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The Tudor Society
  • Tudor Royalty Experience by Ceri Creffield

    Our apologies to long-term member Ceri as there was a layout error in this month’s magazine for her wonderful article about an experience she went on at Thornbury castle.

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  • 19 January – Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke and Execution of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th January 1601, Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, died at Wilton, the family home near Salisbury.

    Who was Henry Herbert?

    I tell you about this interesting Tudor man in this talk…

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

    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 this talk…

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  • 17 January – Poet Thomas Wyatt is arrested and Leicestershire woman gives birth to a cat

    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 this talk…

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  • 16 January – Thomas Howard breaks his promise about Mary, Queen of Scots, and Thomas Seymour’s kidnap attempt

    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 this talk…

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  • Henry Howard Word Search

    This week sees the anniversary of the execution of soldier and courtier, Henry Howard, son of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, and a man viewed as one of the founders of English Renaissance poetry and “Father of the English Sonnet”. To mark the occasion, I thought I’d test your knowledge of this Tudor man.

    How much do you know about the life of Henry Howard?

    Find out with this fun word search puzzle.

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  • 15 January – The death of Catherine Carey and Elizabeth I’s coronation

    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 this talk…

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  • Claire recommends some historical fiction

    Hello! Happy Friday! I was supposed to be recording this as a video, but Covid really knocked Tim and I for six. We’re both recuperating well, but it’s just made me so tired. Thankfully the coughing fits are easing now – phew!

    Anyway, I’m doing this as a post instead.

    Recently, with the cold, dark nights and being poorly, I’ve got lost in some wonderful historical fiction, and although I know that many of you have “to read” lists that are way too long already, I thought I’d share some recommendations with you. These are the books that have transported me back in time and kept me sane recently…

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  • 14 December – Francis Kett leaps and dances in the fire, and Elizabeth I’s coronation procession

    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 this talk…

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  • 13 January – The Prince of Poets and Henry Howard is tried for treason

    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 this talk…

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  • 12 January – Elizabeth I goes to the Tower and Henry VIII’s first joust as king

    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 this talk…

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  • Johanna Strong – Mary I – Live Chat Transcript

    We had a wonderful time last Friday at the live Q&A session with historian Johanna Strong. Mary I is such a fascinating historical personality, and one that really divides opinions. A big thank you to Johanna for answering all of our questions.

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  • 11 January – A colourful Lord of Misrule and the first recorded lottery

    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 this talk…

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  • 10 January – A priest caught by a priestfinder and torturer, and the ends of Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham

    On this day in Tudor history, 10th December 1591, Roman Catholic priest Edmund Gennings and Catholic Swithin Wells were executed on a scaffold set up outside Wells’ house at Holborn.

    Gennings had been caught celebrating mass at Wells’ home by the famous Elizabethan priestfinder and torturer, Richard Topcliffe, who punished him by throwing him into the Little Ease.

    Find out more about St Edmund Gennings and St Swithin Wells, and their sad ends, in this talk…

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  • 9 January – A queen twice over, and Executions of Henry Pole and Henry Courtenay

    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 this talk…

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  • Kings of England Crossword Puzzle

    This week we’ve celebrated Epiphany, or Kings’ Day, the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas, so I thought I’d go with the theme of kings and test your knowledge of Kings of England.

    How much do you know about the kings who sat on the English throne (and I am talking about England, rather than Britain, so that helps you!)?

    Test your knowledge with this fun crossword puzzle.

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  • 8 January – Mary Shelton, Anne Boleyn’s cousin and lady, and Henry VIII celebrates news of Catherine of Aragon’s death

    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 this talk…

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  • 7 January – “You shall find Calais lying in my heart” and the death of Catherine of Aragon

    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 this talk…

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  • 6 January – Epiphany fun and feasting, and The marriage of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves

    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.

    I share some examples of how Epiphany was celebrated at the royal court.

    Find out what those Tudor people got up to on Twelfth Night in this talk…

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  • Apologies

    Tim and I are both in bed with COVID at the moment so apologies for things not being added to the site when they should be this week. We should be back to normal next week.

  • 5 January – Richard Willes – A quirky Tudor man, and Pope Clement VII and Henry VIII

    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 this talk…

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  • 4 January – A rebel keeps his head and William Roper

    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 this talk…

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  • January 3 – Martin Luther is excommunicated and Anne of Cleves’ very different days

    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 this 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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  • 2 January – A visit for the dying Queen Catherine, and Granada surrenders

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd January 1536, imperial ambassador, Eustace Chapuys, visited his good friend, Catherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII and a woman who was now officially called the Dowager Princess of Wales.

    Catherine was seriously ill, in fact, she was dying, and this would be the last time that Chapuys saw her.

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  • 1 January – Catherine of Aragon has a son, and Henry VIII meets Anne of Cleves

    On 1st January 1540, Henry VIII met Anne of Cleves for the very first time.

    This meeting between King Henry VIII and the woman who would soon become his fourth wife, was a bit of a disaster, but exactly how much of a disaster was it? The accounts differ and Claire shares with you two slightly different contemporary accounts, one given in a chronicle and one shared in the annulment proceedings a few months later in 1540.

    What happened on New Year’s Day 1540 at Rochester?

    Find out all about Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves’ first meeting in this talk…

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  • New Year in Tudor Times

    Find out how New Year was celebrated in Tudor times in this talk…

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  • Re-Identification of a Royal Tudor Portrait – Expert Talk

    Laura Loney and Ashley Risk have done extensive research to determine who might be the sitter in the famous oval portrait once thought to be Katherine Howard.

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  • New Year in Tudor Times

    As today is New Year’s Eve, I thought I’d share with you some resources for learning more about how the New Year was marked in Tudor times…

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  • 31 December – The Gunner and a bishop who angered a queen

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st December 1535, in the reign of Henry VIII, Sir William Skeffington, Lord Deputy of Ireland, died at Kilmainham in Dublin.

    Skeffington had become known as “the Gunner” following his use of heavy artillery while taking Maynooth Castle in County Kildare, where he killed, or had executed, the whole garrison.

    Find out more about the life and career of Sir William Skeffington in this talk…

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  • 30 December – An outlaw scholar from Spain who died of the plague and Roger Ascham, Elizabeth I’s tutor

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th December 1552, in the reign of King Edward VI, Spanish humanist scholar, translator, author and Protestant apologist, Francisco de Enzinas died at Strasbourg from the plague. He was buried there the next day. Humanist Francisco had changed his name to Francis Dryander after leaving Spain to study at Louvain.

    Dryander fit a lot into his thirty-four years of life. He escaped from prison and was an outlaw, he translated the Bible, he taught Greek in England, he was supported by Archbishop Cranmer and the Duchess of Suffolk, and published several works.

    Find out more about the accomplished Francis Dryander in this talk…

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