The Tudor Society
  • This week in history 4 – 10 July

    On this day in history events for 4th to 10th July.

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  • Tudor Cleaning Quiz

    This quiz should be nice and easy if you listened to my recent Claire Chats video on cleaning and doing the washing in Tudor times. Good luck!

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  • 2 July 1489 – Birth of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer

    On this day in history, 2nd July 1489, one of my favourite Tudor personalities, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, was born in Aslockton, Nottinghamshire.

    Cranmer had a major impact on Tudor England. Not only did he provide Henry VIII with the annulment of his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon, he was also a key player in the English Reformation, and, of course, he was burnt at the stake for his faith in the reign of Queen Mary I.

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  • Cleaning and doing the washing in Tudor times

    In today’s Claire Chats video I look at how the Tudors kept their homes clean and how they did their laundry.

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  • 1 July 1543 – Treaties of Greenwich

    On this day in 1543, the Treaties of Greenwich were signed. In these treaties between England and Scotland, it was agreed that Prince Edward, the future Edward VI, would marry Mary, Queen of Scots.

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  • Expert Talk – The Mary Rose – Philip Roberts

    Expert Talk for July – Philip Roberts talks about the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s flagship.

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  • Gregory Cromwell: Two Portrait Miniatures by Hans Holbein the Younger

    Tudor Society member Teri Fitzgerald has kindly given me permission to share this article she wrote with Diarmaid MacCulloch for The Journal of Ecclesiastical History with Tudor Society members. A big thank you to Teri.

    “This paper presents a probable identification of not one but two portrait miniatures of Gregory Cromwell, only son of England’s only vice-gerent in spirituals, by Hans Holbein the Younger. The historical evidence has hitherto remained unconnected because of misunderstandings about Gregory’s age, which are clarified here, and also thanks to the unexpected modern locations of the two relevant miniatures.”

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  • 6 free Tudor e-books

    ebook coversComing in September to the Tudor Society - 6 free Tudor e-books!

    Yes! Tudor Society members will be able to download e-books on each of the Tudor monarchs - Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey, Mary I and Elizabeth I. Each book will contain:

    • Brief bio of the monarch
    • List of primary sources
    • Recommended reading list
    • Family tree
    • A collection of articles on the monarch and their reign

    The books will be available in the following formats: kindle (mobi), EPUB and PDF.

    All six books will be free of charge to Tudor Society members. It's our little way of saying thank you for being a Tudor Society member.

  • This week in history 27 June – 3 July

    On this day in history events for 27th June to 3rd July.

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  • July Tudor Life Magazine Taster

    Tudor Life July 2016 is packed with 64 pages on Edward VI and the Tudor period … why not join the society to read more?

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  • July 2016 Tudor Life Magazine

    Interested in the life and reign of Edward VI, the boy king? This magazine is just for you. Also has an exclusive article about artist Levina Teerlinc.

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  • The Break with Rome Quiz

    On Friday 24th June 2016 the majority of British people voted to leave the European Union and this had been compared by some newspapers to Henry VIII’s Break with Rome. So, here you go, a Break with Rome quiz! Have fun and good luck!

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  • Coming in September!

    In this week’s Claire Chats, I talk about something we’ll be adding to the site in September, and, yes, I am going to be working hard in July and August!

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  • 24 June – The Feast of St John the Baptist and Midsummer’s Day

    Here in my area of rural Spain, the feast of St John, or San Juan as he is called here, is a special time. People gather on the night of 23rd at our local natural thermal pool and at midnight they all jump in (or get pushed in!). Like the baptisms that John the Baptist did, this is seen as symbolising the washing away of sins. Then, sardines are cooked on open fires. In coastal areas, sardines are cooked on bonfires on the beach, people jump over the fires for luck and then run into the sea at midnight.

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  • 23 June 1576 – Death of Levina Teerlinc

    Today marks the 440th anniversary of the death of Levina Teerlinc, painter and miniaturist, at Stepney. Originally from Bruges, Teerlinc, who was the daughter of Simon Benninck, a master illuminator, travelled to England in the 1540s. Teerlinc was court painter to Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I, and produced many paintings and miniatures.

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  • 22 June 1559 – Queen Elizabeth’s Prayer Book

    On this day in history, 22nd June 1559, Queen Elizabeth I’s Prayer Book was issued. This version of the Book of Common Prayer “was a conservative revision of the 1552 edition, with the effect of making it somewhat less “Protestant”.”

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  • 21 June 1553 – Edward VI chooses Lady Jane Grey as his heir

    On 21st June 1553, letters patent were issued stating that King Edward VI’s heir was Lady Jane Grey, eldest daughter of the king’s cousin, Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk.

    Edward VI was dying, having been ill for a few months, and in the original draft of his “Devise for the Succession” he stipulated that the Crown would descend through the male heirs of Frances, Duchess of Suffolk, if Edward died childless. The problem was that there were no male heirs yet, so when Edward made a turn for the worse he decided to change the document to read: “To the Lady Fraunceses heirs males, if she have any such issue before my death to the Lady Jane and her heirs males.”

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  • This week in history 20 – 26 June

    On this day in history events for 20-26 June.

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  • Henry VIII’s six wives are as popular as ever – Conor Byrne

    Henry VIII’s six wives are as popular as ever. In the 2016 History Hot 100 recently compiled by BBC History Magazine, no less than four of the notorious Tudor king’s consorts featured. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, wife number two Anne Boleyn finished highest, at number 4. Katherine Parr came in at number 31, Katherine of Aragon at 36, and Anne of Cleves at 38.

    Tudormania, as coined by a Guardian article, is pervasive. The general public and historians alike cannot get enough of the Tudors. But our obsession with this colourful dynasty, by and large, centres on a handful of characters that dominate films, novels and articles. This confinement of our focus is starkly revealed in the Hot 100: the top Tudor figures are, unsurprisingly, Elizabeth I, Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell.

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  • 20 June 1567 – The discovery of the Casket Letters

    On 20th June 1567, a few days after Scottish rebels apprehended Mary, Queen of Scots, servants of James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, allegedly found a silver casket of eight letters, two marriage contracts (which apparently proved that Mary had agreed to marry Bothwell before his divorce) and twelve sonnets. The casket was found in the possession of James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell and third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.

    What was important about these letters?


  • Transcript – Conor Byrne Live Chat

    Conor Byrne

    Here’s the valuable transcript from our live chat with Conor Byrne. This was an amazing evening, and we’ve captured it all for you…

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  • Royal Consorts

    How much do you know about the consorts of Plantagenet and Tudor kings and queens? Test your knowledge with this fun quiz.

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  • James I and VI: Tudor King by Heather R. Darsie

    19th June 2016 marks the 450th birthday of King James I and VI of England and Scotland. Unification between the two countries, though at times strained, was brought about by James ascending the throne of England in 1603. The unification was the result of one hundred years of Tudor politics.

    Back in 1503, Henry VII arranged for his eldest daughter, Margaret Tudor, to marry James IV of Scotland. Margaret during the course of the marriage gave birth to the future James V in 1512. Fighting between Scotland and England resumed. In 1523, Henry VIII attempted to unite the thrones of Scotland and England by offering his daughter, Princess Mary, as a bride for James V. This proposal was rejected. Moving forward several years, James V married the French Mary of Guise in 1538. Henry VIII had lost his third wife in October 1537 and was seeking a new bride. James V beat his uncle, Henry VIII, who was also trying to marry Mary of Guise. In 1541, James V’s mother and Henry VIII’s sister, Margaret Tudor, passed away; this effectively ended the nearly thirty-year truce between Scotland and England. A war broke out, which saw the death of James V due to illness and depression of the current state of war in December 1542.

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  • Keeping Clean in Tudor Times

    Following on from last week’s video on haircare in medieval and Tudor times, today I’m talking about how Tudor people kept their faces and bodies clean.

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  • 17 June 1567 – Mary, Queen of Scots, is imprisoned at Lochleven Castle

    On this day in history, 17th June 1567, Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned at Loch Leven Castle following her surrender to the Protestant nobles at the Battle of Carberry Hill on 15th June.

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  • Sir John Cheke

    Today is the anniversary of the birth of Sir John Cheke, the English classical scholar and statesman. He was born on 16th June 1514 and was the son of Peter Cheke, bedel of the University of Cambridge. Sir John Cheke was educated at St John’s College, Cambridge, and became a fellow of the college in 1529. He became the first Regius Professor of Greek at the university in 1540 and taught William Cecil, Baron Burghley, and Roger Ascham, the English scholar and Princess Elizabeth’s tutor.

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  • The Scots Queen Surrenders: An Overview of the Battle of Carberry Hill 1567 by Heather R. Darsie

    By 15 June 1567, twenty-four-year-old Mary Stuart had been Queen of Scotland for almost her entire life; never knew her father, James V, because he died when she was six days old; was Queen Consort, then Queen, of France for less than seventeen months; had lost her mother in July 1560; was about to celebrate her son and heir’s first birthday on 19 June, and was married to her third husband. Mary’s first husband, King Francis II of France, died three days before Mary’s eighteenth birthday in 1560. Mary’s mother was dead for roughly five months when her first husband died. She married her second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, when she was twenty-two. Mary gave birth to her only surviving child, James VI, during her marriage to Darnley. Darnley died, likely murdered, less than two years after the marriage, and Mary married her third husband, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell. Bothwell may have had a hand in the death of Mary’s second husband and there is speculation as to whether Mary indeed wanted to marry Bothwell or whether she was coerced into the marriage.

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  • This week in history 13 – 19 June

    On this day in history events for 13th to 19th June.

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  • Tudor haircare quiz

    This will be a nice, easy quiz for those of you who watched Claire’s video on Tudor haircare on Friday.

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  • Advent and Christmas

    The four weeks of Advent began on Advent Sunday, the fourth Sunday before the Nativity, and was a time of fasting, i.e. abstaining from meat. Christmas Eve was even stricter than the rest of advent, with no meat, cheese or eggs being eaten, until after midnight mass when it was officially Christmas Day.

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