• New forum category – Questions for the Spicery

    We’ve added a brand-new category to the Forum, “Questions for the Spicery”, a place where the members can ask anything they’re ever wanted to know about medieval food but were afraid to ask.

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  • Collecting engravings and old books

    In this week’s Claire Chats video I share my collection of engravings of Tudor people and places – it’s my guilty pleasure!

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  • Happy birthday to Anne of Cleves

    As today is the anniversary of the birth of Anne of Cleves on 22nd September 1515, I thought it was fitting to share some links to Anne of Cleves resources here on the Tudor Society site and to also share some recommendations for further reading.

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  • 20 September 1486 – Birth of Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales

    On this day in history, 20th September 1486, Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales, was born at St Swithun’s Priory in Winchester. Arthur was the first child of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York and he was born just eight months after his parents’ marriage.

    Elizabeth had travelled to Winchester to give birth because the city was believed to have been the capital of King Arthur’s Camelot and the site of his castle. Her husband the king believed that his firstborn son would be a hero like his namesake, legendary King Arthur, and that his reign would bring about a golden age in England.

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  • Coventry Martyrs Robert Glover and Cornelius Bungey

    On 19th September 1555, the Protestant martyrs, Robert Glover and Cornelius Bungey (Bongey), who are two of the twelve Coventry Martyrs, were burned at the stake at a site in Little Park Street, Coventry.

    Martyrologist John Foxe gives the date of their burnings as “about the 20th day” in his 1563 Acts and Monuments, but fellow martyrologist the Reverend Thomas Brice gives the date as the 19th in his A Compendious Regester of 1559 and Foxe actually used Brice’s Regester as a source. Brice’s work, which can be found in Volume IV of Edward Arber’s An English Garner is a register of those martyred between 4th February 1555 and 17th November 1558. The names and locations of those martyred are recorded in six-line doggerel stanzas with the date in the margin. Of Glover and Bungey, Brice simply writes:

    “September 19 When GLOVER and CORNELIUS
    Were fiercely brent at Coventry;”

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  • This week in history 18 – 24 September

    On this day…

    18th September:

    1501 – Birth of Henry Stafford, 10th Baron Stafford, at Penshurst in Kent. He was the son of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, and his wife Eleanor (née Percy), daughter of Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland. Henry married Ursula Pole, daughter of Sir Richard Pole and Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, in 1519, and the couple had around fourteen children. Stafford served Mary I as a Chamberlain of the Exchequer and Elizabeth I as a Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire.
    1535 – Birth of Henry Brandon, son of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and his wife Katherine (née Willoughby). Henry Brandon died on 14th July 1551, at the age of fifteen, from sweating sickness. His younger brother, Charles, survived him by just half an hour.
    1544 – Henry VIII rode triumphantly through the streets of Boulogne after the French surrendered, ending the Siege of Boulogne.
    1556 – Death of Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, from a fever at Padua in Italy. He was buried there in the church of Sant’Antonio. Courtenay had been sent overseas after he was implicated in Wyatt’s Rebellion as a future husband and consort of Mary I’s half-sister, Elizabeth.
    1559 – The fifteen-year-old Francis II was crowned King of France at Rheims by the Cardinal of Lorraine, following the death of his father Henry II in July 1559 after a jousting accident. Mary, Queen of Scots was Francis’ consort.

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  • Tudor women quiz

    Grab your favourite beverage and snack, find a comfortable spot and test your knowledge of some of the prominent women of the Tudor court. Good luck!

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  • Marriage in Tudor times: brides marrying young

    In today’s Claire Chats, I talk about the age of brides in the medieval and Tudor periods and discuss the accusations of paedophilia that are often flung at Henry VIII, Charles Brandon and Edmund Tudor on social media.

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  • Sir William Kingston

    Sir William Kingston, Constable of the Tower of London, Knight of the Garter and comptroller of the King’s household, was born around 1476. His origins are unknown but historian Stanford Lehmberg believes that he was from a Gloucestershire family who were related to the barons Berkeley of Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, and also to Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham. Kingston had a brother named George.

    In 1497, Kingston was appointed as a yeoman of the chamber to Henry VII and served in this position until 1509. In 1506, he became a Justice of the Peace for Gloucestershire. At Henry VII’s funeral in 1509, he served as a gentleman usher. In 1511 and 1512, he served in the army of Henry VIII and in September 1513 he fought at the Battle of Flodden against the Scots. He was knighted in October 1513.

    In 1514, Kingston was made a king’s sewer and a sheriff of Gloucestershire, and in 1519, Cardinal Wolsey chose him to be a knight of the body in the privy chamber following Wolsey’s purge of the privy chamber in the Eltham Ordinances. He continued to serve the king as keeper of the king’s jewels and plate and then as a carver in 1521.

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  • John Leland

    John Leland, the well-known Tudor poet and antiquary was born in London on 13th September, probably in 1503 although the actual year of his birth is unknown.

    Leland is known for his Latin poems and his antiquarian writings which included Assertio inclytissimi Arturii regis Britanniae, which he presented to Henry VIII; his New Year’s gift to Henry VIII, Antiquitates Britanniae; De uiris illustribus, a biographical encyclopedia of British writers; his travel notes, and his defence of the legends of King Arthur.

    He died on 18th April 1552 in the parish of St Michael le Querne, Cheapside, London, and was buried there. It was recorded in 1547 that Leland “fell besides his wits” and in 1551, his brother was granted custody of him and his possessions.

    His works can still be read today so I will share links for you to read them online. Be aware that some will be in the original Latin!

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