The Tudor Society
  • 6 January – The Feast of Epiphany or Kings’ Day

    Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, which commemorates the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child. It was an important day in the Tudor calendar, and it brought the feasting and celebrations of the Twelve Days of Christmas to a close. It’s still an important day in many countries today.

    Find out more about Epiphany and how it was celebrated at the Tudor court, and how it is celebrated today, with these resources:

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  • The Tudor Society on BBC Radio Bristol

    I had the pleasure of chatting to James Hanson on BBC Radio Bristol this morning, just for a couple of minutes, about Christmas decorations and Candlemas.

    I know from my social media feeds that many people have already taken down their decorations and got “back to normal”, and usually the tradition is to take them down before Twelfth Night or Epiphany, but medieval and Tudor people didn’t rush to take down the greenery they’d put up.

    I talked about this live on air with James…

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  • This week in Tudor History January 4 – 10

    In this new series for 2021, I’m looking at Tudor events a week at a time. This talk covers events from the Tudor period which took place on January 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th.

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  • January Births and Deaths Crossword Puzzle

    Happy New Year! Our first quiz/puzzle of 2021 tests your knowledge of births and deaths that either took place during the Tudor period or were of people associated with the Tudors.

    Simply click on the link or image below to open and print out the crossword puzzle, then grab your favourite snack and beverage, make yourself comfortable and get those little grey cells working!

    Hint: All the answers can be found on the Tudor Society website.

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  • Happy New Year and the death of a king

    Happy New Year!

    In this video that I did for the YouTube channel, I talk about King Louis XII of France, first husband of Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, and his death on this day in history, 1st January 1515.

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  • Anne of Cleves – Heather R Darsie – Expert Talk

    In this month’s expert talk, Heather R Darsie, author of “Anna, Duchess of Cleves”, looks at what Anne of Cleves’ early life in Germany was like.

    Join Heather in the Tudor Society chatroom for a live Q&A session on Anne of Cleves on 23rd January.

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  • Tudor Life January 2021 Taster

    Become a member and enjoy the magazine along with monthly expert talks, live chats, exclusive videos, resources, articles and more - click here. We have a 14-day free trial so there's nothing to stop you.

    The full January Tudor Life magazine contains:

    • Can we ever know what the tudors looked like? by Nathen Shipley
    • 1536: Henry VIII’s Declining Manhood by Emma Levitt
    • Is this part of the lost Tudor crown? by Leanda de Lisle
    • Lusty old Louis by Sarah-Beth Watkins
    • The Sins of Youth by Lauren Browne
    • Some dangerous impacts of lust by Gareth Russell
    • Lusty Sons by Roland Hui
    • Tudor Titles Crossword Quiz by Catherine Brooks
    • Margaret Tudor’s Journey to Scotland by Susan Abernethy
    • Editor’s Picks - books on Lust by Gareth Russell
    • Jousting Still Happens! Photo montage by Claire and Tim Ridgway
    • Sir Henry Wyatt 1460-1537 by Toni Mount
    • Wide ranging history knowledge an interview with Gareth Russell by Catherine Brooks
    • Lost without a trace: The search for a plan of the “Lost” Fortress at Haddington by Jon Cooper
    • The Peasants’ Revolting LIves | An Alternative History of Britain book reviews by Charlie Fenton
    • But it’s good for you by Rioghnach O’Geraghty

    Click on the magazine BELOW to open up the taster right now...

  • January 2021 – Tudor Life – Lust

    Happy new year! 2021 will undoubtedly be a better year than 2020… and to start you off, here’s the JANUARY magazine on the subject of lust …

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  • 31 December – “The Gunner”, Sir William Skeffington

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st December 1535, in the reign of Henry VIII, Sir William Skeffington, Lord Deputy of Ireland, died at Kilmainham in Dublin.

    Skeffington had become known as “the Gunner” following his use of heavy artillery while taking Maynooth Castle in County Kildare, where he killed, or had executed, the whole garrison.

    Find out more about the life and career of Sir William Skeffington in today’s talk.

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  • New Year’s Eve and St Sylvester

    I’m posting this week’s Friday video a day early because I’m talking about New Year’s Eve, which is also the feast day of St Sylvester, a 4th century pope.

    Find out more about this saint and hear William Caxton’s 15th century version of a legend associated with him, in this week’s video.

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  • 30 December – An outlaw scholar from Spain who died of the plague

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th December 1552, in the reign of King Edward VI, Spanish humanist scholar, translator, author and Protestant apologist, Francisco de Enzinas died at Strasbourg from the plague. He was buried there the next day. Humanist Francisco had changed his name to Francis Dryander after leaving Spain to study at Louvain.

    Dryander fit a lot into his thirty-four years of life. He escaped from prison and was an outlaw, he translated the Bible, he taught Greek in England, he was supported by Archbishop Cranmer and the Duchess of Suffolk, and published several works.

    Find out more about the accomplished Francis Dryander in today’s talk.

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  • 29 December – Elizabeth I’s rogue and champion

    On this day in history, 29th December 1605, in the reign of King James I, forty-seven-year-old Tudor nobleman George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland was buried at Holy Trinity Church, Skipton, Yorkshire. Clifford was a courtier, naval commander, privateer, Elizabeth I’s champion and a man she called her “rogue”.

    Find out all about this Earl of Cumberland, his unhappy marriage, his voyages and what it meant to be the queen’s champion, in today’s talk.

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  • 28 December – A Lord Keeper of the Great Seal who supported learning

    On this day in Tudor history, the feast of Childermas, 28th December 1510, lawyer, administrator and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, Sir Nicholas Bacon, was born. Bacon was the father of the famous philosopher, statesman, scientist and author, Sir Francis Bacon.

    Bacon wasn’t just a lawyer and statesman, he was also very concerned with the education of the young, and did much to support it.

    Find out all about Sir Nicholas Bacon, his life and career, and how he was banished from court at one point, in today’s talk.

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  • 27 December – Katherine Killigrew, “the Muses friend, and saint of Heav’n”

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th December 1583, scholar and Puritan Katherine Killigrew died after giving birth to a stillborn child.

    Katherine was the daughter of renowned humanist and scholar, Sir Anthony Cooke, and was known for her ability at writing poetry and her knowledge of languages, including Hebrew, Latin and Greek. She was a very accomplished Tudor lady.

    Find out more about Katherine, and hear the epitaphs that were written in her honour, in today’s talk.

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  • December Tudor History Events Quiz

    Test your knowledge on events that took place in the month of December during the Tudor period, or related to the Tudor period, in today’s fun quiz.

    The answers can all be found on the Tudor Society website (if you get stuck). Good luck!

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  • 26 December – The interesting life of Rose Lok

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th December 1526, Protestant Rose Lok was born.

    Rose lived well into her 80s and had an interesting life, being a Protestant exile, a businesswoman, and being the daughter of a man who supplied Anne Boleyn with religious books. She also had a ship named after her!

    Find out all about Rose Lok in today’s talk.

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  • Christmas Day – Happy Christmas!

    A very Happy Christmas to all those of you celebrating today. Tim and I send you our greetings and hope you have a lovely time.

    Do enjoy these Christmas readings…

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  • 25 December – A Tudor witch-hunter

    Happy Christmas!

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th December 1587, Brian Darcy, magistrate, Sheriff of Essex, witch-hunter and contributor to the 1582 “A true and just recorde of the information, examination and confession of all the witches, taken at S Oses [St Osyth]”, died.

    “A True and Just Recorde” argued for harsher punishments for those found guilty of witchcraft, and Darcy was personally responsible for a number of deaths of people accused of witchcraft.

    Find out more about this zealous witch-hunter in today’s talk.

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  • 24 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    Today, we have our final Tudor Society Advent Calendar treat because it’s Christmas Eve!

    We wish you a very Merry Christmas!

    Find the final Tudor personality hiding in Coughton Court, waiting to introduce him/herself, by….

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  • 24 December – A man who swapped sides at the right time

    On this day in history, 24th December 1604, Christmas Eve, Sir Thomas Cornwallis, Comptroller of the household of Mary I and member of Parliament, died at about the age of eighty-six.

    Cornwallis had been active putting down rebellion in 1549 and during the succession crisis of July 1553 swapped sides at just the right time, recanting his proclamation for Jane as queen and proclaiming for Mary instead, He was rewarded for this when Mary came to the throne.

    Of course, he wasn’t so much a favourite in the reign of Elizabeth I, but a friendship with a man close to Elizabeth may have helped him escape trouble.

    Find out more about Sir Thomas Cornwallis in today’s talk.

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  • Richard Neville, 2nd Baron Latimer (1467-1530)

    Richard Neville was the son of Sir Henry Neville who died at Edgcote in July of 1469 and his wife Joan, daughter of John Bourchier, 1st Baron Berners. He is an interesting Tudor figure because he saw the beginning of the reign of Henry VII, being part of the War of the Roses and lived up until Henry VIII’s ‘Great Matter.’

    Richard Neville inherited his title and lands when just a baby in 1469, the principal seat being Snape Castle in Richmondshire, following his grandfather George Neville’s death. However, his great uncle, Thomas Bourchier, who was a cardinal and later Archbishop of Canterbury, purchased the wardship of Richard and his marriage in May 1470 for £1000. Still, Richard’s lands remained the property of the crown. Not much is known about the early life of Richard Neville, but we do know that he was knighted in January 1478.

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  • 23 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    It’s the penultimate day for our Advent Calendar so do make the most of it!

    Find out which Tudor personality is hiding in our very Christmassy Coughton Court, home of the Throckmorton family.

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  • 23 December – Elizabeth I moves to a property her mother knew well

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd December 1558, just over a month after her accession, England’s new queen, Elizabeth I, daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, moved from Somerset House to Whitehall Palace, which became her principal residence.

    Whitehall, formerly York Place, had once been home to her mother, Anne Boleyn, and had been the setting of Anne’s marriage to Henry VIII. I wonder if Elizabeth felt close to her mother there.

    Find out more about Whitehall Palace, and also Somerset Place, the property Elizabeth left, in today’s talk.

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  • 22 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    I do hope you’re having a lovely week so far. If not, don’t worry, I have an Advent Calendar treat for you!

    A Tudor personality is hiding in Coughton Court, waiting to introduce him/herself. Find out who it is…

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  • 22 December – Two Protestants betrayed by a spy

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd December 1557, Protestant martyrs John Rough and Margaret Mearing, were burnt at Smithfield for heresy.

    John Rough was a Scot who’d encouraged John Knox to be a pastor, but ended in days in England. Interestingly, the woman he died with was a woman he’d excommunicated from his congregation, believing her to be a spy. Although she’d been angry with her treatment, she was not the spy who betrayed him, she visited Rough in prison and was arrested after she tried to confront the real spy.

    Find out about John Rough’s life and what brought him to England, how he’d come to be arrested, and what happened with Margaret Mearing, in today’s talk.

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  • 21 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    Bad news: there aren’t many more Advent Calendar treats to go. Good news: a new one is ready for you to enjoy!

    Who will you find hiding in Coughton Court today waiting to introduce him/herself?

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  • 21 December – St Thomas, pies, charity and India

    21st December in Tudor times was the Feast of St Thomas the Apostle, or Didymus or Doubting Thomas. The apostle who wouldn’t believe Christ had been resurrected until Christ appeared in front of him and he’d felt the nail wounds and the wound in his side.

    Thomas was known for his generosity, and in Tudor times, those in need would go “a-Thomasing”, collecting alms. But there are also other traditions associated with the feast day, such as pie-making. And did you know that Thomas also has links to India?

    Find out more about St Thomas, his story, his feast day and the traditions associated with him, in today’s talk.

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  • 20 December – Advent Calendar Treat

    It’s Sunday and that means it’s time for another Tudor Society Advent Calendar surprise!

    Who will you find hiding in Coughton Court today waiting to introduce him/herself?

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  • 20 December – Edward Arden, “victim of a grave iniquity” or conspirator?

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th December 1583, the day after his son-in-law, John Somerville, had been found dead in his cell, Warwickshire gentleman Edward Arden was hanged, drawn and quartered at Smithfield.

    Arden, who was related to William Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden, and married to a member of the Throckmorton family, had been found guilty of treason, after being implicated in Somerville’s plot to kill the queen.

    But was Arden actually guilty? Why didn’t others involved end up being executed too?

    Find out more about Edward Arden and what happened in 1583, in today’s talk.

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  • Christmas Carols Crossword

    I love Christmas carols and I also love the fact that many of them date back centuries, and some would be recognised by our favourite people, the Tudors.

    But how much do you know about medieval and Tudor Christmas carols?

    Test your knowledge with this fun crossword puzzle.

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