The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • 4 November – The arrest of Cardinal Wolsey

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th November 1530, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Henry VIII’s former Lord Chancellor, was arrested at his home of Cawood Castle in Yorkshire.

    Wolsey was accused of high treason, but why? And what happened when his former servant, Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, arrived with orders to arrest him?

    I explain all in today’s talk, including how Wolsey ‘cheated’ the axeman.

    [Read More...]
  • 3 November – Sir John Perrot, Henry VIII’s illegitimate son?

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd November 1592, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, privy councillor and former Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir John Perrot, died at the Tower of London. He’d been imprisoned there since March 1591.

    Perrot is a fascinating Tudor man who survived being a Protestant and protecting ‘heretics’ in Mary I’s reign, and who was saved six times from serious punishment by Queen Elizabeth I’s intercession. Some people believe that this favour, and a few other factors, point to him being King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son.

    Find out more about Sir John Perrot, his life and the arguments for and against him being Henry VIII’s son in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
  • The Princes in the Tower Quiz

    As it’s been the anniversary of the birth of King Edward V, one of the Princes in the Tower, this week, I thought we’d mark the occasion with a quiz on the Princes in the Tower.

    So, grab your favourite snack and beverage, make yourself comfortable, and let’s begin! Good luck!

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  • 2 November – The beginning of the end for Catherine Howard

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd November 1541, All Souls’ Day, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer gave King Henry VIII a letter that would spark off the beginning of the end for Queen Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife.

    Catherine Howard’s past, her romances with Henry Manox and Francis Dereham, were about to come back to haunt her, and her present relationship with Thomas Culpeper would soon be uncovered.

    In today’s talk, I explain exactly what was in Archbishop Cranmer’s letter and what happened next.

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  • 1 November – The end of Edmund Tudor

    On this day in Tudor history, 1 November 1456, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, died from the plague at Carmarthen Castle in Wales.

    Edmund Tudor was, of course, husband of Lady Margaret Beaufort and father of King Henry VII, the first of the Tudor monarchs, but who was he and how did he end up dying of the plague at Carmarthen? Find out more about Edmund in today’s talk.

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  • The Places of Mary, Queen of Scots – Gayle Hulme – Expert Talk

    This month’s expert talk is by Gayle Hulme, taking us to some of the important places in the life of Mary, Queen of Scots. Gayle has travelled the length of the UK to give us this informative talk, including:
    Linlithgow Palace, Stirling Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh Castle, Kirk o’field, and even Westminster Abbey.

    [Read More...]
  • Rushton Triangular Lodge – Roving Reporter

    Philippa Lacey Brewell, our roving reporter has gone to a fascinating Elizabethan building this month, one which is packed with secret messages, puzzles and clues – but what does it all mean? Philippa explains all!

    [Read More...]
  • Witchcraft in Tudor times

    With it being Hallowtide, I’m seeing lots of photos of people dressed up as witches for costume parties and trick or treating, so I used this as inspiration for this talk.

    I always find it fascinating how in the Tudor period, a world that was run by religion, people were also incredibly superstitious and put their trust in charms, amulets, weird remedies, and astrology, things that are seen as counter-religion today.

    In today’s talk, I explain just how these topics were integrated in Tudor life, and the different attitudes towards what was seen as white magic versus witchcraft, and how so many people, mainly women, came to lose their lives in the 16th and 17th centuries accused of witchcraft.

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  • Halloween and Hallowtide

    Today, the 31st October, is All Hallows Eve, more commonly known as Halloween. It is the first day of Hallowtide, which also includes the Feast of All Hallows, also known as All Saints’ Day, which is celebrated on 1st November, and the Feast of All Souls, which is celebrated on 2nd November.

    In today’s talk, I explain the origins of Hallowtide and how Halloween, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day were celebrated in medieval and Tudor England.

    [Read More...]
  • 31 October – Martin Luther and his 95 Theses

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st October 1517, Reformer, priest and professor of theology Martin Luther is said to have posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, although all we know for definite is that he posted them to Bishop of Brandenburg and the Archbishop of Mainz.

    The proper title of his work was the “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences”, and he was protesting against the sale of indulgences by the papacy, as well as other points. His actions on this day had a huge impact on Europe and were the catalyst of the European Reformation.

    Find out more about Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and what happened next in today’s video.

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  • 30 October – Henry VII is crowned king

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th October 1485, Henry Tudor, 2nd Earl of Richmond and son of Lady Margaret Beaufort and the late Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, was crowned King Henry VII at Westminster Abbey in London.

    Henry VII had of course become king following the defeat of King Richard III’s forces, and the death of Richard, at the Battle of Bosworth Field in August 1485.

    Find out about his coronation celebrations and his mother Lady Margaret Beaufort’s reaction to Henry’s coronation in today’s talk:

    [Read More...]
  • November 2019 – Tudor Life – Tudor Scandals

    Here's the full 72 page version of your monthly magazine: November's Tudor Life magazine, packed with articles about Tudor Scandals...

    This month the magazine contains:

    • The death of Amy Robsart by Sarah-Beth Watkins
    • Thomas Seymour and the Young Elizabeth I by Claire Ridgway
    • Gayle Hulme Expert Speaker on The Places of Mary, Queen of Scots
    • The Boleyns: A Family Scandal by Roland Hui
    • Popular Tudor Figures a quiz by Catherine Brooks
    • The Scandals of the Tudors: Reign by Reign by Gareth Russell
    • Sir John Gates, Tudor Courtier by Susan Abernethy
    • Special events at The Mary Rose
    • The Burial of Queen Jane Seymour by Elizabeth Jane Timms
    • Sons of Scandal by Gareth Russell
    • Tudor Life Editor’s Picks: books on Tudor Scandal
    • Tudor Society Members’ Bulletin by Tim Ridgway
    • Pastimes in Good Company: Part II by Tony Mount
    • Devices and Desires/Boleyn Gold book reviews by Charlie Fenton
    • Thinking about writing by Wendy J. Dunn
    • Helping others to enjoy history an interview with Beth von Staats
    • Cibos Venerem Incitantes: Tudor aphrodisiacs by Rioghnach O’Geraghty
    • November’s On this day by Claire Ridgway

    [Read More...]

  • November 2019 Tudor Life Taster

    October's Tudor Life magazine is 72 pages long and packed with articles about Tudor Scandals. You'll get to see the whole magazine if you're a member and with our all-new 14-day free trial you can enjoy all that the Tudor Society has to offer ... here's a taster of the magazine for you to enjoy while your membership comes through.

    This month the magazine contains:

    • The death of Amy Robsart by Sarah-Beth Watkins
    • Thomas Seymour and the Young Elizabeth I by Claire Ridgway
    • Gayle Hulme Expert Speaker on The Places of Mary, Queen of Scots
    • The Boleyns: A Family Scandal by Roland Hui
    • Popular Tudor Figures a quiz by Catherine Brooks
    • The Scandals of the Tudors: Reign by Reign by Gareth Russell
    • Sir John Gates, Tudor Courtier by Susan Abernethy
    • Special events at The Mary Rose
    • The Burial of Queen Jane Seymour by Elizabeth Jane Timms
    • Sons of Scandal by Gareth Russell
    • Tudor Life Editor’s Picks: books on Tudor Scandal
    • Tudor Society Members’ Bulletin by Tim Ridgway
    • Pastimes in Good Company: Part II by Tony Mount
    • Devices and Desires/Boleyn Gold book reviews by Charlie Fenton
    • Thinking about writing by Wendy J. Dunn
    • Helping others to enjoy history an interview with Beth von Staats
    • Cibos Venerem Incitantes: Tudor aphrodisiacs by Rioghnach O’Geraghty
    • November’s On this day by Claire Ridgway

    You can become a member and enjoy the magazine along with monthly expert talks, live chats, exclusive videos, resources, articles and more - click here. Tudor Life magazine is available as a monthly digital download and also as a paper quarterly.

    Click on the magazine BELOW to open up the taster right now...

  • 29 October – “Strike, man, strike” – The end of Sir Walter Ralegh

    On this day in history, 29th October 1618, in the reign of King James I, Elizabethan courtier, explorer, author and soldier, Sir Walter Ralegh (Raleigh, Rawley, Ralagh, Rawleigh) was executed in the Old Palace Yard at Westminster Palace.

    Ralegh had led an eventful life. He’d been a favourite of Elizabeth I – except when he secretly married her lady, Bess Throckmorton – but had been imprisoned in the Tower of London on several occasions, he’d been accused of atheism at one point, had sailed to America and tried to establish a colony, he was knighted for his service in Ireland, and he was a poet too!

    Find out all about Sir Walter Ralegh’s colourful life in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
  • 28 October – Knights of the Garter, bear baiting and wrestling

    This day in Tudor history, Monday 28th October 1532, the Feast of St Simon and St Jude, was the last full day of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s time with King Francis I of France in Calais, and it was time to celebrate the kings’ friendship.

    New Knights of the Garter were elected, bear-baiting was watched and then there was a wrestling match between French and English men, but who would win? Find out what happened in today’s talk. I also explain the Feast of St Simon and St Jude.

    [Read More...]
  • 27 October – Anne Boleyn makes an entrance

    On this day in Tudor history, Sunday 27th October 1532, Anne Boleyn, Marquess of Pembroke, made a dramatic entrance to the great banquet held by King Henry VIII in Calais in honour of King Francis I of France.

    I share details from contemporary sources regarding the banquet and the masque that followed. Anne Boleyn definitely knew how to make and entrance and the English ladies must have looked spectacular. You’ll recognise some of the names of Anne’s ladies and those present in Calais.

    [Read More...]
  • Autumn Feasts and Festivals Wordsearch

    This week’s Sunday puzzle is a wordsearch testing your knowledge of Autumn feasts and festivals, feast days celebrated by Tudor people in the months of September, October and November.

    Our Tudor Society Tudor Feast Days e-book should come in useful here, if you get stuck!

    [Read More...]
  • 26 October – Sir Thomas More is sworn in as Lord Chancellor

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th October 1529, Sir Thomas More took his oath as Lord Chancellor, replacing Cardinal Thomas Wolsey who was charged with praemunire.

    It was an important day for Sir Thomas More, who was described as “an upright and learned man”, but, little did he know that his loyal service to the king would lead to his undoing.

    Find out all about this day in 1529 in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
  • The Feast of St Crispin and St Crispinian

    Happy St Crispin and St Crispinian Day!

    Yes, the 25th October marks the feast day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian, martyrs of the Early Church. These men were brothers, or perhaps twins, from a noble Roman family. It is said that they travelled to Soissons in France and that on their travels they supported themselves as cobblers while converting people to the Christian faith.

    [Read More...]
  • 25 October – Henry VIII, Francis I and a gift for Anne Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th October 1532, Henry VIII returned to Calais following his visit to the French court at Boulogne, and he took the French king, Francis I, with him. But first, Francis I wanted to honour two English noblemen by making them Knights of the Order of St Michel.

    After that ceremony, the two kings travelled on to Calais, where they were greeted in a spectacular fashion, and Francis I sent Henry VIII’s sweetheart, Anne Boleyn, Marquess of Pembroke, a rather splendid gift.

    In today’s talk, I explain just what happened on this day in Boulogne and Calais, as well as giving details of the gift that Anne Boleyn received.

    [Read More...]
  • Books to put on your list

    Friends have been panicking me by saying that they’ve already started Christmas shopping – aaaggghhh! – and this inspired me to think about books that I would like for Christmas or that I’d recommend to other Tudor history lovers. I thought I’d talk about some of them in this week’s Claire Chats. These are just ones that I’ve enjoyed or that have piqued my interest, so please do add your recommendations or ones that you’re looking forward to receiving/buying as comments below. Thank you!

    [Read More...]
  • 24 October – The death of Jane Seymour, Henry VIII’s third wife

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th October 1537, Queen Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII, died at Hampton Court Palace twelve days after giving birth to a son who would grow up to be King Edward VI.

    In today’s talk, I share contemporary accounts of Jane Seymour’s illness and death, as well as details of how her remains were prepared for burial and where they were buried.

    [Read More...]
  • 23 October – John Hopkins, psalmodist and shepherd

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd October 1570, John Hopkins, poet, psalmodist and Church of England clergyman, was buried at Great Waldingfield in Suffolk.

    You’ve probably never heard of John Hopkins, but his versions of the Psalms were “the best-known English verses” in the late 16th and 17th century because they were sung in church by every member of society.

    He was a clergyman and psalmodist, but also appears to have been a shepherd of sheep, as well as men! Find out more in today’s video.

    [Read More...]
  • 22 October – A Catholic baron who fled abroad

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd October 1577, Henry Parker, 11th Baron Morley and Roman Catholic exile, died in Paris. Morley had fled abroad in 1570 after refusing to subscribe to Elizabeth I’s “Act of Uniformity” and after being implicated in the 1569 Rising of the North.

    Find out more about this Tudor man, who was the nephew of Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, and his rather interesting family, with their connections to the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots and the Gunpowder Plot, in today’s video.

    [Read More...]
  • 21 October – Henry VIII leaves Anne Boleyn behind in Calais

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st October 1532, King Henry VIII left his sweetheart, Anne Boleyn, behind in Calais while he travelled to Boulogne to spend a few days at the French court with Francis I.

    The kings were beautifully attired for their meeting and there was a bit of a bromance, with Henry calling Francis his “beloved brother” and Francis instructing his sons to be “loving always” to Henry. However, Anne Boleyn was disappointed with the situation and you can find out more in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
  • 20 October – Pontefract Castle surrenders, but all is not as it seems…

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th October 1536, Thomas Darcy, 1st Baron Darcy, owner of Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire, yielded his castle to the rebels of the Pilgrimage of Grace. However, all was not as it seemed, as Darcy and others on the castle were actually sympathetic to the rebel cause.

    Find out more about the situation at Pontefract Castle in October 1536, the letters Darcy wrote to King Henry VIII, and what happened on the night of 19th October and morning of 20th October, and why Darcy came to a sticky end, in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
  • Margaret Tudor Crossword Puzzle

    18th October was the anniversary of Margaret Tudor’s death in 1541, so I thought I’d pay tribute to this Queen of Scotland by testing your knowledge of her, her life and family.

    If you watched my video on Friday, then you should be able to answer quite a few of these!

    [Read More...]
  • 19 October – Henry VIII gets tough on rebels

    By this day in Tudor history, the Pilgrimage of Grace Rebellion in the north of England was well underway, and King Henry VIII had come to the decision that tough action was needed to put it down.

    The king had refused to give in to the rebels’ demands and they had refused to go back to their homes, so on 19th October 1536, the king wrote to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby, with instructions on what to do. The letters do not make for easy reading. This was the king at his most brutal. Examples were to be made of people, after all, these people were traitors to the Crown.

    Awful.

    I give a recap of what the rebellion was about and then share Henry VIII’s letters.

    [Read More...]
  • Nicholas Hilliard’s blue plaque in Exeter

    Thank you so much to Dr Elizabeth Goldring, author of Nicholas Hilliard: Life of an Artist, for letting me know that a blue plaque was unveiled earlier this week in Exeter to mark the fact that the famous Elizabethan painter and miniaturist Nicholas Hilliard was born there circa 1547.

    Elizabeth was there to unveil it and you can find out more and see photos of it at…

    [Read More...]
  • The Feast of St Luke the Evangelist

    Happy St Luke’s Day!

    Yes, today, 18th October, is the feast of St Luke the Evangelist, one of the four authors of the canonical Gospels of Jesus Christ and the author of the Acts of the Apostles. It is a feast day that would have been remembered in Tudor times.

    St Luke is the patron saint of artists, physicians and surgeons, brewers, notaries, students and butchers, and is often depicted in paintings with an ox or calf (sometimes winged) which are seen as symbols of sacrifice, referring to Christ’s sacrifice for mankind.

    [Read More...]
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