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The Tudor Society
  • 25 November – A vicious man who saved an archbishop and the coronation of Elizabeth of York

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th November 1545, lawyer, member of Parliament, diplomat and ecclesiastical administrator, Sir Thomas Legh (Leigh), died.

    Legh was a faithful servant to King Henry VIII, but his work during the dissolution of the monasteries led to complaints against him and even rebellion.

    He was a vicious man, known for his harsh treatment of monks, but he also played a key role in protecting Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1543 when his enemies tried to bring him down.

    Find out more about this Tudor man in this talk…

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  • 24 November – The death of John Knox and the coronation procession of Elizabeth of York

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th November 1572, John Knox, the Scottish clergyman, famous Reformer , royal chaplain, and founder of Presbyterianism, died at his home in Edinburgh as his second wife, Margaret, read aloud from Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians.

    John Knox is known for bringing the Protestant reformation to the church in Scotland and his controversial views about women rulers, but he was also chaplain to King Edward VI and had a very eventful life, being taken prisoner by the French and being forced into service on the galleys of their fleet at one point.

    Find out more about John Knox’s life and career in this talk…

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  • 23 November – A plot to poison Elizabeth I’s saddle and Essex’s chair, and the hanging of pretender Perkin Warbeck

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd November 1598, scrivener and sailor Edward Squire was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn for treason after being accused of plotting with Jesuits in Seville to poison Elizabeth I’s saddle and the Earl of Essex’s chair.

    Squire, who ended up in Seville after being captured by Spaniards while on a voyage with Sir Francis Drake, confessed under torture, but claimed his innocence at his trial and execution.

    But what exactly happened, and how and why did a Protestant scrivener and sailor end up accused of treason?

    Find out all about Edward Squire and the alleged plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I and her favourite, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, in this talk…

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  • 22 November – Explorer Sir Martin Frobisher dies of gangrene and Sir William Butts dies from malaria

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd November 1594, naval commander, privateer and explorer, Sir Martin Frobisher, died at Plymouth. He died of gangrene after having been shot in the thigh during hand-to-hand combat during a siege.

    Frobisher is best known for his three voyages in search of the Northwest Passage and his naval service during the 1588 Spanish Armada, for which he was knighted.

    Find out all about the life and career of this Tudor explorer in this talk…

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  • 21 November – A playwright who courted controversy and Frances Grey, an abusive mother

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st November 1495, churchman, Protestant playwright, historian and Bishop of Ossory, John Bale was born in Suffolk.

    Bale wrote twenty-four plays, and a book on famous British writers, which is his most well-known work. His work on Protestant martyrs was also used by the famous martyrologist John Foxe.

    John Bale also courted controversy with his attacks on Catholics, and he spent a fair amount of time in exile.

    Find out all about this accomplished Tudor man in this talk…

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  • Six Wives Places Crossword Puzzle

    As this week’s Friday video was on Sudeley Castle, home of Catherine Parr and her fourth husband, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, I thought I’d test your knowledge of places linked to Henry VIII’s six wives.

    Grab your favourite snack and beverage, make yourself comfortable, and get those little grey cells working with this fun crossword puzzle.

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  • 20 November – Elizabeth I’s godson and his flush toilet, and the death of Christopher Hatton

    On this day in history, 20th November 1612, in the reign of King James I, courtier and author Sir John Harington died.

    Why am I talking about a man who died in the Stuart period?

    Well, because he was Queen Elizabeth I’s godson and because during her reign he invented the Ajax, or “jakes”, England’s first flush toilet.

    Find out more about Sir John Harington and his flush toilet invention in this talk...

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  • 19 November – Lord John Grey escapes execution and the death of Henry Vaux

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th November 1564, Lord John Grey, youngest son of Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset, died.

    He’s not the Lord John Grey of the wonderful Outlander series, but he is just as interesting.

    In Mary I’s reign, he was involved in a rebellion with his brothers, Lord Thomas Grey and Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, but unlike them was not executed.

    How did Lord John Grey escape execution? And why did he get into trouble again in Elizabeth I’s reign.

    Find out all about this Tudor lord in this talk…

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  • Sudeley Castle: Royalty Romance & Renaissance

    In this extra-special Friday video, Catherine Brooks interviews Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe and James Parry all about Sudeley Castle.

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  • 18 November – A bishop dies in confinement and the imprisonment of Cuthbert Tunstall

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th November 1559, Ralph Baynes (Baines), Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, died.

    Baynes had been actively involved in the persecutions of Protestants in Mary I’s reign, examining many well-known martyrs and featuring in John Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs”, but ended his days imprisoned in the home of Edmund Grindal, Bishop of London – why?

    Find out more about Ralph Baynes, his life and career, and how he came to be deprived of his bishopric and die the way he did, in this talk…

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  • 17 November – Elizabeth I’s accession and the death of Mary I

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th November 1558, twenty-five-year-old Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, became Queen Elizabeth I following the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary I.

    In this talk, I look at an alternative account of Elizabeth I’s words on her accession, one recorded by her godson, Sir John Harington. Hear Elizabeth I’s wonderful speech, which she used to motivate her supporters and to reassure those who’d served Mary I.

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  • 16 November – The death of Charles Neville and the death of William Stafford

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th November 1601, nobleman and rebel Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland, died while in exile at Nieuwpoort in Flanders.

    Westmorland had fled into exile following the failure of the Northern Rebellion, a plot to release Mary, Queen of Scots, from prison and to overthrow Elizabeth I. He didn’t learn his lesson, being involved in a further plot.

    The earl died a sad end in debt and separated from his wife and daughters, but it was his own fault.

    Find out more about the rebel northern earl in this talk…

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  • 15 November – The death of Katherine of York and the Pope threatens Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th November 1527, a woman who called herself “the excellent Princess Katherine, Countess of Devon, daughter, sister and aunt of kings”, died at Tiverton Castle in Devon.

    Katherine of York, Countess of Devon, daughter of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, was just forty-nine when she died and had taken a vow of chastity after her husband’s death.

    In this talk, I give an overview of Henry VIII’s aunt’s life and I explain why she took her vow of chastity. Find out all about her.

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  • 14 November – Bad Signs for Culpeper and Lady Rochford, and Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragon get married but not to each other

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th November 1541, an inventory was taken of “the goods and chattels, lands and fees of” Thomas Culpeper, a groom of King Henry VIII’s privy chamber and a man who had been having secret meetings with Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife.

    An inventory had also been taken of the possessions of Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, wife of the late George Boleyn, a woman who had allegedly helped the queen meet with Culpeper.

    But what was going on in November 1541 and what was listed in these inventories?

    Find out more in this talk…

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  • Tudor Royal Badges and Heraldry Quiz

    How much do you know about the animals, mythical creatures, objects and symbols used by the Tudors in their badges and heraldry?

    Test your knowledge of royal Tudor badges and Tudor heraldry in this week’s quiz. Good luck!

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  • 13 November – Robert Packington was shot to death and Lady Jane Grey was tried for treason

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th November 1536, mercer and member of Parliament Robert Packington (Pakington, Pakyngton) was shot to death by an unknown assailant while he was on his way to mass at St Thomas of Acre Chapel. He was shot with a wheellock pistol.

    Robert Packington has gone down in history as the first person in England to be killed by a handgun, but who killed him and why?

    Find out about Packington, his murder, and the theories regarding who ordered his murder, in this talk…

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  • An incredible find! – Anne Boleyn’s falcon badge

    You may have seen the news about the discovery of a contemporary carving of Anne Boleyn’s falcon badge and how Paul Fitzsimmons, an antiques dealer, bought it for £75 and how it’s now worth £200,000. It’s a wonderful find and the good news is that Paul isn’t keeping it to himself, it’s going on loan to Hampton Court Palace. Thank you, Paul, and thank you to Tracy Borman, Joint Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces.

    In this video, I interview my dear friends, Sandra Vasoli and James Peacock, who both played key roles in the story of this carving. It is a fascinating story.

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  • 12 November – The death of Stephen Gardiner and Queen Jane Seymour’s remains are moved to Windsor

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th November 1555, Mary I’s Lord Chancellor, Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, died. He was laid to rest at Winchester Cathedral in what is now known as the Bishop Gardiner Chantry Chapel.

    In this talk, I tell you about the life and career of "Wily Winchester", a man who went from being a valued advisor to being imprisoned, and then got back into favour, crowned a queen and became Lord Chancellor! He led quite a life!

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  • Border Rievers Revisited – Julian Humphries

    Julian returns to a discussion of the tumultuous times at the border between England and Scotland during the Tudor period with his talk “Border Reivers & A Tudor Curse”

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  • 11 November – Philippe de Chabot landed on English soil and Queen Catherine Howard is moved to Syon House

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th November 1534, Philippe de Chabot, Seigneur De Brion and Admiral of France, landed on English soil. The purpose of the diplomatic mission he was leading was to renew Anglo-French relations.

    George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, brother of Queen Anne Boleyn, had been put in charge of meeting the admiral and escorting him on his journey from the south coast to London, but it was no easy task. The admiral did not make things easy at all, and George was rather stressed about the situation.

    Find out what happened, and how and why the ambassador’s visit was bad news all round for the Boleyns, in this talk…

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  • 10 Novemer – An explorer drowns saving ambassador and the death of Sir Henry Wyatt

    On this day in Tudor history, 10th November 1556, English explorer and navigator, Richard Chancellor, was killed. Chancellor is known as being the first foreigner to enter the White Sea and to establish relations with Russia and Tsar Ivan IV, or Ivan the Terrible.

    Chancellor was sadly drowned after saving the Russian ambassador, Osip Napeya, when their ship, The Edward Bonaventure, was wrecked just off the Aberdeenshire coast of Scotland.

    Find out about Richard Chancellor’s life, career and sad end in this talk…

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  • 9 November – The Northern Rebellion against Elizabeth I and the birth of the stillborn daughter of Catherine of Aragon

    This day in Tudor history, 9th November 1569, is the traditional date given for the start of the only major armed rebellion of Elizabeth I’s reign. It’s known as The Northern Rebellion or Rising of the North or Revolt of the Northern Earls.

    Northern earls Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland and Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland, led this uprising against Elizabeth I, seeking to depose her, replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots, and restore Catholicism.

    But what happened?

    Find out about the 1569 Northern Rebellion and the fate of the Northern Earls in this talk…

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  • 8 November – The death of William Blount and King Henry VIII praises one wife while trying to marry another

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th November 1534, courtier, scholar and literary patron, William Blount, 4th Baron Mountjoy, died at Sutton on the Hill in Derbyshire.

    He’d had a wonderful court career, helping organise the young Henry VIII’s education, serving as Master of the Mint and chamberlain to Queen Catherine of Aragon, and he’d been close friends with the renowned humanist scholar, Erasmus.

    He’d wanted to be relieved of his position as chamberlain to the queen, though, after she’d been put aside and he’d had to break bad news to her.

    Find out all about Lord Mountjoy, his career and life, in this talk…

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  • 7 November – Henry VII attaints Richard III and his supporters, and Catherine Howard confesses

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th November 1485, Henry VII’s first parliament attainted King Richard III and his supporters.

    As well as Richard, who was referred to as Richard, late Duke of Gloucester, and a usurper, the list of those attainted for their treason in fighting against the king at Bosworth included the late John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, and his son, the Earl of Surrey.

    Find out who else was included and whether Parliament’s actions were unusual, in this talk…

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  • The Men in Catherine Howard’s Life

    In celebration of the publication of this month’s expert talk – Gareth Russell on the men in Catherine Howard’s story – I thought I’d test you on your knowledge of the men in her life and story.

    How much do you know about Catherine Howard and the men in her story?

    Test yourself now!

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  • 6 November – Catherine of Aragon met her betrothed for the first time and Catherine Howard was abandoned by Henry VIII

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th November 1501, Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, met her betrothed, Arthur, Prince of Wales, eldest son of King Henry VII, at Dogmersfield in Hampshire.

    The couple were actually already married by proxy, but had never met, and Catherine had only just arrived in England.

    Find out more about the lead-up to Catherine of Aragon and Arthur Tudor’s meeting on 6th November 1501, including Catherine’s journey from Spain to England, how their meeting went and what happened next, in this talk…

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  • 5 November – The Gunpowder Plot

    Today is, of course, the anniversary of the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot on 5th November 1605.

    It may have been a plot to kill King James I, and so a Stuart plot, but it had its roots in Elizabeth I’s reign.

    You can find out more in the video and resources below:

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  • 5 November – The discovery of the Gunpowder Plot and Mary Tudor was crowned Queen of France

    Today is the anniversary of the discovery of Gunpowder Plot conspirator, Guy Fawkes, and 36 barrels of gunpowder in a cellar beneath the Palace of Westminster on the night of 4th/5th November 1605. The plotters were planning to blow up the Houses of Parliament on the opening of Parliament and assassinate the king, his government and leading bishops and nobles.

    But why and what has this event in James I’s reign got to do with Tudor history?

    Well, a lot, because the Gunpowder Plot had its roots in Elizabeth I’s reign.

    Find out more about the Gunpowder Plot, and those involved, in this talk…

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  • Tudor and Jacobean Jewellery – Lil’s Book Reviews

    This week’s Friday video is a review of Tudor and Jacobean Jewellery by Diana Scarisbrick.

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  • 4 November – The imprisonment of a treasonous family and the arrest of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th November 1538, Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu, his brother-in-law, Sir Edward Neville; Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter; Courtenay’s wife, Gertrude Blount, and the couple’s son, Edward Courtenay, were all arrested for treason and imprisoned in the Tower of London.

    Montagu, Neville and Exeter, along with Montagu’s brother, Geoffrey Pole, were accused of plotting with Cardinal Reginald Pole against the king. Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, was also arrested, accused of the same.

    But how had it come to this, when Henry VIII had sought Cardinal Pole’s opinion on his marriage and the papacy?

    Find out what Cardinal Pole had done to upset the king, and what happened to his family and friends as a result, in this talk…

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