21st December in Tudor times was the Feast of St Thomas the Apostle, or Didymus or Doubting Thomas. The apostle who wouldn’t believe Christ had been resurrected until Christ appeared in front of him and he’d felt the nail wounds and the wound in his side.
Thomas was known for his generosity, and in Tudor times, those in need would go “a-Thomasing”, collecting alms. But there are also other traditions associated with the feast day, such as pie-making. And did you know that Thomas also has links to India?
Find out more about St Thomas, his story, his feast day and the traditions associated with him, in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 15th December, 1560, Comptroller of the Household to Elizabeth I and Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Thomas Parry died. The Spanish ambassador claimed that Parry had died of “sheer grief”. He was buried at Westminster Abbey.
Parry had served Elizabeth since 1547 and was a loyal servant and friend. So why did he die of grief?
Find out more about Thomas Parry, his background, life, and why he was upset in 1560, in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 11th December 1539, Anne of Cleves and her retinue were received at Gravelines, just a few miles outside of Calais, by Lord Lisle, Deputy of Calais.
Anne of Cleves was on her way to England to marry King Henry VIII, but her journey had been rather slow and she was about to be delayed even more.
The reception was rather lavish, with everyone dressed up to the nines. Enjoy a contemporary description from a Tudor chronicler in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 8th December 1538, courtier and Master of the Horse to Queens Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour, Sir William Coffin, died at Standon in Hertfordshire.
It is thought that he died of the plague because his wife Margaret wrote to Thomas Cromwell saying that Coffin had “died of the great sickness, full of God’s marks all over his body”.
Who was Sir William Coffin and what did the Master of the Horse do?
Find out in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 7th December 1549, rebel leader Robert Kett was hanged from the walls of Norwich Castle after being found guilty of treason. His brother William was hanged the same day, but from the steeple of Wymondham Church.
In 1549, Kett was seen as a rebel and traitor who endangered the city of Norwich, but today Norwich pays tribute to him as “a notable and courageous leader in the long struggle of the common people of England to escape from a servile life into the freedom of just conditions”. Find out all about Robert Kett and Kett’s Rebellion in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 6th December 1573, soldier and administrator, Sir Hugh Paulet, died at his home in Hinton St George in Somerset.
He distinguished himself as a soldier in Henry VIII’s reign, served as Governor of Jersey in Edward VI’s reign, was a Protestant but survived Mary I’s reign and served as Vice-President of the Welsh marches, and had a successful career in Elizabeth I’s reign. He was an important man and a servant of the Crown, but still managed to die a natural death at his home.
Find out more about Sir Hugh Paulet, his life and career, in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 30th November 1601, sixty-eight-year-old Queen Elizabeth I delivered her famous Golden Speech to the House of Commons.
In this final speech to Parliament, Elizabeth spoke of her position as Queen and her love and respect for her realm, her people, and for her members of Parliament. It was a speech that brought many of those listening to tears. It was obviously a very heartfelt speech by a queen who truly loved her people.
In today’s talk, I share Elizabeth I’s Golden Speech, along with some beautiful portraits of the queen.
On this day in Tudor history, 29th November 1528, nobleman and courtier, Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montagu, was born.
Montagu began his court career with the help of his father in Henry VIII’s reign. served as a privy councillor in Mary I’s reign, and died a natural death as a wealthy man in Elizabeth I’s reign. He even survived being implicated in a rebellion!
Who was Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montagu, and just how did he manage to not only have an excellent court career, but leave a fortune to his grandson, when he was a Catholic in Elizabeth I’s reign?
Merry Christmas to you! December is here and we should make good cheer who wishes! Enjoy the December 2020 magazine!
On this day in Tudor history, 24th November 1572, John Knox, the Scottish clergyman, famous Reformer , royal chaplain, and founder of Presbyterianism, died at his home in Edinburgh as his second wife, Margaret, read aloud from Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians.
John Knox is known for bringing the Protestant reformation to the church in Scotland and his controversial views about women rulers, but he was also chaplain to King Edward VI and had a very eventful life, being taken prisoner by the French and being forced into service on the galleys of their fleet at one point.
Find out more about John Knox’s life and career in today’s talk.
As today is the anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth I, on 17th November 1558, I thought I’d share with you some links to Elizabeth I resources here on the Tudor Society website.
On this day in Tudor history, 17th November 1558, twenty-five-year-old Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, became Queen Elizabeth I following the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary I.
In today’s talk, I look at an alternative account of Elizabeth I’s words on her accession, one recorded by her godson, Sir John Harington. Hear Elizabeth I’s wonderful speech, which she used to motivate her supporters and to reassure those who’d served Mary I.
I also look at Elizabeth’s words “This is the Lord’s doing…”, and note the importance of the previous line in the Psalm.
On this day in Tudor history, 16th November 1601, nobleman and rebel Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland, died while in exile at Nieuwpoort in Flanders.
Westmorland had fled into exile following the failure of the Northern Rebellion, a plot to release Mary, Queen of Scots, from prison and to overthrow Elizabeth I. He didn’t learn his lesson, being involved in a further plot.
The earl died a sad end in debt and separated from his wife and daughters, but it was his own fault.
Find out more about the rebel northern earl in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 15th November 1527, a woman who called herself ““the excellent Princess Katherine, Countess of Devon, daughter, sister and aunt of kings”, died at Tiverton Castle in Devon.
Katherine of York, Countess of Devon, daughter of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, was just forty-nine when she died and had taken a vow of chastity after her husband’s death.
In today’s talk, I give an overview of Henry VIII’s aunt’s life and explain why she took her vow of chastity. Find out all about her.
On this day in Tudor history, 12th November 1555, Mary I’s Lord Chancellor, Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, died. He was laid to rest at Winchester Cathedral in what is now known as the Bishop Gardiner Chantry Chapel.
In today’s talk, I tell you about the life and career of “Wily Winchester”, a man who went from being a valued advisor to being imprisoned, and then got back into favour, crowned a queen and became Lord Chancellor! He led quite a life!
This day in Tudor history, 9th November 1569, is the traditional date given for the start of the only major armed rebellion of Elizabeth I’s reign. It’s known as The Northern Rebellion or Rising of the North or Revolt of the Northern Earls.
Northern earls Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland and Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland, led this uprising against Elizabeth I, seeking to depose her, replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots, and restore Catholicism.
But what happened?
Find out about the 1569 Northern Rebellion and the fate of the Northern Earls in today’s talk.
Today is the anniversary of the discovery of Gunpowder Plot conspirator, Guy Fawkes, and 36 barrels of gunpowder in a cellar beneath the Palace of Westminster on the night of 4th/5th November 1605. The plotters were planning to blow up the Houses of Parliament on the opening of Parliament and assassinate the king, his government and leading bishops and nobles.
But why and what has this event in James I’s reign got to do with Tudor history?
Well, a lot, because the Gunpowder Plot had its roots in Elizabeth I’s reign.
Find out more about the Gunpowder Plot, and those involved, in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 29th October 1532, King Henry VIII bid farewell to his “loving brother”, his French counterpart, King Francis I.
The two kings had enjoyed each other’s company at Calais and Boulogne, and Henry VIII was pleased with their meetings. In fact, things had gone so well that Henry VIII decided to marry Anne Boleyn!
Find out more about their farewell, and what had happened during the trip, in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 22nd October 1537, an examination, or rather interrogation, was carried out regarding an accusation of treasonous words spoken against King Henry VIII.
Further investigations into the matter found that there was no evidence that these words were spoken, and that someone was trying to get another person into trouble.
What was going on? In a time when the punishment for high treason was death, this was very serious.
Find out more about what happened in this talk
On this day in Tudor history, 18th October 1555, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, finally received permission from her half-sister, Queen Mary I, to leave court and travel to her own estate at Hatfield, rather than return to house arrest in Woodstock.
Poor Elizabeth had spent the last 18 months being watched or imprisoned, so this must have been a huge relief.
But why had Elizabeth been watched and confined? What had she gone through and why?
Find out more about this awful part of Elizabeth I’s life in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 14th October 1565, diplomat and poet, Sir Thomas Chaloner the Elder, died at his home in Clerkenwell, London. He was just forty-four years old. He’d served four Tudor monarchs as a diplomat, but he also wrote English and Latin works.
Find out more about Thomas Chaloner, his life, his career, and how his teeth saved him from death, in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 9th October 1547, Miguel de Cervantes, author of the famous classic “Don Quixote”, a book known as “the first modern novel”, was baptised in Alcalá de Henares, Spain. His actual birthdate is unknown.
Now, this event didn’t happen in Tudor England, but it did happen in the Tudor period, and Cervantes is known the world over. Let me share with you some facts about this man, his rather interesting life, which including being held to ransom by pirates, and his works.
On this day in Tudor history, 29th September 1528, the papal legate, Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio, landed at Dover on the Kent coast.
Campeggio and Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, who had been appointed the pope’s vice-regent, were given the task of hearing Henry VIII’s case for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
Find out more about what happened when next, what happened at the special legatine court, and how Henry ended up waiting for his annulment for a few more years, in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 25th September 1525, explorer, navigator and naval administrator Stephen Borough (Burrough) was born at Borough House, Northam Burrows, Northam, in Devon.
This Arctic explorer learnt his navigational skills from first his uncle and then Spanish pilots in Seville. He discovered Novaya Zemlya and the Viagatz Strait (Kara Strait), which was named the Burrough Strait until the late 1800s.
Hear an overview of Stephen Borough’s life and career in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 18th September 1556, Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, died from a fever at Padua in Italy.
Courtenay had been sent overseas after he was implicated in Wyatt’s Rebellion as a future husband and consort of Queen Mary I’s half-sister, Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth I.
In today’s talk, I tell you more about this Earl of Devon and how he was a prospective bridegroom for both of Henry VIII’s daughters.
On this day in Tudor history, 17th September 1558, Walter Devereux, 1st Viscount Hereford and grandfather of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex and a favourite of Elizabeth I, died at the Devereux family seat at Chartley in Staffordshire.
Devereux had a long and distinguished court career, serving Henry VIII, Princess Mary in Ludlow, and Edward VI. He also married at around the age of 11 and was imprisoned at one point. An interesting Tudor man.
Find out more about this soldier and royal servant in today’s talk:
On this day in Tudor history, 15th September 1589, the Battle of Arques began.
This battle was part of the final war of the French Wars of Religion, a series of conflicts in France from 1562-1598 between Catholics and Huguenots. It was fought between the new French king, Henry IV, and the Catholic League led by Charles of Lorraine, Duke of Mayenne, and looked bad for Henry until troops sent by Elizabeth I arrived – phew!
You can find out more about what led to this battle, what happened at the battle, and what happened next, in this talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 14th September 1540, Sir William Kingston, Constable of the Tower of London, Knight of the Garter and comptroller of the King’s household, died at his home in Painswick in Gloucestershire.
Sir William Kingston was Constable of the Tower of London while Queen Anne Boleyn was imprisoned there in May 1536, and his letters to Thomas Cromwell are an excellent primary source for historians, but there’s much more to this royal servant than that. He had a wonderful career in service to the king and benefited as a result.
Find out more about Kingston in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 12th September 1573, Protestant reformer, and leading politician in the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots, Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll, died suddenly at Barbreck. He had got married six weeks earlier and had shown no signs of illness before retiring to bed.
Argyll was the third most important noble in Scotland, the most important highland chief, and a founder of the Lords of the Congregation. He went from opposing Mary, Queen of Scots, to leading her troops in battle.
Find out all about this interesting Scot’s life and career in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 11th September 1581, Barnaby Fitzpatrick, 2nd Baron of Upper Ossory, died in Dublin, at the home of surgeon, William Kelly.
In his youth, Fitzpatrick had been friends with Prince Edward (the future Edward VI) and had been educated with him. Historians once believed him to have been the young king’s “whipping boy”. He went on to serve Edward as a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber when Edward became kin, but ended his days as a prisoner.
Find out more about Barnaby Fitzpatrick, his life and career, and how he came to such a sad end, in today’s talk.