The Tudor Society
  • 20 October – A countess twice over

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th October 1557, or possibly 21st, courtier Mary Arundell died at Bath Place in London.

    Mary is an interesting Tudor lady. Not only did she serve at least two of Henry VIII’s wives, but she was a countess twice over, having been married to both the Earls of Sussex and Arundel. She has also been confused with two other Tudor ladies, and we don’t know whether the portrait you see in the thumbnail is really her.

    Find out more about Mary Arundell’s life, court career and those of her husbands, in today’s talk.

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  • 19 October – An important European marriage

    On this day in history, 19th October 1469, an event took place in Spain that was not only important in Spanish history, but which had an impact on Europe and which has links with the Tudors.

    The event was the marriage of an eighteen-year-old woman called Isabella and a seventeen-year-old man called Ferdinand. They’d become the famous Reyes Catolicos, the Catholic monarchs, Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, and would bring together two powerful kingdoms, which comprised most of what is modern-day Spain.

    In today’s talk, I tell you more about this powerful couple, their reigns and their legacy.

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  • 18 October – Freedom for Elizabeth at last!

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th October 1555, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, finally received permission from her half-sister, Queen Mary I, to leave court and travel to her own estate at Hatfield, rather than return to house arrest in Woodstock.

    Poor Elizabeth had spent the last 18 months being watched or imprisoned, so this must have been a huge relief.

    But why had Elizabeth been watched and confined? What had she gone through and why?

    Find out more about this awful part of Elizabeth I’s life in today’s talk.

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  • Authors and Historians Crossword Puzzle

    We are so very blessed here at the Tudor Society to have so many wonderful experts contributing articles to Tudor Life magazine and speaking to us on a range of Tudor topics and people, as well has allowing us to grill them in live chat sessions.

    We’re celebrating their input today with this fun crossword puzzle. Apologies to those not mentioned!

    Simply click on the link or image below to open the crossword puzzle and print out.

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  • 17 October – An English spy who suffered torture and execution in Rome

    On this day in history, 17th October 1560, spy and Protestant martyr, Walter Marsh was baptised at St Stephen’s Church in London.

    Marsh came to a sticky end, being burned to death in Rome’s Campo dei Fiori after having his tongue cut out, his hand cut off and being tortured with burning torches. He had been accused of being paid by Queen Elizabeth I to spy on Catholics and of showing contempt for the Eucharist.

    Find out more about Walter Marsh, how he’d come to be in Rome and what he’d done to upset the authorities, in today’s talk.

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  • 16 October – A meeting between two kings is arranged

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th October 1532, while Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Marquess of Pembroke, were on their visit to Calais, English nobles met French nobles to arrange a meeting between the King of England and his French counterpart, King Francis I.

    In today’s talk, I give details on this event, who was there, what happened, and why Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn had gone to Calais.

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  • 15 October – A Welsh teacher and poet is executed

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th October 1584, schoolteacher and (Richard White), was hanged, drawn and quartered for high treason at Wrexham in Wales due to his Catholic faith.

    Find out about Richard Gwyn’s life, how an attack by crows and kites made him steadfast in his faith, his arrest and downfall, his works, and the legends associated with his death, in today’s talk.

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  • Deal Castle with Julian Humphrys

    In our brand-new feature, Julian Humphrys will be sharing information about battles, warfare and castles. This video takes us to Deal Castle in Kent, a fortification which did its job as it never saw much action!

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  • 14 October – Sir Thomas Chaloner and his very strong teeth

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th October 1565, diplomat and poet, Sir Thomas Chaloner the Elder, died at his home in Clerkenwell, London. He was just forty-four years old. He’d served four Tudor monarchs as a diplomat, but he also wrote English and Latin works.

    Find out more about Thomas Chaloner, his life, his career, and how his teeth saved him from death, in today’s talk.

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  • 13 October – Mary I’s secret meetings with ambassadors in disguise

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th October 1553, Queen Mary I wrote a very interesting letter to the imperial ambassador, Simon Renard. In it, she asked the ambassador to meet with her secretly, and she’d encouraged him previously to come to her secretly and in disguise.

    Why? What was going on? And why did Mary seem to trust the emperor and his ambassadors more than her own council?

    Find out more about the situation in today’s talk.

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  • 12 October – A revenge assassination by bandits in Wales

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th October 1555, Lewis Owen, member of Parliament and administrator in Wales, was assassinated on Dugoed Mawddwy, a mountain pass.

    Owen was murdered by a group of bandits as revenge for his campaign against them, which had led to around 80 hangings.

    Find out more about Lewis Owen, his life and what happened, in today’s talk.

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  • 11 October – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn set sail for Calais

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th October 1532, King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, the newly created Marquess of Pembroke, set sail from Dover aboard the king’s ship, The Swallow.

    They were off to Calais on a mission involving the Great Matter, Henry VIII’s quest for an annulment. But why? What would they do there? Who would they meet?

    Find out more about this trip, what happened and what happened next, in today’s talk.

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  • Quiz – The Pilgrimage of Grace Rebellion

    As it’s October, the month which saw the start of the Pilgrimage of Grace Rebellion in 1536, I thought I’d test you on your knowledge of this Henrician rebellion. So, grab your favourite snack and beverage, and let’s get those little grey cells working. Hint: You can find links to resources on the rebellion below the quiz.

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  • 10 October – The funeral of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, Elizabeth I’s favourite

    On this day in Tudor history, 10th October 1588, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was buried in the Beauchamp Chapel of the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, according to his instructions.

    His funeral was well-attended and his widow, Lettice, a woman known by Elizabeth I as “the she-wolf”, erected a monument to “her best and dearest husband” in the chapel, which was also the resting place of the couple’s young son, Robert, “the noble impe”.

    Find out more about Leicester’s funeral and resting place, and see some photos of his tomb, in today’s talk.

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  • 9 October – Miguel de Cervantes and Don Quixote

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th October 1547, Miguel de Cervantes, author of the famous classic “Don Quixote”, a book known as “the first modern novel”, was baptised in Alcalá de Henares, Spain. His actual birthdate is unknown.

    Now, this event didn’t happen in Tudor England, but it did happen in the Tudor period, and Cervantes is known the world over. Let me share with you some facts about this man, his rather interesting life, which including being held to ransom by pirates, and his works.

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  • Claire Chats News

    Happy Friday!

    On this week’s video talk, I share some news regarding this regular slot and my plans for it. I welcome your feedback.

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  • 8 October – Henry VIII forces Princess Mary to write letters

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th October 1536, while the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion was getting underway in Lincolnshire and spreading to Yorkshire, Henry VIII wasn’t only issuing orders regarding the rebels, he was also issuing orders regarding his eldest daughter.

    Henry and Mary had recently reconciled after Mary had finally submitted to him and recognised his supremacy and her illegitimate status. It was something that cost Mary dearly, but it did mend her relationship with her father and allow her back at court.

    But then Henry VIII put more pressure on his daughter by forcing her to write to the pope and to Mary of Hungary, the emperor’s sister.

    What did Mary have to write? What did the king want of his daughter? And why had Mary submitted to her father?

    Find out all about this in today’s talk.

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  • 7 October – Catherine of Aragon wins this round

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th October 1529, Pope Clement VII wrote to King Henry VIII regarding his quest for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

    It wasn’t good news. Catherine of Aragon had won this battle, with the pope deciding that the marriage was valid, but she hadn’t won the war. Henry VIII did get the marriage annulled in the end, but the pope didn’t do it.

    But what was going on? Why wouldn’t the pope help? What was Henry VIII’s argument for an annulment and on what grounds did Catherine appeal?

    Find out more in today’s talk.

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  • 6 October – John Caius, royal physician, and sweating sickness

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th October 1510, John Caius was born at Norwich.

    Caius was a theological scholar, founder of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, royal physician (to Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I) and author of a book on sweating sickness.

    In today’s “on this day” talk, I give an overview of John Caius’ life and career, as well as sharing some of what he wrote on sweating sickness, that mystery Tudor illness.

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  • 5 October – Edward Seymour gathers troops to defend Edward VI

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th October 1549, Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector, ordered a gathering of men at Hampton Court Palace, where he was lodged with the young King Edward VI, due to tensions mounting between Somerset and John Dudley, Earl of Warwick.

    What was going on and what happened when 4,000 peasants turned up? How did John Dudley react and what did King Edward VI have to say about it all?

    Find out what happened, and how this led to Somerset’s undoing, in today’s talk.

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  • 4 October – Sir Francis Bigod and his rebellion

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th October 1507, Sir Francis Bigod, was born at Seaton, in Hinderwell, Yorkshire.

    Bigod led an uprising in Yorkshire in January 1537, Bigod’s Rebellion, after the rebels of the Pilgrimage of Grace had been dispersed. But who was Bigod? Why would an evangelical reformer become involved with the Pilgrimage of Grace? What was his rebellion about and what happened to him?

    Find out more about Sir Francis Bigod and Bigod’s Rebellion in today’s talk.

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  • King Richard III Quiz

    As it was the anniversary of King Richard III’s birth on Friday (2nd October), I thought I’d test your knowledge of this English king, the last of the Plantagenet rulers and a man who was, of course, killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 while he was fighting against the troops of Henry Tudor, who became King Henry VII.

    How much do you know about King Richard III?

    Well, you can test yourself with this fun quiz. Good luck!

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  • 3 October – Jane Seymour’s coronation is postponed

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd October 1536, imperial ambassador Eustace Chapuys wrote to Emperor Charles V informing him that Jane Seymour’s coronation was being postponed.

    Several dates for Henry VIII’s third wife’s coronation are mentioned in the contemporary sources, but they all passed by without the coronation taking place, and building work on Westminster Palace in preparation for the coronation came to a halt.

    Why wasn’t Jane Seymour crowned when her predecessor, Anne Boleyn, had been given a lavish coronation?

    Find out more about what happened in 1536 and 1537 in today’s talk.

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  • Happy birthday to King Richard III

    King Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet kings, was born Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, on this day in history, 2nd October 1452.

    Here is an extract from my book Illustrated Kings and Queens of England on Richard III.

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  • 2 October – Mary Tudor, Henry VIII’s sister, sets sail for France

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd October 1514, eighteen-year-old Mary Tudor, sister of King Henry VIII, set off from Dover to sail to France to marry fifty-two-year-old King Louis XII of France.

    Things hadn’t gone to plan with the scheduled sailing, due to bad weather, and Mary encountered rough seas on her journey too.

    Find out about the arrangements for the journey, who was at Dover, Mary’s crossing to Boulogne, and what happened next, in today’s talk.

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  • Tewkesbury Abbey – Roving Reporter

    Recorded back in February 2020, our roving reporter Philippa Lacey-Brewell went to Tewkesbury Abbey. It’s a stunning building which shows a long history of re-work and rebuilding. Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn visited in the summer of 1535 and it also has the tombs of Edward, Prince of Wales, and of George, Duke of Clarence.

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  • 1 October – John Alcock, bishop and tutor to one of the Princes in the Tower

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st October 1500, John Alcock, Bishop of Ely, died at Wisbech Castle.

    Alcock wasn’t just a bishop, he was a scholar, a royal tutor, and an administrator. He served as tutor to King Edward IV’s son, Prince Edward, the future King Edward V and a boy who is known for being one of the ill-fated Princes in the Tower. He also christened another prince.

    Find out more about this Tudor bishop and royal servant in today’s talk.

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  • Thomas Cromwell: Is there more to learn – Caroline Angus – Expert Talk

    Thanks to Caroline Angus for joining us this month with an amazing talk about Thomas Cromwell. Caroline poses the question … is there anything more to learn?

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  • 30 September – A victorious Henry VIII returns to England

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th September 1544, fifty-three-year-old King Henry VIII returned to England after his third invasion of France and the French surrender of Boulogne to him and his troops.

    Hear a contemporary account of what happened during the siege of Boulogne and how and why the French surrendered to Henry VIII, in today’s talk.

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  • 29 September – A papal legate arrives for Henry VIII’s annulment case

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th September 1528, the papal legate, Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio, landed at Dover on the Kent coast.

    Campeggio and Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, who had been appointed the pope’s vice-regent, were given the task of hearing Henry VIII’s case for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

    Find out more about what happened when next, what happened at the special legatine court, and how Henry ended up waiting for his annulment for a few more years, in today’s talk.

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