The Tudor Society
  • 20 August – A proxy wedding for James VI and England gives thanks

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th August 1589, twenty-three-year-old King James VI of Scotland married fourteen-year-old Anne of Denmark by proxy at Kronborg Castle, Helsingør, Denmark.

    James had chosen Anne of Denmark as his bride after praying and meditating over portraits of her and Catherine of Navarre, and Anne was very excited about marrying him. Unfortunately, married bliss didn’t last long.

    Find out more about the proxy wedding, Anne’s eventful voyage, their real wedding and their married life…

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  • Hans Holbein’s Portrait of Queen Catherine Howard? by Roland Hui

    A big thank you to our resident art historian, Roland Hui, for this excellent article on a Tudor miniature by Hans Holbein the Younger which is causing controversy at the moment.

    Over to Roland…

    In an essay on the portraiture of Henry VIII’s six wives, art historian Brett Dolman offered the depressing, but sobering, opinion that pictures of one of them, Catherine Howard, may not even exist:

    “Catherine left no documentary proof that her portrait was ever painted during her lifetime, and perhaps, we are searching for the impossible.”…

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  • Tudor History Challenge XI

    I’ve just published this video on the Anne Boleyn Files and Tudor Society YouTube Channel to celebrate reaching 60,000 subscribers and thought Tudor Society members would enjoy playing along.

    Can you beat Tim?

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  • 19 August – A defiant Mary I and the return of Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th August 1551, Princess Mary, the future Mary I, wrote to her half-brother King Edward VI regarding orders that he had sent, orders that she was not going to obey.

    As historian Henry Ellis noted, this letter is evidence of Mary’s talent at writing and her intellect, and it also shows just how stubborn she could be. But then Edward was stubborn too! He wasn’t going to let his sister defy him but she wasn’t going to obey him and compromise her faith – oh dear!

    Find out more about the situation, and hear Mary’s words to Edward…

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  • 18 August – John Dudley and Virginia Dare

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th August 1553, less than a month after his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey or Queen Jane, had been overthrown by Queen Mary I, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was tried for treason at Westminster Hall in London.

    During his trial, Northumberland pointed out that it couldn’t be treason to be acting by royal warrant and that some of those judging him had acted under the same warrant, but it did him no good.

    Find out what happened at his trial, what his reaction was to his sentence, and what happened to William Parr, Marquess of Northampton, and John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, who were tried with him…

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  • 17 August – Sweating sickness kills a humanist scholar, and Dudley and Empson the Scapegoats

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th August 1517, Italian humanist scholar, cleric and poet, Andreas Ammonius died in London from sweating sickness. He was laid to rest at St Stephen’s, Westminster.

    Ammonius had also served Henry VIII as his Latin secretary and was a great friend of the famous humanist scholar, Erasmus. Find out more about Ammonius and the sweating sickness epidemic which caused his death…

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  • August Feast Days and Martyrs Crossword Puzzle

    Apologies for being a day late with the weekly quiz, but better late than never!

    This week, we’re testing your knowledge of August Feast Days and people who were martyred in August – a cheerful subject!

    Simply click on the link or image below to open and print out…

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  • 16 August – A family’s sacrifice and the Battle of Spurs

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th August 1599, soldier and Lord President of Munster in Ireland, Sir Thomas Norris, died at his home, Mallow Castle, in Cork, as a result of an injury he’d sustained in a skirmish with Irish troops on 30th May 1599. His brother, Henry, died just five days later. Thomas’s brothers, John, William and Maximilian, who were also soldiers, died in 1597, 1579 and 1593 respectively.

    Queen Elizabeth I recognised the sacrifice of this family and wrote a letter of condolence to her friends, Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norris, and his wife, Margery Williams. Find out what she wrote to the grieving couple…

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  • 15 August – The Oaten Hill Martyrs and a lady-in-waiting who was attacked by Elizabeth I

    On his day in Tudor history, 15th August 1588, Catholics Robert Wilcox, Edward Campion, Christopher Buxton and Robert Widmerpool were examined while imprisoned in the Marshalsea prison in Southwark, London.

    These men ended up being executed, three of them for being Catholic priests and one for giving aid to priests. All four died with courage and in 1929 were beatified.

    Find out more about these men and how they came to be executed in this video…

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  • 14 August – William Parr and Margaret Pole

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th August 1513, William Parr, Marquess of Northampton and brother of Queen Catherine Parr, was born.

    William Parr is a fascinating man. He had a wonderful court career, his first wife eloped and left him, his divorce was granted and then rescinded, he was imprisoned in the Tower but then released, his marital happiness was rather shortlived… but he died a natural death!

    Find out more about William Parr…

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  • 13 August – Irish friars come to a sad end and a proxy wedding for Mary Tudor

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th August 1579, Roman Catholics Friar Conn, or Connatius, O’Rourke and Patrick O’Healy, Bishop of Mayo, were hanged just outside Kilmallock, co. Limerick.

    So desperate was Sir William Drury, Lord President of Munster, to get rid of these two Catholics, that he used martial law to find them guilty of treason, rather than giving them a trial.

    Find out why, what Drury did to poor Bishop O’Healey, and what happened to their remains afterwards, in this video…

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  • The Mystery of Father Richard’s Secret Oratory – Brigitte Webster

    This week we have Brigitte Webster talking about the unique link her house has with a Tudor priest and the mystery of Father Richard’s secret oratory…

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  • 12 August – Ursula Pole and the Father of English Paediatrics

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th August 1570, Lady Ursula Stafford died. She was the daughter of the late Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, sister of Cardinal Reginald Pole, and wife of Henry Stafford, 1st Baron Stafford. She had Plantagenet blood being the granddaughter of George, Duke of Clarence.

    Find out more about the life of this interesting Tudor lady, and the tragic fall of her family…

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  • Walter Calverley (d. 1605), a murderous man!

    The history of Walter Calverley is not a happy one, and he is best known today as being a man capable of infanticide.

    Walter Calverley was the eldest son and heir of William Calverley, a writer, and his wife, Katherine. His family were landowners in the West Riding of Yorkshire, which is where he was probably born.

    Whilst he was still a child, Walter’s father died, and under his father’s will, Walter became a ward of William Brooke, 10th Baron Cobham. Walter also inherited the family lands at Calverley, titles to manors at Pudsey and Burley in Wharfedale, and several other pieces of land in Yorkshire. On 5th May 1579, Walter enrolled at the University of Cambridge as a scholar of Clare College alongside his brother William. They both left Cambridge in the October of that year, and Walter left Cambridge without a degree and entered into a dubious lifestyle.

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  • 11 August – Sir Maurice Berkeley and Henry VIII treats friars abominably

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th August 1581, Sir Maurice Berkeley, former gentleman usher of Henry VIII’s Privy Chamber, died.

    You may not have heard of Sir Maurice Berkeley, but he had a wonderful court career, serving Henry VIII, Edward VI and Elizabeth I, and proving his loyalty to Mary I by arresting rebel leader, Thomas Wyatt the Younger.

    Find out more about this lesser-known Tudor man…

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  • 10 August – Drownings at London Bride and a battle for the Mary Rose

    On this day in Tudor history, 10th August 1553, the same day that Queen Mary I held requiem mass for the soul of her late half-brother, Edward VI, seven men died at London Bridge. They were drowned.

    Find out more about what happened to these men – one of whom was Thomas Brydges, the son of Sir Thomas Brydges, Deputy Lieutenant of the Tower of London – how the Thames was the preferred way of travelling around London, and how and why it could be dangerous around London Bridge, in this video…

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  • 9 August – Elizabeth I’s mandate causes horror and Elizabeth I’s famous Tilbury Speech

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th August 1561, while on a visit to Ipswich, in Suffolk, Queen Elizabeth I issued a royal mandate forbidding women to reside in cathedrals and colleges.

    Although she wasn’t going as far as banning clerical marriage, her mandate caused concern, and even horror, among her clergy, particularly her married Archbishop of Canterbury, who was a huge supporter of clerical marriage.

    Find out more about what Elizabeth I ordered, the reactions of William Cecil, Matthew Parker and Richard Cox, and why the Protestant Elizabeth may have issued this mandate…

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  • 8 August – Princess Margaret Tudor marries James IV of Scotland

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th August 1503, King Henry VII’s eldest daughter, Margaret Tudor, married King James IV of Scotland.

    Find out more about their marriage, and how it was arranged, in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

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  • Henry VII’s Early Life Quiz

    As yesterday was the anniversary of Henry Tudor landing on the Pembrokeshire coastline in 1485 in preparation for claiming the throne of England, I thought I’d test your knowledge of Henry VII’s early life, from his birth in 1457 to his defeat of Richard III in 1485.

    Get those little grey cells working with this fun quiz.

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  • 7 August – Sir Robert Dudley, Dudley’s illegitimate son

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th August 1574, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester’s illegitimate son, Sir Robert Dudley, was born at Sheen.

    Find out more about Sir Robert Dudley, who grew up to be a mariner, cartographer and landowner, in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

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  • 6 August – Anne Hathaway, wife of William Shakespeare

    On this day in history, 6th August 1623, Anne Hathaway, wife of William Shakespeare, the famous playwright, died.

    Find out a bit more about Anne Hathaway, and hear the tomb inscription written about her by her son in law, in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

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  • Elizabeth and Leicester by Sarah Gristwood – Lil’s Book Reviews

    Today we have a lovely summery video from Lil who is reviewing “Elizabeth and Leicester” by Sarah Gristwood at the beautiful Kenilworth Castle. We get a double treat as Lil shows us some of the wonderful sights of the castle too.

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  • 5 August – Sir Reginald Bray

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th August 1503, in the reign of King Henry VII, administrator Sir Reynold or Reginald Bray died.

    Who was Bray? What offices had he held? And what are his links to Westminster Abbey and St George's Chapel?

    Find out more in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts...

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  • 4 August – Elizabeth I’s spirit, William Cecil

    On 4th August 1598, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, died. He’d been Elizabeth’s chief advisor and a man she called her spirit.

    Hear a few more William Cecil facts in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

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  • The Two Annes of Hever Castle – Owen Emmerson – Live chat transcript

    Here’s the transcript from our live chat with Dr Owen Emmerson about Hever Castle in Kent. As you would expect, some amazing questions were asked and answered.

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  • 3 August – Lord Russell marches towards the rebels

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd August 1549, in the reign of King Edward VI, Lord Russell marched his troops from Honiton to Woodbury.

    They were off to put down the Prayer Book Rebellion.

    Find out more in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

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  • 2 August – Thornbury Castle, home of the Duke of Buckingham

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd August 1514, Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, was granted a licence to found a college at his manor of Thornbury.

    Find out more about Thornbury Castle in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

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  • 1 August – John Ashley, or John Astley

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st August 1596, courtier John Ashley or Astley died. He and his wife Kat Ashley were loyal servants and friends of Queen Elizabeth I.

    Find out more about John Ashley in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

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  • Dr John Dee Crossword Puzzle

    Dr John Dee is a fascinating Tudor figure, being a mathematician, astrologer, astronomer, alchemist and antiquary, as well as advising Queen Elizabeth I.

    But how much do you known about Dr John Dee?

    Test yourself with this fun crossword puzzle.

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  • Nathen Amin – Henry VII: The Man – Expert Talk

    Nathen Amin, author of The House of Beaufort and Henry VII and the Tudor Pretenders: Simnel, Warbeck, and Warwick is our August expert speaker and here he is with a wonderful talk on Henry VII…

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