The Tudor Society
  • 16 August – The Norrises lose another two sons in the Queen’s service

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th August 1599, soldier and Lord President of Munster in Ireland, Sir Thomas Norris, died at his home, Mallow Castle, in Cork, as a result of an injury he’d sustained in a skirmish with Irish troops on 30th May 1599. His brother, Henry, died just five days later. Thomas’s brothers, John, William and Maximilian, who were also soldiers, died in 1597, 1579 and 1593 respectively.

    Queen Elizabeth I recognised the sacrifice of this family and wrote a letter of condolence to her friends, Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norris, and his wife, Margery Williams. Find out what she wrote to the grieving couple in today’s talk.

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  • Historian and Authors Crossword Puzzle

    For this week’s Sunday puzzle, I thought we would celebrate the wonderful expert speakers we’ve had over the past few years by testing your memory and knowledge of a few of them. We’ve had lots more so apologies for missing some out.

    Simply click on the link or image below to open and print out. Enjoy!

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  • 15 August – The Oaten Hill Martyrs

    On his day in Tudor history, 15th August 1588, Catholics Robert Wilcox, Edward Campion, Christopher Buxton and Robert Widmerpool were examined while imprisoned in the Marshalsea prison in Southwark, London.

    These men ended up being executed, three of them for being Catholic priests and one for giving aid to priests, at t. All four died with courage and in 1929 were beatified.

    Find out more about these men and how they came to be executed in today’s talk.

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  • 14 August – William Parr, brother of Queen Catherine Parr

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th August 1513, William Parr, Marquess of Northampton and brother of Queen Catherine Parr, was born.

    William Parr is a fascinating man. He had a wonderful court career, his first wife eloped and left him, his divorce was granted and then rescinded, he was imprisoned in the Tower but then released, his marital happiness was rather shortlived… but he died a natural death!

    Find out more about William Parr in today’s talk.

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  • Successful Tudor Marriages

    Tim and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on Wednesday so I was inspired this week to share with you my top four successful Tudor marriages, marriages where there appears to have been real love and affection, and mutual respect.

    Please do share successful Tudor marriages that sprang to your mind too.

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  • 13 August – The sad ends of Friar Conn O’Rourke and Partick O’Healey, Bishop of Mayo

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th August 1579, Roman Catholics Friar Conn, or Connatius, O’Rourke and Patrick O’Healy, Bishop of Mayo, were hanged just outside Kilmallock, co. Limerick.

    So desperate was Sir William Drury, Lord President of Munster, to get rid of these two Catholics, that he used martial law to find them guilty of treason, rather than giving them a trial. Find out why, what Drury did to poor Bishop O’Healey, and what happened to their remains afterwards, in today’s talk.

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  • 12 August – Ursula Pole, Baroness Stafford, daughter of Margaret Pole

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th August 1570, Lady Ursula Stafford died. She was the daughter of the late Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, sister of Cardinal Reginald Pole, and wife of Henry Stafford, 1st Baron Stafford. She had Plantagenet blood being the granddaughter of George, Duke of Clarence.

    Find out more about the life of this interesting Tudor lady, and the tragic fall of her family, in today’s talk.

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  • 11 August – Sir Maurice Berkeley and his royal career

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th August 1581, Sir Maurice Berkeley, former gentleman usher of Henry VIII’s Privy Chamber, died.

    You may not have heard of Sir Maurice Berkeley, but he had a wonderful court career, serving Henry VIII, Edward VI and Elizabeth I, and proving his loyalty to Mary I by arresting rebel leader, Thomas Wyatt the Younger.

    Find out more about this lesser-known Tudor man in today’s talk.

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  • John Neville, 3rd Baron Latimer (1493-1543)

    John Neville, the 3rd Baron Latimer, was born on 17th November 1493 and was the eldest son and heir of Richard Neville and his wife Anne, daughter of Sir Humphrey Stafford.

    Although the Neville family was prominent in Tudor England, little is known about Neville’s early life, but we know that by 1520, he was married to Dorothy, daughter of Sir George de Vere, 14th Earl of Oxford. However, sadly she died seven years after the marriage, in 1527, and by 20th June 1528, John had married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Edward Musgrave. Sadly, Elizabeth also died, however, we do not know in which year.

    John Neville married his third and final wife, Katherine Parr, in the summer of 1534. Katherine Parr was the daughter of Sir Thomas Parr of Kendal, and she had been married previously to Sir Edward Borough.

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  • 10 August – Drownings at London Bridge

    On this day in Tudor history, 10th August 1553, the same day that Queen Mary I held requiem mass for the soul of her late half-brother, Edward VI, seven men died at London Bridge. They were drowned.

    Find out more about what happened to these men – one of whom was Thomas Brydges, the son of Sir Thomas Brydges, Deputy Lieutenant of the Tower of London – how the Thames was the preferred way of travelling around London, and how and why it could be dangerous around London Bridge, in today’s talk.

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  • 9 August – Elizabeth I’s words cause horror among her clergy

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th August 1561, while on a visit to Ipswich, in Suffolk, Queen Elizabeth I issued a royal mandate forbidding women to reside in cathedrals and colleges.

    Although she wasn’t going as far as banning clerical marriage, her mandate caused concern, and even horror, among her clergy, particularly her married Archbishop of Canterbury, who was a huge supporter of clerical marriage.

    Find out more about what Elizabeth I ordered, the reactions of William Cecil, Matthew Parker and Richard Cox, and why the Protestant Elizabeth may have issued this mandate, in today’s talk.

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  • Early August Tudor People and Places Wordsearch

    Every day I share with you “on this day in Tudor history” events, but how much can you remember about the Tudor people and places connected to early August? Get those little grey cells working with this fun (and hopefully not too hard!) wordsearch.

    Simply click on the link or image below to open and print out the wordsearch.

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  • Teasel’s Tudor Trivia – Tudor Dining

    In this latest edition of Teasel’s Tudor Trivia, historian Claire RIdgway and rescue dog Teasel share information on dining Tudor-style.

    What did the Tudors eat off?
    Did the Tudors use cutlery?
    Did the Tudors eat at a table?
    What did the Tudors drink out of?

    Find out more about how the Tudors ate their meals in this talk from Claire and Teasel.

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  • 8 August – Edward VI’s Burial

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th August 1553, fifteen-year-old King Edward VI was buried in Henry VII’s Lady Chapel in Westminster Abbey in a funeral service performed by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury.

    Although his Catholic half-sister, Mary, was on the throne, Edward was buried with Protestant rites and it was the first time the English Book of Common Prayer was used for the funeral of a monarch.

    Find out more about Edward VI’s funeral, how Mary I marked his passing, and Edward VI’s resting place, in today’s talk.

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  • 7 August – Mary, Queen of Scots sets off for a new life in France

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th August 1548, five-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots set sail from Dumbarton in Scotland bound for France.

    A marriage had been agreed between Mary and Francis, the Dauphin, so Mary was going to be brought up at the French court. Mary travelled with her maids of honour, the Four Marys, or the Queen’s Maries: Mary Fleming, Mary Beaton, Mary Seton and Mary Livingston.

    Find out more in today’s talk.

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  • Hatfield House

    This week’s Claire chats/Roving Reporter takes us to Hatfield house, the place where Elizabeth first heard she was the queen of England. Enjoy this detailed look at the building.

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  • 6 August – Margaret Tudor’s Secret Marriage

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th August 1514, Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII and Regent of Scotland, married for a second time.

    The widow of King James IV of Scotland married Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, the most important Scottish magnate, in a secret ceremony at Kinnoull in Perthshire. When news got out, it led to Margaret losing the Regency of Scotland.

    Find out what happened next and how things turned out with Margaret and Angus, and how and why Margaret sought refuge at the English court, in today’s talk.

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  • 5 August – Two brothers killed in suspicious circumstances

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th August 1600, John Ruthven, 3rd Earl of Gowrie, and his brother, Alexander Ruthven, Master of Ruthven, were killed in mysterious circumstances at Gowrie House near Perth in Scotland.

    Why am I talking about a Scottish event? Well, because the brothers were killed as they allegedly tried to kidnap, King James VI of Scotland, who, in 1603, inherited the English throne from Queen Elizabeth I.

    But what happened? Did these men really try to kidnap the king or was there more to the story?

    Find out in today’s talk.

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  • William Blount, 4th Baron Mountjoy (1478-1534)

    William Blount was one of the premier courtiers in Tudor England and was born in Barton Blount in around 1478 to John Mountjoy, the third Baron Mountjoy. John Mountjoy died in 1485, leaving William the title when he was still a young boy, thus his uncle Sir James Blount was granted custody of his lands and marriage. William himself, therefore, did not enter into his inheritance until 31st January 1500.

    In 1497, Blount was involved in the suppression of the Cornish uprising by Perkin Warbeck, and during the same year, he married Elizabeth Say, and in 1498 he travelled to Paris. Here he met Erasmus, who became his tutor and referred to William as the ‘most learned among nobles’ and when Blount returned to England in 1499, Erasmus accompanied him. Following his return to England, Blount became tutor to Prince Henry, the future King Henry VIII, and introduced him to Thomas More and Erasmus and the work of the two men. Erasmus and Blount had a friendly relationship that lasted the majority of their lives, with the two men visiting each other frequently when time allowed.

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  • 4 August – Rebels fight most valiantly

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th August 1549, in the reign of King Edward VI, the Battle of Woodbury Common, part of the Prayer Book Rebellion, took place on Woodbury Common, near the village of Woodbury in East Devon.

    The battle was between the rebels and the crown troops commanded by John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford. Although the rebels fought valiantly, they were defeated.

    Find out more about the battle and what caused the Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549 in today’s talk.

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  • 3 August – A notorious Tudor rake

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd August 1562, Essex magnate and notorious rake, John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford, died at his home, Hedingham Castle in Essex.

    Oxford served four Tudor monarchs and was great chamberlain at the height of his career, but he had a rather colourful reputation. Find out more about the life of this Earl of Oxford and what gave him his reputation in today’s talk.

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  • 2 August – Spaniards land in Cornwall and cause trouble

    On 2nd August 1595, as part of the Anglo-Spanish War of 1585-1604, four galleys containing somewhere between 200 and 400 Spanish soldiers landed at Mount’s Bay on the coast of western Cornwall.

    The local militia fled and so the Spaniards went on to cause devastation in the area.

    Find out exactly what the Spaniards did in Cornwall in today’s talk.

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  • Queen Jane or Lady Jane Grey True or False Quiz

    The month of July has just come to an end, but July was an important month for Queen Jane, or Lady Jane Grey, as she was Queen of England for a short time.

    But how much do you know about this ill-fated Tudor queen?

    Test your knowledge with this fun Lady Jane Grey Quiz.

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  • 1 August – A young blind woman is burnt for heresy

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st August 1556, a blind woman named Joan Waste was burnt in Derby for heresy after she refused to recant her Protestant faith.

    Joan was just twenty-two when she died and had learnt the New Testament by having people read it to her.

    Find out more about Protestant martyr, Joan Waste, her short life and her sad end, in today’s talk.

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  • Elizabeth I and the French – Estelle Paranque – Expert Talk

    Elizabeth I is arguably the most successful and well known Tudor monarchs. In this talk, Estelle looks at Elizabeth from a different perspective – how she was seen by the French and how it shows her in a very different light.

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  • 31 July – Henry Grey, father of Lady Jane Grey, is released from the Tower

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st July 1553, Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, was “discharged out of the Tower by the Earle of Arundell and had the Quenes pardon.”

    Suffolk had, of course, been imprisoned after Mary I had overthrown his daughter, Queen Jane, or Lady Jane Grey, and his release was down to his wife, Frances, interceding with the queen and begging for mercy.

    But who was Henry Grey and how did he go from being pardoned to being executed in 1554?

    Find out in today’s talk.

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  • Poisons in the medieval and Tudor periods

    This week’s Claire Chats has been inspired by the recent video I did on Richard Hesketh and the Hesketh plot, in which I mentioned Ferdinando Stanley and his belief that he’d been poisoned, so he took bezoar stone and unicorn’s horn to try and counteract the poison. It made me want to dig a bit deeper into poisoning in the medieval and Tudor period, and find out what poisons were used to do away with people.

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  • August 2020 – Tudor Life – Tudor Cousins

    In this month’s 88-page magazine we’ve packed every page with articles about Tudor Cousins and the problems or benefits that it gave! We also have a wonderful article from Elizabeth Timms about the Bayne Tower at Hampton Court Palace and another on the hidden Tudor gem Harvington Hall by Phil Downing. It’s a wonderful magazine as always!

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  • Tudor Life August 2020 Taster

    In the full 88-page August magazine we’ve packed every page with articles about Tudor Cousins and the problems or benefits that it gave! We also have a wonderful article from Elizabeth Timms about the Bayne Tower at Hampton Court Palace and another on the hidden Tudor gem Harvington Hall by Phil Downing. It’s a wonderful magazine as always!

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  • 30 July – Elizabeth leaves Somerset House to meet Mary

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th July 1553, Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, left her new home, Somerset House, to ride to Wanstead and greet her half-sister, Mary, who’d been officially proclaimed queen on 19th July.

    Somerset House was Elizabeth’s new London residence and you can find out more about how Elizabeth acquired it and who built it originally in today’s talk.

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