The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • 22 July – The death of Henry Fitzroy, Henry VIII’s illegitimate son

    1536 was an eventful year for Henry VIII! Just over two months after the fall of his second wife, Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s only son, his illegitimate son by Elizabeth Blount, died on 22nd July 1536 at St James’s Palace. It was a huge blow for the king.

    In today’s “on this day” talk, I give details of Fitzroy’s illness, death and burial, and also just how much of a favourite he was with his father.

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  • 21 July – The Isle of Wight is attacked

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st July 1545, in the reign of King Henry VIII, French forces landed on the Isle of Wight in an attempt to invade the English island.

    In today’s “on this day” talk, I share contemporary accounts of what happened – what the French forces did to the island and what the result was.

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  • The Events of July 1553 Quiz

    July 1553 was a month of three monarchs: King Edward VI, Queen Jane (lady Jane Grey) and Queen Mary I – what a month for the citizens of London! It was definitely eventful. But how much do you know about the events that led from Edward’s death to Mary’s accession? Let me test your knowledge with this fun little quiz – good luck!

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  • 20 July – John Knox’s attack on Mary I

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th July 1554, John Knox, theologian and a leader of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, published a pamphlet attacking the Catholic Queen Mary I, her religious measures and her persecution of Protestants.

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” talk, I share some of what he said about Mary, her council and advisors. The man had a definite way with words!

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  • Live chats reminder – 20 July and 27 July

    Just a quick reminder that we have July’s informal live chat taking place in the Tudor Society chatroom – – tomorrow, Saturday 20th July.

    The idea for these informal chats is for members to jump in and share their views, pose questions for other members, share book/TV recommendations etc. and to just enjoy talking Tudor. The topic for this month is Tudor medicine.

    Here are the times for the chat in different time zones:

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  • 19 July – Mary I is proclaimed queen

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th July 1553, the reign of Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey) was brought to an end when Mary, the late King Edward VI’s half-sister, was officially proclaimed queen in London.

    In today’s talk,I share contemporary sources which tell us of how this news was celebrated in London. I also give brief details of another significant “on this day” event.

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  • All about the Executed Queens Tour 2019 – 4 videos to enjoy!

    In today¡s Claire Chats video talk, I thought I’d share with you some of what I did on the Executed Queens Tour, the highlights of the tour and the things I will remember from it. It really was a fabulous tour, made all the better because everyone was so lovely. The group really gelled.

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  • 18 July – Edmund Dudley, the “false traitor”

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th July 1509, just three months into the reign of King Henry VIII, one of King Henry VII’s chief advisors was accused of being a “false traitor” and convicted of treason.

    The new king, the young Henry VIII, used Dudley and his colleague, Richard Empson, as scapegoats for his father’s unpopular regime.

    Find out more about the charges against Edmund Dudley in today’s talk.

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  • 17 July – The Dartford Martyrs

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th July 1555, Protestant martyrs Christopher Wade (Waid) of Dartford, linen-weaver, and Margaret, or Margery, Polley, a widow from Pepenbury, Tunbridge, were burned at the stake for heresy.

    In today’s “on this day” talk, Claire Ridgway, author of several Tudor history books, tells us more about this man and woman, what led them to their awful fates, and what happened on that day in 1555.

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  • 16 July – Anne Askew’s courageous end

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th July 1546, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Protestant martyrs Anne Askew, John Lascelles, John Adams and Nicholas Belenian were burned at the stake at Smithfield in London for heresy.

    Poor Anne had been illegally racked, so special provision had to be made for her execution.

    In today’s talk, I share an account of the ends of these courageous people, along with some trivia about one of them.

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  • 15 July – The tide turns from Jane to Mary

    This day in Tudor history, 15th July 1553, was a key point in the events of summer 1553. For it was on this day that royal ships, ships that were supposed to be Queen Jane’s and who were guarding the coast off East Anglia to stop Mary fleeing England or any of her supporter invading England, swapped sides and gave declared for Queen Mary. Oh dear!

    I explain the context, the lead-up to this day, and also what happened to make the crews of these ships swap sides.

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  • 14 July – The Brandon boys are no more

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th July 1551,fifteen-year-old Henry Brandon, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, and his fourteen-year-old brother, Charles, 3rd Duke of Suffolk, both sons of Catherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk, and the late Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, died at Buckden.

    The boys had been taken ill in a sweating sickness epidemic that had hit Cambridge.

    In today’s talk, I explain exactly what happened on that sad day.

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  • July Births and Deaths True or False Quiz

    July is a busy month for “on this day in Tudor history” births and deaths, but how much do you know about the people who were born or who died in this month? Find out by testing yourself in our Sunday quiz. Good luck!

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  • Claire Chats – Tudor Money

    In this week’s Claire Chats video talk, I’m looking at Tudor money. I talk about the two different units of account, the currency that was used on a daily basis, the different coins and their values, how coins were made and the Tower Mint, coin clipping and counterfeiting, and debasement of coinage and coinage reform. Phew!

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  • 13 July – The overshadowed Robert Sidney

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th July 1626, Tudor poet and courtier, Robert Sidney, 1st Earl of Leicester, brother of Sir Philip Sidney, died at Penshurst Place, the family seat in Kent.

    Sir Philip Sidney is known as one of the great poet and scholars of the Tudor age, but his brother, Robert, was also a talented poet.

    In today’s talk, I talk about how historians discovered Robert’s work, as well as sharing one of his sonnets.

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  • The Executed Queens Tour Day 5 – Tower of London

    I started my day with a full Hever breakfast – yum! – before I joined the group on the coach with our loveable coach driver Alan and we made our way to London to visit the iconic Tower of London.

    We were met at the Tower by our guide, Alice, who gave us a wonderful tour of the main exterior areas before we enjoyed some free time to have lunch and visit the parts of the Tower we wanted to see. Philippa and I went to the White Tower to say “hello” to our dear friend, warder Tara. We were delighted to find that the chapel there now allowed photography and that the same was true with the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula – yay!

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  • 12 July – Henry VIII gets married for the sixth and final time

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th July 1543, Henry VIII got married for the sixth and final time.

    The fifty-two-year-old king married thirty-one-year-old Catherine Parr, Lady Latimer, in the Queen’s Closet of the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace.

    In today’s talk, I share a contemporary account of the wedding service, as well as telling you about who attended the ceremony.

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  • The Executed Queens Tour – Day 4 – Hever Castle

    After a delicious breakfast – my choice was smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, plus yogurt, fruit and nuts – it was time to leave the Midlands and to head for my happy place.

    The coach journey was trouble free, and we arrived at Hever Castle at lunchtime. It was like coming home when I was greeted by a member of staff I’ve known since 2010 and the comment was “your usual room, Madam”! I really need to just move in!

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  • 11 July – The Pope’s had enough of Henry VIII!

    There’s only so much a pope can take of a misbehaving king, isn’t there? And Pope Clement VII had had enough of Henry VIII by 11th July 1533.

    But how had this English king gone from being lauded as Defender of the Faith to being threatened with excommunication? What had he done to upset the Pope?

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” talk, I give details on Henry VIII’s misbehaviour, the ultimatum that the pope gave Henry, and what happened next.

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  • The Executed Queens Tour – Day 3 – Tutbury Castle

    Today started off well, with yet another scrumptious breakfast at Brockencote Hall, and then it was time to set off to see Tutbury Castle.

    One of our tour members admitted later that she hadn’t been looking forward to this visit as she knew that the castle was in ruins and there wouldn’t be much to see of the castle that Mary, Queen of Scots, knew during her four periods of imprisonment there, but this tour member ending up having a wonderful time. Let me tell you more.

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  • 10 July – Queen Jane and the boy with no ears

    On this day in Tudor history, 10th July 1553, Lady Jane Grey was officially proclaimed “Queen Jane” at the Tower of London, in Cheapside and Fleet Street. However, one young man could not keep quiet about his views regarding Mary being the rightful queen and he suffered a nasty punishment as a result.

    In today’s talk, I share a contemporary account of what happened on that day in London

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  • The Executed Queens Tour – Day 2 -Sudeley Castle

    After a filling breakfast (Full English for me!), our lovely coach driver, Alan, took us to Sudeley Castle, in Winchcombe, in the Cotswolds.

    As well as being the home and place of death of Catherine Parr, sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII, Sudeley also served as home to Lady Jane Grey, one of our executed queens, in 1548. Jane was the ward of Catherine’s fourth husband, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, who owned the castle, and so joined Catherine there when she retired to Sudeley as she prepared for the birth of her first and only child. Jane was at Sudeley when Catherine died in September 1548 and acted as chief mourner at Catherine’s funeral at the church within the grounds.

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  • 9 July – Anne of Cleves, “right entirely beloved sister”

    On this day in history, 9th July 1540, Anne of Cleves went from being Henry VIII’s queen consort to being his “right dear and right entirely beloved sister” after their marriage was annulled.

    Why was their marriage annulled? How did Anne of Cleves react to the news? What happened to her and Henry VIII afterwards?

    I explain the situation in today’s talk.

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  • The Executed Queens Tour – Day 1

    I’ve been counting down to the Executed Queens Tour for weeks, or rather months, and finally, today, it was here.

    I took a train bright and early up to London, from where I was staying with family in Sussex, to meet my co-leader Philippa for brunch at Victoria before we met up with the group. Then, we met with our lovely group and took our luxury coach – the leather seats were so comfy and Alan, the driver was so friendly and helpful – up to Worcestershire.

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  • 8 July – Mary declares herself queen

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th July 1553, two days after her half-brother King Edward VI’s death and one day after hearing news of his death, Mary, daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, declared that she was Edward VI’s heir and so was queen – Queen Mary I.

    In today’s talk, I explain what had led Mary to this point and why Mary had fled London.

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  • 7 July – The Dudley Conspiracy and Plotters

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th July 1556, in the reign of Queen Mary I, Henry Peckham and John Danyell were hanged, drawn and quartered after being found guilty of treason for their involvement in the Dudley Conspiracy.

    But what was the Dudley Conspiracy? And who was involved in it? What happened?

    I explain all in today’s talk.

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  • Tudor Poets Quiz

    The Tudor period was marked by the English Renaissance and Elizabeth I’s Golden Age, but how much do you know about Tudor poets and their poems?

    Why not test yourself with our fun Sunday quiz?

    Grab your favourite snack and beverage, make yourself comfortable and let’s begin! Good luck!

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  • 6 July – The king is dead, long live the queen!

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th July 1553, fifteen-year-old King Edward VI died at Greenwich Palace leaving the throne to his cousin’s eldest daughter, Lady Jane Grey.

    I share details of Edward’s final illness and last days, his “Devise for the Succession”, and Lady Jane Grey’s reaction at being told that she was Edward’s successor.

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  • Charles Brandon, a Tudor knight – Tony Riches – Expert Talk

    Author Tony Riches

    In this month’s expert talk we have Tony Riches, author of “Brandon, Tudor Knight” talking about this fascinating Tudor character.

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  • 5 July – The Essex Witches

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th July 1589, three Essex women were hanged at Chelmsford, Essex, after being found guilty of murder by witchcraft. Their names were Joan Cunny, Joan Prentice and Joan Upney.

    In today’s talk, I explain how these women came to be accused of witchcraft and why they were hanged.

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