The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • 28 July – Fifth time lucky for Henry VIII?

    On this day in Tudor history 28th July 1540, King Henry VIII tried his luck for a fifth time and married his former wife’s maid of honour, the young Catherine Howard. Surely, she was the one!

    In today’s “on this day” talk, I share records of this marriage and also mentions another event that took place on the very same day – an execution.

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  • July Events and People Wordsearch

    How much do you know about July’s “on this day” people and events from the Tudor period?

    Test your knowledge with this fun wordsearch!

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

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  • 27 July – Robert Dudley sends an invitation to Queen Elizabeth I

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th July 1588, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, wrote to his queen with an invitation. He was intent on keeping the queen, the woman he loved, out of harm’s way.

    I explain all in today’s “on this day in Tudor history” talk.

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  • Sleeping in Tudor Times

    I love finding out more about how Tudor people viewed and did everyday things, things that we do today, so in this week’s Claire Chats I’m looking at sleeping in Tudor times. I look at how sleeping was viewed, its links to health and religion, what kind of bedtime routine a Tudor person might have followed, the bed and bedding they used, how they slept, and what they used to help them sleep.

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  • 26 July – Preparations for the Spanish Armada

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th July 1588, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, 4,000 men assembled at Tilbury Fort in an effort to prevent the Spanish Armada from travelling up the Thames and attacking London.

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” talk, I explain what had led up to this day.

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  • 25 July – Mary I gets married

    On this day in Tudor history, 25 July 1554, on the Feast of St James, Queen Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII by Catherine of Aragon, his first wife, married Philip of Spain, son of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.

    The couple got married at Winchester Cathedral and Mary’s Lord Chancellor, Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, officiated at the ceremony.

    In today’s talk, I share a contemporary account of Mary and Philip’s wedding ceremony.

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  • 24 July – Mary, Queen of Scots abdicates

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th July 1567, twenty-four-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, who was imprisoned at Lochleven Castle, and who was recovering after miscarrying twins, was threatened with violence and forced to abdicate. Her young son, James, became King James VI of Scotland in her place.

    I share a contemporary account from Mary’s private secretary regarding what happened that day and how Mary was forced to abdicate.

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  • 23 July – Henry Carey, son of Mary Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd July 1596, Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, Privy Councillor and Lord Chamberlain, died at Somerset House in London. Hunsdon was, of course, the son of Mary Boleyn, nephew of the late Queen Anne Boleyn, and cousin and favourite of Queen Elizabeth I.

    In today’s talk, I give details of Hunsdon’s background and his rise to prominence at Elizabeth I’s court, as well as details of his burial and tomb.

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  • 22 July – The death of Henry Fitzroy, Henry VIII’s illegitimate son

    1536 was an eventful year for Henry VIII! Just over two months after the fall of his second wife, Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s only son, his illegitimate son by Elizabeth Blount, died on 22nd July 1536 at St James’s Palace. It was a huge blow for the king.

    In today’s “on this day” talk, I give details of Fitzroy’s illness, death and burial, and also just how much of a favourite he was with his father.

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  • 21 July – The Isle of Wight is attacked

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st July 1545, in the reign of King Henry VIII, French forces landed on the Isle of Wight in an attempt to invade the English island.

    In today’s “on this day” talk, I share contemporary accounts of what happened – what the French forces did to the island and what the result was.

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  • The Events of July 1553 Quiz

    July 1553 was a month of three monarchs: King Edward VI, Queen Jane (lady Jane Grey) and Queen Mary I – what a month for the citizens of London! It was definitely eventful. But how much do you know about the events that led from Edward’s death to Mary’s accession? Let me test your knowledge with this fun little quiz – good luck!

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  • 20 July – John Knox’s attack on Mary I

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th July 1554, John Knox, theologian and a leader of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, published a pamphlet attacking the Catholic Queen Mary I, her religious measures and her persecution of Protestants.

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” talk, I share some of what he said about Mary, her council and advisors. The man had a definite way with words!

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  • Live chats reminder – 20 July and 27 July

    Just a quick reminder that we have July’s informal live chat taking place in the Tudor Society chatroom – – tomorrow, Saturday 20th July.

    The idea for these informal chats is for members to jump in and share their views, pose questions for other members, share book/TV recommendations etc. and to just enjoy talking Tudor. The topic for this month is Tudor medicine.

    Here are the times for the chat in different time zones:

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  • 19 July – Mary I is proclaimed queen

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th July 1553, the reign of Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey) was brought to an end when Mary, the late King Edward VI’s half-sister, was officially proclaimed queen in London.

    In today’s talk,I share contemporary sources which tell us of how this news was celebrated in London. I also give brief details of another significant “on this day” event.

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  • All about the Executed Queens Tour 2019 – 4 videos to enjoy!

    In today¡s Claire Chats video talk, I thought I’d share with you some of what I did on the Executed Queens Tour, the highlights of the tour and the things I will remember from it. It really was a fabulous tour, made all the better because everyone was so lovely. The group really gelled.

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  • 18 July – Edmund Dudley, the “false traitor”

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th July 1509, just three months into the reign of King Henry VIII, one of King Henry VII’s chief advisors was accused of being a “false traitor” and convicted of treason.

    The new king, the young Henry VIII, used Dudley and his colleague, Richard Empson, as scapegoats for his father’s unpopular regime.

    Find out more about the charges against Edmund Dudley in today’s talk.

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  • 17 July – The Dartford Martyrs

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th July 1555, Protestant martyrs Christopher Wade (Waid) of Dartford, linen-weaver, and Margaret, or Margery, Polley, a widow from Pepenbury, Tunbridge, were burned at the stake for heresy.

    In today’s “on this day” talk, Claire Ridgway, author of several Tudor history books, tells us more about this man and woman, what led them to their awful fates, and what happened on that day in 1555.

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  • 16 July – Anne Askew’s courageous end

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th July 1546, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Protestant martyrs Anne Askew, John Lascelles, John Adams and Nicholas Belenian were burned at the stake at Smithfield in London for heresy.

    Poor Anne had been illegally racked, so special provision had to be made for her execution.

    In today’s talk, I share an account of the ends of these courageous people, along with some trivia about one of them.

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  • 15 July – The tide turns from Jane to Mary

    This day in Tudor history, 15th July 1553, was a key point in the events of summer 1553. For it was on this day that royal ships, ships that were supposed to be Queen Jane’s and who were guarding the coast off East Anglia to stop Mary fleeing England or any of her supporter invading England, swapped sides and gave declared for Queen Mary. Oh dear!

    I explain the context, the lead-up to this day, and also what happened to make the crews of these ships swap sides.

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  • 14 July – The Brandon boys are no more

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th July 1551,fifteen-year-old Henry Brandon, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, and his fourteen-year-old brother, Charles, 3rd Duke of Suffolk, both sons of Catherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk, and the late Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, died at Buckden.

    The boys had been taken ill in a sweating sickness epidemic that had hit Cambridge.

    In today’s talk, I explain exactly what happened on that sad day.

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  • July Births and Deaths True or False Quiz

    July is a busy month for “on this day in Tudor history” births and deaths, but how much do you know about the people who were born or who died in this month? Find out by testing yourself in our Sunday quiz. Good luck!

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  • Claire Chats – Tudor Money

    In this week’s Claire Chats video talk, I’m looking at Tudor money. I talk about the two different units of account, the currency that was used on a daily basis, the different coins and their values, how coins were made and the Tower Mint, coin clipping and counterfeiting, and debasement of coinage and coinage reform. Phew!

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  • 13 July – The overshadowed Robert Sidney

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th July 1626, Tudor poet and courtier, Robert Sidney, 1st Earl of Leicester, brother of Sir Philip Sidney, died at Penshurst Place, the family seat in Kent.

    Sir Philip Sidney is known as one of the great poet and scholars of the Tudor age, but his brother, Robert, was also a talented poet.

    In today’s talk, I talk about how historians discovered Robert’s work, as well as sharing one of his sonnets.

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  • The Executed Queens Tour Day 5 – Tower of London

    I started my day with a full Hever breakfast – yum! – before I joined the group on the coach with our loveable coach driver Alan and we made our way to London to visit the iconic Tower of London.

    We were met at the Tower by our guide, Alice, who gave us a wonderful tour of the main exterior areas before we enjoyed some free time to have lunch and visit the parts of the Tower we wanted to see. Philippa and I went to the White Tower to say “hello” to our dear friend, warder Tara. We were delighted to find that the chapel there now allowed photography and that the same was true with the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula – yay!

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  • 12 July – Henry VIII gets married for the sixth and final time

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th July 1543, Henry VIII got married for the sixth and final time.

    The fifty-two-year-old king married thirty-one-year-old Catherine Parr, Lady Latimer, in the Queen’s Closet of the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace.

    In today’s talk, I share a contemporary account of the wedding service, as well as telling you about who attended the ceremony.

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  • The Executed Queens Tour – Day 4 – Hever Castle

    After a delicious breakfast – my choice was smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, plus yogurt, fruit and nuts – it was time to leave the Midlands and to head for my happy place.

    The coach journey was trouble free, and we arrived at Hever Castle at lunchtime. It was like coming home when I was greeted by a member of staff I’ve known since 2010 and the comment was “your usual room, Madam”! I really need to just move in!

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  • 11 July – The Pope’s had enough of Henry VIII!

    There’s only so much a pope can take of a misbehaving king, isn’t there? And Pope Clement VII had had enough of Henry VIII by 11th July 1533.

    But how had this English king gone from being lauded as Defender of the Faith to being threatened with excommunication? What had he done to upset the Pope?

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” talk, I give details on Henry VIII’s misbehaviour, the ultimatum that the pope gave Henry, and what happened next.

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  • The Executed Queens Tour – Day 3 – Tutbury Castle

    Today started off well, with yet another scrumptious breakfast at Brockencote Hall, and then it was time to set off to see Tutbury Castle.

    One of our tour members admitted later that she hadn’t been looking forward to this visit as she knew that the castle was in ruins and there wouldn’t be much to see of the castle that Mary, Queen of Scots, knew during her four periods of imprisonment there, but this tour member ending up having a wonderful time. Let me tell you more.

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  • 10 July – Queen Jane and the boy with no ears

    On this day in Tudor history, 10th July 1553, Lady Jane Grey was officially proclaimed “Queen Jane” at the Tower of London, in Cheapside and Fleet Street. However, one young man could not keep quiet about his views regarding Mary being the rightful queen and he suffered a nasty punishment as a result.

    In today’s talk, I share a contemporary account of what happened on that day in London

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  • The Executed Queens Tour – Day 2 -Sudeley Castle

    After a filling breakfast (Full English for me!), our lovely coach driver, Alan, took us to Sudeley Castle, in Winchcombe, in the Cotswolds.

    As well as being the home and place of death of Catherine Parr, sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII, Sudeley also served as home to Lady Jane Grey, one of our executed queens, in 1548. Jane was the ward of Catherine’s fourth husband, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, who owned the castle, and so joined Catherine there when she retired to Sudeley as she prepared for the birth of her first and only child. Jane was at Sudeley when Catherine died in September 1548 and acted as chief mourner at Catherine’s funeral at the church within the grounds.

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