The Tudor Society

5 January – Richard Willes – A quirky Tudor man

On this day in Tudor history, 5th January 1546, in the reign of King Henry VIII, geographer and poet, Richard Willes, was born in Pulham, Dorset.

Richard Willes has been described as "One of the quirkier figures in the literary history not only of the college but of the Elizabethan period as a whole", and he certainly was an interesting Tudor man. Find out about his literary accomplishments, and what exactly made him so "quirky", in today's talk.

You can read William Poole's article on Willes at

Also, on this day in Tudor history, 5th January 1531, the Pope got rather cross with King Henry VIII:

Also on this day in history:

  • 1511 – Baptism of Henry, Duke of Cornwall, son of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, at the Chapel of the Observant Friars, Richmond.
  • 1551 – Death of Sir Anthony Cope, courtier, author and landowner, probably at his home, Hanwell Hall, near Banbury. He was buried in the chancel of Hanwell Hall. Cope had served Henry VIII in the Northern Uprisings of 1537, was Chamberlain of Queen Catherine Parr's household and was knighted in the reign of Edward VI. Cope was also a published author, having published “The Historie of Two of the Moste Noble Capitaines of the Worlde” in 1544, and “A Godly Meditacion upon XX Select and chosen Psalmes of the Prophet David” in 1547.
  • 1589 – Death of Catherine de' Medici. She was buried at Blois, then moved to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis. Catherine had been Queen Consort of France as wife of Henry II, and then Queen Mother when her sons, Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III reigned.

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5 January – Richard Willes – A quirky Tudor man