The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • Expert Talk – Gayle Hulme – Mary, Queen of Scots

  • 11 September 1561 – Mary, Queen of Scots, sets off on progress

    On this day in history, 11th September 1561, eighteen-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, began her first royal progress. It was to last until 29th September and was the first of nine royal progresses that Mary undertook before she fled to England in 1568.

    On this progress, Mary visited Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Stirling Castle, Kincardine Castle, Leslie Castle, Perth, Dundee, St Andrews, Cupar and Falkland Palace.

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  • 29 July 1565 – The marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley

    On Sunday 29th July 1565, twenty-three-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, married nineteen-year-old Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.

    Mary, Queen of Scots, was queen regnant of Scotland and was the daughter of James V of Scotland (son of James IV and Margaret Tudor) and Mary of Guise. She had become queen when she was just six days old. The bridegroom was the son of Matthew Stuart, the 4th Earl of Lennox and Margaret Douglas (daughter of Margaret Tudor, Henry VIII’s sister). Mary and Darnley were related; they were half-cousins.

    The banns for the marriage had been read in St Giles’s Cathedral, High Kirk of Edinburgh, on Sunday 22nd July and in that afternoon Darnley was made Duke of Albany. On Saturday 28th July, heralds proclaimed the forthcoming marriage of Mary and Darnley at the Market Cross in Edinburgh and proclaimed that Darnley would be made king following the wedding.

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  • The tomb of Mary, Queen of Scots

    Thank you to regular contributor Heather R. Darsie for writing this article on the tomb of Mary, Queen of Scots.

    Mary, Queen of Scots, lost her life on 8 February 1587. She was not buried for almost a full five months, finally being laid to rest on 5 August 1587 in Peterborough Cathedral. Peterborough Cathedral already had one queen buried there, namely Katharine of Aragon, buried in 1536.

    Peterborough Cathedral has an impressive history beginning in 655 BCE when the site was home to a monastery. During the years surrounding 1116, the bulk of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was written at Peterborough. Skipping ahead to 1530, Cardinal Wolsey celebrated Easter at Peterborough after he was sent into exile by Henry VIII. In 1536, Katharine of Aragon was buried at Peterborough. Mary, Queen of Scots, was buried at the cathedral, as mentioned above, as it was close to Fotheringhay Castle, where Queen Mary was beheaded.

    [Read More...]
  • 24 July 1567 – Mary, Queen of Scots, is forced to abdicate

    On 24th July 1567, Mary, Queen of Scots, who was imprisoned at Lochleven Castle and who had recently suffered a miscarriage, was forced to abdicate. The Scottish crown was passed on to her one-year-old son, James, who became James VI of Scotland, with his uncle, Mary’s illegitimate half-brother, James Stewart, Earl of Moray, acting as regent.

    [Read More...]
  • 17 June 1567 – Mary, Queen of Scots, is imprisoned at Lochleven Castle

    On this day in history, 17th June 1567, Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned at Loch Leven Castle following her surrender to the Protestant nobles at the Battle of Carberry Hill on 15th June.

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  • 8 February 1587 – Mary, Queen of Scots is executed at Fotheringhay

    On this day in history, Wednesday 8th February, Mary, Queen of Scots was executed at Fotheringhay Castle, following the arrival of her death warrant at the castle the day before.

    Mary had been tried in October 1586 for her involvement in the Babington Plot, a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I, and had been found guilty. Elizabeth I put off signing her death warrant, struggling with the idea of killing an anointed monarch, but finally signed the warrant on 1st February 1587, although Elizabeth claimed later that she ordered her secretary, William Davison, not to do anything with it for the time being. As I mentioned in my article on the death warrant, Elizabeth’s Privy Council met and agreed to send the warrant to Fotheringhay without the Queen’s knowledge. It is impossible to know exactly what happened. Did Davison misunderstand the Queen’s instructions and intentions? Probably not. Some historians believe that William Cecil, Lord Burghley, chose Davison to be a scapegoat because he realised that Elizabeth needed someone to take the responsibility for Mary’s death away from her, but others believe that it was Elizabeth who chose Davison as the scapegoat.

    [Read More...]
  • 1 February 1587 – Elizabeth I signs the death warrant of Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in history, 1st February 1587, Elizabeth I called her secretary, William Davison, to her and asked him to bring her Mary, Queen of Scots’s death warrant. She then signed it.

    Mary, Queen of Scots, had been tried in October 1586 for her involvement in the Babington Plot, a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I. As the trial closed, Mary demanded that she should be heard in front of Parliament or the Queen, but she was fighting a losing battle. Sentence was delayed as long as possible, by order of Elizabeth, but on 25th October the commission reconvened and found Mary guilty. On 29th October, Parliament met to discuss Mary, the Babington Plot and her role in Lord Darnley’s murder, and it was decided that they should petition Elizabeth to execute Mary. This put Elizabeth in a difficult position as she did not want to be accused of regicide. On the 4th December, Mary was publicly proclaimed guilty.

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  • 14 October 1586 – Trial of Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in history, 14th October 1586, the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots, began at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire. Historian John Guy, author of My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots, has written a brilliant chapter on Mary’s downfall, “Nemesis”, and I have him to thank for the information in this article.

    Mary Queen of Scots had, at first, refused to appear before Elizabeth I’s commission, but had been told by William Cecil that the trial would take place with or without her. She appeared in front of the commission at 9am, dressed in a black velvet gown and a white cambric cap and veil. Mary then protested against the commission, arguing that the court was not legitimate and arguing against the fact that she was not allowed legal defence and was not able to call any witnesses. Mary was also not permitted to examine any of the documents being used against her. Her protests were in vain and the prosecution went ahead and opened the trial with an account of the Babington Plot, arguing that Mary knew of the plot, had given it her approval, agreed with it and had promised to help. Mary protested her innocence:

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  • 24 July 1567 – The Abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots

    On 24th July 1567, Mary, Queen of Scots, who was imprisoned at Lochleven Castle and who had recently suffered a miscarriage, was forced to abdicate. The Scottish crown was passed on to her one year-old son, James, who became James VI of Scotland, with his uncle, Mary’s illegitimate half brother, James Stewart, Earl of Moray, acting as regent.

    Claude Nau de la Boisseliere, Mary’s private secretary, recorded this event in his memoirs, which were translated from French into English as The History of Mary Stewart: From the Murder of Riccio Until Her Flight Into England:

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  • 8 February 1587 – The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots: A Primary Source Account

    This primary source account of the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots is from Original letters, illustrative of English history; with notes and illustrations, Second Series, Volume III, ed. Henry Ellis (p113-118). Ellis notes that “the present narrative is from the Lansdowne MS. 51. art. 46. It is indorsed in Lord Burghley’s hand, “8 Feb. 1586. The Manner of the Q. of Scotts death at Fodrynghay, wr. by Ro. Wy.””

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  • The Executed Queens Tour – Day 3 – Tutbury Castle

    Today started off well, with yet another scrumptious breakfast at Brockencote Hall, and then it was time to set off to see Tutbury Castle.

    One of our tour members admitted later that she hadn’t been looking forward to this visit as she knew that the castle was in ruins and there wouldn’t be much to see of the castle that Mary, Queen of Scots, knew during her four periods of imprisonment there, but this tour member ending up having a wonderful time. Let me tell you more.

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  • The Executed Queens Tour – Day 2 -Sudeley Castle

    After a filling breakfast (Full English for me!), our lovely coach driver, Alan, took us to Sudeley Castle, in Winchcombe, in the Cotswolds.

    As well as being the home and place of death of Catherine Parr, sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII, Sudeley also served as home to Lady Jane Grey, one of our executed queens, in 1548. Jane was the ward of Catherine’s fourth husband, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, who owned the castle, and so joined Catherine there when she retired to Sudeley as she prepared for the birth of her first and only child. Jane was at Sudeley when Catherine died in September 1548 and acted as chief mourner at Catherine’s funeral at the church within the grounds.

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  • The Executed Queens Tour

    In this special video, I talk about the four Tudor queens – Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey and Mary, Queen of Scots – whose lives ended on the scaffold, and some of the places connected to them.

    I find that by visiting places linked to historical people we get a special link to them. We can walk a little in their footsteps. We can look at things they knew, touch walls they touched… It’s special.

    I can’t wait to visit these places and to have that connection with these fascinating women. I’m quite literally counting the days!

    You can join me and Philippa on the Executed Queens Tour in July 2019. There are 4 places left!

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  • Executed Queens Tour

    Executed Queens

    8th - 13th July 2019

    £2,100 per person
    with the Double Occupancy Discount of £1,050 per person
    OR
    £3,150 per person
    as single occupancy

    → CLICK TO BOOK ←

    NOTE: This link opens a new window on the
    British History Tours website

    The Executed Queens tour follows in the footsteps of 4 Tudor Queens who met their end at the hands of the executioner. Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey and Mary, Queen of Scots have all left an indelible mark on our history and our imaginations! Learn about their lives and how they came to their tragic end by visiting places significant in their stories and through learning from expert speakers joining us throughout the tour.

    Brockencote Hall, a peaceful country house hotel is our base for the first 3 nights before moving to the enchanting Hever Castle for our remaining 2 nights, where we have exclusive use of the Astor Wing.  Our exclusive access also means you can explore the grounds when the public have gone home, use the tennis courts and private heated outdoor swimming pool or play a game of billiards.

    The tour is led by Claire Ridgway of The Anne Boleyn Files and The Tudor Society, and Philippa Lacey Brewell of British History Tours and British History with Philippa Lacey Brewell.

    The Executed Queens Tour 2019 - Itinerary

    Day One - 8th July

    Meet at our designated meeting point near London Victoria Station at 1pm, board our private air-conditioned coach and travel to our peaceful luxury country hotel, Brockencote Hall, tucked away amid some of Worcestershire's finest countryside.

    Check into your room and enjoy an evening meal followed by introductory talk from Claire Ridgway about Anne Boleyn, the tragic second wife of Henry VIII.

    Day Two - 9th July

    We take our private air-conditioned coach to Tutbury Castle, one time prison to Mary, Queen of Scots who was kept here on four occasions. We return to our hotel for a 3 course evening meal and talk from Philippa Lacey Brewell on the relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots.

    Day Three - 10th July

    Visit to Shefflield Manor Lodge where Mary, Queen of Scots was held for 10 years before returning to our hotel for a 3-course dinner with an after dinner talk from Claire on the relationship between Lady Jane Grey and Mary I. You will then have time to pack and wander the grounds before our departure the following day.

    Day Four - 11th July

    Check out and board our private coach to Hever Castle where we will have exclusive use of the Astor Wing for the next 2 nights. After check in you will be welcomed with a light lunch before having time to explore Hever Castle and Gardens.  We have something very special for you this evening, a private after hours Castle tour followed by a 3-course dinner in the Castle Dining room!

    Day Five - 12th July

    On our final full day we travel to the Tower of London where we will enjoy a morning guided tour before having free time to visit other parts of the Tower and take a walk up to the Tower Hill execution site with Claire and I (optional). We return to Hever for a 3-course meal in

    Day Six - 13th July

    After breakfast, check out of Hever Castle and travel back to London Victoria on our private coach.

    → CLICK TO BOOK ←

    NOTE: This link opens a new window on the
    British History Tours website

    Speakers on Executed Queens 2019

    Gareth Russell

    Gareth Russell is the author of the critically-acclaimed Young and Damned and Fair, a ground-breaking biography of Queen Catherine Howard, described as ‘a stunning achievement’ (The Sunday Times), ‘a lovely combination of archival industry, genealogical grip and human intrigue’ (The Daily Telegraph), ‘an unparalleled view into this tragic chapter of Tudor history ... an important and timely book’ (Amanda Foreman), 'authoritative Tudor history written with a novelist's lightness of touch. A terrific achievement' (Dan Jones), ‘a formidable new talent’ (BBC History Magazine), ‘everything a historical biography should be’ (Kathryn Warner) and ‘the best written biography of Catherine Howard we have’ (Julia Fox). He is also the author of two novels set in his native Belfast, Northern Ireland, both of which have been adapted for the stage; two non-fiction books on medieval monarchy, and two on the Edwardian era. He studied history at the University of Oxford and gained his masters at Queen’s University, Belfast, in 2011 with a dissertation on the Queen’s household in the 1540s. Gareth divides his time between Belfast and New York. Gareth will be speaking to us about Katherine Howard on the final night of the Executed Queens tour. Gareth joined us on The Anne Boleyn Experience 2018 and is a fantastically engaging speaker who had us all enthrawled!

    Claire Ridgway

    Claire Ridgway is the author of the best-selling books George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Dipomat (co-written with Clare Cherry), On This Day in Tudor History, The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown, The Anne Boleyn Collection and The Anne Boleyn Collection II, Sweating Sickness in a Nutshell and Tudor Places of Great Britain. Claire was also involved in the English translation and editing of Edmond Bapst's 19th century French biography of George Boleyn and Henry Howard, now available as Two Gentleman Poets at the Court of Henry VIII. Claire worked in education and freelance writing before creating The Anne Boleyn Files history website, founding the Tudor Society, and becoming a full-time history researcher, blogger and author.

    Philippa Lacey Brewell

    Philippa Lacey Brewell was born and grew up in the heart of England, affectionately referred to as the 'Black Country' reportedly following a scathing remark from Queen Victoria in reference to the belching factories she witnessed whilst passing through! Her interest in history began as a quest to discover a female role model, lacking in the world (she felt) at the time. This is how she began to read about Elizabeth I. To understand her world she began to travel to the places featured in her story, and from there back in time to find context and further into the future to discover consequence and so forth. She decided that what she learned and discovered along the way needed to be shared with a wider audience and she began British History Tours in 2012 and 'British History with Philippa Lacey Brewell' in 2017. Philippa has written for various magazines including History Extra, Tudor Life and Flybe. She is currently working on her first book, on the Magna Carta. Philippa will be talking on the relationship between Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I.

    8th - 13th July 2019

    £2,100 per person
    with the Double Occupancy Discount of £1,050 per person
    OR
    £3,150 per person
    as single occupancy

    → CLICK TO BOOK ←

    NOTE: This link opens a new window on the
    British History Tours website



    Trips are financially protected for your piece of mind with Travel Regulation Insolvency Protection.

  • Anne Stanley: England’s Rightful Queen? by Conor Byrne

    It is well known that when Elizabeth I died on 24 March 1603 at Richmond Palace, she was succeeded on the throne of England by her first cousin twice removed, James VI of Scotland. Although Elizabeth had consented to the execution of James’s mother, Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1587, the mainly cordial relations between the Scottish king and the English queen were undoubtedly influenced by James’s hope that he would eventually be named successor to Elizabeth. The Tudor queen had been notoriously reluctant during her forty-four-year reign to name a successor, but as her life drew to a close Elizabeth realised that the maintenance of peace in her kingdom depended greatly on a stable succession. The peaceful accession of James in the spring of 1603, however, has obscured the dynastic and political relevance of a forgotten noblewoman – Anne Stanley, later Countess of Castlehaven. In the twenty-first century, Anne is generally known not for her dynastic importance but for her testimony against her husband, which led to his execution for sodomy in 1631.

    [Read More...]
  • The coronation of Mary of Guise

    Thank you to Heather R. Darsie for this article on Mary of Guise (Marie de Guise), who was crowned Queen Consort of Scotland on this day in 1540.

    Mary of Guise was born on 22 November 1515 to Claude of Lorraine, the Duke of Guise, and Antoinette of Bourbon. She was the eldest of twelve children. Mary was first made a wife in 1534 at the age of eighteen when she married the Duke of Longueville. She had two sons with her first husband, the second of whom died young. The Duke of Longueville passed away in 1537 when Mary was only twenty-one. She was then courted by both Henry VIII of England and James V of Scotland.

    [Read More...]
  • Bloody Queens: Elizabeth and Mary

    If you’re in the UK or have access to the UK’s BBC2 then make sure that you catch this programme on BBC2 today (1st February 2016) at 9pm. Here’s the blurb from the BBC:

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  • Mary I’s Coronation Part 2 – Knights of the Bath

    On 29th September 1553, Michaelmas or the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, Mary I created fifteen1 Knights of the Bath as part of her coronation celebrations.

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  • 9 March 1566 – Murder of David Rizzio

    On this day in history, 9th March 1566, David Rizzio (Riccio), the private secretary of Mary, Queen of Scots, was stabbed to death in front of a heavily pregnant Queen Mary.

    But who was David Rizzio and what led to his murder?

    John Guy, historian and author of the excellent “My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots”, describes David Rizzio as a “young Piedmontese valet and musician, who had arrived in the suite of the ambassador of the Duke of Savoy and stayed on as a bass in Mary’s choir”. Mary obviously took a liking to Rizzio because in late 1564 she chose him to replace her confidential secretary and decipherer, Augustine Raulet, who was a Guise retainer and the only person who Mary had trusted with a key to the box containing her personal papers. Raulet, for some reason, had lost her trust.

    [Read More...]
  • 10 February 1567 – The Murder of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley

    On this day in history, the 10th February 1567, Lord Darnley was murdered at Kirk o’ Field, Edinburgh, in the Royal Mile, just a few hundred yards from Holyrood House where his wife, Mary Queen of Scots, and baby son, the future James VI/I, were staying.

    Henry, Lord Darnley, had been lodging at Kirk o’ Field while convalescing after contracting either syphilis or smallpox. What he didn’t know was that while he had been recovering his enemies had been filling the cellars of the house with gunpowder.

    [Read More...]
  • Henry VIII’s six wives are as popular as ever – Conor Byrne

    Henry VIII’s six wives are as popular as ever. In the 2016 History Hot 100 recently compiled by BBC History Magazine, no less than four of the notorious Tudor king’s consorts featured. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, wife number two Anne Boleyn finished highest, at number 4. Katherine Parr came in at number 31, Katherine of Aragon at 36, and Anne of Cleves at 38.

    Tudormania, as coined by a Guardian article, is pervasive. The general public and historians alike cannot get enough of the Tudors. But our obsession with this colourful dynasty, by and large, centres on a handful of characters that dominate films, novels and articles. This confinement of our focus is starkly revealed in the Hot 100: the top Tudor figures are, unsurprisingly, Elizabeth I, Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell.

    [Read More...]
  • The Casket Letters

    On 20th June 1567, a few days after Scottish rebels apprehended Mary, Queen of Scots, servants of James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, allegedly found a silver casket of eight letters, two marriage contracts (which apparently proved that Mary had agreed to marry Bothwell before his divorce) and twelve sonnets. The casket was found in the possession of James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell and third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.

    [Read More...]
  • Elizabeth I’s Challenge to the Masculinity of the Royal Body by Susan Bordo

    Lacey Baldwin Smith has written that “Tudor portraits bear about as much resemblance to their subjects as elephants to prunes.” A slight exaggeration, maybe. But it is true that the historical accuracy of the depictions in Tudor portraits, particularly of royalty, was often at war with “symbolic iconizing”—the use of imagery to represent the person’s character, position or role.

    The symbolism could include inscriptions, emblems, mottos, relationships with other people, animals, or objects, and it could also be written into the body itself. A famous example is Hans Holbein’s sketch of Henry VIII—the painting itself was destroyed in a fire—with the king posed to emphasize his power, authority, and resoluteness: legs spread and firmly planted, broad shoulders, one hand on his dagger, and a very visible codpiece (larger, art historians have noted, than portraits of other men at the time.) His stance, as Suzanne Lipscomb points out, “mimics the stance of a man standing in full armour…sparking associations with martial glory.” Lipscomb also points out an interesting detail: in the draft sketch, Henry’s face is turned to a ¾ angle. But in the final painting, as we know from 16th century copies done within Henry’s lifetime, Holbein has Henry looking straight ahead, confronting the spectator with an unblinking stare that is still symbolic of masculinity today.

    [Read More...]
  • The death of Elizabeth I and possible causes of death by Alexander Taylor

    Elizabeth I is one of England’s most well-known monarchs. She was the daughter of the infamous King Henry VIII and his second wife the illustrious Queen Anne Boleyn, who was executed when Elizabeth was just two years old.

    Elizabeth reigned for almost forty-five years and was the last monarch of the Tudor Dynasty, having died childless. Her reign is famous as ‘The Golden Age’, for its blooming of the arts with the origins of Renaissance drama and for producing the most famous playwrights of the era, such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe.

    [Read More...]
  • All About our Expert Talks

    Each month full-access members of The Tudor Society will be able to enjoy a talk on Tudor history. These will consist of interviews, Q&As, talks or presentations by historians and authors who are experts in their field. Talks will be followed by a live online chat a few days later so that the expert can answer members' questions.

    Here are just a few recent links from the "Expert Talks" category:
    Total number of articles in this category: 75

    Members only - see Expert Talks to listen to or download them. Our full-access members get access to the WHOLE back catalogue of expert talks. Here is a sample talk on the importance of Christianity in the Tudor period by historian and author Gareth Russell:

    Click here to find out more about joining the Tudor Society.

    Some of our amazing guest speakers:

    Derek Wilson

    derek_wilsonDerek Wilson is a leading historian of the Tudor period whose acclaimed works include: 'Henry VIII: Reformer and Tyrant', 'The English Reformation: How England was transformed by the Tudors', 'After the Storm: The Life and Legacy of Martin Luther', 'Uncrowned Kings of England: The Black Legend of the Dudleys' and biographies of Thomas Walsingham, the Earl of Leicester, Hans Holbein and Thomas More. He is currently working on 'Mrs Luther's Sisters: What Women did for the Reformation and the Reformation did for Women'.

    His current fiction writing, under the name D.K. Wilson, is a series of mid-Tudor whodunits, 'The First Horseman' and 'The Traitor's Mark', featuring London goldsmith Thomas Treviot


    Linda Porter

    linda-porter
    Linda Porter has a B.A. and a D.Phil from the University of York. She spent nearly ten years lecturing in New York, at Fordham and City Universities among others, before returning with her American husband and daughter to England, where she embarked on a complete change of career. For more than twenty years she worked as a senior public relations practitioner in BT. The attractions of early retirement were too good to miss and she has gone back to historical writing as well as reviewing for the BBC History Magazine, The Literary Review and History Today.

    Her first book, Mary Tudor: The First Queen, was published to critical acclaim by Piatkus in the UK. It is available from St. Martin's Press in the US under the title The First Queen of England: The Myth of "Bloody Mary". This is a personal history of Mary I, the eldest of Henry VIII’s three children. Linda's second book is a biography of Katherine Parr, titled Katherine the Queen: The Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr and published by Macmillan. It is the first serious but accessible life of Henry VIII's last queen, a woman of intellect and charm who had a profound influence on the young Elizabeth I. Her third book, Crown of Thistles: The Fatal Inheritance of Mary Queen of Scots, was also published by Macmillan. It is the story of the Tudor Stewart rivalry.

    Linda won the Biographers Club prize in 2004. She is presently doing research for her fourth book.

    Conor Byrne

    Conor ByrneConor Byrne, author of Katherine Howard: A New History is a British undergraduate studying History at the University of Exeter.

    Conor has been fascinated by the Tudors, medieval and early modern history from the age of eleven, particularly the lives of European kings and queens. His research into Katherine Howard, fifth consort of Henry VIII of England, began in 2011-12, and his first extended essay on her, related to the subject of her downfall in 1541-2, was written for an Oxford University competition. Since then Conor has embarked on a full-length study of queen Katharine's career, encompassing original research and drawing on extended reading into sixteenth-century gender, sexuality and honour. Some of the conclusions reached are controversial and likely to spark considerable debate, but Conor hopes for a thorough reassessment of Katherine Howard's life.

    Conor runs a historical blog which explores a diverse range of historical topics and issues. He is also interested in modern European, Russian, and African history, and, more broadly, researches the lives of medieval queens, including current research into the defamed 'she-wolf' bride of Edward II, Isabella of France.


    Karen Bowman

    Karen BowmanKaren Bowman is an author with a life long passion for history and the powerful characters, who have shaped our society over the centuries. Be they high-born or commoner, witch, queen, vagabond or king, her home county of Essex has provided British life with many of its most colourful and influential people. In her latest books, Essex Girls and Essex Boys Karen brings them all to life with her highly readable style of writing coupled with an instinctive sense of time and place!

    Karen's writing credits also include numerous magazines, articles, and short stories.


    Sandra Vasoli

    Sandra VasoliSandra Vasoli, author of Je Anne Boleyn, earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and biology from Villanova University before embarking on a thirty-five-year career in human resources for a large international company.

    Having written essays, stories, and articles all her life, Vasoli was prompted by her overwhelming fascination with the Tudor dynasty to try her hand at writing fiction. While researching what would eventually become her Je Anne Boleyn series, Vasoli was granted unprecedented access to the Papal Library. There she was able to read the original love letters from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn—an event that contributed greatly to the creation of her fictional memoir.

    Vasoli currently lives in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, with her husband and two greyhounds.


    Elizabeth Norton

    Elizabeth NortonElizabeth Norton is a British historian specialising in the queens of England and the Tudor period. She obtained an Master of Arts in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Cambridge in 2003 and a masters degree in European Archaeology from the University of Oxford in 2004. Elizabeth is carrying out academic research at King's College, London into the Blount family of Shropshire (of which Bessie Blount was a member). This will touch upon the family's interest in and reaction to the changes of the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in England. Eventually she should be awarded a PhD.

    Elizabeth's books include Elfrida: The First Crowned Queen of England, The Boleyn Women, Bessie Blount, Margaret Beaufort: Mother of the Tudor Dynasty, Anne of Cleves: Henry VIII's Discarded Bride, Jane Seymour: Henry VIII's True Love, Catherine Parr: Wife, Widow, Mother, Survivor, The Story of the Last Queen of Henry VIII, England's Queens, Anne Boleyn, She Wolves: The Notorious Queens of Medieval England, and The Anne Boleyn Papers.


    Livi Michael

    Livi MichaelLivi Michael has written sixteen novels for people of all ages, including four novels for adults: Under a Thin Moon which won the Arthur Welton award in 1992, Their Angel Reach which won the Faber prize in 1995, All the Dark Air (1997) which was short-listed for the Mind Award, and Inheritance, which won a Society of Authors award. She teaches creative writing at the Manchester Metropolitan University and has been a senior lecturer in creative writing at Sheffield Hallam University. Her most recent novel, Succession, is a historical novel which "tells the thrilling, bloody story of the fall of the House of Lancaster and the rise of the Tudor dynasty." It was meticulously researched and each chapter ends with excerpts from primary sources.

    Livi has two sons and lives in Greater Manchester.

    Dr Elizabeth Goldring

    Elizabeth GoldringElizabeth Goldring is an associate fellow with the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance at the University of Warwick. She has written an excellent book "Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and the World of Elizabethan Art: Painting and Patronage at the Court of Elizabeth I" and it's an excellent resource about such a fascinating Tudor period.

    Elizabeth's book features some paintings which are little-known images from private collections, never before reproduced in color. She has joined us to talk about Elizabethan Art


    Jessie Childs

    Jessie ChildsJessie was born in London in 1976 and read history at Brasenose College, Oxford, where she took a first in 1999. Her first book Henry VIII’s Last Victim won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography in 2007. Her second book God’s Traitors won the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History, 2015, and was also shortlisted for the Longman-History Today Book Prize, and longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.

    Jessie frequently speaks at festivals, events and on TV and radio, and has written and reviewed for many publications, including The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Literary Review, Standpoint, History Today, BBC History Magazine and The Times Literary Supplement.


    Natalie Grueninger

    Natalie GrueningerNatalie Grueninger is a researcher, writer and educator. She graduated from The University of NSW in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts, with majors in English and Spanish and Latin American Studies and received her Bachelor of Teaching from The University of Sydney in 2006.

    In 2009 she created On the Tudor Trail, a website dedicated to documenting historic sites and buildings associated with Anne Boleyn and sharing information about the life and times of Henry VIII's second wife. Natalie is fascinated by all aspects of life in Tudor England and has spent many years researching this period.

    Her first non-fiction book, co-authored with Sarah Morris is "In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn".


  • August 2019 Tudor Life Taster

    WHY NOT JOIN AND ENJOY THE WHOLE 82 PAGE MAGAZINE?? August’s bumper Tudor Life magazine is focused on The fascinating Stewart dynasty… plus much more!

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  • June 2019 Tudor Life Taster

    WHY NOT JOIN AND ENJOY THE WHOLE 76 PAGE MAGAZINE?? June’s Tudor Life magazine is focused on queenship during the Tudor period, plus much more!

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  • Making Tudor History Interesting for Young People

    Student and avid history fan, Emma Casson, is 18 years old and lives in the Netherlands. She contacted us as she wanted to share her experiences of learning about the Tudors and what she feels could be done to help history to flourish in the education system. Over to Emma…

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  • The 400th anniversary of the burial of Nicholas Hilliard, and Hilliard book news!

    On this day in history, 7th January 1619, Nicholas Hilliard, the famous Elizabethan goldsmith and miniaturist, was buried at the parish church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. This means that it’s the 400th anniversary of his burial!

    Hilliard is known for his beautiful portrait miniatures of the English court in the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I, and his paintings of Elizabeth I: the “Pelican” portrait and the “Phoenix” portrait.

    Hilliard is a fascinating man and artist, and he is the subject of Dr Elizabeth Goldring’s new book, which is due to be released by Yale University Press on 12th February. Its title is Nicholas Hilliard: Life of an Artist and here is the blurb

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