• Expert Talk – Robin Maxwell and Christopher Gortner on Elizabeth and Dudley

    This month’s expert speakers (two!) are Robin Maxwell and Christopher Gortner, who I interviewed about relationship between Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley. These two amazing historians and authors have quite different views about this fascinating relationship, and their knowledge is really worth sharing.

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  • This week in history 29 February – 6 March

    On this day in history events for 29th February to 6th March.

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  • Pope Paul III: Renaissance Prince by Heather R. Darsie

    Alessandro Farnese was born on 29 February 1468 at Canino, Latium, which was in the Papal States. Educated at the University of Pisa and Lorenzo de Medici’s court, he was prepared to take on the career of apostolic notary. Changing course, Alessandro joined the Roma Curia in 1491 at the age of approximately 23 and was quickly promoted by the new pope Alexander VI to a cardinal-deacon position at Santi Cosma e Damiano two years later. Alessandro had the early makings of a fine career with the church. His family already boasted of Pope Boniface VIII.

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  • Tudor Life March 2016 Taster – our best magazine yet!

    Packed with a wide range of articles about Tudor personalities like the Dudleys, Elizabeth of York, Mary I, Isabella of Spain and Henry Howard. There is part one of an insider’s guide to the Tower of London, a detailed article about Greenwich Palace and Wroxhall Abbey, an article about some bizarre Tudor foods and lots more! It’s our best magazine yet!

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  • March 2016 Tudor Life Magazine

    Packed with a wide range of articles about Tudor personalities like the Dudleys, Elizabeth of York, Mary I, Isabella of Spain and Henry Howard. There is part one of an insider’s guide to the Tower of London, a detailed article about Greenwich Palace and Wroxhall Abbey, an article about some bizarre Tudor foods and lots more! It’s our best magazine yet!

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  • Whose reign?

    In whose reign did these historic events take place? Test your knowledge of Plantagenet and Tudor history with this fun quiz.

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  • Battle of Ancrum Moor

    On 27th February 1545, the English forces were defeated by the Scots at the Battle of Ancrum Moor, near Jedburgh in Scotland.

    The battle was part of the 1543-1550 War of the Rough Wooing, a war attempting to put pressure on the Scots to agree to a marriage match between the infant Mary, Queen of Scots and Henry VIII’s son, Edward (the future Edward VI).

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  • Christopher Marlowe video

    In today’s Claire Chats I talk about Christopher Marlowe, the Elizabethan poet and playwright, his life and the controversies surrounding him.

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  • A Brief Overview of Jousting and Armour by Heather R. Darsie

    Jousting, much like rugby or American football, was a full-contact, dangerous sport. Severe injuries and even death were quite common. Henry II of France died in 1559 when a lance’s splinter breached Henry’s helmet and entered his brain by way of the eye. More like American football and less like rugby, individuals participating in the joust wore protection.

    Most armour was made by smiths in either Germany or Italy, though those smiths would travel to workshops all over the continent and England. One workshop in England boasted of smiths from Flanders, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. The city of Milan was most famous for its skilled armour smiths, though German armourers under the Holy Roman Empire outfitted the likes of Maximilian I and Charles V. Henry VIII established royal workshops at Greenwich, with previous workshops having been located in London. Some French workshops recruited Italians for their workshops in Lyon and Tours. There is not much information about armour workshops in either Spain or the Netherlands, but most of the large Belgian cities had active armourer’s guilds during the Renaissance period.

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  • 25 February 1601 – The Execution of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex

    At just before 8am on the 25th February 1601, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex was brought out of the Tower of London and walked to the scaffold. He was wearing a black velvet gown, black satin doublet and breeches and a black hat, which he took off as he climbed up onto the scaffold so that he could bow to the people gathered. He then made a speech acknowledging “with thankfulness to God, that he was justly spewed out of the realm”, and said:

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  • 24 February – The Feast of St Matthias the Apostle

    In the medieval and Tudor era the feast of St Matthias the Apostle was celebrated on 24th February, whereas today it is celebrated on 14th May. I have read also that the feast was celebrated on 25th February in Leap Years so perhaps I ought to be actually posting this tomorrow!

    Matthias was not one of the original twelve apostles, he was chosen after the Ascension of Jesus by the remaining eleven apostles to replace Judas Iscariot. Why was it important to replace Judas? The Catholic Online website explains: “Twelve was a very important number to the Chosen People: twelve was the number of the twelve tribes of Israel. If the new Israel was to come from the disciples of Jesus, a twelfth apostle was needed.” The Book of Acts explains what happened:

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  • This week in history 22 – 28 February

    On this day in history events for 22 – 28 February.

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  • The Three Great Officers of Henry VIII’s Court by Sarah Bryson

    William Paulet, Lord Chamberlain and Lord Steward

    William Paulet, Lord Chamberlain and Lord Steward

    During the reign of Henry VIII, the Royal Household was divided into three departments. These departments were the household above stairs, otherwise known as the "Chamber" or domus magnificentiae; the household below stairs, or domus providentiae, which included the kitchens and domestic responsibilities; and that which was located outside of the household such as the stables. The men responsible for these three departments were the Lord Chamberlain, the Lord Steward and the Master of the Horse. These three men were considered to be the ‘Great Officers’ of the King's court.
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  • Burials and Resting Places Quiz

    Who’s buried where? How much do you know about the resting places of the Tudors? Test your knowledge with this fun quiz.

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  • 20 February 1547 – The coronation of King Edward VI

    On 20th February 1547, Shrove Sunday, King Edward VI was crowned king at Westminster Abbey.

    Chronicler Charles Wriothesley recorded:

    “The twentith daie of Februarie, being the Soundaie Quinquagesima, the Kinges Majestie Edward the Sixth, of the age of nyne yeares and three monthes, was crowned King of this realme of Englande, France, and Irelande, within the church of Westminster, with great honor and solemnitie, and a great feast keept that daie in Westminster Hall…..”

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  • Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford

    In today’s Claire Chats video I talk about Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, her life, her downfall and why Henry VIII had to change the law to execute her.

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  • 19 February 1547 – King Edward VI’s coronation procession

    On Saturday 19th February 1547, King Edward VI rode from the Tower of London to Westminter in preparation for his coronation the next day. Chronicler and Windsor Herald Charles Wriothesley recorded:

    “The nynetenth daie of Februarie the Kinges Majestie rode from the Towre to Westminster through the cittie of London, which was rychly hanged with riche cloathes and divers pageantes, the conduites running wyne, the craftes standing in their raills, and the aldermen, the lord major riding in a crymosin velvett gowne with a rych collar of goulde, with a mase in his hand, afore the King; and, when his Majestie came where the aldermen stode, the Recorder made a proposition to his Majestie, and after the Chamberlaine gave his Majestie a purse of cloath of gould for a present from the cittie, which he thanckfullie tooke.”

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  • 17 February 1547 – Edward Seymour becomes Duke of Somerset

    On this day in history, 17th February 1547, Edward Seymour, uncle of King Edward VI and brother of the late Queen Jane Seymour, was made Duke of Somerset. He had already been appointed to the offices of Lord Protector of the Realm and Governor of the King’s Person on 1st February.

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  • Gareth Russell talks about Mary I

    Gareth Russell speaks about Mary I.

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  • This week in history 15 – 21 February

    15 February

    Galileo Galilei

    Galileo Galilei

    1499 – Death of James Goldwell, Bishop of Norwich, at the bishop's palace in Hoxne, Suffolk. He was buried in Norwich Cathedral, in the chantry chapel.
    1503 – Death of Henry Deane, administrator and Archbishop of Canterbury. As well as serving Henry VII as Archbishop, Deane also served as Chancellor of Ireland, Deputy Governor for Prince Henry and Keeper of the Great Seal. He died at Lambeth Palace and was buried at Canterbury Cathedral at a lavish funeral.
    1536 – Death of Richard Rawlins, Bishop of St David's and former warden of Merton College.
    1551 - Thomas Arden, businessman and inspiration for the 1592 Elizabethan play, “The Tragedie of Arden of Feversham and Blackwill”, was murdered by his wife, Alice, and her lover, Thomas Morsby, and conspirators.
    1564 – Birth of Galileo Galilei, the Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher, in Pisa, Italy. He was one of the central figures of the Scientific Revolution and supported Copernicanism (the heliocentric model). He has been referred to as “the Father of Modern Science”, “the Father of Modern Physics” and “the father of modern observational astronomy”. He is also known for his discovery of the Galilean Moons (Jupiter's satellites), his improved military compass and his work on the telescope.
    1571 – Death of Sir Adrian Poynings, soldier. He served as a soldier in Boulogne from 1546 to 1550, when he was made Lieutenant of Calais Castle, then in the St Quentin campaign of 1557 and in Le Havre in 1562.
    1598 – Death of John May, Bishop of Carlisle, at Rose Castle, his episcopal residence. He was buried in Carlisle Cathedral.
    1616 – Death of Sir George Carey, Lord Deputy of Ireland. He was buried at Cockington, Devon.
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  • Valentine Quiz

    Today is Valentine’s Day, the day of love, so what better than a Valentine quiz?! History and love, a winning combination!

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  • Gillyflowers for Lord Guildford Dudley

    The Dudley Carving in the Beauchamp Tower

    The Dudley Carving in the Beauchamp Tower

    Today has gone down in history as the anniversary of the execution of Lady Jane Grey, but she wasn't the only one executed that day, her husband, Lord Guildford Dudley, was also executed.

    Guildford was born in around 1535 and was the fourth surviving son of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, and his wife Jane (née Guildford). Guildford's family had negotiated for him to marry Margaret Clifford, daughter of Henry Clifford, 1st Earl of Cumberland, but on 25th May 1553 he married Lady Jane Grey, in a triple marriage ceremony which also saw his sister Katherine marrying Lord Henry Herbert, son of the Earl of Pembroke, and Jane's sister Katherine marrying Lord Henry Hastings. They got married at the Dudley family's London residence, Durham Place.
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  • 12 February 1554 – Lady Jane Grey is executed

    On this day in history, Lady Jane Grey and her husband, Lord Guildford Dudley, were executed for treason.

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  • Elizabeth I and the fall of Mary, Queen of Scots Part 2

    In today’s Claire chats I continue my examination of the fall of Mary, Queen of Scots, by looking at the controversy surrounding the death warrant and examining the Bond of Association and the Act for the Queen’s Safety.

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  • Queen Elizabeth I: A Timewatch Guide video

    I just found "Queen Elizabeth I: A Timewatch Guide" on Youtube so here you go!:
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  • Elizabeth of York by Sarah Bryson

    On 11th of February 1466, Elizabeth of York was born at the Palace of Westminster. Exactly thirty seven years later, at the Tower of London, Elizabeth died shortly after giving birth to her last child.

    Elizabeth of York was the eldest child of King Edward IV and his wife Queen Elizabeth Woodville. Elizabeth was christened in St Stephen’s Chapel in Westminster Abbey. Jacquetta of Luxembourg, Duchess of Bedford, and Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, stood as her godmothers and Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, stood as her godfather.

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  • Queen Elizabeth I: A Timewatch Guide

    Just to let you know that this programme is on at 9pm on Wednesday (10th February) on the UK’s BBC Four channel. Here’s the blurb:

    “Vanessa Collingridge examines the life of Elizabeth Tudor, with particular interest in how documentary television and the BBC has examined her legacy….”

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  • 8 February 1587 – Mary, Queen of Scots is executed at Fotheringhay

    On this day in history, Wednesday 8th February, Mary, Queen of Scots was executed at Fotheringhay Castle, following the arrival of her death warrant at the castle the day before.

    Mary had been tried in October 1586 for her involvement in the Babington Plot, a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I, and had been found guilty. Elizabeth I put off signing her death warrant, struggling with the idea of killing an anointed monarch, but finally signed the warrant on 1st February 1587, although Elizabeth claimed later that she ordered her secretary, William Davison, not to do anything with it for the time being. As I mentioned in my article on the death warrant, Elizabeth’s Privy Council met and agreed to send the warrant to Fotheringhay without the Queen’s knowledge. It is impossible to know exactly what happened. Did Davison misunderstand the Queen’s instructions and intentions? Probably not. Some historians believe that William Cecil, Lord Burghley, chose Davison to be a scapegoat because he realised that Elizabeth needed someone to take the responsibility for Mary’s death away from her, but others believe that it was Elizabeth who chose Davison as the scapegoat.

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  • This week in history 8 – 14 February

    On this day in history events for 8-14 February.

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  • Tudor Medicine Quiz

    Test your knowledge on Tudor medicine and the cures of the time with this fun quiz.

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