The Tudor Society
  • 30 November – Elizabeth I’s Golden Speech, and Henry VIII gets told off by Catherine of Aragon AND Anne Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th November 1601, sixty-eight-year-old Queen Elizabeth I delivered her famous Golden Speech to the House of Commons.

    In this final speech to Parliament, Elizabeth spoke of her position as Queen and her love and respect for her realm, her people, and for her members of Parliament. It was a speech that brought many of those listening to tears. It was obviously a very heartfelt speech by a queen who truly loved her people.

    In today’s talk, I share Elizabeth I’s Golden Speech along with some beautiful portraits of the queen.

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  • 29 November – Courtier Anthony Browne dies a natural death whilst having served through 4 reigns and Cardinal Wolsey cheats the executioner

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th November 1528, nobleman and courtier, Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montagu, was born.

    Montagu began his court career with the help of his father in Henry VIII’s reign. served as a privy councillor in Mary I’s reign, and died a natural death as a wealthy man in Elizabeth I’s reign. He even survived being implicated in a rebellion!

    Who was Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montagu, and just how did he manage to not only have an excellent court career, but leave a fortune to his grandson, when he was a Catholic in Elizabeth I’s reign?

    Find out all about him in today’s this talk…

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  • 28 November -An agent carrying gold for Mary, Queen of Scots drowned and Edward Plantagenet was beheaded

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th November 1565, member of Parliament and political agent Francis Yaxley set sail for Scotland from Antwerp.

    Sadly, Yaxley’s ship was wrecked in a storm and he never reached Scotland, and neither did the gold he was carrying to Mary, Queen of Scots.

    But why was he carrying gold and who was it from? What happened to the gold?

    Find out all about Yaxley, how he came to be traveling from Antwerp to Scotland, and what happened to him and the gold, in this talk…

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  • Tudor cosmetics, haircare and skincare word search

    As we’ve gone into winter here in Europe, I’ve been bemoaning my dry skin and it inspired me to create this word search puzzle on medieval and Tudor haircare, skincare and cosmetics to test your knowledge.

    You’ll find some links to talks I’ve done on the subject to help you out.

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  • 27 November – Former monk burnt at stake for importing books and William Shakespeare gets married

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th November 1531, former Benedictine monk and reformist, Richard Bayfield, was burnt at the stake at Smithfield for heresy after Sir Thomas More had caught him importing heretical books into England.

    It wasn’t Bayfield’s first brush with the authorities. He’d been in trouble for heresy previously so was now deemed a “relapsed heretic”. This time, penance wasn’t enough, he was condemned to death.

    Find out more about Richard Bayfield, how he went from being a monk to a reformer, and how he ended up at the stake as a Protestant martyr in this video…

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  • Renaissance music – 4 December – Leek, UK

    >For those of you in the UK, the wonderful Renaissance music group PIVA are playing at Leek on 4th December. They really are brilliant.

    Tudor Life contributor Jane Moulder is a member of the group, so do say hello to her if you go.

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  • Phil Downing is locking himself in a priest hide and he needs your help!

    Harvington Hall’s manager Phil, is locking himself inside an Elizabethan priest hide for 36hrs to raise urgent funds for the Hall.

    He’s going to be locked inside in complete darkness with a loaf of bread, an apple, water and a pot! Rather Phil than me!

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  • 26 November – The first men executed under Elizabeth I’s new law and the marriage of Henry Fitzroy

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th November 1585, Catholic priest Hugh Taylor and his friend Marmaduke Bowes were hanged at York.

    They were the first men executed under Elizabeth I’s 1585 statute which made it treason to be a Jesuit or seminary priest in England or to harbour such a priest.

    These two Catholics were beatified in 1987 by Pope John Paul II as two of the 85 Martyrs of England, Scotland and Wales.

    Find out more about these men and what this 1585 legislation was all about in this talk…

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  • Banqueting in Tudor Times

    Tudor Banquets – were they like the feasts you see in films and on television? In this week’s Friday video we have Brigitte sharing what a Tudor banquet was really like.

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  • December 2021 – The Twelve Days of Christmas

    Happy Christmas to all our Tudor Society members. We’ve got a festive edition of Tudor Life for you this month with a focus on the Twelve Days of Christmas. The Tudors had a fun time.

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  • 25 November – A vicious man who saved an archbishop and the coronation of Elizabeth of York

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th November 1545, lawyer, member of Parliament, diplomat and ecclesiastical administrator, Sir Thomas Legh (Leigh), died.

    Legh was a faithful servant to King Henry VIII, but his work during the dissolution of the monasteries led to complaints against him and even rebellion.

    He was a vicious man, known for his harsh treatment of monks, but he also played a key role in protecting Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1543 when his enemies tried to bring him down.

    Find out more about this Tudor man in this talk…

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  • 24 November – The death of John Knox and the coronation procession of Elizabeth of York

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th November 1572, John Knox, the Scottish clergyman, famous Reformer , royal chaplain, and founder of Presbyterianism, died at his home in Edinburgh as his second wife, Margaret, read aloud from Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians.

    John Knox is known for bringing the Protestant reformation to the church in Scotland and his controversial views about women rulers, but he was also chaplain to King Edward VI and had a very eventful life, being taken prisoner by the French and being forced into service on the galleys of their fleet at one point.

    Find out more about John Knox’s life and career in this talk…

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  • 23 November – A plot to poison Elizabeth I’s saddle and Essex’s chair, and the hanging of pretender Perkin Warbeck

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd November 1598, scrivener and sailor Edward Squire was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn for treason after being accused of plotting with Jesuits in Seville to poison Elizabeth I’s saddle and the Earl of Essex’s chair.

    Squire, who ended up in Seville after being captured by Spaniards while on a voyage with Sir Francis Drake, confessed under torture, but claimed his innocence at his trial and execution.

    But what exactly happened, and how and why did a Protestant scrivener and sailor end up accused of treason?

    Find out all about Edward Squire and the alleged plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I and her favourite, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, in this talk…

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  • 22 November – Explorer Sir Martin Frobisher dies of gangrene and Sir William Butts dies from malaria

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd November 1594, naval commander, privateer and explorer, Sir Martin Frobisher, died at Plymouth. He died of gangrene after having been shot in the thigh during hand-to-hand combat during a siege.

    Frobisher is best known for his three voyages in search of the Northwest Passage and his naval service during the 1588 Spanish Armada, for which he was knighted.

    Find out all about the life and career of this Tudor explorer in this talk…

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  • 21 November – A playwright who courted controversy and Frances Grey, an abusive mother

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st November 1495, churchman, Protestant playwright, historian and Bishop of Ossory, John Bale was born in Suffolk.

    Bale wrote twenty-four plays, and a book on famous British writers, which is his most well-known work. His work on Protestant martyrs was also used by the famous martyrologist John Foxe.

    John Bale also courted controversy with his attacks on Catholics, and he spent a fair amount of time in exile.

    Find out all about this accomplished Tudor man in this talk…

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  • Six Wives Places Crossword Puzzle

    As this week’s Friday video was on Sudeley Castle, home of Catherine Parr and her fourth husband, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, I thought I’d test your knowledge of places linked to Henry VIII’s six wives.

    Grab your favourite snack and beverage, make yourself comfortable, and get those little grey cells working with this fun crossword puzzle.

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  • 20 November – Elizabeth I’s godson and his flush toilet, and the death of Christopher Hatton

    On this day in history, 20th November 1612, in the reign of King James I, courtier and author Sir John Harington died.

    Why am I talking about a man who died in the Stuart period?

    Well, because he was Queen Elizabeth I’s godson and because during her reign he invented the Ajax, or “jakes”, England’s first flush toilet.

    Find out more about Sir John Harington and his flush toilet invention in this talk...

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  • 19 November – Lord John Grey escapes execution and the death of Henry Vaux

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th November 1564, Lord John Grey, youngest son of Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset, died.

    He’s not the Lord John Grey of the wonderful Outlander series, but he is just as interesting.

    In Mary I’s reign, he was involved in a rebellion with his brothers, Lord Thomas Grey and Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, but unlike them was not executed.

    How did Lord John Grey escape execution? And why did he get into trouble again in Elizabeth I’s reign.

    Find out all about this Tudor lord in this talk…

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  • Sudeley Castle: Royalty Romance & Renaissance

    In this extra-special Friday video, Catherine Brooks interviews Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe and James Parry all about Sudeley Castle.

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  • 18 November – A bishop dies in confinement and the imprisonment of Cuthbert Tunstall

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th November 1559, Ralph Baynes (Baines), Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, died.

    Baynes had been actively involved in the persecutions of Protestants in Mary I’s reign, examining many well-known martyrs and featuring in John Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs”, but ended his days imprisoned in the home of Edmund Grindal, Bishop of London – why?

    Find out more about Ralph Baynes, his life and career, and how he came to be deprived of his bishopric and die the way he did, in this talk…

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  • 17 November – Elizabeth I’s accession and the death of Mary I

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th November 1558, twenty-five-year-old Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, became Queen Elizabeth I following the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary I.

    In this talk, I look at an alternative account of Elizabeth I’s words on her accession, one recorded by her godson, Sir John Harington. Hear Elizabeth I’s wonderful speech, which she used to motivate her supporters and to reassure those who’d served Mary I.

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  • 16 November – The death of Charles Neville and the death of William Stafford

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th November 1601, nobleman and rebel Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland, died while in exile at Nieuwpoort in Flanders.

    Westmorland had fled into exile following the failure of the Northern Rebellion, a plot to release Mary, Queen of Scots, from prison and to overthrow Elizabeth I. He didn’t learn his lesson, being involved in a further plot.

    The earl died a sad end in debt and separated from his wife and daughters, but it was his own fault.

    Find out more about the rebel northern earl in this talk…

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  • 15 November – The death of Katherine of York and the Pope threatens Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th November 1527, a woman who called herself “the excellent Princess Katherine, Countess of Devon, daughter, sister and aunt of kings”, died at Tiverton Castle in Devon.

    Katherine of York, Countess of Devon, daughter of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, was just forty-nine when she died and had taken a vow of chastity after her husband’s death.

    In this talk, I give an overview of Henry VIII’s aunt’s life and I explain why she took her vow of chastity. Find out all about her.

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  • 14 November – Bad Signs for Culpeper and Lady Rochford, and Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragon get married but not to each other

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th November 1541, an inventory was taken of “the goods and chattels, lands and fees of” Thomas Culpeper, a groom of King Henry VIII’s privy chamber and a man who had been having secret meetings with Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife.

    An inventory had also been taken of the possessions of Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, wife of the late George Boleyn, a woman who had allegedly helped the queen meet with Culpeper.

    But what was going on in November 1541 and what was listed in these inventories?

    Find out more in this talk…

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  • Tudor Royal Badges and Heraldry Quiz

    How much do you know about the animals, mythical creatures, objects and symbols used by the Tudors in their badges and heraldry?

    Test your knowledge of royal Tudor badges and Tudor heraldry in this week’s quiz. Good luck!

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  • 13 November – Robert Packington was shot to death and Lady Jane Grey was tried for treason

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th November 1536, mercer and member of Parliament Robert Packington (Pakington, Pakyngton) was shot to death by an unknown assailant while he was on his way to mass at St Thomas of Acre Chapel. He was shot with a wheellock pistol.

    Robert Packington has gone down in history as the first person in England to be killed by a handgun, but who killed him and why?

    Find out about Packington, his murder, and the theories regarding who ordered his murder, in this talk…

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  • An incredible find! – Anne Boleyn’s falcon badge

    You may have seen the news about the discovery of a contemporary carving of Anne Boleyn’s falcon badge and how Paul Fitzsimmons, an antiques dealer, bought it for £75 and how it’s now worth £200,000. It’s a wonderful find and the good news is that Paul isn’t keeping it to himself, it’s going on loan to Hampton Court Palace. Thank you, Paul, and thank you to Tracy Borman, Joint Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces.

    In this video, I interview my dear friends, Sandra Vasoli and James Peacock, who both played key roles in the story of this carving. It is a fascinating story.

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  • 12 November – The death of Stephen Gardiner and Queen Jane Seymour’s remains are moved to Windsor

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th November 1555, Mary I’s Lord Chancellor, Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, died. He was laid to rest at Winchester Cathedral in what is now known as the Bishop Gardiner Chantry Chapel.

    In this talk, I tell you about the life and career of "Wily Winchester", a man who went from being a valued advisor to being imprisoned, and then got back into favour, crowned a queen and became Lord Chancellor! He led quite a life!

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  • Border Rievers Revisited – Julian Humphries

    Julian returns to a discussion of the tumultuous times at the border between England and Scotland during the Tudor period with his talk “Border Reivers & A Tudor Curse”

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  • 11 November – Philippe de Chabot landed on English soil and Queen Catherine Howard is moved to Syon House

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th November 1534, Philippe de Chabot, Seigneur De Brion and Admiral of France, landed on English soil. The purpose of the diplomatic mission he was leading was to renew Anglo-French relations.

    George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, brother of Queen Anne Boleyn, had been put in charge of meeting the admiral and escorting him on his journey from the south coast to London, but it was no easy task. The admiral did not make things easy at all, and George was rather stressed about the situation.

    Find out what happened, and how and why the ambassador’s visit was bad news all round for the Boleyns, in this talk…

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