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The Tudor Society
  • International Women’s Day – unknown Tudor women

    Today it's not only International Women's Day, a day where we acknowledge the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, but the whole of March we celebrate Women's History Month! A month in which we commemorate the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.

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  • An outspoken reformer, Lady Margaret Douglas dies, and a man of “plyable” willow

    In the first part of this week in Tudor history, I introduce an outspoken reformer whose works were burnt, I talk about the death of Henry VIII’s niece, Lady Margaret Douglas, and how it was surrounded by rumour, and I give an overview of the life and career of a Tudor administrator who claimed he survived in politics in such turbulent times because he “was made of the plyable willow, not of the stubborn oak”

    8th March 1569 – Death of evangelical reformer and Member of Parliament Richard Tracy at Stanway in Gloucestershire. Henry VIII and his council ordered the burning of his works in 1546….

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  • Tudor Women Writers and Poets Crossword Puzzle

    As it’s Women’s History Month this month in some countries, I thought we’d mark it by testing your knowledge of female poets, writers and translators from the 16th century.

    How much do you know about them?

    Test yourself with this crossword.

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

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  • A mathematician, Call Me Risley, and a scapegoat

    In this second part of This week in Tudor history, historian Claire Ridgway introduces mathematician and inventor William Oughtred, tells you about the life of Thomas Wriothesley, the man known as “Call me Risley” in Hilary Mantel’s novels, and shares about Germaine Gardiner, a bishop’s nephew who was executed as a scapegoat.

    5th March 1575 – Baptism of mathematician William Oughtred at Eton College. Oughtred is responsible for developing a straight slide-rule, a gauging rod and various sundials. He also introduced the “×” symbol for multiplication and the abbreviations “sin” and “cos” for the sine and cosine functions…

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  • Tudor Shere – Julian Humphrys

    In this week’s Friday video, historian Julian Humphrys tells us all about historic Shere, in Surrey, and the people who owned the manor.

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  • Tudor Fabrics

    In this edition of Teasel's Tudor trivia, Teasel and Claire talk about the different fabrics that were used to make clothes during the medieval and Tudor period - linen, wool, lawn, buckram, silk, velvet, taffeta, satin, sarsenet (sarcenet), damask, cloth of gold, cloth of silver, cloth of tissue and caffa, as well as the furs, ermine and miniver.

    You can find out more about Tudor costume in Claire's detailed talks on the subject:

    Videos mentioned:

    Further reading:

  • Margaret Clitherow (c.1552-1586)

    Margaret Clitherow was born in around 1552 in York and was the daughter of Jane Middleton and Thomas Middleton, a wax chandler and freeman of York. It is believed that she would have been baptised at the Church of St Martin, where her father served as a churchwarden between 1555 and 1558. At around the age of 18, Margaret married John Clitherow in July 1571. John Clitherow was a widower with two sons and a wealthy butcher who became a freeman in 1560 and elected a chamberlain in 1574.

    Following her marriage to John, Margaret moved to the Shambles in York, where she helped her husband with his business. Although we know that Margaret had numerous children, we do not know the exact number, but we know that in addition to her stepsons, she had a son Henry and a daughter named Anne. In 1576, she was pregnant and again in 1581. She was released from prison to give birth, but we don’t know whether these children survived.

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  • Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! Happy St David’s Day!

    Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! Happy St David’s Day!

    Yes, 1st March is St David’s Day, the feast of the patron saint of Wales. Thanks to a friend who’s planted daffodil bulbs on his land, I have daffodils in a vase this year and I’m enjoying leek soup – yum!

    The Tudors, of course, had strong links to Wales, with Henry VII’s grandfather being Welshman Owen Tudor, but did the Tudor court mark the day in any way?

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  • A Grand Prior, Anne of Denmark, Margaret Tudor’s third marriage and Mary Boleyn’s son

    In the first part of her “This week in Tudor history” for week beginning 1st March, I introduce you to Thomas Tresham, grand prior of the Order of St John of Jersualem, and Anne of Denmark, James I’s queen consort, as well as talking about another unhappy marriage for Margaret Tudor, and the birth of Mary Boleyn’s son.

    1st March 1559 – Death of Thomas Tresham, landowner, Catholic politician and Grand Prior of the Order of St John of Jerusalem in England.

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  • Phil Downing – Priest Holes – Expert Talk

    This month we have the wonderful Phil Downing talking about priest holes. He works at Harvington Hall and in this videos he speaks about the “Terrifying lives of Priests and their Priest Holes: the darker side of the Elizabethan period”.

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  • March 2021 on the Tudor Society Website

  • Rare Disease Day

    Today is Rare Disease Day. On this day awareness is raised about rare diseases and the impact they have on patients' lives. It takes place on the last day of February. This is because the first edition was celebrated on the 29th of February, a 'rare' date that happens only once every four years. Ever since then, Rare Disease Day has taken place on the last day of February, a month known for having a ‘rare’ number of days. On the website of Rare Disease Day you can find more information. 

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  • Tudor Diseases Quiz

    As it’s Rare Diseases Day today, I thought it was only right to test your knowledge of diseases which affected people in the Tudor period, although they weren’t rare!

    I hope you enjoy this quiz!

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  • Tudor Meals: Shrewsbury Biscuits

    In this new series called Tudor Meals, we will be making and taste testing Tudor recipes for you. This month we baked Shrewsbury biscuits! This treat was enjoyed in Tudor times by wealthy people, because it includes ingredients such as cinnamon and sugar.

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  • A literary patron and her husband, a chaplain dies at sea, and a pragmatic reformer pleases nobody

    In this second part of This week on Tudor history for the week beginning 22nd February, I introduce a literary patron and her husband, a clergyman who ended up dying on a voyage far from home and being buried at sea, and a famous reformer whose peacemaking and pragmatic approach failed to heal rifts and please people. Oh and he ended up being dug up and posthumously tried for heresy, and burnt!

    24th or 25th February 1618 – Death of Elizabeth Carey (née Spencer), Lady Hunsdon. Elizabeth was a renowned literary patron and was one of the Spencers of Althorp…

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  • The Vaux Passional and Elizabeth of York’s death

    In this week’s Friday video, Claire looks at a beautiful manuscript with links to Henry VII and the Vaux family. It really is stunning and it’s wonderful that it’s survived. It also appears to give us an inisght into his grieving children following the death of their mother, Elizabeth of York.

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  • March 2021 – Tudor Life – Pride

    Here at the Tudor Society, we continue with the deadly sins (!) with this month’s edition featuring pride. The Tudors were a proud lot, and so you’re in for a treat with this edition.

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  • How to watch the expert talk

    Every month we invite an expert – a Tudor historian or author – to do a Tudor history talk. It’s a wonderful way for these Tudor history experts to share their knowledge with people from all over the world.

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  • Artists in the spotlight!

    In this first artists in the spotlight, we talked to Siria who is only 13 years old and is from Italy. She makes the most beautiful drawings of the Tudors, so we got in touch with her to chat about her art. 

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  • Research for Historical Novels – Adrienne Dillard – Live chat transcript

    Thank you to all those who came to the fast-paced live chat with Adrienne Dillard on Saturday evening. Adrienne kept up really well with the questions and it was good to discuss historical fiction with such a successful author.

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  • Broken leg kills translator, Elizabeth of York’s funeral, and an earl implicated in murder

    In the first part of This Week in Tudor history for the week beginning 22nd February, historian and author Claire Ridgway talks about a translator killed by a broken leg, the lavish funeral of Elizabeth of York, and an earl who rose in the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I, but who was implicated in a murder in his final days.

    22nd February 1571, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I – The death of translator John Bury after breaking his leg in a fall from his horse….

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  • Shrovetide and Lent Word Search

    This week’s brain teaser is a word search testing your knowledge of Shrovetide and Lent, and the traditions associated with this time of the year. As always, the answers are all on the site. Good luck.

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

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  • Anne Seymour (née Stanhope) – Did she really have scandalous affairs?

    One of the questions I received for the Anne Boleyn Files and Tudor Society Channel’s fan Q&A series was from Tudor Society member Colleen, and her beautiful cat, King Louis.

    The question was regarding Anne Seymour (née Stanhope), second wife of Edward Seymour, who, of course became Lord Protector in his nephew Edward VI’s reign. In Showtime’s “The Tudors” series, Anne is rather a colourful character, a badly behaved woman who has an affair with a courtier and another with her own brother-in-law, but is there any truth in this or is it fictional?

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  • Your Tudor Dream Team

    A big thank you to Lorna Wanstall for inspiring this week’s Friday video with her idea about casting our Tudor dream team or dream cast. I’m looking forward to reading your ideas!

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  • The Life of Anne Boleyn course discount

    As it’s the 12th birthday of the Anne Boleyn Files website, the blog that started Claire’s career researching and writing, Claire is offering 25% discount code for her online course The Life of Anne Boleyn.

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  • Mary I resources

    As it’s the anniversary of Queen Mary I’s birth, on 18th February 1516, I thought I’d share some Mary I resources with you. We have so many Mary I resources – videos, an ebook, quizzes, expert talks… Enjoy!

    You can download the Tudor Society Mary I e-book…

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  • A murdered French duke, Margaret Douglas’s bad news, a Tudor countess, and Lady Katherine Grey

    In this second part of “This week in Tudor history” for the week beginning 15th February, I talk about how the death of a French duke led to an awful massacre, and how the imprisoned Margaret Douglas heard of her son’s murder, as well as introducing a countess who served all six of Henry VIII’s wives and who was close to his daughter Mary, and a noblewoman who managed to give birth twice while imprisoned in the Tower of London.

    18th February 1563 – Francis, Duke of Guise, was wounded by a Huguenot assassin at the Siege of Orléans. He died a few days later and his death was a factor in the 1572 St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.

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  • The Tudor Puzzle Book

    I know that many of you enjoy our weekly Tudor crossword puzzles and word searches, so you’ll be interested to know that I’ve collated some of them, plus some new ones, in a paperback book.

    I did intend to get the book out in time for Christmas, but with one thing and another it just didn’t happen. Oh well, better late than never! It’s available right now. Here are the details…

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  • A royal pregnancy announcement 

    This Valentine’s Day a very special announcement was made by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, they are expecting a child. A royal baby announcement nowadays is made and spread on social media. Since Instagram and other online platforms did not exist in Tudor times, how was this joyous news shared with the rest of the country? 

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  • It’s time for pancakes!

    Yes, it’s that time of year again! It’s Shrove Tuesday! We’re celebrating this last day before Lent by sharing two videos – one with a cute dog and one with yummy pancakes, oh and a cute Tim!

    Last year, Teasel and I made a video explaining Shrovetide – Shrove Sunday, Collop Monday and Shrove Tuesday – and how it was celebrated in Tudor times…

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