The Tudor Society
  • 30 September – A coronation procession for Queen Mary I

    On this day in Tudor history, Saturday 30th September 1553, Queen Mary I processed through the streets of London, from the Tower of London to Westminster on her coronation procession.

    The procession was a mile and a half long and must have been such a spectacle for the citizens of London. There were also pageants, wine flowing in the conduits, streets hung with tapestries, and a new queen to see.

    I share details of that day, along with how Mary I was dressed for what must have been a triumphant day for her.

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  • Live Transcript – Sarah Morris – Anne of Cleves

    Here’s the transcript of our fast-paced LiveChat with Sarah Morris all about Anne of Cleves and her work to uncover the true origins of the Anne of Cleves wooden panels at St Leonard’s Church, Old Warden, Bedfordshire.

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  • 29 September – Elizabeth I tickles Robert Dudley while making him an earl

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th September 1564, Michaelmas, the queen’s favourite, Robert Dudley, was made Earl of Leicester and Baron Denbigh in front of the Scottish ambassador, Sir James Melville.

    Elizabeth I made Dudley an earl so that he’d be suitable as a potential bridegroom for Mary, Queen of Scots, but she couldn’t refrain from a display of affection during the ceremony, tickling him on the neck!

    In today’s talk, I explain why Elizabeth I was prepared to marry her favourite off to Mary, Queen of Scots, what happened on this day in 1564, and what happened next.

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  • Michaelmas – 29 September

    Happy Michaelmas! Yes, today is Michaelmas, or the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels.

    Here’s a bit more information about it from our Tudor Society Feast Days ebook.

    It was, and is, celebrated on 29th September, and was the feast day of St Michael the Archangel and Protector of the Church. St Michael is referred to as “the archangel Michael” in the Book of Jude, which tells of him “disputing with the devil about the body of Moses”, and then the Book of Revelation tells of a war in heaven and depicts St Michael as leading God’s armies against the dragon (Satan) and his angels, and defeating him.

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  • Tudor soldiers and military leaders quiz

    There were lots of skilled soldiers and military leaders in the reigns of the Tudor monarchs, men who were willing to lead troops and risk their lives for their monarch and country. But how much do you know about the men that led troops to battle and squashed rebellions?

    Test yourself in this week’s Sunday quiz! Good luck!

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  • 28 September – Mary and Elizabeth travel to the Tower

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th September 1553, thirty-seven-year-old Queen Mary I, daughter of King Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, travelled in a decorated barge to the Tower of London. She was accompanied by her half-sister, Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn.

    Mary was going to the Tower to prepare for her coronation, which was scheduled for 1st October 1553.

    I explain more in today’s talk.

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  • The Alhambra, home of Catherine of Aragon

    Today is the anniversary of Catherine of Aragon’s departure from Spain in 1501 – see today’s video here – and in my video, I mention how Catherine left her home, the Alhambra Palace in Granada, on 21st May 1501 to begin her journey to the north coast of Spain and on to England.

    I live not too far from the Alhambra and whenever I go there, I think of Catherine. On one of our visits there, Tim and I did some recording, so I thought I’d share it with you again today, just in case you missed it.

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  • October 2019 – Tudor Life – The Yorks

    Here’s the full 88-page version of your monthly magazine, October’s Tudor Life, packed with articles about the York dynasty, and it’s a fascinating look at a side of history you probably don’t often consider

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  • 27 September – Catherine of Aragon leaves Spain

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th September 1501, Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, set sail for England from Laredo, Spain.

    Catherine was leaving her homeland to marry Arthur Tudor, son and heir of King Henry VII, a marriage arranged by her parents and the English king in the Treaty of Medina del Campo.

    This was Catherine’s second attempt at sailing to England, but this time she was successful.

    I explain the background to Catherine’s journey, along with what happened when she first set sail in August 1501.

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  • Edward VI – The good, the bad and the ugly

    In this week’s Claire Chats talk, I am continuing my series on the Tudor monarchs, and examining their reigns for “the good, the bad, the ugly”, i.e. their achievements and the not-so-good stuff, by looking at the reign of the third Tudor monarch, King Edward VI.

    Of course, Edward VI died before he reached his majority, so in examining his reign I have to look at “the good, the bad and the ugly” of the two men who led his government: Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, and John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland.

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  • 26 September – Sir Francis Drake, the Golden Hind and a whole lot of treasure

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th September 1580, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Drake returned from his 3-year circumnavigation of the Globe. Drake landed at the port of Plymouth, in his ship, The Golden Hind, which was laden with treasure and spices.

    In today’s talk, I give details about his circumnavigation of the Globe, what he brought back, and how Queen Elizabeth I rewarded him for his efforts.

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  • 25 September – A pope, death cap mushrooms and poisoned candles

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th September 1534, Pope Clement VII (Giulio di Giuliano de’ Medici) died in Rome. It was rumoured that he died from eating death cap mushrooms or from fumes from poisoned candles placed in his room, but it was more likely to have been from natural causes.

    In today’s video, I introduce this pope, who was the leader of the Catholic Church at rather an interesting time, and also look at the rumours surrounding his death and what eating a death cap mushroom does. Lovely stuff!

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  • September 24 – Prince Arthur’s christening

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th September 1486, Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales and son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, was christened at a lavish ceremony at Winchester Cathedral.

    His mother’s confinement, his birth, his christening and early upbringing had all been carefully ‘choreographed’ by his paternal grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, and in today’s talk, Claire Ridgway, author of “On This Day in Tudor History”, shares details from Margaret Beaufort’s “Ordinances” regarding the christening of a royal prince or princess, as well as sharing specific details of Prince Arthur Tudor’s christening.

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  • The Bacton Altar Cloth – The Lost Dress of Elizabeth I

    You might remember that back in 2016 Historic Royal Palaces identified the Bacton Altar Cloth as a piece of fabric from the dress worn by Elizabeth I in her famous Rainbow Portrait. Well, this piece of fabric is now going on display at Hampton Court Palace. Here are the details…

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  • 23 September – A bishop taken ill while preaching

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd September 1571, after being taken ill while preaching a sermon in Lacock, Wiltshire, forty-nine-year-old John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury, died at Monkton Farleigh Manor. He was laid to rest in Salisbury Cathedral.

    Not many people have heard of John Jewel, but he had an interesting life which spanned the reigns of King Henry VIII, Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey, Mary I and Elizabeth I – time of religious change. He was a clergyman, a Protestant exile, a theologian and bishop, and someone who spoke up for what he believed.

    Find out more about John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury in Queen Elizabeth I’s reign, in today’s talk.

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  • September Birthdays Crossword

    This week’s Sunday fun is a crossword testing your knowledge of those born in the month of September in the Tudor period. They’re all people I’ve mentioned in my “on this day” posts or videos, so hopefully you’ll know most of them.

    So, open and print out the crossword by clicking on the link or image below, grab your favourite snack and beverage, and let’s get those little grey cells working! Good luck!

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  • 22 September – Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII

    This day in Tudor history, 22nd September 1515, is the traditional birthdate of Anne of Cleves, or Anna von Jülich-Kleve-Berg, a woman who would become King Henry VIII’s fourth wife and queen consort, but only for six months!

    She may have only been queen for six months, but Anne of Cleves outlived Henry and all of his wives, and seems to have had a very good life.

    Find out more about her and how she came to be Henry VIII’s queen in today’s talk.

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  • 21 September – Robert Dudley’s secret marriage

    On this day in Tudor history, Sunday 21st September 1578, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, married Lettice Dereveux (née Knollys) in a secret marriage at his house. So secret was it that he only told his chaplain and his friends the day before.

    Leicester was marrying the woman Elizabeth I had dubbed “the she-wolf”, so he knew that his queen would not be happy.

    In today’s talk, I give details of this secret wedding along with some facts about the bride, Lettice Knollys.

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  • 20 September – Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th September 1486, King Henry VII’s wife, Elizabeth of York, gave birth to the couple’s first child at Winchester.

    The baby was a boy and was baptised Arthur, named after the legendary King Arthur. There were high hopes for this boy and King Henry VII believed that his firstborn would be a powerful king who would bring a golden age to the country. Of course, things wouldn’t go according to plan.

    Find out more about Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales, who was, of course, Catherine of Aragon’s first husband, in today’s talk from Claire Ridgway, founder of the Tudor Society.

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  • Henry VIII – The good, the bad and the ugly

    In this week’s Claire Chats talk, I am continuing my series on the Tudor monarchs, and examiningg their reigns for “the good, the bad, the ugly”, i.e. their achievements and the not-so-good stuff, by looking at the reign of the second Tudor monarch, King Henry VIII.

    King Henry VIII is an iconic monarch known more for his treatment of his six wives and the awful executions of his reign, but what about his achievements? Did he do anything good for his country and people?

    Please do share your views in the comments section too – thank you!

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  • 19 September – Robert Glover and Cornelius Bungey, two of the Coventry Martyrs

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th September 1555, in the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I, Protestants Robert Glover and Cornelius Bungey, were burned at the stake for heresy at a site in Little Park Street, Coventry. They were two of twelve martyrs burned in the city between 1511 and 1555.

    Find out more about them and Glover’s experience as he was taken to the site of execution in today’s talk from Claire Ridgway, founder of the Tudor Society.

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  • 18 September – A victorious Henry VIII

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th September 1544, Henry VIII rode triumphantly through the streets of Boulogne after the French surrendered it to him.

    This English victory came after the first siege of Boulogne of 1544 which saw the town “sore assaulted and so besieged with such abundance of great ordinance that never was there a more valianter assault made”.

    The French surrendered Boulogne on 13th September 1544 and King Henry VIII entered it and was given its keys by his good friend, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, on 18th September. England was victorious but his ally, the Holy Roman Emperor, wasn’t behaving himself.

    Find out more in today’s talk.

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  • Live chats – 21 and 28 September

    As usual, we have two live chats this month, an informal one and a Q&A session with our expert speaker, Sarah Morris.

    Both chats will take place in the Tudor Society chatroom. They wll last an hour.

    Our informal live chat is on Tudor childhood and will take place on Saturday 24th August. The idea of the informal live chats is for members to dive in with their comments, opinions, book recommendations etc. and to pose questions to each other on the topic. Anything that is topic-related. Claire attends to moderate, and to take part too. We can talk about childhood, education, upbringing, children in different classes, toys, all sorts!

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  • 17 September – A loyal courtier dies of plague

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th September 1563, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, courtier and soldier Henry Manners, 2nd Earl of Rutland, died during an outbreak of the plague, which was rife in London that year and killed about 24% of London’s citizens.

    Manners served King Henry VIII, King Edward VI, Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I, so had a long and interesting career, which also saw him imprisoned at one point.

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  • 16 September – Henry VIII and Catherine Howard get lots of money!

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th September 1541, King Henry VIII entered the city of York as part of his Northern Progress with his fifth wife, Catherine Howard.

    This was a chance for the people of the North to show their loyalty to their king and his consort, and to make up for rebelling against him. How could they do that? Well, by getting on their knees in submission and paying him lots of money.

    Find out more about this progress and how the king ended up being humiliated too, in today’s talk.

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  • 15 September – A Tudor Taxman – John Morton

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th September 1500, in the reign of King Henry VII, John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, cardinal and Henry’s Lord Chancellor, died at Knole in Kent.

    John Morton was not a very popular man with the English people due to his role in Henry VII’s financial policies, although at least he died of plague rather than being executed like his colleagues, Empson and Dudley.

    One tax rationale he’s associated with is Morton’s Fork, but was it really down to him?

    Find out the answer and find out more about this Tudor taxman in today’s talk.

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  • September Tudor Events Quiz

    September was a busy month for “on this day” Tudor history events, but how much do you know about these events and people? Find out with this week’s fun Sunday quiz. It’s good to get the little grey cells working.

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  • 14 September – Henry VIII, the shrine destroyer

    Yes, on this day in Tudor history, 14th September 1538, a religious shrine which had stood since the early 12th century, was destroyed on the orders of King Henry VIII. The Shrine of Our Lady of Caversham was destroyed as part of Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries.

    In today’s talk, I share contemporary accounts of the shrine’s destruction, which included details of what was seized and sent to London.

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  • Henry VII – The good, the bad and the ugly

    This week’s Claire Chats talk is the first in as series on the Tudor monarchs: the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m going to be examining each Tudor monarch and their reign, and discussing their accomplishments, the good they did for their people, and also the not so good things of their reign.

    Today’s Claire Chats is on Henry VII. I’m sure you’ll be able to add to my list, so do feel free to comment below.

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  • 13 September – William Cecil, Elizabeth I’s “spirit”

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th September 1520, William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley and Queen Elizabeth I’s chief advisor, was born in Bourne in Lincolnshire.

    In today’s talk, Claire Ridgway, author of “On This Day in Tudor History, fleshes out William Cecil, the man Elizabeth I called her “spirit”. He’s a fascinating Tudor man, not only for his amazing court career, which took him from Edward VI’s reign to Elizabeth I’s reign, but also for his words of wisdom and the happy marriage that he had with his wife, Mildred.

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