The Tudor Society
  • 29 February – Elizabeth I’s “white gift” and “little black husband”

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th February 1604, John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury, died at at Lambeth Palace, the archbishop’s palace in London. He was the last Archbishop of Canterbury in Queen Elizabeth I’s reign, and the queen called him her “white gift” and her “little black husband”.

    He is known for his religious disagreement, but also had a real heart for the poor. Find out more about Archbishop John Whitgift in today’s talk.

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  • 28 February – Thomas Forret, a chief heretic and teacher of heresy

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th February 1540, Protestant Thomas Forret was burned at the stake in Castle Hill, Edinburgh, in the presence of King James V.

    Forret was a former Augustinian monk and had spent his career teaching the common people and helping those in need. How did he come to this awful end in Edinburgh? Find out all about Thomas Forret, and why he was accused of heresy, in today’s talk.

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  • Resources for Tudor trials

    My work for the Tudor Society, book research and research for my “on this day” videos often has me researching the legal cases of Tudor people, from looking at indictments ro records of their actual trials. It is fascinating and it’s wonderful that we have so many resources freely available.

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  • 27 February – The ends of 3 Catholics at Tyburn

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th February 1601, Benedictine monk Mark Barkworth (also known by the alias Lambert), Jesuit Roger Filcock, and widow Anne Line were executed at Tyburn.

    Barkworth and Filcock had been found guilty of treason for being priests and were given the full traitor’s death, i.e. they were hanged, drawn and quartered. Anne Line was sentenced to death for harbouring a priest and was hanged.

    Find out more about these Catholics, who were victims of Queen Elizabeth I’s legislation against Jesuits, in today’s talk.

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  • Live chat transcript – Dr Sean Cunningham – Richard III and Henry VII

    Thank you to Sean and all those who joined us for the wonderful Q&A session on Richard III and Henry VII. It was a fun and interesting chat. Here is the transcript for those of you who weren’t able to attend.

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  • Teasel’s Tudor Trivia – Ash Wednesday and Lent

    Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, which in Tudor times was a time of fasting and prayer.

    But how did Tudor people mark Ash Wednesday and Lent? What else did they do? Find out all about Ash Wednesday and Lent in Tudor times from Teasel and Claire.

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  • 26 February – The sad ends of loyal men

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th February 1552, Sir Thomas Arundell, Sir Michael Stanhope, Sir Miles Partridge and Sir Ralph Fane (or Vane) were executed. The men had been condemned as traitors after being accused of conspiring with Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and former Lord Protector, against John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, the new man in control of King Edward VI’s government.

    Find out all about these men and how these loyal royal servants came to these sticky ends in today’s talk.

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  • March 2020 – Tudor Life – Music and Drama

    Here's the full version of your monthly magazine: all about Music and Drama. Those Tudors loved the arts!
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  • Teasel’s Tudor Trivia – Shrove Tuesday

    Today is Shrove Tuesday, so Teasel and I thought we’d take the opportunity to tell you all about Shrovetide – Shrove Sunday, Collop Monday and Shrove Tuesday – and how it was celebrated in Tudor times.

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  • 25 February – Elizabeth I is excommunicated

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th February 1570, Pope Pius V issued the papal bull “Regnans in Excelsis”. This bull not only excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I, it also freed her Catholic subjects from their allegiance to her and called on the English people to disobey her orders, mandates and laws. It threatened excommunication for those who did obey her.

    It put Elizabeth I in danger and it put Catholics in an impossible situation.

    Find out more about the bull and its impact in today’s talk.

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  • 24 February – Katherine Howard, Elizabeth I’s good friend

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th February 1603, Katherine Howard (née Carey), Countess of Nottingham, died at Arundel House.

    Katherine was a close friend of Queen Elizabeth I and it is thought that grief over her friend’s death had a major impact on the queen’s own health, for she died just a month later.

    Find out who Katherine was, how she rose to be the queen’s good friend, and also hear about a myth associated with her in today’s talk.

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  • 23 February – Job Throckmorton, a colourful and lucky character

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd February 1601, religious pamphleteer and Member of Parliament, Job Throckmorton, was buried at Haseley in Warwickshire.

    Job was known for his alleged involvement in the “Marprelate Controversy”, a pamphlet war, and also for his colourful Parliamentary speeches, which nearly got him into trouble. He was lucky to escape imprisonment and worse!

    Find out more about Job Throckmorton in today’s talk.

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  • Six Wives – True or False Quiz Part 2

    This week’s Sunday fun is a true or false quiz testing your knowledge on Henry VIII’s six wives. Part 2 focuses on Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr.

    Good luck!

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  • 22 February – Marie de Guise, who avoided marrying Henry VIII!

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd February 1540, twenty-four-year-old Marie de Guise, or Mary of Guise, queen consort of King James V of Scotland, was crowned queen at Holyrood Abbey.

    Did you know that Henry VIII was keen on making Marie de Guise his fourth wife? She declined, saying that her neck was small! Instead, she married James V.

    Marie was, of course, the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, and you can find out more about her in today’s talk.

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  • 21 February – Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st February 1590, Ambrose Dudley, 3rd Earl of Warwick, Master of the Ordnance and Privy Councillor, died at Bedford House on the Strand.

    Ambrose had been a loyal royal servant and was a member of that famous Tudor family, the Dudleys, with his father being John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, and his brother being Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.

    Find out more about Ambrose Dudley’s life and career in today’s talk.

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  • Claire Chats – Researching individual people

    I’ve been super busy researching for the book that I’m writing with Owen Emmerson on the families and people that have owned Hever Castle through the ages, and I thought I’d share with you how I go about starting such a project. I hope you find it useful.

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  • 20 February – The hanging of Lady Hungerford

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th February 1523, Agnes, or Alice, Lady Hungerford, was hanged at Tyburn.

    Agnes was said to have “procured” her servants to murder her first husband, John Cotell, who was strangled before being thrown into the furnace of Castle Farley. A dastardly deed.

    Find out exactly what happened in today’s talk.

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  • 19 February – The Rose Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th February 1592, the Rose Theatre, an Elizabethan play house built by Philip Henslowe, was opened on Bankside in London.

    Plays performed at the theatre included Shakespeare’s “Henry VI Part 1” and “Titus Andronicus”, Kyd’s “Spanish Tragedy”, and Marlowe’s “Doctor Faustus”, “The Jew of Malta” and “Tamburlaine the Great”. But, unfortunately, the Rose Theatre was abandoned by 1605.

    Find out more about the Rose Theatre in today’s talk.

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  • Ben Jonson (1572-1637)

    Ben Jonson was a poet and a playwright, born on 11th June 1572, in the reign of Elizabeth I. Jonson was of Scottish descent and throughout his life maintained a great interest in Scotland and his ancestry. He was brought up by his recently widowed mother and had quite a poor upbringing. His father was a clergyman, and thus his wages would not have been substantial, nor would he have left a lot to his wife and son upon his death. When Jonson was still a young boy, his mother re-married, marrying a bricklayer, and they moved to Hartshorn not far from Charing Cross. The bricklayer in question is believed to have been Robert Brett, a man comfortable, if not overly wealthy, who had risen to become master of the Tyler and Bricklayers’ Company by 1609.

    Ben Jonson attended a small school near Hartshorn Lane, learning to read and write. At approximately the age of seven, he was sent off to Westminster School and studied under William Camden, the school’s second master. Jonson evidently had a positive experience learning under Camden, speaking of him as a ‘friend for ever.’ At Westminster, he learned the art of rhetoric and was educated in the Classics, learning to translate Greek and Latin into English. Furthermore, Camden also encouraged his pupils to create their own prose in English, something which would have a profound effect on young Ben Jonson.

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  • 18 February – The Ridolfi Plot against Elizabeth I

    On this day in history, 18th February 1612, Italian banker Roberto di Ridolfi died in Florence, Italy, aged 80.

    Amazingly, he died a natural death even though he’d been the brains behind the Ridolfi Plot, a plot to depose Queen Elizabeth I and to replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots, thereby restoring Catholicism in England.

    Find out more about Ridolfi and his famous plot in today’s talk:

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  • 17 February – Love at first sight for Mary, Queen of Scots?

    Well, ok, perhaps love at second or third sight!

    On this day in Tudor history, Saturday 17th February 1565, Mary, Queen of Scots, met and fell in love with Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, at Wemyss Castle in Scotland. Just over 7 months later, the couple got married.

    Find out more about the background of this meeting between Mary, Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley, Mary’s thoughts on Darnley, and what happened next, in today’s talk.

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  • 16 February – Sir William Stanley is executed

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th February 1495, Sir William Stanley, administrator and landowner, was executed for treason on Tower Hill.

    Stanley is, of course, remembered for his key role at the Battle of Bosworth Field in August 1485, when he and his brother chose to support Henry Tudor and brought their troops onto the battlefield at a critical stage. So how did Sir William Stanley go from being a loyal supporter of Henry VII to being executed for treason? Find out in today’s talk.

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  • Six Wives – True or False Quiz Part 1

    This week’s Sunday fun is a true or false quiz testing your knowledge on Henry VIII’s six wives. Part 1 focuses on Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour.

    Good luck!

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  • 15 February – Galileo, the Father of Modern Science

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th February 1564, the Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher, Galileo Galilei, was born in Pisa, Italy.

    Galileo was one of the central figures of the Scientific Revolution and has been referred to as “the Father of Modern Science”, “the Father of Modern Physics” and “the father of modern observational astronomy”, but what exactly did he do and how did he end up getting into trouble with the Inquisition?

    Find out in today’s talk.

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  • Teasel’s Tudor Trivia – Valentine’s Day

    Happy Valentine’s Day! Yes, it’s the day of love, and Teasel and Claire are here to tell you how medieval and Tudor people celebrated Valentine’s Day.

    Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? If so, please do share how you woo your loved one.

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  • 14 February – Being a royal favourite doesn’t save you

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th February 1539, Sir Nicholas Carew, a royal favourite for over 20 years, was tried for treason after being implicated in the Exeter Conspiracy. Spoilers – his trial didn’t go well.

    But how did a man who’d been in royal favour for so long come to such a sticky end? Find out in today’s talk.

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  • Tudor love stories

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Today, I’m celebrating the day of love with a Claire Chats talk on Tudor love stories. In a period when arranged marriages were the norm for the upper classes, there were still some examples of loving marriages and also star-crossed lovers.

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  • 13 February – Bess of Hardwick

    On this day in history, 13th February 1608, prominent Tudor noblewoman and one of the richest people in England, Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury, more commonly known as Bess of Hardwick, died at her home at Hardwick.

    Bess of Hardwick is known for her building projects, which included Chatsworth and Hardwick Hall, her beautiful needlework and the fact that she and Shrewsbury were guardians of the captive Mary, Queen of Scots.

    Find out more about this fascinating Tudor lady in today’s talk.

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  • 12 February – Blanche Parry, a mother figure to Elizabeth I

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th February 1590, Blanche Parry, died at the age of 82. She had served Queen Elizabeth I loyally from Elizabeth’s birth in 1533,and had been a constant in the queen’s life.

    Find out more about this interesting lady and how she served her queen in today’s talk.

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  • 11 February – Success for George Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 11 February 1531, the ecclesiastical assembly known as convocation granted King Henry VIII the title of “singular protector, supreme lord, and even, so far as the law of Christ allows, supreme head of the English church and clergy”.

    The person responsible for persuading convocation to grant the king this title was Anne Boleyn’s brother, George Boleyn, Lord Rochford. It was a big responsibility for the young diplomat and courtier.

    Find out more about what happened in today’s talk.

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