The Tudor Society
  • Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who’s the Most Renaissance of Them All? Part IV: Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

    This is Part III of a four-part series, which seeks to look at what were considered the attributes of a Renaissance prince, and who of our four princes embodied the ideals of the Renaissance best. What were some of those themes? The idea of a Renaissance man stood for a person who strove to embrace knowledge and develop himself. This included concepts such as the arts, knowledge, physical achievements, and social ideals. More plainly and for a prince, this could include cultivating a court known for patronising artists, musicians, and the like; establishing educational institutions, a good degree of physical fortitude, and things such as chivalric love or engaging in acts of charity.

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  • 31 January 1510 – Queen Catherine of Aragon gives birth to a stillborn daughter

    On this day in history, 31st January 1510, Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII, gave birth to a stillborn daughter. It was her first pregnancy and she had been married to Henry for just over 7 months.

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  • 30 January 1554 – Wyatt and his rebels besiege Cooling Castle

    On the 30th January 1554, Thomas Wyatt the Younger, son of poet and diplomat Sir Thomas Wyatt, and his fellow rebels besieged Cooling Castle, near Rochester in Kent.

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  • This week in history 30 January – 5 February

    On this day in history, 30th January:

    1520 – Birth of Sir William More, member of Parliament, Protestant and son of Sir Christopher More, a powerful administrator in Henry VII’s reign. More served Elizabeth I as Constable of Farnham Castle, Treasurer of the Lottery, Commissioner for Ecclesiastical Causes, Collector of the Loan, Chamberlain of the Exchequer, Master of Swans and Deputy Custos Rotulorum. He was also a commissioner on various commissions of oyer and terminer during her reign.
    1531 – Death of Sir Robert Brudenell, Judge. He served Henry VII as King’s Serjeant and Henry VIII as Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. He was buried at Deene church, Northamptonshire.
    1554 – Rebel Thomas Wyatt the Younger and his men besieged Cooling Castle, owned by George Brooke, 9th Baron Cobham. Cobham claimed that he had fought valiantly against the rebels for seven hours before surrendering to them, but his biographer points out that his resistance was most probably a “pretence”.
    1593 – Ippolito Aldobrandini was elected as Pope Clement VIII.
    1606 – Execution of Robert Winter and three of his fellow conspirators, at St Paul’s. He was hanged, drawn and quartered for his part in the Gunpowder Plot. His brother, Thomas, was executed the next day.

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  • Seymour Family Quiz

    How much do you know about this famous Tudor family? Test yourself with this fun quiz by Rebecca Larson.

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  • February 2017 Tudor Life Magazine

    Here’s the full edition of our full-colour 74-page February edition of Tudor Life Magazine. The theme this month is “16th Century Europe”.

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  • 28 January – Henry VII, Henry VIII and Edward VI

    This day in history involves Henry VII, Henry VIII and Edward VI; grandfather, father and son. For it was on this day in 1457 that Henry VII was born, this day in 1547 that Henry VIII died, and this day in 1547 that Edward VI became king. What a day in history.

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  • The Reputation of Mary Boleyn

    In this week’s video, Sarah Bryson, author of Mary Boleyn: In a Nutshell considers the reputation of Mary Boleyn, sister of Anne Boleyn and a woman who is surrounded by myth and scandal.

    Why does Mary have the reputation she does and what is it based on?

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  • Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham

    Portrait of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, aged 42

    Hello, and welcome to my new series “The King’s Men”. Each month I will be writing an article exploring the life of one man that served Henry VIII. Some of these men had prosperous careers, reaching wondrous heights at court and exerting great influence under the King. Other men reached to high and met their end under orders of Henry VIII. However, each man left their imprint on Henry’s court and history, and it is the lives of these men that I will be exploring each month.

    This month I will be looking at the life of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham.

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  • London Charterhouse Museum opens on 27 January

    You may remember that back in September 2016 I visited London Charterhouse, former home of the Carthusian martyrs of Henry VIII’s reign and then of Baron North in Elizabeth I’s reign. I did a Claire Chat’s video on it the property and its history, and then shared some photos with you…

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  • 25 January – The Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

    This feast day celebrates the conversion of St Paul (formerly Saul) on the road to Damascus. The story of the conversion of Saul, a man known for his persecution of Christians, is found in the Bible in Acts 9:

    “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

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  • Anne Boleyn and the Famine of 1527

    hank you to regular contributor Heather R. Darsie for this article on the famine of 1527 and how the common people may have seen it.

    In the Tudor period, life was very much governed by the church, and people in England generally, at least outwardly, were religious and God-fearing. Witchcraft was thought to exist, and God could express his pleasure or displeasure, or otherwise send signs through any number of mediums. Did God try to warn Henry VIII, or even Anne Boleyn, that their courtship was ultimately doomed? By 1527, it was no secret that Henry VIII harboured an affection for Anne Boleyn. In May of that year, Henry was explaining to Cardinal Wolsey why he felt he was living in sin by having married his deceased brother’s wife. Cardinal Wolsey had been made legatus a legere, putting him in the position of the most powerful religious figure in England. Henry relied on a passage from the Christian bible, namely Leviticus 20:21, which states, “And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.” Henry, of course, had his daughter Mary with Catherine, but no male heir and several stillbirths or infants who only lived for a few weeks. But this was not enough to ensure the Tudor dynasty.

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  • This week in history 23 – 29 January

    A miniature of Francis Drake by Nicholas Hilliard

    On this day in history, 23rd January…

    1516 – Death of Ferdinand II of Aragon in Madrigalejo, Extremadura. He was laid to rest in la Capilla Real, the Royal Chapel of Granada. Ferdinand was the husband of Isabella I of Castile and the father of Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s first wife. Ferdinand was succeeded by his daughter, Juana (Joanna), who ruled jointly with her son, Charles, who became King Charles I of Spain.
    1540 – Birth of Thomas Egerton, 1st Viscount Brackley and Lord Chancellor to James I. Egerton was the illegitimate son of Sir Richard Egerton, a landowner from Cheshire, by a servant girl.
    1552 – Parliament met to discuss the revision of the 1549 “Book of Common Prayer”.

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  • Ten of the Best Henry VIII Locations to Visit with Children in 2017 and a Book Giveaway!

    A big welcome to historian Amy Licence who is joining us today to kick off her book tour for her children’s book All About Henry VIII. It’s a wonderful book, as are the others in the series, and you can enter the giveaway to win a copy of this book by leaving a comment before midnight on 27th January 2017. Simply comment below this post saying which historical place linked to Henry VIII you’d like to visit and why. One comment will be picked at random and the winner contacted.

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  • Transcript of our live chat with Riognach

    Here is the transcript of our live chat with Riognach, all about Tudor spices!

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  • Elizabeth I Quiz

    How much do you know about Elizabeth I, Gloriana, the Virgin Queen, Good Queen Bess? Test your knowledge with this fun quiz. Good luck!

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  • 22 January 1554 – The conspirators of Wyatt’s Rebellion meet

    On 22nd January 1554, Thomas Wyatt the Younger met with fellow conspirators at his home of Allington Castle in Kent to make final plans for their uprising against Mary I and her decision to marry Philip of Spain.

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  • The Little Ice Age and Frost Fairs

    In this week’s video, Claire talks about the Little Ice Age and the Frost Fairs that were enjoyed on the frozen River Thames.

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  • 18 January 1486 – The marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York

    On this day in history, 18th January 1486, the twenty-nine-year-old Henry VII married the twenty-year-old Elizabeth of York.

    They made a striking couple. Elizabeth of York had classic English Rose looks – blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin – and Henry was tall, slim, dark haired and handsome. They were the perfect couple, and their marriage brought hope to the country. It reconciled the warring Houses of Lancaster and York, and began a new royal house and era: the Tudor dynasty.

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  • This week in history 16 – 22 January

    On this day in history, 16th January…

    1486 – The Bishop of Imola, the papal legate, authorised the marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, which was due to take place on 18th January.
    1501 – Birth of Sir Anthony Denny, courtier and close friend of Henry VIII, at Cheshunt. He was the second son of Sir Edmund Denny and his wife, Mary.
    1549 – Thomas Seymour was alleged to have broken into Edward VI’s apartments at Hampton Court Palace to kidnap the young King. Click here to read more about this incident.
    1558 – Death of Thomas Alsop, Chief Apothecary to Henry VIII and Serjeant of the Royal ‘Confectionary’ to Edward VI. He was buried in St Mary Woolchurch.

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  • 15 January 1559 – Elizabeth I’s coronation

    On 15th January 1559, a date chosen by her astrologer Dr John Dee, a triumphant Elizabeth Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, processed from Westminster Hall into Westminster Abbey to be crowned queen. She was just twenty-five years old, was the third child of Henry VIII to become monarch, and was the longest reigning of them, ruling England for over 44 years.

    Elizabeth’s coronation day began in Westminster Hall, which had been decorated with her father’s sumptuous tapestries and his collection of gold and gilt plate. Blue cloth had been laid from the Hall to the Abbey, and Elizabeth, wearing her crimson parliament robes, processed along this cloth, which was then torn to shreds by people as souvenirs.

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  • Tudor History Quiz

    Get those little grey cells working with this fun Tudor history quiz – good luck!

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  • 14 January 1559 – Queen Elizabeth I’s coronation procession

    On 14th January 1559, the eve of her coronation, Queen Elizabeth I processed from the Tower of London to Westminster in a cloth of gold covered litter carried by two mules.

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  • Tattershall Castle

    Sarah Bryson talks about her time visiting Tattershall Castle, and the wonderful history of the site. Her highlight? The 20 mile view from the top of the Tudor tower.

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  • 1510 – Henry VIII’s first joust as king

    On 12th January 1510, eighteen-year-old Henry VIII jousted for the first time as king at a private joust at Richmond Park. He’d become king following the death of his father, Henry VII, on 21st April 1509.

    Henry and his good friend William Compton attended the joust on 12th January in disguise, but this led to panic when one of the disguised knights was seriously injured in the joust and a man who knew that the king was taking part cried out “God save the king!”

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  • Francesco Mazzuoli, “Parmigianino”

    Thank you to regular contributor Heather R. Darsie for writing this piece on Francesco Mazzuoli (Parmigiano) who was born on this day in history.

    On this day of 11 January 1504, Francesco Mazzuoli was born in Parma, a part of the Lombard region. Mazzuoli lost his father at a tender age and was thereafter raised by his paternal uncles, who were both themselves painters. His uncles were caring individuals who sought to ensure as proper an education as possible for the young Mazzuoli. It became clear when he was rather young that Mazzuoli possessed an artistic eye and hands that followed, as he began drawing when he should have been learning to write. Recognising this talent, Mazzuoli’s uncles sought out the best masters they could to instruct Mazzuoli in the art of painting.

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  • Bacton Altar Cloth to go on display

    A few months ago I highlighted the news about the Bacton Altar Cloth, which is believed to have been cut from a gown once worn by Queen Elizabeth I. Well, it’s been back in the news because experts have concluded that “all the evidence points to it having once been a skirt worn by the Tudor queen, making it the only known survivor of her famously lavish wardrobe”. It is thought that it could be the skirt that matches the bodice worn by Elizabeth I in the Rainbow Portrait.

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  • Anne of Brittany and the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis

    On 9th January 1514, Anne of Brittany, queen consort of King Louis XII of France, died at the Chateau of Blois. She left her husband, who went on to marry Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, later that year, and two daughters: Claude, Queen of France, and Renée, Duchess of Ferrara. She was buried in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis, just outside Paris, and was joined there by Louis after his death on 1st January 1515.

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  • This week in history 9 – 15 January

    On this day in history, 9th January…

    1514 – Anne of Brittany, wife of Louis XII of France, died at the Chateau of Blois. She was buried in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis.
    1522 – Adriaan Florenszoon Boeyens was elected as Pope, becoming Pope Adrian VI.
    1554 – Birth of Pope Gregory XV, born as Alessandro Ludovisi, in Bologna, Italy.
    1539 – Executions of Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu, and Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter, on Tower Hill. They were found guilty of high treason in December 1538 for denying the King’s supremacy, desiring the King’s death and favouring and promoting Cardinal Reginald Pole, Montagu’s brother, “in his traitorous proceedings”.

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  • Tudor Women Quiz

    Grab a coffee and enjoy a five-minute break while testing your Tudor knowledge with this fun quiz – good luck!

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