The Tudor Society
  • 9 October – Miguel de Cervantes and Don Quixote

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th October 1547, Miguel de Cervantes, author of the famous classic “Don Quixote”, a book known as “the first modern novel”, was baptised in Alcalá de Henares, Spain. His actual birthdate is unknown.

    Now, this event didn’t happen in Tudor England, but it did happen in the Tudor period, and Cervantes is known the world over. Let me share with you some facts about this man, his rather interesting life, which including being held to ransom by pirates, and his works.

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  • Claire Chats News

    Happy Friday!

    On this week’s video talk, I share some news regarding this regular slot and my plans for it. I welcome your feedback.

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  • 8 October – Henry VIII forces Princess Mary to write letters

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th October 1536, while the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion was getting underway in Lincolnshire and spreading to Yorkshire, Henry VIII wasn’t only issuing orders regarding the rebels, he was also issuing orders regarding his eldest daughter.

    Henry and Mary had recently reconciled after Mary had finally submitted to him and recognised his supremacy and her illegitimate status. It was something that cost Mary dearly, but it did mend her relationship with her father and allow her back at court.

    But then Henry VIII put more pressure on his daughter by forcing her to write to the pope and to Mary of Hungary, the emperor’s sister.

    What did Mary have to write? What did the king want of his daughter? And why had Mary submitted to her father?

    Find out all about this in today’s talk.

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  • 7 October – Catherine of Aragon wins this round

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th October 1529, Pope Clement VII wrote to King Henry VIII regarding his quest for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

    It wasn’t good news. Catherine of Aragon had won this battle, with the pope deciding that the marriage was valid, but she hadn’t won the war. Henry VIII did get the marriage annulled in the end, but the pope didn’t do it.

    But what was going on? Why wouldn’t the pope help? What was Henry VIII’s argument for an annulment and on what grounds did Catherine appeal?

    Find out more in today’s talk.

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  • 6 October – John Caius, royal physician, and sweating sickness

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th October 1510, John Caius was born at Norwich.

    Caius was a theological scholar, founder of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, royal physician (to Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I) and author of a book on sweating sickness.

    In today’s “on this day” talk, I give an overview of John Caius’ life and career, as well as sharing some of what he wrote on sweating sickness, that mystery Tudor illness.

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  • 5 October – Edward Seymour gathers troops to defend Edward VI

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th October 1549, Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector, ordered a gathering of men at Hampton Court Palace, where he was lodged with the young King Edward VI, due to tensions mounting between Somerset and John Dudley, Earl of Warwick.

    What was going on and what happened when 4,000 peasants turned up? How did John Dudley react and what did King Edward VI have to say about it all?

    Find out what happened, and how this led to Somerset’s undoing, in today’s talk.

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  • 4 October – Sir Francis Bigod and his rebellion

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th October 1507, Sir Francis Bigod, was born at Seaton, in Hinderwell, Yorkshire.

    Bigod led an uprising in Yorkshire in January 1537, Bigod’s Rebellion, after the rebels of the Pilgrimage of Grace had been dispersed. But who was Bigod? Why would an evangelical reformer become involved with the Pilgrimage of Grace? What was his rebellion about and what happened to him?

    Find out more about Sir Francis Bigod and Bigod’s Rebellion in today’s talk.

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  • King Richard III Quiz

    As it was the anniversary of King Richard III’s birth on Friday (2nd October), I thought I’d test your knowledge of this English king, the last of the Plantagenet rulers and a man who was, of course, killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 while he was fighting against the troops of Henry Tudor, who became King Henry VII.

    How much do you know about King Richard III?

    Well, you can test yourself with this fun quiz. Good luck!

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  • 3 October – Jane Seymour’s coronation is postponed

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd October 1536, imperial ambassador Eustace Chapuys wrote to Emperor Charles V informing him that Jane Seymour’s coronation was being postponed.

    Several dates for Henry VIII’s third wife’s coronation are mentioned in the contemporary sources, but they all passed by without the coronation taking place, and building work on Westminster Palace in preparation for the coronation came to a halt.

    Why wasn’t Jane Seymour crowned when her predecessor, Anne Boleyn, had been given a lavish coronation?

    Find out more about what happened in 1536 and 1537 in today’s talk.

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  • Happy birthday to King Richard III

    King Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet kings, was born Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, on this day in history, 2nd October 1452.

    Here is an extract from my book Illustrated Kings and Queens of England on Richard III.

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  • 2 October – Mary Tudor, Henry VIII’s sister, sets sail for France

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd October 1514, eighteen-year-old Mary Tudor, sister of King Henry VIII, set off from Dover to sail to France to marry fifty-two-year-old King Louis XII of France.

    Things hadn’t gone to plan with the scheduled sailing, due to bad weather, and Mary encountered rough seas on her journey too.

    Find out about the arrangements for the journey, who was at Dover, Mary’s crossing to Boulogne, and what happened next, in today’s talk.

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  • Tewkesbury Abbey – Roving Reporter

    Recorded back in February 2020, our roving reporter Philippa Lacey-Brewell went to Tewkesbury Abbey. It’s a stunning building which shows a long history of re-work and rebuilding. Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn visited in the summer of 1535 and it also has the tombs of Edward, Prince of Wales, and of George, Duke of Clarence.

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  • 1 October – John Alcock, bishop and tutor to one of the Princes in the Tower

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st October 1500, John Alcock, Bishop of Ely, died at Wisbech Castle.

    Alcock wasn’t just a bishop, he was a scholar, a royal tutor, and an administrator. He served as tutor to King Edward IV’s son, Prince Edward, the future King Edward V and a boy who is known for being one of the ill-fated Princes in the Tower. He also christened another prince.

    Find out more about this Tudor bishop and royal servant in today’s talk.

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  • Thomas Cromwell: Is there more to learn? – Caroline Angus – Expert Talk

    Thanks to Caroline Angus for joining us this month with an amazing talk about Thomas Cromwell. Caroline poses the question … is there anything more to learn?

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