The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • 5 May – A pardon for Queen Catherine Howard’s stepgrandmother

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th May 1542, just under three months after the execution of her stepgranddaughter, Queen Catherine Howard, Agnes Tilney, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, was pardoned and released from the Tower of London.

    Find out how the dowager duchess ended up in the Tower in today’s video.

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  • The Fall of Anne Boleyn Crossword Puzzle

    As yesterday’s informal live chat was on the Fall of Anne Boleyn and we’re coming to the anniversary of Queen Anne Boleyn’s execution, I thought I’d do a crossword puzzle to test your knowledge of her fall in May 1536 and the people and places involved.

    I hope you enjoy it!

    Good luck!

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  • 4 May – Claimant Edmund de la Pole

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video, I mark the anniversary of the execution of Edmund de la Pole by sharing some information about him and his brother, Richard, and what led to Edmund’s demise on the scaffold at Tower Hill.

    What led to Edmund finally being beheaded after nine years of imprisonment and what happened to Richard de la Pole?

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  • Claire Chats – Law in Medieval and Tudor England

    In this week’s Claire Chats, I look at how the legal system worked in the medieval period before looking at the legal machinery that was used in the cases of Queen Anne Boleyn and the five men implicated in her fall in May 1536.

    I highly recommend Ian Mortimer’s book “The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England” and also Toni Mount’s excellent online history course “England’s Crime and Punishment through the Ages” which goes from justice in the 7th century all the way to prison reformers of the 19th century.

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  • 3 May – Thomas Tusser and his advice for May

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd May 1580, poet, farmer and agricultural writer Thomas Tusser died.

    I mark the anniversary of his death by sharing with you his verses for the month of May.

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  • 2 May – Mary, Queen of Scots escapes!

    On this day in Tudor history, 2 May 1568, Mary, Queen of Scots, who had recently been forced to abdicate in favour of her son, King James VI, successfully escaped from Lochleven Castle.

    How did she end up a prisoner at Lochleven? How did she escape? And what happened next?

    Let me explain…

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  • Jane Grey – Expert Talk – Tamise Hills

    Tamise Hills from the Lady Jane Grey Reference Guide is our expert guest speaker for May, and her talk looks at what resources there are to help us understand this often forgotten Tudor queen.

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  • Happy May Day!

    Happy May Day! Today, 1st May, is May Day, a special day in Tudor England. Today, in the UK, the May Day holiday is the first Monday in May so today is a normal working day, what a shame. Here in Spain, it is a bank holiday, but is the “Day of the Worker” and just time to relax, rather than to do anything special.

    In the Tudor period, 1st May was was seen as the first day of summer. May Day had its roots in ancient celebrations of fertility and was celebrated with special processions, plays and pantomimes, pageants, Morris dancing and the crowning of a May Queen. There would also be a Maypole, a tall wooden pole decorated with greenery and flowers and hung with ribbons. People would hold the ribbons and dance around the Maypole weaving the ribbons together in patterns.

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  • 1 May – The Evil May Day Riot

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st May 1517, foreign traders in London had their shops and property vandalised and damaged by a mob of angry apprentices and labourers.

    What sparked off this “Evil May Day Riot”? What happened to the troublemakers? And how did Queen Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII’s sisters, Margaret and Mary, get involved? Let me explain…

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  • May 2019 – Tudor Life – The Boleyns

    May’s Tudor Life magazine is focused on the Boleyn Family, including the infamous Anne Boleyn, but also her brother George Boleyn, father Thomas Boleyn, sister Mary Boleyn and even wider. As always it’s packed from start to finish with interesting facts, articles and stunning photos. We’ve even got an exclusive “behind the scenes” photo montage from Hever Castle. Not to be missed …

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  • May 2019 Tudor Life Taster

    WHY NOT JOIN AND ENJOY THE WHOLE 76 PAGE MAGAZINE?? May’s Tudor Life magazine is focused on the Boleyn Family, including the infamous Anne Boleyn.

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  • 30 April – Lawyer James Bainham’s end at Smithfield

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th April 1532, in the reign of King Henry VIII, lawyer James Bainham was burned at the stake at Smithfield for his reformed faith.

    Find out more about what led this man to the stake, as well as an account of his end, in today’s video.

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  • May’s live chats – 4 and 31 May

    Just in case you haven’t noticed the dates on the schedule, I wanted to alert you to the times and dates of May’s live chats.

    Our informal live chat is on 4th May at 11pm UK time. The topic is the fall of Anne Boleyn. An informal chat is just that, an informal debate where all points of view are welcome. We can pose questions to each other, discuss our points of view, recommend books etc. anything related to Anne Boleyn’s fall in 1536.

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  • 29 April – Sir Dru Drury – from prisoner to jailer

    On this day in history, 29th April 1617, Sir Dru Drury died at the age of around 85 at his home, Riddlesworth Hall in Norfolk.

    He may have died in the Stuart period, but Dru was prominent in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. What is interesting is that he went from being a prisoner to being Lieutenant of the Tower of London!

    Find out more about him in today’s video.

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  • Live Transcript – Nathen Amin – The Beauforts

    What a wonderful live chat we had last night with Nathen Amin. All sorts of questions were asked and expertly answered and I think we all learned a lot. For those members who missed the chat, here is the transcript.

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  • 28 April – The funeral of Queen Elizabeth I

    On this day in history, 28th April 1603, the last Tudor monarch, Queen Elizabeth I, was laid to rest at Westminster Abbey in a lavish funeral.

    In today’s video, I share an excerpt from my book “On This Day in Tudor History” about Elizabeth I’s burial and resting place.

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  • Edward VI – True or false quiz

    This week’s Sunday quiz tests your knowledge of the third Tudor monarch, the boy-king Edward VI.

    How much do you know about him? Find out with this fun quiz. Good luck!

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  • 27 April – The death of David Lewis of Abergavenny

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th April 1584, civil lawyer and judge, David Lewis, died in London.

    You’ve probably never heard of David ap Lewis, but he was an important judge, being involved in the maritime legal cases of Queen Elizabeth I’s reign. It’s always interesting to learn more about these lesser-known Tudor people, so I share some David Lewis facts in today’s video.

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  • Live chat – Sunday 28 April – Nathen Amin

    Just a reminder that our April expert chat, a Q&A session with Nathen Amin on his recent talk on the Beauforts, will take place on Sunday 28th April. One lucky chat participant will win a copy of Nathen’s book “The House of Beaufort”.

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  • 26 April – The marriage of Catherine Carey and Francis Knollys

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th April 1540, Catherine Carey, daughter of Mary Boleyn and niece of the late Queen Anne Boleyn, married Francis Knollys.

    It is not known whether the marriage was a love match, but it appears to have been a very happy and successful marriage, and resulted in 14 children.

    Find out more about this Tudor couple in today’s video.

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  • Little Moreton Hall – Roving Reporter

    This month Philippa Lacey Brewell has been visiting Little Moreton Hall, a stunning Tudor time-capsule which almost defies gravity. The is detailed look at the building, it’s history, inhabitants and features is fascinating.

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  • 25 April – Thomas Stafford, Protector of the Realm

    On this day in Tudor history, 25 April 1557, Tudor troublemaker Thomas Stafford, grandson of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, proclaimed himself "Protector of the Realm". It didn't go down well!

    Find out why he did this, what happened and how it wasn't his first brush with trouble, in today's video

    Also on this day in history:

    • 1509 – Birth of Thomas Vaux, 2nd Baron Vaux, poet associated with Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.
    • 1513 – Death of Sir Edward Howard, naval commander, by drowning, in an attack on the French fleet. Edward was the second son of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk.
    • 1526 – Death of Charles Somerset, 1st Earl of Worcester, illegitimate son of Henry Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset, and his mistress Joan Hill. He was buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor.
    • 1544 – Publication of Queen Catherine Parr's English translation of John Fisher's "Psalms or Prayers". It was published anonymously.
      1551 – Death of Alice More, Lady More, second wife of Sir Thomas More. Her exact date of death is not known, but it was around 25th April 1551. She was buried at Chelsea.
    • 1557 – “A Masque of Almains, Pilgrims and Irishmen” was performed in front of Queen Mary I and Philip of Spain.
    • 1599 – Birth of Oliver Cromwell, future Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.
    • 1603 – Burial of Katherine Howard, Countess of Nottingham, eldest daughter of Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, at All Saints, Chelsea. Elizabeth I was said to be very distressed at her friend's death.
  • 24 April – Mary, Queen of Scots gets married

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th April 1558, fifteen-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, got married for the first time. The groom was fourteen-year-old Francis, the Dauphin of France.

    Find out more about the bride and groom, their wedding and what happened to them in today’s video.

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  • 23 April – William Shakespeare’s Birth and Death

    Not only is today the anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare in 1564, but it is also the anniversary of his death in 1616!

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video, I share some facts about the Bard, along with a few phrases from his works that have become part of common parlance.

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  • 22 April – Gaol Fever Hits!

    On this day in Tudor history, 22 April 1598, Justice Francis Beaumont died after contracting gaol fever at the Black Assizes of the Northern Circuit.

    But what exactly was gaol fever?

    Let me explain…

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  • Happy Easter!

    Tim and I would just like to take this opportunity to say a very Happy Easter to all Tudor Society members. We hope you have a wonderful day, whatever you are up to today.Find out more about how Easter Sunday was celebrated in Tudor times, and also enjoy some photos I took at a re-enactment of the Easter story, in my article Easter Sunday.

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  • 21 April – The king is dead! Long live the king!

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st April 1509, King Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty on the English throne, died at Richmond Palace.

    Henry VII was succeeded by his seventeen-year-old son who, apparently, did “not desire gold or gems or precious metals, but virtue, glory, immortality”! Yes, this was Henry VIII.

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  • April Tudor Events Crossword

    Happy Easter!

    As our last week’s puzzle was an Easter-themed one, I thought that, today, I’d test your knowledge on April “on this day in Tudor history” events. My daily posts and videos will definitely help you with this. Good luck!

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  • 20 April – The end of the Nun of Kent

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th April 1534, Elizabeth Barton, a Benedictine nun who became known as “the Nun of Kent” or “the Holy Maid of Kent”, was hanged for treason at Tyburn along with a few of her supporters.

    This young woman had experienced religious visions and people had even flocked to her on pilgrimages. All was well until her visions concerned Henry VIII, his quest for an annulment and his marriage to Anne Boleyn.

    Also on this day in history:

    • 1483 – Burial of Edward IV in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
    • 1523 – Death of Henry Clifford, 10th Baron Clifford, magnate. At around the age of sixty, Clifford led a force at the Battle of Flodden in 1513 against the Scots.
    • 1534 – Prominent citizens of London were required to swear the “Oath of the Act of Succession”.
    • 1578 – Death of Lady Mary Keys (née Grey), sister of Lady Jane Grey and wife of Thomas Keys, Sergeant Porter to Elizabeth I. Mary married Keys in secret in 1565, angering Elizabeth I. As a result, Keys was thrown into Fleet Prison and Mary was put into the care of Sir William Hawtrey at Chequers. Mary was later moved to the home of Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk and her stepgrandmother, and then on to that of Sir Thomas Gresham. In 1568, Keys was released from prison, but he died in 1571 without ever being reconciled with Mary. Mary stayed with Gresham, voluntarily because she had nowhere else to go, until moving to her stepfather's house in 1573 and setting up her own home in London. She died at her home in London.
    • 1584 – Execution of sixty year-old James Bell, Catholic priest and martyr, at Lancaster. Bell had been found guilty of being a Catholic recusant and celebrating the mass, and sentenced to death for high treason.
    • 1587 - Burial of John Foxe, martyrologist, in St Giles, Cripplegate. He died 18th April at his home in Grub Street, in the same parish.
  • A Good Friday (Viernes Santo) Procession

    Tim and I got up extra early this morning to go to the town at the bottom of our mountain to take part in the dawn Good Friday (Viernes Santo) procession.

    This annual procession starts at the town church and makes its way up to “Calvario” (Calvary), the hill behind the town on which there is a big wooden cross. We process with a big statue of Jesus carrying his cross and also a replica of Jesus actually on the cross. As we make our way up the hill, we pause at each of the 12 stations of the cross for a reading and prayers. When we reach the cross, the replica of Jesus on the cross is hoisted up onto it. Later in the day, there is another service and procession when Jesus is taken down off the cross.

    It is a beautiful and very moving procession, and I’m so glad that we got up for it.

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