The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • Tudor Infidelity Crossword

    There were quite a few unhappy marriages and affairs at the royal court in the Tudor period. Tes your knowledge of Tudor affairs and Tudor mistresses with this week’s Sunday fun – the Tudor Infidelity Crossword.

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

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  • 18 January – Henry VII and Elizabeth of York get married

    On this day in Tudor history,18th January 1486, twenty-nine year-old King Henry VII married twenty year-old Elizabeth of York at Westminster Abbey.

    This was over two years after he had vowed to marry her and nearly 5 months after his victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Why did Henry VII delay in marrying Elizabeth of York?

    Find out what delayed the marriage, and more about the bride and groom, in today’s talk.

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  • Tudor Pets in celebration of St Anthony’s Day

    Happy St Anthony’s Day! Today is the Feast of St Anthony the Abbot, or St Anthony the Great, a third century Christian monk.

    In Spain, where I live, St Anthony is the patron saint of animals, particularly domestic animals, and so some of my Spanish friends have been sharing photos of their beloved pets on social media today and I’ve had various emails from online pet shops with special St Anthony’s Day offers. I thought I’d jump on the band wagon and celebrate this saint by sharing some resources on pets in Tudor times…

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  • 17 January – Poet Thomas Wyatt is arrested

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th January 1541, courtier, diplomat and poet, Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder, was arrested and sent to the Tower of London after being accused of corresponding with Cardinal Reginald Pole, and referring to the prospect of Henry VIII’s death.

    Wyatt was taken to the Tower and it looked like he’d be executed, but he was saved by Queen Catherine Howard, but at a huge cost.

    Find out more about what Wyatt was accused of, how he escaped execution and what he had to agree to, in today’s talk.

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  • The Dissolution of the Monasteries and its impact – Part 1: The Monasteries

    I love walking around the ruins of abbeys such as Rievaulx, Fountains and Jervaulx, they’re just so beautiful, and I like to imagine what they were like in their heyday, when they were vibrant and bustling communities of religious people, and were important to their local communities.

    The Dissolution of the Monasteries had such an impact on England, on its landscape and on its people, and so I want to spend the next couple of Claire Chats talks exploring this topic. Today, I want to talk about the monasteries themselves, what they were like and how they played a role in daily life.

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  • Remember me when you do pray – what’s Anne Boleyn’s message?

    Thank you so much to Tudor Society member Corinna Hahn for asking the following question for our “Expert Answers” section. It’s a very interesting question.

    I (Claire) opted to answer this one as I’ve done lots of research on the two books of hours in the collection at Hever Castle, and I was lucky enough to hold them and talk to my dear friend, castle supervisor, Owne Emmerson, about them back in May. I’ve included the video below my answer so that you can find out all about these beautiful books.

    Here is Corinna’s question in full:

    “I’ve got some questions about one book of hours that Anne Boleyn owned and that is now at Hever Castle. It’s the one with Anne Boleyn’s inscription under a prayer adjacent to a miniature of the presentation of Jesus in the temple. The inscription reads “Remember me when you do pray that hope doth lead from day to day.”

    This rhyme has intrigued me for years, since we don’t know when and where Anne wrote it, to whom she wrote it and what the real message behind her inscription was.

    It seems to me that Anne didn’t write in her prayer books heedlessly, every inscription she has left somewhere is there for a reason and where she placed her “Remember me” rhyme could possibly be a clue to the point of time when she wrote these words.
    My questions are: Under which text did she write her “Remember me” rhyme? Is there a transcription and/or translation of this text? Why did she place her message there? Was the rhyme she wrote meant as a prayer request or a farewell to someone? Is it known who owned the prayer book after her death? Where was the book before Hever Castle acquired it?”

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  • 16 January – Thomas Howard breaks his promise about Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th January 1572, Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, eldest son of the late Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, was tried and found guilty of treason at Westminster Hall.

    Norfolk had promised Queen Elizabeth I that he would not get involved with Mary, Queen of Scots, ever again, but it was a promise that he just couldn’t keep. Once again, he had become involved in a plot against Elizabeth I and in support of Mary, Queen of Scots. He wouldn’t escape punishment this time.

    Find out exactly what happened in today’s talk.

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  • 15 January – The death of Catherine Carey (Knollys), daughter of Mary Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th January 1569, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Catherine Knollys (née Carey), wife of Sir Francis Knollys, daughter of Mary Boleyn, and cousin of the queen, died at Hampton Court Palace. She was about 45 years old.

    Sadly, Queen Elizabeth I had kept Catherine and her beloved husband, Sir Francis Knollys, apart during Catherine’s final day.

    Find out more about Catherine’s final days, the queen’s cruelty, Francis’s frustration, and Catherine’s lavish burial, which was paid for by the queen, in today’s talk.

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  • Trailer – Henry VI, the Shadow King – Lauren Johnson

  • Trailer – The Places of Mary, Queen of Scots – Gayle Hulme

  • 14 January – Francis Kett leaps and dances in the fire

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th January 1589, physician Francis Kett, was burned for heresy near Norwich Castle.

    A local minister described him as “leaping and dancing” in the fire, clapping his hand and praising God right up to the end. A courageous man.

    But how did Francis Kett come to this awful end?

    Find out more about this doctor, priest and condemned heretic in today’s talk.

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  • Trailer – The Year of Three Kings – Matthew Lewis

  • Trailer – Katherine Willoughby – Tony Riches

  • 13 January – The Prince of Poets

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th January 1599, Elizabethan poet and administrator in Ireland, Edmund Spenser, died in Westminster. He was described as “the prince of poets in his time” and is best known for his allegorical poem in praise of Elizabeth I, “The Faerie Queene”.

    But, did you know that he also upset William Cecil twice and that his most famous work is actually unfinished?

    Find out more about Edmund Spenser in today’s talk.

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  • 12 January – Elizabeth I goes to the Tower

    On this day in Tudor history, Thursday 12th January 1559, Queen Elizabeth I travelled by barge from Whitehall to the Tower of London to prepare for her coronation, which was due to take place on the 15th January.

    Of course, her journey wasn’t a low key one in a normal river barge, it was a lavish one with decorated barges, music and the usual artillery fire. Find out all about this river procession in today’s talk.

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  • January Tudor Events Quiz

    This week’s Tudor Society quiz tests your knowledge of events that happened in the month of January in the Tudor period.

    Grab your favourite snack and beverage, make yourself comfortable, and let’s get those little grey cells working! Good luck!

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  • 11 January – A coulourful Lord of Misrule

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th January 1579, courtier, Member of Parliament, Lord of Misrule and poet, George Ferrers, was buried at Flamstead, Hertfordshire.

    Ferrers was a rather colourful Tudor character. He caused a stir when he was arrested on his way to the House of Commons (the Ferrers’ Case), he was Lord of Misrule on several occasions and led a huge procession into London, and he had a hand in the arrest of John Dee. And that’s not all!

    Find out all about George Ferrers in today’s talk.

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  • A staggering amount of money – the lavish spending of the Tudors

    Today’s Claire Chats talk was inspired by my recent “on this day in Tudor history” video on rebel Sir William Pickering. In his will, Pickering left instructions for a jewel worth 200 marks to be given to Queen Elizabeth I by his executors, and I just became curious as to how much 200 marks was. This sent me on a research journey which also involved looking at the spending of Henry VII and Henry VIII.

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  • 10 January – There never was so obstinate a heretic

    On this day in Tudor history, 10th January 1532, Protestant martyr Thomas Dusgate, also known as Thomas Benet, was burned at the stake at Livery Dole in Heavitree, near Exeter.

    Benet was a zealous Reformer and got into trouble when he posted anti-Catholic bills on Exeter Cathedral’s door. He refused to recant, and it was said that “there never was so obstinate a heretic”.

    Find out about this Protestant reformer, who sought advice from Martin Luther regarding his trouble with lust, in today’s talk.

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  • This month’s live chats – 17, 25 and 31 January

    This month we have three live chats, two expert chats and one informal chat.

    Matthew Lewis, our December expert speaker, will be joining us in the Tudor Society chatroom on Friday 17th January to answer your questions on his talk 1483: The Year of three kings. Do join us for your chance to win one of Matt’s books.

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  • 9 January – A queen twice over!

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th January 1514, Anne of Brittany, Queen Consort of King Louis XII of France, died at Château Blois in France. Her corpse was buried in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis and her heart was buried at Nantes.

    Anne of Brittany was the mother of Queen Claude of France, the wife of a Holy Roman Emperor AND two Kings of France, and had been betrothed to one of the Princes in the Tower. A very interesting lady!

    And then there’s the story of her stolen heart!

    Find out more in today’s talk.

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  • 8 January – Mary Shelton, Anne Boleyn’s cousin and lady

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th January 1571, Mary Shelton (married names: Heveningham and Appleyard) was buried at Heveningham Church, Suffolk.

    Mary Shelton was Queen Anne Boleyn’s cousin and lady-in-waiting, and may also have been King Henry VIII’s mistress. She also contributed to the Devonshire Manuscript with the likes of Mary Howard, Lady Margaret Douglas and Lord Thomas Howard.

    Find out more about Mary Shelton in today’s talk.

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  • 7 January – “You shall find Calais lying in my heart”

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th January 1558, in the reign of Queen Mary I, England lost Calais to the French.

    It was a devastating blow as Calais had been held by England for over 200 years and was an important port for English wool exports. Mary I was said to have exclaimed ““When I am dead and opened, you shall find ‘Philip’ and ‘Calais’ lying in my heart”.

    Find out exactly what happened in today’s talk.

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  • 6 January – Epiphany fun and feasting

    Happy Epiphany! Happy Kings’ Day! Yes, today is the Feast of the Epiphany, the day that commemorated the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child.

    Following on from yesterday’s Teasel’s Tudor Trivia about Epiphany Eve and Twelfth Night Cake, I thought I’d share with you some examples of how Epiphany was celebrated at the royal court. Find out what those Tudor people got up to on Twelfth Night in today’s talk.

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  • Teasel’s Tudor Trivia – Twelfth Night and a yummy treat

    Teasel is busy ironing out her contract with Claire and Tim for future videos, but, in the meantime, she decided that she would allow this one to be filmed.

    In this talk, Claire and Teasel share the traditions they enjoy at Epiphany in Spain, and how these relate to Tudor England and the celebrations Tudor people enjoyed on Twelfth Night.

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  • 5 January – Richard Willes – A quirky Tudor man

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th January 1546, in the reign of King Henry VIII, geographer and poet, Richard Willes, was born in Pulham, Dorset.

    Richard Willes has been described as “One of the quirkier figures in the literary history not only of the college but of the Elizabethan period as a whole”, and he certainly was an interesting Tudor man. Find out about his literary accomplishments, and what exactly made him so “quirky”, in today’s talk.

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  • Tudor Rebels Wordsearch

    This week’s Sunday puzzle is a wordsearch which tests your knowledge of Tudor rebels, those men who caused problems for the Tudor monarchs and their governments.

    You can print out the wordsearch by clicking on the link or image below. Beware: the words can go in any direction. Good luck!

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  • 4 January – A rebel keeps his head

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th January 1575, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, courtier, diplomat and former rebel, Sir William Pickering, died at his home, Pickering House, in London.

    He died a wealthy man and died a natural death, a miraculous feat seeing as he was a friend of the Earl of Surrey and the Duke or Northumberland, both of whom ended up on the scaffold, AND he was one of the men involved in planning Wyatt’s Rebellion in 1554. Wyatt lost his head, but Pickering kept his.

    How? What happened? Find out more about Sir William Pickering in today’s talk.

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  • 3 January – Martin Luther is excommunicated

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd January 1521, Pope Leo X excommunicated Reformer, German priest and professor of theology Martin Luther from the Catholic Church.

    In today’s talk, I explain what led to Luther’s excommunication, what happened when Luther was called to the Diet of Worms, and what happened next to this famous Reformer.

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  • St Laurence’s, Ludlow – Roving Reporter

    This month our intrepid roving reporter has gone to St Laurence’s, Ludlow, the church where the heart of Prince Arthur is buried. It’s a very large church with a fascinating history…

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