The Tudor Society
  • Corpus Christi Plays

    In today’s Claire Chats video, Claire talks about the cycles of mystery plays which were performed on the feast day of Corpus Christ in the medieval and Tudor periods.

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  • Did Henry VIII ever intend that Mary should be queen?

    Thank you to Lisa for asking this question. Here is an answer from Conor Byrne…

    I think until 1527 Henry VIII may have tentatively regarded his daughter Mary as his heir. Obviously, it’s impossible for us to say, but he did appoint her with a council in Wales and she had the same authority and rights that the Prince of Wales traditionally enjoyed, although she was never formally appointed Princess of Wales.

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  • Corpus Christi

    Today is Corpus Christi, one of summer’s moveable feasts. In medieval and Tudor times, it was an important feast day and was celebrated on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday, and so was just over 8 weeks after Easter.

    Corpus Christi is Latin for “Christ’s body” and was a celebration of the body and blood of Jesus Christ and the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the miracle of transubstantiation. It was celebrated as a feast day from 1311 until 1548, in Edward VI’s reign, when the English Reformation caused it to be abolished.

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  • Sir Henry Knyvet’s “Defence of the Realm”

    Today is the anniversary of the death of Sir Henry Knyvet (Knyvett), on 14th January 1598, at Charlton in Wiltshire. He was buried in the church at Charlton in July 1598. Knyvet was a Gentleman Pensioner to Elizabeth I, a Justice of the Peace, Sheriff, Deputy Lieutenant, member of Parliament and soldier. He was knighted following his loyal and courageous service fighting the Spanish off the coast of Calais.

    In 1596, Knyvet wrote “Defence of the Realm”, full name “A breefe treatis or rather a project of a course to be taken for the defence of this realme against all forraine invasion and for the necessarie service of the same in all other actions of warre”. He dated it 19th April 1596 and had it bound in red velvet for presentation to Queen Elizabeth I.

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  • New – Ask the expert

    Thank you to author Janet Wertman for coming up with this idea.

    The Tudor Society is all about bringing Tudor history experts and Tudor history lovers together, and what better way of doing that than for our members to be asking our experts questions?

    Have you got a burning Tudor or medieval themed question you need answered? Is there something that’s been niggling you for a while? Something you’ve always wanted to know?

    Well, simply fill in the contact form here, or on our Ask the Expert page, and we’ll forward your question to an expert on that topic to get it answered for you. We’ll then share the question and the article here on the Tudor Society as an article so that other members can benefit too.

    So get thinking!

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  • Mary Boleyn

    Mary Boleyn was probably the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn and Elizabeth Howard. She was most likely born at Blicking Hall, Norfolk. The date of her parents’ union is open to question, but fragmentary evidence indicates that they had married by 1501 at the latest. Mary was probably born at the turn of the 16th century. It is possible that she accompanied Henry VIII’s sister Mary to France in 1514 in readiness for her marriage to Louis XII, but whether she resided at the French court has never been resolved. Hostile rumours in circulation during the 1530s claimed that Louis’ successor, Francois I, knew Mary to have been promiscuous, but it is uncertain whether this meant she had gained her supposedly dubious reputation in France. Possibly Mary indeed resided at the French court during her teenage years, but if so she had certainly returned to England by early 1520, for her marriage to Henry VIII’s attendant, William Carey, occurred on 4 February that year. It is possible that she served Katherine of Aragon, but there is no evidence that she did so.

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  • This week in history 12 – 18 June

    On this day in history…

    12th June:

    1492 – Burial of Elizabeth Woodville, former consort of Edward IV, next to her husband in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
    1511 – Burial of William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, at Blackfriars.
    1530 – Catherine of Aragon told Henry VIII to abandon his “wicked” life.
    1535 – Richard Rich interviewed Sir Thomas More in the Tower of London. He later reported, at More’s trial, that More had denied the royal supremacy during this interview.
    1540 – The newly imprisoned Thomas Cromwell wrote to King Henry VIII from the Tower of London, asking for mercy and pleading his innocence.
    1553 – Edward VI’s council commanded the judges of the King’s Bench to turn Edward’s “Devise for the succession” into a legal will.
    1567 – Death of Richard Rich, 1st Baron Rich and Lord Chancellor, at Rochford. He was buried at Felstead. Richard Rich was Lord Chancellor in Edward VI’s reign and went on to serve in Mary I’s Privy Council.
    1573 – Birth of Robert Radcliffe, 5th Earl of Sussex, courtier and soldier. He was the son of Henry Radcliffe, 4th Earl of Sussex, and his wife, Honor. Radcliffe served Elizabeth I as an ambassador and as Earl Marshal and Colonel General of her army. He was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Essex by James I in 1603.

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  • A feast day and a holy day today – St Barnabas and Trinity Sunday

    The 11th June is the feast day of St Barnabas, an early Christian who was born Joseph in Cyprus. He was renamed Barnabas when he joined the Apostles in Jerusalem. He carried out several missionary journeys with Paul the Apostle and is mentioned in the Book of Acts. According to Christian tradition, Barnabas was martyred in Cyprus in 61 AD, being stoned to death. He is seen as the founder of the Cypriot Orthodox Church.

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  • Tudor History Quiz – 11 June

    This week’s Sunday fun is a general Tudor history quiz so grab that coffee, get comfortable and let’s exercise that brain of yours! Good luck!

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  • Katherine Howard

    Like her cousin Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard was a granddaughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, and a niece of the third duke. She was born in about 1523, probably at Lambeth, to Edmund and Jocasta Howard. During her infancy, Katherine’s mother died and her father, who seems to have been both irresponsible and financially straitened, remarried twice. In 1531, when she was about eight years old, she departed for the household of her step-grandmother, Agnes, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, at Cheshunt. The dowager duchess, who was one of the premier noblewomen in England, also kept a household at Norfolk House in London and regularly resided at court. Her periods of absence prevented her from supervising her household as closely as she might have liked.

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  • 9 June 1549 – First use of the Book of Common Prayer

    It was on this day in history, 9th June 1549, at Whitsun (Pentecost) services around the country that the Book of Common Prayer was first used.

    This prayer book was the official liturgy of Edward VI’s Protestant Church and was composed mainly by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. It was written in English and it replaced the traditional Latin mass. It was revised in 1552.

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  • Claire Chats – Changes to the Tudor Society website

    In today’s Claire Chats video, Claire explains the recent changes and additions to the Tudor Society website.

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  • Anne Boleyn Day live chats

    I’m not sure how many of you managed to join in with Anne Boleyn Day 2017 on the Anne Boleyn Files website and Facebook page, but I thought I’d share with you these videos of the Facebook live chats I did. You can see the other videos from the day on the Anne Boleyn Day 2017 playlist on YouTube.

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  • Live Chat with Toni Mount on 30th June

    Toni Mount - our guest speaker

    Following on from her expert talk on ordinary people in Tudor times, historian Toni Mount will be joining us on the Tudor Society chatroom on Friday 30th June for a one-hour chat session to answer your questions.

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  • 7 June 1520 – The Field of Cloth of Gold meeting begins

    On this day in history, 7th June 1520, the famous Field of Cloth of Gold meeting began.

    The meeting was between King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France and its aim was to solidify the Treaty of London. It took place between the English stronghold of Guînes and the French town of Ardres, on a piece of land referred to as the Field of Cloth of Gold, and ran from 7th June 1520 until 24th June 1520

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  • William Paulet, Marquess of Winchester

    William Paulet was born in 1474/5 at Fisherton-Delamare in Wiltshire. He was the eldest son of Sir John Paulet and his wife, Alice. William’s date of birth is based on the testimony of William Camden and Sir Richard Baker confirming that he was ninety-seven at his death in 1572, an exceptionally advanced age even for modern times. He attended school at Thavies Inn and subsequently studied at the Inner Temple, becoming an utter barrister. By 1509, he had married Elizabeth Capel, daughter of the lord mayor of London, by whom he had several children including John, future second Marquess of Winchester, Chidiock and Giles.

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  • Anne of Cleves

    Anne of Cleves was born on 22nd September 1515 in Dusseldorf to John III, Duke of Cleves, and his wife, Maria. Like Henry VIII’s first wife, Katherine of Aragon, Anne was born into a highly influential and politically active family. Her sister Sybille was married to the Elector of Saxony, and her brother, Wilhelm, became the future Duke of Cleves-Burg, and would be instrumental in negotiations regarding her future marriage.

    Anne was born during the volatile reformation period, resulting in reforms against traditionalist Catholicism, which was spreading through western and northern Europe. Her mother has been described as a conservative Catholic, however, her sister Sybille’s husband was a renowned Lutheran, often given the epithet ‘champion of the reformation’, and a good friend of its founder, Martin Luther. Anne was originally intended to be married into the House of Lorraine when she was eleven in 1527. There were numerous negotiations regarding the union, but nothing was cemented, and by 1535 all official wedding discussions had essentially been rejected, leaving the desirable duke’s daughter available on the European marriage market. Henry VIII and his council were searching for a new wife after the death of Queen Jane Seymour in 1536, with rumours of a possible union with the Duchess of Milan. The French had aligned themselves to the Habsburgs and signed a ten-year truce in 1538 (although this never lasted), cementing a union between Europe’s two major Catholic powerhouses. Cromwell, Henry’s leading minister at the time, suggested a counter alliance with a Lutheran house in Germany, even though Anne’s family were relatively mild in their reformist views. Cromwell was aware that England was potentially vulnerable to a Franco-Habsburg invasion, and influenced the king that negotiating with the newly appointed Duke Wilhelm (Anne’s father had died in 1539) would be a successful diplomatic adventure, that would ensure the prosperity of England against foreign invasion.

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  • 6 June 1522 – The grand entry of Emperor Charles V into London

    On this day in history, 6th June 1522, Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, made a grand entry into London accompanied by King Henry VIII.

    You can read two primary source accounts of Charles’s entry, and the pageantry involved, in the chronicles of Edward Hall and Charles Wriothesley at the following links

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  • Send us a “Tudor Things” photo…

    Hi, Tudor fans!

    As you know, we here at the Tudor Society have a passion for all things Tudor! And since you're reading this post, I suspect that you do to?!

    We'd love you to send us a photo of you with your favourite "Tudor Thing" that you own, whether that's a book, a dress, jewellery, a doll, an item you bought from a Tudor historical site... absolutely anything at all that you love which is Tudor-y. We're putting together an article for a future Tudor Life magazine where we'll be including these photos. This is your chance to show us what you love about the Tudors.

    Send your digital photos to info@tudorsociety.com and we'll put them into a future magazine edition. We're sorry, but we can't pay you for the photos, but we'll send you much thanks and praise!

    Thank you so much in advance!

    The Tudor Society & Tudor Life team.

  • This week in history 5 – 11 June

    On this day in history…

    5th June:
    1516 – Maria de Salinas married William, 10th Lord Willoughby of Eresby. Maria was a good friend of Catherine of Aragon, and she and William were the parents of Katherine Willoughby, who went on to marry Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.
    1536 – Edward Seymour was created Viscount Beauchamp of Hache, Somerset, following the wedding of his sister, Jane Seymour, and Henry VIII.
    1539 – Death of Brian Hygdon, Dean of York. Hygdon was close to Wolsey and Cromwell, and served on the King’s Council in the North. He was buried in York Minster.
    1577 – Death of John Rastell, author, Jesuit and Vice-Rector at Ingolstadt. He died in Ingolstadt.
    1588 – Death of Anne de Vere (née Cecil), Countess of Oxford, at Greenwich. She was buried at Westminster Abbey. Anne was the daughter of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, and his second wife, Mildred. She had been contracted to marry Philip Sidney, but married Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford in 1571. It was not a successful marriage, and the couple separated after Oxford refused to recognise their daughter, Elizabeth, as his.

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  • Whitsun or Pentecost

    Today is the feast day of Whitsun, also known as Pentecost. It is one of the summer moveable feasts.

    Whitsun is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter, and it commemorates the Holy Spirit descending on the Apostles and Christ’s followers at Pentecost:

    “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

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  • Tudor and Plantagent Coronations Crossword

    This week’s Tudor history quiz is a crossword. How much do you know about the coronations of the Tudor and late Plantagenet monarchs and queen consorts? Test your knowledge, and have a bit of fun, with this crossword puzzle.

    Good luck!

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  • Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk

    On this day in history, 2nd June 1572, Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, was executed on Tower Hill for treason. His remains were buried in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London.

    Thomas was the eldest son of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and his wife, Frances de Vere, and he was born on 10th March 1538 at Kenninghall. His father was executed in January 1547 so his aunt, Mary Fitzroy, Duchess of Richmond, was in charge of his early upbringing. His tutors included Hadrianus Junius, the martyrologist John Foxe and Bishop John White. When he was 15 years of age, in September 1553, he was made a Knight of the Bath by Mary I and he helped his grandfather, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal and Lord High Steward, officiate at the queen’s coronation and coronation banquet in October 1553.

    In July 1554, Thomas was appointed as first gentleman of the chamber to Philip of Spain, Mary I’s new husband. He became the Duke of Norfolk following the death of his grandfather on 25th August 1554 and also inherited his grandfather’s office of Earl Marshal. In 1555 he married Mary Fitzalan, daughter and heir of Henry Fitzalan, 12th Earl of Arundel. During Mary I’s reign, he was rewarded with offices including High Steward of Cambridge and Great Yarmouth, and Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk and Suffolk. His wife, Mary, died on 25th August 1557, having given birth to a son, Philip, on 28th June 1557. Thomas went on to marry his cousin, Margaret Dudley, widow of Lord Henry Dudley and heir of Thomas, Lord Audley of Walden, shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558.

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  • Tudor teeth and dentistry

    In this week’s Claire chats video, Claire talks about tooth extractions, dentistry and how people cared for their teeth in Tudor times.

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  • Expert Talk – Toni Mount – Ordinary people in Tudor times

    Toni Mount - our guest speaker

    This month, we are very lucky to have historian and author Toni Mount as our expert speaker. Toni is the author of the Sebastian Foxley medieval mystery series of novels, as well as non-fiction works like “Everyday Life in Medieval London” and “Medieval Medicine”. She has also written history courses for MedievalCourses.com.

    Toni’s specialism is looking into how the ordinary, everyday people lived their lives, and her research gives us a real insight into how hard it must have been five-hundred years ago. Toni shows us how it would have been especially difficult to be a Tudor woman.

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