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The Tudor Society
  • Anne of Cleves True or False Quiz

    As yesterday was the anniversary of the marriage of Anne of Cleves and Henry VIII being agreed in 1539, I thought I’d test your knowledge of this fourth wife of Henry VIII with a true or false quiz.

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  • September 4 – Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, dies.

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th September 1588, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, died at Cornbury.

    He was on his way to Buxton to take the waters for his health.

    The death of her favourite, and the man that is considered to be her ‘true love’, was a devastating blow to Elizabeth I and her reaction to the news shows just how much she loved her “sweet Robin”.

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  • September 3 – Death of playwright Robert Greene

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd September 1592, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Elizabethan writer and playwright Robert Greene died in London.

    Robert Greene was a prolific writer, but he is best known for the pamphlet “Greene’s Groats-worth of Wit bought with a Million of Repentance”. It was said that he wrote the pamphlet on his deathbed.

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  • Friday from the Archives – The re-identification of a ‘Catherine Howard’ portrait

    It’s Friday, which means it’s time for me to share a Tudor history treasure from our archives.

    This week, I have a wonderful expert talk from Laura Loney and Ashley Risk who have done extensive research to determine who might be in the famous oval portrait once thought to be Catherine Howard.

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  • September 2 – A naval commander dies

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd September 1591, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Richard Grenville died at sea.

    Grenville was a naval commander and explorer and he died from injuries sustained while commanding his ship, The Revenge, in the Battle of Flores in the Azores.

    Unfortunately, Grenville’s death was a result of him disobeying orders and doing his own thing.

    Alfred, Lord Tennyson, wrote about the battle and the loss of The Revenge in his “The Revenge: A Ballad of the Fleet”.

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  • September 1 – The birth of actor Edward Alleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st September 1566, actor Edward Alleyn was born in the parish of St Botolph without Bishopsgate, London. He was baptised the following day.

    Let me share some facts about Edward Alleyn, including his personal life, the plays he was involved in, his theatre investments, and his desire to be appointed master of the bears, bulls and mastiff dogs…

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  • August 31 – An Ipswich Martyr

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st August 1555, in the reign of Queen Mary I, the queen who has gone down in history as “Bloody Mary”, Robert Samuel, a former minister, was burnt at the stake in Ipswich, Suffolk.

    Robert Samuel was burnt as a heretic, a Protestant martyr. He had continued to minister privately, after being deprived of his living, and he had refused to leave his wife. He stayed firm to his Protestant faith and became one of the Ipswich Martyrs as a result.

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  • August 30 – The Treaty of the More between Henry VIII and Louise of Savoy

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th August 1525, in the reign of King Henry VIII, the Treaty of the More was agreed between England and Louise of Savoy, who was acting as regent for her son, King Francis I of France, while he was imprisoned by imperial forces.

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  • August 29 – The Feast of the Beheading of St John the Baptist

    Today, 29th August, is the Feast of the beheading of St John the Baptist.

    In this video, I share the story behind this Tudor holy day, a story which is often depicted in illuminations in manuscripts and psalters.

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  • The Reign of King Henry VII Crossword Puzzle

    How much do you know about the reign of the first Tudor monarch. King Henry VII?

    Test yourself with this fun crossword puzzle.

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  • August 28 – Robert Dudley writes his last letter to Elizabeth I

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th August 1588, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, wrote to his queen and childhood friend.

    Leicester wrote the letter to Elizabeth I while on his way to Buxton, in Derbyshire, to take the waters for his health. He was very ill.

    The letter is very special because following his death in September 1588, Elizabeth labelled it “His Last Letter” and kept it close by her until her own death in 1603.

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  • August 27 – The Battle of St Quentin in Mary I’s reign

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th August 1557, in the reign of Queen Mary I, St Quentin was stormed by English and Imperial forces.

    Admiral de Coligny and his French troops, numbering only a thousand, were overcome by around 60,000 soldiers, and St Quentin fell.

    Sadly, Henry Dudley, the youngest son of the late John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was killed by a cannonball during the storming.

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  • Preparing for a royal birth

    As today is the anniversary of Queen Anne Boleyn taking her chamber at Greenwich to prepare for the birth of her first child, I thought I’d share this talk I did a few years ago on the guidance Lady Margaret Beaufort gave for the birth and christening of a royal child.

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  • August 26 – Mary I prepares for her husband’s departure

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th August 1555, Mary I and her husband, Philip of Spain, departed from Whitehall to prepare for Philip’s departure. He was returning to the Low Countries.

    Mary had just come out of confinement after months of believing she was pregnant, and now her husband was leaving her, so it must have been difficult for her. Philip would be gone for over 18 months.

    Find out more about Mary’s state of health and mind, the arrangements for Philip’s departure, and Mary’s reaction…

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  • August 25 – Norwich is attacked by rebels

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th August 1549, in the reign of King Edward VI, the rebels of Kett’s Rebellion launched an attack on the south side of Norwich and burned a number of buildings.

    Kett’s Rebellion lasted from July 1549 until the 27th August 1549, when they were defeated by Crown forces at the Battle of Dussindale.

    But what was it all about? What were the rebels’ grievances?

    Find out more about this rebellion…

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  • August 24 – The St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in Paris

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th August 1572, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, on the Feast of St Bartholomew, an awful massacre took place across the Channel in the city of Paris. It was followed by further atrocities in other towns and cities in the country.

    Those who suffered were Huguenot men, women and children, French Protestants.

    But what happened and why?

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  • August 23 – The 1548 Siege of Haddington

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd August 1548, in the reign of King Edward VI, Francis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury, arrived at the Siege of Haddington, in East Lothian, Scotland, with a large army.

    The Siege of Haddington was part of the Anglo-Scottish war known as the War of the Rough Wooing between England and Scotland, which had started when Scotland backed out of the treaties which arranged the marriage of Edward VI and Mary, Queen of Scots.

    What happened at this siege and to Haddington after it?

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  • August 22 – The end of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, and the Battle of Bosworth Field

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd August 1553, in the reign of Queen Mary I, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was beheaded on Tower Hill along with his friends and supporters, Sir John Gates and Sir Thomas Palmer.

    Northumberland was executed for his part in putting his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey, on the throne.

    His execution was actually scheduled for the previous day. The executioner was ready and a crowd had turned up to see him die, but the duke was taken to church instead.

    Wny?

    Find out, and also hear a contemporary account of the duke’s execution…

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  • August 21 – The Inventor of Britain

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st August 1568, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, antiquary, translator and cartographer Humphrey Llwyd died from a fever.

    Llwyd is known as the Inventor of Britain and was a key figure in the Renaissance in Wales, but what exactly did he do to deserve such recognition?

    Let me share some facts about this interesting, but little-known, Tudor Welshman…

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  • Tudor Monarchs and their Consorts Word Search

    This week’s Sunday fun is a word search puzzle testing your knowledge of the Tudor monarchs and their consorts.

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

    Have fun!

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  • August 20 – A proxy wedding for James VI and Anne of Denmark

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th August 1589, King James VI of Scotland married Anne of Denmark by proxy at Kronborg Castle, Helsingør, Denmark.

    Twenty-three-year old James had chosen fourteen-year-old Anne of Denmark as his bride after praying and meditating over portraits of her and Catherine of Navarre, and Anne was very excited about marrying him. Unfortunately, married bliss didn’t last long.

    Find out more about the proxy wedding, Anne’s eventful voyage, their real wedding and their married life…

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  • Lots of primary sources to help you

    Here at the Tudor Society, we have lots of links to online primary sources and archives to help you with your Tudor history research, just don’t blame us if you get lost down a rabbit hole or two!

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  • August 19 – Mary, Queen of Scots returns to her homeland

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th August 1561, Mary, Queen of Scots returned to her homeland, Scotland, from France. Her husband, King Francis II of France, had died in December 1560.

    Let me explain the context of her return to Scotland, which would, of course, be the start of her troubles.

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  • August 18 – Virginia Dare

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th August 1587, the first child born to English settlers in the New World was born in the Roanoke Colony.

    Her name was Virginia Dare and the colony has gone down in history as the Lost Colony due to all of its 115 colonists disappearing.

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  • August 17 – Sweating sickness kills a royal servant

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th August 1517, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Italian humanist scholar, cleric and poet Andreas Ammonius died in London. He was laid to rest at St Stephen’s, Westminster.

    Ammonius, who had also served Henry VIII as his Latin secretary and was a great friend of the famous humanist scholar, Erasmus, died of sweating sickness.

    Find out more about Ammonius and the sweating sickness epidemic which caused his death…

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  • August 16 – The Norris family lose another two sons

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th August 1599, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Thomas Norris, soldier and Lord President of Munster in Ireland, died at his home, Mallow Castle, in Cork.

    Norris died as a result of an injury he’d sustained in a skirmish with Irish troops on 30th May 1599. His brother, Henry, died just five days later.

    Thomas and Henry’s brothers, John, William and Maximilian, who were also soldiers, died in 1597, 1579 and 1593 respectively.

    Queen Elizabeth I recognised the sacrifice of the Norris family and wrote a letter of condolence to her friends, Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norris, and his wife, Margery Williams.

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  • On This Day in Tudor History II is available for pre-order now!

    Thank you to all those who bought and read “On This Day in Tudor History” and made it a bestseller, I very much appreciate it. I have had so many people ask me over the last few years whether I was going to do a second “on this day” book and I’ve finally had time this year to put it together. I do hope you enjoy it as much as the first.

    The kindle version is available to pre-order right now and the paperback is coming soon. Both versions will be released on 7th September 2022, so not long to wait.

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  • August 15 – The examinations of the Oaten Hill Martyrs

    On his day in Tudor history, 15th August 1588, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Robert Wilcox, Edward Campion, Christopher Buxton and Robert Widmerpool were examined while imprisoned in the Marshalsea prison in Southwark, London.

    These Catholic men ended up being executed, three of them for being Catholic priests and one for giving aid to priests. All four died with courage. They were beatified in 1929.

    Who were these men and how did they come to be executed?

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  • Margaret Pole Crossword Puzzle

    As today is the anniversary of the birth of Margaret Pole on 14th August 1473, I thought I’d test your knowledge of this fascinating Tudor lady.

    Grab your favourite beverage and snack, and get those little grey cells working with this fun crossword puzzle on Margaret Pole.

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  • August 14 – William Parr and Margaret Pole

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th August 1513, in the reign of King Henry VIII, William Parr, Marquess of Northampton and brother of Queen Catherine Parr, was born.

    William Parr is a fascinating man. He had a wonderful court career, his first wife eloped and left him, his divorce was granted and then rescinded, he was imprisoned in the Tower but then released, his marital happiness was rather shortlived… but he died a natural death!

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