Katherine or ‘Kat’ Ashley (Astley, née Champernowne) is the purported daughter of Sir Phillip Champernowne, a wealthy landowner in Devon, and his wife, Katherine, daughter of Sir Edmund Carew. Although we do not know much regarding her early years, we do know that Kat received an education unlike that of her contemporary aristocratic women. For aristocratic women, their education centred on what would render them desirable for marriage and as such, learned dancing, sewing, embroidery and music in the place of reading and writing. As such, may aristocratic women were barely literate at all. Kat, however, received an education that was equal to that of a man, learning classical scholarship and developing an interest in humanism, her father being unusually committed to the education of his daughters. Kat’s humanist leanings and interests caught the eye of Thomas Cromwell, who suggested that she be appointed to the household of Princess Elizabeth. It is this appointment which would shape her life, and mark her as a historical figure worthy of note.[Read More...]
A warm welcome to Georgia Whitehead who is joining the Tudor Society team as an article writer for the website. Georgia will be ‘fleshing out’ important Tudor people with regular bio-style articles for us.
I’ll let Georgia introduce herself…[Read More...]
Here’s the transcript of the wonderful live chat session that we had with author Matthew Lewis about his talk on 1483, an interesting year as England had three different kings.
All full members are welcome to join us at these events, and you can either just watch or join in as you wish.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 22nd January 1554, Thomas Wyatt the Younger met with fellow conspirators at his home of Allington Castle in Kent. The purpose of their meeting was to make final plans for their uprising against Queen Mary I and her decision to marry Philip of Spain.
This rebellion would come to be known as Wyatt’s Rebellion, although the leader at the start appears to have been Sir James Croft.
Find out all about Wyatt’s Rebellion and what happened in this talk.[Read More...]
On the night of this day in Tudor history, 21st January 1543, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, Thomas Wyatt the Younger and several other youths went on a five-hour rampage in London.
Surrey regretted his actions, calling that night “a madding time”, but the king and the privy council took it seriously.
Find out what happened to Surrey and his fellow vandals in today’s talk.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 20th January 1569, not long after he’d given the best sermon of his life, Bible translator and Bishop of Exeter, Miles Coverdale, died in London.
Coverdale is known for completing the first English translation of the whole Bible and for his work on “The Great Bible”, which was put in every parish church in England. Find out more about this accomplished Tudor man in today’s talk.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 19th January 1601, Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, died at Wilton, the family home near Salisbury.
Who was Henry Herbert?
Let me tell you about this interesting Tudor man in today’s talk.[Read More...]
There were quite a few unhappy marriages and affairs at the royal court in the Tudor period. Tes your knowledge of Tudor affairs and Tudor mistresses with this week’s Sunday fun – the Tudor Infidelity Crossword.
Simply click on the link or image below to open the crossword puzzle and print out.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history,18th January 1486, twenty-nine year-old King Henry VII married twenty year-old Elizabeth of York at Westminster Abbey.
This was over two years after he had vowed to marry her and nearly 5 months after his victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Why did Henry VII delay in marrying Elizabeth of York?
Find out what delayed the marriage, and more about the bride and groom, in today’s talk.[Read More...]
Happy St Anthony’s Day! Today is the Feast of St Anthony the Abbot, or St Anthony the Great, a third century Christian monk.
In Spain, where I live, St Anthony is the patron saint of animals, particularly domestic animals, and so some of my Spanish friends have been sharing photos of their beloved pets on social media today and I’ve had various emails from online pet shops with special St Anthony’s Day offers. I thought I’d jump on the band wagon and celebrate this saint by sharing some resources on pets in Tudor times…[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 17th January 1541, courtier, diplomat and poet, Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder, was arrested and sent to the Tower of London after being accused of corresponding with Cardinal Reginald Pole, and referring to the prospect of Henry VIII’s death.
Wyatt was taken to the Tower and it looked like he’d be executed, but he was saved by Queen Catherine Howard, but at a huge cost.
Find out more about what Wyatt was accused of, how he escaped execution and what he had to agree to, in today’s talk.[Read More...]
I love walking around the ruins of abbeys such as Rievaulx, Fountains and Jervaulx, they’re just so beautiful, and I like to imagine what they were like in their heyday, when they were vibrant and bustling communities of religious people, and were important to their local communities.
The Dissolution of the Monasteries had such an impact on England, on its landscape and on its people, and so I want to spend the next couple of Claire Chats talks exploring this topic. Today, I want to talk about the monasteries themselves, what they were like and how they played a role in daily life.[Read More...]
Thank you so much to Tudor Society member Corinna Hahn for asking the following question for our “Expert Answers” section. It’s a very interesting question.
I (Claire) opted to answer this one as I’ve done lots of research on the two books of hours in the collection at Hever Castle, and I was lucky enough to hold them and talk to my dear friend, castle supervisor, Owne Emmerson, about them back in May. I’ve included the video below my answer so that you can find out all about these beautiful books.
Here is Corinna’s question in full:
“I’ve got some questions about one book of hours that Anne Boleyn owned and that is now at Hever Castle. It’s the one with Anne Boleyn’s inscription under a prayer adjacent to a miniature of the presentation of Jesus in the temple. The inscription reads “Remember me when you do pray that hope doth lead from day to day.”
This rhyme has intrigued me for years, since we don’t know when and where Anne wrote it, to whom she wrote it and what the real message behind her inscription was.
It seems to me that Anne didn’t write in her prayer books heedlessly, every inscription she has left somewhere is there for a reason and where she placed her “Remember me” rhyme could possibly be a clue to the point of time when she wrote these words.[Read More...]
My questions are: Under which text did she write her “Remember me” rhyme? Is there a transcription and/or translation of this text? Why did she place her message there? Was the rhyme she wrote meant as a prayer request or a farewell to someone? Is it known who owned the prayer book after her death? Where was the book before Hever Castle acquired it?”
On this day in Tudor history, 16th January 1572, Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, eldest son of the late Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, was tried and found guilty of treason at Westminster Hall.
Norfolk had promised Queen Elizabeth I that he would not get involved with Mary, Queen of Scots, ever again, but it was a promise that he just couldn’t keep. Once again, he had become involved in a plot against Elizabeth I and in support of Mary, Queen of Scots. He wouldn’t escape punishment this time.
Find out exactly what happened in today’s talk.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 15th January 1569, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Catherine Knollys (née Carey), wife of Sir Francis Knollys, daughter of Mary Boleyn, and cousin of the queen, died at Hampton Court Palace. She was about 45 years old.
Sadly, Queen Elizabeth I had kept Catherine and her beloved husband, Sir Francis Knollys, apart during Catherine’s final day.
Find out more about Catherine’s final days, the queen’s cruelty, Francis’s frustration, and Catherine’s lavish burial, which was paid for by the queen, in today’s talk.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 14th January 1589, physician Francis Kett, was burned for heresy near Norwich Castle.
A local minister described him as “leaping and dancing” in the fire, clapping his hand and praising God right up to the end. A courageous man.
But how did Francis Kett come to this awful end?
Find out more about this doctor, priest and condemned heretic in today’s talk.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 13th January 1599, Elizabethan poet and administrator in Ireland, Edmund Spenser, died in Westminster. He was described as “the prince of poets in his time” and is best known for his allegorical poem in praise of Elizabeth I, “The Faerie Queene”.
But, did you know that he also upset William Cecil twice and that his most famous work is actually unfinished?
Find out more about Edmund Spenser in today’s talk.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, Thursday 12th January 1559, Queen Elizabeth I travelled by barge from Whitehall to the Tower of London to prepare for her coronation, which was due to take place on the 15th January.
Of course, her journey wasn’t a low key one in a normal river barge, it was a lavish one with decorated barges, music and the usual artillery fire. Find out all about this river procession in today’s talk.[Read More...]
This week’s Tudor Society quiz tests your knowledge of events that happened in the month of January in the Tudor period.
Grab your favourite snack and beverage, make yourself comfortable, and let’s get those little grey cells working! Good luck![Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 11th January 1579, courtier, Member of Parliament, Lord of Misrule and poet, George Ferrers, was buried at Flamstead, Hertfordshire.
Ferrers was a rather colourful Tudor character. He caused a stir when he was arrested on his way to the House of Commons (the Ferrers’ Case), he was Lord of Misrule on several occasions and led a huge procession into London, and he had a hand in the arrest of John Dee. And that’s not all!
Find out all about George Ferrers in today’s talk.[Read More...]
Today’s Claire Chats talk was inspired by my recent “on this day in Tudor history” video on rebel Sir William Pickering. In his will, Pickering left instructions for a jewel worth 200 marks to be given to Queen Elizabeth I by his executors, and I just became curious as to how much 200 marks was. This sent me on a research journey which also involved looking at the spending of Henry VII and Henry VIII.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 10th January 1532, Protestant martyr Thomas Dusgate, also known as Thomas Benet, was burned at the stake at Livery Dole in Heavitree, near Exeter.
Benet was a zealous Reformer and got into trouble when he posted anti-Catholic bills on Exeter Cathedral’s door. He refused to recant, and it was said that “there never was so obstinate a heretic”.
Find out about this Protestant reformer, who sought advice from Martin Luther regarding his trouble with lust, in today’s talk.[Read More...]
This month we have three live chats, two expert chats and one informal chat.
Matthew Lewis, our December expert speaker, will be joining us in the Tudor Society chatroom on Friday 17th January to answer your questions on his talk 1483: The Year of three kings. Do join us for your chance to win one of Matt’s books.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 9th January 1514, Anne of Brittany, Queen Consort of King Louis XII of France, died at Château Blois in France. Her corpse was buried in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis and her heart was buried at Nantes.
Anne of Brittany was the mother of Queen Claude of France, the wife of a Holy Roman Emperor AND two Kings of France, and had been betrothed to one of the Princes in the Tower. A very interesting lady!
And then there’s the story of her stolen heart!
Find out more in today’s talk.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 8th January 1571, Mary Shelton (married names: Heveningham and Appleyard) was buried at Heveningham Church, Suffolk.
Mary Shelton was Queen Anne Boleyn’s cousin and lady-in-waiting, and may also have been King Henry VIII’s mistress. She also contributed to the Devonshire Manuscript with the likes of Mary Howard, Lady Margaret Douglas and Lord Thomas Howard.
Find out more about Mary Shelton in today’s talk.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 7th January 1558, in the reign of Queen Mary I, England lost Calais to the French.
It was a devastating blow as Calais had been held by England for over 200 years and was an important port for English wool exports. Mary I was said to have exclaimed ““When I am dead and opened, you shall find ‘Philip’ and ‘Calais’ lying in my heart”.
Find out exactly what happened in today’s talk.[Read More...]