The Tudor Society
  • December 4 – Thomas Cranmer is no longer Archbishop of Canterbury

    Portrait of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury.

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th December 1555, in the reign of Queen Mary I, papal sentence was passed in Rome on Thomas Cranmer, who had served as Archbishop of Canterbury in the reigns of King Henry VIII and King Edward VI.

    The papal sentence deprived Cranmer of his archbishopric and gave permission for his fate to be decided by the secular authorities.

    Let me explain what led Cranmer to this day and also what happened next…

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  • December 3 – The death of Roger North, 2nd Baron North

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd December 1600, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Roger North, 2nd Baron North, died at his London home.

    The sixty-nine-year-old peer and politician had been a good friend of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. North had accompanied Leicester on trips, he’d witnessed the earl’s secret marriage and had served with him in the Netherlands. It was even said that he’d converted Leicester to Puritanism.

    Baron North was also close to Queen Elizabeth I, serving her as privy councillor and Treasurer of the Household.

    Find out more about Roger North, 2nd Baron North…

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  • From the Archives – Mary, Queen of Scots’ Edinburgh

    As today is the anniversary of Elizabeth I agreeing to sentence Mary, Queen of Scots, to death, I thought I’d share this video recorded by Emma Casson, who was 19 at the time, and who was studying journalism in the Netherlands. Emma shows us some of the parts of Edinburgh that Mary would have known.

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  • December 2 – Elizabeth I agrees to sentence Mary, Queen of Scots to death

    1583 Sieve Portrait of Elizabeth I and a miniature of Mary, Queen of Scots, by Nicholas Hilliard.

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd December 1586, Queen Elizabeth I finally agreed to sentence Mary, Queen of Scots, to death.

    The Houses of Lords and Commons had jointly petitioned the queen to issue a public proclamation of sentence against Mary, that sentence being death.

    Mary, Queen of Scots, had been found guilty of high treason in October 1586, but Elizabeth I had stalled in doing anything about it. She did not want to commit regicide. Parliament, however, believed that if Mary was not dealt with, she would continue to plot against Elizabeth and would utterly “ruinate and overthrow the happy State and Common Weal of this most Noble Realm”.

    Find out what Parliament said and what happened next…

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  • December 1 – Priest Alexander Briant is executed

    Alexander Briant by Matthaus Greuter (Greuther), or by Paul Maupin (Maupain) line engraving, National Portrait Gallery.

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st December 1581, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Alexander Briant was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, along with Ralph Sherwin and Edmund Campion.

    The twenty-five-year-old Roman Catholic priest had been imprisoned, and had suffered being starved, racked and tortured in other awful ways, but claimed that he felt no pain due to God’s help. He also refused to give his interrogators the information they wanted. Briant was tried for treason and suffered a full traitor’s death.

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