Bryson

    A portrait of Henry VIII by an unknown artist, c. 1520.

    When Henry VIII came to the throne in 1509 he was just shy of his 18th birthday. He was tall, robust, handsome and athletic. Yet when the infamous King died on 28th January 1547 he weighed about 178kg and had a waist measurement of 52 inches and a chest measurement of about 53 inches. So how did this decline in Henry VIII’s physical appearance happen?

    As a young man, Henry VIII was considered to be the most handsome prince in Europe. He was tall, standing at six foot two which was taller than the average man of the time. He was broad of shoulder, with strong muscular arms and legs, and had striking red/gold hair. It is said that rather than looking like his father, he resembled his grandfather the late Edward IV. In the armoury of the Tower of London is a suit of armour that Henry wore in 1514. The king’s measurements show that he had a waist of 35 inches and a chest of 42 inches, confirming that Henry was a well-proportioned, well-built young man.

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  • 20 October 1536 – The Surrender of Pontefract Castle

    On the night of the 19th October 1536, Thomas Maunsell, Robert Aske and the rebels of the Pilgrimage of Grace threatened an assault on Pontefract Castle and its owner, Lord Darcy. By 8 o’clock on the morning of the 20th October, the castle had surrendered to the rebels and its inhabitants – which included the likes of Lord Darcy, Sir William Gascoigne, Sir Robert Constable, Edmund Lee, Archbishop of York, and Thomas Magnus, Archdeacon of the East Riding – had sworn the rebel oath.

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  • This week in history 19 – 25 October

    On this day in history events for week 19-25 October.

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  • Tudor Money Quiz

    Have fun testing your knowledge with this quiz on Tudor money.

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  • Sleeping in Tudor Times

    In this week’s Claire Chats, I talk about the advice given to Tudor people about sleeping and I look at what they actually slept on.

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  • 16 October 1555 – The Burnings of Bishops Ridley and Latimer

    he burnings of two of the Oxford martyrs: Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, and Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London took place on this day in 1555, in the reign of the Catholic Mary I. The two men, along with Thomas Cranmer, who was burnt at the stake on the 21st March 1556, are known as the Oxford Martyrs and their lives and deaths are commemorated in Oxford by Martyrs’ Memorial, a stone monument just outside Balliol College and near to the execution site, which was completed in 1843. A cross of stones set into the road in Broad Street marks the site of their burnings.

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  • Holbein at the Tudor Court Radio Programme

    Thank you to our resident art expert Melanie Taylor for letting me know about this radio programme which aired today on the BBC Radio 4 programme “In our Time”.

    Blurb: Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life and work of Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) during his two extended stays in England, when he worked at the Tudor Court and became the King’s painter.

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  • Henry VII and St Armel

    Thank you so much to Tudor Society member Ceri Creffield for telling me about an article that has been published as part of Wales Online’s Welsh History Month – Welsh History Month: St Armel, the refugee saint who protected the king.

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  • Transcript from Susan Fern’s Live Chat

    Here is the transcript of the session for those who weren’t able to make it live to Susan Fern’s chatroom session.

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  • Making a book – the old way

    A fascinating video showing how a book is made using a printing press and traditional methods. It makes you appreciate how easy it is to get books these days!

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  • The Christening of Edward VI

    EdwardVIHolbeinToday, author Sarah Bryson shares with us an article on Edward VI's christening.

    In early 1537, Queen Jane Seymour, Henry VIII's third wife, became pregnant. Henry ordered refurbished suites at Hampton Court Palace for his Queen and also a set of new suites for the longed-for son that he believed Jane would bring him. Astoundingly, Henry only gave his builders five months to add these huge rooms and additions to Hampton Court! Hundreds of men were hired for these magnificent additions and as well as being paid overtime Henry VIII also ordered candles so the men could work at night.
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  • 14 October 1586 – Trial of Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in history, 14th October 1586, the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots, began at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire. Historian John Guy, author of My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots, has written a brilliant chapter on Mary’s downfall, “Nemesis”, and I have him to thank for the information in this article.

    Mary Queen of Scots had, at first, refused to appear before Elizabeth I’s commission, but had been told by William Cecil that the trial would take place with or without her. She appeared in front of the commission at 9am, dressed in a black velvet gown and a white cambric cap and veil. Mary then protested against the commission, arguing that the court was not legitimate and arguing against the fact that she was not allowed legal defence and was not able to call any witnesses. Mary was also not permitted to examine any of the documents being used against her. Her protests were in vain and the prosecution went ahead and opened the trial with an account of the Babington Plot, arguing that Mary knew of the plot, had given it her approval, agreed with it and had promised to help. Mary protested her innocence:

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  • Introducing the 2 Day Unlimited Pass

    We’re pleased to announce the Tudor Society 2 day unlimited pass!

    For just $6, you can now try out the Tudor Society for two days. The 2 day unlimited pass gives you full access to the Tudor Society website meaning that you can view the latest content and also the archives, which include Tudor Life magazine, our expert talks, Claire Chats videos, our weekly quizzes, resources and more. It’s perfect for those wanting to see what the Tudor Society is all about before joining.

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  • This week in history 12 – 18 October

    On this day in history events for 12-18 October.

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  • 12 October 1537 – Birth of Edward VI

    At two o’clock in the morning on Friday 12th October 1537, St Edward’s Day, Jane Seymour finally gave birth to the future King Edward VI after a long and tiring thirty-hour labour. Henry VIII had a legitimate son and heir at long last!

    Chronicler Charles Wriothesley recorded the good news and the subsequent celebrations:

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  • 11 October 1549 – The Arrest of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector

    On this day in history, 11th October 1549, Edward Seymour, the Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector of the Realm and Governor of the King’s Person, was arrested and brought in front of Edward VI who summarised his charges as “ambition, vainglory, entering into rash wars in mine youth, negligent looking on Newhaven, enriching himself of my treasure, following his own opinion, and doing all by his own authority, etc.”

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  • Medieval and Tudor Education Quiz

    Test your knowledge on education and upbringing with this fun quiz.

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  • 10 October 1562 – Elizabeth I catches smallpox

    On 10th October 1562, twenty-nine year-old Queen Elizabeth I was taken ill at Hampton Court Palace, with what was thought to be a bad cold. However, the cold developed into a violent fever, and it became clear that the young queen actually had smallpox. Just seven days later, it was feared that the Queen would die.

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