• Elizabeth I’s Golden Speech – 30 November 1601

    On 30th November 1601, Queen Elizabeth I delivered her famous Golden Speech to the House of Commons. She gave this speech to address their concerns over England’s economic state of affairs. It was the last speech that she gave to Parliament, and in it, she spoke of her position as queen and her love and respect for her realm and for her members of Parliament.

    There are various versions of this speech, but the following version is taken from diarist and MP Hayward Townshend’s Commons Journal, printed in Historical Collections: Or, An Exact Account of the Proceedings of the Four Last Parliaments of Q. Elizabeth:

    “In the Afternoon, the Commons Attended the Queen at White-Hall, about Three of the Clock, to the Number of One Hundred, and Forty.

    The Commons attend the Queen in the Council-Chamber.

    At length, the Queen came into the Council-Chamber; where sitting under the Cloth of State, at the Upper End, the Speaker, with all the Commons came in: And after Three low Reverences made, he spake to this Effect:

    The Speaker’s Speech to Her Majesty.

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  • Jane Boleyn, Viscountess Rochford

    Thank you to historian and author Conor Byrne for writing this article for us.

    Jane Parker was the daughter of Henry Parker, Baron Morley, and Alice St John. Her birth date is unknown, but her marriage took place in late 1524 or early 1525 when she would have been at least twelve years of age, the earliest age permitted for females to marry. Since she accompanied Katherine of Aragon as an attendant to the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520, and appeared at a court masque two years later, it is probable that she was born no later than 1507 and probably by about 1505. Her highly educated father was a gentleman usher to Henry VIII. From her teenage years, Jane resided at court and lived in some luxury; her belongings included sleeves and apparel of rich fabrics, jewellery and plate.

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  • Margaret Tudor 1489-1541

    Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland, was born on 28th November 1489 at Westminster Palace. Her parents were King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, and she was the couple’s second child and eldest daughter. The couple named her Margaret after her paternal grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, and she was baptised at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster, on 30th November.

    Margaret spent her childhood at Sheen and at Eltham Palace but was sent to Scotland at the age of thirteen to marry King James IV following the 1502 Treaty of Perpetual Peace between England and Scotland. Margaret and James were married by proxy on 25th January 1503 at Richmond Palace and Margaret set off from Richmond Palace to travel to Scotland on 27th June 1503, spending eleven days with her grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, at Collyweston in Northamptonshire on the way. Stops included Grantham, York, Durham, Newcastle and Berwick, which was, at the time, held by England. Margaret arrived in Scotland on 1st August and the wedding took place took place in the chapel of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, on 8th August 1503. The marriage ceremony was performed by the Archbishop of Glasgow and the papal bulls were read by the Archbishop of York.

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  • Taster of our talk on Thornbury Castle

    Here’s a taster of our December talk about Thornbury Castle with experts Sandra Vasoli and James Peacock.

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  • This week in history 27 November – 3 December

    27th November:

    1531 (some say 4th December) – Burning of Richard Bayfield, Benedictine monk and reformist, at Smithfield for heresy. Sir Thomas More caught Bayfield importing Lutheran books into England, and he was tried by John Stokesley, Bishop of London, at St Paul’s on 10th November 1531, and convicted.
    1544 – Death of Sir Edward Baynton, soldier, courtier and Vice-Chamberlain to five of Henry VIII’s wives, in France. His cause of death is unknown, but he may have been wounded while serving as a soldier in France. Baynton had arranged to be buried at Bromham, but it appears that he was buried in France.
    1556 – Death of Henry Parker, 10th Baron Morley, nobleman, diplomat, translator and father of Jane Boleyn (wife of George Boleyn), at his home, Hallingbury Place, Great Hallingbury, Essex. He was in his late seventies at the time of his death. He was buried at St Giles’s Church, Great Hallingbury. Click here to read more about this interesting Tudor man.

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  • Tudor Composers and Compositions Wordsearch

    Today’s Sunday fun is a wordsearch on composers, compositions and musicians of the Tudor period. Print it out, grab a drink and a snack, get comfy and get that brain working. Be warned – the words can go in any direction!

    Click on the link or image to download and print off the wordsearch:

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  • December 2017 Tudor Life Taster

    Enjoy this sample of our 78-page December edition of Tudor Life Magazine. This month, as you can imagine, we focus on Tudor Christmas, but we also look at martyrs during the period too.

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  • December 2017 Tudor Life – Christmas

    Here is the full version of our 78-page December edition of Tudor Life Magazine. This month, as you can imagine, we focus on Tudor Christmas, but we also look at martyrs during the period too. As usual, our expert contributors have really enjoyed writing for this magazine and it’s packed with facts, information and even a Henry VIII dot-to-dot this time!

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  • John Knox

    On 24th November 1572, the Scottish clergyman, famous Reformer and founder of Presbyterianism, John Knox, died at his home in Edinburgh as his wife read aloud from Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. He was buried in the cemetery of St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, where he had served as minister. Knox is known for bringing the Protestant Reformation to the church in Scotland.

    Here are some details about his life and works from Claire’s book On This Day in Tudor History:

    John Knox was born in c.1514 at Giffordgate in Haddington and was the son of William Knox, whose family had served the Earls of Bothwell for many years. John studied at St Andrews University under John Mair before entering the Church.

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  • How did the Tudors go to the toilet?

    Thank you so much to Oscar for inspiring this week’s Claire Chats with his question “What did the Tudors use to wipe their bottoms?”. In the following video, I answer that question and also talk about Tudor toilets.

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