The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • 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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  • 12 September – Thomas Cranmer is in big trouble

    On this day in Tudor history, Thursday 12th September 1555, in the reign of Catholic Queen Mary, the trial of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, began in Oxford.

    Archbishop Cranmer, who had, of course, played his part in the annulment of Mary I’s parents’ marriage (King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon) was accused of heresy. Cranmer, however, did not recognise the authority of the court. His intelligent answers to his accusers were to do no good, and he became one of the famous Oxford Martyrs in 1556.

    Find out more about what happened at his trial, and what happened next, in this talk.

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  • The Chamber Books of Kings Henry VII and Henry VIII – new online resource

    Thank you so much to historian Lucy Worsley for sharing news of this new project on social media. The Chamber Books, covering the period 1485 to 1521, which the National Archives describe as the “earliest systematic private records of the financial decisions of an English monarch, giving an unparalleled insight into royal personality, the purchase of luxury items and material goods, the interaction of private and public, and the politics and finances of kingship”, have been transcribed and put online for us Tudor buffs to search and browse. You can read it in the original English and Latin, or as a modernised version (project ongoing).

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  • 11 September – Mary, Queen of Scots’ Eventful Progress

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th September 1561, eighteen-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, began her first royal progress in Scotland. Mary had been in Scotland for less than a month, having returned from France, and so wanted to see her homeland and her people, as well as showing her people their queen.

    But this royal progress was to be an eventful one for Mary, Queen of Scots – a brush with death and a violent altercation were included! I tell all in today’s talk.

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  • 10 September – Elizabeth I’s christening

    On this day in Tudor history, 10 September 1533, King Henry VIII and Queen Anne Boleyn’s daughter, Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth I), was christened at the Church of Observant Friars in Greenwich.

    Elizabeth I’s christening service was a lavish ceremony presided over by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, who also stood as the little girl’s godfather.

    In today’s talk, I share a contemporary source of Elizabeth’s christening service and also of the celebrations that followed.

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  • 9 September – Catherine of Aragon and the mystery of James IV’s body

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th September 1513, during the reign of King Henry VIII, English and Scottish forces clashed at the bloody Battle of Flodden.

    Henry VIII was campaigning in France at the time, so Catherine of Aragon was in charge as regent. It was a victory for Catherine and also for Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, who led the English troops against the Scots on that day. Henry missed this moment of victory.

    King James IV of Scotland died at the Battle of Flodden, but what happened to his body?

    In today’s talk, I give details of the battle, Catherine’s role in England’s victory, and explains what is thought to have happened to James IV’s remains.

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  • 8 September – The mysterious death of Amy Robsart, wife of Robert Dudley

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th September 1560, the body of Amy Dudley (née Robsart), wife of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was found at the bottom of some stairs in her rented home, Cumnor Place in Oxfordshire.

    What had happened to Amy? Was her death a result of “misfortune”, as decided by the coroner, or was it suicide or murder? Did Robert Dudley kill his wife? Did William Cecil kill Amy?

    In today’s talk, Claire Ridgway, founder of the Tudor Society, examines what happened that day and the theories regarding Amy Robsart’s mysterious death, an event that definitely put an end to the idea that Elizabeth I could ever marry Robert Dudley.

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  • Tudor inventors and inventions quiz

    How much do you know about the inventors and inventions of the Tudor period?

    Grab your favourite snack and beverage, make yourself comfortable, and test yourself with this week’s Sunday quiz!

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  • 7 September – Birth of Queen Elizabeth I, Gloriana

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th September 1533, at Greenwich Palace, Queen Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII, gave birth to a daughter who would grow up to be Queen Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen, Gloriana, Good Queen Bess, a queen who would rule England for over 44 years.

    Happy birthday to Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603)!

    Find out more about her birth, the reactions and celebrations in today’s talk.

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  • 6 September – Timothy Bright and shorthand

    On this day in history, 6th September 1615, in the reign of King James I, Tudor physician, clergyman and inventor of modern shorthand, Timothy Bright, was buried at St Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury.

    Bright is known for works published in Queen Elizabeth I’s reign, including his 1588 “Characterie: an Arte of Shorte, Swifte, and Secrete Writing by Character” in which he explains his invention, a system of straight lines, circles and half circles as shorthand. Bright’s work has, of course, helped people the world over.

    In today’s talk, I share some facts about Timothy Bright, an interesting Tudor man.

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  • Layer Marney Hall – Roving Reporter

    This month, Philippa Brewell, our roving reporter, visits Layer Marney Hall, a stunning Tudor building which was visited by Henry VIII and is incredibly well preserved today.

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  • Transcript of live chat with Cassidy Cash on William Shakespeare

    Thank you so much to Cassidy Cash for being our August expert speaker and for allowing us to grill her in the Tudor Society chatroom last week.

    Here is a transcript of the live chat…

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  • Tudor events at Little Moreton Hall – Music and dance in late Elizabethan England – 3 October 2019

    Little Moreton Hall is a beautiful Tudor manor house in Cheshire and is well worth a visit, and even more so when it’s got some wonderful Tudor events scheduled!

    You can see the full schedule on their What’s On page, but I thought I’d highlight their Music and Dance in late Elizabethan England talk as I know this will be fantastic. The talk is from Jane Moulder, who plays in the Renaissance music group, PIVA, and who is an expert on Tudor music. You might remember her articles on Tudor music from Tudor Life magazine. Here are details of her talk….

    An interesting and lively talk by the leading 16th century musician and historian, Jane Moulder from PIVA. Jane will share her discoveries on how music, dancing and singing were an important part of Tudor life, whilst opening up the fascinating world of the musicians and entertainers who would have visited Little Moreton Hall. She will also bring along some of the typical instruments of the period. Glass of wine or soft drink included in ticket price.

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  • Catherine Parr’s resting place

    Today is the anniversary of the death of Catherine Parr, queen dowager, on 5th September 1548, so I thought I’d share some photos I took of her resting place in St Mary’s Church at Sudeley Castle:

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  • 5 September – Death of Catherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th September 1548, the sixth and final wife of the late King Henry VIII, Catherine Parr, died at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire.

    At the time of her death, Catherine Parr was the wife of Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley, her fourth husband, and she had given birth to a daughter, Lady Mary Seymour, on 30th August 1548.

    Catherine Parr was buried in the chapel at Sudeley Castle with Lady Jane Grey acting as her chief mourner. In today’s talk, I give details of Catherine Parr’s burial and the discovery of her remains in the 18th and 19th centuries, and her present resting place.

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  • 4 September – The death of Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I’s reaction

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th September 1588, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, died at Cornbury while on his way to Buxton to take the waters for his health.

    The death of her favourite, and the man that is considered to be her ‘true love’, was a devastating blow to Elizabeth I and her reaction to the news shows just how much she loved her “sweet Robin”.

    Leicester wrote to his queen just days before his death and “His Last Letter” was something that Elizabeth I treasured for the rest of her life.

    Find out more about Leicester’s death, his last letter and Elizabeth’s grief in today’s video.

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