The Tudor Society
  • Monday Martyr – William Peterson and William Richardson, Catholic martyrs

    Map of the Pale of Calais in the 15th century

    On 10th April 1540, priest Sir William Peterson, former commissary of the Archbishop of Canterbury in Calais, and William Richardson, priest of St Mary’s in Calais, were hanged, drawn and quartered in the marketplace at Calais for denying Henry VIII’s supremacy.

    In his article “Martyrdoms at Calais in 1540?”, Rev. L.E. Whatmore writes of how from 1525, Sir William Peterson was “the most important priest in Calais” because of his “double capacity” as “the Archbishop’s and the Cardinal’s representative” in Calais. 1532 saw the death of William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was replaced by Thomas Cranmer. Peterson continued in his office under Cranmer and in September of that year was also appointed rector of Bonynges in the Calais Marches.

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  • April 10 – Sir Bernard Drake

    Monumental brass in Filleigh Church, North Devon, depicting Sir Bernard Drake

    On this day in Tudor history, 10th April 1586, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, sea captain Sir Bernard Drake died in Crediton, Devon, from probable typhus.

    It appears that Drake caught the disease from Portuguese prisoners whose ships, laden with Brazilian sugar, he’d captured on his voyage to the West Indies.

    But who was Sir Bernard Drake and was he related to the more famous Sir Francis Drake?

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  • April 9 – The pope revokes Cardinal Pole’s legatine powers

    A portrait of Cardinal Reginald Pole by Sebastiano del Piombo

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th April 1557, Cardinal Reginald Pole’s legatine powers were revoked by Pope Paul IV.

    Pole, who was also Mary I’s Archbishop of Canterbury, had served as legate a latere to England from March 1554 until the pope deprived him of this power on 9th April 1557.

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  • April 8- Magdalen Browne (née Dacre), Viscountess Montagu, a woman who sheltered Catholic priests

    the gatehouse of Battle Abbey, home of Magdalen Browne and her husband

    On this day in history, 8th April 1608, in the reign of King James I, Magdalen Browne (née Dacre), Viscountess Montagu and patron of Roman Catholics, died at Battle in East Sussex, following a stroke she had suffered in January 1508.

    Magdalen was buried at Midhurst.

    Here are some facts about this Tudor lady:

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  • From the archives – Food at Easter

    As it’s Good Friday and Lent will soon be over, I thought I’d share this wonderful talk on Easter food from historian Brigitte Webster from our Tudor Society archives…

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  • April 7 – Charles VIII dies after hitting his head on a lintel

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th April 1498, King Henry VII’s contemporary, King Charles VIII of France, died.

    Charles the Affable, as he was known, died after hitting his head on a lintel at the Chateau d’Amboise while on his way to watch a tennis match. He made it to the match, but after the game, he was taken ill, slipped into a coma and died. He’d been king since 1483.

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  • April 6 – Henry Stafford, Earl of Wiltshire

    A silhouette of a man's side profile

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th April 1523, in the reign of King Henry VIII, nobleman and courtier Henry Stafford, Earl of Wiltshire, died at the age of about 44.

    Stafford died without issue so his earldom became extinct until 1529 when Thomas Boleyn, father of Anne Boleyn, was made Earl of Wiltshire.

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  • April 5 – A new king travels to London

    On this day in history, 5th April 1603, twelve days after the death of Queen Elizabeth I, the last Tudor monarch, King James VI of Scotland left Edinburgh, bound for London. He was now King of Ireland and England, as King James I, as well as being King of Scotland.

    Thirty-seven-year-old James, who was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and her second husband, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, had received news of Elizabeth’s death late on 26th March, when an exhausted Sir Robert Carey had arrived at Holyrood. James had been in bed, but Carey was escorted to his chamber, where he knelt by him, and as Carey recorded, “saluted him by his title of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland”. In reply, James said, “I know you have lost a near kinswoman, and a loving mistress: but take here my hand, I will be as good a master to you, and will requite this service with honour and reward.”

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  • April 4 – Francis Drake is knighted by Elizabeth I

    Sir Francis Drake painted by Marcus Gheeraerts

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th April 1581, Francis Drake, the famous Elizabethan explorer, sea captain and pirate, was awarded a knighthood by Elizabeth I. He was dubbed by Monsieur de Marchaumont on board the Golden Hind at Deptford.

    The knighthood was a reward for Drake’s 1577-80 expedition, which saw him plundering Spanish ports, capturing Spanish ships, claiming Point Loma for England as Nova Albion, circumnavigating the globe, and more importantly, bringing back a rich cargo of treasure and spices for his queen.

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  • April 3 – Death of Elizabeth Boleyn, Countess of Wiltshire

    Kristin Scott Thomas as Elizabeth Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd April 1538, Elizabeth Boleyn, Countess of Wiltshire, died at Baynard’s Castle in London, the home of Hugh Faringdon, the Abbot of Reading.

    Elizabeth was about sixty-two years of age when she died, and her death came just less than two years after the executions of her daughter and son, Queen Anne Boleyn and George Boleyn, Lord Rochford.

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  • April 2 – Sir Ambrose Cave

    The coat of arms of the Knights Hospitaller

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd April 1568, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Ambrose Cave, member of Parliament, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Knight of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, died at the Savoy. He was buried at Stanford after a funeral at the Savoy Chapel.

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  • April 1 – Author and soldier Thomas Churchyard

    Title page of Thomas Churchyard's work "The Miserie of Flaunders"

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st April 1604, author and soldier Thomas Churchyard died in Westminster, London.

    Churchyard started writing in the reign of Edward VI and some of his poems were published in “Tottel’s Miscellany”.

    Churchyard was also an active soldier, serving with the Duke of Somerset in Scotland and fighting as a mercenary for Protestants in Europe.

    Let me share with you a few facts about this man…

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