This time we are not only looking back at what has been, but are also looking forward to what is to come. From Easter activities and exciting events you do not want to miss, to some fascinating videos from our website.
As yesterday was the anniversary of the burial of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, I thought I’d share these two talks on Tudor burial from the Tudor Society archives.
In this two-part series on burial in Tudor times, I discussed how the remains of a commoner were prepared for burial, then those of the wealthier classes, with real examples from the records, and I also discussed the subjects of embalming, and heart and entrails burial.
On this day in Tudor history, 21st April 1509, the founder of the Tudor dynasty, King Henry VII, died at Richmond Palace. He had ruled since 1485, when his forces defeated those of King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth.
Henry VII was succeeded by his seventeen-year-old son, Henry, who, it was said, did “not desire gold or gems or precious metals, but virtue, glory, immortality”!
On this day in Tudor history, 19th April 1601, in Elizabeth I’s reign, bookseller James Duckett was hanged at Tyburn. Being a bookseller in Tudor times could be a risky business, particularly if you had the wrong kind of books on your premises!
What happens when a jury doesn’t find an alleged traitor guilty and, instead, acquits him? Well, the jurors get arrested and thrown into prison, of course!
I explain exactly what happened on this day in Tudor history, 17th April 1554, in the case of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton. I also give details on how the jurors finally got released and what happened to Throckmorton.
Today, in the Western Christian Calendar, it's Good Friday - our new Ukrainian household members and my daughter-in-law celebrate it next week with the Orthodox Church - and I wanted to share with you how Good Friday was marked in Tudor times and also how it's marked here in Spain, where I live.
First, here's a talk I did a few years ago about the medieval and Tudor traditions associated with Good Friday.
In my talk, I mention photos Tim and I took of a passion play/re-enactment near where we live and you can see those in my 2017 article on Easter Sunday - click here. I also mention my village's procession and you can see photos of that at Good Friday in my village.
Back in 2019, Tim and I got up extra early on Good Friday to go to the town at the bottom of our mountain to take part in the dawn Good Friday (Viernes Santo) procession.
This annual procession starts at the town church and makes its way up to "Calvario" (Calvary), the hill behind the town on which there is a big wooden cross. We process with a big statue of Jesus carrying his cross and also a replica of Jesus actually on the cross. As we make our way up the hill, we pause at each of the 12 stations of the cross for a reading and prayers. When we reach the cross, the replica of Jesus on the cross is hoisted up onto it. Later in the day, there is another service and procession when Jesus is taken down off the cross.
It is a beautiful and very moving procession, and I'm so glad that we got up for it.
If you do anything special for Good Friday then I'd love to hear about it - do leave a comment!
Notes and Sources
Ten Articles, “Of Rites and Ceremonies, The Church History of Britain: From the Birth of Jesus Christ until the Year MDCXLVIII, Volume 3, Thomas Fuller and Rev J S Brewer, p 157-8.
Letter and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume XIV, Part 1, 967.
LP xxi. i. 110.
Scarisbrick, J.J. (1976), Henry VIII, Methuen Publishing.
""Would I Could Give You Help and Succour": Elizabeth I and the Politics of Touch", Carole Levin, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Summer 1989.
"James I: The Royal Touch", Stephen Brogan, History Today Volume 61 Issue 2 February 2011.
Calendar of State Papers, Venice, Volume VI, 473, Marco Antonio Faitta to Ippolito Chizzola Doctor in Divinity.
On this day in Tudor history, 14th April 1578, Mary, Queen of Scots’ third husband, James Hepburn, Duke of Orkney and 4th Earl of Bothwell, died at Dragsholm Castle in Denmark. He’d been held at the castle in appalling conditions and it was said that he’d gone insane.
Find out more about the life of this earl who’d risen to be the husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, but who’d died in prison, far away from home…
On this day in Tudor history, 13th April 1557, John Brydges, 1st Baron Chandos of Sudeley, landowner, soldier and Lieutenant of the Tower of London, died at his home, Sudeley Castle in the Cotswolds.
Brydges served Henry VIII, King Edward VI and Mary I loyally, and even managed to keep royal favour with Mary I after being accused of being too lenient with prisoners Lady Jane Grey and Princess Elizabeth (future Elizabeth I).
Let me tell you more about Brydges and his time in charge of Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth I.
On this day in Tudor history, 11th April 1554, in the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I, Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger, son of poet and diplomat Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder, was beheaded on Tower Hill after being found guilty of high treason.
Wyatt had led a rebellion which sought to depose the queen and to replace her with her half-sister Elizabeth, but he refused to implicate Elizabeth in the plot. He went to his death asserting her innocence.
Find out more about what happened and hear his final speech…