• 31 January 1547 – Henry VIII’s death is announced and Edward VI is proclaimed king

    On this day in history, 31st January 1547, Thomas Wriothesley, Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor and one of the executors of his will, announced the death of Henry VIII to Parliament. The late king’s nine-year-old son was proclaimed king, becoming King Edward VI.

    Chronicler and Windsor Herald Charles Wriothesley recorded:

    “The 31 of Januarie my lord major [mayor] was sent for to the Perliament Chamber at Westminster, before the lordes of the Kinges Majesties Privie Counsell, and their was declared to them by my Lord Chauncelor and other the death of the Kinges Majestic Henrie the Eight, our Soveraigne Lord, which deceased to Almightie God on Fridaie last, being the 28th of Januarie, and straig[ht]ly charging them to keepe the Kinges peace and to loke to the savegarde of the Kinges Majesties Chambre of London, and so they departed.

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  • This week in history 29 January – 4 February

    29th January:

    1536 – Catherine of Aragon was laid to rest in Peterborough Abbey, now Peterborough Cathedral. She had requested that she should be buried in a Chapel of her beloved order, The Observant Friars, but Henry’s dissolution of the monasteries meant that there were none left. She was buried as Dowager Princess of Wales, not queen.
    1536 – Queen Anne Boleyn suffered a miscarriage.
    1547 – Edward Seymour and Anthony Denny informed the young Edward VI that his father, Henry VIII, had died the day before.
    1559 – Death of Sir Thomas Pope, founder of Trinity College, Oxford, member of Parliament and Privy Councillor in Mary I’s reign, at Clerkenwell. He was buried at St Stephen’s Church, Walbrook. In 1556, Pope acted as a guardian for Princess Elizabeth at Hatfield House, and handled the correspondence when Eric of Sweden was interested in marrying Elizabeth.
    1577 – Death of Richard Harpur, Law Reporter and Judge of the Common Pleas. He was buried at Swarkestone Church in Derbyshire.
    1613 – Death of Sir Thomas Bodley, scholar, diplomat and founder of Oxford’s Bodleian Library at his house next to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. He was buried in Merton College chapel on 29th March.

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  • Henry VII and Henry VIII Quiz

    How much do you know about the first two monarchs, father and son Henry VII and Henry VIII? Get your brain working with these ten questions.

    Grab your favourite beverage and snack, make yourself comfortable and test yourself. Good luck!

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  • February 2018 – Tudor Life – Mothers-in-law

    Here is the full version of our 76-page February edition of Tudor Life Magazine. This month we have articles about some of the women behind the crown. This Royal Mothers-in-law edition is packed with information and great articles and some fun quizzes too!

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  • February 2018 Tudor Life Taster

    Enjoy this sample article from our 76-page February edition of Tudor Life Magazine. This month we have articles about some of the women behind the crown. This Royal Mothers-in-law edition is packed with information and great articles and some fun quizzes too!

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  • 27 January 1606 – The trial of the Gunpowder Conspirators

    On 27th January 1606, the eight surviving conspirators of the November 1605 Gunpowder Plot were tried at Westminster for high treason. Those tried were Guy Fawkes, Robert and Thomas Wintour (Winter), John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates and Sir Everard Digby. Jesuits Henry Garnet, Oswald Tesmond (Tesimond) and John Gerard were said to have “traitorously move[d] and persuade[d]” the conspirators. The other conspirators had died shortly after the plot had been discovered; John Wright, Christopher Wright, Thomas Percy and Robert Catesby were shot dead at Holbeche House in a siege on 8th November, and Francis Tresham died in the Tower of London on 23rd December 1605.

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  • Live chat transcript – Anne Barnhill – Tudor Costume

    Thank you for those who came to Anne Barnhill’s live chat about Tudor clothing. We had a wonderful discussion about all things cloths related, including a discussion about Anne Boleyn’s necklace.

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  • Anne of Cleves Part 3: 1540 – 1557

    In today’s Claire Chats, I finish our series on Anne of Cleves by looking at her life following the annulment of her marriage to Henry VIII until her death in July 1557.

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  • Margaret Clifford, Countess of Derby

    A recent BBC Four documentary examined the tragic life of England’s Forgotten Queen, Lady Jane Grey, who was proclaimed queen in July 1553 and beheaded seven months later for unlawfully usurping the throne from Mary I. The circumstances in which Jane succeeded her cousin Edward VI derived in part from Henry VIII’s Acts of Succession (1536 and 1544) and his last will and testament, which was finalised a month before his death. After stipulating that his crown should pass to Edward, Henry intended that his daughters Mary and Elizabeth would successively reign in the event of Edward dying childless. Henry also instructed that the descendants of his younger sister Mary should inherit the throne if all three of his children died without heirs: thus Mary’s daughters Frances and Eleanor and their offspring. Lady Jane Grey was, of course, the eldest daughter of Frances. Her two sisters Katherine and Mary would represent a rival succession in Elizabeth I’s reign, and the Tudor queen imprisoned both women on account of what she perceived as their dynastic pretensions. As a result of his Acts and his will, Henry made it possible for the monarch to appoint their successor based on personal preferences. Edward took this one step further in 1553 by disregarding the claims of his half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth, and instead nominating the Grey line.

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  • Live chat transcript with Sandra Vasoli

    Thanks for all who came to our live chat last night with Sandra Vasoli. We had a wonderful time discussing Thornbury Castle and I think we all learned something.

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  • Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham (1478-1521)

    Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, was one of Henry VII’s and Henry VIII’s main associates in court. He attended the coronation of both kings and played an important part in each of their reigns. But how he ended up in that position of favour is a fascinating story, as is his eventual demise.

    Edward Stafford was born on 3 February 1478 and his parents were Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, and Catherine Woodville. Catherine was the sister of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of King Edward IV. Following his father’s execution in Richard III’s reign, Edward’s mother went on to marry Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford and the uncle of King Henry VII.

    Due to his father’s rebellion against Richard III in 1483, young Edward was hidden and moved around to different properties in and around Hertfordshire to keep him safe and out of harm’s way. His father’s rebellion against the king led to him losing his honours and being executed in November 1483. In 1485, Edward was honoured by the new king, Henry VII, by being made a Knight of the Order of the Bath, and he was made a ward of Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and the king’s mother. Unfortunately, this meant that Margaret was also granted all of his lands.

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  • This week in history 22 – 28 January

    22 January:

    1528 – Henry VIII and Francis I declared war on Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.
    1552 – Former Lord Protector of England, Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, was executed by beheading on Tower Hill in London. He was laid to rest in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London, and records show that he was buried next to Anne Boleyn in the chancel area. Click here to read more.
    1554 – Thomas Wyatt the Younger met with fellow conspirators at his home of Allington Castle in Kent to make final plans for their uprising (Wyatt’s Rebellion) against Mary I and her decision to marry Philip of Spain – click here to read more.
    1561 – Birth of Francis Bacon, Viscount St Alban, the Elizabethan Lord Chancellor, politician, philosopher, author and scientist, at York House in the Strand, London. Bacon is known as “the Father of the Scientific method” and developed an investigative method, the Baconian method, which he put forward in his book Novum Organum in 1620. Some people (Baconians) believe that Francis Bacon was the true author of William Shakespeare’s plays.
    1575 – Death of James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran and Duke of Châtelherault, at Kinneil. Arran was appointed Regent for the infant Mary, Queen of Scots after James V’s death in 1542, but surrendered the regency to Mary’s mother, Mary of Guise in 1554.
    1613 – Death of Sir David Williams, Serjeant-at-Law in Elizabeth I’s reign and Puisne Justice of the King’s Bench in James I’s reign, from a fever at Kingston House, Kingston Bagpuize, Berkshire. His body was buried at St John’s Chapel, Brecon, and his entrails were buried at Kingston.

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  • Quiz: The Events of 1540-42 in Tudor England

    The years 1540 to 1542 were rather busy for King Henry VIII, but how much do you know about the events of those years? Test yourself with this fun quiz. Good luck!

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  • Lady Jane Grey Resources

    Lady Jane Grey is a hot topic at the moment with Helen Castor’s programme having recently aired in the UK. I thought it would be useful for members if I created this list of useful resources to find out more about Queen Jane, who was a fascinating Tudor woman.

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  • Anne Boleyn and the gable hood

    In this week’s Claire chats video, I answer Tudor Society member Laurie’s question: “why did Anne wear a gable hood to her execution, when she traditionally only wore French hoods? Was it possibly related to showing increased piety, etc.?”

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  • Elizabeth Seymour, Baroness Cromwell

    Elizabeth Seymour was a younger daughter of Sir John Seymour and his wife, Margery Wentworth. Her date of birth is unknown but is estimated to have been between 1511 and 1518. She married her first husband, Sir Anthony Ughtred, in January 1531; since sixteenth-century women could marry, at the earliest, at the age of twelve, realistically Elizabeth could have been born no later than January 1519. Such an early marriage, however, would have been extraordinary, since the Seymours were a respected gentry family, but they were not nobility. Historians have noted that Tudor noble- and gentlewomen tended to marry by the age of twenty. It is possible that Elizabeth served alongside her sister Jane in the household of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, who became queen in 1533. Usually, the queen’s maidens were aged in their mid-to-late teens, although Jane herself would have unusually been around twenty-four years old when appointed to Anne’s household. For Elizabeth to have married Ughtred in 1531 and to have served the queen two or three years later would indicate that she was probably born no later than c. 1515.

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  • Happy times for Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon

    With Henry VIII’s Great Matter, his six-year quest for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and his harsh treatment of her in the 1530s, we tend to forget that Henry was once besotted with Catherine. He had chosen to marry her in 1509, he wasn’t forced into it by diplomatic negotiations, and they were happy for over fifteen years.

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  • Elizabeth I’s coronation – A primary source account

    I have written about Elizabeth I’s coronation, which took place o 15th January 1559, in previous years, but I just wanted to share with you this primary source account of both the coronation and the banquet following written by Il Schifanoya, the Mantuan ambassador, to the Castellan of Mantua:

    “On Sunday, 15th January, mass was sung for the coronation in Westminster Abbey, which was decorated with the handsomest and most precious tapestries that were ever seen, they having been purchased by Henry VIII., representing on one side the whole of Genesis, and on the other the Acts of the Apostles, from a design by Raffael d’Urbino; and the chambers were hung with the history of Cæsar and Pompey. At one of the sides the buffet was prepared with its raised steps, on which were seen 140 gold and silver drinking cups, besides others which were below for the service.

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  • This week in history 15 – 21 January

    15th January:

    1522 – Death of Richard Fitzjames, Bishop of London, in London. He was buried in the nave of St Paul’s.
    1522 – Death of Sir John Heron, Treasurer of the Chamber to Henry VII and General Receiver to Henry VIII. He was buried at the Whitefriars, London.
    1522 – Death of Richard Fitzjames, Bishop of London, in London. He was buried in the nave of St Paul’s.
    1535 – Henry VIII declared himself head of the Church in England.
    1555 – Death of Jane Dudley, Duchess of Northumberland and wife of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. Jane died in Chelsea, London, and was buried there. She outlived her husband, who was executed in 1553 after Mary seized the throne from his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey.
    1559 – Coronation of Elizabeth I at Westminster Abbey. Click here to read more.
    1569 – Death of Catherine Knollys (née Carey), wife of Sir Francis Knollys and daughter of Sir William Carey and Mary Boleyn. Queen Elizabeth I was grief-stricken at the death of her cousin and friend, and gave her a lavish funeral at Westminster Abbey. Some believe Katherine to have been the illegitimate daughter of Henry VIII.

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  • A review of England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey

    Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week were treats for us Tudor history lovers with access to British TV because BBC Four was airing “England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey” followed by Lucy Worsley’s “Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness changed History”. I think “Fit to Rule” had been on before, but I’d missed it and so enjoyed catching up on that. Two hours of history for three nights – bliss!

    So what was “England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey” like and would I recommend it?

    The simple answer is yes, but let me tell you a bit more about it.

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  • Henry VIII: a tyrant? Live chat transcript

    Thank you to all those who came to the informal live chat on Henry VIII the Tyrant. We all had a wonderful time and this was an incredibly lively chat.

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  • Tudor Poet Wordsearch

    Today’s Sunday puzzler is a wordsearch on Tudor poets and poems. Answer the questions and then find the answers in the wordsearch. Warning: the words can go in any direction! Good luck!

    Simply click on the image or the link below to print it off and get started.

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  • 14 January 1559 – The coronation procession of Queen Elizabeth I

    Elizabeth left the Tower for her eve of coronation procession at 3pm on the 14th January 1559 in a cloth of gold covered litter carried by two mules. As she passed the Tower of London menagerie, Elizabeth prayed to God, thanking him for her deliverance, like that of Daniel from the lion’s den.
    Elizabeth was a natural. She charmed the crowd, smiling warmly at people, joking and replying to their good wishes. It was usual for pageants to be part of a coronation procession, and Elizabeth had five:

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  • January’s live chats – 13, 24 and 26 January!

    Yes, you read it correctly! January is a busy month for live chats and I do hope you’ll be able to make at least one of them.

    Saturday 13 January – Henry VIII, tyrant?
    This is January’s informal live chat and it’s on Henry VIII. Was he a tyrant? Was he just misunderstood? Did he get worse as his reign went on? Did his health problems cause his behaviour? Have your say, share your views, share book recommendations, pose questions for other members… Let’s debate this iconic king!

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  • Anne of Cleves Part 2: Her marriage to Henry VIII and its annulment

    In today’s Claire Chat’s video talk, I look at Anne of Cleves’ marriage to Henry VIII and what happened between 6th January 1540, her wedding day, and 28th July 1540 when Henry VIII married Catherine Howard, his fifth wife.

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  • Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk (1443-1524)

    Thomas Howard was a politician, English nobleman and lived to a ripe old age of 81! For someone who spent a lot of time in the English court, he also had very stable connections which kept him in his position, especially since he was the grandfather of two queens of England, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, making him the great-grandfather to Queen Elizabeth I. Serving four monarchs as both statesmen and solider, who was Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, Earl of Surrey?

    Thomas Howard was born in 1443; he was the only son of Sir John Howard and Catherine Howard, daughter of Lord William Moleyns. Having been educated in Thetford school as he got older Surrey started a career as a henchman in court. In the service of Edward IV, Thomas, who was still a young man, took the king’s side when war began in 1469 and having taken the Kings side took sanctuary in 1470 when the king fled to Holland. After he sustained an injury in 1471, he was appointed as a knight in 1478 at the marriage of the king’s son. In the same year, he was appointed as a Knight of the Garter and became appointed to the privy council.

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  • Discover the Tudors tour – Last few Early Bird tickets

    I posted about this new luxury Tudor tour last month but Philippa has just let me know that there are still some Early Bird tickets available (saving of £300 per person) so I wanted to let you know.

    I’m really excited about this tour because it doesn’t just focus on the well-known London Tudor attractions, it also takes participants to Windsor, Hatfield, Stratford-upon-Avon, Kenilworth and Bosworth, all with private guided tours. One of my very favourite historians, Leanda de Lisle, has just confirmed that she’ll be speaking to our group too!

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  • Charlotte Donovan joins our team

    A big welcome to Charlotte Donovan who is joining us here at the Tudor Society to write biography-style articles on important Tudor people. While Conor Byrne focuses on Tudor women, Charlotte will be writing about men, starting off with Tudor statesmen, those men who served and advised the monarch. You can find our bios in our Tudor People section on the top menu bar or by going to Tudor People.

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  • Katharine of Aragon Festival 2018

    Every year, Peterborough Cathedral hosts the Katharine of Aragon Festival to commemorate the anniversary of Katharine’s burial at the cathedral, then Peterborough Abbey, on 29th January 1536. The Tudor-themed events are a wonderful way to pay tribute to Henry VIII’s first wife.

    Here is the schedule of events:

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  • England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey

    I am so looking forward to this 3-part TV programme from the BBC presented by historian Helen Castor. It’s on in the UK on BBC Four at 9pm on 9th, 10th and 11th January and as well as Helen Castor, it features historians like John Guy, Leanda de Lisle, J Stephan Edwards and Anna Whitelock.

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