The Tudor Society
  • 26 December – The interesting life of Rose Lok

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th December 1526, Protestant Rose Lok was born.

    Rose lived well into her 80s and had an interesting life, being a Protestant exile, a businesswoman, and being the daughter of a man who supplied Anne Boleyn with religious books. She also had a ship named after her!

    Find out all about Rose Lok in today’s talk.

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  • Christmas Day – Happy Christmas!

    A very Happy Christmas to all those of you celebrating today. Tim and I send you our greetings and hope you have a lovely time.

    Do enjoy these Christmas readings…

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  • 25 December – A Tudor witch-hunter

    Happy Christmas!

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th December 1587, Brian Darcy, magistrate, Sheriff of Essex, witch-hunter and contributor to the 1582 “A true and just recorde of the information, examination and confession of all the witches, taken at S Oses [St Osyth]”, died.

    “A True and Just Recorde” argued for harsher punishments for those found guilty of witchcraft, and Darcy was personally responsible for a number of deaths of people accused of witchcraft.

    Find out more about this zealous witch-hunter in today’s talk.

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  • 24 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    Today, we have our final Tudor Society Advent Calendar treat because it’s Christmas Eve!

    We wish you a very Merry Christmas!

    Find the final Tudor personality hiding in Coughton Court, waiting to introduce him/herself, by….

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  • 24 December – A man who swapped sides at the right time

    On this day in history, 24th December 1604, Christmas Eve, Sir Thomas Cornwallis, Comptroller of the household of Mary I and member of Parliament, died at about the age of eighty-six.

    Cornwallis had been active putting down rebellion in 1549 and during the succession crisis of July 1553 swapped sides at just the right time, recanting his proclamation for Jane as queen and proclaiming for Mary instead, He was rewarded for this when Mary came to the throne.

    Of course, he wasn’t so much a favourite in the reign of Elizabeth I, but a friendship with a man close to Elizabeth may have helped him escape trouble.

    Find out more about Sir Thomas Cornwallis in today’s talk.

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  • Richard Neville, 2nd Baron Latimer (1467-1530)

    Richard Neville was the son of Sir Henry Neville who died at Edgcote in July of 1469 and his wife Joan, daughter of John Bourchier, 1st Baron Berners. He is an interesting Tudor figure because he saw the beginning of the reign of Henry VII, being part of the War of the Roses and lived up until Henry VIII’s ‘Great Matter.’

    Richard Neville inherited his title and lands when just a baby in 1469, the principal seat being Snape Castle in Richmondshire, following his grandfather George Neville’s death. However, his great uncle, Thomas Bourchier, who was a cardinal and later Archbishop of Canterbury, purchased the wardship of Richard and his marriage in May 1470 for £1000. Still, Richard’s lands remained the property of the crown. Not much is known about the early life of Richard Neville, but we do know that he was knighted in January 1478.

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  • 23 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    It’s the penultimate day for our Advent Calendar so do make the most of it!

    Find out which Tudor personality is hiding in our very Christmassy Coughton Court, home of the Throckmorton family.

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  • 23 December – Elizabeth I moves to a property her mother knew well

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd December 1558, just over a month after her accession, England’s new queen, Elizabeth I, daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, moved from Somerset House to Whitehall Palace, which became her principal residence.

    Whitehall, formerly York Place, had once been home to her mother, Anne Boleyn, and had been the setting of Anne’s marriage to Henry VIII. I wonder if Elizabeth felt close to her mother there.

    Find out more about Whitehall Palace, and also Somerset Place, the property Elizabeth left, in today’s talk.

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  • 22 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    I do hope you’re having a lovely week so far. If not, don’t worry, I have an Advent Calendar treat for you!

    A Tudor personality is hiding in Coughton Court, waiting to introduce him/herself. Find out who it is…

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  • 22 December – Two Protestants betrayed by a spy

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd December 1557, Protestant martyrs John Rough and Margaret Mearing, were burnt at Smithfield for heresy.

    John Rough was a Scot who’d encouraged John Knox to be a pastor, but ended in days in England. Interestingly, the woman he died with was a woman he’d excommunicated from his congregation, believing her to be a spy. Although she’d been angry with her treatment, she was not the spy who betrayed him, she visited Rough in prison and was arrested after she tried to confront the real spy.

    Find out about John Rough’s life and what brought him to England, how he’d come to be arrested, and what happened with Margaret Mearing, in today’s talk.

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  • 21 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    Bad news: there aren’t many more Advent Calendar treats to go. Good news: a new one is ready for you to enjoy!

    Who will you find hiding in Coughton Court today waiting to introduce him/herself?

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  • 21 December – St Thomas, pies, charity and India

    21st December in Tudor times was the Feast of St Thomas the Apostle, or Didymus or Doubting Thomas. The apostle who wouldn’t believe Christ had been resurrected until Christ appeared in front of him and he’d felt the nail wounds and the wound in his side.

    Thomas was known for his generosity, and in Tudor times, those in need would go “a-Thomasing”, collecting alms. But there are also other traditions associated with the feast day, such as pie-making. And did you know that Thomas also has links to India?

    Find out more about St Thomas, his story, his feast day and the traditions associated with him, in today’s talk.

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  • 20 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    It’s Sunday and that means it’s time for another Tudor Society Advent Calendar surprise!

    Who will you find hiding in Coughton Court today waiting to introduce him/herself?

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  • 20 December – Edward Arden, “victim of a grave iniquity” or conspirator?

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th December 1583, the day after his son-in-law, John Somerville, had been found dead in his cell, Warwickshire gentleman Edward Arden was hanged, drawn and quartered at Smithfield.

    Arden, who was related to William Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden, and married to a member of the Throckmorton family, had been found guilty of treason, after being implicated in Somerville’s plot to kill the queen.

    But was Arden actually guilty? Why didn’t others involved end up being executed too?

    Find out more about Edward Arden and what happened in 1583, in today’s talk.

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  • Christmas Carols Crossword

    I love Christmas carols and I also love the fact that many of them date back centuries, and some would be recognised by our favourite people, the Tudors.

    But how much do you know about medieval and Tudor Christmas carols?

    Test your knowledge with this fun crossword puzzle.

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  • 19 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    Time for another Advent Calendar treat for you!

    Find out who’s hiding in Coughton Court today waiting to introduce him/herself today.

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  • 19 December – A conspirator found dead in his cell

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th December 1583, twenty-three-year-old convicted conspirator, John Somerville, was found dead in his cell at Newgate Prison. His death was said to be suicide, due to his poor mental health, but some Catholics believed that he had been killed.

    Somerville had been found guilty of conspiring to assassinate the queen, but did he really mean to? Was he mentally ill? Was he manipulated by others?

    Find out more about John Somerville in today’s talk.

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  • 18 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    As well as our Friday video, and our Christmas party live chat later today, we have another Advent Calendar treat for you!

    Find out who’s hiding in Coughton Court today waiting to introduce him/herself today.

    [Read More...]
  • 18 December – Nicholas Harpsfield, the sorest and of least compassion

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th December 1575,in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, fifty-six-year-old historian, Catholic apologist, priest and former Archdeacon of Canterbury, Nicholas Harpsfield, died in London.

    Harpsfield and his brother, John, had been imprisoned since the early 1560s for refusing to swear the Oath of Supremacy, but had been released in 1574 on the grounds of ill-health.

    In Mary I’s reign, he had been involved in the persecutions of Protestants, and martyrologist John Foxe described him as “the sorest and of leaste compassion” of all the archdeacons involved.

    Find out more about his life, career and rise, his works, and his end, in today’s talk.

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  • The Tudor Poor and Poor Relief

    It’s the 21st December on Monday, the date of the feast day of St Thomas the Apostle in Tudor times, and during my research on that and the traditions associated with it, like collecting alms, my mind turned to poverty in Tudor times and how it was dealt with.

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  • 17 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    It’s that time of day again! Time for another Tudor history-themed treat. I do hope you’re enjoying these, they’re rather fun!

    Find out who’s hiding in Coughton Court today waiting to introduce him/herself at the Tudor Society Advent Calendar.

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  • Live chat reminder – 18 December – Christmas Party!

    Just a reminder that 18th December is the date of this month’s informal chat, our annual Christmas party.

    It’s an hour-long chat and is an opportunity for members to get to know each other and have a good old chat.

    I like to wear my Christmas sweater (or pyjamas!) and I always bring a Christmas drink and snack, like a mince pie or slice of Christmas cake, along with me. Members can share where they’re from, what they’re doing…

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  • John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester (1469-1535)

    John Fisher was born in the town of Beverley in North Yorkshire and was the son of Robert Fisher who was a mercer of Beverley and his wife, Agnes. Although not a lot is known about the childhood of John Fisher, we do know that when John was eight years old, his father died and his mother married a man named William White. During his mother’s marriage to William White, she had five more children, and John appeared to maintain a close relationship with all of his siblings. It is believed that John was educated in the school attached to the church in Beverley, but we do not know for certain.

    Regardless of where he spent his early education, we know that in the 1480s Fisher went to the University of Cambridge where he graduated from his BA in 1488 and his MA in 1491. Fisher also became a fellow of Michaelhouse during his time at Cambridge and was ordained as a priest in 1491 in York, receiving papal dispensation for this as he was under the canonical age at the time. (Fisher also became the Vicar of Northallerton in North Yorkshire.

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  • 17 December – A promise made to Anne Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th December 1559, fifty-five-year-old Matthew Parker was consecrated as Queen Elizabeth I’s Archbishop of Canterbury. It was an office which Parker did not want and would not have accepted if “he had not been so much bound to the mother”.

    What did he mean by that?

    Well, when he was Anne Boleyn’s chaplain in 1536, the queen had met with him just six days before her arrest and he made her a promise.

    Find out more about Matthew Parker, his life and that meeting with Anne Boleyn, in today’s talk:

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  • 16 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    Another Tudor history-themed Advent Calendar treat is ready for you to enjoy!

    Find out who’s hiding in Coughton Court today waiting to introduce him/herself at the Tudor Society Advent Calendar…

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  • 16 December – A Grey man with Woodville links

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th (or possibly the 18th) December 1503, George Grey, 2nd Earl of Kent, died at Ampthill, Bedfordshire.

    Grey served as a soldier under Henry VII, was on the king’s council, and served him as Constable of Northampton Castle and as a judge at the trial of Edward, Earl of Warwick in 1499.
    He was also married to a sister of Elizabeth Woodville.

    Grey also managed to retain royal favour on Henry VII’s accession even though he’d been rewarded by Richard III.

    Find out more about George Grey in today’s talk.

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  • 15 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    It’s time for our daily Tudor history-themed treat from our very own Tudor Society Advent Calendar.

    Find out who’s hiding in Coughton Court today waiting to introduce him/herself at the Tudor Society Advent Calendar.

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  • 15 December – Elizabeth I’s loyal servant dies of “sheer grief”

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th December, 1560, Comptroller of the Household to Elizabeth I and Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Thomas Parry died. The Spanish ambassador claimed that Parry had died of “sheer grief”. He was buried at Westminster Abbey.

    Parry had served Elizabeth since 1547 and was a loyal servant and friend. So why did he die of grief?

    Find out more about Thomas Parry, his background, life, and why he was upset in 1560, in today’s talk.

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  • 14 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    It’s the start of a brand new week and we have an Advent treat for you to bring you joy! A Tudor-themed treat!

    Find out who’s hiding in Coughton Court today waiting to introduce him/herself at the Tudor Society Advent Calendar.

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  • 14 December – Mary, Queen of Scots is queen!

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th December 1542, six-day-old Mary, daughter of King James V and his second wife, Marie de Guise, became Queen of Scotland – Mary, Queen of Scots.

    King James V, who had ruled since 1513, was just 30 at his death.

    Find out what happened to James V, and how Mary became queen at such a young age, in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
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