The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • The Executed Queens Tour Day 5 – Tower of London

    I started my day with a full Hever breakfast – yum! – before I joined the group on the coach with our loveable coach driver Alan and we made our way to London to visit the iconic Tower of London.

    We were met at the Tower by our guide, Alice, who gave us a wonderful tour of the main exterior areas before we enjoyed some free time to have lunch and visit the parts of the Tower we wanted to see. Philippa and I went to the White Tower to say “hello” to our dear friend, warder Tara. We were delighted to find that the chapel there now allowed photography and that the same was true with the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula – yay!

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  • 12 July – Henry VIII gets married for the sixth and final time

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th July 1543, Henry VIII got married for the sixth and final time.

    The fifty-two-year-old king married thirty-one-year-old Catherine Parr, Lady Latimer, in the Queen’s Closet of the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace.

    In today’s talk, I share a contemporary account of the wedding service, as well as telling you about who attended the ceremony.

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  • The Executed Queens Tour – Day 4 – Hever Castle

    After a delicious breakfast – my choice was smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, plus yogurt, fruit and nuts – it was time to leave the Midlands and to head for my happy place.

    The coach journey was trouble free, and we arrived at Hever Castle at lunchtime. It was like coming home when I was greeted by a member of staff I’ve known since 2010 and the comment was “your usual room, Madam”! I really need to just move in!

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  • 11 July – The Pope’s had enough of Henry VIII!

    There’s only so much a pope can take of a misbehaving king, isn’t there? And Pope Clement VII had had enough of Henry VIII by 11th July 1533.

    But how had this English king gone from being lauded as Defender of the Faith to being threatened with excommunication? What had he done to upset the Pope?

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” talk, I give details on Henry VIII’s misbehaviour, the ultimatum that the pope gave Henry, and what happened next.

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  • The Executed Queens Tour – Day 3 – Tutbury Castle

    Today started off well, with yet another scrumptious breakfast at Brockencote Hall, and then it was time to set off to see Tutbury Castle.

    One of our tour members admitted later that she hadn’t been looking forward to this visit as she knew that the castle was in ruins and there wouldn’t be much to see of the castle that Mary, Queen of Scots, knew during her four periods of imprisonment there, but this tour member ending up having a wonderful time. Let me tell you more.

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  • 10 July – Queen Jane and the boy with no ears

    On this day in Tudor history, 10th July 1553, Lady Jane Grey was officially proclaimed “Queen Jane” at the Tower of London, in Cheapside and Fleet Street. However, one young man could not keep quiet about his views regarding Mary being the rightful queen and he suffered a nasty punishment as a result.

    In today’s talk, I share a contemporary account of what happened on that day in London

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  • The Executed Queens Tour – Day 2 -Sudeley Castle

    After a filling breakfast (Full English for me!), our lovely coach driver, Alan, took us to Sudeley Castle, in Winchcombe, in the Cotswolds.

    As well as being the home and place of death of Catherine Parr, sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII, Sudeley also served as home to Lady Jane Grey, one of our executed queens, in 1548. Jane was the ward of Catherine’s fourth husband, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, who owned the castle, and so joined Catherine there when she retired to Sudeley as she prepared for the birth of her first and only child. Jane was at Sudeley when Catherine died in September 1548 and acted as chief mourner at Catherine’s funeral at the church within the grounds.

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  • 9 July – Anne of Cleves, “right entirely beloved sister”

    On this day in history, 9th July 1540, Anne of Cleves went from being Henry VIII’s queen consort to being his “right dear and right entirely beloved sister” after their marriage was annulled.

    Why was their marriage annulled? How did Anne of Cleves react to the news? What happened to her and Henry VIII afterwards?

    I explain the situation in today’s talk.

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  • The Executed Queens Tour – Day 1

    I’ve been counting down to the Executed Queens Tour for weeks, or rather months, and finally, today, it was here.

    I took a train bright and early up to London, from where I was staying with family in Sussex, to meet my co-leader Philippa for brunch at Victoria before we met up with the group. Then, we met with our lovely group and took our luxury coach – the leather seats were so comfy and Alan, the driver was so friendly and helpful – up to Worcestershire.

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  • 8 July – Mary declares herself queen

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th July 1553, two days after her half-brother King Edward VI’s death and one day after hearing news of his death, Mary, daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, declared that she was Edward VI’s heir and so was queen – Queen Mary I.

    In today’s talk, I explain what had led Mary to this point and why Mary had fled London.

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  • 7 July – The Dudley Conspiracy and Plotters

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th July 1556, in the reign of Queen Mary I, Henry Peckham and John Danyell were hanged, drawn and quartered after being found guilty of treason for their involvement in the Dudley Conspiracy.

    But what was the Dudley Conspiracy? And who was involved in it? What happened?

    I explain all in today’s talk.

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  • Tudor Poets Quiz

    The Tudor period was marked by the English Renaissance and Elizabeth I’s Golden Age, but how much do you know about Tudor poets and their poems?

    Why not test yourself with our fun Sunday quiz?

    Grab your favourite snack and beverage, make yourself comfortable and let’s begin! Good luck!

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  • 6 July – The king is dead, long live the queen!

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th July 1553, fifteen-year-old King Edward VI died at Greenwich Palace leaving the throne to his cousin’s eldest daughter, Lady Jane Grey.

    I share details of Edward’s final illness and last days, his “Devise for the Succession”, and Lady Jane Grey’s reaction at being told that she was Edward’s successor.

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  • Charles Brandon, a Tudor knight – Tony Riches – Expert Talk

    Author Tony Riches

    In this month’s expert talk we have Tony Riches, author of “Brandon, Tudor Knight” talking about this fascinating Tudor character.

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  • 5 July – The Essex Witches

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th July 1589, three Essex women were hanged at Chelmsford, Essex, after being found guilty of murder by witchcraft. Their names were Joan Cunny, Joan Prentice and Joan Upney.

    In today’s talk, I explain how these women came to be accused of witchcraft and why they were hanged.

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  • Claire Chats – Anne of Cleves Books

    I’ve recently started researching Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of King Henry VIII, and as well as using contemporary sources, such as Tudor chronicles, ambassadors’ dispatches etc., I also look at secondary sources to see what other historians say about the person and to look at the sources they rely on. I love these research journeys and the different tangents and branches I end up following.

    I thought it would be useful to Tudor Society members if I shared some of the books that I have found useful or have bought and will be using for my research into Anne and her life, so here you are!

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  • 4 July – The awful ends of John Frith and Andrew Hewet

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th July 1533, two men were burnt at the stake at Smithfield for heresy: reformer and theologian John Frith, for his belief that Purgatory didn’t exist and that his views on the sacrament, and tailor’s apprentice Andrew Hewt for his belief regarding the sacrament.

    In today’s talk, Claire Ridgway, founder of the Tudor Society, explains just what was ‘wrong’ with these men’s beliefs and how these men were betrayed, as well as sharing contemporary sources about these men’s courageous ends.

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  • 3 July – Catherine of Aragon, you’re not queen!

    Oh dear! Catherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII, had a bit of a bad day on this day in Tudor history, 3rd July 1533. Not only had she trodden on a pin and was suffering with a bad cough, but she was also told that she had to stop calling herself queen – not likely!

    In today’s “on this day” video,I share Thomas Cromwell’s letter to Catherine’s chamberlain on this matter, and also give Catherine’s reaction to it. She was a spirited and strong lady!

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  • 2 July – 13 things you probably didn’t know about Thomas Cranmer

    Today is the anniversary of the birth of that famous Tudor clergyman, statesman, theologian, scholar and highly intelligent man, Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. He was born on 2nd July 1489 at Aslockton in Nottinghamshire.

    I thought I’d mark mark the occasion by sharing a few facts that you might not know about this Tudor birthday boy. Thomas Cranmer is a fascinating Tudor man.

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  • Live Transcript – Roland Hui – Queenship

    Live chat transcript Roland Hui

    Thanks to all who came to the live chat on Saturday night. We had a fast-paced discussion about queenship and in particular the six wives of Henry VIII.

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  • 1 July – An interesting marriage agreement and rough wooing

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st July 1543, in the reign of King Henry VIII, the Treaties of Greenwich were signed.

    These treaties were between the kingdoms of Scotland and England, and, amongst other terms, was the agreement of a marriage between Prince Edward, the future King Edward VI, and Mary, Queen of Scots.

    Scotland’s subsequent rejection of the treaties led to a war known as the Rough Wooing – a great name!

    In today’s video, I explain what these treaties were all about and what happened in the war known as the Rough Wooing, and why it was called that.

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