The Tudor Society
  • Rare Disease Day

    Today is Rare Disease Day. On this day awareness is raised about rare diseases and the impact they have on patients' lives. It takes place on the last day of February. This is because the first edition was celebrated on the 29th of February, a 'rare' date that happens only once every four years. Ever since then, Rare Disease Day has taken place on the last day of February, a month known for having a ‘rare’ number of days. On the website of Rare Disease Day you can find more information. 

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  • Tudor Diseases Quiz

    As it’s Rare Diseases Day today, I thought it was only right to test your knowledge of diseases which affected people in the Tudor period, although they weren’t rare!

    I hope you enjoy this quiz!

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  • Tudor Meals: Shrewsbury Biscuits

    In this new series called Tudor Meals, we will be making and taste testing Tudor recipes for you. This month we baked Shrewsbury biscuits! This treat was enjoyed in Tudor times by wealthy people, because it includes ingredients such as cinnamon and sugar.

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  • A literary patron and her husband, a chaplain dies at sea, and a pragmatic reformer pleases nobody

    In this second part of This week on Tudor history for the week beginning 22nd February, I introduce a literary patron and her husband, a clergyman who ended up dying on a voyage far from home and being buried at sea, and a famous reformer whose peacemaking and pragmatic approach failed to heal rifts and please people. Oh and he ended up being dug up and posthumously tried for heresy, and burnt!

    24th or 25th February 1618 – Death of Elizabeth Carey (née Spencer), Lady Hunsdon. Elizabeth was a renowned literary patron and was one of the Spencers of Althorp…

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  • The Vaux Passional and Elizabeth of York’s death

    In this week’s Friday video, Claire looks at a beautiful manuscript with links to Henry VII and the Vaux family. It really is stunning and it’s wonderful that it’s survived. It also appears to give us an inisght into his grieving children following the death of their mother, Elizabeth of York.

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  • March 2021 – Tudor Life – Pride

    Here at the Tudor Society, we continue with the deadly sins (!) with this month’s edition featuring pride. The Tudors were a proud lot, and so you’re in for a treat with this edition.

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  • How to watch the expert talk

    Every month we invite an expert – a Tudor historian or author – to do a Tudor history talk. It’s a wonderful way for these Tudor history experts to share their knowledge with people from all over the world.

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  • Artists in the spotlight!

    In this first artists in the spotlight, we talked to Siria who is only 13 years old and is from Italy. She makes the most beautiful drawings of the Tudors, so we got in touch with her to chat about her art. 

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  • Research for Historical Novels – Adrienne Dillard – Live chat transcript

    Thank you to all those who came to the fast-paced live chat with Adrienne Dillard on Saturday evening. Adrienne kept up really well with the questions and it was good to discuss historical fiction with such a successful author.

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  • Broken leg kills translator, Elizabeth of York’s funeral, and an earl implicated in murder

    In the first part of This Week in Tudor history for the week beginning 22nd February, historian and author Claire Ridgway talks about a translator killed by a broken leg, the lavish funeral of Elizabeth of York, and an earl who rose in the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I, but who was implicated in a murder in his final days.

    22nd February 1571, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I – The death of translator John Bury after breaking his leg in a fall from his horse….

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  • Shrovetide and Lent Word Search

    This week’s brain teaser is a word search testing your knowledge of Shrovetide and Lent, and the traditions associated with this time of the year. As always, the answers are all on the site. Good luck.

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

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  • Anne Seymour (née Stanhope) – Did she really have scandalous affairs?

    One of the questions I received for the Anne Boleyn Files and Tudor Society Channel’s fan Q&A series was from Tudor Society member Colleen, and her beautiful cat, King Louis.

    The question was regarding Anne Seymour (née Stanhope), second wife of Edward Seymour, who, of course became Lord Protector in his nephew Edward VI’s reign. In Showtime’s “The Tudors” series, Anne is rather a colourful character, a badly behaved woman who has an affair with a courtier and another with her own brother-in-law, but is there any truth in this or is it fictional?

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  • Your Tudor Dream Team

    A big thank you to Lorna Wanstall for inspiring this week’s Friday video with her idea about casting our Tudor dream team or dream cast. I’m looking forward to reading your ideas!

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  • The Life of Anne Boleyn course discount

    As it’s the 12th birthday of the Anne Boleyn Files website, the blog that started Claire’s career researching and writing, Claire is offering 25% discount code for her online course The Life of Anne Boleyn.

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  • Mary I resources

    As it’s the anniversary of Queen Mary I’s birth, on 18th February 1516, I thought I’d share some Mary I resources with you. We have so many Mary I resources – videos, an ebook, quizzes, expert talks… Enjoy!

    You can download the Tudor Society Mary I e-book…

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  • A murdered French duke, Margaret Douglas’s bad news, a Tudor countess, and Lady Katherine Grey

    In this second part of “This week in Tudor history” for the week beginning 15th February, I talk about how the death of a French duke led to an awful massacre, and how the imprisoned Margaret Douglas heard of her son’s murder, as well as introducing a countess who served all six of Henry VIII’s wives and who was close to his daughter Mary, and a noblewoman who managed to give birth twice while imprisoned in the Tower of London.

    18th February 1563 – Francis, Duke of Guise, was wounded by a Huguenot assassin at the Siege of Orléans. He died a few days later and his death was a factor in the 1572 St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.

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  • The Tudor Puzzle Book

    I know that many of you enjoy our weekly Tudor crossword puzzles and word searches, so you’ll be interested to know that I’ve collated some of them, plus some new ones, in a paperback book.

    I did intend to get the book out in time for Christmas, but with one thing and another it just didn’t happen. Oh well, better late than never! It’s available right now. Here are the details…

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  • A royal pregnancy announcement 

    A portrait of Jane Seymour by Hans Holbein the Younger

    This Valentine’s Day a very special announcement was made by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, they are expecting a child. A royal baby announcement nowadays is made and spread on social media. Since Instagram and other online platforms did not exist in Tudor times, how was this joyous news shared with the rest of the country? 

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  • It’s time for pancakes!

    Yes, it’s that time of year again! It’s Shrove Tuesday! We’re celebrating this last day before Lent by sharing two videos – one with a cute dog and one with yummy pancakes, oh and a cute Tim!

    Last year, Teasel and I made a video explaining Shrovetide – Shrove Sunday, Collop Monday and Shrove Tuesday – and how it was celebrated in Tudor times…

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  • The last monk to be Archbishop of Canterbury, a famous Reformer and an earl who wept for Elizabeth

    In this first part of This Week in Tudor history for week beginning 15th February, I am going to tell you about the last monk to become Archbishop of Canterbury; the man who wrote one of the most important documents of the Protestant Reformation, and an earl who wept when he had to imprison Princess Elizabeth, the future Elizabeth I.

    15th February 1503, in the reign of King Henry VII – The death of Henry Deane, the last monk to become Archbishop of Canterbury.

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  • Valentine’s Day in Tudor times

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    The 14th of February is the day on which we celebrate love. But what is the history of this feast? 

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  • Tudor Williams Crossword Puzzle

    William was a very popular name in the Tudor period, so I thought I’d test your knowledge of Tudor Williams in this Sunday’s puzzle, a crossword puzzle.

    As always, these are all people who have been mentioned on the Tudor Society.

    Good luck!

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  • Catherine chats to Kirsty from Sudeley Castle

    This week’s Friday video is from our very own Catherine Brooks who is chatting to Kirsty Saul from Sudeley Castle. Kirsty tells us about her work, the castle itself, which is located in the beautiful English Cotswolds, and its links to the Tudors.

    A big thank you to Catherine and Kirsty for this wonderful video.

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  • Claire’s birthday and presents for you!

    On this day in history, 11th February 1971, our founder Claire Ridgway was born, meaning that she’s celebrating her 50th birthday! And she’s celebrating by doing some kindle countdown deals for 9 of her books!

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  • Mad people can be executed, a miscarriage of justice, problematic prophecies and William Waste All

    In this second part of This Week in Tudor History for week beginning 8th February, I talk about two parliamentary acts that allowed a king to execute his wife and to execute people showing signs of madness; a miscarriage of justice which led to a priest being executed in Elizabeth I’s reign; an Elizabethan astrologer who was ridiculed after his prophecies didn’t come true, and a man known as William Waste-all.

    11th February 1542 – King Henry VIII gave his assent “in absentia” to an act of attainder against his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, and her lady-in-waiting, Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford. A bill allowing people showing signs of lunacy was also passed, an awful thing, but the king was determined to take revenge.

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  • Elizabeth Howard (née Stafford), Duchess of Norfolk (1497-1558)

    Elizabeth Stafford was born in 1497 and was the eldest daughter of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, and his wife, Eleanor, eldest daughter of Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland. Through her parents, Elizabeth was a descendant of King Edward III, and her paternal grandparents were Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, and Lady Katherine Woodville, sister of Elizabeth Woodville. Her paternal grandfather was beheaded for treason against Richard III in 1483, which is a fate her father would suffer in 1521, beheaded for treason against Henry VIII.

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  • Learn more about: A discovery of witches and Tudor history

    In last week's Friday video, Claire talked about the All Souls trilogy of novels by Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night and The Book of Life, and the TV adaptation. How do these novels link to Tudor history? 

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  • Watch: Mary Queen of Scots’ life in Edinburgh

    On this day in history Mary Queen of Scots was executed. 434 years ago, early in the morning, Mary was taken from her prison cell to the place of execution at Fotheringhay castle. To commemorate this day, we will be sharing a documentary that was made back in 2019 about her life in Edinburgh. For the first time it is now available for all to enjoy. 

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  • This week in Tudor history Part 1 – A man who refused a title, Lady Jane Grey’s reprieve, and a naughty earl with a magic ring

    In this first part of “This Week in Tudor History”, I introduce a chap named John, one of the many johns in his family, who turned down a title; explain why Lady Jane Grey’s execution was postponed and what happened, and introduce an earl who appears to have been a bit of a Tudor bad boy.

    8th February 1545, in the reign of King Henry VIII – Death of courtier and soldier Sir John Arundell of Lanherne, or John Arundell III, a man who turned down a barony from King Henry VIII. Find out why.

    9th February 1554 – Queen Mary I postpones Lady Jane Grey’s scheduled execution and gives her a three-day reprieve…

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  • Tudor Novels Quiz

    I do love getting lost in a good historical novel, especially at this time of year when I can snuggle in front of the log burner under a blanket with a nice mug of hot chocolate. A novel that transports me to the 16th century is just prefect.

    But how much do you know about Tudor-themed novels, series and authors?

    Find out, and perhaps get some reading ideas, in this week’s quiz:

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