On this day in Tudor history, Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox and Elizabeth I’s cousin, was informed of the murder of her son, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley.
Margaret had been imprisoned in the Tower of Lonon in 1566 after Elizabeth I had heard news of Darnley’s marriage to Mary, Queen of Scots, and was still in the Tower in 1567. News of her son’s murdered was carried to her by William Cecil’s wife, Mildred, and Lady William Howard. [Read More...]
Happy Birthday to Queen Mary I! Yes, Mary I, a woman who has unfortunately gone down in history as “Bloody Mary” and whose reign is often seen as a failure, was born on this day in 1516.
In today’s video,I talk about Mary I’s birth and baptism and share some of Mary I’s achievements as queen. She’s so much more than Bloody Mary. [Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 17th February 1547, Edward Seymour was made Duke of Somerset. He was already leading the boy-king Edward VI’s government as Lord Protector, something that King Henry VIII had not wanted, so how did he get to these dizzying heights and who exactly was Edward Seymour?
I explain what happened in 1547 and share some Edward Seymour facts. [Read More...]
As we’ve had Valentine’s Day this week, I thought I’d test your knowledge of some famous Tudor couples and lovers. Good luck! [Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 16th February 1547, King Henry VIII was laid to rest in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. He was buried with his third wife, Queen Jane Seymour.
In this video, I talk about his burial and what happened to the sarcophagus that he had planned to use. You can see that beautiful sarcophagus today, but it is the resting place of another famous historical person and is not at Windsor. [Read More...]
Just a reminder that February’s informal live chat is taking place in the Tudor Society chatroom tomorrow, Saturday 16th February, at 11pm UK time.
The first of February’s live chats is an informal one on the topic of finding and using Tudor documents. I will be the moderator and I will also share some of the resources I use to access primary sources, but otherwise it will be an informal chat where we can all share our experiences, our favourite documents, and what we’d like to find. Feel free to lurk in the background or join in. [Read More...]
I’ve been sent a press release regarding key parts of the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s favourite warship, being displayed for the first time since she sank in 1545. They will be on display at the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth, just in time for the UK’s half-term. [Read More...]
In today’s video, I share an excerpt from my book “On This Day in Tudor History” about some dastardly deeds.
It was on this day in 1551 that businessman Thomas Arden was finally successfully murdered after a few botched attempts on his life. The rather tall tale surrounding these attempts served as an inspiration for an Elizabethan play. Find out what happened, and how those involved in the crime were punished. [Read More...]
As yesterday was Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d have a look at some love letters or letters to do with love from the Tudor period. A belated Happy Valentine’s Day to you! [Read More...]
In today’s “on this day in Tudor history”, I take you back to 1547 and a rather horrible event that was seen as the fulfilment of a prophecy. Friar William Peto had warned King Henry VIII that if he carried on with his behaviour then he would end up like King Ahab. Strong words!
I then move on to a happier topic, Valentine’s Day in the Tudor period. Did the Tudors celebrate Valentine’s Day and what did they do to mark the occasion? [Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 13th February 1542, Catherine Howard, the former queen and fifth wife of King Henry VIII, and her lady-in-waiting, Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, were executed at the Tower of London.
In today’s “on this day” video,I look at the accounts of their executions, including the one where Catherine Howard says “I die a Queen, but I would rather die the wife of Culpeper.” Did Catherine say that and did Jane Boleyn use her scaffold speech to repent of bringing down Anne Boleyn and George Boleyn in 1536? I relate what happened on 13 February 1542 and what these women said on the scaffold. [Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 12th February 1584, five Catholic priests, including James Fenn, were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. Fenn was beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929.
Richard Challoner, the 18th century bishop, gives details of the life of priest James Fenn in his book Memoirs of Missionary Priests: And Other Catholics of Both Sexes, that have suffered death in England on religious accounts, from the year 1577, to 1684. Fenn was from Montacute in Somerset and was educated at New College, Oxford, and then Corpus Christi College, from which he was expelled after refusing to take the oath of supremacy. He acted as a tutor to students of Gloucester Hall before he took up a tutoring post in his home county of Somerset. [Read More...]
In today’s “on this day in Tudor history”, I take us back to the reign of Queen Mary I.
On 12 February 1554, Lady Jane Grey, formerly Queen Jane, and her husband Guildford Dudley were executed. Guildford was beheaded on Tower Hill and Jane was beheaded at the Tower of London. I explain what led to their executions and relates what happened at them. [Read More...]
I’ve had a bit of fun at Tim’s expense. I thought it would be interesting to see how much Tudor knowledge Tim has picked up by drinking from his Tudor Society mug each day, recording my talks and helping run the Tudor Society. I was pleasantly surprised! Here are the two Tudor challenges I used on him: [Read More...]
Fancy dying on your birthday! Well, that’s what happened to Elizabeth of York, queen consort of King Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty.
In today’s video, I tell you all about this Tudor queen, from her birth on this day in 1466 to her death on this day in 1503. [Read More...]
On 10th February 1567, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, was murdered at Kirk o’Field in Edinburgh. In today’s video, I tell you what happened. [Read More...]
As Friday was the anniversary of the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots on 8th February 1587, I thought I would test your knowledge on the Scottish queen who was the nemesis of Queen Elizabeth I. Good luck! [Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 9th February 1542, Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, was rowed to the Tower of London in preparation for her forthcoming execution. In today’s video, I explain why she wasn’t already at the Tower and where she’d been between her arrest in November 1541 and this day in 1542. [Read More...]
In today’s “On this Day in Tudor History”, I give the background to Mary, Queen of Scots’ execution on this day in 1587 and also share part of an eye-witness account. [Read More...]
As we’re coming up to the anniversary of the execution of Lady Jane Grey on 12th February 1554, I thought it would be interesting to examine the time between 19th July 1553, when Mary I took the throne from Jane, and Jane’s execution. [Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 7th February 1526, Henry VIII took part in the traditional Shrovetide joust at Greenwich. In this video, I give details of this joust, its theme and a nasty accident that affected one courtier that day. [Read More...]
Tudor Society member Corinna emailed us recently regarding the work of artist Ambrosius Benson and the tradition that the couples depicted in his “Elegant couples dancing in a landscape” were “Henry VIII with Anne Boleyn, the Duke of Norfolk with the Dowager Queen Margaret of Scotland, and Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, with the Dowager Queen Mary Tudor of France”. We passed on Corinna’s email to our resident art expert Roland Hui and he wrote this article… [Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, the remains of reformers Martin Bucer and Paul Fagius were exhumed and publicly burned in Cambridge, after the men were posthumously found guilty of heresy. I tell you more in this video: [Read More...]
5th February was actually a rather quiet day in Tudor history, so let me introduce you to a little-known Tudor man, Sir Henry Brooke, or Henry Cobham as he called himself, a diplomat in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I who was born on 5th February 1537. [Read More...]
Thank you to Roland Hui for alerting me to this exhibition taking place at the NPG (National Portrait Gallery), London, from 21st February to 19th May 2019. [Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, the first English Protestant martyr, John Rogers, was burned in the reign of Queen Mary I. Let me tell you more about him and his fate. [Read More...]
In today’s video, I read an excerpt from my book “On This Day in Tudor History” about an event which happened on 3rd February 1587 and which was connected to Mary, Queen of Scots. [Read More...]
Today’s Sunday fun is a crossword puzzle to test your knowledge of Wyatt’s Rebellion, which took place in January and February 1554. You can open and print the puzzle (and answer page) by clicking on the link or picture below. [Read More...]
In today’s video, I talk about the Feast of Candlemas and the traditions associated with it. [Read More...]
As usual, we have two live chats in the Tudor Society this month.
The first of February’s live chats is an informal one on the topic of finding and using Tudor documents. Claire will be moderating, but otherwise it will be an informal chat where you can share recommendations, resources, your experiences etc. [Read More...]