The Tudor Society
  • 31 August 1555 – The martyrdom of Robert Samuel

    On this day in history, 31st August 1555, Robert Samuel, former minister of East Bergholt Church in Suffolk, was burned at the stake in Ipswich, probably at the Cornhill. He was one of the Ipswich Martyrs, Protestants who were executed in Ipswich during the reign of the Catholic queen, Mary I.

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  • The Annes of Cleves, Part II: 1541 to 1632 by Heather R. Darsie

    For Part II of the Annes of Cleves, we’ll learn a little bit more about Henry VIII’s fourth wife, Anne of Cleves; her niece, Anna of Cleves; and Anna, Duchess of Cleves. Throughout the article, I will address them as Anne, Anna of Cleves, and the Duchess, so as to help in understanding who is who.

    Anne of Cleves, born in 1515 in Germanic territories of the Holy Roman Empire, married Henry VIII of England in 1540. Her marriage to the King lasted only about six months before he divorced her. Due to Anne’s congeniality, Henry settled a good income and several properties on Anne. She remained in England until her death in 1557, where she enjoyed a relationship with Mary I of England, who was only six months Anne’s junior, and with Elizabeth I of England. Elizabeth and Anne rode together in the chariot just after Mary I’s during Mary’s triumphant ride through London as the new queen. Sadly, Anne passed away just over a year before her other stepdaughter, Elizabeth I, become queen.

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  • 24 September – An Evening with the Authors to be live-streamed

    As you will probably know, I’m taking part in MadeGlobal Publishing’s “An Evening with the Authors” event in London on 24th September. It promises to be a great night with nineteen authors and historians taking part. There will be chance to for those attending to chat to the authors, get books signed and ask questions at authors in special panel discussions.

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  • This week in history 29 August – 4 September

    On this day in history events for 29th August to 4th September.

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  • Tudor Executions Quiz Part 1

    Test your knowledge of Tudor executions with this fun quiz:

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  • Robert Dudley’s Last Letter

    On 28th August 1588, an ill Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, wrote his final letter to his queen and childhood friend, Elizabeth I. He wrote it from the home of Lady Norreys at Rycote, where he was staying on his way to Buxton, to take the waters there. It read:

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  • September 2016 Tudor Life Magazine

    Wales, Scotland and Ireland are often forgotten when you think about the Tudor period, but, as you’ll discover in this month’s Tudor Life magazine, the were very important indeed.

    A top quality with 78 pages, this “Dominions” edition of Tudor Life is an amazing focus on the British Isles (and there’s a really great article on grilled cheese by Olga Hughes – Welsh Rarebit!)

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  • 27 August 1549: The Battle of Dussindale and the End of Kett’s Rebellion by Heather R. Darsie

    A portrait of John Dudley from the collection at Knole in Kent.

    July 1549. The almost twelve-year-old Edward VI had been King of England for two-and-a-half years. Landlords had begun enclosing the common lands, which prevented peasants from being able to have a place for their animals to graze. Several landlords had taken to raising sheep, as the English wool trade was growing quite prosperous. This, in concert with a host of other problems such as inflation and unemployment, led to unrest for the lower classes.

    After Edward Seymour, Lord Protector, had issued a proclamation on behalf of Edward VI that made enclosures illegal, several peasants tore down a fence that was raised in the town of Attleborough. On 6 July, the town of Wymondham was observing the illegal feast day for Thomas Beckett. Henry VIII had outlawed any such celebrations or commemorations of Thomas Becket back in 1538. After the festivities, some revellers got together and decided to dismantle some of the enclosures. This was the beginning of the Norfolk uprising and posed a significant threat to the Lord Protector’s government.

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  • My Peggy Nisbet Dolls Collection

    I quite often receive questions about the dolls I have on my bookcase and Margaret asked if I would do a Claire Chats video on them, explaining how/where I got them. So, here you go! My collection is all down to my dear friend Dawn Hatswell – thank you Dawn!

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  • Lady Katherine Grey

    A miniature of Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp, as a child with his mother Lady Katherine Grey

    25th August 1540 is the date traditionally given for the birth of Lady Katherine Grey, Countess of Hertford, daughter of Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, and his wife, Frances (née Brandon), at Bradgate Park. Katherine was one of the sisters of Lady Jane Grey and was the wife of Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford.

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  • This week in history 22 – 28 August

    On this day in history events for 21-28 August in the Tudor period.

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  • 22 August 1553 – The execution of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland

    On 22nd August 1553, John Dudley, Earl of Warwick and Duke of Northumberland, was beheaded on Tower Hill for his part in putting his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey, on the throne in place of Mary I. Northumberland’s friends, Sir John Gates and Sir Thomas Palmer, were also executed on this day in 1553 for supporting Northumberland.

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  • The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 7 – The Battle of Bosworth by Tony Riches

    In this series, I have followed the progress of Henry and Jasper Tudor from Pembroke Castle to their long exile in Brittany and their return with an army to Wales. Their long march, covering as much as twenty-six miles a day, ended when they encountered King Richard III’s army camped at Ambion Hill, close to Sutton Cheyney.

    The Battle of Bosworth is poorly documented, with no first-hand accounts surviving. Anything we read about the battle, therefore, has to be looked at closely to see who wrote it and when. One of the best summaries of the often conflicting accounts is Chris Skidmore’s book, Bosworth – The Birth of The Tudors. Even as Chris was writing the book, news emerged of a new location for the battlefield site, and the bones of Richard III were discovered in a car park as he completed the first draft.

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  • The Tudors on TV and in movies quiz

    The Tudor period has been brought to life on the silver screen and on TV in a multitude of movies and TV series. Test your knowledge and your memory with this fun quiz.

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  • 20 August 1588 – England gives thanks

    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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  • About Claire Ridgway video

    Thank you to those of you who left comments regarding what you want me to talk about in my Claire Chats videos, I really appreciate it. Somehow I managed to muddle up Kathryn and Margaret’s comments, and it was actually Margaret who asked me to talk about myself. I’m so sorry, Kathryn and Margaret, I feel awful about mixing you two up but I hope that you enjoy this video.

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  • 19 August 1551 – Mary writes a letter to Edward VI

    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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  • 17 August 1510 – The Executions of Sir Edmund Dudley and Sir Richard Empson

    On 17th August 1510, the second year of King Henry VIII’s reign, Henry VII’s former chief administrators, Sir Edmund Dudley and Sir Richard Empson, were beheaded on Tower Hill after being found guilty of treason.

    Chronicler Edward Hall records:

    “The kynge beyng thus in hys progresse harde euery daye more and more complayntes of Empson and Dudley, wherfore he sent wryttes to the Shynfes of London, to put them in execucion, and so the xvii. day of August, they were both behedded at the Towre hyl, and their bodies buryed and their heades.”

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  • This week in history 15 – 21 August

    On this day in history events for week 15th to 21st August.

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  • The Tudor Family of Wales Quiz

    The House of Tudor originated in Wales but how much do you know about the Tudors’ links with Wales? Find out with this fun quiz.

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  • Thomas Phaer

    On this day in history, 12th August 1560, the translator, lawyer, physician and paediatrician Thomas Phaer made his will after suffering an accident which made his right hand completely useless. His date of death is unknown, but he died at his Cilgerran estate in Pembrokeshire, Wales, within weeks of his will being drawn up.

    Phaer started out his working life as a lawyer and published two legal handbooks, Natura brevium (c1530-1535) and A Newe Book of Presidentes (1543), but changed direction in the early 1540s to become a physician and medical writer. His medical works include The Boke of Chyldren (1545), the first book on paediatrics written in English, A Goodly Bryefe Treatise of the Pestylence and A Declaration of the Veynes. He has become known as the “Father of English Paediatrics”.

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  • Tudor Cooking with Claire – Strawberry Tart

    I love strawberries so when I saw this Tudor/Stuart strawberry tart recipe I just had to give it a go. It was delicious and takes very little preparation and time.

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  • 10 August 1512 – The Battle of Saint-Mathieu

    On the 10th August 1512, the Battle of Saint-Mathieu, a battle in the War of the League of Cambrai, took place between the English and Franco-Breton fleets off the coast of Brest. England at this time was allied with Spain and the Holy Roman Empire against France.

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  • Remembering Hieronymus Bosch, 500 Years Later by Heather R. Darsie

    On Wednesday 9 August 1516, a funeral mass was sung for the soul of Jeroen von Aeken. Better known by his artistic name of Hieronymus Bosch, he was 58 to 66 years old at death. Dying in the city of ’s-Hertogenbosch, located in the Brabant, Bosch may have passed on from pleurisy which was plaguing the city around that time and claimed the lives of his neighbour, a friend, and one of his cousins.

    Bosch was born between 1450 and 1457 into a family of painters; his great-grandfather, grandfather, and other relatives were all artists. Bosch likely completed his first works in the family’s studio, where they would sometimes collaborate on works. His paintings featured religious iconography mixed in with sometimes dreamy, sometimes nightmarish elements.

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  • 9 August 1588 – Elizabeth I rallies the troops at Tilbury Fort

    On 9th August 1588, Queen Elizabeth I appeared before her troops gathered at Tilbury Fort, on the Thames estuary in Essex, and gave her famous “Tilbury Speech”.

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  • The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 6 – The Tudors Land at Mill Bay in Pembrokeshire by Tony Riches

    After following the long exile of Jasper and Henry Tudor in Brittany, I have now returned to Pembrokeshire in West Wales. The Tudors had made an unsuccessful attempt to invade England in 1483 but learned from this near disaster. On Monday 1st of August, 1485 they sailed again from the mouth of the Seine with their mercenary army of some four thousand men to challenge King Richard III for the crown.

    It seems the sea voyage led by the Poulian De Dieppe, flagship of their capable captain, Guillaume de Casenove, was uneventful and had the benefit of favourable winds. They made landfall at Mill Bay, a secluded, pebble-strewn beach in the far west of Wales just before sunset on Sunday 7th August. It is reported that, on going ashore, Henry Tudor kissed the ground and recited a Psalm in Latin. Some accounts suggest it was Psalm 23, but the consensus was Psalm 46: ‘Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.’

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  • The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 5 – Jasper Tudor at Château Josselin, Brittany by Tony Riches

    In this series, I have followed Jasper Tudor and his nephew Henry’s escape from Tenby in Wales to their long exile in Brittany. Young Henry Tudor found himself deep in the forest at the remote Forteresse de Largoët, outside of the Breton town of Elven. He would have missed the company of his uncle Jasper, who was now in a far grander place, the Château de Josselin.

    Originating from the year 1008, the château overlooking the River Oust has changed many times over the centuries. Olivier de Clisson, Constable of France, became Lord of Josselin in 1370 and rebuilt the fortress with eight high towers and married his daughter Beatrice to Viscount Alain de Rohan. During the religious wars of the seventeenth century, Duke Henri de Rohan commanded the Calvinists and his château was sacked by Cardinal de Richelieu. Only four of the original towers remain today, but the château is still home to the fourteenth Duke Josselin de Rohan.

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  • 8 August 1588 – Elizabeth I visits Tilbury

    Even though the remaining ships of the Spanish Armada were homeward bound following the defeat of the fleet at the Battle of Gravelines and their subsequent scattering by strong winds, England was still expecting to be threatened by the troops of the Duke of Parma who could come across the English Channel as soon as the wind was favourable.

    On 8th August 1588, Queen Elizabeth I decided to accept Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester’s invitation and visit the troops he had gathered near Tilbury Fort. Leicester had written a letter of invitation to the Queen on the 27th July in an attempt to stop her recklessly riding to the south coast to meet Parma’s troops. He wrote of how she could visit Tilbury and bring comfort to the troops. Against the advice of her Council, who wanted her to remain in the safety of London, Elizabeth travelled from St James’s Palace to Tilbury by state barge on the 8th August.

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  • This week in history 8 – 14 August

    On this day in history events in the Tudor period for the week 8-14 August.

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  • 7 August 1485 – Henry Tudor lands at Mill Bay

    On this day in history, 7th August 1485, Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII, dropped anchor at Mill Bay, near Milford Haven, Wales. When he reached the beach, it is said that he prayed “Judge me, O Lord, and favour my cause.”

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