The Tudor Society
  • 4 August – Rebels fight most valiantly

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th August 1549, in the reign of King Edward VI, the Battle of Woodbury Common, part of the Prayer Book Rebellion, took place on Woodbury Common, near the village of Woodbury in East Devon.

    The battle was between the rebels and the crown troops commanded by John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford. Although the rebels fought valiantly, they were defeated.

    Find out more about the battle and what caused the Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549 in today’s talk.

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  • 3 August – A notorious Tudor rake

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd August 1562, Essex magnate and notorious rake, John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford, died at his home, Hedingham Castle in Essex.

    Oxford served four Tudor monarchs and was great chamberlain at the height of his career, but he had a rather colourful reputation. Find out more about the life of this Earl of Oxford and what gave him his reputation in today’s talk.

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  • 2 August – Spaniards land in Cornwall and cause trouble

    On 2nd August 1595, as part of the Anglo-Spanish War of 1585-1604, four galleys containing somewhere between 200 and 400 Spanish soldiers landed at Mount’s Bay on the coast of western Cornwall.

    The local militia fled and so the Spaniards went on to cause devastation in the area.

    Find out exactly what the Spaniards did in Cornwall in today’s talk.

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  • Queen Jane or Lady Jane Grey True or False Quiz

    The month of July has just come to an end, but July was an important month for Queen Jane, or Lady Jane Grey, as she was Queen of England for a short time.

    But how much do you know about this ill-fated Tudor queen?

    Test your knowledge with this fun Lady Jane Grey Quiz.

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  • 1 August – A young blind woman is burnt for heresy

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st August 1556, a blind woman named Joan Waste was burnt in Derby for heresy after she refused to recant her Protestant faith.

    Joan was just twenty-two when she died and had learnt the New Testament by having people read it to her.

    Find out more about Protestant martyr, Joan Waste, her short life and her sad end, in today’s talk.

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  • Elizabeth I and the French – Estelle Paranque – Expert Talk

    Elizabeth I is arguably the most successful and well known Tudor monarchs. In this talk, Estelle looks at Elizabeth from a different perspective – how she was seen by the French and how it shows her in a very different light.

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  • 31 July – Henry Grey, father of Lady Jane Grey, is released from the Tower

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st July 1553, Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, was “discharged out of the Tower by the Earle of Arundell and had the Quenes pardon.”

    Suffolk had, of course, been imprisoned after Mary I had overthrown his daughter, Queen Jane, or Lady Jane Grey, and his release was down to his wife, Frances, interceding with the queen and begging for mercy.

    But who was Henry Grey and how did he go from being pardoned to being executed in 1554?

    Find out in today’s talk.

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  • Poisons in the medieval and Tudor periods

    This week’s Claire Chats has been inspired by the recent video I did on Richard Hesketh and the Hesketh plot, in which I mentioned Ferdinando Stanley and his belief that he’d been poisoned, so he took bezoar stone and unicorn’s horn to try and counteract the poison. It made me want to dig a bit deeper into poisoning in the medieval and Tudor period, and find out what poisons were used to do away with people.

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  • August 2020 – Tudor Life – Tudor Cousins

    In this month’s 88-page magazine we’ve packed every page with articles about Tudor Cousins and the problems or benefits that it gave! We also have a wonderful article from Elizabeth Timms about the Bayne Tower at Hampton Court Palace and another on the hidden Tudor gem Harvington Hall by Phil Downing. It’s a wonderful magazine as always!

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  • Tudor Life August 2020 Taster

    In the full 88-page August magazine we’ve packed every page with articles about Tudor Cousins and the problems or benefits that it gave! We also have a wonderful article from Elizabeth Timms about the Bayne Tower at Hampton Court Palace and another on the hidden Tudor gem Harvington Hall by Phil Downing. It’s a wonderful magazine as always!

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  • 30 July – Elizabeth leaves Somerset House to meet Mary

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th July 1553, Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, left her new home, Somerset House, to ride to Wanstead and greet her half-sister, Mary, who’d been officially proclaimed queen on 19th July.

    Somerset House was Elizabeth’s new London residence and you can find out more about how Elizabeth acquired it and who built it originally in today’s talk.

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  • 29 July – England’s clever tactics against the Spanish Armada

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th July 1588, the English naval fleet attacked the Spanish Armada in a battle known as the Battle of Gravelines.

    England defeated Spain and it was down to the new tactics they’d learned from previous encounters with the Armada and from capturing a Spanish ship, as well as weather conditions.

    What were these new and successful tactics and what happened at the Battle of Gravelines?

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  • 28 July – A botched execution for Thomas Cromwell

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th July 1540, the same day that Henry VIII married Catherine Howard, Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, the king’s former chief advisor, was beheaded on Tower Hill having been found guilty of corruption, heresy and treason.

    Find out about Cromwell’s botched execution and his execution speech in today’s talk.

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  • Transcript of live chat with Gayle Hulme

    We had a wide-ranging chat all about Arbella Stuart, with Gayle Hulme and it was great fun to learn even more about this lesser-known Tudor figure. Here’s the transcript.

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  • 27 July – A Welshman comes to a sticky end on Anglesey

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th July 1593, Roman Catholic priest and martyr, Blessed William Davies, was hanged, drawn and quartered at Beaumaris Castle on the Island of Anglesey.

    You may not have heard of William Davies, but he is believed to have been involved in the printing of “Y Drych Christianogawl”, or The Christian Mirror, an important early Welsh Catholic book and the first book to be printed on Welsh soil, while he was hiding in cave!

    Find out more about Davies, how he came to be hiding in a cave in North Wales, and why he was executed, in today’s talk.

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  • 26 July – Anne Boleyn and St Anne

    Today, 26th July, is the feast day of St Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ. Happy St Anne’s Day to any Annes or Annas out there! Have a wonderful day!

    St Anne was very important to Queen Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I, and a pageant at her coronation procession in 1533 took St Anne, combined with Anne Boleyn’s falcon badge, as its theme.

    Find out more about the pageant at Anne Boleyn’s coronation, and why St Anne was chosen as the theme, in today’s talk.

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  • Late July Tudor Events Quiz

    As is the same with every month, July was a jam-packed month for important Tudor events, but how much do you know about this month’s Tudor events? Test yourself with this week’s fun quiz – good luck!

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  • 25 July – A fool gets into big trouble

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th July 1535, the Feast of St James, t, the imperial ambassador wrote about a furious King Henry VIII who’d apparently been nearly driven to commit murder!

    What had angered the king? Well, it involved Henry VIII’s fool and some foolish name-calling. Find out more in today’s talk.

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  • 24 July – Richard Hesketh and his plot to depose Elizabeth I

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th July 1553, merchant and conspirator Richard Hesketh was born in Lancashire. Hesketh is known for the Hesketh Plot of 1593, when he urged Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby, to lead a rebellion to claim the throne of England.

    But who was Richard Hesketh and why did he plot against Queen Elizabeth I? What happened to him and what happened to Ferdinando Stanley? And why did Stanley take bezoar stone and uncorn horn?

    Find out all about Hesketh, his background, his plot, and the aftermath in today’s talk.

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  • Herbs grown in Tudor gardens

    I love herbs and essential oils and I find it fascinating looking into what Tudor housewives grew in their gardens and why. In this week’s Claire Chats talk, I thought I’d share with you some of the popular herbs of the medieval and Tudor periods and what they were thought to do.

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  • 23 July – Baby Mary, Queen of Scots, escapes with her mother

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd July 1543, or 24th according to some sources, Marie de Guise and her baby daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, escaped from Linlithgow Palace, helped by Cardinal David Beaton, and taken to Stirling Castle.

    Why? What was going on in Scotland at this time?

    Find out all about Mary’s early months as Queen of Scots, and why Beaton helped her and her mother to move to Stirling, in today’s talk.

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  • 22 July – Playwright Edward Sharpham and his Cupid’s Whirligig

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd July 1576, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, playwright and pamphleteer, Edward Sharpham, was baptised at Colehanger, East Allington, in Devon. Sharpham is thought to have written the plays “The Fleire” and “Cupid’s Whirligig”, and fellow playwright Ben Jonson referred to him as a rogue.

    Find out more about this lesser-known Tudor man and his comedy Cupid’s Whirligig in today’s talk.

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  • 21 July – The arrest of John Dudley

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st July, 1553, just days after he’d left London with an army to apprehend Mary, half-sister of the late king, Edward VI, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland was arrested near Cambridge.

    But how and why did the man who had ruled England on Edward VI’s behalf, as Lord President of his privy council, come to this?

    I explain his role in the accession of Lady Jane Grey as Queen Jane in July 1553 and what happened when Mary overthrew Queen Jane.

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  • 20 July – Queen Claude of France

    On this day in history, 20th July 1524, Queen Claude of France, consort of Francis I, died at the age of just twenty-four at the Royal Chateau of Blois. She was temporarily laid to rest there and then later moved to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis just outside Paris.

    Brantôme declared that Claude’s husband, Francis I, gave her “the pox, which shortened her days”, meaning syphilis, but the cause of her death is not known for certain.

    In today’s talk, I give an overview of Queen Claude’s life, as well as sharing the theories regarding her death.

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  • 19 July – The sinking of the Mary Rose

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th July 1545, Henry VIII’s flagship, the Mary Rose, sank right in front of his eyes in the Battle of the Solent between the English and French fleets.

    But why did the Mary Rose sink?

    In today’s talk, I share the various theories on the sinking of the Mary Rose, as well as talking about the salvage operations over time, her raising in 1983, and the work of the Mary Rose Trust.

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  • The Summer of 3 Monarchs Crossword Puzzle

    The summer of 1553 was very eventful and saw three different Tudor monarchs rule England in just the month of July: King Edward VI, Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey) and Queen Mary I.

    How much do you know about the events of summer 1553 and the struggle for the throne?

    Test those little grey cells with this week’s puzzle, a fun crossword puzzle. Simply click on the link or image below to open and print out. Good luck!

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  • 18 July – Queen Jane is betrayed and Queen Mary wins

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th July 1553, while her father-in-law and his forces made their way from Cambridge to Bury St Edmunds to stand against the forces of Mary, and Jane was busy writing to men requesting them to muster forces to support her, Jane was being betrayed by members of her council.

    William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, and Henry Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, called a council meeting and Pembroke was even said to have threatened council members with a sword! They then proclaimed for Mary.

    Find out more about what happened on 18th and 19th July 1553 in today’s talk.

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  • 17 July – Richard Carew, a multi-talented man

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th July 1555, Richard Carew, was born at Antony House, Torpoint, in Cornwall.

    As well as serving his county and country in several offices, Carew was also an antiquary, bee-keeper, translator and poet. He is known for his book a “Survey of Cornwall”, which has been reprinted on several occasions over the centuries.

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  • Hunting in Medieval and Tudor times

    Following on from last week’s Claire Chats video on falconry or hawking in the medieval and Tudor periods, I thought that I’d take a look at a pastime enjoyed by the upper classes, that of hunting.

    What did the Tudors hunt? How did they hunt? I explain more about it in this talk.

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  • 16 July – The death of Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th July 1557, forty-one-year-old Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of King Henry VIII, died at her home, Chelsea Old Manor. She’d been ill for a few months.

    Anne of Cleves was a warm and generous lady, something which is shown in her last wishes with the bequests to her household, friends and stepdaughters.

    Find out more about her bequests and her funeral arrangements in today’s talk.

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