The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • February Birthdays and Feast Days Crossword Puzzle

    Happy Sunday! I hope you’ve had a good week. This week’s Sunday puzzle is a crossword puzzle testing your knowledge of Tudor people born in the month of February, along with February feast days.

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

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  • 8 February – The Queen’s favourite rebels

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th February 1601, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex and Queen Elizabeth I’s former favourite, did a rather foolish thing and raised a rebellion against the queen and her council.

    Spoilers: It didn’t go well and he ended up being executed as a traitor.

    Find out exactly what happened in today’s talk.

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  • 7 February – Sir Thomas More

    On this day in history, 7th February 1477 or 1478, Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, was born in London.

    More had once wanted to be a monk but ended up being one of the most well-known statesmen of the Tudor period. Unfortunately, Sir Thomas More came to a sticky end after refusing to sign the oath recognising Henry VIII as the supreme head of the church in England, and was executed in 1535 as a traitor.

    Find out all about More’s rise to power, how he fell, and what he told his son-in-law about the king, in today’s talk.

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  • Ludlow Castle – Roving Reporter

    This month, Philippa Brewell, our roving reporter, has been to Ludlow Castle in Shropshire. It’s an impressive Norman castle, now in ruins and it has a strong connection to the Tudors.

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  • 6 February – Thomas Cutwode and his dodgy works

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th February 1561, poet Tailboys Dymoke (pseudonym Thomas Cutwode) was baptised at Kyme in Lincolnshire.

    Dymoke, or Cutwode, is known for his allegorical poem, The Bumble Bee, a political satire which was apparently rather dodgy! He also got into trouble for writing a slanderous play and poem. An interesting man who liked to play with fire!

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  • 5 February – Elizabeth under investigation

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th February 1549, in the reign of King Edward VI, fifteen-year-old Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth I, was summoned to appear before Sir Robert Tyrwhitt, who was keeping her under house arrest at Hatfield while the Crown investigated Thomas Seymour.

    Edward VI’s privy council were investigating whether Elizabeth was secretly plotting to marry Thomas Seymour, Edward VI’s uncle, helped by her servants, Katherine Ashley and Thomas Parry.

    Parry and Ashley had made confessions, but what had they said? And what would happen to them all?

    Find out in today’s talk.

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  • 4 February – Mary Boleyn gets married

    On this day in Tudor history, Saturday 4th February 1520, Mary Boleyn, sister of Anne Boleyn, got married to William Carey in the Chapel Royal at Greenwich Palace, in a service attended by King Henry VIII.

    Find out more about Mary Boleyn and William Carey in today’s talk.

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  • 3 February – Silken Thomas


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  • 2 February – Sir Francis Bryan, the Vicar of Hell

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd February 1550, Sir Francis Bryan, died suddenly in Ireland. He was a rather colourful Tudor character, known as much for his drinking, gambling and all-round bad behaviour, as his diplomacy, royal favour and gift for poetry.

    Find out more about this one-eyed courtier and his nickname, “the vicar of hell”, in today’s talk.

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  • Tudor Literature Wordsearch

    As my Claire Chats talk on Friday was on the wonderful Tudor poet, Sir Thomas Wyatt, I thought I’d put together this wordsearch in celebration of Tudor literature. How much do you know about the literary giants of this period? Test your knowledge with this fun wordsearch. Warning: the words can go in any direction!

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

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  • 1 February – Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots’ death warrant

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st February 1587, Queen Elizabeth I called her secretary, William Davison, to her and asked him to bring her the death warrant of Mary, Queen of Scots. She then signed it. However, she didn’t want it to be sent to Fotheringhay, where Mary was held, until she said so. But it was sent.

    Elizabeth wanted someone else to take responsibility for Mary’s death, she even wanted her gaoler to assassinate her!

    Find out all about this, and how Mary DID end up being executed in February 1587, in today’s talk.

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  • Henry VII and Richard III, A deadly rivalry – Sean Cunningham – Expert Talk

    Dr Sean Cunningham joins us this month to discuss the two kings, Richard III and Henry VII and how they ended up being deadly rivals.

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  • 31 January – The great devil of all

    On this day in history, 31st January 1606, Gunpowder Plot conspirators Thomas Winter, Ambrose Rookwood, Robert Keyes, and Guy Fawkes were executed for treason at the Old Palace Yard, Westminster.

    Two of them cheated the executioner and crowd by leaping at the gallows, but they still had awful ends. Hear a contemporary account of their executions, including what they did and said, in today’s talk.

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  • Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder – my historical crush!

    I do have to admit to Sir Thomas Wyatt being my historical crush (along with Robery Dudley and George Boleyn), so I was very excited when my daughter Verity told me that she is studying his work this term as part of her English Literature unit. She’s now being bombarded with resources and Wyatt trivia from me! Anyway, it inspired me to talk a little about him in this week’s Claire Chats talk and to share some Wyatt resources with you…

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  • February 2020 – Tudor Life – Rebellion

    Here’s the full version of your monthly magazine: all about Rebellion and how a number of critical moments could have changed Tudor history forever.

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  • Tudor Life February 2020 Taster

    February’s Tudor Life magazine is all about Rebellion and how a number of critical moments could have changed Tudor history forever. It’s 70 pages long and is packed full of Tudor articles for you to enjoy.

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  • 30 January – Four Gunpowder Plotters come to sticky ends

    On this day in history, 30th January 1606, Gunpowder plotters Everard Digby, Robert Wintour, John Grant and Thomas Bates were executed for treason at St Paul’s Churchyard.

    Find out how they came to this end and hear a contemporary account of their executions in today’s talk.

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  • 2020 Calendar now reduced!

    As we’re now well into 2020, we’re reducing the price to clear our last few remaining Anne Boleyn Files and Tudor Society Calendars. Grab one while you can!

    This high-quality wall calendar measures 297mm (11¾ inches) by 425mm (16¾ inches), it is spiral bound at the top and is printed on thick 100# stock paper. Full colour throughout. 1 full page per month.

    Our 2020 calendar features photos of some of my very favourite Tudor places:

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  • 29 January – Queen Anne Boleyn miscarries

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th January 1536, the same day that Catherine of Aragon was buried at Peterborough Abbey, Queen Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII suffered a miscarriage.

    Contemporary accounts state that she was around 3 1/2 months pregnant and that it was a boy.

    In today’s talk, I share information given by the imperial ambassador on Anne Boleyn’s miscarriage, including the gossip concerning the king and a certain Jane Seymour.

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  • Eustace Chapuys (d.1556)

    Eustace Chapuys was born in Annecy; his exact birth date is unknown but is believed to be between 1490 and 1492. He was the second son of Louis Chapuys, notary of Annecy in the Duchy of Savoy.

    Eustace Chapuys was a very well-educated man, attending the University of Turin in 1507, where it is believed he stayed for five years, leaving in around 1512. Chapuys became a doctor of civil and canon laws and had an interest in humanist scholarship. His degree paved the way for his appointment in 1517 when he was employed as an official to the Bishop of Geneva and represented the bishop in the government of the city. In the years following this appointment, Chapuys delicately handled strained political alliances, representing his bishop and the Duke of Savoy. In 1525, Chapuys entered the services of the Duke of Bourbon, acting as his ambassador to Charles V’s court in Granada. Following the death of the Duke of Bourbon, Eustace entered into the service of Charles V the Holy Roman Emperor, and by the 25th June 1529, he was appointed as Charles V’s ambassador to England. It is this appointment which guarantees Chapuys’ place in history as an important historical figure.

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  • Edward VI is king!

    On this day in history, 28th January 1547, nine-year-old Edward, son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, became King Edward VI, succeeding his father, King Henry VIII, who died on this day at Whitehall Palace. Edward didn’t hear the news of his father’s death until the next day, when he was told of it by Edward Seymour and Anthony Denny.

    Here are some resources on this young Tudor king…

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  • 28 January – Elizabeth I, friend of the Ottoman Empire

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th January 1598, diplomat Edward Barton died of dysentery on the island of Heybeli Ada, in the Sea of Marmara, off the coast of Istanbul. Barton and his predecessor, William Harborne, had played key roles in Elizabeth I’s alliance with the Ottoman Empire.

    Elizabeth I had a good relationship with the Islamic World and it was something that was very important to her. Find out why Elizabeth reached out to the Ottomans in the 1580s, and just how the relationship worked, in today’s talk.

    Recommended reading: “This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World” – Jerry Brotton

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  • Transcript of Livechat with Tony Riches – Katherine Willoughby

    Thanks for all those who came to our fast-paced livechat with Tony Riches. We were discussing Katherine Willoughby and the Protestant Martyrs and it was great fun and educational. For those who couldn’t make it, here’s the transcript for you to look through…

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  • 27 January – The fate of the Gunpowder Plotters

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th January 1606, in the reign of King James I, the eight surviving conspirators of the November 1605 Gunpowder Plot were tried at Westminster for high treason.

    Why am I talking about something that happened during the reign of King James I, in the Stuart period? Well, because the Gunpowder Plot actually had its origins in Elizabeth I’s reign.

    Let me tell you more in today’s talk.

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  • 26 January – Justice Spelman and Anne Boleyn’s trial

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th January 1546, judge of assize and law reporter, Sir John Spelman, died.

    Now, you may never have heard of Justice John Spelman, but his reports on the legal cases of people like Queen Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas More, Bishop John Fisher and Cardinal Thomas Wolsey have been very useful to historians – a wonderful resource.

    Let me tell you more about Sir John Spelman and what he had to say about Anne Boleyn’s trial.

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  • Boleyn Family Quiz

    This week’s Sunday quiz tests your knowledge of a prominent Tudor family, the Boleyn family. How much do you know about them? Find out with this fun quiz. Good luck!

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  • 25 January – Bonfires, torches, bells ringing…

    25th January is the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, an important day in Tudor times. It celebrated the conversion of Saul, a man known for his persecution of Christians, on the road to Damascus.

    In today’s talk, I explain the background of the feast day and shares a contemporary account of how St Paul’s Day was celebrated in the reign of Queen Mary I.

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  • 24 January – Can jousting heal the problems between Englishmen and Spaniards?

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th January 1555, in the reign of Queen Mary I, a great joust was held at Westminster between English and the Spanish knights. It was one of the events planned by Philip of Spain, Queen Mary I’s husband, to try and tackle the problems between Englishmen and Spaniards in London. Tensions had even led to violence and murder.

    Find out more about the problems, and how King Philip tried to tackle them, in today’s talk.

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  • The Dissolution of the Monasteries and its impact – Part 2: The benefits for Henry VIII and the impact on his country

    In last week’s Claire Chats talk, I talked about the monasteries in medieval times, monastic life, and how the monasteries and church were central to their communities.
    In the 1530s, in the reign of King Henry VIII, there was the dissolution of the monasteries and so today I want to look at what that involved, the reasons for it, and what impact it had on England and its people.

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  • 23 January – Elizabeth I opens the Royal Exchange

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd January 1571, after dining with its founder, Sir Thomas Gresham, Queen Elizabeth I opened the Royal Exchange in London.

    Find out more about the official opening, what the Royal Exchange was, why Gresham paid for its building, and what happened to it, in today’s talk.

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