The Tudor Society
  • 31 October – The death of Thomas Howard and Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st October 1537, Lord Thomas Howard, second son of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, died while imprisoned in the Tower of London. He was about twenty-five years of age at his death.

    How did this son of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk and brother of the 3rd Duke of Norfolk end up dying in the Tower?

    Well, he fell in love with the wrong woman? He had become secretly betrothed to King Henry VIII’s niece, Lady Margaret Douglas.

    Find out more about Lord Thomas Howard, his relationship with Lady Margaret Douglas, and what happened to them both, in this talk… Oh, and Margaret really didn’t learn her lesson!

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  • Medieval and Tudor Ghosts Crossword Puzzle

    This week, I thought I’d test your knowledge of medieval and Tudor ghosts in a fun crossword puzzle.

    Simply click on the link or image to open and print out…

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  • 30 October – Elizabeth I’s refusal to renew Robert Devereux and the coronation of Henry VII

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th October 1600, Queen Elizabeth I refused to renew Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex’s monopoly on sweet wines, saying that “an unruly horse must be abated of his provender, that he may be the easier and better managed.”

    It may not sound like a major event, but it was for Essex and it drove him to desperation and, ultimately, to the scaffold.

    Why? What was going on? How could the queen’s refusal to renew this monopoly lead to Essex’s undoing?

    Find out what was happened in 1600 and what happened next with the queen and her favourite, in this talk…

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  • 29 October – Henry VIII’s farewell to Francis I of France and the execution of Sir Walter Ralegh

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th October 1532, King Henry VIII bid farewell to his “loving brother”, his French counterpart, King Francis I.

    The two kings had enjoyed each other’s company at Calais and Boulogne, and Henry VIII was pleased with their meetings. In fact, things had gone so well that Henry VIII decided to marry Anne Boleyn!

    Find out more about their farewell, and what had happened during the trip, in this talk…

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  • Hallowtide

    As this weekend is Halloween, the beginning of Hallowtide, I thought I’d share these resources from the archives as our “Friday video”, or rather videos!

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  • Elizabeth of York’s Progress of 1502 – Live Chat Transcript

    Here’s the transcript of our live chat with Natalie Grueninger over the weekend. We had a very interesting and unusual chat about Elizabeth of York, and we certainly learned a lot.

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  • 28 October – Ivan the Terrible writes a rude letter to Elizabeth I and the Feast of St Simon and St Jude

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th October 1570, Ivan IV of Russia, known commonly as Ivan the Terrible, wrote a rather rude letter to Queen Elizabeth I.

    Ivan was upset with Elizabeth’s reaction to his idea of a political alliance, an agreement to help each other if their lives were in danger, and wrote the letter while he was still angry. They were words that must have made Elizabeth see red for a while, but she managed to write a calm reply to him.

    Find out exactly what Ivan the Terrible and Elizabeth I wrote to each other, and how they came to be corresponding in the first place, in this talk…

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  • Perkin Warbeck – A fun song

    Tudor and history enthusiast and songwriter, Ian Churchward, has sent us a link to his song about Perkin Warbeck on his new “Songs About Devon” album. It’s something a bit different and so we thought we’d share it here for you to listen.

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  • 27 October – The birth of Mary Herbert and the dramatic entrance of Anne Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th October 1561, Mary Herbert (née Sidney), Countess of Pembroke, writer and literary patron, was born at Tickenhall, near Bewdley in Worcestershire. She was the sister of the poets Sir Philip Sidney and Robert Sidney, Earl of Leicester, was a writer herself and an extremely talented lady, and she also lived life to the full.

    After her husband died, she had fun shooting pistols, flirting, taking tobacco and dancing. A fun lady!

    Find out more about this gifted Tudor woman, who was as beautiful as she was talented, and whose work was praised, and used, by men such as Shakespeare.

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  • 26 October – Rain stops rebels going to battleand and Sir Thomas More is sworn in as Lord Chancellor

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th October 1536, the rebels of the Pilgrimage of Grace halted at Scawsby Leys near Doncaster, where they met crown troops. The rebels were said to number around 30,000 and the crown’s army was only a fifth of the size, but the rebel leader, lawyer Robert Aske, chose to negotiate rather than fight.

    Why, when they could well have won?

    Well, one Tudor chronicler puts it down to rain. You can find out more about this meeting, how rain put a stop to the rebels’ plans, and what happened next between the Pilgrimage of Grace rebels and Henry VIII, in this video…

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  • November 2021 – Tudor Winters

    What a wonderfully interesting magazine we have for you this cold winter month. Hopefully, you’re able to stay wrapped up warm while you enjoy the latest copy of Tudor Life Magazine

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  • 25 October – Twin saints and Francis I’s gift to Anne Boleyn

    Today, 25th October, is a feast day which was celebrated in medieval and Tudor times – the feast of Saints Crispin and Crispinian, martyrs of the Early Church and the patron saints of cobblers.

    Find out more about these saints, how their feast day became linked to an important English victory over the French, how it was marked, and why these saints are linked to Faversham in Kent, in this talk…

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  • 24 October – John White’s return to England and the death of Jane Seymour

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th October 1590, John White, the governor of the Roanoke Colony, returned to England after failing to find the lost colonists, which included his daughter, Ellinor (Elenora), his son-in-law, Ananias Dare, and his granddaughter, Virginia Dare.

    But what happened to these colonists and what did the word CROATOAN carved onto a post mean?

    Find out all about the Roanoke Colony and the theories regarding the disappearance of all 115 people, including the very latest research, in this talk…

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  • The Pilgrimage of Grace Rebellion Word Search

    The Pilgrimage of Grace Rebellion broke out in October 1536, in the reign of Henry VIII, but how much do you know about it? Test yourself with this fun word search.

    Hint: Check out our video talks and resources on the rebellion for help….

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  • 23 October – The Dissolution of the Monasteries and John Hopkins’ burial

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd October 1538, Thomas Goldwell, Prior of Christchurch, Canterbury, wrote to Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s chief advisor, regarding the forthcoming dissolution of his monastery and its fate.

    It's quite a sad, grovelling letter, and even more sad when you know the full impact of Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, which was devastating for his country.

    Find out more about Goldwell's priory and what happened to it, as well as what the dissolution entailed, in this talk...

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  • 22 October – Examination of accusations against Henry VIII and the death of Baron Morley

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd October 1537, an examination, or rather interrogation, was carried out regarding an accusation of treasonous words spoken against King Henry VIII.

    Further investigations into the matter found that there was no evidence that these words were spoken, and that someone was trying to get another person into trouble.

    What was going on? In a time when the punishment for high treason was death, this was very serious.

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  • Food preservation in Tudor times – Brigitte Webster

    This week’s Friday video is an in-depth dive into the ways that the Tudors stored and preserved their food. Don’t think that they used spices to make bad food taste good as that would be completely wrong.

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  • 21 October – Lancaster Herald’s encounter with rebels and Henry VIII’s time at the French court

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st October 1536, during the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion, Lancaster Herald had an encounter with armed peasants on his way to Pontefract Castle and then met with the rebel leader, Robert Aske, at the castle.

    The meeting didn’t go well, with Aske putting his foot down and not allowing the herald to complete his mission.

    What was going on? Who was Lancaster Herald? What was his mission?

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  • 20 October – Mary Arundell’s death and Pontefract Castle’s surrender to rebels

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th October 1557, or possibly 21st, courtier Mary Arundell died at Bath Place in London.

    Mary is an interesting Tudor lady. Not only did she serve at least two of Henry VIII’s wives, but she was a countess twice over, having been married to both the Earls of Sussex and Arundel. She has also been confused with two other Tudor ladies, and we don’t know whether the portrait you see in the thumbnail is really her.

    Find out more about Mary Arundell’s life, court career and those of her husbands, in today’s talk from Claire Ridgway, founder of the Tudor Society.

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  • Which Tudor people would you invite to your dinner party?

    We all have our favourite Tudor people, don’t we? People we’d love to go back in time and meet or find out more about.

    In this talk, I share which top 5 Tudor people I’d host a dinner party for, and explain why.

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  • 19 October – The Catholic Monarchs and the Pilgrimage of Grace

    On this day in history, 19th October 1469, an event took place in Spain that was not only important in Spanish history, but which had an impact on Europe and which has links with the Tudors.

    The event was the marriage of an eighteen-year-old woman called Isabella and a seventeen-year-old man called Ferdinand.

    They’d become the famous Reyes Catolicos, the Catholic monarchs, Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, and would bring together two powerful kingdoms, which comprised most of what is modern-day Spain.

    In this talk, I tell you more about this powerful couple, their reigns and their legacy.

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  • Facebook Live – Tudor Chat – Claire Ridgway

    Everyone had a fun chat on Friday with Claire on the members-only Facebook page. The topics were diverse but a lot was taken up with discussing who would be the best Tudor people to have around for a meal!

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  • 18 October – Freedom for Elizabeth and the death of Margaret Tudor

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th October 1555, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, finally received permission from her half-sister, Queen Mary I, to leave court and travel to her own estate at Hatfield, rather than return to house arrest in Woodstock.

    Poor Elizabeth had spent the last 18 months being watched or imprisoned, so this must have been a huge relief.

    But why had Elizabeth been watched and confined? What had she gone through and why?

    Find out more about this awful part of Elizabeth I’s life…

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  • Edward VI – Early Life – Crossword Puzzle

    This week has been the anniversary of the birth of King Edward VI, the third Tudor monarch, on 12th October 1537, so I thought we’d celebrate his birthday with a crossword puzzle on Edward VI’s early life.

    Test your knowledge of this Tudor king with this fun crossword puzzle.

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  • 17 October – A spy and a famous poet

    On this day in history, 17th October 1560, spy and Protestant martyr, Walter Marsh was baptised at St Stephen’s Church in London.

    Marsh came to a sticky end, being burned to death in Rome’s Campo dei Fiori after having his tongue cut out, his hand cut off and being tortured with burning torches. He had been accused of being paid by Queen Elizabeth I to spy on Catholics and of showing contempt for the Eucharist.

    Find out more about Walter Marsh, how he’d come to be in Rome and what he’d done to upset the authorities…

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  • 16 October – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s French trip and the Oxford Martyrs

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th October 1532, while Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Marquess of Pembroke, were on their visit to Calais, English nobles met French nobles to arrange a meeting between the King of England and his French counterpart, King Francis I.

    In this video, I give details on this event, who was there, what happened, and why Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn had gone to Calais…

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  • 15 October – A teacher is executed and a prince is christened

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th October 1584, schoolteacher and poet Richard Gwyn (Richard White), was hanged, drawn and quartered for high treason at Wrexham in Wales due to his Catholic faith.

    Find out about Richard Gwyn’s life, how an attack by crows and kites made him steadfast in his faith, his arrest and downfall, his works, and the legends associated with his death…

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  • 14 October – Strong teeth save a man and the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots begins

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th October 1565, diplomat and poet, Sir Thomas Chaloner the Elder, died at his home in Clerkenwell, London. He was just forty-four years old. He’d served four Tudor monarchs as a diplomat, but he also wrote English and Latin works.

    Find out more about Thomas Chaloner, his life, his career, and how his teeth saved him from death…

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  • Josh Widdicombe, the Boleyns and Edward I

    In the programme, which aired in the UK on BBC One, comedian Josh Widdicombe was having his family tree examined and he had an incredibly interesting one.

    If you haven’t watched it yet, and plan to, then don’t read on! Although you can tell from the title and the photo that the Boleyns are involved!

    Spoiler alert…

    Josh found out first that he was related to the Barings of Barings Bank, and then he was told that he was descended from Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland. Holland served as Groom of the Stool to King Charles I and unfortunately ended his life on the scaffold due to being a Royalist in the Second English Civil War.

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  • 13 October – An intriguing letter from Mary I and the fall of Edward Seymour

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th October 1553, Queen Mary I wrote a very interesting letter to the imperial ambassador, Simon Renard. In it, she asked the ambassador to meet with her secretly, and she’d encouraged him previously to come to her secretly and in disguise.

    Why? What was going on? And why did Mary seem to trust the emperor and his ambassadors more than her own council?

    Find out more about the situation…

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