The Tudor Society
  • 18 September – Edward Courtenay and a triumphant Henry VIII

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th September 1556, Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, died from a fever at Padua in Italy.

    Courtenay had been sent overseas after he was implicated in Wyatt’s Rebellion as a future husband and consort of Queen Mary I’s half-sister, Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth I.

    In this video, I tell you more about this Earl of Devon and how he was a prospective bridegroom for both of Henry VIII’s daughters.

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  • 17 September – Walter Devereux and Henry Manners

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th September 1558, Walter Devereux, 1st Viscount Hereford and grandfather of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex and a favourite of Elizabeth I, died at the Devereux family seat at Chartley in Staffordshire.

    Devereux had a long and distinguished court career, serving Henry VIII, Princess Mary in Ludlow, and Edward VI. He also married at around the age of 11 and was imprisoned at one point. An interesting Tudor man.

    Find out more about this soldier and royal servant…

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  • Tudor Pot Herbs – Brigitte Webster

    This week Brigitte Webster is discussing Tudor herbs including information on which herbs were common, how they were grown and of course how they were used.

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  • 16 September – A theologian dies after third bout of sweating sickness and Henry VIII and Catherine Howard enter York

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th September 1519, scholar, humanist, theologian, Dean of St Paul’s and founder of St Paul’s School, John Colet died after suffering three attacks of sweating sickness between 1517 and 1519. Humanists such as Erasmus were influenced by Colet’s work.

    In this video, I share an overview of this influential scholar’s life, including the fact that he was one of 20-22 children and that he used his wealth to refound a school…

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  • 15 September – Elizabeth I saves the day and a Tudor taxman

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th September 1589, the Battle of Arques began.

    This battle was part of the final war of the French Wars of Religion, a series of conflicts in France from 1562-1598 between Catholics and Huguenots. It was fought between the new French king, Henry IV, and the Catholic League led by Charles of Lorraine, Duke of Mayenne, and looked bad for Henry until troops sent by Elizabeth I arrived – phew!

    You can find out more about what led to this battle, what happened at the battle, and what happened next, in this video…

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  • Expert answer – What does “round machine” refer to in this quote?

    Thank you to Tudor Society member Stephanie for asking this question about something written by Estienne Perlin with regards to Mary, Queen of Scot, France and Scotland. Stephanie asks:

    “In the following quote do you know what the ’round machine” refers to:

    “How happy oughtest thou to esteem thyself, O kingdom of Scotland, to be favoured, fed and maintained like an infant, on the breast of the host magnanimous King of France, the greatest lord in the whole world, and the future monarch of the round machine, for without him thou wouldn’st have been laid in ashes, they country wasted and ruined by the English, utterly accursed by God.”

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  • 14 September – A Constable of the Tower and a destroyed shrine

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th September 1540, Sir William Kingston, Constable of the Tower of London, Knight of the Garter and comptroller of the King's household, died at his home in Painswick in Gloucestershire.

    Sir William Kingston was Constable of the Tower of London while Queen Anne Boleyn was imprisoned there in May 1536, and his letters to Thomas Cromwell are an excellent primary source for historians, but there's much more to this royal servant than that. He had a wonderful career in service to the king and benefited as a result.

    Find out more about Kingston...

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  • 13 September – A Tudor poet and Elizabeth I’s “spirit”

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th September 1503, poet and antiquary John Leland was born. Leland is known for his Latin poems and his antiquarian writings which included a defence of the history of King Arthur, which he presented to Henry VIII and his notes on his travels around England and Wales.

    Leland also wrote verses for Queen Anne Boleyn's coronation procession and was a royal chaplain. He had a very sad end, though, suffering some kind of mental breakdown and going mad.

    Find out more about John Leland, his life and works...

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  • Elizabeth I Places Crossword Puzzle

    This week has been the anniversary of the birth of Queen Elizabeth I on 7th September 1533, so I thought we’d mark the occasion by testing your knowledge of places linked to Elizabeth I.

    Test your knowledge of Elizabeth I places with this fun crossword puzzle.

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  • 12 September – A bridegroom dies suddenly and the trial of Archbishop Cranmer

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th September 1573, Protestant reformer, and leading politician in the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots, Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll, died suddenly at Barbreck. He had got married six weeks earlier and had shown no signs of illness before retiring to bed.

    Argyll was the third most important noble in Scotland, the most important highland chief, and a founder of the Lords of the Congregation. He went from opposing Mary, Queen of Scots, to leading her troops in battle.

    Why?

    Find out all about this interesting Scot's life and career...

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  • 11 September – Edward VI’s good friend and a royal progress for Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th September 1581, Barnaby Fitzpatrick, 2nd Baron of Upper Ossory, died in Dublin, at the home of surgeon, William Kelly.

    In his youth, Fitzpatrick had been friends with Prince Edward (the future Edward VI) and had been educated with him. Historians once believed him to have been the young king's "whipping boy". He went on to serve Edward as a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber when Edward became kin, but ended his days as a prisoner.

    Find out more about Barnaby Fitzpatrick, his life and career, and how he came to such a sad end...

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  • 10 September – A battle and Elizabeth I’s christening

    n this day in Tudor history, Saturday 10th September 1547, in the reign of King Edward VI, the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, also known as the Battle of Pinkie, took place near Musselburgh, in Scotland, on the banks of the River Esk. The English forces, led by Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, defeated the Scots, killing thousands.

    It was a bloody battle, but started off well for the Scots. In this video, I share an eye-witness account of how the battle changed so dramatically, leading to the loss of between 6,000 and 15,000 Scots.

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  • The Boleyns of Hever – Claire Ridgway and Owen Emmerson at Hever Castle

    We've got hold of the video of Claire Ridgway and Owen Emmerson talking at Hever Castle in August, and it's a wonderful recording and presentation. Learn all about how the Boleyn family came to own and live at this stunning Kent castle.

    Thank you so much to the Festival Theatre, Hever Castle and Inside Hever patreon for permission to share this with our members-

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  • 9 September – Mary, Queen of Scots is crowned and the Battle of Flodden

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th September 1543, the 30th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden, Mary, Queen of Scots, was crowned queen at the Chapel Royal of Stirling Castle. Mary was just nine months old.

    Find out more about how Mary came to the throne, her coronation ceremony, in which Mary howled, and how she was already promised in marriage to Henry VIII's son, the future Edward VI...

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  • 8 September – John Shakespeare and Amy Robsart’s mysterious death

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th September 1601, John Shakespeare, father of playwright William Shakespeare, was buried at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon.

    John was a glover and whittawer, and also an important man in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, serving as high bailiff, chief alderman and deputy bailiff, and being given the right to educate his children at the local grammar school for free. However, he also ran into trouble at times.

    Find out more about the life of William Shakespeare’s father, John Shakespeare…

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  • 7 September – Charles Brandon marries his young ward, and Elizabeth I is born

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th September 1533, just over two months after the death of his previous wife, Mary Tudor. Queen of France, forty-nine-year-old Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, married his ward, fourteen-year-old Catherine Willoughby.

    Find out more about this Tudor couple, how they came to be married, what their marriage was like, and what happened to them…

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  • 6 September – Martin Luther and Timothy Bright

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th September 1520, the famous reformer Martin Luther sent his pamphlet “On the Freedom of a Christian” (also known as “A Treatise on Christian Liberty”) to Pope Leo X. In the pamphlet, he emphasised the “two-fold nature” of Christians as saints and sinners, flesh and spirit.

    Luther is, of course, seen as the catalyst of the European Reformation, and in this video, I explain why, what he believed, how he ended up being excommunicated and made an outlaw, and what happened to him.

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  • Hever Chat – Facebook Live Video

    Claire tells us about the adventure she had before getting on stage to talk to a sold-out audience at Hever Castle. The torrential rainstorms were unbelievable!

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  • Catherine Parr Places Word Search

    As today is the anniversary of Catherine Parr’s death on 5th September 1548, I thought we’d pay tribute to her by testing your knowledge of places linked to her.

    Grab your favourite snack and beverage, make yourself comfortable, and get those little grey cells working with this Word Search!

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  • 5 September – The deaths of Bloody Bonner and Catherine Parr

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th September 1569, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London and a man nicknamed “Bloody Bonner”, died in Marshalsea Prison. He had started his career in Henry VIII’s reign and was not just a churchman, he was also a diplomat.

    In this video, I flesh out this Tudor bishop who got his nickname from being in charge of burning reformers in London. Find out about his life, career and how he ended up dying in prison…

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  • 4 September – Another marriage is arranged for Henry VIII and the death of Robert Dudley

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th September 1539, William, Duke of Cleves, signed the marriage treaty promising his sister, Anne of Cleves, in marriage to King Henry VIII.

    Anne would of course become Henry VIII’s fourth wife.

    Find out all about the marriage agreement and its terms, and what happened next…

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  • Uneasy Lies the Head by Jean Plaidy – Lil’s Book Reviews

    Lil looks back at a wonderful book by Jean Plaidy - Uneasy Lies the Head is set the aftermath of the bloody Wars of the Roses, Henry Tudor has seized the English crown, finally uniting the warring Houses of York and Lancaster through his marriage to Elizabeth of York. But whilst Henry VII rules wisely and justly, he is haunted by Elizabeth's missing brothers; the infamous two Princes, their fate in the Tower forever a shrouded secret. Then tragedy strikes at the heart of Henry's family, and it is against his own son that the widowed king must fight for a bride and his throne... [Read More...]

  • 3 September – A clown and a playwright

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd September 1588, or possibly the 5th September, actor and clown, Richard Tarlton, died in Shoreditch. He was buried in St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch.

    Tarlton was a member of the Queen’s Men acting company, but is famed for his post-play jigs as a clown. He was also known for being able to cheer up Queen Elizabeth I – how wonderful.

    Find out more about Tudor clown Richard Tarlton, his life and career…

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  • 2 September – The deaths of an Irish earl and an explorer

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd September 1534, Gerald Fitzgerald, 9th Earl of Kildare and Lord Deputy of Ireland, died in the Tower of London at around the age of 47. Kildare had been arrested on 29th June 1534, accused of corruption and causing rebellion in Ireland.

    Kildare seems to have spent most of his career being accused of crimes, but his son Silken Thomas’s rebellion was his final undoing.

    He was already ill when he was arrested and imprisoned, suffering from the after effects of being shot, but at least his wife was able to nurse him.

    Find out more about this Earl of Kildare, his life and career…

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  • Henry VII: The Man – Nathen Amin – Live chat transcript

    Here is the transcript of last week’s live Q&A session with Nathen Amin on Henry VII: The Man for those of you who missed it. It was a wonderful chat.

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  • 1 September – Actor Edward Alleyn and Anne Boleyn becomes Marquess of Pembroke

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st September 1566, Edward Alleyn, a major figure in the Elizabethan theatre, was born in the parish of St Botolph without Bishopsgate, London, and baptised the following day.

    In this video, I share some facts about Edward Alleyn, including his personal life, the plays he was involved in, his theatre investments, and his desire to be appointed master of the bears, bulls and mastiff dogs!

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  • Catherine Brooks – The Advantageous Marriages of the Howards – Expert Talk

    Catherine takes us back to the start of the Howard dynasty to show how the ancestors of the Howards of the Henrican court built up their standing not just from their military careers and loyalty to the monarch, but by realising marriage could be the quickest way to achieve status. But she also explains how this can backfire with tragic consequences.

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