The Tudor Society
  • January 2021 – Tudor Life – Lust

    Happy new year! 2021 will undoubtedly be a better year than 2020… and to start you off, here’s the JANUARY magazine on the subject of lust …

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  • 31 December – “The Gunner”, Sir William Skeffington

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st December 1535, in the reign of Henry VIII, Sir William Skeffington, Lord Deputy of Ireland, died at Kilmainham in Dublin.

    Skeffington had become known as “the Gunner” following his use of heavy artillery while taking Maynooth Castle in County Kildare, where he killed, or had executed, the whole garrison.

    Find out more about the life and career of Sir William Skeffington in today’s talk.

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  • New Year’s Eve and St Sylvester

    I’m posting this week’s Friday video a day early because I’m talking about New Year’s Eve, which is also the feast day of St Sylvester, a 4th century pope.

    Find out more about this saint and hear William Caxton’s 15th century version of a legend associated with him, in this week’s video.

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  • 30 December – An outlaw scholar from Spain who died of the plague

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th December 1552, in the reign of King Edward VI, Spanish humanist scholar, translator, author and Protestant apologist, Francisco de Enzinas died at Strasbourg from the plague. He was buried there the next day. Humanist Francisco had changed his name to Francis Dryander after leaving Spain to study at Louvain.

    Dryander fit a lot into his thirty-four years of life. He escaped from prison and was an outlaw, he translated the Bible, he taught Greek in England, he was supported by Archbishop Cranmer and the Duchess of Suffolk, and published several works.

    Find out more about the accomplished Francis Dryander in today’s talk.

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  • 29 December – Elizabeth I’s rogue and champion

    On this day in history, 29th December 1605, in the reign of King James I, forty-seven-year-old Tudor nobleman George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland was buried at Holy Trinity Church, Skipton, Yorkshire. Clifford was a courtier, naval commander, privateer, Elizabeth I’s champion and a man she called her “rogue”.

    Find out all about this Earl of Cumberland, his unhappy marriage, his voyages and what it meant to be the queen’s champion, in today’s talk.

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  • 28 December – A Lord Keeper of the Great Seal who supported learning

    On this day in Tudor history, the feast of Childermas, 28th December 1510, lawyer, administrator and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, Sir Nicholas Bacon, was born. Bacon was the father of the famous philosopher, statesman, scientist and author, Sir Francis Bacon.

    Bacon wasn’t just a lawyer and statesman, he was also very concerned with the education of the young, and did much to support it.

    Find out all about Sir Nicholas Bacon, his life and career, and how he was banished from court at one point, in today’s talk.

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  • 27 December – Katherine Killigrew, “the Muses friend, and saint of Heav’n”

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th December 1583, scholar and Puritan Katherine Killigrew died after giving birth to a stillborn child.

    Katherine was the daughter of renowned humanist and scholar, Sir Anthony Cooke, and was known for her ability at writing poetry and her knowledge of languages, including Hebrew, Latin and Greek. She was a very accomplished Tudor lady.

    Find out more about Katherine, and hear the epitaphs that were written in her honour, in today’s talk.

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  • December Tudor History Events Quiz

    Test your knowledge on events that took place in the month of December during the Tudor period, or related to the Tudor period, in today’s fun quiz.

    The answers can all be found on the Tudor Society website (if you get stuck). Good luck!

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  • 26 December – The interesting life of Rose Lok

    Thumbnail for 26th December video

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th December 1526, Protestant Rose Lok was born.

    Rose lived well into her 80s and had an interesting life, being a Protestant exile, a businesswoman, and being the daughter of a man who supplied Anne Boleyn with religious books. She also had a ship named after her!

    Find out all about Rose Lok in today’s talk.

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  • Christmas Day – Happy Christmas!

    A very Happy Christmas to all those of you celebrating today. Tim and I send you our greetings and hope you have a lovely time.

    Do enjoy these Christmas readings…

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  • 25 December – A Tudor witch-hunter

    Happy Christmas!

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th December 1587, Brian Darcy, magistrate, Sheriff of Essex, witch-hunter and contributor to the 1582 “A true and just recorde of the information, examination and confession of all the witches, taken at S Oses [St Osyth]”, died.

    “A True and Just Recorde” argued for harsher punishments for those found guilty of witchcraft, and Darcy was personally responsible for a number of deaths of people accused of witchcraft.

    Find out more about this zealous witch-hunter in today’s talk.

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  • 24 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    Today, we have our final Tudor Society Advent Calendar treat because it’s Christmas Eve!

    We wish you a very Merry Christmas!

    Find the final Tudor personality hiding in Coughton Court, waiting to introduce him/herself, by….

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  • 24 December – A man who swapped sides at the right time

    On this day in history, 24th December 1604, Christmas Eve, Sir Thomas Cornwallis, Comptroller of the household of Mary I and member of Parliament, died at about the age of eighty-six.

    Cornwallis had been active putting down rebellion in 1549 and during the succession crisis of July 1553 swapped sides at just the right time, recanting his proclamation for Jane as queen and proclaiming for Mary instead, He was rewarded for this when Mary came to the throne.

    Of course, he wasn’t so much a favourite in the reign of Elizabeth I, but a friendship with a man close to Elizabeth may have helped him escape trouble.

    Find out more about Sir Thomas Cornwallis in today’s talk.

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  • Richard Neville, 2nd Baron Latimer (1467-1530)

    Richard Neville was the son of Sir Henry Neville who died at Edgcote in July of 1469 and his wife Joan, daughter of John Bourchier, 1st Baron Berners. He is an interesting Tudor figure because he saw the beginning of the reign of Henry VII, being part of the War of the Roses and lived up until Henry VIII’s ‘Great Matter.’

    Richard Neville inherited his title and lands when just a baby in 1469, the principal seat being Snape Castle in Richmondshire, following his grandfather George Neville’s death. However, his great uncle, Thomas Bourchier, who was a cardinal and later Archbishop of Canterbury, purchased the wardship of Richard and his marriage in May 1470 for £1000. Still, Richard’s lands remained the property of the crown. Not much is known about the early life of Richard Neville, but we do know that he was knighted in January 1478.

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  • 23 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    It’s the penultimate day for our Advent Calendar so do make the most of it!

    Find out which Tudor personality is hiding in our very Christmassy Coughton Court, home of the Throckmorton family.

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  • 23 December – Elizabeth I moves to a property her mother knew well

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd December 1558, just over a month after her accession, England’s new queen, Elizabeth I, daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, moved from Somerset House to Whitehall Palace, which became her principal residence.

    Whitehall, formerly York Place, had once been home to her mother, Anne Boleyn, and had been the setting of Anne’s marriage to Henry VIII. I wonder if Elizabeth felt close to her mother there.

    Find out more about Whitehall Palace, and also Somerset Place, the property Elizabeth left, in today’s talk.

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  • 22 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    I do hope you’re having a lovely week so far. If not, don’t worry, I have an Advent Calendar treat for you!

    A Tudor personality is hiding in Coughton Court, waiting to introduce him/herself. Find out who it is…

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  • 22 December – Two Protestants betrayed by a spy

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd December 1557, Protestant martyrs John Rough and Margaret Mearing, were burnt at Smithfield for heresy.

    John Rough was a Scot who’d encouraged John Knox to be a pastor, but ended in days in England. Interestingly, the woman he died with was a woman he’d excommunicated from his congregation, believing her to be a spy. Although she’d been angry with her treatment, she was not the spy who betrayed him, she visited Rough in prison and was arrested after she tried to confront the real spy.

    Find out about John Rough’s life and what brought him to England, how he’d come to be arrested, and what happened with Margaret Mearing, in today’s talk.

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  • 21 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    Bad news: there aren’t many more Advent Calendar treats to go. Good news: a new one is ready for you to enjoy!

    Who will you find hiding in Coughton Court today waiting to introduce him/herself?

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  • 21 December – St Thomas, pies, charity and India

    21st December in Tudor times was the Feast of St Thomas the Apostle, or Didymus or Doubting Thomas. The apostle who wouldn’t believe Christ had been resurrected until Christ appeared in front of him and he’d felt the nail wounds and the wound in his side.

    Thomas was known for his generosity, and in Tudor times, those in need would go “a-Thomasing”, collecting alms. But there are also other traditions associated with the feast day, such as pie-making. And did you know that Thomas also has links to India?

    Find out more about St Thomas, his story, his feast day and the traditions associated with him, in today’s talk.

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  • 20 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    It’s Sunday and that means it’s time for another Tudor Society Advent Calendar surprise!

    Who will you find hiding in Coughton Court today waiting to introduce him/herself?

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  • 20 December – Edward Arden, “victim of a grave iniquity” or conspirator?

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th December 1583, the day after his son-in-law, John Somerville, had been found dead in his cell, Warwickshire gentleman Edward Arden was hanged, drawn and quartered at Smithfield.

    Arden, who was related to William Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden, and married to a member of the Throckmorton family, had been found guilty of treason, after being implicated in Somerville’s plot to kill the queen.

    But was Arden actually guilty? Why didn’t others involved end up being executed too?

    Find out more about Edward Arden and what happened in 1583, in today’s talk.

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  • Christmas Carols Crossword

    I love Christmas carols and I also love the fact that many of them date back centuries, and some would be recognised by our favourite people, the Tudors.

    But how much do you know about medieval and Tudor Christmas carols?

    Test your knowledge with this fun crossword puzzle.

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  • 19 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    Time for another Advent Calendar treat for you!

    Find out who’s hiding in Coughton Court today waiting to introduce him/herself today.

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  • 19 December – A conspirator found dead in his cell

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th December 1583, twenty-three-year-old convicted conspirator, John Somerville, was found dead in his cell at Newgate Prison. His death was said to be suicide, due to his poor mental health, but some Catholics believed that he had been killed.

    Somerville had been found guilty of conspiring to assassinate the queen, but did he really mean to? Was he mentally ill? Was he manipulated by others?

    Find out more about John Somerville in today’s talk.

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  • 18 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    As well as our Friday video, and our Christmas party live chat later today, we have another Advent Calendar treat for you!

    Find out who’s hiding in Coughton Court today waiting to introduce him/herself today.

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  • 18 December – Nicholas Harpsfield, the sorest and of least compassion

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th December 1575,in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, fifty-six-year-old historian, Catholic apologist, priest and former Archdeacon of Canterbury, Nicholas Harpsfield, died in London.

    Harpsfield and his brother, John, had been imprisoned since the early 1560s for refusing to swear the Oath of Supremacy, but had been released in 1574 on the grounds of ill-health.

    In Mary I’s reign, he had been involved in the persecutions of Protestants, and martyrologist John Foxe described him as “the sorest and of leaste compassion” of all the archdeacons involved.

    Find out more about his life, career and rise, his works, and his end, in today’s talk.

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  • The Tudor Poor and Poor Relief

    It’s the 21st December on Monday, the date of the feast day of St Thomas the Apostle in Tudor times, and during my research on that and the traditions associated with it, like collecting alms, my mind turned to poverty in Tudor times and how it was dealt with.

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  • 17 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    It’s that time of day again! Time for another Tudor history-themed treat. I do hope you’re enjoying these, they’re rather fun!

    Find out who’s hiding in Coughton Court today waiting to introduce him/herself at the Tudor Society Advent Calendar.

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  • Live chat reminder – 18 December – Christmas Party!

    Just a reminder that 18th December is the date of this month’s informal chat, our annual Christmas party.

    It’s an hour-long chat and is an opportunity for members to get to know each other and have a good old chat.

    I like to wear my Christmas sweater (or pyjamas!) and I always bring a Christmas drink and snack, like a mince pie or slice of Christmas cake, along with me. Members can share where they’re from, what they’re doing…

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