The Tudor Society
  • May 2019 – Tudor Life – The Boleyns

    May’s Tudor Life magazine is focused on the Boleyn Family, including the infamous Anne Boleyn, but also her brother George Boleyn, father Thomas Boleyn, sister Mary Boleyn and even wider. As always it’s packed from start to finish with interesting facts, articles and stunning photos. We’ve even got an exclusive “behind the scenes” photo montage from Hever Castle. Not to be missed …

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  • 30 April – Lawyer James Bainham’s end at Smithfield

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th April 1532, in the reign of King Henry VIII, lawyer James Bainham was burned at the stake at Smithfield for his reformed faith.

    Find out more about what led this man to the stake, as well as an account of his end, in today’s video.

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  • May’s live chats – 4 and 31 May

    Just in case you haven’t noticed the dates on the schedule, I wanted to alert you to the times and dates of May’s live chats.

    Our informal live chat is on 4th May at 11pm UK time. The topic is the fall of Anne Boleyn. An informal chat is just that, an informal debate where all points of view are welcome. We can pose questions to each other, discuss our points of view, recommend books etc. anything related to Anne Boleyn’s fall in 1536.

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  • 29 April – Sir Dru Drury – from prisoner to jailer

    On this day in history, 29th April 1617, Sir Dru Drury died at the age of around 85 at his home, Riddlesworth Hall in Norfolk.

    He may have died in the Stuart period, but Dru was prominent in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. What is interesting is that he went from being a prisoner to being Lieutenant of the Tower of London!

    Find out more about him in today’s video.

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  • Live Transcript – Nathen Amin – The Beauforts

    What a wonderful live chat we had last night with Nathen Amin. All sorts of questions were asked and expertly answered and I think we all learned a lot. For those members who missed the chat, here is the transcript.

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  • 28 April – The funeral of Queen Elizabeth I

    On this day in history, 28th April 1603, the last Tudor monarch, Queen Elizabeth I, was laid to rest at Westminster Abbey in a lavish funeral.

    In today’s video, I share an excerpt from my book “On This Day in Tudor History” about Elizabeth I’s burial and resting place.

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  • Edward VI – True or false quiz

    This week’s Sunday quiz tests your knowledge of the third Tudor monarch, the boy-king Edward VI.

    How much do you know about him? Find out with this fun quiz. Good luck!

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  • 27 April – The death of David Lewis of Abergavenny

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th April 1584, civil lawyer and judge, David Lewis, died in London.

    You’ve probably never heard of David ap Lewis, but he was an important judge, being involved in the maritime legal cases of Queen Elizabeth I’s reign. It’s always interesting to learn more about these lesser-known Tudor people, so I share some David Lewis facts in today’s video.

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  • Live chat – Sunday 28 April – Nathen Amin

    Just a reminder that our April expert chat, a Q&A session with Nathen Amin on his recent talk on the Beauforts, will take place on Sunday 28th April. One lucky chat participant will win a copy of Nathen’s book “The House of Beaufort”.

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  • 26 April – The marriage of Catherine Carey and Francis Knollys

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th April 1540, Catherine Carey, daughter of Mary Boleyn and niece of the late Queen Anne Boleyn, married Francis Knollys.

    It is not known whether the marriage was a love match, but it appears to have been a very happy and successful marriage, and resulted in 14 children.

    Find out more about this Tudor couple in today’s video.

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  • Little Moreton Hall – Roving Reporter

    This month Philippa Lacey Brewell has been visiting Little Moreton Hall, a stunning Tudor time-capsule which almost defies gravity. The is detailed look at the building, it’s history, inhabitants and features is fascinating.

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  • 25 April – Thomas Stafford, Protector of the Realm

    On this day in Tudor history, 25 April 1557, Tudor troublemaker Thomas Stafford, grandson of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, proclaimed himself "Protector of the Realm". It didn't go down well!

    Find out why he did this, what happened and how it wasn't his first brush with trouble, in today's video

    Also on this day in history:

    • 1509 – Birth of Thomas Vaux, 2nd Baron Vaux, poet associated with Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.
    • 1513 – Death of Sir Edward Howard, naval commander, by drowning, in an attack on the French fleet. Edward was the second son of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk.
    • 1526 – Death of Charles Somerset, 1st Earl of Worcester, illegitimate son of Henry Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset, and his mistress Joan Hill. He was buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor.
    • 1544 – Publication of Queen Catherine Parr's English translation of John Fisher's "Psalms or Prayers". It was published anonymously.
      1551 – Death of Alice More, Lady More, second wife of Sir Thomas More. Her exact date of death is not known, but it was around 25th April 1551. She was buried at Chelsea.
    • 1557 – “A Masque of Almains, Pilgrims and Irishmen” was performed in front of Queen Mary I and Philip of Spain.
    • 1599 – Birth of Oliver Cromwell, future Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.
    • 1603 – Burial of Katherine Howard, Countess of Nottingham, eldest daughter of Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, at All Saints, Chelsea. Elizabeth I was said to be very distressed at her friend's death.
  • 24 April – Mary, Queen of Scots gets married

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th April 1558, fifteen-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, got married for the first time. The groom was fourteen-year-old Francis, the Dauphin of France.

    Find out more about the bride and groom, their wedding and what happened to them in today’s video.

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  • 23 April – William Shakespeare’s Birth and Death

    Not only is today the anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare in 1564, but it is also the anniversary of his death in 1616!

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video, I share some facts about the Bard, along with a few phrases from his works that have become part of common parlance.

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  • 22 April – Gaol Fever Hits!

    On this day in Tudor history, 22 April 1598, Justice Francis Beaumont died after contracting gaol fever at the Black Assizes of the Northern Circuit.

    But what exactly was gaol fever?

    Let me explain…

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  • Happy Easter!

    Tim and I would just like to take this opportunity to say a very Happy Easter to all Tudor Society members. We hope you have a wonderful day, whatever you are up to today.Find out more about how Easter Sunday was celebrated in Tudor times, and also enjoy some photos I took at a re-enactment of the Easter story, in my article Easter Sunday.

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  • 21 April – The king is dead! Long live the king!

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st April 1509, King Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty on the English throne, died at Richmond Palace.

    Henry VII was succeeded by his seventeen-year-old son who, apparently, did “not desire gold or gems or precious metals, but virtue, glory, immortality”! Yes, this was Henry VIII.

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  • April Tudor Events Crossword

    Happy Easter!

    As our last week’s puzzle was an Easter-themed one, I thought that, today, I’d test your knowledge on April “on this day in Tudor history” events. My daily posts and videos will definitely help you with this. Good luck!

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  • 20 April – The end of the Nun of Kent

    An engraving of Elizabeth Barton swooning with a vision

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th April 1534, Elizabeth Barton, a Benedictine nun who became known as “the Nun of Kent” or “the Holy Maid of Kent”, was hanged for treason at Tyburn along with a few of her supporters.

    This young woman had experienced religious visions and people had even flocked to her on pilgrimages. All was well until her visions concerned Henry VIII, his quest for an annulment and his marriage to Anne Boleyn.

    Also on this day in history:

    • 1483 – Burial of Edward IV in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
    • 1523 – Death of Henry Clifford, 10th Baron Clifford, magnate. At around the age of sixty, Clifford led a force at the Battle of Flodden in 1513 against the Scots.
    • 1534 – Prominent citizens of London were required to swear the “Oath of the Act of Succession”.
    • 1578 – Death of Lady Mary Keys (née Grey), sister of Lady Jane Grey and wife of Thomas Keys, Sergeant Porter to Elizabeth I. Mary married Keys in secret in 1565, angering Elizabeth I. As a result, Keys was thrown into Fleet Prison and Mary was put into the care of Sir William Hawtrey at Chequers. Mary was later moved to the home of Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk and her stepgrandmother, and then on to that of Sir Thomas Gresham. In 1568, Keys was released from prison, but he died in 1571 without ever being reconciled with Mary. Mary stayed with Gresham, voluntarily because she had nowhere else to go, until moving to her stepfather's house in 1573 and setting up her own home in London. She died at her home in London.
    • 1584 – Execution of sixty year-old James Bell, Catholic priest and martyr, at Lancaster. Bell had been found guilty of being a Catholic recusant and celebrating the mass, and sentenced to death for high treason.
    • 1587 - Burial of John Foxe, martyrologist, in St Giles, Cripplegate. He died 18th April at his home in Grub Street, in the same parish.
  • A Good Friday (Viernes Santo) Procession

    Tim and I got up extra early this morning to go to the town at the bottom of our mountain to take part in the dawn Good Friday (Viernes Santo) procession.

    This annual procession starts at the town church and makes its way up to “Calvario” (Calvary), the hill behind the town on which there is a big wooden cross. We process with a big statue of Jesus carrying his cross and also a replica of Jesus actually on the cross. As we make our way up the hill, we pause at each of the 12 stations of the cross for a reading and prayers. When we reach the cross, the replica of Jesus on the cross is hoisted up onto it. Later in the day, there is another service and procession when Jesus is taken down off the cross.

    It is a beautiful and very moving procession, and I’m so glad that we got up for it.

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  • Good Friday – It is finished

    Good Friday is, of course, the day in the Christian calendar that commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Calvary, where he took on the sins of the world to restore man’s relationship with God.I did a talk last year on the medieval and Tudor traditions associated with Good Friday – click here to view that now – and today I want to simply focus on Christ’s crucifixion, the event that was at the root of all of these traditions.Following Christ’s condemnation for claiming to be King of the Jews, he was taken to Calvary and crucified. I’d like to share St John’s account of Christ’s crucifixion from William Tyndale’s 1534 New Testament:

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  • April 19 – Sir Francis Drake singes the King of Spain’s beard

    A miniature of Francis Drake by Nicholas Hilliard

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th April 1587, Sir Francis Drake “singed the King of Spain’s beard”, as he called it, by attacking the Spanish fleet in the harbour of Cadiz.

    Drake’s actions on that day and the following few days meant that King Philip had to postpone his plans for the Spanish Armada to attack England – phew!

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  • Resources for Historical Novelists, Re-enactors and Time Travellers!

    In my Claire Chats video today, I thought I’d share with you some of the resources that I’ve found useful in giving me an insight into Tudor life and the Tudor mindset, and I know these would be useful to novelists, re-enactors and anyone just wanting to try and understand Tudor people and how they lived.

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  • Maundy Thursday and the Last Supper

    Today is Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday and the day that commemorates the Last Supper, the final meal that Jesus Christ had with his disciples before his arrest – the origin of the Eucharist – and Jesus’ act of washing the feet of his disciples.

    It was a special day in medieval and Tudor times…

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  • April 18 – The death of John Foxe

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th April 1587, the famous martyrologist John Foxe died at the age of around seventy.

    In today’s video, I talk about this famous Tudor man and just how useful his work on Protestant martyrs is.

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  • 17 April – What happens when a jury doesn’t do what the Crown wants?

    What happens when a jury doesn’t find an alleged traitor guilty and, instead, acquits him? Well, the jurors get arrested and thrown into prison, of course!

    I explain exactly what happened on this day in Tudor history, 17th April 1554, in the case of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton. I also give details on how the jurors finally got released and what happened to Throckmorton. Don’t you just love Tudor justice?!

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  • 16 April – Guy Fawkes was baptised

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th April 1570, Gunpowder Plot conspirator Guy Fawkes was baptised in York.

    In today’s video, I talk about how the Gunpowder Plot has its origins in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and why these men were driven to try and blow up Westminster.

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  • 15 April – The beginning of the end for Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex

    You’d think that the appointment of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland might be something to be pleased about, but Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, who was sworn in as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland on this day in 1599, was not at all happy. He didn’t want to be in Ireland!

    The earl’s time in Ireland was to be his undoing, as the arrogant earl decided to ignore the queen’s orders and do his own thing. Oh dear! Find out what happened in today’s video.

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  • A Palm Sunday Procession

    A Palm Sunday procession

    On Friday, I talked about Palm Sunday in my Claire Chats video and I promised that I would share with you photos of the Palm Sunday processions here. Well, I’ve gone one better, and actually recorded some video of the Palm Sunday procession in our nearest town, Tíjola, this morning. I do hope you enjoy it.

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  • 14 April – The death of the insane Earl of Bothwell, husband of Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th April 1578, Mary, Queen of Scots’ third husband, James Hepburn, Duke of Orkney and 4th Earl of Bothwell, died at Dragsholm Castle in Denmark. He’d been held at the castle in appalling conditions and it was said that he’d gone insane.

    Find out more about the life of this earl who’d risen to be the husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, but who’d died in prison, far away from home, in today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video.

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