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The Tudor Society
  • 10 September – A battle and Elizabeth I’s christening

    n this day in Tudor history, Saturday 10th September 1547, in the reign of King Edward VI, the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, also known as the Battle of Pinkie, took place near Musselburgh, in Scotland, on the banks of the River Esk. The English forces, led by Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, defeated the Scots, killing thousands.

    It was a bloody battle, but started off well for the Scots. In this video, I share an eye-witness account of how the battle changed so dramatically, leading to the loss of between 6,000 and 15,000 Scots.

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  • The Boleyns of Hever – Claire Ridgway and Owen Emmerson at Hever Castle

    We've got hold of the video of Claire Ridgway and Owen Emmerson talking at Hever Castle in August, and it's a wonderful recording and presentation. Learn all about how the Boleyn family came to own and live at this stunning Kent castle.

    Thank you so much to the Festival Theatre, Hever Castle and Inside Hever patreon for permission to share this with our members-

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  • 9 September – Mary, Queen of Scots is crowned and the Battle of Flodden

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th September 1543, the 30th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden, Mary, Queen of Scots, was crowned queen at the Chapel Royal of Stirling Castle. Mary was just nine months old.

    Find out more about how Mary came to the throne, her coronation ceremony, in which Mary howled, and how she was already promised in marriage to Henry VIII's son, the future Edward VI...

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  • 8 September – John Shakespeare and Amy Robsart’s mysterious death

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th September 1601, John Shakespeare, father of playwright William Shakespeare, was buried at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon.

    John was a glover and whittawer, and also an important man in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, serving as high bailiff, chief alderman and deputy bailiff, and being given the right to educate his children at the local grammar school for free. However, he also ran into trouble at times.

    Find out more about the life of William Shakespeare’s father, John Shakespeare…

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  • 7 September – Charles Brandon marries his young ward, and Elizabeth I is born

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th September 1533, just over two months after the death of his previous wife, Mary Tudor. Queen of France, forty-nine-year-old Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, married his ward, fourteen-year-old Catherine Willoughby.

    Find out more about this Tudor couple, how they came to be married, what their marriage was like, and what happened to them…

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  • 6 September – Martin Luther and Timothy Bright

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th September 1520, the famous reformer Martin Luther sent his pamphlet “On the Freedom of a Christian” (also known as “A Treatise on Christian Liberty”) to Pope Leo X. In the pamphlet, he emphasised the “two-fold nature” of Christians as saints and sinners, flesh and spirit.

    Luther is, of course, seen as the catalyst of the European Reformation, and in this video, I explain why, what he believed, how he ended up being excommunicated and made an outlaw, and what happened to him.

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  • Hever Chat – Facebook Live Video

    Claire tells us about the adventure she had before getting on stage to talk to a sold-out audience at Hever Castle. The torrential rainstorms were unbelievable!

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  • Catherine Parr Places Word Search

    As today is the anniversary of Catherine Parr’s death on 5th September 1548, I thought we’d pay tribute to her by testing your knowledge of places linked to her.

    Grab your favourite snack and beverage, make yourself comfortable, and get those little grey cells working with this Word Search!

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  • 5 September – The deaths of Bloody Bonner and Catherine Parr

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th September 1569, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London and a man nicknamed “Bloody Bonner”, died in Marshalsea Prison. He had started his career in Henry VIII’s reign and was not just a churchman, he was also a diplomat.

    In this video, I flesh out this Tudor bishop who got his nickname from being in charge of burning reformers in London. Find out about his life, career and how he ended up dying in prison…

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  • 4 September – Another marriage is arranged for Henry VIII and the death of Robert Dudley

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th September 1539, William, Duke of Cleves, signed the marriage treaty promising his sister, Anne of Cleves, in marriage to King Henry VIII.

    Anne would of course become Henry VIII’s fourth wife.

    Find out all about the marriage agreement and its terms, and what happened next…

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  • Uneasy Lies the Head by Jean Plaidy – Lil’s Book Reviews

    Lil looks back at a wonderful book by Jean Plaidy - Uneasy Lies the Head is set the aftermath of the bloody Wars of the Roses, Henry Tudor has seized the English crown, finally uniting the warring Houses of York and Lancaster through his marriage to Elizabeth of York. But whilst Henry VII rules wisely and justly, he is haunted by Elizabeth's missing brothers; the infamous two Princes, their fate in the Tower forever a shrouded secret. Then tragedy strikes at the heart of Henry's family, and it is against his own son that the widowed king must fight for a bride and his throne... [Read More...]

  • 3 September – A clown and a playwright

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd September 1588, or possibly the 5th September, actor and clown, Richard Tarlton, died in Shoreditch. He was buried in St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch.

    Tarlton was a member of the Queen’s Men acting company, but is famed for his post-play jigs as a clown. He was also known for being able to cheer up Queen Elizabeth I – how wonderful.

    Find out more about Tudor clown Richard Tarlton, his life and career…

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  • 2 September – The deaths of an Irish earl and an explorer

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd September 1534, Gerald Fitzgerald, 9th Earl of Kildare and Lord Deputy of Ireland, died in the Tower of London at around the age of 47. Kildare had been arrested on 29th June 1534, accused of corruption and causing rebellion in Ireland.

    Kildare seems to have spent most of his career being accused of crimes, but his son Silken Thomas’s rebellion was his final undoing.

    He was already ill when he was arrested and imprisoned, suffering from the after effects of being shot, but at least his wife was able to nurse him.

    Find out more about this Earl of Kildare, his life and career…

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  • Henry VII: The Man – Nathen Amin – Live chat transcript

    Here is the transcript of last week’s live Q&A session with Nathen Amin on Henry VII: The Man for those of you who missed it. It was a wonderful chat.

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  • 1 September – Actor Edward Alleyn and Anne Boleyn becomes Marquess of Pembroke

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st September 1566, Edward Alleyn, a major figure in the Elizabethan theatre, was born in the parish of St Botolph without Bishopsgate, London, and baptised the following day.

    In this video, I share some facts about Edward Alleyn, including his personal life, the plays he was involved in, his theatre investments, and his desire to be appointed master of the bears, bulls and mastiff dogs!

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  • Catherine Brooks – The Advantageous Marriages of the Howards – Expert Talk

    Catherine takes us back to the start of the Howard dynasty to show how the ancestors of the Howards of the Henrican court built up their standing not just from their military careers and loyalty to the monarch, but by realising marriage could be the quickest way to achieve status. But she also explains how this can backfire with tragic consequences.

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  • 31 August – The Bloody Flux and a burning

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st August 1545, a contagious disease known as the ‘Bloody flux’ hit the port of Portsmouth, killing many of the men serving on the ships in its port.

    But what was the Bloody Flux? What were its symptoms and why did it kill so many soldiers and sailors?

    Find out about the disease, famous victims of the Bloody Flux, and how it is still affecting people today…

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  • 30 August – A treaty and Catherine Parr gives birth

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th August 1525, the Treaty of the More was agreed between King Henry VIII of England and Louise of Savoy, who was acting as regent for her son, King Francis I of France, while he was imprisoned by imperial forces.

    Why was Francis in prison? What were the terms of the Treaty of the More? How did this treaty affect Henry VIII’s daughter, Mary? And what happened next.

    Find out all about the Treaty of the More and its consequences…

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  • Rioghnach O’Geraghty – In Memoriam

    It is with a sad heart that we must write this post. Sadly, Rioghnach O’Geraghty passed away a few days ago in her home in South Australia.

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  • The Pole Family Crossword Puzzle

    As today is the anniversary of the arrest of Geoffrey Pole in 1538, I thought I’d test your knowledge of the Pole family, an important family in Tudor England.

    How much do you know about the Poles?

    Find out!

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  • 29 August – St John the Baptist and Geoffrey Pole

    Today, 29th August, is the Feast of the beheading of St John the Baptist. Lovely!

    In this video, I share the story behind this Tudor holy day, a story which is often depicted in illuminations in manuscripts and psalters.

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  • 28 August – Robert Dudley’s last letter to Elizabeth and Mary receives an unwelcome visit

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th August 1588, an ailing Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, wrote his final letter to his queen and childhood friend, Elizabeth I. He wrote it while on his way to Buxton, in Derbyshire, to take the waters for his health.

    The letter is very special because Elizabeth labelled it “His Last Letter” and kept it close by her until her own death in 1603.

    In this video, I share a transcript of Robert Dudley’s last letter, and talk about Elizabeth I’s reaction to his subsequent death.

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  • 27 August – Two Tudor battles

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th August 1557, St Quentin was stormed by English and Imperial forces. Admiral de Coligny and his French troops, numbering only a thousand, were overcome by around 60,000 soldiers, and St Quentin fell. Henry Dudley, the youngest son of the late John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was killed by a cannonball during the storming.

    Find out about the siege and battle, and what happened next…

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  • The Most Dangerous Place in England – Norham Castle – Julian Humphrys

    For today’s video, we have our battlefields expert, Julian, telling us about Norham Castle, situated right on the border between England and Scotland. Not a safe place to be!

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  • 26 August – A devastated Mary I and Anne Boleyn prepares to give birth

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th August 1555, Queen Mary I and her husband, Philip of Spain, departed from Whitehall in preparation for Philip’s return to the Low Countries.

    This was an awful time for Mary I. She had just come out of confinement after months of believing she was pregnant, and now her husband was leaving her. He’d be gone for over 18 months.

    Find out more about Mary’s state of health and mind, the arrangements for Philip’s departure, and Mary’s reaction…

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  • September 2021 – Star Crossed Lovers

    Tragic Tudor romances are always fascinating to learn about, and we’ve dedicated this months magazine to this topic. Romeo and Juliet always come to mind when you mention star crossed lovers but there are so many more real-life couples to learn about.

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  • 25 August – A uncle of queens and Kett’s Rebellion

    On this day in history, 25th August 1554, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, magnate, soldier and uncle of Queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, died of natural causes at his home of Kenninghall in Norfolk. He was laid to rest in St Michael’s Church, Framlingham, Suffolk.

    Find out more about this important Tudor man, and how he escaped the axe-man and died at a good age in his bed…

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  • Virtual Exhibitions – The Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512–1570

    The Met Museum has a virtual tour of their Medici exhibition. This stunning exhibition features over 90 works in a wide range of mediums, from paintings, sculptural busts, medals, and carved gemstones to drawings, etchings, manuscripts, and armour.

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  • 24 August – Cecily of York and an awful massacre

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th August 1507, Cecily of York, Viscountess Welles, died at Hatfield in Hertfordshire. She was buried at “the friars”.

    Cecily was, of course, the daughter of King Edward IV and his queen consort, Elizabeth Woodville, and the sister of Elizabeth of York and the Princes in the Tower, but there’s far more to her than that.

    Did you know that she married without permission and had to be sheltered by Lady Margaret Beaufort?

    Find out all about Cecily of York’s life…

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  • 23 August – A siege and a courtier goes all out to impress

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd August 1548, Francis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury, arrived at the Siege of Haddington, in East Lothian, Scotland, with a large army. This siege was part of the Anglo-Scottish war known as the War of the Rough Wooing between England and Scotland., regarding Henry VIII’s desire to marry his son, Edward, off to Mary, Queen of Scots.

    What happened at this siege and to Haddington after it?

    Find out…

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