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The Tudor Society
  • The Spanish Armada Quiz 2

    I hope you enjoyed the first part of our Spanish Armada quiz last week. Here’s the second part. Good luck!

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  • The Battle of Clyst Heath

    On this day in history, 6th August 1549, the Battle of Clyst Heath took place between the West Country rebels of the Prayer Book Rebellion and King Edward VI’s forces.

    Upon hearing of the news of the massacre of around 900 rebels the previous day, two thousand rebels made their way to Clyst Heath where the Lords Russell and Grey were camped, and opened fire. The battle lasted all day, but the rebels were defeated in the end.

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  • Claire Needs Your Help!

    In today’s Claire Chats video, Claire explains what she does on a daily basis and also asks for your help and feedback.

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  • Battle of Clyst St Mary

    The Battle of Clyst St Mary, which was a battle fought during the Prayer Book Rebellion, took place on 5th August 1549 at the village of Clyst St Mary, 3 miles east of Exeter in Devon.

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  • The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 4 – Henry Tudor at Forteresse de Largoët by Tony Riches

    Earlier in this series, I traced the journey of Jasper Tudor and his young nephew Henry’s escape from West Wales and their arrival in Brittany. The Tudors were welcomed to Vannes as guests of the powerful Duke Francis of Brittany before moving to the more remote Château de Suscinio for their own safety. The increased threat of abduction by York’s agents finally convinced Duke Francis to reduce the risk by moving them to separate locations inland.

    Fourteen-year-old Henry was relocated to the Forteresse de Largoët, deep in the forest outside of the sleepy town of Elven. His custodian, Marshall of Brittany, Jean IV, Lord of Rieux and Rochefort, had two sons of a similar age to Henry, and it is thought they continued their education together. Henry was however prevented from communicating with his mother in England or his uncle Jasper Tudor, who now resided in a château elsewhere in Brittany.

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  • Battle of Woodbury Common

    The Battle of Woodbury Common, part of the Prayer Book Rebellion, took place on 4th August 1549 on Woodbury Common, near the village of Woodbury in East Devon. The battle took place at 4am and happened when the rebels, who had been defending Clyst St Mary, marched to Woodbury Mill where Lord Russell and his troops had camped for the night. The rebels were defeated.

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  • The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 3 – Exiled at Château de Suscinio, Brittany, by Tony Riches

    In the first two parts of this series, I followed Jasper Tudor and his fourteen-year-old nephew Henry’s escape from Tenby in Wales and their arrival in Brittany. The Tudors are recorded as spending a year in Vannes as guests of Duke Francis of Brittany but, in October 1472, the duke became concerned they might be abducted by York’s agents. They were moved to his remote ‘hunting lodge’ by the sea, south of Vannes, the Château de Suscinio.

    The Tudors’ new home had been fortified in the fourteenth century by Breton knight Bertrand du Guesclin, nicknamed ‘The Eagle of Brittany’, a military commander during the Hundred Years’ War. As well as building the seigniorial residence block and a corner tower known as the Tour Neuve, the moat was deepened and a raising drawbridge added, together with casemates to house artillery. By the time the Tudors arrived, the original thirteenth century château resembled a castle of generous proportions.

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  • The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 2 – Exiled at Château de l’Hermine, Brittany, by Tony Riches

    In the first part of this series, I followed Jasper Tudor and his young nephew Henry’s escape from Tenby in West Wales. There are tales of storms and of them being forced to shelter in the lee of the island of Jersey before they were able to make landfall at the Breton fishing port of Le Conquet in September 1471.

    Jasper and Henry sought sanctuary from Duke Francis of Brittany and became his guests at the ducal palace, the Château de l’Hermine in Vannes. Duke Francis was a skilled politician, so would have appreciated the political value of the exiled Tudors to King Edward IV of England, as well as to his rival King Louis of France, to whom they were related through the Valois family of Jasper’s mother, Henry’s grandmother, Queen Catherine.

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  • The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 1 by Tony Riches

    Henry Tudor’s return from exile to victory at Bosworth has to be one of the greatest moments in the history of the Tudor dynasty. So why is the Bosworth story so often told from the perspective of Richard III, with Henry depicted as lucky to have won?

    I was born within sight of Pembroke Castle and have always been intrigued by the small room where the thirteen-year-old Lady Margaret Beaufort gave birth to the future king, Henry Tudor. I’ve also stood on the remote beach at Mill Bay near Milford Haven imagining how Henry would have felt as he approached with his uncle Jasper and his mercenary army.

    All I knew about Jasper’s father, Henry’s grandfather, Owen Tudor, was that he’d been a Welsh servant who somehow married the young widow of King Henry V, Queen Catherine of Valois. Inspired to write a historical fiction trilogy about them, I wanted to research their stories in as much detail as possible and to sort out the many myths from the facts.

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  • Battle of Cornwall

    On 2nd August 1595, as part of the Anglo-Spanish War of 1585-1604, four galleys containing somewhere between 200 and 400 Spanish soldiers landed at Mount’s Bay on the coast of western Cornwall. The fleet was commanded by Captain Carlos de Amésquita and it had left Port Louis, Brittany, France, on 26th July to raid the south-west of England.

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  • The representation of queenship in funeral and burial traditions

    We can learn a lot about history from the way people were buried. Lauren Browne examines the representation of queenship in funeral and burial traditions in this brand new exclusive Tudor Society expert talk.

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  • 2 August 1588 – The Spanish Armada is homeward bound

    By the first week of August 1588, the battered, defeated and demoralised Spanish Armada had started the first part of its long journey back home to Spain.

    The Battle of Gravelines had seen England victorious, and between that and the awful weather Spain had lost five of its main ships and had suffered major damage to many others. Ammunition was pretty much non-existent and food rations were low. All the Spanish commander, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, could do was to try and salvage what was left of his fleet and men and get them home to safety. The English fleet, led by Lord Howard, pursued the Spanish ships as far north as the mouth of the Tyne but gave up on the 2nd August and turned back, dropping anchor at ports such as Harwich and Margate.

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  • This week in history 1 – 7 August

    1 August

    EdwKelley1534 – Germain Gardiner wrote a tract against reformer and martyr John Frith entitled “A letter of a yonge gentylman named mayster German Gardynare, wherein men may se the demeanour and heresy of John Fryth late burned”.
    1545 – Birth of Andrew Melville, Scottish theologian and Principal of St Mary's College, St Andrews University, at Baldovy, Angus.
    1555 - Apothecary, alchemist and medium Sir Edward Kelley was born on this day in 1555 in Worcester. Click here to read about Kelley.
    1556 – Burning of Joan Waste, a blind woman, in Derby for heresy after she refused to recant her Protestant faith.
    1596 – Death of John Astley (Ashley), courtier, probably at Maidstone in Kent. He was buried there at All Saints' Church. Astley served Elizabeth I as a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, Master of the Jewel House and Treasurer of the Queen's Jewels and Plate. He was also married to Katherine Astley (née Champernowne), Elizabeth I's former governess and Chief Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber.
    1605 – Death of Sir Edmund Anderson, Judge and Chief Justice in Elizabeth I's reign, in London. He was buried in the parish church at Eyworth.

    2 August

    Edward Stafford

    Edward Stafford

    1514 – Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, was granted a licence to found a college at Thornbury.
    1521 – Cardinal Wolsey arrived in Calais to act as peacemaker and preside over a conference aiming to put an end to the fighting between France and the Empire.
    1553 – Elizabeth greeted her half-sister, the newly proclaimed Queen Mary I, in London.
    1555 – Burning of James Abbes, Protestant martyr, in Bury for heresy.
    1556 – Death of George Day, Bishop of Chichester. He was buried in Chichester Cathedral.
    1581 – Burning of Richard Atkins, Protestant martyr, before St Peter's in Rome. It is said that as he was taken to St Peter's, his back and breast were burned by men holding torches, and that his right hand was then cut off and his legs burned first to prolong his suffering.
    1589 – Death of Henry III of France after being stabbed in the abdomen by Jacques Clément, a fanatical Dominican friar, the day before. He was buried at the Basilica of Saint-Denis.
    1595 – The Battle of Cornwall. Spanish forces landed at Mount's Bay and the English militia fled, allowing the Spanish troops to move on and burn Penzance, Mousehole, Paul and Newlyn. Click here to read more.
    1596 – Burial of Thomas Whithorne, composer and autobiographer, at St Mary Abchurch, London. Whithorne was Chapel Master to Archbishop Matthew Parker.
    1601 – Death of George Eyste, author, town lecturer, preacher and Vicar. He died in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, and was buried in his church, the Church of St Mary.
    1605 – Death of Vice Admiral Sir Richard Leveson in the Strand, London. He was buried in St Peter's Church, Wolverhampton.

    3 August

    John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford

    John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford

    1528 – Death of Hugh Inge, Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, from sweating sickness in Dublin. He was buried in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.
    1548 – Birth of Sir Robert Houghton, judge, Treasurer (1599) and Sergeant-at-Law (1603), in Gunthorpe, Norfolk.
    1549 – Lord Russell marched his 1000 men from Honiton to Woodbury and set up camp for the night. He was heading towards Clyst St Mary and the rebels of the Prayer Book Rebellion.
    1553 - Mary, who had just been proclaimed Queen Mary I, rode with her half-sister, Elizabeth, from Wanstead to Aldgate to be greeted by the city as its new Queen.
    1557 - The body of forty-one year-old Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII, was processed from her home, Chelsea Old Manor, where she had died on 16th July, to Westminster Abbey for burial.
    1558 – Burial of Thomas Alleyne, clergyman and benefactor, at St Nicholas Parish Church, Stevenage. Alleyne was known for his support of education, through his financing of schoolmasters and the free tuition he arranged for boys.
    1562 – Death of John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford, leading magnate in Essex and notorious rake, at Hedingham Castle in Essex.

    4 August

    William Cecil

    William Cecil

    1540 - Brother William Horne, laybrother of the London Charterhouse was hanged, disembowelled and quartered at Tyburn. He was the last of the Carthusian martyrs to be killed after eighteen members of the Carthusian order of monks based at the London Charterhouse were condemned to death in 1535 for refusing to accept King Henry VIII as the Supreme Head of the Church.
    1549 – The Battle of Woodbury Common, part of the Prayer Book Rebellion. The battle took place at 4am and happened when the rebels, who had been defending Clyst St Mary, marched to Woodbury Mill where Lord Russell and his troops had camped for the night. The rebels were defeated. Click here to read more.
    1557 – Burial of Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII, at Westminster Abbey.
    1560 – Baptism of Sir John Harington, courtier, translator and author, in the church of All Hallows, London Wall. His godparents were Elizabeth I and William Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke. In his “New Discourse of a Stale Subject, called the Metamorphosis of Ajax” (1596), Harington outlined his design for a flush toilet – a privy with a cistern and flush valve. The Ajax, as it was called, was eventually installed at Richmond Palace. See Sir John Harington's Flush Toilet.
    1566 – Death of Sir Martin Bowes, goldsmith, politician, Lord Mayor of London and Under- Treasurer of the Royal Mint in the Tower of London. He was buried at St Mary Woolnoth, Lombard Street, London.
    1578 – Death of soldier Thomas Stucley at the Battle of Alcazar. Stucley was fighting against the Moors, with King Sebastian of Portugal, when his legs were blown off by a cannon shot.
    1598 - William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, died at his home in London aged seventy-six. He was laid to rest at St Martin's Church, Stamford, in his home county of Lincolnshire.
    1612 – Death of Hugh Broughton, scholar, theologian and Hebraist, in Cheapside, London. He was buried at St Antholin's Church. Broughton spent the last twenty years of his life petitioning for a new translation of the Bible. His works included “A Concent of Scripture” (1588), “An Epistle to the learned Nobilitie of England, touching translating the Bible from the Original” (1597) and “An Advertisement of Corruption in our Handling of Religion” (1604).

    5 August

    1503 – Death of Sir Reynold (Reginald) Bray, administrator in the reign of Henry VII. He served the King as Chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, Treasurer of England and Treasurer for war. Some say that he was an architect and designed Henry VII's Chapel in Westminster Abbey, St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, where he is buried, and Great Malvern Priory. He definitely funded their building.
    1532 – Death of Sir Nicholas Harvey, diplomat, at Ampthill, Bedfordshire. He was buried in Ampthill Church where his memorial brass can still be seen.
    1549 – The Battle of Clyst St Mary during the Prayer Book Rebellion. The Devonian and Cornish rebels were defeated by Lord Russell's troops, and around 900 prisoners were massacred later that day on Clyst Heath. Click here to read more.
    1551(5th or 6th August) – Death of Henry Holbeach, Bishop of Lincoln, at Nettleham.
    1600 – Deaths of John Ruthven, 3rd Earl of Gowrie, and his brother, Alexander Ruthven, Master of Ruthven, at Gowrie House near Perth. The brothers were killed as they tried to kidnap James VI. They were posthumously found guilty of treason on 15th November 1600 and their bodies hanged, drawn and quartered in Edinburgh.
    1601 – Burial of Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norris of Rycote, courtier, diplomat and son of Sir Henry Norris, one of the men executed for alleged adultery with Queen Anne Boleyn. Norris was buried at the chapel at Rycote in Oxfordshire.

    6 August

    Matthew Parker

    Matthew Parker

    1504 – Birth of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the parish of St Saviour, Norwich. Parker was the son of worsted weaver William Parker and his wife Alice Monings [Monins] from Kent.
    1514 – Marriage of Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII and widow of James IV of Scotland, and Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, at Kinnoull in Perthshire.
    1549 – Battle of Clyst Heath during the Prayer Book Rebellion. Click here to read more.
    1623 – Death of Anne Hathaway, wife of William Shakespeare. Anne was buried next to her husband in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon.

    7 August

    Sir Robert Dudley

    Sir Robert Dudley

    1485 – Henry Tudor (future Henry VII) dropped anchor at Mill Bay, Milford Haven, Wales. When he reached the beach, it is said that he prayed “Judge me, O Lord, and favour my cause.”. He had returned from exile to claim the crown of England.1514 – Peace treaty signed between England and France, arranging the marriage of the widowed fifty-two year old Louis XII of France and the eighteen year-old Princess Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII.
    1541 – Death of Sir Richard Weston, courtier and father of Sir Francis Weston who was executed in 1536 for alleged adultery with Queen Anne Boleyn. Richard served Henry VII as Groom of the Chamber and Henry VIII as an Esquire of the Body, Governor of Guernsey and treasurer of Calais. He was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Guildford.
    1549 – The five year-old Mary, Queen of Scots set sail from Dumbarton, Scotland, for France. A marriage had been agreed between Mary and Francis, the Dauphin, so Mary was going to be brought up at the French court. Mary arrived at Saint-Pol-de-Léon, near Roscoff in Brittany, just over a week later.
    1574 - Sir Robert Dudley, mariner, cartographer and landowner, was born on this day in 1574 at Sheen House, Richmond. He was the illegitimate son of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and favourite of Elizabeth I, and his lover Lady Douglas Sheffield, daughter of William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham, and widow of John Sheffield, 2nd Baron Sheffield.
    1600 – Burial of Sir Thomas Lucy in the parish church at Charlecote, Warwickshire. Lucy was a magistrate and member of Parliament, but is best known for his links with William Shakespeare. Tradition has it that Shakespeare wrote a satirical ballad about Lucy, or he made a caricature of him in the character of Judge Shallow, as revenge after he was judged too harshly for poaching on Lucy's estate, Charlecote Park. There is no evidence to support this story.
    1613 – Death of Sir Thomas Fleming, Solicitor-General to Elizabeth I and James I, at Stoneham Park. He also served James I as Chief Justice of the King's Bench. He was buried at North Stoneham Church.