• The Spanish Armada Quiz 1

    As it’s the anniversary of the Spanish Armada at the moment, I thought it was time to test your knowledge on this famous Tudor event. How much do you know about it? Test yourself with this fun quiz. Good luck!

    [Read More...]
  • Transcript of our live chat with Philip Roberts

    hanks to those who came into the chatroom on Friday for our live chat session with Philip Roberts. There were lots of questions about the Mary Rose and it was a very productive discussion.

    [Read More...]
  • 30 July 1588 – The wind scatters the Armada

    On 30th July 1588, the day after the Battle of Gravelines and the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the wind changed and the remaining ships of the Spanish Armada were forced northwards and scattered. It really did seem that the elements, particularly the wind, were on England’s side. Sir Francis Drake wrote to Sir Francis Walsingham on 30th July 1588, saying “There was never anything pleased me better than seeing the enemy flying with a southerly wind northward. We have the Spaniards before us, and the mind, with the grace of God, to wrestle a pull with them.”

    [Read More...]
  • Ooops another book!

    You can never have enough books, can you? Well, that’s what I keep telling myself anyway! In today’s Claire Chats video I share with you my most recent book purchase, the two volume Tudor and Jacobean Portraits by Roy Strong (1969), which I’ve had my eye on for ages. I know I will be dipping into these volumes on a regular basis, so I’m very pleased with my purchase, plus they’re beautiful books.

    [Read More...]
  • The Annes of Cleves: Part I, 1435 to 1540 by Heather R. Darsie

    The name “Anne of Cleves” conjures up thoughts of Henry VIII’s allegedly unattractive, unfashionable fourth wife. However, over the span of almost 200 years, there were five women known as “Anne of Cleves”. First, we will meet Anne of Burgundy, who by marriage became an Anne of Cleves. For purposes of this article, we will refer to her as “van Kleef.” Next, we will meet the daughter of Johann II of Cleves, aunt to the famous Henry VIII’s fourth wife. We will call her “von Cleve” throughout this article. Finally, we will quickly look into the early life of Anne of Cleves, the most well-known to the English-speaking world.

    [Read More...]
  • Elizabeth I Armada Portrait Saved!

    The Art fund has just announced that its public appeal, along with a £7.4 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, has enabled Royal Museums Greenwich to buy the Elizabeth I Armada portrait, thus saving it from disappearing into a private collection or moving abroad. Yay! I’m so pleased by this and thank you to all those who donated to the appeal.

    [Read More...]
  • Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley

    On 29th July 1565, Mary, Queen of Scots, married Henry Stuart (Stewart), Lord Darnley, at Holyrood Palace (the Palace of Holyroodhouse), Edinburgh.

    You can find out all about Mary, Queen of Scots, at our Mary, Queen of Scots Bio page, but who was the bridegroom? Here are a few facts about him:

    [Read More...]
  • 29 July 1588 – The Battle of Gravelines between England and Spain

    In 1588, the day after the English had wrecked the crescent formation of the Spanish Armada 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.

    [Read More...]
  • 28 July 1588 – The hell-burners

    At midnight on 28th July 1588, five hell-burners were ordered to be sent amongst the galleons of the Spanish Armada at Calais. Hell-burners were fire-ships, ships that were packed with wood and pitch and set alight. The high winds at Calais caused an inferno which resulted in complete chaos and the Armada’s crescent formation was wrecked as galleons scattered in panic.

    [Read More...]
  • 27 July 1588 – Leicester invites Elizabeth I to Tilbury

    On this day in history, the 27th July 1588, Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester and the Lieutenant and Captain General of the Queen’s Armies and Companies, invited Elizabeth I to visit Tilbury, where he was busy assembling troops. If you read my post from yesterday, you will know that 4,000 men had been assembled at Tilbury Fort on 26th July 1588 to guard the eastern approach to London from the expected invasion by the Spanish Armada.

    [Read More...]
  • 26 July 1588 – 4,000 men assemble at Tilbury Fort

    On this day in history, the 26th July 1588, 4,000 men assembled at Tilbury Fort, the fort built on the Thames estuary in Essex by Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII, to guard the eastern approach to London from the expected invasion by the Spanish Armada.

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

    Tudor Life August 2016 is packed with an incredible 68 pages, including a feature section on the Early Tudor period. We hope you’ll join the society to enjoy ALL of our magazines, including all of the back issues!

    [Read More...]
  • August 2016 Tudor Life Magazine

    This month we travel a little further back in the Tudor period to look at the early Tudors… We have an article by Leanda de Lisle on Owen Tudor, and a day-by-day build-up to the Battle of Bosworth by Debra Bayani, along with other excellent articles by a whole host of historians and authors.

    [Read More...]
  • This week in history 25 – 31 July

    On this day in history events for week 25th July to 31st July.

    [Read More...]
  • 24 July 1567 – Mary, Queen of Scots, is forced to abdicate

    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.

    [Read More...]
  • The Mary Rose Quiz

    As this week saw the grand opening of The Mary Rose museum following a six-month closure for work, and this month’s expert talk by Philip Roberts is on The Mary Rose, I thought it was only fitting to test your knowledge of Henry VIII’s flagship. Good Luck!

    [Read More...]
  • Queen Jane or Lady Jane Grey

    In today’s Claire Chats video I discuss whether Lady Jane Grey should actually be called Queen Jane.

    [Read More...]
  • Philip Roberts will be in the chatroom Friday 29 July

    Philip Roberts will be in the Chatroom this Friday 29 July, 11pm UK time. We can discuss the Mary Rose!

    [Read More...]
  • The Mary Rose – Behind the scenes

    As part of this month’s Mary Rose feature, with our guest speaker Philip Roberts (author of “The Mary Rose in a Nutshell), we have this wonderful video showing some behind-the-scenes footage of the ship and its treasure trove of finds.

    [Read More...]
  • This week in history 18 – 24 July

    On this day in history events for 18-24th July.

    [Read More...]
  • Anne of Cleves Quiz

    Yesterday was the anniversary of the death of Anne of Cleves on 16th July 1557, so I thought it would be good to mark the occasion with an Anne of Cleves themed quiz. How much do you know about this Tudor queen consort? Test yourself with this fun quiz.

    [Read More...]
  • John Dee video

    As 13th July was the anniversary of John Dee’s birth in 1527, I thought I’d give an overview of the life and career of this fascinating Tudor man, a well as recommend some books on him. I hope you find the video interesting and useful.

    [Read More...]
  • 15 July 1553 – Queen Jane’s ships swap their allegiance to Queen Mary

    Lady Jane Grey had been chosen by Edward VI as his heir and became queen on his death on 6th July 1553. However, Edward’s half-sister Mary believed herself to be Edward’s true heir and so declared herself queen at her home at Kenninghall following news of Edward’s death. On 12th July 1553, Mary moved from Kenninghall to Framlingham Castle, where she began to rally support and between 12th and 15th July Mary’s supporters and forces grew. She was supported by men such as Sir Edward Hastings; Henry Radclyffe, Earl of Sussex; Sir Thomas Cornwallis; Thomas, Lord Wentworth; Sir Henry Bedingfield; John de Vere, Earl of Oxford; and many prominent families of eastern England such as the Rochesters, the Jerninghams and Waldegraves. Mary was proclaimed Queen in various counties and towns.

    [Read More...]
  • 12 July 1537 – The execution of Robert Aske

    On this day in history, 12th July 1537, Robert Aske, lawyer and rebel, was hanged in chains outside Clifford’s Tower, the keep of York Castle. Aske was one of the leaders of the rebels in the 1536 northern uprising known as the Pilgrimage of Grace – click here to see a Pilgrimage of Grace timeline and here to read an article on the rebellion.

    Being hanged in chains was an awful way to die. Those executed this way were usually hanged alive in chains – rather than being hanged first in the usual manner and then put in chains on display – and took several days to die, being slowly suffocated to death. Horrible!

    [Read More...]
  • This week in history 11 – 17 July

    On this day in history events for 11 – 17th July.

    [Read More...]
  • Sir Thomas More Quiz

    How much do you know about this prominent Tudor man, a man who served King Henry VIII loyally but who ended his days on the block? Test your knowledge with this fun quiz.

    [Read More...]
  • Amalia of Cleves, sister of Anne of Cleves, by Heather R. Darsie

    After just over six months of marriage, on 9 July 1540, Anna von Kleve, more commonly known as Anne of Cleves, was divorced from Henry VIII of England. As part of her reward for acquiescing so easily to Henry’s request, she would forever after be known in England as the Daughter of Cleves and Henry’s sister, though she signed letters to her brother as “Anna, born Duchess of Cleves,” or a variation thereof.

    Anna was gifted many properties, including Chelsea and Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. Anna maintained a relationship not only with Henry but also with his daughters Mary and Elizabeth. Anna would go on to live the rest of her life in England before dying at the age of 41. She never returned to the Holy Roman Empire, parts of which comprised most of what we know today as Germany.

    [Read More...]
  • Tudor Life Books

    In today’s Claire Chats video I take you on a tour through the “Tudor life” section of my bookcase, picking out the books I find useful on everyday life during the period.

    [Read More...]
  • 6 July – The deaths of two important Tudors

    On this day in history, two important Tudors died: Sir Thomas More was beheaded on 6th July 1535 for high treason for denying the King’s supremacy, and fifteen year-old King Edward VI died on 6th July 1553 of natural causes at Greenwich Palace.

    [Read More...]
  • This week in history 4 – 10 July

    On this day in history events for 4th to 10th July.

    [Read More...]