• Anne of Cleves wordsearch

    As today is the anniversary of the annulment of the marriage of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves on 9th July 1540, I thought we would mark the occasion with an Anne of Cleves wordsearch as our Sunday fun.

    Print it out, grab a drink and snack, and have a few minutes fun. It’s not too hard, I promise!

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  • 8 July 1553 – Mary I declares herself queen

    On this day in history, Saturday 8th July 1553, the day after she’d been informed of her half-brother Edward VI’s death, Mary Tudor, eldest daughter of King Henry VIII declared herself queen.

    Mary gathered together her loyal household at Kenninghall and informed them of Edward VI’s death, stating that “the right to the crown of England had therefore descended to her by divine and by human law”.

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  • Sir Thomas More

    Yesterday was the anniversary of the execution of Sir Thomas More, former Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, on 6th July 1535. To commemorate that anniversary, I thought I would share with you a brief bio of More, based on an extract from my book On This Day in Tudor History, and then some videos about him.

    Sir Thomas More is thought to have been born on 7th February 1477 or 1478 n Milk Street, London, and he was the son of Sir John More, lawyer and judge on the King’s Bench, and Agnes Graunger, daughter of Thomas Graunger, a Merchant of the Staple of Calais and an Alderman of London.

    More joined the household of John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, before studying Latin and logic at the University of Oxford. He then studied law in London. It was while he was a student that he met and became friends with men like William Lilye, John Colet and Erasmus.

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  • The Northern Rebellion of 1569

    The Northern Rebellion of 1569, also known as the Revolt of the Northern Earls, was the only major armed rebellion during the reign of Elizabeth I. In the last months of 1569, the earls of Northumberland and Westmorland rebelled against the queen in an attempt to preserve Catholicism. The establishment of the Elizabethan settlement alienated those who favoured the old religion, and their disaffection increased as growing numbers were arrested and imprisoned for religious nonconformity. This disaffection was spurred by the arrival in England of Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1568, the year before the rebellion. Mary had been forced from her throne after the murder of her second husband Henry, Lord Darnley, and her swift remarriage to Darnley’s suspected murderer, James, Earl of Bothwell. Mary’s Catholic faith made her a sympathetic figure to traditionalists in England. Although the majority of English Catholics remained loyal to Elizabeth, some were determined to force her from the throne and replace her with her cousin Mary, who they hoped would restore Catholicism to the realm.

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  • New Tudor Rose pin badge coming in September!

    Some exciting news from us here at the Tudor Society about our new Tudor rose pin badge.

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  • 6 July 1553 – The king is dead, long live the queen!

    On this day in history, 6th July 1553, between 8 and 9 o’clock in the evening, fifteen-year-old King Edward VI died in the arms of Sir Henry Sidney, one of the Chief Gentleman of his Privy Chamber, at Greenwich Palace. His last words were reported to be “I am faint; Lord have mercy upon me, and take my spirit”.

    Edward VI had been ill for several months and on 21st June 1553 his “Devise for the Succession” had been issued as “Letters Patent for the Limitation of the Crown”. In his devise, Edward VI stipulated that his crown was to be passed on to “the eldest SONNE OF THE BODYE OF THE SAID LADY FRAUNCIS [Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk], LAWFULLY BEGOTTONE, beinge borne into the world in our lyfetyme” and failing that the crown would pass on to Frances’ daughter, Lady Jane Grey, and her heirs male. When Edward died in July 1553, Frances did not have a son and so Jane became queen, being officially proclaimed such on 10th July 1553.

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  • How were ruffs stiffened?

    Thank you to Rioghnach for asking this question. Here is her question in full:

    “I’m a predominantly Dark Ages re-enactor and I’m frequently in awe of Tudor era female reenactors who tend to have the most amazing lace ruffs and collars. If I use the Armada Portrait of 1588, the Rainbow Portrait of 1600 and Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger’s rather unflattering 1595 portrait of Elizabeth as examples, how were these magnificent lace collars made to remain stiff? I’ve heard tell that Arum italicum and Arum maculatum (aka “Lords and Ladies”) were used to create the starch needed to keep such flamboyant ruffs stiff. Is this true, and if so how was it done?”

    Historian Toni Mount, a specialist in the social history of the medieval and Tudor periods, was the perfect person to answer this question, particularly as she had mentioned the use of starch in the Elizabethan period for ruffs in her June 2017 expert talk. Here is Toni’s answer…

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  • New schedule of events

    Just a quick post to let you know that we have added a “schedule of events” to the Tudor Society website.

    This schedule includes forthcoming Tudor Life magazine topics, expert speakers and topics, and informal live chat topics. It will be updated regularly so you can keep up-to-date with the exciting things we have planned for the Tudor Society and, of course, get involved with the live chats.

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  • 5 July 1589 – The hanging of Joan Cunny, one of the ‘Essex Witches’

    On this day in history, 5th July 1589, Joan Cunny (Cony), one of the ‘Essex Witches’, was hanged at Chelmsford.

    Joan Cunny was born in around 1508 and was from Stisted in Essex. She was accused of killing her neighbours and causing a great storm. Cunny had told of how she knelt in a circle and prayed to Satan to conjure her familiar and spirits. The pre-trial examination of Joan Cunny, along with those of Joan Prentice and Joan Upney, was published in 1589 as The Apprehension and Confession of Three Notorious Witches. Joan Prentice, who had a ferret-shaped familiar named Satan who had killed a child, was also hanged on 5th July, as was Joan Upney.

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  • Informal live chat on Tudor art – 15 July 2017

    Thank you so much for Roland Hui, art historian, blogger and author of The Turbulent Crown: The Story of the Tudor Queens for offering to moderate an informal live chat for us this month.

    Roland has an extensive knowledge of Tudor art, particularly portraiture, and blogs about it regularly at his TudorFaces blog. Recently, his view that an image in the Black Book of the Garter was based on Anne Boleyn caused some controversy online and his research is top notch.

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  • 4 July 1597 – Executions of William Anlaby, Thomas Warcop and Edward Fulthrop

    On this day in history, 4th July 1597, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, three men were martyred at Knavesmire, York. They were William Anlaby (or Andleby), Catholic priest; layman Thomas Warcop, who had been charged with harbouring Anlaby, and layman Edward Fulthrop.

    William Anlaby was born c.1552 in Etton, Yorkshire, and was the second son of John Anlaby of Etton and his wife, Dorothy. Anlaby graduated BA from St John’s College, Cambridge, in 1571. He converted from Protestantism to Catholicism in 1577 after meeting Cardinal William Allen at Douai while travelling. Anlaby joined Allen’s college, or seminary, there and was ordained as a Catholic priest at Cateau-Cambrésis. In 1578, Anlaby was sent as a missionary to England, where he worked in Lincolnshire, Huntingdonshire, Durham and Yorkshire, including ministering to Catholic prisoners at Hull gaol.

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  • Expert Talk – The Rise of the Howard Dynasty – Gareth Russell

    For this month’s expert talk we have Gareth Russell, author of “Young and Damned and Fair”, talking about the rise of the Howard family.

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  • This week in history 3 – 9 July

    On this day in history…

    3 July:

    1495 – The pretender Perkin Warbeck landed at Deal in Kent with men and ships. Around 150 of his men were killed and over 160 captured by Henry VII’s troops. Warbeck escaped, fleeing to Ireland. Warbeck claimed to be Richard, Duke of York, the younger of the Princes in the Tower.
    1533 – William Blount, 4th Baron Mountjoy, Catherine of Aragon’s Chamberlain, was ordered to inform Catherine again that she must recognise her new title of ‘Princess Dowager’ and not use the title of ‘Queen’. Catherine refused, and whenever she saw her new title written in letters, she crossed it out with a pen.
    1541 – Death of Girolamo Ghinucci, Italian papal administrator, Bishop of Worcester, papal nuncio and ambassador. He died in Rome and was buried in the church of San Clemente.
    1557 – Mary I bid farewell to her husband, Philip of Spain, at Dover as he set off for war with France.
    1579 – Death of Sir Edward Fitton, administrator and Vice-Treasurer for Elizabeth I in Ireland. His death was recorded as being ‘from the disease of the country’, which he had apparently caught on an expedition to Longford. He was buried in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, beside his wife, Anne.
    1594 (3rd or 4th July) – Executions of Catholic priest John Cornelius, Thomas Bosgrave (a relation of Sir John Arundell) and two servants of the Arundell family at Dorchester. They had been arrested when Cornelius was found hiding in a priest hole at Chideock Castle on 14th April 1594

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  • Tudor History Quiz – 2 July 2017

    Yes, it’s time for our weekly quiz, so grab a comfortable seat, a refreshing drink (and a yummy snack, why not?)
    and test your Tudor history knowledge with this fun quiz. Good luck!

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  • Transcript of our livechat with Toni Mount

    Here’s the transcript of our wonderful chat with Toni Mount last night. Thank you to all the members who attended as we learned a lot about ordinary Tudor folk and what they did with their time (a lot, it turns out!).

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  • Exciting news! Paper magazine options coming soon!

    We’ve been working hard on making a physical copy of Tudor Life magazine available and here’s the latest news on this… Exciting!

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  • Burial in Tudor times – Part 2: Embalming and heart and entrails burial

    A lovely subject, I know! Yes, in today’s Claire Chats talk I’m discussing how the remains of the wealthier classes and royals were prepared for burial. I discuss the different types of embalming before moving on to the practice of heart and entrails burial. I also look at what we know from primary sources documents about how various Tudor royals were prepared for burial. You’ll find all the links and further reading recommendations below the video.

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  • 30 June 1541 – Henry VIII’s Progress to the North

    On this day in history, 30th June 1541, Henry VIII and his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, set off on their royal progress to the North.

    Royal progresses meant that the monarch and his consort to get out of London, away from the smell and disease of the summer months, and also show themselves to their people. This progress, though, had two other aims: for Henry to meet his nephew, King James V of Scotland, at York in September, and also “to emphasise the extent of his defeat of the Pilgrims [from the Pilgrimage of Grace] and the Percy interest, and to humiliate utterly all but the most clearly loyal elements”.

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  • July 2017 Tudor Life Magazine – Palaces and Stately Homes

    Here’s the full edition of our giant 62-page 78-page July edition of Tudor Life Magazine. This month we are focusing on Tudor stately homes and palaces … a fascinating edition.

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  • July 2017 Tudor Life Taster

    Here is a sample copy of our 78-page July edition of Tudor Life Magazine. This month we are focusing on Tudor stately homes and palaces … a fascinating edition.

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  • Katherine Parr

    Born around 1512 to a family of gentry status, Katherine was the oldest daughter of Sir Thomas Parr, a late fifteenth-century courtier and knight. Her mother was Maud Green, a close friend and lady in waiting to Henry VIII’s first wife, Katherine of Aragon. The Parrs were a substantial northern family, with Thomas Parr tracing his ancestry to Edward III. Parr was a well-respected man and enjoyed the patronage of the young Henry VIII, who in 1515 sent him to Newcastle to escort his sister, the Princess Margaret, on her month-long progress south to London. Reports suggest he was charming and gallant, with the princess finding him particularly desirable; he soon became a favourite at Henry’s court. Upon his death in 1517 he left portions of £400 (£140,000 in modern value) to his two daughters, with a considerable amount more remaining for his son William.

    Without the presence of a male figure in what was a patriarchal period, Maud was dealt the challenging duty of raising her children while maintaining a presence at court. Throughout these challenges, Maud was successful; she managed her estates and finances accordingly, oversaw her children’s education and arranged suitable unions for them befitting their status and marriageability.

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  • Happy Birthday Henry VIII!

    To celebrate the anniversary of Henry VIII’s birth on this day in history, 28th June 1491, I thought I’d give you some links to some talks, articles and resources on this iconic king. Happy 526th birthday to King Henry VIII.

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  • Could Anne Boleyn have gone to Margaret of Austria’s court at the age of 6?

    Thank you to Laurie for asking this Anne Boleyn question. Laurie’s full question was: “Regarding the birthdate of Anne, if it is 1507, as opposed to 1501, as many historians actually believe, this would make her only 6 years old when she is sent to the court of Margaret of Austria in 1513! As this is quite a bit younger than the average age when girls were sent to foreign courts, how is this explained?”

    As I (Claire Ridgway) have been researching Anne’s life now for eight years, I figured that I could answer this one. However, I go with a 1501 birthdate for Anne Boleyn so, in the interests of being fair, I am also providing a link to an article written by Gareth Russell, who believes that Anne was born in 1507. Gareth and I agree on most things but we agree to disagree on that!

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  • Transcript of live chat – Tudors on TV and in fiction

    We had a wonderful time in the chatroom on Friday discussing the Tudors on TV and in fiction. We covered the various depictions of the Tudors, discussed whether events had really happened, talked about which are the best movies and series, and also shared our book recommendations for Tudor novels. We covered so much in just an hour.

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  • This week in history 26 June – 2 July

    On this day in history…

    26th June:

    1513 – Burial of Sir Edmund Carew, landowner, administrator and soldier, in the church of St Nicholas, Calais, after he was shot dead during the siege of Thérouanne in Artois.
    1535 – A new commission of oyer and terminer was appointed for the county of Middlesex. The commission ordered the Sheriff of Middlesex to gather the Grand Jury on the 28th June at Westminster Hall. This was to try Sir Thomas More who, according to the indictment, had been “traitorously attempting to deprive the King of his title of Supreme Head of the Church”.
    1568 – Death of Thomas Young, Archbishop of York, at Sheffield. He was buried in York Minster.
    1576 – Death of Edward Dering, scholar, Church of England clergyman and controversial evangelical preacher, from tuberculosis at Thobie Priory in Essex. A collection of his works, which included sermons, lectures, prayers and letters, was first published in 1590.
    1596 – Burial of Sir John Wingfield in the cathedral at Cadiz, Spain. He was shot in the head in the attack on Cadiz on 21st June. At Wingfield’s funeral, “the generalls threw their handkerchiefs wet from their eyes into the grave” (Stow, 775) and the poet John Donne, who was a member of the expedition, composed an epigram as a tribute to Wingfield: “Farther then Wingefield, no man dares to go”.

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  • 25 June 1533 – Mary Tudor, Queen of France, dies

    On this day in history, 25th June 1533, Mary Tudor, Queen of France, sister of King Henry VIII and wife of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, died at her home of Westhorpe Hall in Suffolk.

    Mary had been born on 18th March 1496 at Richmond Palace and was the youngest surviving child of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. She was renowned for her beauty, being described by the Venetian ambassador as “a Paradise – tall, slender, grey-eyed, possessing an extreme pallor”, and her motto was La volenté de Dieu me suffit (The will of God is sufficient for me). In 1507, Mary was betrothed to Charles of Castile (the future Charles V Holy Roman Emperor), and their wedding was planned for 1514. However, the betrothal was cancelled due to Henry VIII’s diplomatic dealings and, much to Mary’s horror, she was betrothed instead to the fifty-two-year-old King Louis XII of France, a man thirty-four years her senior, as part of Cardinal Wolsey’s peace treaty with France.

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  • Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon Crossword

    As yesterday was the anniversary of the coronation of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon in 1509, we’re going to have some fun and exercise our brains with a Henry and Catherine-themed crossword – enjoy!

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  • 24 June 1509 – The coronation of King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine

    On this day in history, Sunday 24th June 1509, Midsummer’s Day and the Feast of St John the Baptist, King Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, were crowned king and queen by William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Westminster Abbey.

    You can read all about the coronation and coronation banquet in Edward Hall’s chronicle…

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  • Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester

    It used to be thought that Robert Dudley, fifth son of the thirteen children of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, and Jane Guildford, daughter of Sir Edward Guildford, was born on the same day as Queen Elizabeth I, i.e. 7th September 1533, but it is now believed that he was born on 24th June 1532 or 1533, with 1532 being the most likely.1

    Robert received a humanist education and his tutors included the likes of John Dee, Thomas Wilson, Roger Ascham, and Robert’s uncle, Sir Francis Jobson, and he was brought up as a Protestant. He could write and speak Italian fluently, had knowledge of French and Latin, and had a keen interest in navigation, engineering and mathematics. He married Amy Robsart, his sweetheart, on the 4th June 1550 in the presence of King Edward VI.

    In July 1553, on the death of Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey, wife of Robert’s brother, Guildford Dudley, became queen but her reign lasted just thirteen days because Mary I seized the throne. Guildford, Jane and Robert’s father, John Dudley, were later executed. Robert was imprisoned and condemned to death but was released in autumn 1554. He served the queen fighting in the Battle of St Quentin in August 1557.

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  • Burial in Tudor Times – Part 1: Shrouding

    In today’s Claire Chats video talk, I start a two-part series on burial in Tudor times and discuss how the remains of a commoner were prepared for burial. It’s an interesting topic. Next week, I will talk about the deaths of wealthier people, with real examples from the records, and also the subjects of embalming and heart and entrails burial.

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