The Tudor Society
  • 27 June 1497 – The executions of two of the Cornish rebels

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th June 1497, Thomas Flamank and Michael Joseph (known as Michael an Gof, or Michael the blacksmith), two of the chief commanders of the Cornish rebels, were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.

    The Cornish Rebellion of 1497 had been brought to an end on 17th June, when Henry VII’s forces defeated the rebels at the Battle of Blackheath, which is also known as the Battle of Deptford Bridge.

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  • 27 June – Prince Henry breaks up with Catherine of Aragon

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th June 1505, thirteen-year-old Henry, Prince of Wales, only surviving son of King Henry VII, broke up with nineteen-year-old Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, by repudiating their two-year betrothal.

    It was the eve of their wedding, so why would Henry do this to Catherine?

    Let me explain exactly what happened on this day in 1505 and how the couple ended up getting married four years later.

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  • 26 June – St Thomas More the traitor

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th June 1535, in the reign of King Henry VIII, a new commission of oyer and terminer was appointed in the case against Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s former Lord Chancellor and good friend. More was being indicted for high treason, and, of course, would eventually be executed.

    How had this Tudor statesman come to this?

    In today’s video, I explain why More was accused of high treason.

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  • 25 June – The death of Mary Tudor, Queen of France

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th June 1533, Mary Tudor, former Queen of France, wife of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and sister of King Henry VIII, died at her home in Suffolk. She was just thirty-seven years old.

    In today’s video, I talk about Mary’s ill-health, her death and funeral.

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  • Midsummer and the Feast of St John the Baptist

    Today, 24th June, is the Feast of St John the Baptist, a day that is marked by many Catholic countries around the world and a feast that was an important celebration in the medieval and Tudor periods, with it coinciding with Midsummer.

    Fairies, fires, dancing, feasting and drinking were all part of the celebrations, and still are today.

    In the following video, I talk about how Tudors celebrated this special day and also how my village and neighbouring village celebrate it. It’s a wonderful fiesta.

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  • 24 June – A Midsummer coronation for Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th June 1509, Midsummer’s Day and the Feast of St John the Baptist, seventeen-year-old King Henry VIII and his queen consort, Catherine of Aragon, were crowned king and queen at a joint coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video, I draw on contemporary sources to tell us more about what happened that day.

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  • The Anne Boleyn Experience 2020 speaker is announced….

    I’m so excited about next year’s Anne Boleyn Experience Tour! It’s such a magical experience that I quite literally count the days between tours. And now I’m even more excited because one of my very favourite experts has agreed to speak on it!

    Yes, Dr Jonathan Foyle, former Curator of Historic Buildings at Hampton Court, an expert on Tudor architecture, AND presenter of TV series such as “Henry VIII: Patron or Plunderer?” will be sharing his expertise with our tour group on the Anne Boleyn Experience 2020 – squeal! I’m going to have to work seriously hard on my talk for the group now – how can I follow Jonathan Foyle?!

    Here’s a YouTube video of Jonathan talking about a bed that once belonged to Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, just to give you a taster of this historian’s mind-blowing expertise!

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  • 23 June – Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s coronation procession

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd June 1509, the new King and Queen of England processed through the streets of London dressed in their finery.

    This procession was their coronation procession and it was a lavish spectacles. In today’s video, I share contemporary descriptions of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s appearance and outfits, the procession and the streets of London. It must have been wonderful to see!

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  • Important Tudor Dates Quiz

    No, I’m not talking about Henry VIII’s love-life!

    As you will know from my “on this day in Tudor history” videos and posts, there are many, many momentous Tudor dates. The Tudor period was packed full of important Tudor events. So, for this week’s Sunday quiz, I decided to test you on just a few of them. I hope you have a head for dates!

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  • 22 June – Mary Boleyn is widowed

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd June 1528, Mary Boleyn, sister of Anne Boleyn, was widowed when her first husband, William Carey, died during the Sweating Sickness epidemic of 1528.

    His death had a major impact on Mary’s situation, and I explain more in today’s video.

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  • 21 June – Catherine of Aragon steals the show

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st June 1529, Queen Catherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII, stole the show with an incredible speech at the Legatine Court at Blackfriars, a court that was hearing the case for the annulment of her marriage to the king.

    The speech was given while she knelt at her husband’s feet and she appealed directly to him. It’s an incredible speech and I share it with you in today’s video.

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  • Ancestry and family trees

    In today’s Claire Chats video talk, I’m sharing hints and tips for starting your family tree and also asking for Tudor Society members to share their hints and tips, and also what you have found during your research into your family tree.

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  • 20 June – The Casket Letters and Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th June 1567, a silver casket of eight letters, which have become known as the Casket Letters, were allegedly found in the possession of James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, the third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.

    These letters were instrumental in bringing down Mary, Queen of Scots, so in today’s video, I tell you a bit more about these letters and why they were “dynamite” for Elizabeth I’s advisors.

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  • 19 June – More Carthusian monks meet their sad ends

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th June 1535, Sebastian Newdigate, William Exmew and Humphrey Middlemore, monks of the Carthusian Order of London Charterhouse, were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.

    Their crime: refusing to accept King Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church in England.

    But did you know that Sebastian Newdigate was actually a close friend of Henry VIII? Well, friendship and loyal service didn’t seem to matter if you were viewed as being at all defiant or disobedient.

    In today’s video, I give you a few more details about Sebastian Newdigate and how he came to be executed in 1535.

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  • 18 June – Protestant martyr Anne Askew is found guilty of heresy

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th June 1546, twenty-five-year-old Anne Askew was found guilty of heresy at London’s Guildhall along with Nicholas Shaxton (former Bishop of Salisbury), Nicholas White and John Hadlam.

    Anne Askew has gone down in history as a Protestant martyr, after having been burned at the stake in July 1546, but also as a woman who was illegally put to the rack at the Tower of London by two of Henry VIII’s trusted men.

    In today’s video, I use contemporary sources and Anne Askew’s own accounts, to piece together what happened that June and July, and what led to Anne Askew’s execution.

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  • Who was Catherine Cromwell?

    Thank you to Lynne for asking about Catherine Cromwell. Lynne’s full question is “I was watching the actor Danny Dyer trace his family history on T.V. Apparently his family tree was traced to William the Conqueror and stopped at the Tudors which Catherine Cromwell was mentioned. She
    seemed a powerful woman but I’ve never really heard of her. So my long-winded question is who was this Lady and how powerful was she in the
    Tudor times?”

    Now, there are several Catherine (or Katherine) Cromwells, one being the sister of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex and Henry VIII’s right-hand man, who married Morgan Williams and who is an ancestor of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector, but the Catherine that was mentioned in the TV programme on Danny Dyer’s ancestry was actually the great-granddaughter of Thomas Cromwell. Let me show you how she is linked to the Thomas Cromwell we all know and love (or hate!).

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  • 17 June – The Battle of Blackheath

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th June 1497, the forces of King Henry VII were triumphant against those of the Cornish rebels at the Battle of Blackheath, or the Battle of Deptford Bridge.

    Why were the Cornishmen so unhappy with the king? How did they end up in battle at Blackheath? What happened at the battle and what happened to these Cornish rebels afterwards?

    Find out in today’s video…

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  • 16 June – The Battle of Stoke Field

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th June 1487, the final battle of the Wars of the Roses took place when the forces of Henry VII met the Yorkist forces of Lord Lovell and John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, who had recently crowned Lambert Simnel as King Edward VI.

    Who won that day? What happened? And what happened to the boy, Lambert Simnel?

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  • Royal Tutors Wordsearch

    The Tudor monarchs received the very best education possible from some renowned scholars and committed teachers, but how much do you know about Tudor royal tutors?

    Test your knowledge with today’s fun puzzle, a wordsearch. Do remember that the words can go in any direction.

    Good luck!

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  • 15 June – Mary is bullied

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th June 1536, Mary, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, was bullied and threatened by members of her father’s council.

    It must have been a truly shocking event for the twenty-year-old princess, who was now known as “Lady Mary”.

    In today’s video, I give a contemporary account of what happened on this day and why, and explain how Mary did end up reconciling with her father the king.

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  • Live chat reminder – 15 June

    Just a reminder that we have a live chat taking place tomorrow, 15th June. This is June’s informal live chat and the topic is”Tudor Queens”. It will take place in the Tudor Society chatroom at https://www.tudorsociety.com/chatroom/.

    The idea for these informal chats is for members to jump in and share their views, pose questions for other members, share book/TV recommendations etc. and to just enjoy talking Tudor.

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  • 14 June – Sir Christopher Danby, a lucky man

    Not many men who are implicated in rebellions manage to keep their head, but Sir Christopher Danby died a natural death on this day in Tudor history, 14th June 1571.

    Who was Danby? What was he involved in? And how did he survive?

    Let me tell you a bit more about this Tudor man in today’s video.

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  • Claire needs your feedback

    This week, Claire needs your help and feedback, so please do watch the brief video and leave a comment below sharing your opinion and ideas. It would also be helpful if you could answer the poll. Thank you so much!

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  • 13 June – Actor William Knell gets into a fight

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th June 1587, William Knell, an actor in “The Queen’s Men” company of players, got into a fight with a fellow actor in Thame, Oxfordshire.

    In today’s video, I flesh out this Tudor man a bit more and tell of his sad and rather violent end. I also about a story concerning this man and the famous Elizabethan actor and playwright, William Shakespeare.

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  • V & A Museum courses

    London’s Victoria and Albert Museum has been in touch with me to let me know about a couple of courses that may be of interest to Tudor Society members. They have just launched their new programme of adult learning courses for 2019-20, which includes the courses: “The Later Stuarts: Court and Country”, and “London Life and Times: Medieval to Modern”.

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  • 12 June – Catherine of Aragon gets cross with Henry VIII

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th June 1530, Queen Catherine of Aragon got rather cross with her husband, King Henry VIII, who, according to her, was leading an evil life and being a bad example.

    What led to Catherine’s strong words on this day in 1530? What exactly was Henry VIII doing to upset his wife?

    Find out in today’s video.

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  • 11 June – Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon get married

    Happy wedding anniversary to King Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon! Well, Catherine would be celebrating, as she viewed herself as the king’s true wife right until the end.

    On this day in Tudor history, seventeen-year-old King Henry VIII married twenty-three-year-old Spanish princess, Catalina de Aragón, or Catherine of Aragon, his brother’s widow, at a private ceremony at Greenwich.

    Find out more about what led to this marriage in today’s video:

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  • 10 June – Thomas Cromwell is arrested

    On this day in Tudor history, 10th June 1540, King Henry VIII’s right-hand man and ‘fixer’, Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, was arrested.

    In today’s “on this day” video, I share an account of what happened on that day, the day when Henry VIII’s loyal servant fell from power and was escorted to the Tower of London.

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  • 9 June – The Book of Common Prayer

    This day in Tudor history, 9th June 1549, was a big day for the English Reformation. It was on this day, at Whitsun services all around England, that Archbishop Thomas Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer was used for the very first time. A service in English!

    In today's video, I explain a bit more about this book and why this day was so important.

    Recommended reading: http://getbook.at/cranmer

    Also on this day in history:

    • 1511 – Death of William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, at Greenwich. He died of pleurisy and was buried at Blackfriars, London, with the honours due an earl, even though he hadn't been officially invested yet. Courtenay was Henry VIII's uncle, having married Katherine, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville.
    • 1563 – (or 10th June) Death of William Paget, 1st Baron Paget, diplomat and administrator, probably at his estate of West Drayton in Middlesex. Paget's career included serving as an ambassador to the French court, being a member of Henry VIII's Privy Council, sitting on the commission which tried the Earl of Surrey and serving on Mary I's Privy Council.
    • 1573 – Death of William Maitland of Lethington, Scottish courtier, politician, reformer and diplomat. He died in prison in Leith, in suspicious circumstances, though it was said to be suicide. Maitland supported the restoration of Mary, Queen of Scots, and was imprisoned as a result.
    • 1583 – Death of Thomas Radcliffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and President of the Council of the North, at Bermondsey. His body was buried at Boreham in Essex, but his innards were buried at the church in Bermondsey.
  • Henry VIII and Francis I True or False Quiz

    As Friday was the anniversary of the beginning of the Field of Cloth of Gold, that historic meeting between King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France. I thought I’d test your knowledge of these two Renaissance kings.

    It’s a true or false quiz, so not too hard! I do hope you enjoy it.

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