The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • Layer Marney Hall – Roving Reporter

    This month, Philippa Brewell, our roving reporter, visits Layer Marney Hall, a stunning Tudor building which was visited by Henry VIII and is incredibly well preserved today.

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  • Transcript of live chat with Cassidy Cash on William Shakespeare

    Thank you so much to Cassidy Cash for being our August expert speaker and for allowing us to grill her in the Tudor Society chatroom last week.

    Here is a transcript of the live chat…

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  • Tudor events at Little Moreton Hall – Music and dance in late Elizabethan England – 3 October 2019

    Little Moreton Hall is a beautiful Tudor manor house in Cheshire and is well worth a visit, and even more so when it’s got some wonderful Tudor events scheduled!

    You can see the full schedule on their What’s On page, but I thought I’d highlight their Music and Dance in late Elizabethan England talk as I know this will be fantastic. The talk is from Jane Moulder, who plays in the Renaissance music group, PIVA, and who is an expert on Tudor music. You might remember her articles on Tudor music from Tudor Life magazine. Here are details of her talk….

    An interesting and lively talk by the leading 16th century musician and historian, Jane Moulder from PIVA. Jane will share her discoveries on how music, dancing and singing were an important part of Tudor life, whilst opening up the fascinating world of the musicians and entertainers who would have visited Little Moreton Hall. She will also bring along some of the typical instruments of the period. Glass of wine or soft drink included in ticket price.

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  • Catherine Parr’s resting place

    Today is the anniversary of the death of Catherine Parr, queen dowager, on 5th September 1548, so I thought I’d share some photos I took of her resting place in St Mary’s Church at Sudeley Castle:

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  • 5 September – Death of Catherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th September 1548, the sixth and final wife of the late King Henry VIII, Catherine Parr, died at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire.

    At the time of her death, Catherine Parr was the wife of Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley, her fourth husband, and she had given birth to a daughter, Lady Mary Seymour, on 30th August 1548.

    Catherine Parr was buried in the chapel at Sudeley Castle with Lady Jane Grey acting as her chief mourner. In today’s talk, I give details of Catherine Parr’s burial and the discovery of her remains in the 18th and 19th centuries, and her present resting place.

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  • 4 September – The death of Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I’s reaction

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th September 1588, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, died at Cornbury while on his way to Buxton to take the waters for his health.

    The death of her favourite, and the man that is considered to be her ‘true love’, was a devastating blow to Elizabeth I and her reaction to the news shows just how much she loved her “sweet Robin”.

    Leicester wrote to his queen just days before his death and “His Last Letter” was something that Elizabeth I treasured for the rest of her life.

    Find out more about Leicester’s death, his last letter and Elizabeth’s grief in today’s video.

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  • 3 September – Robert Greene and the Upstart Crow, William Shakespeare

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd September 1592, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Elizabethan writer and playwright Robert Greene died in London.

    Greene was a prolific writer, but he is best known for a pamphlet “Greene’s Groats-worth of Wit bought with a Million of Repentance” which it was claimed he wrote on his deathbed. It is an important work because it is the first known contemporary reference to William Shakespeare as a playwright, although the reference to Shakespeare is actually an attack on the actor/playwright, who Greene saw as an “upstart crow”.

    Find out more about the pamphlet and why Greene, or whoever wrote it, launched an attack of the Bard, in today’s talk.

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  • 2 September – Sir Richard Grenville and the loss of The Revenge

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd September 1591, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, naval commander and explorer Sir Richard Grenville died at sea from injuries sustained while commanding his ship, The Revenge, in the Battle of Flores in the Azores.

    Unfortunately, Grenville’s death was a result of him disobeying orders and doing his own thing.

    Alfred, Lord Tennyson, wrote about the battle and the loss of The Revenge in his “The Revenge: A Ballad of the Fleet”, and in today’s talk, Claire Ridgway, founder of the Tudor Society, shares excerpts from Tennyson’s poem and explains what exactly happened at the battle.

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  • The extraordinary story of the Anne of Cleves Panels – Sarah Morris – Expert Talk

    We are thrilled to have Sarah Morris with us this month as our guest expert. Sarah talks about the Anne of Cleves panels and that fact turned out to be stranger than fiction … enjoy!

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  • 1 September – Anne Boleyn becomes Marquess of Pembroke

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st September 1532, in a special ceremony at Windsor Castle, King Henry VIII elevated his sweetheart Anne Boleyn to the peerage by making her Marquess of Pembroke.

    This was a hugely significant act because Henry VIII made Anne a marquess in her own right, granted the title to her and her heirs male (legitimate or not) and gave her a title associated with his father, Henry VII, and uncle, Jasper Tudor. It also made her a rather wealthy woman, and a fitting consort for their trip to Calais to meet with King Francis I of France.

    Find out more about what happened on this day in 1532, who was there, and just what Anne Boleyn was given by King Henry VIII, in today’s talk.

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  • Tudor August events quiz

    Today is the 1st of September, so the perfect time to test how much you’ve remembered from my “on this day” videos, articles and talks from August. Let’s get those little grey cells working with this fun Sunday quiz. Good luck!

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  • 31 August – The end of Robert Samuel in the reign of Queen Mary I

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st August 1555, in the reign of Queen Mary I, the queen who has gone down in history as “Bloody Mary”, Robert Samuel, a former minister, was burned at the stake in Ipswich, Suffolk.

    Robert Samuel was burned as a heretic, a Protestant martyr. He had continued to minister privately, after being deprived of his living, and he had refused to leave his wife. He stayed firm to his Protestant faith and became one of the Ipswich Martyrs as a result.

    In today’s talk, I give some details about this Tudor man, his visions, his death, and the women who became connected with him and who also died as a result.

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  • 30 August – Little Mary Seymour, a Tudor mystery

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th August 1548, Catherine Parr, Queen Dowager (sixth wife of King Henry VIII) and wife of Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley, gave birth to a healthy daughter at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire. Thomas and Catherine named the little girl Mary after her godmother, the future Queen Mary I.

    Lady Mary Seymour would soon be orphaned, and by the age of two she had disappeared from the records. What happened to Mary Seymour?

    I talk about the various theories regarding Mary Seymour’s fate. What a Tudor mystery!

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  • Mary Tudor and Charles of Castile – A betrothal or proper marriage?

    Carrying on from my recent Claire Chats talk on proxy marriages, I just wanted to look at the negotiations for a marriage between Mary Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII, and Charles of Castile (later Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor), and the end result, a ceremony that took place in December 1508.

    What’s interesting is that the service in 1508 was different to what had actually been agreed between Henry VII and Emperor Maximilian. Let me explain…

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  • A couple of Tudor treats

    As it’s nearing our 5-year anniversary, here at the Tudor Society, as well as working hard on the special anniversary edition of Tudor Life Magazine (an extra edition) for you, I’m also offering these two Tudor treats. I hope you enjoy them.

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  • 29 August – The sad story of Geoffrey Pole

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th August 1538, Geoffrey Pole, son of Sir Richard Pole and Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, was arrested. He was already on thin ice, having been a staunch supporter of Queen Catherine of Aragon and Princess Mary, but he now was suspected, like other members of his family, of being in communication with his brother, Cardinal Reginald Pole, a man who had upset King Henry VIII by writing a treatise against him and his policies.

    Unlike other members of his family, including Margaret Pole, Geoffrey managed to survive this trouble – how? Why? What happened?

    I explain all in today’s talk.

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  • 28 August – Mary defies Edward VI

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th August 1551, the thirty-five-year-old Mary, future Mary I, received a visit from a delegation of men sent by her half-brother, thirteen-year-old King Edward VI.

    Mary was being defiant and disobedient. She was ignoring her half-brother’s orders and was breaking the laws of the land. What was she doing? She was continuing to celebrate the Catholic Mass in her household.

    In today’s talk, I explain exactly what happened on this day in 1551, drawing on the report that the delegation gave to the king and his council. It gives us a wonderful insight into the pre-accession Mary I and her character.

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  • September 2019 – Tudor Life – Tudor Childhood

    Here's the full version of your monthly magazine: September's Tudor Life magazine is packed with articles about Tudor Childhood, along with a whole lot of other fascinating things about Tudor people and places.

    This month the magazine contains:

    • The childhood of Henry VIII by Sarah-Beth Watkins
    • Catherine of Aragon’s Childhood by Susan Abernethy
    • Childhood facts for the Tudor Kings and Queens by Gareth Russell
    • Everyday lives of Tudor Children by Alan Wybrow
    • Four Fantastic Tudor Places a quiz by Catherine Brooks
    • Elizabeth at the Court of Henry VIII by Roland Hui
    • Tudor Gardens by Toni Mount
    • Sarah Morris is our Guest Expert Speaker on The Anne of Cleves Heraldic Panels
    • The Progresses of Elizabeth I Member Spotlight Beth V. Gunter
    • Editor’s Picks: Tudor Childhood by Gareth Russell
    • Tudor History is Everything - an interview with Claire Ridgway by Catherine Brooks
    • A spin around Tutbury Castle by Claire Ridgway
    • Queenship at the Renaissance courts of Britain / John Morton book reviews by Charlie Fenton
    • Critical Friendships by Wendy J. Dunn
    • From the Spicery: On Game by Rioghnach O’Geraghty
    • On this day in Tudor History by Claire Ridgway
    So sorry - you need to be logged in to see magazines. Why not subscribe?
  • September 2019 Tudor Life Taster

    WHY NOT JOIN AND ENJOY THE WHOLE MAGAZINE?? September’s Tudor Life magazine is focused on Tudor Childhood … plus much more!

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  • 27 August – Battle of Dussindale

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th August 1549, the Battle of Dussindale took place near Norwich, in East Anglia. It ended Kett’s Rebellion once and for all.

    I explain what happened on that day in 1549 and what happened to the rebels who survived the battle.

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  • 26 August – Queen Anne Boleyn takes her chamber

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th August 1533, Queen Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII, prepared for the birth of her first child by “taking her chamber” at Greenwich Palace. This child was of course the future Queen Elizabeth I.

    “Taking her chamber” was common practice in Tudor England, and in today’s talk, I explain all of the rituals and traditions involved, as well as describing what Anne Boleyn’s chamber would have been like.

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  • 25 August – Kett’s Rebellion causes trouble

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th August 1549, Robert Kett and his rebels launched an attack on the south side of Norwich and burned a number of buildings.

    Kett’s Rebellion lasted from July 1549 until the Battle of Dussindale on 27th August 1549, but what was it all about? What were the rebels’ grievances?

    Find out more about this rebellion in the reign of King Edward VI in today’s talk.

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  • Battle of Bosworth Wordsearch

    22nd August was the anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth Field, the battle that took place on 22nd August 1485 and which saw the death of one king and the beginning of a whole new royal dynasty: the Tudors.

    I thought it was only right to have the battle as our theme for this week’s puzzle. This Sunday’s brainstretcher us a wordsearch. Warning – words can go in any direction!

    Click on the link or image below to open the wordsearch and print it out. Good luck!

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  • 24 August – The St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th August 1572, on the Feast of St Bartholomew, an awful massacre too place in Paris, and it was followed by further atrocities in other towns and cities.

    Those who suffered were Huguenot men, women and children, French Protestants. But what happened and why?

    I explain all in today’s video…

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  • 23 August – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn visit a royal favourite

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd August 1535, royal favourite and keen reformer Sir Nicholas Poyntz welcomed King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, to his home Acton Court in Iron Acton, South Gloucestershire, as part of the couple’s royal progress.

    It was important for courtiers to impress the king and his consort, and Poyntz built a new wing on his property just for the royal couple!

    I tell you all about it in today’s talk.

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  • Courtiers and royal progresses – Claire Chats video

    The summer months were the traditional time for the monarch and his/her consort to get out of smelly and disease-ridden London and to go on royal progress.

    Now although the monarch owned many properties and estate dotted around the country, s/he would also ‘honour’ courtiers by choosing to visit them and stay with them while on progress. Can you imagine what a mixed blessing this was? How honoured you’d feel to be on the itinerary, but how worried you’d be at the cost of impressing the king or queen!

    In this week’s Claire Chats video talk, I give some examples of courtiers who welcomed monarchs into their homes, just what was involved, what they did to try and impress, and what happened.

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  • 22 August – The Battle of Bosworth Field and the beginning of the Tudor dynasty

    Today is the anniversary of the battle which started the Tudor period: the Battle of Bosworth Field. The Tudor dynasty on the throne of England began on this day, when Henry Tudor’s forces beat those of King Richard III, and Richard was killed.

    In today’s talk, I explain what happened on that day in rural Leicestershire, and how Henry Tudor was victorious even though Richard III came into battle with a huge advantage.

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  • Tudor & Stuart Witchcraft & Medicine Tour – open for bookings!

    In this video, I introduce this October 2020 tour that she is co-leading with Philippa Lacey Brewell of British History Tours.

    The Tudor and Stuart periods were fascinating times, where medicine, science, astrology, religion and superstition were all inextricably linked, and in this exciting new tour we delve into these wonderful topics and learn from expert tour guides and speakers. Plus we get to visit some stunning places!

    Find out more and book your place at

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  • 21 August – Humphrey Llwyd, a Welshman who should be remembered

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st August 1568, antiquary, translator and cartographer Humphrey Llwyd died from a fever.

    Llwyd is known as the Inventor of Britain and a key figure in the Renaissance in Wales, but what exactly did he do to deserve such recognition?

    In today’s talk, I share some facts about this interesting, but little-known, Tudor Welshman, as well as failing to say his mame properly – sorry!

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  • 20 August – Elizabeth I gives thanks for the Protestant Wind!

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th August 1588, there was a thanksgiving service at St Paul’s to thank God for his divine intervention when England defeated the Spanish Armada. It was thought that God had sent his Protestant Wind to save England from Catholic Spain.

    Find out more about this in today’s talk.

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