The Tudor Society
  • 31 July – Henry Grey, father of Lady Jane Grey, is released from the Tower

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st July 1553, Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, was “discharged out of the Tower by the Earle of Arundell and had the Quenes pardon.”

    Suffolk had, of course, been imprisoned after Mary I had overthrown his daughter, Queen Jane, or Lady Jane Grey, and his release was down to his wife, Frances, interceding with the queen and begging for mercy.

    But who was Henry Grey and how did he go from being pardoned to being executed in 1554?

    Find out in today’s talk.

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  • Poisons in the medieval and Tudor periods

    This week’s Claire Chats has been inspired by the recent video I did on Richard Hesketh and the Hesketh plot, in which I mentioned Ferdinando Stanley and his belief that he’d been poisoned, so he took bezoar stone and unicorn’s horn to try and counteract the poison. It made me want to dig a bit deeper into poisoning in the medieval and Tudor period, and find out what poisons were used to do away with people.

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  • August 2020 – Tudor Life – Tudor Cousins

    In this month’s 88-page magazine we’ve packed every page with articles about Tudor Cousins and the problems or benefits that it gave! We also have a wonderful article from Elizabeth Timms about the Bayne Tower at Hampton Court Palace and another on the hidden Tudor gem Harvington Hall by Phil Downing. It’s a wonderful magazine as always!

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  • 30 July – Elizabeth leaves Somerset House to meet Mary

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th July 1553, Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, left her new home, Somerset House, to ride to Wanstead and greet her half-sister, Mary, who’d been officially proclaimed queen on 19th July.

    Somerset House was Elizabeth’s new London residence and you can find out more about how Elizabeth acquired it and who built it originally in today’s talk.

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  • 29 July – England’s clever tactics against the Spanish Armada

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th July 1588, the English naval fleet attacked the Spanish Armada in a battle known as the Battle of Gravelines.

    England defeated Spain and it was down to the new tactics they’d learned from previous encounters with the Armada and from capturing a Spanish ship, as well as weather conditions.

    What were these new and successful tactics and what happened at the Battle of Gravelines?

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  • 28 July – A botched execution for Thomas Cromwell

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th July 1540, the same day that Henry VIII married Catherine Howard, Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, the king’s former chief advisor, was beheaded on Tower Hill having been found guilty of corruption, heresy and treason.

    Find out about Cromwell’s botched execution and his execution speech in today’s talk.

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  • Transcript of live chat with Gayle Hulme

    We had a wide-ranging chat all about Arbella Stuart, with Gayle Hulme and it was great fun to learn even more about this lesser-known Tudor figure. Here’s the transcript.

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  • 27 July – A Welshman comes to a sticky end on Anglesey

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th July 1593, Roman Catholic priest and martyr, Blessed William Davies, was hanged, drawn and quartered at Beaumaris Castle on the Island of Anglesey.

    You may not have heard of William Davies, but he is believed to have been involved in the printing of “Y Drych Christianogawl”, or The Christian Mirror, an important early Welsh Catholic book and the first book to be printed on Welsh soil, while he was hiding in cave!

    Find out more about Davies, how he came to be hiding in a cave in North Wales, and why he was executed, in today’s talk.

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  • 26 July – Anne Boleyn and St Anne

    Today, 26th July, is the feast day of St Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ. Happy St Anne’s Day to any Annes or Annas out there! Have a wonderful day!

    St Anne was very important to Queen Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I, and a pageant at her coronation procession in 1533 took St Anne, combined with Anne Boleyn’s falcon badge, as its theme.

    Find out more about the pageant at Anne Boleyn’s coronation, and why St Anne was chosen as the theme, in today’s talk.

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  • Late July Tudor Events Quiz

    As is the same with every month, July was a jam-packed month for important Tudor events, but how much do you know about this month’s Tudor events? Test yourself with this week’s fun quiz – good luck!

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  • 25 July – A fool gets into big trouble

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th July 1535, the Feast of St James, t, the imperial ambassador wrote about a furious King Henry VIII who’d apparently been nearly driven to commit murder!

    What had angered the king? Well, it involved Henry VIII’s fool and some foolish name-calling. Find out more in today’s talk.

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  • 24 July – Richard Hesketh and his plot to depose Elizabeth I

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th July 1553, merchant and conspirator Richard Hesketh was born in Lancashire. Hesketh is known for the Hesketh Plot of 1593, when he urged Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby, to lead a rebellion to claim the throne of England.

    But who was Richard Hesketh and why did he plot against Queen Elizabeth I? What happened to him and what happened to Ferdinando Stanley? And why did Stanley take bezoar stone and uncorn horn?

    Find out all about Hesketh, his background, his plot, and the aftermath in today’s talk.

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  • Herbs grown in Tudor gardens

    I love herbs and essential oils and I find it fascinating looking into what Tudor housewives grew in their gardens and why. In this week’s Claire Chats talk, I thought I’d share with you some of the popular herbs of the medieval and Tudor periods and what they were thought to do.

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  • 23 July – Baby Mary, Queen of Scots, escapes with her mother

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd July 1543, or 24th according to some sources, Marie de Guise and her baby daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, escaped from Linlithgow Palace, helped by Cardinal David Beaton, and taken to Stirling Castle.

    Why? What was going on in Scotland at this time?

    Find out all about Mary’s early months as Queen of Scots, and why Beaton helped her and her mother to move to Stirling, in today’s talk.

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  • 22 July – Playwright Edward Sharpham and his Cupid’s Whirligig

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd July 1576, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, playwright and pamphleteer, Edward Sharpham, was baptised at Colehanger, East Allington, in Devon. Sharpham is thought to have written the plays “The Fleire” and “Cupid’s Whirligig”, and fellow playwright Ben Jonson referred to him as a rogue.

    Find out more about this lesser-known Tudor man and his comedy Cupid’s Whirligig in today’s talk.

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  • 21 July – The arrest of John Dudley

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st July, 1553, just days after he’d left London with an army to apprehend Mary, half-sister of the late king, Edward VI, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland was arrested near Cambridge.

    But how and why did the man who had ruled England on Edward VI’s behalf, as Lord President of his privy council, come to this?

    I explain his role in the accession of Lady Jane Grey as Queen Jane in July 1553 and what happened when Mary overthrew Queen Jane.

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  • 20 July – Queen Claude of France

    On this day in history, 20th July 1524, Queen Claude of France, consort of Francis I, died at the age of just twenty-four at the Royal Chateau of Blois. She was temporarily laid to rest there and then later moved to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis just outside Paris.

    Brantôme declared that Claude’s husband, Francis I, gave her “the pox, which shortened her days”, meaning syphilis, but the cause of her death is not known for certain.

    In today’s talk, I give an overview of Queen Claude’s life, as well as sharing the theories regarding her death.

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  • 19 July – The sinking of the Mary Rose

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th July 1545, Henry VIII’s flagship, the Mary Rose, sank right in front of his eyes in the Battle of the Solent between the English and French fleets.

    But why did the Mary Rose sink?

    In today’s talk, I share the various theories on the sinking of the Mary Rose, as well as talking about the salvage operations over time, her raising in 1983, and the work of the Mary Rose Trust.

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  • The Summer of 3 Monarchs Crossword Puzzle

    The summer of 1553 was very eventful and saw three different Tudor monarchs rule England in just the month of July: King Edward VI, Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey) and Queen Mary I.

    How much do you know about the events of summer 1553 and the struggle for the throne?

    Test those little grey cells with this week’s puzzle, a fun crossword puzzle. Simply click on the link or image below to open and print out. Good luck!

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  • 18 July – Queen Jane is betrayed and Queen Mary wins

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th July 1553, while her father-in-law and his forces made their way from Cambridge to Bury St Edmunds to stand against the forces of Mary, and Jane was busy writing to men requesting them to muster forces to support her, Jane was being betrayed by members of her council.

    William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, and Henry Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, called a council meeting and Pembroke was even said to have threatened council members with a sword! They then proclaimed for Mary.

    Find out more about what happened on 18th and 19th July 1553 in today’s talk.

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  • 17 July – Richard Carew, a multi-talented man

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th July 1555, Richard Carew, was born at Antony House, Torpoint, in Cornwall.

    As well as serving his county and country in several offices, Carew was also an antiquary, bee-keeper, translator and poet. He is known for his book a “Survey of Cornwall”, which has been reprinted on several occasions over the centuries.

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  • Hunting in Medieval and Tudor times

    Following on from last week’s Claire Chats video on falconry or hawking in the medieval and Tudor periods, I thought that I’d take a look at a pastime enjoyed by the upper classes, that of hunting.

    What did the Tudors hunt? How did they hunt? I explain more about it in this talk.

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  • 16 July – The death of Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th July 1557, forty-one-year-old Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of King Henry VIII, died at her home, Chelsea Old Manor. She’d been ill for a few months.

    Anne of Cleves was a warm and generous lady, something which is shown in her last wishes with the bequests to her household, friends and stepdaughters.

    Find out more about her bequests and her funeral arrangements in today’s talk.

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  • 15 July – The Newbury Martyrs

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th July 1556, the trial of Julins Palmer, John Gwyn and Thomas Robyns, men now known as the Newbury Martyrs, opened at St Nicholas Church in Newbury. The men were accused of sedition and heresy.

    But how did Julins Palmer, a formerly staunch Catholic end up being executed for heresy in Mary I’s reign?

    Find out more about Palmer, his trial and the executions of the Newbury Martyrs in today’s talk.

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  • 14 July – Richard Taverner and his Bible

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th July 1575, evangelical reformer and translator, Richard Taverner, died at Woodeaton in Oxfordshire. He was laid to rest in the parish church at Woodeaton.

    Richard Taverner is mainly known for his Bible translation, “Taverner’s Bible”, but there is far more to him than that, including his time as Thomas Cromwell’s chief propagandist.

    Find out all about Richard Taverner’s life and career in today’s talk.

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  • 13 July – Unease among Queen Jane’s councillors

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th July 1553, while John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was preparing to leave London to apprehend the late Henry VIII’s daughter, Mary, members of the new Queen Jane’s council were meeting with the imperial ambassadors.

    What was the meeting about? What was the news from East Anglia? And why were councillors beginning to feel uneasy?

    Find out what was going on in today’s talk.

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  • 12 July – Men flock to Mary’s cause and Jane makes a mistake

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th July 1553, Mary (future Mary I) moved from Kenninghall to Framlingham and set about rallying support. Sir Thomas Cornwallis was able to intercept her on her journey and pledge his loyalty to her. He wasn’t the only one flocking to her cause.

    Meanwhile, back in London, the new queen, Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey), made a serious mistake by refusing to send her father to go and apprehend Mary.

    Why was this a mistake?

    Find out what was going on back in 1553 in this talk.

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  • Early July Tudor Events Quiz

    How much do you know about the important events that took place early in the month of July in the Tudor period? Well, lots if you tune into my “on this day” videos regularly!

    Test your Tudor history knowledge with this week’s fun quiz. Good luck!

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  • 11 July – Men change sides from Queen Jane to Mary

    On this day in history, 11th July 1553, in Ipswich, Suffolk, Sir Thomas Cornwallis, sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, Lord Thomas Wentworth, and some other prominent Suffolk gentlemen declared for Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey) and publicly proclaimed her the rightful queen. However, the following day, Cornwallis recanted and proclaimed Mary as queen.

    Why? What happened to make this sheriff change his mind so soon?

    Find out more about the situation in July 1553 in today’s talk.

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  • Ladies-in-waiting and Maids of Honour

    In this edition of Teasel’s Tudor Trivia, rescue dog Teasel and historian Claire Ridgway share information on ladies-in-waiting, the girls and women who served queens consort and queens regnant in the Tudor period.

    What was the difference between a lady-in-waiting and a maid of honour? What did ladies-in-waiting do? Did they get paid or rewarded?

    Find out all about Tudor ladies-in-waiting from Claire and Teasel.

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