The Tudor Society
  • Anne Boleyn Experience 2019 – Day 2

    We couldn’t have picked better weather for our full day at Hever Castle! Blue skies and sunshine were perfect for appreciating the beauty of the castles and its stunning gardens.

    We started our day with a lovely breakfast in the private Astor Wing before heading over to St Peter’s Church, just outside the castle grounds, to see the tomb and brass memorial of Thomas Boleyn and the little brass cross of Henry Boleyn. Then it was time to enjoy everything the castle has to offer – the castle interior with its large portrait collection, exhibition celebrating Hever Castle’s use in films and on TV (including two beautiful dresses worn by Genevieve Bujold in “Anne of the Thousand Days”), the gardens the gift shop and Hever ducks and swans.

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  • 13 May – Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon get married again

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th May 1515, Henry VIII's beloved sister, Mary Tudor, former Queen of France, married his best friend, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, at Greenwich Palace.

    Hear all about the couple's marriage in today's video from Claire Ridgway, author and founder of the Tudor Society.

    As Claire mentions, the couple had got married secretly in France and you can find out more about that in Claire's video at https://youtu.be/yPlUHeSNi40

    Also on this day in history:

    • 1536 – Queen Anne Boleyn’s royal household at Greenwich was broken up, even though she hadn't been tried yet. Click here to read more.
    • 1568 – Mary, Queen of Scots's forces were defeated at the Battle of Langside.
    • 1619 – Funeral of Anne (Anne of Denmark), consort of James VI and I. She was buried in Henry VII's Chapel in Westminster Abbey.
  • Anne Boleyn Experience 2019 – Day 1

    As promised, I’m sharing with you a day-by-day account of the Anne Boleyn Experience 2019 tour that I am co-leading with Philippa of British History Tours,

    After flying in to the UK yesterday and staying with my father-in-law in Sussex overnight, I caught the train up to London Victoria this morning. After brunch with Philippa, we set off to meet this year’s tour participants at Victoria. It was wonderful to meet some Tudor Society members and to finally put faces to names – such lovely people.

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  • May Tudor Events Quiz

    How much do you know about May’s “on this day in Tudor history” events?

    Test yourself with this fun Sunday quiz!

    Grab your favourite snack and beverage, make yourself comfortable, and let’s begin.

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  • 12 May – Martin Luther’s books are burned in London

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th May 1521, reformer Martin Luther was proclaimed a heretic by Bishop John Fisher and Cardinal Thomas Wolsey at St Paul’s in London, and his works were burned.

    Hear a contemporary account of what happened on this day in 1521 in today’s video:

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  • 11 May – Two Carthusian Monks

    On this day in Tudor history, Blessed John Rochester and Blessed James Walworth, two Carthusian monks from the London Charterhouse, met their ends in York after being condemned for treason.

    In a five-year period, eighteen Carthusian monks were executed, but why? What had King Henry VIII got against these men of God? What happened?

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  • 10 May – John Clerk, a girdle and the Tower of London

    On this day in Tudor history, author John Clerk, who had served Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, as his secretary, avoided public shame with a very final act in the Tower of London.

    What led Clerk to this end? How had he ended up in the Tower of London?

    Find out more in today’s video.

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  • Immigrants in Medieval and Tudor England

    Today’s Claire Chats was inspired by the recent video I did about the Evil May Day Riot which took place on 1st May 1517, in London, in the reign of King Henry VIII. The riot was an attack on the property of foreign traders in London by a mob of young apprentices and labourers, and it made me want to dig deeper into the topic of immigration during this period.

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  • 9 May – Henry VII’s remains are taken to St Paul’s

    King Henry VII by an unknown artist

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th May 1509, the remains of King Henry VII were taken to St Paul’s to prepare for his burial at Westminster Abbey.

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history”, I share an account of the journey to St Paul’s.

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  • 8 May – Elizabeth I, her Act of Uniformity and her middle road

    On this day in Tudor history, Queen Elizabeth I gave her approval to the Acts of Uniformity and Supremacy. The Act of Uniformity was incredibly important and it reflected the queen’s wish to follow a middle road where religion was concerned.

    But what was this act? What did it establish? What did Elizabeth want for England and what happened?

    I explain all in today’s video.

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  • 7 May – John Fisher is tricked

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th May 1535, after a year of imprisonment in awful conditions at the Tower of London, John Fisher, former Bishop of Rochester, was visited at the Tower of London and tricked into saying something that would lead to his brutal end.

    I explain what led to Fisher’s imprisonment, what happened on this day in 1535 and what happened next.

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  • 6 May – The Great Bible

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th May 1541, King Henry VIII issued an injunction ordering the Great Bible to be available in every church in England.

    But what was this Bible? Who had worked on its translation?

    I explain just what this Bible was in today’s video.

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  • 5 May – A pardon for Queen Catherine Howard’s stepgrandmother

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th May 1542, just under three months after the execution of her stepgranddaughter, Queen Catherine Howard, Agnes Tilney, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, was pardoned and released from the Tower of London.

    Find out how the dowager duchess ended up in the Tower in today’s video.

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  • The Fall of Anne Boleyn Crossword Puzzle

    As yesterday’s informal live chat was on the Fall of Anne Boleyn and we’re coming to the anniversary of Queen Anne Boleyn’s execution, I thought I’d do a crossword puzzle to test your knowledge of her fall in May 1536 and the people and places involved.

    I hope you enjoy it!

    Good luck!

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  • 4 May – Claimant Edmund de la Pole

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video, I mark the anniversary of the execution of Edmund de la Pole by sharing some information about him and his brother, Richard, and what led to Edmund’s demise on the scaffold at Tower Hill.

    What led to Edmund finally being beheaded after nine years of imprisonment and what happened to Richard de la Pole?

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  • Claire Chats – Law in Medieval and Tudor England

    In this week’s Claire Chats, I look at how the legal system worked in the medieval period before looking at the legal machinery that was used in the cases of Queen Anne Boleyn and the five men implicated in her fall in May 1536.

    I highly recommend Ian Mortimer’s book “The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England” and also Toni Mount’s excellent online history course “England’s Crime and Punishment through the Ages” which goes from justice in the 7th century all the way to prison reformers of the 19th century.

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  • 3 May – Thomas Tusser and his advice for May

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd May 1580, poet, farmer and agricultural writer Thomas Tusser died.

    I mark the anniversary of his death by sharing with you his verses for the month of May.

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  • 2 May – Mary, Queen of Scots escapes!

    On this day in Tudor history, 2 May 1568, Mary, Queen of Scots, who had recently been forced to abdicate in favour of her son, King James VI, successfully escaped from Lochleven Castle.

    How did she end up a prisoner at Lochleven? How did she escape? And what happened next?

    Let me explain…

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  • Jane Grey – Expert Talk – Tamise Hills

    Tamise Hills from the Lady Jane Grey Reference Guide is our expert guest speaker for May, and her talk looks at what resources there are to help us understand this often forgotten Tudor queen.

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  • Happy May Day!

    Happy May Day! Today, 1st May, is May Day, a special day in Tudor England. Today, in the UK, the May Day holiday is the first Monday in May so today is a normal working day, what a shame. Here in Spain, it is a bank holiday, but is the “Day of the Worker” and just time to relax, rather than to do anything special.

    In the Tudor period, 1st May was was seen as the first day of summer. May Day had its roots in ancient celebrations of fertility and was celebrated with special processions, plays and pantomimes, pageants, Morris dancing and the crowning of a May Queen. There would also be a Maypole, a tall wooden pole decorated with greenery and flowers and hung with ribbons. People would hold the ribbons and dance around the Maypole weaving the ribbons together in patterns.

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  • 1 May – The Evil May Day Riot

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st May 1517, foreign traders in London had their shops and property vandalised and damaged by a mob of angry apprentices and labourers.

    What sparked off this “Evil May Day Riot”? What happened to the troublemakers? And how did Queen Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII’s sisters, Margaret and Mary, get involved? Let me explain…

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