The Tudor Society
  • William Neville (1497- 1545?)

    Poet William Neville was born on 15th July 1497 and was the second son of Richard Neville, 2nd Baron Latimer, and Anne Stafford, daughter of Humphrey Stafford. His older brother was John Neville, 3rd Baron Latimer, who had Catherine Parr as his third wife.

    Not much is known about the life of William Neville, but what we do know is rather interesting and involves treason and dark magic.

    It is believed that when he was young, William served under Cardinal Wolsey and would have been provided with the education typically given to the son of a baron. Although we know very little more about his early years, we do know that from 1524 he served as a commissioner of the peace for Worcestershire.

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  • 31 August – The Bloody Flux

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st August 1545, a contagious disease known as the ‘Bloody flux’ hit the port of Portsmouth, killing many of the men serving on the ships in its port.

    But what was the Bloody Flux? What were its symptoms and why did it kill so many soldiers and sailors?

    Find out about the disease, famous victims of the Bloody Flux, and how it is still affecting people today, in this talk:

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  • 30 August – The Treaty of the More

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th August 1525, the Treaty of the More was agreed between King Henry VIII of England and Louise of Savoy, who was acting as regent for her son, King Francis I of France, while he was imprisoned by imperial forces.

    Why was Francis in prison? What were the terms of the Treaty of the More? How did this treaty affect Henry VIII’s daughter, Mary? And what happened next.

    Find out all about the Treaty of the More and its consequences in today’s talk.

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  • Late August Tudor People, Places and Events Wordsearch

    This week’s Sunday puzzle tests your knowledge of people, places and events linked to late August in the Tudor period. How much have you remembered from my Tudor videos and posts? Test yourself with this fun wordsearch.

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

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  • 29 August – The Feast of the Beheading of St John the Baptist

    Today, 29th August, is the Feast of the beheading of St John the Baptist. Lovely!

    In today’s talk, I share the story behind this Tudor holy day, a story which is often depicted in illuminations in manuscripts and psalters.

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  • Online lecture from Simon Thurley – Tudor Ambition: Houses of the Boleyn Family

    Thank you to Lucia Graves from Gresham College for letting me know about this online lecture from architectural historian Simon Thurley, who you might know from his books on royal palaces.

    The lecture is taking place on Wednesday, 16 September 2020, 6:00PM – 7:00PM UK time, and you can register for free at…

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  • 28 August – Robert Dudley’s last letter to Elizabeth I

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th August 1588, an ailing Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, wrote his final letter to his queen and childhood friend, Elizabeth I. He wrote it while on his way to Buxton, in Derbyshire, to take the waters for his health.

    The letter is very special because Elizabeth labelled it “His Last Letter” and kept it close by her until her own death in 1603.

    In today’s talk, I share a transcript of Robert Dudley’s last letter, and talk about Elizabeth I’s reaction to his subsequent death.

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  • Anne Boleyn’s link to a Corpus Christi parade in Spain

    Thank you so much to Tudor Society member Ceri Creffield for inspiring this week’s Claire Chats talk by telling me about the gigantones of Toledo and Anne Boleyn. I just had to find out more, particularly as I live in Spain and had never heard of this tradition.

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  • Live chat transcript – Estelle Paranque – Elizabeth I and the French

    We had a wonderful time in the chatroom with historian Estelle Paranque asking questions about Elizabeth I and her relationship with France. A wonderful hour of talking Tudor.

    Here is a transcript for those of you who missed it.

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  • 27 August – The Battle of St Quentin

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th August 1557, St Quentin was stormed by English and Imperial forces. Admiral de Coligny and his French troops, numbering only a thousand, were overcome by around 60,000 soldiers, and St Quentin fell. Henry Dudley, the youngest son of the late John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was killed by a cannonball during the storming.

    Find out about the siege and battle, and what happened next, in today’s talk.

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  • 26 August – A devastated Mary I prepares to be abandoned

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th August 1555, Queen Mary I and her husband, Philip of Spain, departed from Whitehall in preparation for Philip’s return to the Low Countries.

    This was an awful time for Mary I. She had just come out of confinement after months of believing she was pregnant, and now her husband was leaving her. He’d be gone for over 18 months.

    Find out more about Mary’s state of health and mind, the arrangements for Philip’s departure, and Mary’s reaction, in today’s talk.

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  • September 2020 – Tudor Life – France and the Tudors

    In this month’s packed magazine we have gone all continental with great articles highlighting the connection between France and the Tudors.

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  • 25 August – Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk and uncle of two queens

    On this day in history, 25th August 1554, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, magnate, soldier and uncle of Queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, died of natural causes at his home of Kenninghall in Norfolk. He was laid to rest in St Michael’s Church, Framlingham, Suffolk.

    Find out more about this important Tudor man, and how he escaped the axe-man and died at a good age in his bed, in this talk.

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  • 24 August – Cecily of York, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th August 1507, Cecily of York, Viscountess Welles, died at Hatfield in Hertfordshire. She was buried at “the friars”.

    Cecil was, of course, the daughter of King Edward IV and his queen consort, Elizabeth Woodville, and the sister of Elizabeth of York and the Princes in the Tower, but there’s far more to her than that.

    Did you know that she married without permission and had to be sheltered by Lady Margaret Beaufort?

    Find out all about Cecil of York’s life in today’s talk.

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  • 23 August – The Siege of Haddington

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd August 1548, Francis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury, arrived at the Siege of Haddington, in East Lothian, Scotland, with a large army. This siege was part of the Anglo-Scottish war known as the War of the Rough Wooing between England and Scotland., regarding Henry VIII’s desire to marry his son, Edward, off to Mary, Queen of Scots.

    What happened at this siege and to Haddington after it?

    Find out in today’s talk.

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  • Which Tudor Woman?

    This week’s Sunday puzzle is a crossword puzzle testing your knowledge of Tudor women. All of the women featured have had articles written about them here on the Tudor Society.

    So, grab a bite to eat, a cup of your favourite beverage and let’s get those brain cells working!

    Good luck!

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

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  • 22 August – The end of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd August 1553, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was beheaded on Tower Hill for his part in putting his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey, on the throne. Northumberland’s friends and supporters, Sir John Gates and Sir Thomas Palmer, were also executed.

    Northumberland was actually scheduled to die the previous day and the crowd turned up to see, the scaffold was prepared and even the executioner was ready… but, instead, the duke was taken to church.


    Find out why and also hear a contemporary account of the duke’s execution in today’s talk.

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  • 21 August – A sad end to a bishop whose career spanned the reigns of three kings

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st August 1536, two months after he was forced to resign his bishopric, Robert Sherborne (Sherborn), former Bishop of Chichester, died at Chichester. He was buried in the cathedral there.

    He was around 82 years of age and it seems a sad end to a man who had done his best to keep his bishopric in order and to serve his king and country.

    Find out more about Robert Sherborne, Bishop of Chichester, and what led to his forced resignation, in today’s talk.

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  • Mental Illness in Tudor Times

    This week’s Claire Chats video talk is inspired by the research that Clare Cherry and I did for our book on George Boleyn and the fact that he was Governor of Bethlehem Hospital, or Bedlam. I don’t know why it sprang to mind but it made me dig a bit more into Bedlam and also how mental illness was viewed and treated in the Tudor period.

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  • 20 August – A proxy wedding for King James VI in Denmark

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th August 1589, twenty-three-year-old King James VI of Scotland married fourteen-year-old Anne of Denmark by proxy at Kronborg Castle, Helsingør, Denmark.

    James had chosen Anne of Denmark as his bride after praying and meditating over portraits of her and Catherine of Navarre, and Anne was very excited about marrying him. Unfortunately, married bliss didn’t last long.

    Find out more about the proxy wedding, Anne’s eventful voyage, their real wedding and their married life, in today’s talk.

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  • 19 August – A defiant but polite Mary I

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th August 1551, Princess Mary, the future Mary I, wrote to her half-brother King Edward VI regarding orders that he had sent, orders that she was not going to obey.

    As historian Henry Ellis noted, this letter is evidence of Mary’s talent at writing and her intellect, and it also shows just how stubborn she could be. But then Edward was stubborn too! He wasn’t going to let his sister defy him but she wasn’t going to obey him and compromise her faith – oh dear!

    Find out more about the situation, and hear Mary’s words to Edward, in today’s talk.

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  • 18 August – The trial of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th August 1553, less than a month after his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey or Queen Jane, had been overthrown by Queen Mary I, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was tried for treason at Westminster Hall in London.

    During his trial, Northumberland pointed out that it couldn’t be treason to be acting by royal warrant and that some of those judging him had acted under the same warrant, but it did him no good.

    Find out what happened at his trial, what his reaction was to his sentence, and what happened to William Parr, Marquess of Northampton, and John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, who were tried with him, in today’s talk.

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  • 16 August – The Norrises lose another two sons in the Queen’s service

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th August 1599, soldier and Lord President of Munster in Ireland, Sir Thomas Norris, died at his home, Mallow Castle, in Cork, as a result of an injury he’d sustained in a skirmish with Irish troops on 30th May 1599. His brother, Henry, died just five days later. Thomas’s brothers, John, William and Maximilian, who were also soldiers, died in 1597, 1579 and 1593 respectively.

    Queen Elizabeth I recognised the sacrifice of this family and wrote a letter of condolence to her friends, Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norris, and his wife, Margery Williams. Find out what she wrote to the grieving couple in today’s talk.

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  • Historian and Authors Crossword Puzzle

    For this week’s Sunday puzzle, I thought we would celebrate the wonderful expert speakers we’ve had over the past few years by testing your memory and knowledge of a few of them. We’ve had lots more so apologies for missing some out.

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

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  • 15 August – The Oaten Hill Martyrs

    On his day in Tudor history, 15th August 1588, Catholics Robert Wilcox, Edward Campion, Christopher Buxton and Robert Widmerpool were examined while imprisoned in the Marshalsea prison in Southwark, London.

    These men ended up being executed, three of them for being Catholic priests and one for giving aid to priests, at t. All four died with courage and in 1929 were beatified.

    Find out more about these men and how they came to be executed in today’s talk.

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  • 14 August – William Parr, brother of Queen Catherine Parr

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th August 1513, William Parr, Marquess of Northampton and brother of Queen Catherine Parr, was born.

    William Parr is a fascinating man. He had a wonderful court career, his first wife eloped and left him, his divorce was granted and then rescinded, he was imprisoned in the Tower but then released, his marital happiness was rather shortlived… but he died a natural death!

    Find out more about William Parr in today’s talk.

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  • Successful Tudor Marriages

    Tim and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on Wednesday so I was inspired this week to share with you my top four successful Tudor marriages, marriages where there appears to have been real love and affection, and mutual respect.

    Please do share successful Tudor marriages that sprang to your mind too.

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  • 13 August – The sad ends of Friar Conn O’Rourke and Partick O’Healey, Bishop of Mayo

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th August 1579, Roman Catholics Friar Conn, or Connatius, O’Rourke and Patrick O’Healy, Bishop of Mayo, were hanged just outside Kilmallock, co. Limerick.

    So desperate was Sir William Drury, Lord President of Munster, to get rid of these two Catholics, that he used martial law to find them guilty of treason, rather than giving them a trial. Find out why, what Drury did to poor Bishop O’Healey, and what happened to their remains afterwards, in today’s talk.

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  • 12 August – Ursula Pole, Baroness Stafford, daughter of Margaret Pole

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th August 1570, Lady Ursula Stafford died. She was the daughter of the late Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, sister of Cardinal Reginald Pole, and wife of Henry Stafford, 1st Baron Stafford. She had Plantagenet blood being the granddaughter of George, Duke of Clarence.

    Find out more about the life of this interesting Tudor lady, and the tragic fall of her family, in today’s talk.

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  • 11 August – Sir Maurice Berkeley and his royal career

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th August 1581, Sir Maurice Berkeley, former gentleman usher of Henry VIII’s Privy Chamber, died.

    You may not have heard of Sir Maurice Berkeley, but he had a wonderful court career, serving Henry VIII, Edward VI and Elizabeth I, and proving his loyalty to Mary I by arresting rebel leader, Thomas Wyatt the Younger.

    Find out more about this lesser-known Tudor man in today’s talk.

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