The Tudor Society

Blog: fascinating discoveries and intriguing collections

From books to exhibitions, to new discoveries and more. Every month we (Merel and Emma) will give you an update on all things new and exciting in the Tudor world. Starting with the first blog in which we look back on what has happened in November. 

Exhibition: Royal Cousins, Rival Queens

On Friday 8th October, the British Library opened their doors to the public for a special exhibition. It focuses on the two powerful women Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots, their relationship (although, yes, they never met) and their fates. Take a look at the library’s most extraordinary 16th-century manuscripts and printed works, including: Elizabeth’s stirring ‘heart and stomach of a king’ speech, the papal bull excommunicating Elizabeth, and Mary’s 10-page plea for freedom. 

The exhibition is open until Sunday the 20th of February 2022. 

For more information about ticket prices and concessions, visit

The Royal Tudor Beasts Coins

As a celebration of one of England’s most famous monarchs, Henry VIII, The Royal Mint and Historic Royal Palaces have unveiled a new range of collectable coins. The ten royal beasts, chosen by Henry himself, will be included in the collection, starting with the Seymour Panther. It was given to Jane Seymour, the king’s third wife, as a symbol of a peaceful and loving union between the king and consort. 

The Seymour Panther is now available, visit

The other 9 coins will be released over the coming 5 years. 

The Seymour Panther coin      (image: The Royal Mint)

Book: The Last Daughter of York

Inspired by the mystery of the Princes in the Tower, Nicola Cornick’s newest fiction novel is set between the present day and a country at the threshold of Tudor rule. Find out what the connection is between Serena Warren and the young Duke of York. 

Read more by visiting

The Mary Rose is being eaten away

Henry VIII’s ship the Mary Rose, sank in 1545 during the Battle of the Solent. 400 years later the ship was raised from the bottom of the English Channel. X-rays have now revealed that acidic nanoparticles left behind by marine bacteria, essentially bacteria poop, are eating away the hull. In a press release, materials scientist Serena Cussen says that “knowing the structure of these potentially harmful species allows us to design targeted treatments for their future removal”. 

The Mary Rose at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Discovery: Tudor paintings behind walls

When restoration work was being done at a Wetherspoon pub called The Star in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, five wall paintings were discovered. The portraits show figures which are believed to be from Elizabethan times, including Queen Elizabeth I and William Cecil, who had bought the inn in 1580. Conservator Mark Perry, of The Perry Lithgow Partnership, said that the panels “have local and national significance. You get occasional single portraits like this but to get five, and there may have been more before, is very rare.”

On the website of Wetherspoon, you can find images of the panels.

Anne Boleyn's wooden bird

Imagine purchasing a wooden bird at an auction for £75, only to find out later that its original owner was Anne Boleyn. It happened to antique dealer Paul Fitzsimmons. "This is really quite spectacular because it is in perfect condition and it has got all its original gilding, all its original paint" he told CNN. Fitzsimmons is now planning on lending the 16th century falcon, believed to be worth £200,000, to Hampton Court Palace.

There are 3 comments Go To Comment

  1. L

    Great summary of key events, thanks!!

  2. O

    I found the article very impressive and thought-provoking.

  3. m

Leave a Reply

Blog: fascinating discoveries and intriguing collections