The Tudor Society
  • 4 September – A marriage is agreed between Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th September 1539, William, Duke of Cleves, signed the marriage treaty promising his sister, Anne of Cleves, in marriage to King Henry VIII.

    Anne would of course become Henry VIII’s fourth wife.

    Find out all about the marriage agreement and its terms, and what happened next, in today’s talk.

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  • Fast Food Tudor Style

    Fast food is very much part of our world today, with cities worldwide having burger franchises, pizza outlets, fish and chip shops, Indian and Chinese restaurants, and lots more, and it made me wonder about fast food and street food in Tudor times, so I did some digging for this week’s Claire Chats talk…

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  • 3 September – The death of a clown

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd September 1588, or possibly the 5th September, actor and clown, Richard Tarlton, died in Shoreditch. He was buried in St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch.

    Tarlton was a member of the Queen’s Men acting company, but is famed for his post-play jigs as a clown. He was also known for being able to cheer up Queen Elizabeth I – how wonderful.

    Find out more about Tudor clown Richard Tarlton, his life and career, in today’s talk.

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  • 2 September – A very wealthy Irish earl dies in the Tower

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd September 1534, Gerald Fitzgerald, 9th Earl of Kildare and Lord Deputy of Ireland, died in the Tower of London at around the age of 47. Kildare had been arrested on 29th June 1534, accused of corruption and causing rebellion in Ireland.

    Kildare seems to have spent most of his career being accused of crimes, but his son Silken Thomas’s rebellion was his final undoing.

    He was already ill when he was arrested and imprisoned, suffering from the after effects of being shot, but at least his wife was able to nurse him.

    Find out more about this Earl of Kildare, his life and career, in today’s talk.

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  • Toni Mount’s books on special offer until 3 September

    I’m sure you’ll all join me in congratulating Tudor Life magazine regular contributor Toni Mount on the release of her 8th Sebastian Foxley medieval murder mystery novel, The Colour of Shadows, today. As I’m married to her publisher, I was able to read it early (yay!) and it’s my favourite so far, soooooo good! Well done, Toni!

    If you haven’t read any of the Seb Foxley books, now is the perfect time because books 1-7 are 99p or 99c each until the end of Thursday (3 September). It’s a wonderful series. Like C J Sansom’s novels, Toni does a fabulous job at bringing historical London to life, with the sights and smell, and her characters are wonderful.

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  • 1 September – Elizabethan actor Edward Alleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st September 1566, Edward Alleyn, a major figure in the Elizabethan theatre, was born in the parish of St Botolph without Bishopsgate, London, and baptised the following day.

    In today’s talk, I 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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  • Joan Beaufort and Richard III – Nathen Amin – Expert Talk

    This month we have Nathen Amin back as our expert speaker. Nathen’s knowledge on the Beaufort’s is amazing and this talk takes us to an area most wouldn’t have thought about … Joan Beaufort and Richard III.

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  • William Neville (1497- 1545?)

    Poet William Neville was born on 15th July 1497 and was the second son of Richard Neville, 2nd Baron Latimer, and Anne Stafford, daughter of Humphrey Stafford. His older brother was John Neville, 3rd Baron Latimer, who had Catherine Parr as his third wife.

    Not much is known about the life of William Neville, but what we do know is rather interesting and involves treason and dark magic.

    It is believed that when he was young, William served under Cardinal Wolsey and would have been provided with the education typically given to the son of a baron. Although we know very little more about his early years, we do know that from 1524 he served as a commissioner of the peace for Worcestershire.

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  • 31 August – The Bloody Flux

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st August 1545, a contagious disease known as the ‘Bloody flux’ hit the port of Portsmouth, killing many of the men serving on the ships in its port.

    But what was the Bloody Flux? What were its symptoms and why did it kill so many soldiers and sailors?

    Find out about the disease, famous victims of the Bloody Flux, and how it is still affecting people today, in this talk:

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  • 30 August – The Treaty of the More

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th August 1525, the Treaty of the More was agreed between King Henry VIII of 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.

    Why was Francis in prison? What were the terms of the Treaty of the More? How did this treaty affect Henry VIII’s daughter, Mary? And what happened next.

    Find out all about the Treaty of the More and its consequences in today’s talk.

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  • Late August Tudor People, Places and Events Wordsearch

    This week’s Sunday puzzle tests your knowledge of people, places and events linked to late August in the Tudor period. How much have you remembered from my Tudor videos and posts? Test yourself with this fun wordsearch.

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

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

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

    In today’s talk, 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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  • Online lecture from Simon Thurley – Tudor Ambition: Houses of the Boleyn Family

    Thank you to Lucia Graves from Gresham College for letting me know about this online lecture from architectural historian Simon Thurley, who you might know from his books on royal palaces.

    The lecture is taking place on Wednesday, 16 September 2020, 6:00PM – 7:00PM UK time, and you can register for free at…

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  • 28 August – Robert Dudley’s last letter to Elizabeth I

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th August 1588, an ailing Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, wrote his final letter to his queen and childhood friend, Elizabeth I. He wrote it while on his way to Buxton, in Derbyshire, to take the waters for his health.

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

    In today’s talk, I share a transcript of Robert Dudley’s last letter, and talk about Elizabeth I’s reaction to his subsequent death.

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  • Anne Boleyn’s link to a Corpus Christi parade in Spain

    Thank you so much to Tudor Society member Ceri Creffield for inspiring this week’s Claire Chats talk by telling me about the gigantones of Toledo and Anne Boleyn. I just had to find out more, particularly as I live in Spain and had never heard of this tradition.

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  • Live chat transcript – Estelle Paranque – Elizabeth I and the French

    We had a wonderful time in the chatroom with historian Estelle Paranque asking questions about Elizabeth I and her relationship with France. A wonderful hour of talking Tudor.

    Here is a transcript for those of you who missed it.

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  • 27 August – The Battle of St Quentin

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th August 1557, 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. Henry Dudley, the youngest son of the late John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was killed by a cannonball during the storming.

    Find out about the siege and battle, and what happened next, in today’s talk.

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  • 26 August – A devastated Mary I prepares to be abandoned

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th August 1555, Queen Mary I and her husband, Philip of Spain, departed from Whitehall in preparation for Philip’s return to the Low Countries.

    This was an awful time for Mary I. She had just come out of confinement after months of believing she was pregnant, and now her husband was leaving her. He’d 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, in today’s talk.

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  • September 2020 – Tudor Life – France and the Tudors

    In this month’s packed magazine we have gone all continental with great articles highlighting the connection between France and the Tudors.

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  • Tudor Life September 2020 Taster

    In the full September magazine, we have gone all continental with great articles highlighting the connection between France and the Tudors. It’s another great magazine from the Tudor Society!

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  • 25 August – Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk and uncle of two queens

    On this day in history, 25th August 1554, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, magnate, soldier and uncle of Queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, died of natural causes at his home of Kenninghall in Norfolk. He was laid to rest in St Michael’s Church, Framlingham, Suffolk.

    Find out more about this important Tudor man, and how he escaped the axe-man and died at a good age in his bed, in this talk.

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  • 24 August – Cecily of York, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th August 1507, Cecily of York, Viscountess Welles, died at Hatfield in Hertfordshire. She was buried at “the friars”.

    Cecil was, of course, the daughter of King Edward IV and his queen consort, Elizabeth Woodville, and the sister of Elizabeth of York and the Princes in the Tower, but there’s far more to her than that.

    Did you know that she married without permission and had to be sheltered by Lady Margaret Beaufort?

    Find out all about Cecil of York’s life in today’s talk.

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  • 23 August – The Siege of Haddington

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd August 1548, Francis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury, arrived at the Siege of Haddington, in East Lothian, Scotland, with a large army. This siege was part of the Anglo-Scottish war known as the War of the Rough Wooing between England and Scotland., regarding Henry VIII’s desire to marry his son, Edward, off to Mary, Queen of Scots.

    What happened at this siege and to Haddington after it?

    Find out in today’s talk.

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  • Which Tudor Woman?

    This week’s Sunday puzzle is a crossword puzzle testing your knowledge of Tudor women. All of the women featured have had articles written about them here on the Tudor Society.

    So, grab a bite to eat, a cup of your favourite beverage and let’s get those brain cells working!

    Good luck!

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

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  • 22 August – The end of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd August 1553, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was beheaded on Tower Hill for his part in putting his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey, on the throne. Northumberland’s friends and supporters, Sir John Gates and Sir Thomas Palmer, were also executed.

    Northumberland was actually scheduled to die the previous day and the crowd turned up to see, the scaffold was prepared and even the executioner was ready… but, instead, the duke was taken to church.


    Find out why and also hear a contemporary account of the duke’s execution in today’s talk.

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  • 21 August – A sad end to a bishop whose career spanned the reigns of three kings

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st August 1536, two months after he was forced to resign his bishopric, Robert Sherborne (Sherborn), former Bishop of Chichester, died at Chichester. He was buried in the cathedral there.

    He was around 82 years of age and it seems a sad end to a man who had done his best to keep his bishopric in order and to serve his king and country.

    Find out more about Robert Sherborne, Bishop of Chichester, and what led to his forced resignation, in today’s talk.

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  • Mental Illness in Tudor Times

    This week’s Claire Chats video talk is inspired by the research that Clare Cherry and I did for our book on George Boleyn and the fact that he was Governor of Bethlehem Hospital, or Bedlam. I don’t know why it sprang to mind but it made me dig a bit more into Bedlam and also how mental illness was viewed and treated in the Tudor period.

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  • 20 August – A proxy wedding for King James VI in Denmark

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

    James had chosen 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, in today’s talk.

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  • 19 August – A defiant but polite Mary I

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th August 1551, Princess Mary, the future Mary I, wrote to her half-brother King Edward VI regarding orders that he had sent, orders that she was not going to obey.

    As historian Henry Ellis noted, this letter is evidence of Mary’s talent at writing and her intellect, and it also shows just how stubborn she could be. But then Edward was stubborn too! He wasn’t going to let his sister defy him but she wasn’t going to obey him and compromise her faith – oh dear!

    Find out more about the situation, and hear Mary’s words to Edward, in today’s talk.

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  • 18 August – The trial of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th August 1553, less than a month after his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey or Queen Jane, had been overthrown by Queen Mary I, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was tried for treason at Westminster Hall in London.

    During his trial, Northumberland pointed out that it couldn’t be treason to be acting by royal warrant and that some of those judging him had acted under the same warrant, but it did him no good.

    Find out what happened at his trial, what his reaction was to his sentence, and what happened to William Parr, Marquess of Northampton, and John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, who were tried with him, in today’s talk.

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