The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • Katharine of Aragon’s Spain by Heather R. Darsie

    The AlhambraThank you to Heather for sharing with us this article on "Katharine of Aragon's Spain: the Moorish Influence of Convivencia on the Newly-Modern Kingdom".

    Prior to Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, the Catholic Monarchs, finally removing the last Islamic presence from the Kingdom of Granada, there was a considerable Islamic and Jewish presence that lasted over 700 hundred years.

    The Muslims first came to Spain during the Umayyad conquest of Hispania around the year 711, when they invaded from North Africa. At the time, the Iberian Peninsula was a Visigoth kingdom. The area of the Iberian Peninsula controlled by the Muslims was called Al-Andalus. After the invasion, conversion from Christianity to Islam was advantageous. There was relative peace in Muslim-controlled Spain for about three hundred years. The main cities of Al-Andalus were Granada, Toledo and Cordoba.
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  • Derek Wilson in History of Royals magazine

    Regular contributor, Tudor Society member and historian Derek Wilson has just informed me that an article he has written on Richard III is the lead feature article in the very first issue of “History of Royals” magazine which comes out on 14 April.

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  • Impressions of “I am Henry” by Heather R. Darsie

    Our regular contributor Heather R. Darsie reviews the short film “I am Henry”…

    I had heard and read of the acclaim achieved by Flying Dutchman’s film, “I am Henry,” but did not know what to expect. I sat down with my laptop, thinking I was about to watch simply another film about the dynamic between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. I could not have been more wrong.

    The setting is simple but beautiful, and the lighting lends itself to that of a person whose mind is slowly being overtaken by the dreamy haze of death. The color balancing is consistent throughout and gives the appearance that the film is lit indeed by only the source light of the January sun and candles. Great care was taken in planning each shot and it shows. Put simply, the thoughtful cinematography was executed flawlessly.

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  • This week in history 11 – 17 April

    11 April

    Marguerite de Navarre

    Marguerite de Navarre

    1492 – Birth of Marguerite de Navarre (also known as Marguerite of Angoulême and Marguerite de France), sister of Francis I of France, daughter of Louise of Savoy and Charles, Count of Angoulême, and author of "Miroir de l'âme pécheresse".
    1533 – The Royal Council was ordered by Henry VIII to recognise Anne Boleyn as Queen.
    1548 – Death of Sir John Welsbourne, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to Henry VIII and Justice of the Peace.
    1554 - Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger was beheaded and then his body quartered for treason, for leading Wyatt's Rebellion against Queen Mary I.
    1609 - Death of John Lumley, 1st Baron Lumley, conspirator (Ridolfi Plot, patron and collector. His library was said to be one of the largest in England, and he collected manuscripts, books, paintings, sculptures, marble busts and furniture. Lumley was buried at night, probably so that he could be buried with a Catholic service, in the Lumley Chapel of St Dunstan's in Cheam.

    12 April

    Edward de Vere

    Edward de Vere

    1533 – Thomas Cromwell became Chancellor of the Exchequer.
    1533 - Anne Boleyn attended mass on Easter Saturday “with all the pomp of a Queen, clad in cloth of gold, and loaded (carga) with the richest jewels”. It was her first public appearance as Queen, and it was time to make a statement that she was Henry VIII’s rightful wife and Queen.
    1535 – Death of Giles Duwes (Dewes), musician, royal librarian and French tutor to Henry VIII's children: Arthur, Henry, Margaret and Mary, and to Henry VIII's daughter, the future Mary I. He also taught Mary I music. He was buried in the church of St Olave Upwell in London.
    1550 – Birth of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, courtier and poet. The Oxfordian theory of Shakespearean authorship proposes that de Vere wrote Shakespeare's works and some believe that he was the illegitimate son of Elizabeth I.
    1587 – Death of Sir Thomas Bromley, Lord Chancellor to Elizabeth I, at York House in London. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. It was Bromley who had presented Elizabeth I with Parliament's petition for the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, and it was he who applied the Great Seal on her execution warrant in 1587.
    1639 – Death of courtier Robert Carey, 1st Earl of Monmouth, youngest son of Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, and grandson of Mary Boleyn.

    13 April

    Sir Thomas More

    Sir Thomas More

    1534 – Sir Thomas More was summoned to Lambeth to swear his allegiance to the “Act of Succession”.
    1557 – Death of John Brydges, 1st Baron Chandos of Sudeley, landowner, soldier and Lieutenant of the Tower of London. He died at Sudeley Castle. When Lady Jane Grey was in the Tower, she gave him her English prayer book in which she wrote a homily for him, and when Elizabeth was in the Tower, he was accused of being too lenient with her.
    1598 – Henry IV of France issued the Edict of Nantes granting the Huguenots freedom of religion in France.
    1606 – Death of Richard Day, Church of England clergyman, printer and son of the famous printer John Day, who had printed John Foxe's “Actes and Monuments”. In 1578 Richard printed his own translation of “Christ Jesus Triumphant” by Foxe, and then got into trouble with his father when he started printing his father's works without his permission. His father had his printing equipment and stock seized, and Richard was forced to become a clergyman, becoming Vicar of Mundon, Essex.
    1630 – Death of Anne Howard (née Dacre), Countess of Arundel, at Shifnal. She was laid to rest in the Fitzalan Chapel of Arundel Castle. Anne was the eldest daughter of Thomas Dacre, 4th Lord Dacre of Gilsand, and wife of Philip Howard, 13th Earl of Arundel. Anne was a staunch Catholic and harboured priests.

    14 April

    Bothwell

    Bothwell

    1556 – Death of Sir Anthony Kingston, former Constable of the Tower of London, at Cirencester while on his way to be tried in London. He was accused of conspiring to rob the Exchequer for money to support Henry Dudley and his plot against Mary I. Dudley appears to have been planning an invasion of English exiles from France to topple Mary and replace her with Elizabeth.
    1565 – Birth of Edward Gresham, astrologer, astronomer and magician, in Stainsford, Yorkshire. He is known for his treatise “Astrostereon” and his astrological almanacs, published between 1603 and 1607.
    1578 - James Hepburn, 1st Duke of Orkney and 4th Earl of Bothwell, died aged forty-four at Dragsholm Castle after being imprisoned and held in appalling conditions by Frederick, King of Denmark. It is said that the imprisonment caused Bothwell to go insane. Bothwell was the third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.
    1587 – Death of Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland, at Greenwich. He'd been taken ill earlier that month. He was buried on 15th May at Bottesford, Leicestershire.
    1599 – Death of Sir Henry Wallop, member of Parliament and administrator, in Dublin while serving there as Treasurer-at-War. He was buried in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.

    15 April

    1530 – Death of Gilbert Tailboys, 1st Baron Tailboys and first husband of Elizabeth (Bessie Blount), mistress of Henry VIII. He was laid to rest in South Kyme Church.
    1545 – Death of Sir Robert Dymoke, champion at the coronations of Henry VII and Henry VIII. He also served in the households of Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn.
    1589 – Burial of Frances Radcliffe (née Sidney), Countess of Sussex and founder of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. She was buried in Westminster Abbey, in the Chapel of St Paul.
    1599 – Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, was sworn in as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
    1624 – Burial of Sir John Scudamore, husband of Mary Shelton, who served in Elizabeth I's Privy Chamber, at Holme Lacy. It was alleged that Elizabeth I broke one of Mary's fingers in a temper.

    16 April

    Guy Fawkes

    Guy Fawkes

    1512 – The Mary Rose began her first tour of duty in the English Channel on the hunt for French warships.
    1521 – German Protestant reformer, Martin Luther, appeared in front of Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms. He had been summoned to the diet to either recant or reaffirm his religious views.
    1550 – Birth of Francis Anthony, alchemist, apothecary and physician. He was probably born in London and was the son of Derrick Anthony, a goldsmith. Anthony was imprisoned twice for practising as a physician without a licence, and is known for his aurum potabile (drinkable gold), made from gold and mercury, which he claimed had amazing curative powers. His works included Medicinae chymicae et veri potabilis auri assertio (1610).
    1570 - Baptism of Guy Fawkes, conspirator, at the Church of St Michael le Belfrey in York.
    1578 – Burial of Thomas Drant, Church of England clergyman and poet. He was part of the “Areopagus” intellectual circle at court, but also had an ecclesiastical career and was chaplain to Edmund Grindal, Bishop of London. He is known for his work on prosody (metre), and actually drew up some rules concerning it, which were mentioned by Edmund Spenser, Gabriel Harvey, Philip Sidney, Edward Dyer and Fulke Greville.
    1587 – Death of Anne Seymour (née Stanhope), Duchess of Somerset and wife of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector during part of Edward VI's reign. Anne was a reformer and a literary patron. She died at Hanworth Place and was buried at Westminster Abbey.
    1595 – Death of Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby and literary patron. His sudden death caused rumours of poisoning and witchcraft, but nothing was ever proved. Stanley was patron of the Strange's Men company of players, which probably included William Shakespeare, and he was also a patron of poets. It is thought that he also was a poet.

    17 April

    Nicholas Throckmorton

    Nicholas Throckmorton

    1534 - Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII's Lord Chancellor, was sent to the Tower of London after refusing to swear the “Oath of Succession”.
    1554 – Sir Nicholas Throckmorton was acquitted of treason for being involved in Wyatt's Rebellion. The jurors were arrested straight after the trial and Throckmorton remained in prison until January 1555.
    1554 – Thomas Wyatt the Younger's head was stolen in the rejoicing after Throckmorton's acquittal.
    1554 – Birth of Stephen Gosson, Church of England clergyman, satirist and anti-theatrical polemicist. In 1579 he published his “Schoole of Abuse, containing a pleasant invective against Poets, Pipers, Plaiers, Jesters and such like Caterpillars of the Commonwealth”.
    1568 – Birth of George Brooke, conspirator, son of William Brooke, 10th Baron Cobham and his wife Frances (née Newton). Brooke conspired with Sir Griffin Markham and William Watson to kidnap King James I and end the persecution of Catholics. The plot was called the Bye Plot, and never took place because the authorities found out about their plans. Brooke was arrested, tried at Winchester 15th November 1603 and executed on Winchester Castle green 5th December 1603.
    1595 – Execution of Henry Walpole (St Henry Walpole), Jesuit martyr, in York. He was hanged, drawn and quartered. He was accused of treason on three counts "Walpole had abjured the realm without licence; that he had received holy orders overseas; and that he had returned to England as a Jesuit priest to exercise his priestly functions".

  • 11 April 1554 – The Execution of Thomas Wyatt the Younger

    On the 11th April 1554, Sir Thomas Wyatt the younger was beheaded and then his body quartered for treason, for leading Wyatt’s Rebellion against Queen Mary I.

    Wyatt had already shown his opposition to Mary when he supported Lady Jane Grey’s claim to the throne after the death of Edward VI – he escaped punishment that time – but he felt compelled to act when he found out about Mary I’s plans to marry King Philip II of Spain.
    The plan was to have a series of uprisings in the South, Southwest, Welsh Marches and Midlands, and then a march on London to overthrow the government, block the Spanish marriage, dethrone Mary and replace her with her Protestant half-sister, Elizabeth, who would marry Edward Courtenay. Unfortunately for Wyatt, other rebel leaders like the Duke of Suffolk (Lady Jane Grey’s father) and the ill-fated Lady Jane Grey (who had nothing to do with the revolt), the plan failed.

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  • Quiz – Medieval plants and flowers and their symbolism

    In medieval times, flowers and plants were often used in art, literature and rituals as symbols. How much do you know about plants and their symbols? Find out with this fun quiz.

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  • 9 April 1533 – No Longer Queen by Sarah Bryson

    On 9th April 1533, the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk accompanied by a delegation from King Henry VIII met with Queen Katherine of Aragon at her residence at Ampthill where she had been moved to in February. When they arrived they informed Katherine that she was no longer Queen of England, but from that day forward she had to style herself as the Dowager Princess of Wales. Katherine took the news with grace but refused neither to use the new title nor to believe that Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn was valid.

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  • Tudor Cooking with Claire – Hippocras

    I’m always coming across mentions of hippocras when I’m reading primary source accounts of banquets, coronations and christenings. It was something that was served at the end of a banquet with wafers and “spice plates”. I love trying out things I read about so I looked in my books for a contemporary recipe and a modernised version. Here is the result:

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  • David Baldwin

    I’ve just seen the news on Facebook that historian and author David Baldwin passed away on Monday (4th April). It is such sad news.

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  • This week in history 4 – 10 April

    On this day in history events for week 4-10 April.

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  • Expert Talk – Thomas More by Stephanie Mann

    Stephanie Mann on Thomas More

    This month’s amazing Expert Talk is by Stephanie Mann, author of “Supremacy and Survival”. Her topic, one which is clearly close to her heart, is Thomas More, a fascinating man who it turns out we really don’t know as much about as we should.

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  • Quiz – How long?

    Today’s Tudor history quiz consists of ten questions about “how long”?

    Test your Tudor history knowledge with this fun quiz – good luck!

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  • The Death of Arthur Tudor by Sarah Bryson

    On 2nd April 1502, Arthur Tudor, eldest son of King Henry VII, died at Ludlow Castle. He was just fifteen years old and had been married for less than five months.

    Arthur Tudor had married Katherine of Aragon, daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile. King Henry VII had worked hard for several years to secure a marriage between his son and Princess Katherine to see a strong alliance created between England and Spain. The marriage would also help to put England on the international stage and secure the succession of the Tudors.

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  • Calendar Confusion video

    In today’s Claire Chats I talk about all the issues to do with the calendar and dating of documents and sources which are just waiting to catch you out!

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  • Who were the Huguenots? A Brief History during the 1500s by Heather R. Darsie

    The Huguenots were French Protestants, formed as a part of the general Reformation that started in Germany because of Martin Luther and swept through the Continent. It hit France around 1517, where the movement quickly grew in popularity. The movement was particularly popular in French areas where the population was unhappy with the government or areas that were experiencing economic hardship. The name “Huguenot” is of uncertain origin; some believe the Huguenots are named after Besançon Hugues, leader of the movement in Geneva, Switzerland. Another possibility finds its roots in the German word Eidgenossen, meaning confederates bound by oath, which became aignos in France and referred to patriots living in Geneva who were against the Duke of Savoy during 1520 to 1524. In August 1523, the first martyr, Jean Vallière, was burnt at the stake.

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  • Lambert Barnard’s Tudor Paintings

    Thank you to Melanie V. Taylor, our art historian, for spotting and sharing with me this interesting article on the beautiful Chichester Cathedral Tudor Paintings by Lambert Barnard (c1435 – 1567) which include this image of Henry VIII which I’ve never seen before.

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  • Mary I’s Will

    On 30th March 1558, Queen Mary I made her last will and testament, believing that she would soon give birth and knowing that childbirth was a risky process.

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  • This week in history 28 March – 3 April

    On this day in history events for week 28th March to 3rd April.

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  • Quiz – Who is it?

    A fun quiz for Easter weekend! Who is being described in the following contemporary descriptions? Can you figure it out?

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  • Tudor Life April 2016 Taster

    This month’s Tudor Life members magazine is full of “comebacks”, Tudor personalities and Tudor places. Join to get the full 78 page monthly magazine.

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  • April 2016 Tudor Life Magazine

    Packed with a wide range of articles about Tudor personalities like the Dudleys, Elizabeth of York, Mary I, Isabella of Spain and Henry Howard. There is part one of an insider’s guide to the Tower of London, a detailed article about Greenwich Palace and Wroxhall Abbey, an article about some bizarre Tudor foods and lots more! It’s our best magazine yet!

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  • Good Friday in Tudor Times

    In today’s Claire Chats I look at the rituals associated with Good Friday in Tudor times and draw on the account of Mary I’s Good Friday service of 4th April 1556 to give us a clearer picture.

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  • Sorrow in the City: Reactions to the End of an Age by Heather R. Darsie

    “It is not my desire to live or to reign longer than my life and my reign shall be for your good,” said Elizabeth to her parliament in 1601. Upon one of the many times parliament questioned Elizabeth about her plan of succession, she stated, “I know I am but mortal and so therewhilst prepare myself for death, whensoever it shall please God to send it.” And send it, God eventually did.

    24 March, 1603. Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen, England’s Gloriana and daughter of the great Henry VIII by the ill-fated Anne Boleyn, passed away peacefully in her sleep at Richmond Palace. She was 69 years old and had reigned for almost 45 years.

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  • Maundy Thursday

    Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper, that final meal that Jesus Christ had with his disciples before his arrest.
    In Tudor times, on Maundy Thursday, the church was prepared for Easter with water and wine being used to wash the altars and it was traditional for people to go to confession. The three holy oils – the chrism oil, the oil of catechumens and the oil of the sick – were also blessed on this day.

    At the Last Supper, which was the Passover meal, Luke’s Gospel says that Christ took bread, gave thanks to God for it, broke it and then shared it with his disciples, saying “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” He then took the cup of wine, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” Christians all over the world remember this gesture by celebrating the Eucharist, also known as “communion”. According to John’s Gospel, it was at this meal that Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, and both Luke and John record Jesus saying that there was one among them who would betray him.

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  • Historical Fiction at 99p or $0.99 each – 23 and 24 March 2016

    As this MadeGlobal Publishing promotion includes books by Tudor Society contributors and members, plus I know many of you enjoy historical fiction, I thought I’d share this news here.

    MadeGlobal Publishing’s fiction books are on offer as Kindle Countdown Deals on Amazon.com and Amazon UK from 1am on 23rd March until 11pm on 24th March.

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  • Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, articles

    Today is the anniversary of Thomas Cranmer’s execution on 21st March 1556, when he was burned at the stake in Oxford for heresy. Here is a list of articles from the Tudor Society and the Anne Boleyn Files about this Oxford Martyr.

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  • This week in history 21 – 27 March

    On this day in history events for week 21-27 March.

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  • Holy Week and Easter Quiz

    As Holy Week starts today I thought it was appropriate to have a fun quiz testing your knowledge of how this week was commemorated in medieval and Tudor times. I hope you enjoy this little quiz – good luck!

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  • Palm Sunday 1554 – A bad day for the Lady Elizabeth

    On Palm Sunday 1554 (which was 18 March that year), the twenty year old Elizabeth was taken to the Tower of London, the place where her mother had been imprisoned and where her mother and one of her stepmothers had been executed.

    We can only imagine the sheer terror she felt when Mary I’s council turned up at her doorstep on the 16th March to formally charge her with being involved in Wyatt’s Rebellion, the revolt which had taken place in January and February 1554. Elizabeth was told that Mary wanted her sister taken to the Tower for questioning and that she would be escorted there the next day.

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  • Palm Sunday

    Palm Sunday is the sixth Sunday in Lent and marks the start of Holy Week. It commemorates the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem on a donkey the week before the Resurrection. It is an event which features in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and here it is from John:

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