The Tudor Society
  • 30 September – A victorious Henry VIII and a procession for Mary I

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th September 1544, fifty-three-year-old King Henry VIII returned to England after his third invasion of France and the French surrender of Boulogne to him and his troops.

    Hear a contemporary account of what happened during the siege of Boulogne and how and why the French surrendered to Henry VIII…

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  • 29 September – A papal legate arrives and Robert Dudley receives an earldom

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th September 1528, the papal legate, Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio, landed at Dover on the Kent coast.

    Campeggio and Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, who had been appointed the pope’s vice-regent, were given the task of hearing Henry VIII’s case for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

    Find out more about what happened when next, what happened at the special legatine court, and how Henry ended up waiting for his annulment for a few more years…

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  • The Isles of Scilly – Julian Humphrys

    Julian takes us over the waters to the Isles of Scilly – what did they have to do with the Tudors? Well, you’ll soon find out!

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  • 28 September – Robert Devereux sees Elizabeth I without her mask of youth and Mary I travels to the Tower

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th September 1599, Elizabeth I’s favourite, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, strode into the queen’s bedchamber unannounced and saw her without her makeup or wig, without her “mask of youth”.

    Why would he do such a thing?

    Find out why Devereux was troubled and wanted to see the queen urgently and how Elizabeth I reacted to his visit, and what happened next…

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  • 27 September – Margaret Beaufort’s first husband and Catherine of Aragon sets sail from Spain

    On this day in history, 27th September 1442, in the reign of King Henry VI, John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, was born.

    He may have been born in the Plantagenet period, but Suffolk’s first wife was Lady Margaret Beaufort, the future mother of Henry VII. Suffolk went on to serve Henry VII loyally, although his son was involved in the Lambert Simnel Rebellion.

    Find out more about John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, his life and career, and what happened with his marriage to Lady Margaret Beaufort…

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  • Howard Women Quiz

    Our September talk from Catherine Brooks was on “The Advantageous Marriages of the Howards”, so for this week’s quiz I thought I’d test your knowledge of these marriages in this Howard Women quiz.

    All the answers can be found in Catherine’s excellent talk…

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  • 26 September – Mary, Queen of Scots’ gaoler and Sir Francis Drake

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th September 1588, Sir Amias (Amyas) Paulet, administrator, diplomat, Governor of Jersey and gaoler of Mary, Queen of Scots died. He was buried in St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster.

    Sir Amias Paulet acted as gaoler to Mary, Queen of Scots, and it was while he was doing this that Elizabeth wanted him to abide by the Bond of Association and assassinate Mary, Queen of Scots, so that she didn’t have to sign her death warrant.

    What was the Bond of Association and what did Paulet do?

    Find out…

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  • October 2021 – Tudor Noblewomen

    This month’s bumper-sized Tudor Life magazine is packed with articles about some of the interesting Tudor noblewomen.

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  • 25 September – an Arctic explorer and a pope’s death surrounded by rumour

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th September 1525, explorer, navigator and naval administrator Stephen Borough (Burrough) was born at Borough House, Northam Burrows, Northam, in Devon.

    This Arctic explorer learnt his navigational skills from first his uncle and then Spanish pilots in Seville. He discovered Novaya Zemlya and the Viagatz Strait (Kara Strait), which was named the Burrough Strait until the late 1800s.

    Hear an overview of Stephen Borough’s life and career in this video…

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  • 24 September – The christening of Arthur Tudor and the executions of two priests

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th September 1589, Roman Catholic priest, William Spenser, and layman Robert Hardesty were executed at York. Spenser was executed for being a priest, and Hardesty for sheltering Spenser.

    The two men were beatified in 1987 as two of the Eight-five Martyrs of England and Wales.

    Find out more about William Spenser and Robert Hardesty, and how they came to their awful ends…

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  • 23 September – A work about two star-crossed lovers and a Tudor bishop

    On this day in history, 23rd September 1605, in the reign of King James I, Tudor pamphleteer William Averell was buried at St Peter upon Cornhill.

    Averell’s first work was about two Welsh star-crossed lovers, Charles and Julia, and he also wrote a Protestant work about it raining wheat in Suffolk and Essex, an event which he saw as presaging the end of the world.

    Averell was an interesting character and you can find out more about him and his work in this video…

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  • This week’s Friday video

    Just to let you know that our scheduled weekly video from military and battlefield historian Julian Humphrys will be late as Julian has been filming on the Isles of Scilly but is having internet issues and can’t get the video to us! It’ll definitely be worth the wait though. We’ll try and get it added next week.

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  • 22 September – Amy Robsart and Anne of Cleves

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd September 1560, Amy Dudley (née Robsart), wife of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was buried in the chancel of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford.

    Amy had been found dead at the foot of the stairs of her home and the subsequent inquest had ruled her death as caused by “misfortune”. She was buried in a lavish ceremony which cost her widower over £2,000.

    Find out more about her burial, and who attended…

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  • Did Catherine of Aragon and Arthur Tudor consummate their marriage?

    Catherine of Aragon and Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales, were married from 14th November 1501 until Arthur’s death on 2nd April 1502, but did they consummate their marriage? They certainly slept in the same bed, but did Catherine of Aragon and Arthur Tudor have sex?

    Find out what people said at the Legatine court hearing in 1529 and the Zaragoza hearing in 1531, and what Catherine claimed, in this talk…

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  • 21 September – Pendleton the Proud and a secret marriage for Robert Dudley

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st September 1557, Henry Pendleton, theologian, chaplain and friend of Bishop Bonner, was buried at St Stephen’s, Walbrook, London.

    Pendleton is known not only for his strong preaching, which led to him being shot at once, but also for his changing religious faith. He went from staunch Catholic to zealous Protestant to staunch Catholic, even taking part in disputations with his former friends and seeing them imprisoned and burnt.

    Find out more about Henry Pendleton, his life, career and changing religious beliefs…

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  • 20 September – The Babington Plot and the birth of Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th September 1586, Anthony Babington, John Ballard, John Savage, Chidiock Tichborne and three other conspirators were executed near St Giles-in-the-Fields in London.

    They suffered full traitors’ deaths, being hanged, drawn and quartered, after being found guilty of treason for plotting to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I in the famous Babington Plot, which sought to replace Elizabeth with Mary, Queen of Scots.

    Find out more about Anthony Babington, the Babington Plot, the men involved, how it was discovered, and how it led to Mary, Queen of Scots’ execution…

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  • Tudor Sons and Daughters Crossword Puzzle

    This week’s quiz tests your knowledge of the children of Tudor monarchs and courtiers.

    Can you remember their names?

    Find out with this fun quiz.

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  • 19 September – An explorer and Protestant burnings

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th September 1560, explorer, navigator and privateer Thomas Cavendish was baptised at St Martin’s Church, Trimley St Martin in Suffolk.

    Cavendish is known for his imitation of Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe, which he undertook in 1586, and for being the first Englishman to explore the island of St Helena, in the mid-Atlantic, but he also had a reputation as a spendthrift and his final voyage was a failure.

    Find out more about Thomas Cavendish…

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  • 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.


    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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