• Sir Philip Sidney

    On this day in history, 17th October 1586, Sir Philip Sidney, the famous Elizabethan poet, courtier and soldier, died as a result of an injury sustained at the Battle of Zutphen in the Netherlands. He was just thirty-one years old. His body was returned to England and laid to rest on the 16th February 1587 in St Paul’s Cathedral.

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  • This week in history 16 – 22 October

    On this day in history…

    16th October:

    1532 – While Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII were lodged in Calais, the Duke of Norfolk, Earl of Derby and a group of gentleman met with “the great mayster of Fraunce” Anne, duc de Montmorency, and his men at the English Pale, six miles outside of Calais. This meeting was to plan where Henry VIII would meet Francis I.
    1555 – The burnings of two of the Oxford martyrs: Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, and Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London. Click here to read more.
    1573 – Death of Thomas Davies, Bishop of St Asaph, at Abergele in Denbighshire.
    1594 – Death of Cardinal William Allen at his home in the via Monserrato, Rome, while in exile. He was buried in Rome, in the English College’s Church.

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  • Quiz – Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII

    Anne of Cleves was the fourth wife of King Henry VIII, but how much do you actually know about her? Test your knowledge and have some fun with our Sunday quiz on Anne – good luck!

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  • Smallpox

    In today’s Claire Chats video talk, Claire looks at the disease smallpox, which Tudor people like Henry VIII, Margaret Tudor, Edward VI and Elizabeth I suffered from. What was it? Where did it come from? What were its symptoms and how was it treated?

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  • Amy Robsart – What do we really know about her by Christine Hartweg

    Thank you to Christine Hartweg, author of Amy Robsart: A Life and its End for writing this guest article on Amy Robsart, wife of Robert Dudley, for us today.

    Who was Amy Robsart? And what do we really know about her? And why?

    In 1559, the Imperial ambassador at Elizabeth I’s court wrote that Robert Dudley, Elizabeth’s great favourite, was “married to a beautiful wife” (but of course the ambassador had never seen her). We know for certain, on the other hand, that Amy Robsart was born on 7 June 1532 in Norfolk. Like her future husband, who was almost exactly the same age, she grew up in an “evangelical” (or Protestant) family. It is possible, even likely, that the marriage of Amy and Robert was a love match. They were married on 4 June 1550 in the presence of King Edward VI.

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  • Happy birthday to Edward VI!

    Happy 480th birthday to King Edward VI who was born on this day in history, 12th October 1537. To commemorate his birthday, here is a mini-biography of him plus links to further resources.

    Edward VI was born on 12 October 1537 at Hampton Court Palace. He was the son of Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, who died twelve days after giving birth to him, probably of puerperal fever. He was tutored by scholars such as John Cheke, Richard Cox, Roger Ascham and Jean Belmain, and it appears that he was an intelligent child. By the age of twelve he was undertaking work on religious issues and controversies and had written a treatise about the Pope being the Antichrist.

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  • Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder

    As today is the anniversary of the death of Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder, poet and diplomat, on 11th October 1542, I thought it would be good to share a mini-biography of him. This article is adapted from an article I wrote for the Anne Boleyn Files a few years ago and an extract from my book On This Day in Tudor History.

    Sir Thomas Wyatt was born in c.1503 at Allington Castle, Kent. He was the eldest son of Yorkshireman Sir Henry Wyatt and Anne Skinner, daughter of John Skinner of Reigate, a woman famed for her hospitality. Henry Wyatt was a skilled soldier and financier. During the Wars of the Roses, he had been a Lancastrian and it is possible that he was involved in the Duke of Buckingham’s rebellion against King Richard III. He was certainly imprisoned in Richard III’s reign and a family story tells of how he was saved from starvation during his imprisonment by a cat who brought him pigeons to eat. He was released on the accession of Henry VII, who rewarded him with many grants and titles. Henry Wyatt became a privy councillor under Henry VII and acted as an executor of the king’s will on his death in 1509. He went on to serve the new king, Henry VIII, and was made a Knight of the Bath at his coronation in June 1509.

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  • This week in history 9 – 15 October

    On this day in history…

    9th October:

    1514 – The eighteen-year-old Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, married the fifty-two-year-old King Louis XII of France at Abbeville.
    1529 – A writ of praemunire was filed against Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in the court of King’s Bench.
    1536 – Pilgrimage of Grace: The rebels of Horncastle, Lincoln, dispatched their petition of grievances to the King and also north into Yorkshire.
    1547 – Baptism of Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, in Alcalá de Henares, Spain. His actual birthdate is unknown.
    1573 – Death of Sir Thomas Wroth, courtier, politician and landowner. Wroth served Edward VI as a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber and was with him when he died.
    1604 – Death of Sir William Peryam, Judge, at Little Fulford, near Credington in Devon. He was laid to rest at Holy Cross Church. Peryam was on the commissions at the trials of Mary, Queen of Scots, the Earl of Arundel, the Earl of Essex and Sir John Perrot, and served as Chief Baron of the Exchequer from 1593 until his death.

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  • Tudor monarchs – True or False?

    Today’s quiz is a true or false one so you’ve got pretty good odds at getting these questions right! Can you get 12/12? Good luck!

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  • George Gascoigne

    On this day in history, 7th October 1577, George Gascoigne, author, poet, courtier and soldier, died in Stamford, Lincolnshire. He was buried in Stamford, at St Mary’s Parish Church. He was in his early forties.

    Gascoigne is listed as one of the most important Tudor poets, along with the likes of Sir Thomas Wyatt, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and Philip Sidney. His works included A Discourse of the Adventures of Master FJ, The Supposes, A Hundredth Sundry Flowres… and The Posies of George Gascoigne, Esquire. Gascoigne was also hired in 1575 by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, to provide the entertainment for Elizabeth I’s visit to Kenilworth Castle.

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