The Tudor Society
  • Tudor Rebels and Rebellions Quiz

    How much do you know about Tudor rebels and rebellions?

    Test your knowledge and get those brain cells working with this fun quiz.

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  • Just editing up Elizabeth Goldring’s Expert Talk

    We’re just editing the amazing talk by Dr. Elizabeth Goldring from Warwick University all about the artwork collection of Robert Dudley.

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  • 4 July 1623 – Death of composer William Byrd

    On this day in 1623, Wiliam Byrd, the famous Elizabethan English composer, died at Stondon Massey in Essex and he was buried next to his wife in the parish church there.

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  • Leanda de Lisle talks Tudor on Radio Leicester – 4 July

    Leanda de Lisle talks Tudor on BBC Radio Leicester.

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  • 3 July 1495 – Perkin Warbeck lands at Deal

    On 3rd July 1495, the pretender Perkin Warbeck landed at Deal in Kent with men and ships. Around 150 of his men were killed and over 160 captured by Henry VII’s troops. Warbeck escaped, fleeing to Ireland. Warbeck claimed to be Richard, Duke of York, the younger of the Princes in the Tower.

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  • Researching Tudor History

    In this week’s Claire Chats I talk about how to go about researching Tudor history. I’m sharing a slideshow and talk I did back in 2013 and I do hope it’s useful to those of you who are new to researching history.

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  • Painting Paradise – Review by Melanie V. Taylor

    London is sweltering in unaccustomed heat, so if you are in England you might consider a visit to the Queen’s gallery, Buckingham Palace just to get out of the sun.

    The exhibition is full of beautiful paintings, china and exquisite Fabergé flowers and importantly for members of The Tudor Society, this painting by the prolific artist, British School.

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  • ISIS v The West 1565 – Part 2: Dark Days – The Great Siege Begins by Derek Wilson

    The waters of the bay were littered with floating wooden crosses. To each was nailed the decapitated corpse of a warrior who had died trying to defend the island. This was the gruesome sight which presented itself to Malta’s citizens in the last days of June 1565. After a month-long siege the fortress of St. Elmo had been obliterated by Muslim artillery and its 1,500 surviving inhabitants had been butchered. The incident has a horribly familiar ring to it. We recognise the fanatical nihilism of terrorists who justify their own most inhuman impulses by reference to the creation of a worldwide Islamic state from which everything not in accord with Sharia law would have been purged.

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  • This week in history 29 June – 5 July

    29 June

    Lady Margaret Beaufort

    Lady Margaret Beaufort

    1509 - Lady Margaret Beaufort, grandmother of Henry VIII and the matriarch of the Tudor dynasty, died on this day in 1509 at Cheyneygates, the Abbot of Westminster's house. Click here to find out more about Margaret.
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  • Henry VIII Quiz 2

    A quiz on King Henry VIII.

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  • 28 June 1461 – Coronation of Edward IV

    On Sunday 28th June 1461, Edward IV was crowned king at Westminster Abbey. Edward had been declared king after defeating the Lancastrian forces at the Battle of Towton in March 1461. Edward had made his triumphal state entry into London on Friday 26th June, riding from Lambeth to the Tower of London.

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  • The English Court Masque – Part 2

    Last week, I explained that the court masque that was part of the entertainments of Epiphany 1512 was a new type of entertainment and that it was the result of the merging of old English traditions with the new Italian fashion. In this week’s video, I talk about this Italian fashion and how it came about.

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  • July 2015 Magazine TASTER

    Want to see what’s in the Tudor Life Magazine this month? We have a wide range of articles under the broad theme “Vulnerability”.

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  • July 2015 Tudor Life Magazine

    This month we have a wide range of articles under the broad theme “Vulnerability”. Tudor Life magazine is packed with articles by well known historians.

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  • 25 June 1533 – The death of Mary Tudor, Queen of France

    Mary Tudor, Queen of France, and Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.[/caption]Mary Tudor, Queen of France, was the younger sister of King Henry VIII. Born to King Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth of York in 1496, Mary was one of eight children and one of only three to survive to adulthood. Tragedy struck Mary at just seven years of age when her older brother and heir to the throne, Arthur, died in 1502. Less than a year later, Mary’s mother Elizabeth of York died trying to give Henry VII another son. Then, when Mary was eight years old, her older sister Margaret, then fourteen, left England for Scotland to marry King James IV. Mary and her older brother Henry were the only two siblings left in England and it has been suggested that during this time, growing up together, they formed a close bond which survived until Mary’s death.

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  • 24 June – The Feast of St John the Baptist

    The Feast of St John the Baptist was one of the most important feast days of the medieval and Tudor calendar and coincided with Midsummer, the pagan celebration of the summer solstice.

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  • 23 June 1509 – Coronation procession of King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon

    On Saturday 23rd June, Henry VIII and his wife Catherine of Aragon left the Tower of London and made their way through the streets of London to Westminster on their coronation procession.

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  • This week in history 22 – 28 June

    On this day in history events for 22-28 June.

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  • Envisioning the Tudor Woman – Call for submissions

    Kyra, Claire, Tim and I are making a final call for submissions to our essay collection “Envisioning the Tudor Woman”. The deadline for entries is 30 June and we’ll be putting together our shortlist soon after, so there’s still time.

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  • Transcript of Live Chat with Gareth Russell

    Here’s the transcript from the excellent live-chat session with Gareth Russell on Friday evening. Thanks all those who turned up and congratulations to Bill for winning a copy of “A History of the English Monarchy” by Gareth.

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  • The ‘seats’ and residences of Plantagenet and Tudor nobility

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

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  • 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.

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  • The English Court Masque – Part 1

    In today’s Claire Chats video I talk about the English court masque and how it developed from a merging of old English traditions and a new Italian fashion.

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  • Elizabeth I’s Challenge to the Masculinity of the Royal Body by Susan Bordo

    Lacey Baldwin Smith has written that “Tudor portraits bear about as much resemblance to their subjects as elephants to prunes.” A slight exaggeration, maybe. But it is true that the historical accuracy of the depictions in Tudor portraits, particularly of royalty, was often at war with “symbolic iconizing”—the use of imagery to represent the person’s character, position or role.

    The symbolism could include inscriptions, emblems, mottos, relationships with other people, animals, or objects, and it could also be written into the body itself. A famous example is Hans Holbein’s sketch of Henry VIII—the painting itself was destroyed in a fire—with the king posed to emphasize his power, authority, and resoluteness: legs spread and firmly planted, broad shoulders, one hand on his dagger, and a very visible codpiece (larger, art historians have noted, than portraits of other men at the time.) His stance, as Suzanne Lipscomb points out, “mimics the stance of a man standing in full armour…sparking associations with martial glory.” Lipscomb also points out an interesting detail: in the draft sketch, Henry’s face is turned to a ¾ angle. But in the final painting, as we know from 16th century copies done within Henry’s lifetime, Holbein has Henry looking straight ahead, confronting the spectator with an unblinking stare that is still symbolic of masculinity today.

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  • 17 June 1497 – Battle of Blackheath

    The Battle of Blackheath, also known as the Battle of Deptford Bridge, was the battle which brought the Cornish Rebellion to an end. It was fought on 17th June 1497 and Henry VII’s forces were triumphant against the rebels.

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  • 16 June 1487 – The Battle of Stoke Field

    The Battle of Stoke field, which was fought on 16th June 1487, is known as the last battle between the Houses of York and Lancaster in the civil war we call the Wars of the Roses.

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  • Mummified bishop is a unique time capsule from the 17th century

    mummified bishopFrom a press release from Lunds Universitet...

    The mummified remains of Peder Winstrup are one of the best-preserved human bodies from the 1600s. Preliminary investigations reveal a sensational find: the internal organs are still in place.

    WATCH: Unique mummy undergoes medical investigations:

    “We can now observe that Winstrup’s mummy is one of the best-preserved bodies from Europe in the 1600s, with an information potential well in line with that offered by Ötzi the ice man or Egyptian mummies. His remains constitute a unique archive of medical history on the living conditions and health of people living in the 1600s”, says Per Karsten, director of the Historical Museum at Lund University.

    Peder Winstrup, a bishop and prominent historical figure in Scandinavia, was one of the founding fathers of Lund University. He died in 1679 and was buried in the famous cathedral in Lund a year later. The coffin, together with its contents, constitutes a unique time capsule from the year 1679 with a well-preserved body, textiles and plant material.

    Usually the internal organs would have been removed; in this case, however, the body was not embalmed in a traditional manner but simply dried out naturally. The good condition of the body seems to be the result of several factors in combination: constant air flow, the plant material in the coffin, a long period of illness resulting in the body becoming lean, death and burial during the winter months of December‒January and the general climate and temperature conditions in the cathedral.

    In December Peder Winstrup underwent a CT scan at the University hospital in Lund. The preliminary results show that the body is relatively well preserved and it was possible to identify most of the internal organs.

    The first results show dried fluid and mucus in the sinuses, indicating that Winstrup had been bedridden for a long period before he died. Calcifications in the lung could indicate both tuberculosis and pneumonia. Plaque was also found in the left coronary artery of the heart, the aorta and the carotid artery, indicating that the bishop suffered from atherosclerosis.

    “The gall bladder also has several gallstones, which could indicate a high consumption of fatty food”, says Caroline Ahlström Arcini, an osteologist working on the project.

    Peder Winstrup, who lived to the age of 74, also suffered from osteoarthritis in both the knee and hip joints. In addition, he had lost a number of teeth. Traces of caries were found in a couple of the remaining teeth, which would indicate that he had access to sugary foods.

    “His right shoulder was slightly higher than his left, due to an injury to a tendon in the shoulder. This would have limited Winstrup’s mobility, making it difficult for him to carry out simple everyday tasks such as putting on a shirt or combing his hair with the comb in his right hand”, says Caroline Ahlström Arcini.

    An unexpected discovery that emerged from the CT scan was a four- or five-month old foetus, well hidden in the coffin under Winstrup’s feet. Nobody knows who put the foetus there.

    “You can only speculate as to whether it was one of Winstrup’s next of kin, or whether someone else took the opportunity while preparing the coffin. But we hope to be able to clarify any kinship through a DNA test”, says Per Karsten.

    The next step will be investigations into the textiles in the coffin, as well as further study of the body. Tissue samples from the internal organs are to be removed, among other things. In addition, the extensive plant material in the coffin will be investigated.

  • Help with reading old documents

    I just wanted to share with you some resources from the National Archives for those of you using primary sources for your research. Reading and interpreting old documents can be a challenge in many different ways, so here are some resources you should find useful.

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  • Live chat this Friday evening with Gareth Russell

    Gareth Russell Expert TalkHello!

    Just a quick message to say that we've managed to fit Gareth Russell in for a live chat session THIS FRIDAY at 11:30pm UK time (6:30pm Eastern Daylight, 3:30pm Pacific Daylight). He'll be answering your questions on his excellent talk about "The Importance of Christianity".

    You can see his talk here:

    And on Friday we'll be in the Chatroom here:

    I hope to see you there - Gareth is an excellent historian and is incredibly knowledgeable about the Tudor period.

    Derek Wilson said that he was "Delighted by Gareth’s talk. What he shared so needs saying."

    See you on Friday!

    Tim Ridgway & The Tudor Society.

  • Court Fools – William Somer and Jane the Fool

    William Somer (Sommers) served as Henry VIII’s fool from June 1535 and just a month later got into trouble with the King. In July 1535, Eustace Chapuys, the Imperial ambassador, recorded that Henry VIII was so angry with Somer that he nearly killed him:

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