• May 2017 Tudor Life Taster

    The focus of the May edition of Tudor Life is … DEATH. Why not have a read through this online taster then join up…

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  • The Women of the House of Trastámara: An Introduction

    Thank you to regular contributor Heather R. Darsie for writing this introduction to the women of the House of Trastámara.

    When thinking about the important players of the Renaissance, particularly during the reign of Henry VIII of England, one recalls the powerful families of the English Tudors, French Valois, and Burgundian Habsburgs. The family that is even more influential, even if quietly, is the overlooked Trastámaras of Spain. This family married into the Tudor, Valois, and Habsburg families, among others, and its reach was far. Who were they?

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  • Easter Sunday

    In Tudor times, on Easter Sunday, the candles in the church and around the Easter sepulchre were extinguished, and then the church lights were re-lit by the priest, from a fire. The sepulchre was opened, and Christ’s resurrection was celebrated with a special mass.

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  • Holy Week and Easter

    I often think that living in Spain, a Catholic country, brings me that bit closer to life in Tudor England because their religious calendar – with all of its feast days, fasting, religious processions etc. – is still followed in countries like Spain today and whole villages and towns join in.

    I realise that festivals like Holy Week and Easter are still celebrated or commemorated by Christians all over the world, but in countries like the UK Holy Week is no longer a week-long festival celebrated by everyone. Mostly, it’s time to have a holiday and exchange cards and Easter eggs. Here in Spain, there are processions on days like Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, in every town and village, however small. Everyone gets involved in “Semana Santa”. It’s a big deal! A huge deal! And so it was in Tudor times, where daily life was tied to the religious calendar.

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  • Palm Sunday – the start of Holy Week

    Palm Sunday is the sixth Sunday of Lent and marks the start of Holy Week. It commemorates the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem on a donkey the week before the Resurrection. It is an event which features in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and here it is from John:

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  • An Overview of the Results of the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis 1559

    Thank you to regular contributor Heather R. Darsie for this article on the 1559 Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis.

    After sixty-five long years of war, the Habsburg and Valois families finally brought the Italian Wars to an end on 3 April 1559. The Italian Wars were fought over territory in Italy, particularly the duchy of Milan. In 1551 Henry II, King of France, carried on his father Francis’ battle with Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, which came to be between Henry II and Philip II of Spain by 1559. The purpose of the treaty was to settle all territorial disputes. The peace ushered in at Cateau-Cambrésis would last the better part of one hundred and fifty years.

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  • April 2017 Tudor Life Taster

    Why not have a read through this online taster of this magazine which this month focuses on Catherine Howard and Katherine Parr, then join up…

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  • William Hunter, a nineteen-year-old martyr

    On 26th/27th March* 1555, nineteen-year-old William Hunter, a silk-weaver’s apprentice, was burned at the stake in Brentwood, Essex, for heresy.

    His story is told in John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and you can read the chapter on Hunter online at http://www.exclassics.com/foxe/foxe275.htm, but here is brief overview…

    William Hunter was an apprentice to silk-weaver Thomas Taylor in London when Mary I came to the throne. After refusing to attend mass and receive communion at Easter 1554, he was threatened with being hauled before the Bishop of London.

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  • The Mary Rose needs your vote

    The Mary Rose Trust has just let me know that they have been shortlisted for a number of awards and would really appreciate it ifpeople who have enjoyed visiting the Mary Rose would help by voting for them.

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  • 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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