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The Tudor Society
  • 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...]
  • 13 December Advent Calendar Treat

    Happy Sunday! We have another Tudor-themed treat for you in our lovely Tudor Society Advent Calendar today.

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

    [Read More...]
  • 13 December – A lawyer thrown into prison for refusing to do a favour

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th December 1558, civil lawyer and dean of Chester William Clyffe died.

    Clyffe was one of the authors of the 1537 “Bishops’ Book”, and he was consulted by convocation during Henry VIII’s Great Matter. He was thrown into prison for a time for refusing to do a favour for one of the king’s servants – oh dear!

    Find out more about William Clyffe’s life and career in today’s “on this day” talk.

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  • Christmas Food Quiz

    How much do you know about the food that was traditional in Tudor times and food that is eaten at Christmas time in the UL today?

    Test yourself with this fun quiz. Good luck!

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  • 12 December Advent Calendar Treat

    I do hope you’ve had a wonderful week! We’re halfway through the Tudor Society Advent Calendar now and I do hope you’re enjoying it.

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

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  • 12 December – A soldier who had to hide from Elizabeth I

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th December 1595, Protestant Welsh soldier and author, Sir Roger Williams, died from a fever with his patron, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, at his side. He was buried at St Paul’s Cathedral.
    Williams served as a soldier in the Low Countries and France and was second in command of the cavalry under Essex at Tilbury Fort in 1588. He also wrote the 1590 “A Briefe Discourse of Warre”.
    At one point he incurred Queen Elizabeth I’s wrath and had to go into hiding for a time.

    Find out all about Sir Roger Williams’ life, career and works in today’s talk.

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  • 11 December Advent Calendar Treat

    Yay! It’s time for another Advent treat from our lovely Tudor Society Advent Calendar!

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

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  • 11 December – A lavish reception for Anne of Cleves

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th December 1539, Anne of Cleves and her retinue were received at Gravelines, just a few miles outside of Calais, by Lord Lisle, Deputy of Calais.

    Anne of Cleves was on her way to England to marry King Henry VIII, but her journey had been rather slow and she was about to be delayed even more.

    The reception was rather lavish, with everyone dressed up to the nines. Enjoy a contemporary description from a Tudor chronicler in today’s talk.

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  • Some Tudor music for you!

    This Friday, Claire shares some beautiful 16th century music. It’s so lovely to have on in the background when you’re working, cooking or relaxing.

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  • 10 December Advent Calendar Treat

    Apologies if you encountered problems using the Tudor Society website yesterday. Some software automatically updated and causes a few knock-on effects which good old Techie Tim had to sort out – bless him! Thank you for your patience.

    Good news, though, it’s time for another Tudor Society Advent Calendar treat! Yay!

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

    [Read More...]
  • 10 December – A priest caught by a priestfinder and torturer

    On this day in Tudor history, 10th December 1591, Roman Catholic priest Edmund Gennings and Catholic were executed on a scaffold set up outside Wells’ house at Holborn.

    Gennings had been caught celebrating mass at Wells’ home by the famous Elizabethan priestfinder and torturer, Richard Topcliffe, who punished him by throwing him into the Little Ease.

    Find out more about St Edmund Gennings and St Swithin Wells, and their sad ends, in today’s talk.

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  • 9 December – A scary time for Queen Catherine Howard’s stepgrandmother

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th December 1541, sixty-four-year-old Agnes Tilney, the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk and step-grandmother of Queen Catherine Howard, who was being detained at the Lord Chancellor’s home, was questioned regarding the location of her money and jewels.

    Why? What was all this about?

    Find out about this, why the dowager duchess ended up in the Tower, and what happened when she was indicted for misprision of treason, in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
  • 8 December Advent Calendar Treat

    Happy Tuesday! It’s time for another Advent Calendar Treat!

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

    [Read More...]