The Tudor Society
  • July 28 – The execution of Walter Hungerford, Baron Hungerford of Heytesbury

    A silhouette of a man's side profile

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th July 1540, after the execution of Thomas Cromwell, Walter Hungerford, Baron Hungerford of Heytesbury and a client of Cromwell, was beheaded on Tower Hill.

    He was the only man in the Tudor period to be executed for “treason of buggery”.

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  • July 27 – A royal tutor and secretary of state is sent to the Tower

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th (or 28th) July 1553, King Edward VI’s former tutor and principal secretary, thirty-nine-year-old Sir John Cheke, was sent to the Tower of London.

    Edward VI had died on 6th July 1553 and his council followed his wishes, proclaiming Lady Jane Grey as Queen Jane…

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  • July 26 – George Talbot, 4th Earl of Shrewsbury

    Effigy of George Talbot on the Talbot monument in the Shrewsbury Chapel, Sheffield Cathedral. His first wife Anne is on his right side and his second, Elizabeth, on his left.

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th July 1538, in the reign of King Henry VIII, George Talbot, 4th Earl of Shrewsbury and 4th Earl of Waterford, died at South Wingfield Manor, Derbyshire. He was buried at St Peter’s Church, Sheffield.

    Here are a few facts about him…

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  • ADVANCE NOTICE: Wolf Hall Tudor Weekend Conference to celebrate Hilary Mantel’s Trilogy

    The Wolf Hall Weekend

    Fans of all things Tudor will be thrilled to know that a weekend conference dedicated to the late Dame Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall Trilogy will be held next summer

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  • July 25 – Child actor Salomon Pavy

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th July 1602, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, thirteen-year-old actor Salomon Pavy was buried at the Church of St Mary Somerset, near Blackfriars Theatre.

    It is thought that Salomon was abducted to serve as an actor in the Children of Paul’s, for in 1601 when four men were accused of abducting another boy to serve as an actor, the name “Salmon Pavey, apprentice” was mentioned as a past abductee.

    Salomon later joined the Children of the Queen’s Revels at the Blackfriars Theatre and had parts in plays by Ben Jonson.

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  • Monday Martyr – Durham martyr John Boste

    An illustration of John Boste from "The Life and Times of Saint John Boste: Catholic Martyr of Durham 1544 - 1594" by Simon Webb

    Today is the anniversary of the execution of Durham martyr John Boste in 1594, so I thought I’d share more details on Boste’s life and how he came to be martyred in Elizabeth I’s reign.

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  • July 24 – Catholic martyr John Boste

    Durham Cathedral with an illustration of John Boste from "The Life and Times of Saint John Boste: Catholic Martyr of Durham 1544 - 1594" by Simon Webb

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th July 1594, in the reign of Elizabeth I, Roman Catholic priest John Boste was hanged, drawn and quartered in Durham.

    Boste had originally taken Church of England orders, but was converted to Catholicism in 1576. He travelled to the Low Countries in 1580 and travelled on to the English College at Rheims. He was ordained in March 1581

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  • July 23 – Protestant printer John Day

    A woodcut of John Day (dated 1562) included in the 1563 and subsequent editions of Actes and Monuments

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd July 1584, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Protestant printer, bookseller and publisher John Day died at Walden in Essex.

    Suffolk-born Day was in London by 1540 working for printer and physician Thomas Raynalde. In 1546, he was awarded the freedom of the city of London and began printing in partnership with William Seres.

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  • July 22 – John Scrope, 5th Baron Scrope of Bolton

    The arms of John Scrope, 5th Baron Scrope of Bolton, by Rs-nourse.

    On this day in history, 22nd July 1437 (or 1438), soldier and royal councillor John Scrope, 5th Baron Scrope of Bolton, was born.

    During the Wars of the Roses, Scrope was seriously injured at the Battle of Towton fighting on Edward IV’s side and in 1469 he sided with the Earl of Warwick against Edward, but was fortunately forgiven, even though he did that twice.

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  • July 21 – Explorer Thomas Cavendish

    An engraving of Thomas Cavendish from Henry Holland's Herōologia Anglica (1620).

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st July 1586, explorer, navigator and privateer, Thomas Cavendish, set sail from Plymouth on his South Sea voyage. He set off with three ships and 123 men.

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  • July 20 – Philip of Spain arrives in England

    A portrait of Philip of Spain by Anthonis Mor

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th July 1554, Philip of Spain arrived in England, at Southampton, in readiness for his marriage to Mary I.

    Winchester Cathedral, seat of Bishop Stephen Gardiner, had been chosen as the wedding venue, due to the recent Wyatt’s Rebellion in London, and Mary and her court set off from Richmond on 16th June.

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  • July 19 – Mary Boleyn

    Portrait of a woman thought to be Mary Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th July 1543, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Mary Boleyn died. It is not known where she was laid to rest.

    Mary was the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond, and his wife, Elizabeth Howard. She was the granddaughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, and sister of Queen Anne Boleyn and George Boleyn, Lord Rochford. At some point, she had been King Henry VIII’s mistress, but nothing is known of their relationship.

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  • July 18 – Katherine Ashley (Astley)

    Portrait of Kat Ashley

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th July 1565, Katherine Ashley, or Astley, close friend and loyal servant of Queen Elizabeth I, died in London.

    Katherine was the daughter of Sir Philip Champernowne of Modbury in Devon, and through him and her mother’s Carew family, was related to all the leading gentry in the West Country.

    She joined Princess Elizabeth’s household in 1536 and served as governess. She married courtier John Ashley in around 1545. Their marriage was childless.

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  • Monday Martyr – John Lascelles (Lassells)

    A woodcut of the burnings of Anne Askew, John Lascelles, Nicholas Belenian and John Adams from John Foxe's Book of Martyrs

    This week’s Monday Martyr is John Lascelles (Lassells, Lacels), a courtier who was burnt at the stake for his Protestant faith at Smithfield on 16th July 1546 with priest Nicholas Belenian, tailor John Adams, and famous Protestant martyr Anne Askew.

    Here are some facts about this Henrician Protestant martyr

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  • July 17 – The burning of Lady Glamis

    Edinburgh Castle seen from the roof of the National Museum of Scotland by Kim Traynor

    On this day in history, 17th July 1537, Janet Douglas, Lady Glamis, was burnt to death for treason on the castle hill at Edinburgh.

    Janet had been charged with plotting to poison King James V, nephew of King Henry VIII, and assisting and corresponding with her brothers, Sir George Douglas and Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus.

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  • July 16 – Frances Brandon

    Tomb effigy of Frances Grey (Brandon), Duchess of Suffolk

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th July 1517, the feast of St Francis, Frances Brandon was born at Hatfield. She was the eldest daughter of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and Mary Tudor, widow of King Louis XII of France and sister of Henry VIII.

    Frances married Henry Grey, Marquis of Dorset (later Duke of Suffolk). They had three children: Jane, Katherine, and Mary.

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  • July 15 – Architect and theatre designer Inigo Jones

    Portrait of Inigo Jones painted by William Hogarth in 1758, after Van Dyck

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th July 1573, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, architect and theatre designer Inigo Jones was born in London.

    Jones is known for founding, what the Encyclopaedia Britannica describes as the English classical tradition of architecture. He is mainly known for his design of the Banqueting House, which was begun in 1619, the Queen’s House at Greenwich, which was begun in 1616 and was built for Queen Anne, wife of James I, and his stage design work, some of it in collaboration with Ben Jonson.

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  • July 14 – Christopher Bainbridge, a poisoned cardinal

    Image: A 19th century portrait of Cardinal Christopher Bainbridge by G. Francisi, Queen's College, Oxford.

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th July 1514, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Cardinal Christopher Bainbridge died in Rome of alleged poisoning. He was about 51 years old.

    Bainbridge started his church career in Henry VII’s reign and became Archbishop of York in 1508. He was chosen as an executor of the king’s will.

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  • July 13 – John Dee

    A portrait of John Dee by an unknown artist

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th July 1527, John Dee, the astrologer, mathematician, alchemist, antiquary, spy, philosopher, geographer and adviser to Elizabeth I and influential statesmen, was born in London.

    He had an incredible career

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  • July 12 – Burnings in Canterbury

    A photo of Butchery Lane, Canterbury

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th July 1555, in the reign of Queen Mary I, preachers John Bland and John Frankesh, rector Nicholas Sheterden and vicar Humphrey Middleton were burned at Canterbury in Kent. They were all Protestants burned for heresy.

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  • July 11 – The plague hits Shakespeare’s hometown

    Illustration of The Dance of Death (1493) by Michael Wolgemut,, with a portrait of William Shakespeare

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th July 1564, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the first death from plague was recorded in the parish records of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire.

    John Bretchgirdle, vicar of Holy Trinity, where William Shakespeare had been baptised that very year, on 26th April, recorded the death of Oliver Gunn, an apprentice weaver…

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  • Monday Martyr – John Cornelius

    A 17th century engraving of John Cornelius being tortured

    This week’s Monday Martyr is Catholic martyr John Cornelius, who was executed for treason, for being a priest and returning to England as a priest, on 3rd or 4th July 1594, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

    John Cornelius, who had Irish parents, was born in Bodmin in Cornwall in around 1557. Under the patronage of Sir John Arundell of Lanherne, Cornelius was educated at Oxford University, but was expelled due to his Catholic faith in August 1578. In 1579, he travelled to the English College at Rheims, in France, and then on to the English College in Rome, where he was ordained in 1583.

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  • July 10 – Elizabeth I visits the Tower of London mint

    A photo of the Tower of London with a c.1560 portrait of Elizabeth I.

    On this day in Tudor history, 10th July 1561, Queen Elizabeth I visited the Tower of London mint to check on the progress of her new coins.

    Debasement of coins had happened between 1544 and 1551, in the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI, when the government was looking to fund foreign wars. The ratio of precious metal to alloy was reduced, so more coinage could be produced more cheaply, with the government pocketing the profit.

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  • July 9 – Elizabeth I stays with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester

    Portraits of Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th July 1575, Elizabeth I began a stay at Kenilworth Castle, home of her favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.

    Her 19-day-stay was recorded by Robert Langham, a member of Leicester’s household, and by poet and actor George Gascoigne, who was hired by Leicester to provide entertainment.

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  • July 8 – Kett’s Rebellion

    An 18th-century depiction of Robert Kett and his followers under the Oak of Reformation on Mousehold Heath

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th July 1549, in the reign of King Edward VI, Kett’s Rebellion began.

    Robert Kett, a Norfolk farmer, agreed to lead a group of protesters who were angry with the enclosure of common land. The protesters marched on Norwich, and by the time they reached the city walls, it is said that they numbered around 16,000.

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  • July 7 – Mary receives news of Edward VI’s death

    A portrait of Mary I by Hans Eworth

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th July 1553, the day after the death of King Edward VI, his half-sister, Mary, received news of his death.

    Mary, the daughter of Henry VIII by his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, had left Hunsdon on 3rd July after hearing that Edward was dying and that there was a plot against her. She set off for her estates in East Anglia, where she had support.

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  • July 6 – Sir Thomas More’s adopted daughter

    A chalk sketch of Margaret Clement (Giggs) by Hans Holbein the Younger

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th July 1570, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Margaret Clement (née Giggs), wife of John Clement and adopted daughter of Sir Thomas More, died in Mechelen where she and her husband had gone into exile. Margaret was buried in the Cathedral of St Rumbald.

    In 1535, in his final letter, written to his daughter, Margaret Roper, before his execution, Sir Thomas More mentioned Margaret Clement. He wrote “I send now unto my good daughter Clement her algorism stone and I send her and my good son and all hers God’s blessing and mine.” An algorism stone being a devise for helping with arithmetic. It was obviously a keepsake he wanted her to have.

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  • July 5 – A shoemaker is executed

    A silhouette of a man's side profile

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th July 1583, shoemaker and religious radical John Copping was executed for ‘dispersing’ books by Robert Browne and Richard Harrison, which were viewed as “sundry seditious, schismatical and erroneous printed books”.

    Copping had been arrested with his friend Elias Thacker, a tailor, and Thacker was executed the day before. Books were burned at each of their executions.

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  • July 4 – Elizabethan composer William Byrd

    On 4th July 1623, Elizabethan composer, William Byrd died at Stondon Massey in Essex.

    Byrd served as a gentleman of the Chapel Royal from 1572, and in 1575 he and fellow composer Thomas Tallis were granted a patent for the importing, printing, publishing, and sale of music, and the printing of music paper for a period of twenty-one years. They published a collection of 34 motets – 16 written by Tallis and 18 by Byrd, in 1575 as their first work.

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  • Monday Martyr – Anthony Brookby

    The symbol of the Order of Friars Minor, the Franciscans, by Piotr Jaworski, PioM

    This week’s Monday Martyr is Franciscan friar Anthony Brookby (Brockby), who was executed on 19th July 1537, in the reign of King Henry VIII.

    In her 19th century book “Faithful unto Death”, J M Stone explains that Father Anthony Brookby was a Latin, Greek and Hebrew scholar who was Professor of Divinity at Magdalen College, Oxford, and “celebrated for his eloquence as a scholar”. He got into trouble when, during a sermon at the Church of St Lawrence, Brookby “spoke of Henry’s new marriage, as the cause of the dreadful evils which threatened to overwhelm the country”. He went on to denounce England’s break with Rome and the dissolution of the monasteries.

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