The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • Elizabeth I and the fall of Mary, Queen of Scots

    In this week’s Claire Chats I start a two part series on Elizabeth I and the fall of Mary, Queen of Scots. Today, I focus on what led to Mary, Queen of Scots’ execution and next week I will examine the controversy surrounding her death warrant.

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  • John Rogers, the first Protestant martyr of Mary I’s reign

    On this day in history, 4th February 1555, John Rogers, clergyman and Biblical editor, was burned at the stake at Smithfield. Rogers was the first England Protestant burned in Mary I’s reign after being condemned as a heretic. he refused the chance of a last minute pardon if he recanted, and died bravely. His wife and eleven children, one being newborn and at the breast, attended his burning. Martyrologist John Foxe recorded that Rogers “constantly and cheerfully took his death with wonderful patience, in the defence and quarrel of the Gospel of Christ.”

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  • Bloody Queens: Elizabeth and Mary TV programme

    The BBC2 programme on Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots, featuring historians and authors like John Guy, Jessie Childs, Tracy Borman, Lisa Hilton and the late Jenny Wormald.

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  • Britain’s Bloody Crown TV Series

    In this TV series, based on his book The Hollow Crown, historian Dan Jones tells the story of the Wars of the Roses.

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  • Candlemas

    Candlemas, or the the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, is celebrated on 2nd February. It commemorates the purification (or churching, as medieval people would have seen it) of the Virgin Mary forty days after the birth of Jesus Christ, when it was traditional for the mother to make an offering or sacrifice according to Jewish law, and the presentation of the baby Jesus at the temple in Bethlehem.

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  • Bloody Queens: Elizabeth and Mary

    If you’re in the UK or have access to the UK’s BBC2 then make sure that you catch this programme on BBC2 today (1st February 2016) at 9pm. Here’s the blurb from the BBC:

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  • Elizabeth Fremantle – Book Excerpt and Giveaway!

    Check out this excerpt from Elizabeth Fremantle’s book “Watch the Lady” and (if it is still February 2016) you can be in with a chance to win a copy!

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  • Tudor stained glass depicting a young Henry VIII is restored

    After a huge restoration project, Tudor stained glass windows are being reinstalled at The Vyne in Hampshire, a property that Henry VIII visited several times. In one of the stained glass panels “a slim and beardless young Henry VIII kneels meekly in prayer near his beloved wife Catherine of Aragon and his sister Margaret.”

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  • 1 February 1514 – The Making of Two Dukes by Sarah Bryson

    On Candlemas Eve,* 1st February 1514, Henry VIII formally elevated two men to the title of Duke. Charles Brandon, formerly Viscount Lisle, was created Duke of Suffolk, and Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, was created 2nd Duke of Norfolk. The ceremony took place at Lambeth and was conducted by the King.

    Along with the nearly created Dukes of Suffolk and Norfolk, the only other duke in the Kingdom was Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham was a descendent of Thomas Woodstock, youngest son of Edward III. In addition to this, his mother was Katherine Woodville, sister of the late Queen Elizabeth Woodville, wife of King Edward IV. At the time, Buckingham was also the richest peer in England, with an annual income of around £6000 per year (£2,902,620.00) as well as being High Steward of England and a Privy Councillor. These positions gave Stafford a great deal of power. With royal blood running through his veins and an arrogant attitude, Buckingham was a regular member at court but it was reported that he often made those around him feel uncomfortable.

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  • 1 February 1587 – Elizabeth I signs the death warrant of Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in history, 1st February 1587, Elizabeth I called her secretary, William Davison, to her and asked him to bring her Mary, Queen of Scots’s death warrant. She then signed it.

    Mary, Queen of Scots, had been tried in October 1586 for her involvement in the Babington Plot, a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I. As the trial closed, Mary demanded that she should be heard in front of Parliament or the Queen, but she was fighting a losing battle. Sentence was delayed as long as possible, by order of Elizabeth, but on 25th October the commission reconvened and found Mary guilty. On 29th October, Parliament met to discuss Mary, the Babington Plot and her role in Lord Darnley’s murder, and it was decided that they should petition Elizabeth to execute Mary. This put Elizabeth in a difficult position as she did not want to be accused of regicide. On the 4th December, Mary was publicly proclaimed guilty.

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  • This week in history 1 – 7 February

    On this day in history events for 1-7 February.

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  • 1 February 1554 – Mary I rallies London against Wyatt’s Rebellion

    On this day in 1554, Queen Mary I gave a rousing speech at the Guildhall to rally Londoners to her cause and to oppose Wyatt’s rebellion. Contemporary John Proctor recorded that Mary “did wonderfullye inamour the heartes of the hearers as it was a world to heare with what shoutes they exalted the honour and magnanimitie of Quene Mary”.

    Mary denounced Thomas Wyatt the Youngerand his rebels, but said that she had sent two of her privy council to “the traitour Wyat, desirous rather to quiete thys tumulte by mercie, then by iustice [justice] of the sworde to vanquishe.” She defended her plan to marry Philip of Spain as being beneficial to England, and affirmed:

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