The Tudor Society
  • 12 April 1533 – Outrage at Anne Boleyn’s behaviour

    I’ve gone back to doing “on this day” videos as I know people enjoy daily videos. The new ones, however, are YouTube Shorts, so under a minute long, just to give key interesting facts. If I’ve done a longer video in the past then I will share those too. Doing these shorts just gives me more time to create longer videos on Tudor topics.

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th April 1533, Anne Boleyn’s behaviour caused a stir and Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, was outraged. He didn’t know she was actually queen. In his eyes, there was one queen: Catherine of Aragon.

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  • Henry VIII Quiz

    As April is the anniversary of Henry VIII’s accession in 1509, following the death of his father, Henry VII, I thought I’d test your knowledge of Henry VIII with a quiz.

    How much do you know about this iconic Tudor king?

    Get those little grey cells working with this fun quiz.

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  • A heretic cardinal, the other Tudor Drake, and a plotting baron

    In part two of This Week in Tudor History for the week beginning 5th April, I talk about why Pope Paul IV branded Cardinal Pole a heretic and took away his legatine powers, before introducing you to a sea captain named Drake, but not Sir Francis Drake, and telling you about John Lumley, a baron who was involved with the Ridolfi Plot but kept his head, and a man who was recorded as owning a full-length portrait of Anne Boleyn.

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  • Tudor Society members only Facebook group

    In this week’s Friday video, Tudor Society founder Claire shares some exciting news for members, another opportunity to talk about our very favourite period in history – the Tudors!

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  • Expert answer – How were battlefields cleared?

    “I have a fascination to learn by whom, how and to what extent the battlefields of Bosworth, Flodden, Stoke Field and others were cleared in the aftermath. What happened to what was left – carnage, the armour, horses, weapons, personal effects and of course the bodies?”

    Our military historian Julian Humphrys of the Battlefields Trust has answered the question. A big thank you to him!

    In general terms it was very much a case of ‘to the victor, the spoils’ with the army left in possession of the field at the end of a battle having the pick of whatever remained there. Indeed, battles of the Medieval and Tudor periods were frequently followed by an intense period of clearing up with everything of potential value being taken by the winners. There was nothing particularly new in this – the lower section of the Bayeux Tapestry shows little men gathering up swords and stripping the dead of armour while the fighting rages above them.

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  • These Tudors Are Your Favourites

    A couple of weeks ago we asked our Instagram followers to vote on their favourite Tudor Monarch and wife of Henry VIII. We combined the votes with the most searched questions on Google and the country in which they are most popular. Here are the results!

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  • Artists in the Spotlight – Roland

    In this artists in the spotlight we are focusing on Roland from Canada. He is the author of several books including 'The Turbulent Crown: The Story of the Tudor Queens', but he also makes the most beautiful portrait miniatures and coronation books.

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  • Richard Leigh (1557-1588)

    Richard Leigh was born in 1557, the son of Richard Leigh and Clemence Holcroft, daughter of Sir John Holcroft.

    Leigh was the subject of an arranged marriage in 1562 with Anne Belfield, daughter of Ralph Belfield of Clegg Hall. Anne’s sister, Elizabeth, was also married that day to Alexander Barlow. However, both marriages were annulled at a later date on the grounds that they were all too young to be legally married.

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  • A new king’s journey, an earl who kept his head, injury kills a king, and a viscountess’s “Little Rome”

    In part 1 of This Week in Tudor History for the week beginning 5th April, I will be talking about King James VI of Scotland’s journey from Edinburgh to London, following his accession to the throne of England as James I; the life and career of Henry Stafford, Earl of Wiltshire, who managed to avoid the awful fates of his father and brother despite his Plantagenet blood; the death of King Charles VIII of France after hitting his head on a lintel, and the accession of King Louis XII, and finally Magdalen Browne, Viscountess Montagu, patron of Catholics and a woman whose properties were Catholic safe houses in Elizabeth I’s reign.

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  • Easter Sunday in Tudor Times

    Happy Easter! Today we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. As it is Easter Sunday, we are looking at how the Tudors celebrated this feast. 

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  • Holy Week and Easter Word Search

    Today is Easter Sunday so it seems apt to celebrate with a fun Holy Week and Easter Word Search. Happy Easter!

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

    Remember, the words can go in any direction!

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  • Good Friday

    Today, in the Western Christian Church, is Good Friday, which, of course, commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. I’m going to mark the dat by sharing how the day was commemorated in Tudor times.

    But first, here is the account of Christ’s crucifixion from John’s Gospel. I’ve chosen the 16th century Tyndale Bible:

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  • Food at Easter

    This week’s Friday video is hosted by Brigitte Webster and is all about the wonderful feasting and food of Easter. After a period of abstinence during Lent, what did the Tudors actually enjoy eating?

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  • Maundy Thursday in the medieval and Tudor period

    Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper, that final meal that Jesus Christ had with his disciples before his arrest.
    In Tudor times, on Maundy Thursday, the church was prepared for Easter with water and wine being used to wash the altars and it was traditional for people to go to confession. The three holy oils – the chrism oil, the oil of catechumens and the oil of the sick – were also blessed on this day.

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  • Poet Thomas Churchyard, Sir Ambrose Cave, Elizabeth Boleyn and the knighting of Francis Drake

    In this second part of This Week in Tudor history, which covers 1st to 4th April, historian and author Claire Ridgway talks about Thomas Churchyard, a poet and soldier who kept being imprisoned; Sir Ambrose Cave, a man who joined the Order of St John as early as he possibly could, but survived its dissolution and ended his days serving Elizabeth I; before moving on to the death of Elizabeth Boleyn, Countess of Wiltshire, mother of Queen Anne Boleyn and grandmother of Queen Elizabeth I, and finishing with the knighting of explorer Francis Drake.

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  • Nicola Tallis – The Uncrowned Queen – Expert Talk

    Our April expert speaker is historian Nicola Tallis, author of Crown of Blood and Elizabeth’s Rival. Her latest book, Uncrowned Queen, is on Lady Margaret Beaufort, the matriarch of the Tudor dynasty, and Margaret is the subject of Nicola’s talk for us.

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  • Artists in the Spotlight – Anthony

    This week we put artist Anthony in the spotlight. He's 30 years old, from Birmingham, England and makes gorgeous drawings and paintings.

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  • Priest Holes – Phil Downing – Live Chat Transcript

    What an informative chat we had with Phil Downing. The subject of priest holes, or hides, is such an alien one for us living today, yet for a period of time, they were literally a matter of life and death for some people.

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  • Plays with wonderful titles, Sir Ralph Sadler’s busy life, and a dying king makes his will

    In this first part of This Week in Tudor History for week beginning 29th March, I talk about William Wager, a playwright and clergyman who picked wonderful titles for his works; the interesting life and career of Sir Ralph Sadler, who started out working for Thomas Cromwell and who went on to serve Henry VIII, Edward VI, Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey) and Elizabeth I – oh, and I will tell you about his bigamous marriage! Then, finally, I will leave you with the dying King Henry VIII making his last will and testament.

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  • A Palm Sunday Procession

    Today, Palm Sunday, is the first day of Holy Week, a day which commemorates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, as told in the Gospels:

    “On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, ‘Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.’ And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, ‘Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt’.”

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  • This month – April 2021 – on the Tudor Society

    Every month we have a crammed agenda here at the Tudor Society and this month is no different. Here are many of the thrilling things that are happening in April: 

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  • March Births and Deaths Crossword Puzzle

    As we’re very nearly at the end of March, I though I’d test your knowledge of Tudor people who were either born or died in March. These are all people who have been mentioned in posts and videos on the Tudor Society website, but how much can you remember about them?

    Test yourself with this fun puzzle.

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  • Tudor Meals: Tarte of Apples and Orange Peels

    For this month’s Tudor recipe, we tried to make a pie with apples and orange peels. It wasn’t easy, but if you are up for a baking challenge and love the taste of oranges, then we do recommend making this tarte. 

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  • April 2021 – Tudor Life – Greed

    This month we’re looking into the sin of greed and it has led to this fascinating magazine.

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  • Tudor Life April 2021 Taster

    Enjoy this sample copy of our April 2021 Tudor Life magazine, all about Tudor Greed. Why not join the Tudor Society and enjoy ALL of our back issues all the way back to 2014!

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  • What did Tudor people sound like?

    In this week’s Friday video, I wanted to consider the question “what did Tudor people sound like?” and to share some resources on this topic with you. I’d love to travel back in time to hear them speak!

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  • Special offers on Toni Mount’s books

    I know many of you enjoy historical fiction, so I just wanted to alert you to the fact that there are some special offers on the kindle versions of the Seb Foxley medieval mystery series from today until 29th March 2021. The series is written by our very own Toni Mount, who contributes to Tudor Life Magazine every month.

    To celebrate the release of her latest Seb Foxley book, The Colour of Evil, Toni’s first novel The Colour of Poison is free on kindle, and the others in the series are 99c/99p kindle countdown deals. You don’t even need a kindle because you can download the kindle app for your PC, tablet or mobile device.

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  • Walter Raleigh’s colonisation, war over vestments, an earl who saved the day, and some burnings

    In part two of this week in Tudor history, I talk about Walter Raleigh (Ralegh) being given permission to colonise foreign lands in 1584; a disagreement over the wearing of vestments in 1566 which led to a pamphlet war, protests and ministers losing their parishes; a Tudor earl who saved the day for Henry VIII during the 1536 Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion, and the burnings of three Protestant martyrs in Essex in 1555.

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  • Research discovers definitive likeness of Shakespeare

    Last week a great discovery was made. Shakespeare’s bust, which stands in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, appears to be a good likeness of the playwright, poet and actor. Research finds that the bust was made by tomb-maker Nicholas Johnson. 

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  • Margaret Ward (c.1550-1588)

    Margaret Ward was born in Congleton, Cheshire, in around 1550; however, this is an estimated guess as we know very little information regarding her early life.

    What we do know is that Margaret was living in London, working in the service of a lady, when she found out about the suffering of Richard Watson, a Catholic priest who was imprisoned at Bridewell Prison. She eventually obtained permission to visit him, and over the course of her visits, the guards became less cautious. This lack of caution enabled Margaret to formulate an escape plan for Watson. Margaret’s plan involved commissioning a boatman to take him to safety after he had escaped using some rope that she would provide.

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