The Tudor Society
  • 10 February – Catherine Howard goes to the Tower

    On this day in Tudor history, 10th February 1542, Catherine Howard, King Henry VIII’s fifth wife, was escorted by barge from Syon House, where she’d been kept since November 1541, to the Tower of London in preparation for her execution.

    Sadly, the queen would have seen the heads of her former lover, Francis Dereham, and her sweetheart, Thomas Culpeper, as she made her way to the Tower – a reminder of her own fate.

    Find out more in today’s talk.

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  • 9 February – An awful end for a bishop

    Warning – Contains a description of a burning at the stake.

    On this day in history, 9th February 1555, Protestant John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester and Worcester, and former Cistercian monk, was burned at the stake for heresy in Gloucester.

    It was an awful execution due to green faggots being used, and John Foxe writes of there being three attempts over a period of 45 minutes. Awful, just awful.

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  • February Birthdays and Feast Days Crossword Puzzle

    Happy Sunday! I hope you’ve had a good week. This week’s Sunday puzzle is a crossword puzzle testing your knowledge of Tudor people born in the month of February, along with February feast days.

    Simply click on the link or image below to open and print out the puzzle.

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  • 8 February – The Queen’s favourite rebels

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th February 1601, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex and Queen Elizabeth I’s former favourite, did a rather foolish thing and raised a rebellion against the queen and her council.

    Spoilers: It didn’t go well and he ended up being executed as a traitor.

    Find out exactly what happened in today’s talk.

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  • 7 February – Sir Thomas More

    On this day in history, 7th February 1477 or 1478, Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, was born in London.

    More had once wanted to be a monk but ended up being one of the most well-known statesmen of the Tudor period. Unfortunately, Sir Thomas More came to a sticky end after refusing to sign the oath recognising Henry VIII as the supreme head of the church in England, and was executed in 1535 as a traitor.

    Find out all about More’s rise to power, how he fell, and what he told his son-in-law about the king, in today’s talk.

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  • Ludlow Castle – Roving Reporter

    This month, Philippa Brewell, our roving reporter, has been to Ludlow Castle in Shropshire. It’s an impressive Norman castle, now in ruins and it has a strong connection to the Tudors.

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  • 6 February – Thomas Cutwode and his dodgy works

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th February 1561, poet Tailboys Dymoke (pseudonym Thomas Cutwode) was baptised at Kyme in Lincolnshire.

    Dymoke, or Cutwode, is known for his allegorical poem, The Bumble Bee, a political satire which was apparently rather dodgy! He also got into trouble for writing a slanderous play and poem. An interesting man who liked to play with fire!

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  • 5 February – Elizabeth under investigation

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th February 1549, in the reign of King Edward VI, fifteen-year-old Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth I, was summoned to appear before Sir Robert Tyrwhitt, who was keeping her under house arrest at Hatfield while the Crown investigated Thomas Seymour.

    Edward VI’s privy council were investigating whether Elizabeth was secretly plotting to marry Thomas Seymour, Edward VI’s uncle, helped by her servants, Katherine Ashley and Thomas Parry.

    Parry and Ashley had made confessions, but what had they said? And what would happen to them all?

    Find out in today’s talk.

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  • 4 February – Mary Boleyn gets married

    On this day in Tudor history, Saturday 4th February 1520, Mary Boleyn, sister of Anne Boleyn, got married to William Carey in the Chapel Royal at Greenwich Palace, in a service attended by King Henry VIII.

    Find out more about Mary Boleyn and William Carey in today’s talk.

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  • 3 February – Silken Thomas


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  • 2 February – Sir Francis Bryan, the Vicar of Hell

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd February 1550, Sir Francis Bryan, died suddenly in Ireland. He was a rather colourful Tudor character, known as much for his drinking, gambling and all-round bad behaviour, as his diplomacy, royal favour and gift for poetry.

    Find out more about this one-eyed courtier and his nickname, “the vicar of hell”, in today’s talk.

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  • Tudor Literature Wordsearch

    As my Claire Chats talk on Friday was on the wonderful Tudor poet, Sir Thomas Wyatt, I thought I’d put together this wordsearch in celebration of Tudor literature. How much do you know about the literary giants of this period? Test your knowledge with this fun wordsearch. Warning: the words can go in any direction!

    Simply click on the link or image below to open and print out.

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  • 1 February – Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots’ death warrant

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st February 1587, Queen Elizabeth I called her secretary, William Davison, to her and asked him to bring her the death warrant of Mary, Queen of Scots. She then signed it. However, she didn’t want it to be sent to Fotheringhay, where Mary was held, until she said so. But it was sent.

    Elizabeth wanted someone else to take responsibility for Mary’s death, she even wanted her gaoler to assassinate her!

    Find out all about this, and how Mary DID end up being executed in February 1587, in today’s talk.

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  • Henry VII and Richard III, A deadly rivalry – Sean Cunningham – Expert Talk

    Dr Sean Cunningham joins us this month to discuss the two kings, Richard III and Henry VII and how they ended up being deadly rivals.

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