The Tudor Society
  • Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk Quiz

    Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk

    This week’s quiz is on that famous Tudor courtier, soldier and statesman, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. Just how much do you know about the man who was the uncle of Queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard? Find out with this Sunday’s quiz.

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  • Robert Dudley is made Earl of Leicester – 29 September 1564

    On this day in history, 29th September 1564, Robert Dudley was made Earl of Leicester, an earldom which had been planned earlier in the year to make him more acceptable as a bridegroom to Mary, Queen of Scots. This earldom was an important one, having previously been held by royal princes like John of Gaunt and Henry of Bolingbroke (Henry IV). Although Dudley behaved impeccably at the ceremony, the queen did not. As she put the chain of earldom around Dudley’s neck, she “could not refrain from putting her hand in his neck to kittle him smilingly.” A loving gesture and perhaps one that was meant to reassure Dudley that he was still hers.

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  • October 2018 – Tudor Life – The Supernatural

    In this month’s Tudor Life magazine is perfect for the month of October as it’s all about the Supernatural and the Tudors. Packed with fascinating articles about the spookier side of history.

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  • Tudor and Stuart Seafarers – New gallery at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

    The National Maritime Museum, in Greenwich, London, has just let us know about their brand new gallery, ‘Tudor & Stuart Seafarers’. The museum says of the gallery:

    “It includes sections covering a range of different subjects, from the voyages of John Cabot to the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and features many fascinating Tudor & Stuart objects, from early maps of the Americas to the coconut cup given to Sir Francis Drake by Elizabeth I. The gallery also has numerous audio-visual and interactive features, including a dockyard model brought to life by the Pepper’s Ghost technique. It is a permanent gallery and so is free to visit.”

    It is open 10am-5pm daily.

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  • Live Chat Transcript – Julian Humphrys – Tudor Cambridge and an update on Bosworth Battlefield

    Here is a transcript of our live chat with historian Julian Humphrys. Julian spoke to us on Tudor Cambridge but seeing as he works with the Battlefields Trust it was also an ideal opportunity to get an update on the Bosworth Battlefield situation. It was an excellent live chat.

    Remember that all full members are welcome to our live chat events and we try to time them so that they are at a reasonable hour, wherever you live in the world!

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  • Claire Chats – Highlights of the Discover the Tudors Tour

    In this week’s Claire Chats video, I share some of the highlights of the Discover the Tudors tour. There were so many highlights and even these aren’t all of them!

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  • Anne Dudley (née Russell), Countess of Warwick (1548/1549-1604)

    Lady Anne Russell was born the eldest of three daughters of Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford, and his first wife, Margaret St John. Anne’s father was an English nobleman and soldier who had a successful career at both the Henrician and Elizabethan courts. However, he came to significant attention during the reign of Elizabeth I; a monarch renowned for her taste in dashing, exciting and reliable men. Through this relationship with the queen, Francis was able to rise in status to the office of privy councillor. He also carried out diplomatic missions on the continent. Very little is known of Anne’s childhood, as much of the Russell family papers, for the sixteenth-century, are lost. When compared to other families, such as the Cecils, there is substantially more information on the education of William Cecil’s daughters than the Russell children. Any information regarding the Russell daughters’ education, including Anne’s sister Margaret, is practically unknown.

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  • This week in history 24 – 30 September

    24th September:

    1486 – Arthur, Prince of Wales and son of Henry VII, was christened at a lavish ceremony at Winchester Cathedral.
    1516 – Birth of Richard Pate, lawyer, member of Parliament and refounder of Cheltenham Grammar School, now known as Pate’s Grammar School.
    1526 – Sometime before 24th September 1526, Marmaduke Huby, Abbot of Fountains since 1495, died at around the age of 87. It is thought that he was buried under the floor of the chapter house.
    1561 – Birth of Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp, son of Katherine Grey (sister of Lady Jane Grey) and Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford, in the Tower of London. He was born in the Tower because his parents had been imprisoned for marrying without the Queen’s permission.
    1589 – Executions of William Spenser, Roman Catholic priest and martyr, and layman Robert Hardesty at York. Spenser was executed for being a priest, and Hardesty for sheltering Spenser.

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  • Discover the Tudors Tour Day 8 – Shakespeare’s Globe and the National Portrait Gallery

    I can’t believe that today was our last full day on the tour and that I will soon be saying goodbye to these lovely lords and ladies. We have gelled so much and I know that we have made friendships that will last a lifetime. It’s wonderful that Tudor history can bring us together like this.

    After another delicious breakfast, this time at the Doubletree by Hilton near the Tower of London, we headed out for the day. Although it was raining – well, we did have to give our group the true British experience! – we decided to stop off at the Tower Hill scaffold site to explain its relevance, as many people miss this entirely. So many important Tudor personalities lost their lives there, so it was good to visit and remember them. We then made our way down to the River Thames, at Tower Wharf, right where Anne Boleyn disembarked on 2nd May 1536 when she was taken to the Tower to be imprisoned, to catch the Clipper, the river bus service that would take us to Bankside, where Shakespeare’s Globe is located. It was wonderful seeing lots of London sights from the river and in just a few short minutes we were at Bankside.

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  • Henry Howard Quiz

    Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, was the cousin of Queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, a famous Tudor poet and a man who managed to end up in prison a few times, but how much do you know about this Tudor courtier? Find out with this fun quiz. Good luck!

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  • Discover the Tudors Tour Day 7 – London Charterhouse

    After another delicious breakfast at the Arden Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon – French toast and I shared it with Francis I and Elizabeth I, as you can see! – we said our goodbyes to Stratford and set off for London. We arrived in London for lunch and then headed to London Charterhouse.

    London Charterhouse has such a fascinating history. The land was used as a burial site for victims of the Black Death in 1348 and then in 1371, the Carthusian monastery was built. You might remember me telling you about that Carthusian Martyrs of Henry VIII’s reign, monks from this very monastery who refused to sign the oath recognising Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church in England and who were brutally executed or starved to death. The monastery was dissolved in the 1530s and it then passed through the hands of Sir Edward North; John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland; North again; Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk; Philip Howard, 13th Earl of Arundel; Elizabeth I; Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, and Thomas Sutton. Elizabeth I visited it on several occasions.

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  • Discover the Tudors Tour Day 6 – Kenilworth Castle and Bosworth

    After another yummy breakfast the Arden Hotel’s veggie cooked breakfast is delicious, by the way – we headed off to spend the morning at Kenilworth Castle.

    Kenilworth Castle dates back to the 12th century, but for us Tudor history lovers it’s the link with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, that gets us excited. Leicester, who was of course Elizabeth I’s good friend and favourite, and, I believe, the love of her life, was granted the castle in 1563. In 1575, the Queen visited Kenilworth Castle for 19 days, the longest visit she made to any courtier, and Leicester made many changes to the castle in anticipation of her visit, including creating a chase, building a gatehouse and bridge over the mere, building a four-storey block of state apartments, and creating a beautiful privy garden. He also commissioned special entertainments for the queen in a last-ditch attempt to woo her.

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  • The Château de Blois

    I’ve finally managed to go through my photos of the Château de Blois so here is a Claire Chats video on the Château de Blois, along with galleries of my photos. I hope you enjoy browsing through them.

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  • Discover the Tudors Tour Day 5 – Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon

    I grew up near Stratford-upon-Avon so today was a special day for me, seeing my home area through the eyes of others and also seeing places that had been on my doorstep for years but that I’d taken for granted and never visited, or that hadn’t been open when I lived here.

    As a huge Shakespeare fan, I had ben waiting for this day of the tour with bated breath and as good luck would have it, it came round quickly. The weather forecast predicted that the day might not be for the faint-hearted, with rain and drizzle forecast, but all’s well that ends well and the day really was such stuff as dreams are made on. Sorry, that’s too much of a good thing and I think I’ll stop the Shakespeare phrases and get on with the diary entry!

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  • Discover the Tudors Tour Day 4 – Hatfield House

    After breakfast, we said goodbye to the Harte and Garter Hotel and travelled on to Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.

    Although the main palace is Jacobean, having been built in 1611, in the reign of James I, it houses many treasures from the time when there was a 15th century palace on the site, the home that Elizabeth knew in her childhood and youth. The only part of that former palace that still survives today is the part of the houses that houses the Banqueting Hall with its wonderful original timber roof.

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  • Discover the Tudors Tour Day 3: Hampton Court Palace

    Today was our Hampton Court Palace day and although I have been many many times, I always learn something new and I always enjoy my time there. It was a perfect day.

    We had a two-hour private guided tour from Siobhan, who focused on the Tudor side of things – the history of the original palace built for Cardinal Wolsey, the Tudor kitchens, the Great Hall, Presence Chamber, Haunted Gallery, the Chapel Royal, the Tudor Garden with Edward VI’s nursery… – and then we had free time to enjoy lunch and to visit other parts of the palace. Philippa and I visited the Young Henry VIII exhibition, the William and Mary State Apartments, the Royal Tennis Court and the Cumberland Art Gallery whose rooms are on the footprint of what was Henry VIII’s apartments (there are still some Tudor doorways, stairs and a tower room). We had a fabulous time.

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  • Discover the Tudors Tour – Day 2: Windsor

    After a breakfast spent gazing out of the hotel window at Windsor Castle opposite, our group had a guided tour of Windsor Castle. Our guide, Amanda, gave us a Tudor-focused tour, giving us an overview of the castle’s history and then pointing out the parts built by our very favourite dynasty. She also pointed out parts that we all saw on TV back in May when Prince Harry married Meghan – we walked where George Clooney walked – ha!

    We couldn’t have asked for a better day as it was lovely and sunny. I think my favourite part was visiting the chapel and saying hello to Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, as well as Charles Brandon, Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, Henry VI and a few others, and also seeing the stall plates of some of my favourite Tudor Knights of the Garter. It really is a jaw-droppingly beautiful place.

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  • This week in history 17 – 23 September

    A miniature of Henry Brandon, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, by Hans Holbein the Younger.

    17th September:

    1558 – Death of Walter Devereux, 1st Viscount Hereford, at the Devereux seat at Chartley in Staffordshire. He was buried in Stowe church. Devereux served Henry VIII as joint Constable of Warwick Castle, as a member of the jury at the trial of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, in 1521, in the government of the Welsh Marches, as Steward in Princess Mary’s household at Ludlow and Chamberlain of the Court of General Surveyors. He also served Edward VI as a Privy Councillor.
    1563 – Death of Henry Manners, 2nd Earl of Rutland, courtier and soldier, during an outbreak of the plague. He was buried at Bottesford parish church in Leicestershire. Manners served Edward VI as Warden of the East and Middle Marches on the Scottish borders, joint Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, and Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire. He was imprisoned when Mary I came to the throne for his support of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, but was released into house arrest and then pardoned. He served Mary I as Captain-General of Horsemen and Lieutenant and Captain-General in Calais. During Elizabeth I’s reign, he served as Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire and Rutland, and President of the Council of the North.
    1575 – Death of Heinrich (Henry) Bullinger, the Swiss reformer and theologian, in Zurich. Bullinger succeeded Huldrych Zwingli as pastor at Grossmünster and head of the church in Zurich. His main work was “The Decades”, a theological work, but his sermons were also translated and published, and he wrote historical works.
    1577 – The Edict of Poitiers ratified the Treaty of Bergerac, which had been signed between Henry III of France and the Huguenot princes.

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  • Discover the Tudors Tour – Day 1

    As promised, here is my diary entry for day 1 of the Discover the Tudors tour..

    I didn’t get much sleep last night as I was buzzing. I was so excited about the tour. I took the train to London early so that I had time to do a bit of shopping and get some lunch before meeting Philippa and the group. I met up with Philippa, my co-leader, for a coffee to catch up and then we headed off to meet the tour group.

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  • Tudor Prisons and Prisoners Crossword Puzzle

    This week’s puzzle has as its theme the London prisons of the Tudor period and the people who ended up being imprisoned in them. How much do you know about Tudor prisons and prisoners? Test yourself with this fun crossword puzzle.

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  • The destruction of religious shrines

    The iconic portrait of Henry VIII after Holbein

    As today is the anniversary of the destruction of the Shrine of Our Lady of Caversham, near Reading, on 14th September 1538, I thought I’d do a Claire Chats on religious shrines and their destruction in the 1530s.

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  • Anne Parr, Countess of Pembroke (1515-1552)

    Anne Parr was born on 15th June 1515, in the early years of Henry VIII’s reign. Her parents were Sir Thomas Parr and Maud Green. Thomas was an English knight, courtier, and Lord of the Manor of Kendal in Westmorland (current day Cumbria). Perhaps more famously known in contemporary historiography as the younger sister of Katherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII, Anne Parr has remained a particularly elusive character in terms of research, when compared to her fashionable contemporaries. However, she led an equally interesting and eventful life. Despite the Parr daughters having a northern-born father, they grew up in the south of England. Their father’s seat at Kendal castle was, during their childhood, falling into disrepair, and living in the south was more practical in terms of their father’s role at court; Westmorland simply being too far from the centre of government and monarchy. In a manner more cosmopolitan, the Parr family resided at their modest house in Blackfriars, where Anne and Katherine were likely born and raised. This relative closeness to the court was convenient for Maud Parr, who was one of Queen Catherine of Aragon’s primary ladies in waiting.

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  • New Facebook video

    Have you seen our new Facebook header video? We’re really excited about it!

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  • This week in history 10 – 16 September

    10th September:

    1515 – Thomas Wolsey was made Cardinal.
    1533 – Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was christened at the Church of Observant Friars in Greenwich.
    1543 – Death of Sir Edward Chamberlayne, Oxfordshire gentleman and soldier. He was buried at Woodstock.
    1547 – The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, part of the War of the Rough Wooing between England and Scotland. Click here to read more.
    1549 – Death of Sir Anthony Denny, Henry VIII’s great friend and groom of the stool, at Cheshunt. He was buried in St Mary’s Church, Cheshunt.
    1557 – Execution of Joyce Lewis (née Curson and other married name Appleby, Lady Appleby), Protestant martyr, at Lichfield. She was burned at the stake for her Protestant beliefs.
    1569 – Death of Gilbert Bourne, Bishop of Bath and Wells, at Silverton in Devon. Bourne was deprived of his see in Elizabeth I’s reign after refusing to take the “Oath of Supremacy”. He was buried in Silverton Church.
    1604 – Death of William Morgan, Bishop of St Asaph and Bible translator, at the Bishop’s Palace at St Asaph. He was buried there in the cathedral church.

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  • Elizabeth I: True or false quiz

    Elizabeth I is the iconic Tudor monarch who has gone down in history as Good Queen Bess, the Virgin Queen and Gloriana, but how much do you know about her? Test yourself with this fun true or false quiz. Good luck!

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  • This month’s Live Chats – 14 and 27 September

    Just to let you know the details of September’s live chats. The informal chat will take place on Friday 14th September and the expert one will take place on Thursday 27th September.

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  • Elizabeth I Resources

    There are so many articles, videos, talks etc. on Elizabeth I on the Tudor Society site so I thought I’d make a list of some of them, you can find others by using the search box.

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  • Elizabeth I: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    In today’s Claire Chats, I’m commemorating the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth I’s birth on 7th September 1533 with a video looking at her achievements and her weaknesses and the downsides of her reign. Please do share your views as comments below.

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  • Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London

    Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London (c. 1500-1569)
    Birth: c. 1500
    Place of birth: probably Hanley, Worcestershire
    Parents: Elizabeth Frodsham, wife of Edmund Bonner, sawyer. However, it was alleged that his father was actually George Savage, rector of Davenham, Cheshire.
    Education: Broadgates Hall (now Pembroke College), Oxford, where he studied civil and canon law. In 1526, he received a doctorate in civil law and was admitted to the College of Advocates, London.

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  • Have you seen our testimonials?

    Since Sept 1 2014 we’ve been happily adding more and information to the Tudor Society, including weekly videos, monthly expert talks, live chat transcripts, monthly magazines and so much more!

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