The Tudor Society
  • Boo! Happy Halloween!

    Did I scare you? Happy Halloween! I hope you have a wonderful day whatever your plans and whether you’re celebrating All Hallows Eve or not.

    I thought I’d celebrate this feast day by sharing some Tudor Society resources on Halloween and also Tudor ghosts:

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  • November 2018 – Tudor Life – The Heresy Burnings of Mary I

    In this month’s stunning 98 page edition of Tudor Life magazine, we cover the reputation of Mary I and whether she deserves the title “Bloody Mary”. In this edition, we look into the lives of some of the martyrs …

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  • This week in history 29 October – 4 November

    29th October:

    1532 – Henry VIII accompanied Francis I to the border between English Calais and France to bid farewell to him.
    1586 – Four days after a commission had found Mary, Queen of Scots guilty of conspiring to assassinate Elizabeth I, Parliament met to discuss Mary’s fate. They decided that they should petition the Queen for Mary’s execution.
    1605 – Death of George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, courtier and naval commander, at the duchy house, near the Savoy in London. He was buried in the family vault in Holy Trinity Church, Skipton, near Skipton Castle. Clifford was Elizabeth I’s second champion. He commanded a ship in the Anglo-Spanish War, and is known for capturing Fort San Felipe del Morro in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1598. Elizabeth I nicknamed him her “rogue”.
    1618 – Sir Walter Ralegh (Raleigh), courtier, explorer, author and soldier, was executed at Westminster. Ralegh had originally been found guilty of treason and sentenced to death in 1603, after being implicated in the Main Plot against James I, but the King spared his life. In 1618, the death sentence was reinstated after he incurred the wrath of Spain for storming San Thomé and killing the Spanish governor.

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  • Tudor ghosts wordsearch

    If you watched the Horrible Hauntings Claire Chats video on Friday this wordsearch should be easy peasy! You can open and print out the wordsearch by clicking on the link or the picture. Have fun!

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  • Livechat transcript – Lauren Mackay – George and Thomas Boleyn

    Here is the transcript of our lively chat on George and Thomas Boleyn. Lots of questions were asked, and lots answered!

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  • Horrible Hauntings

    Do you believe in ghosts? I’m not sure, but I do love a good ghost story and there are lots involving Tudor personalities and places. As it’s coming up to Halloween, I thought I’d share a few. Please do share ones you’ve heard too!

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  • Queen Jane Seymour

    A portrait of Jane Seymour by Hans Holbein the Younger

    As today is the anniversary of the death of Jane Seymour, third wife and queen consort of King Henry VIII and mother of King Edward VI, on 24th October 1537, I thought I’d share some resources from our archives:

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  • Works by Ben Jonson and John Davies to be performed for the first time in over 400 years – 4 December 2018, Southwark Cathedral

    Thank you to Michelle Yim of Red Dragonfly Productions for sending me the following information:

    At Southwark Cathedral in London this December, for one night only, we ordinary folk will be able to enjoy entertainments performed only once before at the Elizabethan and Jacobean Courts, and in doing so bear witness to some of the political intrigues of the time.

    With Queen Elizabeth getting older, and having no successor, Sir Robert Cecil, risking treason, is secretly negotiating with the King of the Scots to take over the throne. He also has a wish to open up a trade route to China, and the arrival of a foreign visitor gives him some hope of this, but will the Queen approve of his plans? If she does then will the new King be of the same mind? A mostly true tale of political intrigue, social change and one man’s obsession with porcelain, performed in glorious costume in one of London’s most historic buildings.

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  • This week in history 22 – 28 October

    22nd October:

    1521 – Death of Sir Edward Poynings, soldier, administrator and diplomat at his manor of Westenhanger in Kent. Poynings served Henry VII as Lord Deputy of Ireland and Henry VIII as an ambassador, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Chancellor of the Order of the Garter,
    1554 (22nd or 23rd) – Death of John Veysey/Vesey (born John Harman), Bishop of Exeter, at Moor Hall, Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire.
    1577 – Death of Henry Parker, 11th Baron Morley and Roman Catholic exile, in Paris. Morley had fled abroad after refusing to subscribe to Elizabeth I’s “Act of Uniformity” and after being implicated in the 1569 Rising of the North.

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  • Jane Seymour Quiz

    A portrait of Jane Seymour by Hans Holbein the Younger

    Jane Seymour was Henry VIII’s third wife and the one who managed to give him what he really wanted and needed, a living son, but how much do you know about Jane? Test yourself with this fun quiz. Good luck!

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  • Walter Marsh, Protestant martyr and spy

    Not many people have heard of Walter Marsh, an Englishman who was burned to death in Rome’s Campo dei Fiori after having his tongue cut out, his right hand cut off and his skin scorched with torches, so I thought I’d share what I’ve found out about him and how he came to this brutal end in Rome.

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  • A look at Margaret Tudor

    I thought it would be fun to have “Throwback Thursday” here on the Tudor Society to highlight interesting articles, videos, expert talks, magazines etc. from our archives. As today is the anniversary of the death of Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots (from 1503-1513) and sister of Henry VIII, I thought I’d share some Margaret Tudor themed goodies from our archives.

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  • Lord Edward Howard (c.1478-1539)

    Lord Edmund Howard was born in around 1478 as the third son of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, and his first wife, Elizabeth Tilney, Countess of Surrey. Edmund came from a successful family; his father having served under four monarchs. During the tumultuous Wars of the Roses period, Edmund’s father supported the Yorkists, serving both Edward IV and Richard III. Thomas Howard was awarded the Earldom of Surrey in 1483, alongside being appointed to the Privy Council and becoming an invested member of the exclusive Order of the Garter. Upon Richard III’s defeat at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, the Earl of Surrey was imprisoned for a period and stripped of his honours as a result of his treasonous actions against the newly established Tudor throne. The now King Henry VII was discerning in his prevention of Surrey’s execution; intent on proving himself a merciful monarch in the wake of decades of factional brutality. Henry was later reassured that Surrey was a loyal servant and restored his earldom in May 1489. Similarly, the earl regained his position in society, taking up the role of Lieutenant of the North until 1499. From this point onwards, Surrey became a valued, trusted and loyal man to the Tudor crown; with his forces decimating the Scottish forces at Flodden in 1513. A year later, he was granted the title of Duke of Norfolk, one of England’s preeminent titles; which came with significant lands and annuities. When the duke died in 1524, his funeral was attended by a significant number of exclusive guests who congregated at Framingham Castle to pay their respects to a hugely influential figure at the Henrician court.

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  • This week in history 15 – 21 October

    15th October:

    1536 – Henry VIII wrote to the Earl of Shrewsbury, the Duke of Suffolk “and others” with instructions on handling the rebellion which we now know as the Pilgrimage of Grace. The King also wrote to the rebels in Lincolnshire promising “to show them mercy if they leave all their harness and weapons in the market-place of Lincoln”.
    1537 – Christening of Henry VIII’s son, the future Edward VI, in the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court. Edward’s half-sister Mary stood as godmother, while his other half-sister, the four year-old Elizabeth, bore the chrisom cloth, helped by Edward’s uncle, Edward Seymour. Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk, Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, and Archbishop Cranmer stood as godfathers.
    1542 – Death of William Fitzwilliam, Earl of Southampton, courtier, diplomat and naval commander, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It is thought that he was buried in Newcastle. Southampton’s offices included Vice Admiral, Treasurer of the Household and Lord Privy Seal. He died while leading troops to Scotland under the command of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk.
    1582 – The first day of the Gregorian calendar following the last day of the Julian calendar, 4th October 1582, meaning that the 5th-14th October did not exist in the year 1582. Many countries ignored Pope Gregory XIII’s papal bull and carried on using the Julian Calendar. England, for example, did not introduce the Gregorian calendar until 1752.
    1584 – Execution of Richard Gwyn (White), martyr, schoolteacher and Welsh language poet, at Wrexham in Wales. He was hanged, drawn and quartered for high treason because of his Catholic faith.
    1590 – Death of William Bleddyn (Blethin), Bishop of Llandaff. He was buried in Matharn Church, in the chancel.
    1595 – Death of Philip Howard, 13th Earl of Arundel, in the Tower of London. It was rumoured that his cook had poisoned him. Arundel had been imprisoned for high treason, because of his Catholic faith and for fleeing England without Elizabeth I’s permission. He was buried in the Tower chapel, St Peter ad Vincula.

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  • Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder Quiz

    How much do you know about Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder, poet and diplomat? Test yourself with this fun quiz. Good luck!

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  • The Plague

    I seem to keep encountering the Plague (the Black Death) at the moment, mention of it, that is, and not the actual illness, so I thought I’d talk about it in this week’s Claire Chats video. Apologies for saying “boo” rather than “bew” in “bubonic. I was concentrating on saying pneumonic correctly that I went all Spanish with my pronunciation of “u”!

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  • Happy birthday Edward VI!

    On this day in history, 12th October 1537, the eve of the feast of St Edward, Jane Seymour gave birth to the future King Edward VI. The third wife of Henry VIII had suffered a long and tiring 30-hour labour, but she had given the king what he’d wanted for so long: a legitimate son and heir.

    Henry VIII died on 28th January 1547, making Edward King Edward VI of England at the age of just nine.

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  • Lady Alice More (née Harpur) c.1474-c.1551)

    Lady Alice More was born the daughter of Sir Richard Harpur and his wife, Elizabeth Ardern. Little is known of Alice’s early life, including her year of birth, but historian Retha Warnicke has dated it to in or after 1474. Alice’s first husband was John Middleton; however, the date of their wedding ceremony is unknown. Warnicke has put forward the argument that Alice was likely already married to John by the year 1492, as her father had failed to mention her in his will of the same year. This is a convincing argument; it was not particularly unusual for a fifteenth-century father to exclude his daughter from his will if she was an established member of another household. Alice’s marriage to John represented the customary ambitions of the late medieval gentry: securing wealth, status and property. The Middleton and Ardern families were related by kinship, with John being Alice’s cousin; with both parties owning a significant number of properties in Yorkshire. Additionally, Alice’s husband was a wealthy silk merchant and a member of the Mercers’ Company (a successful trade association) and the Staple of Calais (a mercantile corporation). The couple had three children: a son and two daughters, Alice and Helen, but only Alice survived infancy.

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  • Elizabeth I and smallpox

    On 10th October 1562, twenty-nine-year-old Queen Elizabeth I was taken ill at Hampton Court Palace. It was thought that the queen had caught a bad cold but when she developed a violent fever it became clear that it was something more serious; Elizabeth had smallpox.

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  • This week in history 8 – 14 October

    The Pilgrimage of Grace banner bearing the Holy Wounds of Jesus Christ

    8th October:

    1515 – Birth of Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox. Margaret was the daughter of Margaret Tudor, Queen Dowager of Scotland and sister of Henry VIII, and Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus.
    1536 – The commons, i.e. the people, approved the petition of grievances drawn up by the rebels of Horncastle, Lincolnshire.
    1549 – Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector, was proclaimed a traitor by the King’s Privy Council.
    1561 – Baptism of Edward Wright, mathematician and cartographer, at Garveston in Norfolk. Wright is known for his treatise “Certaine Errors in Navigation” (1599), his work on Mercator’s map projection and his translation of John Napier’s 1614 Mirifici logarithmorum canonis descriptio into English.
    1594 – Death of Ellis Price (Prys), scholar and administrator. Price served Henry VIII as a Monastic Visitor in Wales 1535, Commissary-General and Chancellor of the diocese of St Asaph, and as an administrator in Wales after the “Acts of Union”. He also later served as Sheriff of Merioneth, Anglesey, Caernarfon, and Denbigh, and a member of the council in the Marches of Wales.

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  • Medieval and Tudor Tools and Implements Crossword

    This week’s Sunday puzzle is a crossword testing your knowledge of the tools and implements used in the medieval and Tudor periods. Print out the crossword by clicking on the image or link below, grab your favourite snack, beverage and pen, make yourself comfortable, and get started. Good luck!

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  • Who was William Shakespeare?

    Today’s Claire Chats video was inspired by my recent visit to Stratford-upon-Avon with the Discover the Tudors tour. We visited Shakespeare’s birthplace, New Place, Hall’s Croft, Guild Hall and Shakespeare’s Schoolroom, and Holy Trinity Church, and although I grew up in the area and studied Shakespeare and his works at school and university I learned so much about the man from our guide and speakers. I wanted to share some of that with you today.

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  • October’s Live Chats – 13th and 26th October

    Just to let you know the details of this month’s live chats. Our informal chat on the topic of Tudor life will take place on Saturday 13th October and our expert live chat with historian and author Lauren Mackay will take place on Friday 26th October.

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  • Henry VIII: the Unseen Tapestries exhibition: 1-19 October, London

    The S Franses gallery in London have just let me know about a loan exhibition they have on at the moment, which runs until the 19th October 2018.
    Their website explains:

    “This small but remarkable loan exhibition includes rare and previously unseen, as well as rediscovered, tapestries from the tapestry collection of the king. The rediscovered monumental “Burning of the Books” tapestry commissioned by Henry and deliver to Hampton Court Palace in 1538. The “Lord Russell Order of the Garter” tapestry. “Romulus and Remus” a tapestry from Greenwich Palace.”

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  • Expert Talk – Thomas and George Boleyn – Lauren Mackay

    Our expert speaker for the month is Lauren Mackay who is speaking about Thomas Boleyn, father of Anne Boleyn, and George Boleyn, Anne’s brother. Lauren’s talk covers the lives, careers and downfall of both men – it’s a great talk and we learned lots!

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  • This week in history 1 – 7 October

    1st October:

    1500 – Death of John Alcock, Bishop of Ely, scholar and Royal Tutor, at Wisbech Castle. He was buried at Ely Cathedral, in the chantry chapel he had designed. Alcock had acted as tutor to Prince Edward, son of Edward IV, and had also been president of the Prince’s Council at Ludlow. He was also Henry VII’s first Chancellor and opened his first Parliament.
    1505 – Death of Sir Henry Colet, merchant and Lord Mayor of London, at Stepney. He was buried there.
    1526 – Birth of Dorothy Stafford, Lady Stafford, daughter of Henry Stafford, 10th Baron Stafford, and his wife, Ursula (née Pole). Dorothy married Sir William Stafford, widower of Mary Boleyn, in 1545. She served Elizabeth I as a gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber.
    1553 – Mary I was crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey by Stephen Gardiner, the Bishop of Winchester.

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