The Tudor Society
  • 18 January 1486 – The marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York

    On this day in history, 18th January 1486, the twenty-nine-year-old Henry VII married the twenty-year-old Elizabeth of York.

    They made a striking couple. Elizabeth of York had classic English Rose looks – blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin – and Henry was tall, slim, dark haired and handsome. They were the perfect couple, and their marriage brought hope to the country. It reconciled the warring Houses of Lancaster and York, and began a new royal house and era: the Tudor dynasty.

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  • This week in history 16 – 22 January

    On this day in history, 16th January…

    1486 – The Bishop of Imola, the papal legate, authorised the marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, which was due to take place on 18th January.
    1501 – Birth of Sir Anthony Denny, courtier and close friend of Henry VIII, at Cheshunt. He was the second son of Sir Edmund Denny and his wife, Mary.
    1549 – Thomas Seymour was alleged to have broken into Edward VI’s apartments at Hampton Court Palace to kidnap the young King. Click here to read more about this incident.
    1558 – Death of Thomas Alsop, Chief Apothecary to Henry VIII and Serjeant of the Royal ‘Confectionary’ to Edward VI. He was buried in St Mary Woolchurch.

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  • 15 January 1559 – Elizabeth I’s coronation

    On 15th January 1559, a date chosen by her astrologer Dr John Dee, a triumphant Elizabeth Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, processed from Westminster Hall into Westminster Abbey to be crowned queen. She was just twenty-five years old, was the third child of Henry VIII to become monarch, and was the longest reigning of them, ruling England for over 44 years.

    Elizabeth’s coronation day began in Westminster Hall, which had been decorated with her father’s sumptuous tapestries and his collection of gold and gilt plate. Blue cloth had been laid from the Hall to the Abbey, and Elizabeth, wearing her crimson parliament robes, processed along this cloth, which was then torn to shreds by people as souvenirs.

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  • Tudor History Quiz

    Get those little grey cells working with this fun Tudor history quiz – good luck!

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  • 14 January 1559 – Queen Elizabeth I’s coronation procession

    On 14th January 1559, the eve of her coronation, Queen Elizabeth I processed from the Tower of London to Westminster in a cloth of gold covered litter carried by two mules.

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  • Tattershall Castle

    Sarah Bryson talks about her time visiting Tattershall Castle, and the wonderful history of the site. Her highlight? The 20 mile view from the top of the Tudor tower.

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  • 1510 – Henry VIII’s first joust as king

    On 12th January 1510, eighteen-year-old Henry VIII jousted for the first time as king at a private joust at Richmond Park. He’d become king following the death of his father, Henry VII, on 21st April 1509.

    Henry and his good friend William Compton attended the joust on 12th January in disguise, but this led to panic when one of the disguised knights was seriously injured in the joust and a man who knew that the king was taking part cried out “God save the king!”

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  • Francesco Mazzuoli, “Parmigianino”

    Thank you to regular contributor Heather R. Darsie for writing this piece on Francesco Mazzuoli (Parmigiano) who was born on this day in history.

    On this day of 11 January 1504, Francesco Mazzuoli was born in Parma, a part of the Lombard region. Mazzuoli lost his father at a tender age and was thereafter raised by his paternal uncles, who were both themselves painters. His uncles were caring individuals who sought to ensure as proper an education as possible for the young Mazzuoli. It became clear when he was rather young that Mazzuoli possessed an artistic eye and hands that followed, as he began drawing when he should have been learning to write. Recognising this talent, Mazzuoli’s uncles sought out the best masters they could to instruct Mazzuoli in the art of painting.

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  • Bacton Altar Cloth to go on display

    A few months ago I highlighted the news about the Bacton Altar Cloth, which is believed to have been cut from a gown once worn by Queen Elizabeth I. Well, it’s been back in the news because experts have concluded that “all the evidence points to it having once been a skirt worn by the Tudor queen, making it the only known survivor of her famously lavish wardrobe”. It is thought that it could be the skirt that matches the bodice worn by Elizabeth I in the Rainbow Portrait.

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  • Anne of Brittany and the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis

    On 9th January 1514, Anne of Brittany, queen consort of King Louis XII of France, died at the Chateau of Blois. She left her husband, who went on to marry Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, later that year, and two daughters: Claude, Queen of France, and Renée, Duchess of Ferrara. She was buried in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis, just outside Paris, and was joined there by Louis after his death on 1st January 1515.

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  • This week in history 9 – 15 January

    On this day in history, 9th January…

    1514 – Anne of Brittany, wife of Louis XII of France, died at the Chateau of Blois. She was buried in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis.
    1522 – Adriaan Florenszoon Boeyens was elected as Pope, becoming Pope Adrian VI.
    1554 – Birth of Pope Gregory XV, born as Alessandro Ludovisi, in Bologna, Italy.
    1539 – Executions of Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu, and Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter, on Tower Hill. They were found guilty of high treason in December 1538 for denying the King’s supremacy, desiring the King’s death and favouring and promoting Cardinal Reginald Pole, Montagu’s brother, “in his traitorous proceedings”.

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  • Tudor Women Quiz

    Grab a coffee and enjoy a five-minute break while testing your Tudor knowledge with this fun quiz – good luck!

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  • Twelfth Night and Epiphany video

    In this week's video, Claire talks about Epiphany and Twelfth Night, how they were celebrated in the Tudor and medieval periods, and how they are celebrated today.

    Here are YouTube videos showing the processions of the Three Kings in various Spanish cities on the night of 5th January:

    The Kings come to our village

    Our Roscon de Reyes

    Members can enjoy my talks on court revelry in the Tudor period:

    Notes and Sources

  • Live Chat: The Spicery – 20 January

    Rioghnach O’Geraghty, a medievalist with a strong interest in the spices which were used during the medieval Tudor period, is this month’s expert speaker and she is joining us on the chatroom to answer your questions on Friday 20th January at 11pm UK time.

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  • Reminder – Live Chat on 6 January

    Just a quick reminder that historian Gareth Russell will be joining us in the chatroom tomorrow to discuss Henry VIII as a military leader. This follows on from the chat we had last month when Gareth was experiencing technical problems.

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  • Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who’s the Most Renaissance of Them All? Part III: Henry VIII of England

    This is Part III of a four-part series, which seeks to look at what were considered the attributes of a Renaissance prince, and who of our four princes embodied the ideals of the Renaissance best. What were some of those themes? The idea of a Renaissance man stood for a person who strove to embrace knowledge and develop himself. This included concepts such as the arts, knowledge, physical achievements, and social ideals. More plainly and for a prince, this could include cultivating a court known for patronising artists, musicians, and the like; establishing educational institutions, a good degree of physical fortitude, and things such as chivalric love or engaging in acts of charity.

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  • Unfinished Business: The Reformation

    Thank you to Teri Fitzgerald for sharing this forthcoming radio programme with me:

    “Unfinished Business
    Book of the Week, The Reformation Episode 1 of 5

    500 years after the Reformation, Diarmaid MacCulloch examines how the announcement of a university seminar in Germany led to the division of Europe

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  • This week in history 2 – 8 January

    On this day in history…

    2 January:

    1492 – King Boabdil surrendered Granada to the forces of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile – click here to read more.
    1525 – Death of Sir William Uvedale. Uvedale had been created a Knight of the Bath and Knight of the Royal Body by Henry VII, and served Arthur, Prince of Wales, as his counsellor.
    1536 – Eustace Chapuys, the Imperial Ambassador, arrived at the dying Catherine of Aragon’s bedside in Kimbolton Castle.
    1539 – Geoffrey Pole, son of Sir Richard Pole and Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, was pardoned after attempting suicide for the third time.

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  • Tudor History Quiz

    Thank you to Rebecca Larson for writing this week’s quiz. This general Tudor history quiz should wake you up and get those brain cells working! Good luck!

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  • Happy New Year 2017

    Tim and I just wanted to wish all Tudor Society members a very Happy New Year and to thank you for all the support you’ve given us in 2016. We hope that 2017 brings you joy, health and prosperity – Happy New Year!

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  • Expert Talk – Into the Tudor Spicery

    This month we have a wonderful video from Rioghnach O’Geraghty, a medievalist with a strong interest in the spices which were used during the medieval Tudor period. In this video, Rioghnach discusses some typical spice blends and their uses – they may sound strange to us, but the Tudors really did know how to make food delicious.

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  • January 2017 Tudor Life Magazine

    Here’s the complete edition of our full-colour 62-page January edition of Tudor Life Magazine. The theme this month is “Tudor Propaganda”, and, as you probably know, they were very good at it!

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  • January 2017 Tudor Life Taster

    The theme this month is “Tudor Propaganda”, and, as you probably know, they were very good at it! Enjoy this taster and then why not join up for a magazine subscription to enjoy the whole magazine.

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  • Grimsthorpe Castle – Sarah Bryson

    Sarah Bryson talks about her visit to Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire. She had a wonderful time visiting the castle and found some remnants of its Tudor past. This video is the third of four in her series on Tudor castles.

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  • 30 December 1546 – Henry VIII signs his will

    On 30th December 1546, Henry VIII signed his last will and testament, authorising changes he’d instructed William Paget to make on his behalf on 26th December 1546.

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  • 6 January 2017 – Live chat with Gareth Russell

    If you joined December’s live chat on Henry VIII as a military leader with Gareth Russell then you’ll know that Gareth’s wifi kept dropping out. Gareth has very kindly offered to do another live chat on 6th January at 11pm UK time – hurrah!

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  • John Davis, navigator and explorer

    On this day in history, 29th December 1605, John Davis (Davys), navigator and explorer, died near Bintang, off the coast of Borneo. His ship, The Tiger, was attacked by Japanese pirates who killed Davis in hand-to-hand combat.

    Davis was one of the main Elizabethan navigators and explorers, and the Davis Strait in the Northwest Passage is named after him. He is also known for being the first Englishman to document a sighting of the Falkland Islands. Davis also wrote the 1594 The Seaman’s Secrets and The World’s Hydrographical Description (1595).

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  • Anne of Cleves – If by land or by sea

    Thank you so much to our regular contributor, Heather R. Darsie, for writing this article on Anne of Cleves for us. Heather is working on a biography of Anne at the moment and is researching her using the German archives.

    Anna von Kleve, known to English speakers as Anne of Cleves, left her homeland in December 1539 to join her new husband, Henry VIII of England. The two had been married by proxy a couple of months earlier, in October. After Henry successfully negotiated the marriage alliance with Anna’s younger brother Wilhelm, Duke of Cleves since early 1538, there was the simple matter of getting Anna to England. But which way to take, a sea route or over land? Both options would take Anna through Imperial and French territory, which was no small matter at the time.

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  • Childermas or the Feast of the Holy Innocents

    Childermas (Children’s Mass) or Holy Innocents’ Day was part of the Twelve Days of Christmas celebrated in the Tudor period and was celebrated on 28th December.

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  • This week in history 26 December – 1 January

    26th December:

    526 – Birth of Rose Throckmorton (née Lok, other married name: Hickman), Protestant and businesswoman, in London. She was the third child of Sir William Lok, a mercer who had also served Henry VIII as a gentleman usher. Rose was married twice: to merchant Anthony Hickman and to Simon Throckmorton of Brampton.
    1545 – Death of Sir George Bowes, soldier, rebel and Captain of Norham Castle. He was buried at Alnwick. Bowes was a member of the rebel army during the 1536 Pilgrimage of Grace, but the patronage of his uncle, Sir Robert Bowes, protected him. He fought in the 1542 Anglo-Scottish War and in the 1544 expedition. He was granted the Barony of Coldingham as a reward for seizing Coldingham Priory on November 1544, but was then taken prisoner in January 1545 and lost the barony.
    1546 – Henry VIII made some changes to his will, a document which had been prepared two years earlier. These changes were made to ensure successful transfer of royal authority to his son, the future Edward VI, and to prepare for Edward reigning during his minority.

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