• 21 March 1556 – The burning of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury

    On this day in history, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer was burned at the stake in Oxford. He had recanted his Protestant faith five times, but it didn’t stop his execution from being scheduled.

    On the day of his execution, Cranmer was taken to the University Church Oxford to make a final public recantation. He agreed to this, but after praying and exhorting the people to obey the King and Queen, he renounced his recantations and professed his true Protestant faith. He vowed that his right hand, the hand that he had used to write his recantations which were “contrary to the truth which I thought in my heart, and written for fear of death, and to save my life”, would be the first part of him burned in the fire.

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  • New online Literary Trail launched by the Historic Houses Association

    To celebrate 2017 being declared the “Year of Literary Heroes” by Visit England, the Historic Houses Association (HHA) has just launched a new online literary trail which includes over forty properties around the UK that have links to literary figures, books and plays.

    In the press release, the HHA says:

    “Authors as diverse as D.H. Lawrence, Charlotte Brontë, Roald Dahl and George Eliot are all connected with HHA Member houses. Our varied Member houses are all independently owned and many have been in the same families for generations.

    Perhaps you’ll be shown around by a descendant of one of these literary greats? Maybe the author will sign your book? Can you find the desk where your favourite novel was written?”

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  • The Madness of Juana of Castile

    Thank you to regular contributor Heather R. Darsie for this article on Juana of Castile who has gone down in history as “Juana la loca”.

    Juana of Castile, known as Juana la Loca or Joanna the Mad, was the elder sister of Catherine of Aragon and sister-in-law to Henry VIII of England. Juana married Philip the Handsome in 1496, when she was 16. She went on to have six children with her husband, including Charles, who later became the Holy Roman Emperor. Juana was an intelligent young woman and, like her sisters, received a considerable education for the time-period. It was reported that Juana could speak the three main languages of the Iberian Peninsula, along with Latin and French.

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  • Anne Askew by Roland Hui

    Today we have a guest post from Roland Hui as part of his book tour for his debut book “The Turbulent Crown: The Story of the Tudor Queens”.

    MadeGlobal Publishing is giving away a copy of Roland’s book at each stop and all you need to do at this stop is to leave a comment below saying which queen or queen consort you feel had the most turbulent life. Leave your comment before midnight on 8th March 2017. One comment will be picked at random and the person contacted for their details.

    Over to Roland…

    When Henry VIII married Katharine Parr in 1543, the general opinion was that the King had chosen most wisely. Unlike his previous wife, Katheryn Howard, this Katharine was no young lady with a sordid past, but a mature, sensible widow. The new Queen was also known for her piety.

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  • March 2017 Tudor Life Taster

    This month is “16th Century Europe”, our writers have really come out with some great articles. Enjoy this taster and then join for a magazine subscription.

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  • Collop Monday

    Today is the second of the three days that make up Shrovetide and it’s Collop Monday.

    Collop Monday was the traditional day to use up any meat you had in the house before the fasting of Lent began. Collops were pieces of fried or roasted meat.

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  • 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.

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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.

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  • Katherine of Valois: Lancastrian Queen, Tudor Wife

    Today we are hosting Conor Byrne, “Tudor Life” magazine regular contributor, historian and author, as part of his book tour for his latest book Queenship in England 1308-1485: Gender and Power in the Late Middle Ages. MadeGlobal Publishing is offering a paperback copy of Conor’s book to one lucky commenter. All you have to do is leave a comment below saying which 14th or 15th-century queen you’d like to know more about and why. Leave your comment before midnight Tuesday 21st February 2017. One commenter will be picked at random and contacted for his/her address.

    On 3 January 1437, Katherine of Valois, widow of Henry V, died at the age of thirty-five. The former queen was buried at Westminster Abbey. Five months later, the life of another former queen of England ended. Joan of Navarre, Katherine’s immediate predecessor, died at the age of sixty-six or sixty-seven and was buried at Canterbury Cathedral. The queenships of Joan and Katherine reveal the opportunities for triumph and tribulation that the office brought, as well as showcasing the variety of roles that were associated with it, including mother, intercessor, patron and lord. Their queenships also reveal the strikingly different political and diplomatic contexts, depending on circumstances, in which the occupant could attempt to fulfil her roles, and how these contexts affected her ability to succeed in the role of queen.

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  • 14 February – Valentine’s Day

    As today is Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share this extract from our Feast Days section, as well as looking at some historic Valentine’s letters…

    Steve Roud, in The English Year, writes of how the origins of Valentine’s Day are “obscure” and that the romantic traditions associated with it have nothing to do with either of the martyrs believed to have been the St Valentine commemorated on this day.
    Geoffrey Chaucer wrote in the 14th century of how birds would choose their mates on Valentine’s Day and this theme has been repeated in other pieces of literature. In John Lydgate’s 15th century poem, “A Valentine to her that Excelleth All”, he writes of how it was custom on Valentine’s Day for people to choose their love:

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