The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • 5 July – The Essex Witches

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th July 1589, three Essex women were hanged at Chelmsford, Essex, after being found guilty of murder by witchcraft. Their names were Joan Cunny, Joan Prentice and Joan Upney.

    In today’s talk, I explain how these women came to be accused of witchcraft and why they were hanged.

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  • Claire Chats – Anne of Cleves Books

    I’ve recently started researching Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of King Henry VIII, and as well as using contemporary sources, such as Tudor chronicles, ambassadors’ dispatches etc., I also look at secondary sources to see what other historians say about the person and to look at the sources they rely on. I love these research journeys and the different tangents and branches I end up following.

    I thought it would be useful to Tudor Society members if I shared some of the books that I have found useful or have bought and will be using for my research into Anne and her life, so here you are!

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  • 4 July – The awful ends of John Frith and Andrew Hewet

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th July 1533, two men were burnt at the stake at Smithfield for heresy: reformer and theologian John Frith, for his belief that Purgatory didn’t exist and that his views on the sacrament, and tailor’s apprentice Andrew Hewt for his belief regarding the sacrament.

    In today’s talk, Claire Ridgway, founder of the Tudor Society, explains just what was ‘wrong’ with these men’s beliefs and how these men were betrayed, as well as sharing contemporary sources about these men’s courageous ends.

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  • 3 July – Catherine of Aragon, you’re not queen!

    Oh dear! Catherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII, had a bit of a bad day on this day in Tudor history, 3rd July 1533. Not only had she trodden on a pin and was suffering with a bad cough, but she was also told that she had to stop calling herself queen – not likely!

    In today’s “on this day” video,I share Thomas Cromwell’s letter to Catherine’s chamberlain on this matter, and also give Catherine’s reaction to it. She was a spirited and strong lady!

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  • 2 July – 13 things you probably didn’t know about Thomas Cranmer

    Today is the anniversary of the birth of that famous Tudor clergyman, statesman, theologian, scholar and highly intelligent man, Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. He was born on 2nd July 1489 at Aslockton in Nottinghamshire.

    I thought I’d mark mark the occasion by sharing a few facts that you might not know about this Tudor birthday boy. Thomas Cranmer is a fascinating Tudor man.

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  • Live Transcript – Roland Hui – Queenship

    Live chat transcript Roland Hui

    Thanks to all who came to the live chat on Saturday night. We had a fast-paced discussion about queenship and in particular the six wives of Henry VIII.

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  • 1 July – An interesting marriage agreement and rough wooing

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st July 1543, in the reign of King Henry VIII, the Treaties of Greenwich were signed.

    These treaties were between the kingdoms of Scotland and England, and, amongst other terms, was the agreement of a marriage between Prince Edward, the future King Edward VI, and Mary, Queen of Scots.

    Scotland’s subsequent rejection of the treaties led to a war known as the Rough Wooing – a great name!

    In today’s video, I explain what these treaties were all about and what happened in the war known as the Rough Wooing, and why it was called that.

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  • 30 June – Henry VIII and Catherine Howard’s ill-fated northern progress

    Things seemed all peachy as King Henry VIII and his fifth wife, Queen Catherine Howard, set off on their progress to the north of England on this day in Tudor history, 30th June 1541. Little did the king know that he’d be stood up by his nephew and that his world would come crashing down on him on his return.

    In today’s video, I explain the motives behind this huge undertaking, what happened on the progress, and why Henry’s life changed so dramatically when he got back.

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  • Tudor surnames and families crossword puzzle – Part 1

    How much do you know about the prominent families of the Tudor period? Those men and women who served the Tudor monarchs.

    Test yourself with this fun crossword puzzle. Good luck!

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  • July 2019 – Tudor Life – Medicine & Health

    July’s 66 Page FULL-COLOUR Tudor Life magazine is focused on Medicine and Health during the Tudor period but as always, our contributors have gone far wider than that with their articles. Enjoy!

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  • 29 June – The Feast of St Peter and St Paul

    Today, 29th June, is the Feast of St Peter and St Paul, which commemorated the martyrdom of the two apostles.

    In medieval and Tudor times, this feast day was the traditional time for the “rushbearing” ceremony. Parishioners would collect rushes, process to church with them, strew the church floor with these freshly-cut rushes, along with new mown hay and wildflowers, and have a special service of dedication.

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  • July 2019 Tudor Life Taster

    WHY NOT JOIN AND ENJOY THE WHOLE 66 PAGE MAGAZINE?? July’s Tudor Life magazine is focused on Medicine and Health during the Tudor period, plus much more!

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  • 29 June – Lady Margaret Beaufort

    Today is the anniversary of the death of sixty-six-year-old Lady Margaret Beaufort on 29th June 1509, just four days after she enjoyed the coronation celebrations of her grandson King Henry VIII and his queen consort. Catherine of Aragon.

    Margaret Beaufort was the matriarch of the Tudor dynasty and was an amazing woman, in many ways, yet she is surrounded by myth and it seems fashionable to see her as a religious zealot. But who was this influential Tudor lady? What did she do?

    In today’s video, I flesh out Margaret Beaufort with a few facts about her and her life.

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  • 28 June – Happy birthday to Henry VIII

    Yes, on this day in Tudor history, 28th June 1491, King Henry VIII, second monarch of the Tudor dynasty, was born at Greenwich Palace.

    This second son, the spare, of King Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth of York ended up becoming King Henry VIII in April 1509 and although in many ways he could be seen as a monstrous tyrant, he did achieve much during his reign.

    In today’s video, I give an overview of this man, his life and his reign.

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  • Baddesley Clinton – Roving Reporter

    This month, Philippa Brewell, our roving reporter, went to visit Baddesley Clinton in Warwickshire. This is a site with history going back to the Norman conquest, but it is of particular interest to Tudor fans because it has priest holes… enjoy this report!

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  • 27 June 1497 – The executions of two of the Cornish rebels

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th June 1497, Thomas Flamank and Michael Joseph (known as Michael an Gof, or Michael the blacksmith), two of the chief commanders of the Cornish rebels, were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.

    The Cornish Rebellion of 1497 had been brought to an end on 17th June, when Henry VII’s forces defeated the rebels at the Battle of Blackheath, which is also known as the Battle of Deptford Bridge.

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  • 27 June – Prince Henry breaks up with Catherine of Aragon

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th June 1505, thirteen-year-old Henry, Prince of Wales, only surviving son of King Henry VII, broke up with nineteen-year-old Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, by repudiating their two-year betrothal.

    It was the eve of their wedding, so why would Henry do this to Catherine?

    Let me explain exactly what happened on this day in 1505 and how the couple ended up getting married four years later.

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  • 26 June – St Thomas More the traitor

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th June 1535, in the reign of King Henry VIII, a new commission of oyer and terminer was appointed in the case against Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s former Lord Chancellor and good friend. More was being indicted for high treason, and, of course, would eventually be executed.

    How had this Tudor statesman come to this?

    In today’s video, I explain why More was accused of high treason.

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  • 25 June – The death of Mary Tudor, Queen of France

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th June 1533, Mary Tudor, former Queen of France, wife of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and sister of King Henry VIII, died at her home in Suffolk. She was just thirty-seven years old.

    In today’s video, I talk about Mary’s ill-health, her death and funeral.

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  • Midsummer and the Feast of St John the Baptist

    Today, 24th June, is the Feast of St John the Baptist, a day that is marked by many Catholic countries around the world and a feast that was an important celebration in the medieval and Tudor periods, with it coinciding with Midsummer.

    Fairies, fires, dancing, feasting and drinking were all part of the celebrations, and still are today.

    In the following video, I talk about how Tudors celebrated this special day and also how my village and neighbouring village celebrate it. It’s a wonderful fiesta.

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  • 24 June – A Midsummer coronation for Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th June 1509, Midsummer’s Day and the Feast of St John the Baptist, seventeen-year-old King Henry VIII and his queen consort, Catherine of Aragon, were crowned king and queen at a joint coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video, I draw on contemporary sources to tell us more about what happened that day.

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  • The Anne Boleyn Experience 2020 speaker is announced….

    I’m so excited about next year’s Anne Boleyn Experience Tour! It’s such a magical experience that I quite literally count the days between tours. And now I’m even more excited because one of my very favourite experts has agreed to speak on it!

    Yes, Dr Jonathan Foyle, former Curator of Historic Buildings at Hampton Court, an expert on Tudor architecture, AND presenter of TV series such as “Henry VIII: Patron or Plunderer?” will be sharing his expertise with our tour group on the Anne Boleyn Experience 2020 – squeal! I’m going to have to work seriously hard on my talk for the group now – how can I follow Jonathan Foyle?!

    Here’s a YouTube video of Jonathan talking about a bed that once belonged to Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, just to give you a taster of this historian’s mind-blowing expertise!

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  • 23 June – Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s coronation procession

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd June 1509, the new King and Queen of England processed through the streets of London dressed in their finery.

    This procession was their coronation procession and it was a lavish spectacles. In today’s video, I share contemporary descriptions of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s appearance and outfits, the procession and the streets of London. It must have been wonderful to see!

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  • Important Tudor Dates Quiz

    No, I’m not talking about Henry VIII’s love-life!

    As you will know from my “on this day in Tudor history” videos and posts, there are many, many momentous Tudor dates. The Tudor period was packed full of important Tudor events. So, for this week’s Sunday quiz, I decided to test you on just a few of them. I hope you have a head for dates!

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  • 22 June – Mary Boleyn is widowed

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd June 1528, Mary Boleyn, sister of Anne Boleyn, was widowed when her first husband, William Carey, died during the Sweating Sickness epidemic of 1528.

    His death had a major impact on Mary’s situation, and I explain more in today’s video.

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  • 21 June – Catherine of Aragon steals the show

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st June 1529, Queen Catherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII, stole the show with an incredible speech at the Legatine Court at Blackfriars, a court that was hearing the case for the annulment of her marriage to the king.

    The speech was given while she knelt at her husband’s feet and she appealed directly to him. It’s an incredible speech and I share it with you in today’s video.

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  • Ancestry and family trees

    In today’s Claire Chats video talk, I’m sharing hints and tips for starting your family tree and also asking for Tudor Society members to share their hints and tips, and also what you have found during your research into your family tree.

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  • 20 June – The Casket Letters and Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th June 1567, a silver casket of eight letters, which have become known as the Casket Letters, were allegedly found in the possession of James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, the third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.

    These letters were instrumental in bringing down Mary, Queen of Scots, so in today’s video, I tell you a bit more about these letters and why they were “dynamite” for Elizabeth I’s advisors.

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  • 19 June – More Carthusian monks meet their sad ends

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th June 1535, Sebastian Newdigate, William Exmew and Humphrey Middlemore, monks of the Carthusian Order of London Charterhouse, were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.

    Their crime: refusing to accept King Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church in England.

    But did you know that Sebastian Newdigate was actually a close friend of Henry VIII? Well, friendship and loyal service didn’t seem to matter if you were viewed as being at all defiant or disobedient.

    In today’s video, I give you a few more details about Sebastian Newdigate and how he came to be executed in 1535.

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  • 18 June – Protestant martyr Anne Askew is found guilty of heresy

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th June 1546, twenty-five-year-old Anne Askew was found guilty of heresy at London’s Guildhall along with Nicholas Shaxton (former Bishop of Salisbury), Nicholas White and John Hadlam.

    Anne Askew has gone down in history as a Protestant martyr, after having been burned at the stake in July 1546, but also as a woman who was illegally put to the rack at the Tower of London by two of Henry VIII’s trusted men.

    In today’s video, I use contemporary sources and Anne Askew’s own accounts, to piece together what happened that June and July, and what led to Anne Askew’s execution.

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