The Tudor Society
  • The Loxwood Joust – 5 and 6, 12 and 13 August

    Those of you who can get to West Sussex, UK, in August may be interested to know about this event. It’s the Loxwood Joust and it’s taking place on two weekends in August, 5-6th and 12-13th, 10 am -6 pm on those dates.


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  • This week in history 31 July – 6 August

    On this day in history…

    31 July:

    1544 – The future Elizabeth I wrote her earliest surviving letter to her stepmother, Catherine Parr. It was written in Italian and in a beautiful italic hand. Click here to read more about it.
    1549 – Death of Edmund Sheffield, 1st Baron Sheffield, in Norwich. It is said that he was killed by a butcher called Fulke, while serving in the royal army against the rebels of Kett’s Rebellion. Apparently, he stumbled into a ditch and then was killed by a blow from Fulke. Sheffield was buried in St Martin’s at the Palace, Norwich.
    1553 – Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, “was discharged out of the Tower by the Earle of Arundell and had the Quenes pardon.”
    1574 – Death of John Douglas, Archbishop of St Andrews and educational reformer, in St Andrews. He was buried in the public cemetery. It is said that he died in the pulpit.

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  • Why were children set up in separate households?

    Thank you to Dora for asking the question “Why were children set up in separate households?” Historian and author Gareth Russell, who has done extensive research on royal households, is answering this question…

    The reasons for royal and aristocratic children being sent to their own establishments at very young ages were a mixture of pragmatism and tradition.

    It’s worth noting that many foreigner visitors to England did think it was odd that aristocratic children were habitually sent to other households to finish their education. In England, there was a school of thought that held parents would spoil their own children because they naturally loved them too much and that this would, literally, spoil the child’s education. So, a host family was sometimes considered better for the child’s long-term development and education. It also offered families, and the child, to establish a network of connections at an early age which would help them later in life.

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  • 30 July 1553 – Elizabeth rides to greet Mary

    On this day in history, 30th July 1553, Mary I’s half-sister Elizabeth left her new home, Somerset House, to ride to Wanstead and greet Mary, who had been proclaimed queen on 19th July 1553 in place of Queen Jane.

    Elizabeth had been at her estate at Hatfield when she heard the news that Mary was queen and so had departed for London, entering the city on 29th July through Fleet Street. She had made her way to her new townhouse, or rather palace, Somerset House, a house just off The Strand, on the north bank of the River Thames.

    The contemporary source, “The chronicle of Queen Jane, and of two years of Queen Mary, and especially of the rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyat”, states:

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  • Tudor Executions Quiz

    The Tudor period is known for its executions, it was a bloody time, but how much do you know about the people who were executed between 1485 and 1603? Well, grab your favourite beverage and test yourself with this fun little quiz. Keep your head!

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  • Livechat with Gareth Russell about the Howards

    Here’s the transcript of our wonderful live chat with Gareth Russell, all about the Howard family. It was fast paced and very informative. Thanks to all who came along, and huge congratulations to Elizabeth, who won a copy of Gareth’s book!

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  • New e-book available now – The Spanish Armada

    Today, the anniversary of the Battle of Gravelines in 1588, is the perfect day to launch our latest Tudor Society e-book because it’s on the Spanish Armada. The book gives details of the main events of summer 1588, and also what led to them.

    We hope you enjoy it!

    This is the latest e-book in our collection. At the moment, we have six others, one on each Tudor monarch, and we have another one (on feast days) coming soon.

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  • 29 July 1565 – The marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley

    On Sunday 29th July 1565, twenty-three-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, married nineteen-year-old Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.

    Mary, Queen of Scots, was queen regnant of Scotland and was the daughter of James V of Scotland (son of James IV and Margaret Tudor) and Mary of Guise. She had become queen when she was just six days old. The bridegroom was the son of Matthew Stuart, the 4th Earl of Lennox and Margaret Douglas (daughter of Margaret Tudor, Henry VIII’s sister). Mary and Darnley were related; they were half-cousins.

    The banns for the marriage had been read in St Giles’s Cathedral, High Kirk of Edinburgh, on Sunday 22nd July and in that afternoon Darnley was made Duke of Albany. On Saturday 28th July, heralds proclaimed the forthcoming marriage of Mary and Darnley at the Market Cross in Edinburgh and proclaimed that Darnley would be made king following the wedding.

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  • Thomas Cromwell’s Execution – His speech and prayer

    As it is the anniversary of the execution of Thomas Cromwell today, in this week’s Claire Chats video talk Claire talks about the primary sources accounts of Cromwell’s execution, his scaffold speech and the prayer he said. She talks about the controversy over his speech and what his prayer said about his faith.

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  • August 2017 Tudor Life – Everyday People

    Here’s the full edition of our 84-page August edition of Tudor Life Magazine. The focus of this magazine is “everyday life” and we have loads of articles for members to enjoy…

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  • Where is Anne Boleyn buried?

    Thank you to Sandra for asking this question. In her email, Sandra said:

    “Where is Anne Boleyn buried? I had always believed that after the late 1870 restoration of the skeletons found in the Chapel of St. Peter Ad Vincula that Anne as with others, George Boleyn, Jane Rochford, John Dudley, etc. were re-buried in their individual caskets under the memorial tiles in the Chapel. Although I do appreciate that the individuals may not be buried under their named tile. However, I have read recently a couple of articles which claim that the caskets are buried in the crypt of the Chapel.

    Now, this may be one and the same e.g. underneath the memorial tiles this may lead to the crypt underneath.”

    I (Claire) can answer this as it’s something I’ve researched and I also have all of the minutes from the meetings of the Victorian restoration team who worked on the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula in 1876 and 1877.

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  • Members’ book recommendations

    Thank you so much to those of you who completed our recent survey about Tudor books.

    We already have recommended reading lists for Tudor monarchs and various Tudor topics – see the Recommended Reading category, but I thought it would be good to make a list of books that Tudor Society members would recommend, and here it is. Please do leave a comment if you’d like to recommend some books and I can then add them to the list – thank you!

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  • George Peele, poet and playwright

    Today is the anniversary of the baptism of poet and playwright George Peele on 25th July 1556 at St James Garlickhythe, London. As is the case with many Tudor people, his date of birth is unknown but it is likely to have been just a few days before his baptism.

    Peele was one of the younger sons of James Peele, who was the author of books on book-keeping and who also wrote and organised pageants for the City of London, and his first wife, Anne. James became clerk of Christ’s Hospital in November 1562 and the family moved there. Between 1562 and 1571, George Peele was educated at the petty school and grammar school of the hospital, and then in 1571 he went on to study at Oxford, first at Broadgates Hall (now Pembroke College) and then at Christ Church. He graduated BA in 1577 and MA in 1579, both from Christ Church. While he was at college, Peele translated Euripides’ “Iphigenia” and he also wrote his poem “The Tale of Troy”.

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  • Stephan Edwards talks about Lady Jane Grey

    Dr. Stephan Edwards was interviewed on the radio all about Lady Jane Grey. Here’s the recording!

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  • Live chat reminder – 28 July with Gareth Russell

    Just a reminder that this month’s expert live chat is in the chatroom this Friday, 28th July. It’s with historian Gareth Russell and you can ask him about his recent talk on the Howards, his book on Catherine Howard, or anything you want about his research and work. We’ll be giving away one copy of Gareth’s book on Catherine Howard, Young and Damned and Fair, to one lucky chat participant.

    Here are the times in different time zones:

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  • 25 July 1554 – Mary I gets married

    On this day in history, 25th July 1554, the feast day of St James, thirty-eight-year-old Queen Mary I married twenty-seven-year-old Philip of Spain, son of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, at Winchester Cathedral. Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester and Mary’s chancellor, officiated.

    There is an account of the wedding in Charles Wriothesley’s “A chronicle of England during the reigns of the Tudors, from A.D. 1485 to 1559”:

    “The 25 of Julie, beinge Weddensdaye and St. James daye, about xi of the clocke the Kinge and Queene came from their lodgings towardes the churche all the way on foote, verie richelye apparelled in gownes of cloth of golde sett with riche stones, he with his gentlemen and garde and she with hers, eche of them havinge a sworde borne before them, the Earle of Darbye bearinge the sworde before her Maiestie, and the Earle of Pembroke before the Kinge; and when they were come into the churche he went into one traveys and the Queen to another richlye hunge, where they were shriven. This done they came forth of their traveys to the place appoynted for the marriage, where the Lord Chauncellor, beinge before with 5 other bishops assistinge him, used all thinges, both in the banes-byddinge and otherwise, as hath bene in all marriages of olde tyme, and spake it both in Latin and in Englishe, her Grace on the right syde standinge and the King on the left syde. Her marriage ringe was a rownd hoope of gould without anye stone, which was her desire, for she sayde she would be married as maydens were in the olde tyme, and so she was.

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  • 24 July 1567 – Mary, Queen of Scots, is forced to abdicate

    n this day in history 24th July 1567, twenty-four-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, was forced to abdicate and the Scottish crown passed to her one-year-old son, James, who became King James VI of Scotland. James Stewart, Earl of Moray and Mary’s illegitimate half-brother, would act as regent for the boy king.

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  • The Sweet Makers – A Tudor Treat

    Did any of you manage to watch this documentary last week? It’s part 1 of a 3 part series looking at sweet makers in different historical periods.

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  • This week in history 24 – 30 July

    On this day in history…

    24th July:

    1534 – Jacques Cartier, the French explorer, landed in Canada, at Gaspé Bay in Quebec, and claimed it for France by placing a cross there.
    1553 – Birth of Richard Hesketh, merchant and conspirator, in Lancashire. In 1593, Hesketh urged Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby, to lead a rebellion to claim the throne of England, through his descent from Mary Tudor, Queen of France. Stanley turned Hesketh in, and the latter was executed on 29th November 1593.
    1567 – Mary, Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate. Her one-year-old son, James, became King James VI of Scotland with his uncle, Mary’s illegitimate half brother, James Stewart, Earl of Moray, acting as regent.
    1594 – John Boste, Roman Catholic priest and martyr, was hanged, drawn and quartered in Durham after being accused of leaving and re-entering England without permission. He was canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI.

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  • Tudor History Quiz – 23 July 2017

    Happy Sunday! Yes, it’s that time of week again! Time to grab a coffee and snack, get yourself comfortable and test your Tudor history knowledge. Don’t worry, it’s all good fun.

    Good luck!

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  • 22 July – Feast of St Mary Magdalene

    The Feast of St Mary Magdalene (or Magdalen), “apostle to the apostles” and the woman said to have witnessed Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, has been celebrated on 22 July since the 8th century.

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  • Claire Chats video – A timeline of the events of 1553

    July 1553 was a month of three monarchs – Edward VI, Queen Jane and Mary I – but how did this come about? In today’s Claire chats, I look at what led to the events of July 1553 and particularly the actions that Mary took to stage her successful coup d’etat.

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  • Anne Boleyn’s Music Book – Talk, 24 September, Royal College of Music

    Thank you to Jane Moulder, our Tudor Society music expert, for sharing this news…

    Anne Boleyn’s Music Book
    2:00pm, 24 September 2017, at the Britten Theatre, the Royal College of Music, London.

    Professor Ian Fenlon University of Cambridge
    Dr David Skinner University of Cambridge
    Professor Thomas Schmidt University of Manchester

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  • The Moot Virginity of Catherine of Aragon – 27 July 2017, London

    We’ve just had an email from Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival regarding one of their productions which they thought would be of interest to our members, “The Moot Virginity of Catherine of Aragon”. Here are the details:

    The Moot Virginity of Catherine of Aragon
    Produced by The Belfast Ensemble

    9:15pm – 10:05pm | Thursday 27 July 2017
    Robin Howard Dance Theatre, The Place, 17 Duke’s Rd, London, WC1H 9PY

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  • Should Ferdinand of Aragon have insisted on Katherine’s return?

    Thank you to Tudor Society member Angela for asking the question “Should Ferdinand of Aragon have insisted on Katherine’s return when Prince Arthur died?”. Historian Amy Licence, who is the author of “Catherine of Aragon: An Intimate Life of Henry VIII’s True Wife” has answered Angela’s question…

    This is a complex question, because Katherine’s position in England fluctuated during the period of her widowhood between 1502 and 1509. Also, we have to consider the dual impulses in Ferdinand, as a father on one hand, and as a monarch on the other, playing on the international stage, on which all his children were pawns for the furtherment of the Spanish Empire. Out of Katherine’s parents, it was Isabella of Castile who played a more active role in terms of writing to Henry VII before and after her daughter’s wedding, so she was really the commanding figure of the pair until her death in 1505. We must be careful too, with the word “should,” because it is suggestive of hindsight. We know what an awful time Katherine was to have during her widowhood and later, at the hands of Henry VIII, but back then they didn’t know how things would turn out.

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  • Tudor Books Survey

    Following on from our recent live chat on the Tudors on TV and in books, I thought it would be a good idea to do a members’ survey on Tudor books. We already have book lists on the site for recommended reading on the Tudor monarchs and Tudor life but I thought a page of member recommendations would make a good addition too.

    Please do take part in this survey, it will only take a few minutes and I’ll share the results on a special page here on the Tudor Society website. Thank you so much!

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  • 19 July 1553 – Mary I is triumphant

    On 19th July 1553, thirteen days after the death of her half-brother, fifteen-year-old King Edward VI, thirty-seven-year-old Mary Tudor was proclaimed queen in place of her first cousin once removed, Lady Jane Grey, or Queen Jane.

    The Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London records:

    “Item the xix. day of the same monyth, [which] was sent Margarettes evyne, at iiij. of clocke at after-none was proclamyd lady Ma[ry to] be qwene of Ynglond at the crose in Cheppe with the erle of Shrewsbery, the earle [of Arundel], the erle of Pembroke, with the mayer of London, and dyvers other lordes, and many of the ald[dermen] and the kynges schrffe master Garrand, with dyvers haroldes and trompettes. And from thens cam to Powlles alle, and there the qwere sange Te Deum with the organs goynge, with the belles ryngynge, the most parte alle [London], and that same nyght had the [most] parte of London Te Deum, with bone-fyers in every strete in London, with good chere at every bone [fyer], the belles ryngynge in every parych cherch, and for the most parte alle nyght tyll the nexte daye to none.”

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  • Affiliate scheme for Tudor Society members

    It’s coming up to the Tudor Society three year anniversary and to celebrate this we’re having a re-launch to try and get the word out about the society. Over the next couple of weeks, we’re inviting people to sign up to receive some Tudor goodies – samples of what you as a member enjoy, such as expert talks, quizzes, Claire chats videos and magazines. We’ve also set up an affiliate scheme so that you can be rewarded when the people you’ve shared the news with go on to become Tudor Society members.

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  • Henry Tudor’s Guide to Pembrokeshire

    Thank you to Nathen Amin of The Henry Tudor Society for sharing this on Facebook, I just had to share it with you. Henry Tudor’s Guide to Pembrokeshire – enjoy!

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  • This week in history 17 – 23 July

    On this day in history…
    17th July:

    1497 – Death of Sir James Ormond (Butler), administrator and illegitimate son of John Butler, 6th Earl of Ormond, in a duel with Sir Piers Butler, near Kilkenny. The Butlers of Ormond were related to Thomas Boleyn, Queen Anne Boleyn’s father.
    1537 – Burning of Janet Douglas, Lady Glamis, on the castle hill at Edinburgh after being found guilty of two counts of treason. She had been charged with plotting the King’s death (by poison) and assisting and corresponding with her brothers, Sir George Douglas and Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus.
    1555 – Protestant martyrs Christopher Wade (Waid) of Dartford, linen-weaver, and Margaret Polley of Tunbridge, were burned for heresy. Click here to read more.
    1555 – Birth of Richard Carew, antiquary, bee-keeper, translator and poet, at Antony House, Torpoint, Cornwall. Carew was the eldest son of Thomas Carew and his wife Elizabeth (née Edgcumbe). Carew was a member of the Elizabethan Society of Antiquaries, and his works included his “Survey of Cornwall”, a county history.
    1565 – Death of Sir Thomas Dacre of Lanercost, illegitimate son of Thomas Dacre, 2nd Baron Dacre. He died while holding the office of Sheriff of Cumberland.
    1601 – Death of Richard Latewar, poet, theologian, Vice-President of St John’s College, Oxford, and chaplain to Charles Blount, 8th Baron Mountjoy. He died from a gunshot wound sustained in a skirmish at Bennurb, in Ireland, while on a campaign there with Mountjoy. Latewar was buried at Armagh Cathedral, and a monument was erected to him in the chapel of St John’s in Oxford.

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