The Tudor Society
  • 11 September – Barnaby Fitzpatrick, friend of Edward VI

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th September 1581, Barnaby Fitzpatrick, 2nd Baron of Upper Ossory, died in Dublin, at the home of surgeon, William Kelly.

    In his youth, Fitzpatrick had been friends with Prince Edward (the future Edward VI) and had been educated with him. Historians once believed him to have been the young king’s “whipping boy”. He went on to serve Edward as a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber when Edward became kin, but ended his days as a prisoner.

    Find out more about Barnaby Fitzpatrick, his life and career, and how he came to such a sad end, in today’s talk.

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  • 10 September – The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh

    On this day in Tudor history, Saturday 10th September 1547, in the reign of King Edward VI, the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, also known as the Battle of Pinkie, took place near Musselburgh, in Scotland, on the banks of the River Esk. The English forces, led by Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, defeated the Scots, killing thousands.

    It was a bloody battle, but started off well for the Scots. In today’s talk, I share an eye-witness account of how the battle changed so dramatically, leading to the loss of between 6,000 and 15,000 Scots.

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  • 9 September – The coronation of Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th September 1543, the 30th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden, Mary, Queen of Scots, was crowned queen at the Chapel Royal of Stirling Castle. Mary was just nine months old.

    Find out more about how Mary came to the throne, her coronation ceremony, in which Mary howled, and how she was already promised in marriage to Henry VIII’s son, the future Edward VI, in today’s talk.

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  • 8 September – John Shakespeare, father of William Shakespeare

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th September 1601, John Shakespeare, father of playwright William Shakespeare, was buried at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon.

    John was a glover and whittawer, and also an important man in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, serving as high bailiff, chief alderman and deputy bailiff, and being given the right to educate his children at the local grammar school for free. However, he also ran into trouble at times.

    Find out more about the life of William Shakespeare’s father, John Shakespeare, in today’s talk.

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  • 7 September – Charles Brandon marries Catherine Willoughby

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th September 1533, just over two months after the death of his previous wife, Mary Tudor. Queen of France, forty-nine-year-old Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, married his ward, fourteen-year-old Catherine Willoughby.

    Find out more about this Tudor couple, how they came to be married, what their marriage was like, and what happened to them, in today’s talk.

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  • 6 September – Martin Luther writes to the Pope

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th September 1520, the famous reformer Martin Luther sent his pamphlet “On the Freedom of a Christian” (also known as “A Treatise on Christian Liberty”) to Pope Leo X. In the pamphlet, he emphasised the “two-fold nature” of Christians as saints and sinners, flesh and spirit.

    Luther is, of course, seen as the catalyst of the European Reformation, and in today’s talk, I explain why, what he believed, how he ended up being excommunicated and made an outlaw, and what happened to him.

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  • Elizabeth I Quiz – Early Life

    As it’s the anniversary of the birth of Queen Elizabeth I, the longest reigning of the Tudor monarchs, this week, I though I’d test your knowledge of Elizabeth I’s early life, her preaccession life.

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  • 5 September – The death of Bloody Bonner

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th September 1569, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London and a man nicknamed “Bloody Bonner”, died in Marshalsea Prison. He had started his career in Henry VIII’s reign and was not just a churchman, he was also a diplomat.

    In today’s talk, I flesh out this Tudor bishop who got his nickname from being in charge of burning reformers in London. Find out about his life, career and how he ended up dying in prison.

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  • When two or three are gathered together

    Tudor music lovers - we've been told about a performance of Tudor music written by William Byrd and John Mundy being performed by The Hampstead Collective.

    7th September, 2020 7-8pm

    Live from Hampstead Parish Church, London
    Sacred Meditation:
    'When two or three are gathered together'
    The 'Mass for Three Voices' by William Byrd, and domestic sacred music by Byrd and John Mundy, with readings from the writings of Richard Hooker.

  • 4 September – A marriage is agreed between Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th September 1539, William, Duke of Cleves, signed the marriage treaty promising his sister, Anne of Cleves, in marriage to King Henry VIII.

    Anne would of course become Henry VIII’s fourth wife.

    Find out all about the marriage agreement and its terms, and what happened next, in today’s talk.

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  • Fast Food Tudor Style

    Fast food is very much part of our world today, with cities worldwide having burger franchises, pizza outlets, fish and chip shops, Indian and Chinese restaurants, and lots more, and it made me wonder about fast food and street food in Tudor times, so I did some digging for this week’s Claire Chats talk…

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  • 3 September – The death of a clown

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd September 1588, or possibly the 5th September, actor and clown, Richard Tarlton, died in Shoreditch. He was buried in St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch.

    Tarlton was a member of the Queen’s Men acting company, but is famed for his post-play jigs as a clown. He was also known for being able to cheer up Queen Elizabeth I – how wonderful.

    Find out more about Tudor clown Richard Tarlton, his life and career, in today’s talk.

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  • 2 September – A very wealthy Irish earl dies in the Tower

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd September 1534, Gerald Fitzgerald, 9th Earl of Kildare and Lord Deputy of Ireland, died in the Tower of London at around the age of 47. Kildare had been arrested on 29th June 1534, accused of corruption and causing rebellion in Ireland.

    Kildare seems to have spent most of his career being accused of crimes, but his son Silken Thomas’s rebellion was his final undoing.

    He was already ill when he was arrested and imprisoned, suffering from the after effects of being shot, but at least his wife was able to nurse him.

    Find out more about this Earl of Kildare, his life and career, in today’s talk.

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  • 1 September – Elizabethan actor Edward Alleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st September 1566, Edward Alleyn, a major figure in the Elizabethan theatre, was born in the parish of St Botolph without Bishopsgate, London, and baptised the following day.

    In today’s talk, I share some facts about Edward Alleyn, including his personal life, the plays he was involved in, his theatre investments, and his desire to be appointed master of the bears, bulls and mastiff dogs!

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  • Joan Beaufort and Richard III – Nathen Amin – Expert Talk

    This month we have Nathen Amin back as our expert speaker. Nathen’s knowledge on the Beaufort’s is amazing and this talk takes us to an area most wouldn’t have thought about … Joan Beaufort and Richard III.

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  • William Neville (1497- 1545?)

    Poet William Neville was born on 15th July 1497 and was the second son of Richard Neville, 2nd Baron Latimer, and Anne Stafford, daughter of Humphrey Stafford. His older brother was John Neville, 3rd Baron Latimer, who had Catherine Parr as his third wife.

    Not much is known about the life of William Neville, but what we do know is rather interesting and involves treason and dark magic.

    It is believed that when he was young, William served under Cardinal Wolsey and would have been provided with the education typically given to the son of a baron. Although we know very little more about his early years, we do know that from 1524 he served as a commissioner of the peace for Worcestershire.

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  • 31 August – The Bloody Flux

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st August 1545, a contagious disease known as the ‘Bloody flux’ hit the port of Portsmouth, killing many of the men serving on the ships in its port.

    But what was the Bloody Flux? What were its symptoms and why did it kill so many soldiers and sailors?

    Find out about the disease, famous victims of the Bloody Flux, and how it is still affecting people today, in this talk:

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  • 30 August – The Treaty of the More

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th August 1525, the Treaty of the More was agreed between King Henry VIII of England and Louise of Savoy, who was acting as regent for her son, King Francis I of France, while he was imprisoned by imperial forces.

    Why was Francis in prison? What were the terms of the Treaty of the More? How did this treaty affect Henry VIII’s daughter, Mary? And what happened next.

    Find out all about the Treaty of the More and its consequences in today’s talk.

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  • Late August Tudor People, Places and Events Wordsearch

    This week’s Sunday puzzle tests your knowledge of people, places and events linked to late August in the Tudor period. How much have you remembered from my Tudor videos and posts? Test yourself with this fun wordsearch.

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

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  • 29 August – The Feast of the Beheading of St John the Baptist

    Today, 29th August, is the Feast of the beheading of St John the Baptist. Lovely!

    In today’s talk, I share the story behind this Tudor holy day, a story which is often depicted in illuminations in manuscripts and psalters.

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  • Online lecture from Simon Thurley – Tudor Ambition: Houses of the Boleyn Family

    Thank you to Lucia Graves from Gresham College for letting me know about this online lecture from architectural historian Simon Thurley, who you might know from his books on royal palaces.

    The lecture is taking place on Wednesday, 16 September 2020, 6:00PM – 7:00PM UK time, and you can register for free at…

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  • 28 August – Robert Dudley’s last letter to Elizabeth I

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th August 1588, an ailing Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, wrote his final letter to his queen and childhood friend, Elizabeth I. He wrote it while on his way to Buxton, in Derbyshire, to take the waters for his health.

    The letter is very special because Elizabeth labelled it “His Last Letter” and kept it close by her until her own death in 1603.

    In today’s talk, I share a transcript of Robert Dudley’s last letter, and talk about Elizabeth I’s reaction to his subsequent death.

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  • Anne Boleyn’s link to a Corpus Christi parade in Spain

    Thank you so much to Tudor Society member Ceri Creffield for inspiring this week’s Claire Chats talk by telling me about the gigantones of Toledo and Anne Boleyn. I just had to find out more, particularly as I live in Spain and had never heard of this tradition.

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  • Live chat transcript – Estelle Paranque – Elizabeth I and the French

    We had a wonderful time in the chatroom with historian Estelle Paranque asking questions about Elizabeth I and her relationship with France. A wonderful hour of talking Tudor.

    Here is a transcript for those of you who missed it.

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  • 27 August – The Battle of St Quentin

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th August 1557, St Quentin was stormed by English and Imperial forces. Admiral de Coligny and his French troops, numbering only a thousand, were overcome by around 60,000 soldiers, and St Quentin fell. Henry Dudley, the youngest son of the late John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was killed by a cannonball during the storming.

    Find out about the siege and battle, and what happened next, in today’s talk.

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  • 26 August – A devastated Mary I prepares to be abandoned

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th August 1555, Queen Mary I and her husband, Philip of Spain, departed from Whitehall in preparation for Philip’s return to the Low Countries.

    This was an awful time for Mary I. She had just come out of confinement after months of believing she was pregnant, and now her husband was leaving her. He’d be gone for over 18 months.

    Find out more about Mary’s state of health and mind, the arrangements for Philip’s departure, and Mary’s reaction, in today’s talk.

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  • September 2020 – Tudor Life – France and the Tudors

    In this month’s packed magazine we have gone all continental with great articles highlighting the connection between France and the Tudors.

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  • 25 August – Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk and uncle of two queens

    On this day in history, 25th August 1554, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, magnate, soldier and uncle of Queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, died of natural causes at his home of Kenninghall in Norfolk. He was laid to rest in St Michael’s Church, Framlingham, Suffolk.

    Find out more about this important Tudor man, and how he escaped the axe-man and died at a good age in his bed, in this talk.

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  • 24 August – Cecily of York, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th August 1507, Cecily of York, Viscountess Welles, died at Hatfield in Hertfordshire. She was buried at “the friars”.

    Cecil was, of course, the daughter of King Edward IV and his queen consort, Elizabeth Woodville, and the sister of Elizabeth of York and the Princes in the Tower, but there’s far more to her than that.

    Did you know that she married without permission and had to be sheltered by Lady Margaret Beaufort?

    Find out all about Cecil of York’s life in today’s talk.

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  • 23 August – The Siege of Haddington

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd August 1548, Francis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury, arrived at the Siege of Haddington, in East Lothian, Scotland, with a large army. This siege was part of the Anglo-Scottish war known as the War of the Rough Wooing between England and Scotland., regarding Henry VIII’s desire to marry his son, Edward, off to Mary, Queen of Scots.

    What happened at this siege and to Haddington after it?

    Find out in today’s talk.

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