• 30 April 1532 – The burning of James Bainham, Protestant martyr

    On this day in history, 30th April 1532, in the reign of King Henry VIII, lawyer James Bainham was burned at Smithfield.

    Bainham was married to the widow of reformer Simon Fish, a man who had also been charged with heresy…

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  • This week’s quiz

    This week’s quiz is a general Tudor history quiz and is the perfect way to start your Sunday. Good luck and have fun!

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  • Wimpole History Festival 7-9 July 2017

    Thank you to Teri Fitzgerald for letting me know about this history festival which is taking place from 7th to 9th July 2017 on the Wimpole Estate near Cambridge, in the UK, and has been organised by the Cambridge Literary Festival and the National Trust.

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  • Tudor dogs

    In this week’s Claire Chats, Claire talks about the breeds and categories of dogs that were common in Tudor times.

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  • 28 April 1603 – The funeral of Queen Elizabeth I

    On 28th April 1603, Queen Elizabeth I’s funeral took place in London.

    After her death on 24th March 1603, the body of Queen Elizabeth I was placed inside a lead coffin and carried by night in a torchlit barge along the Thames from Richmond Palace to Whitehall.

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  • May 2017 Tudor Life Taster

    The focus of the May edition of Tudor Life is … DEATH. Why not have a read through this online taster then join up…

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  • May 2017 Tudor Life Magazine

    Here’s the full edition of our giant 90-page May edition of Tudor Life Magazine. It’s a macabre subject this month … DEATH.

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  • St Mark’s Day

    25th April is the feast day of St Mark the Evangelist, one of the apostles and the man said to have written the Gospel of Mark. He is known as the founder of Christianity in Alexandria, where a church was founded in his name, and as the founder of the Coptic Orthodox Church. As a result of his Christian work in Alexandria and his attacks on the worship of idols, at Easter 68AD he was dragged through the city by a rope around his neck before being imprisoned, where he is said to have had visions assuring him of eternal life. The next day he was dragged until his head parted from his body. Some say he was tied to a horse’s tail.

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  • A Mask of Almains, Pilgrims and Irishmen for Mary I and Philip of Spain

    Mary I and Philip of Spain

    On this day in history, 25th April 1557, St Mark's Day, "A Masque of Almains, Pilgrims and Irishmen" was performed in front of Queen Mary I and Philip of Spain at Whitehall. In Documents relating to the revels at court in the time of King Edward VI and Queen Mary Albert Feuillerat points out that this masque was to mark King Philip's second visit to England, which lasted from 18th March 1557 to 3rd July 1557.

    Here's the warrant for the masque from the Office of Revels:

    Mary the quene.

    Trustie and welbeloved we grete you well And whereas our welbeloved Sir Thomas Cawerden knight Master of our Revells Tryumphes and Maskes upon our speciall comaundement to him signified by our vizchamberlain dothe shewe and set forthe on Saint Markes daye next cominge to our Regall disport recreacion and comfort a notorious maske of Almaynes pilgrymes and Irishemen with their insidents and accomplishes accordingly And dothe for that purpose lack certayne silks to his fantasie for the better furniture and garnishinge thereof: our pleasure is furthwt. upon the recept of theis our lettres ye delyver or cause to be delyvered more for the same of suche our stuffe remayninge in your charge and custodie theis parcells underwritten vidz of Redde velvett twenty fyve yds / of Carnacion velvet fieftene yds / of purple gold sarcenet nyne yds di di qr . / of yellow sarcenet twenty six yds di di qr. of Redde sarcenet fortye nyne yds di / of whight sarcenet thirtie three yds di di qr . / and of clothe of silver with workes fower yds / And his hand testifeng the recept of theis parcells before written with this our warrant signed shalbe to you a sufficient discharge in that behalfe / Yeoven under our signet at our palayce of Westminster . the last of Aprill in the thirde and fourthe yeres of our Reignes /"

    Feuillerat explains "The warrant is also dated April 30, and the masque was shown on April 25, five days before the stuff was officially received by the Revels, but this was not. an uncommon proceeding."

    Feillerat goes on to say that there is a description of the garments made in this fabric in Documents Relating to the Office of the Revels in the Time of Queen Elizabeth and gives a reference so I looked it up and found that the red and carnation velvets were "Imployed into viij paire of Sloppes for Allmaynes .3. into the lyninge of viij paire of Sleves and viij plackardes of the same Maske and the welting and Tagging therof 10/ wherof the hosen were translated into torchbearers to the Swarte Rutters and againe the ffissher men and there reste." The "cloth of silver with workes" was used to make "vj Bagges for Pallmers [pilgrims]", the purple gold sarcenet for girldes for the "Pallmers", the yellow sarcenet "imployed into "x of the Irisshe mens Shertes whiche were torchebearers to Allmaynes and pallmers", the red sarcenet "Imployed into the furniture of iiij drommes and fifes & twoo bagge pipes for the mask of Allmaynes polymers and Irisshmen", and the white sarcenet for "in pullinges oute tuftynges tyringes gyrdles garters and garnisshinge of head peces of the said Maske of Allmaynes Pallmers and Irisshe men...".

    Another reference he gives describes the outfits of the "Almanes":

    "vj Jerkyns of owlde clothe of gowlde with six payre of greate Ruff sleves of redd crimmesem and Carnacion velvet iagged and cutt lyned with yellowe sarsnett frenged with small silver freng.

    vj payere of Sloppes of lyke velvett lykewyse pulled owte iagged and Cutt.

    vj payere of nether stockes of redd Clothe.

    vj rounde hedpeces of owlde Clothe of tyssue with rowles of bace fethers."

    It gives you some idea of how these Germans, pilgrims and Irishmen were dressed.

    You can find out about other court revels and court masques of the Tudor period in my Claire Chats videos:

    Notes and Sources

  • Thomas Vaux, 2nd Baron Vaux

    On this day in history, 25th April 1509, the poet Thomas Vaux, 2nd Baron Vaux, was born. He was a son of courtier and soldier Nicholas Vaux, 1st Baron Vaux of Harrowden, and his wife Anne Green.

    Thomas Vaux was just fourteen when he married Elizabeth Cheyne, daughter of Sir Thomas Cheyne and Anne Parr, in 1523. The couple went on to have four children, two sons and two daughters.

    Nothing is known of his early life and education, but in 1527 he went to France as part of Cardinal Wolsey’s retinue, in 1529 he sat in Parliament and in 1532 he was part of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s party when they travelled to Calais to meet Francis I. He was created a Knight of the Bath as part of the celebrations for Anne Boleyn’s coronation in 1533 and he held the office of Governor of Jersey from January to August 1536. His Oxford Dictionary of National Biography biographer, H. R. Woudhuysen, notes that he appears to have retired to his estates in Northamptonshire after this, probably because of his Catholic views.

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