The Tudor Society


  • 7 December – A rebel comes to a sticky end and the birth of Henry Stuart

    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 this talk…

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  • Blog: fascinating discoveries and intriguing collections

    From books to exhibitions, to new discoveries and more. Every month we (Merel and Emma) will give you an update on all things new and exciting in the Tudor world. Starting with the first blog in which we look back on what has happened in November. 

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  • 16 November – The death of Charles Neville and the death of William Stafford

    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 this talk…

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  • 9 November – The Northern Rebellion against Elizabeth I and the birth of the stillborn daughter of Catherine of Aragon

    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 this talk…

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  • 22 October – Examination of accusations against Henry VIII and the death of Baron Morley

    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.

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  • 18 October – Freedom for Elizabeth and the death of Margaret Tudor

    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…

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  • 29 September – A papal legate arrives and Robert Dudley receives an earldom

    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…

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  • 20 September – The Babington Plot and the birth of Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th September 1586, Anthony Babington, John Ballard, John Savage, Chidiock Tichborne and three other conspirators were executed near St Giles-in-the-Fields in London.

    They suffered full traitors’ deaths, being hanged, drawn and quartered, after being found guilty of treason for plotting to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I in the famous Babington Plot, which sought to replace Elizabeth with Mary, Queen of Scots.

    Find out more about Anthony Babington, the Babington Plot, the men involved, how it was discovered, and how it led to Mary, Queen of Scots’ execution…

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  • Expert answer – What does “round machine” refer to in this quote?

    Thank you to Tudor Society member Stephanie for asking this question about something written by Estienne Perlin with regards to Mary, Queen of Scot, France and Scotland. Stephanie asks:

    “In the following quote do you know what the ’round machine” refers to:

    “How happy oughtest thou to esteem thyself, O kingdom of Scotland, to be favoured, fed and maintained like an infant, on the breast of the host magnanimous King of France, the greatest lord in the whole world, and the future monarch of the round machine, for without him thou wouldn’st have been laid in ashes, they country wasted and ruined by the English, utterly accursed by God.”

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  • 12 September – A bridegroom dies suddenly and the trial of Archbishop Cranmer

    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...

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  • 23 August – A siege and a courtier goes all out to impress

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd August 1548, Francis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury, arrived at the Siege of Haddington, in East Lothian, Scotland, with a large army. This siege was part of the Anglo-Scottish war known as the War of the Rough Wooing between England and Scotland., regarding Henry VIII’s desire to marry his son, Edward, off to Mary, Queen of Scots.

    What happened at this siege and to Haddington after it?

    Find out…

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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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  • 29 July – The death of Thomas Stanley, Henry VII’s stepfather

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th July 1504, in the reign of King Henry VII, the king’s stepfather died.

    Find out a bit more about Thomas Stanley, and his role in helping his stepson take the throne, in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

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  • 24 July – A converted priest loses his life

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th July 1594, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Catholic priest John Boste was executed in Durham.

    Find out more about Boste and what led to his brutal end in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

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  • 23 July – John Day, a Protestant printer

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd July 1584, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Protestant printer, bookseller and publisher John Day died.

    Find out more about this Protestant printer and the famous works he printed in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

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  • 10 July – Elizabeth I checks her money

    On this day in Tudor history, 10th July 1561, Queen Elizabeth I visited the royal mint at the Tower of London to check on her new coins. Why was she producing new coins? What was the problem with the previous coinage?

    Find out in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

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  • 1 July – No legitimate heir for Henry VIII

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st July 1536, less than two months after the execution of Anne Boleyn, Parliament passed legislation that meant that the king had no legitimate heirs. How strange!

    Find out more in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

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  • July 2021 – Tudor Life – The Habsburgs and the Tudors

    There’s no question of how important the “House of Austria” was in the history of world politics and this dynastic colossus really burst into English diplomacy in the Tudor era. Henry VIII’s first queen, Katherine of Aragon, was the Habsburg Emperor’s aunt; Mary I married a Habsburg king, while Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots both considered marrying Habsburg princes.

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  • 20 June – Murder or Suicide?

    On this day in Tudor history, the night of 20th/21st June 1585, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Percy, 8th Earl of Northumberland, died at the Tower of London.

    Was his death murder or suicide? And if it was murder, why?

    Find out more…

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  • 17 June – Condemned to death but thankfully pardoned

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th June 1551, Sir George Blage died a natural death in Edward VI’s reign.

    Blage was fortunate to die such a death as he’d been condemned to death in Henry VIII’s reign.

    Find out more about him in this TudorHistoryShorts talk…

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  • 2 June – Sir Francis Bigod is executed

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd June 1537, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Sir Francis Bigod and two of his fellow rebels were executed at Tyburn.

    Why had this reformer rebelled against the king and what had happened?

    Find out in this #TudorHistoryShorts video:

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  • 16 May – Thomas More resigns

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th May 1532, Sir Thomas More resigned as Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor.

    But what led to More’s resignation when he had been such a loyal servant to King Henry VIII?

    Find out…

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  • 15 May – Henry VIII’s problems in the bedroom become public

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th May 1536, Henry VIII’s second wife, Queen Anne Boleyn, and her brother, George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, were tried one after the other in the King’s Hall of the Tower of London.

    It was during George’s trial that problems the king was experiencing with his wife became public, something which must have been rather embarrassing for the king.

    Find out what happened on that day in 1536…

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  • 7 May – Bodies make a tapestry

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th May 1560, English troops suffered a heavy defeat at the siege of Leith.

    What was this siege all about?

    And who described their dead bodies as a fair tapestry?

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  • 29 April – Not guilty!

    The 29th of April is the anniversary of the birth of William Dacre, the only man to be acquitted in Henry VIII’s reign. Quite an accomplishment!

    Find out about this Tudor baron…

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  • 24 April – A Tudor tip for divining your future husband

    Happy St Mark’s Eve! St Mark’s Eve was time to divine your future husband in medieval and Tudor times, but how were you supposed to do that?

    Find out how to do it in this #tudorhistoryshorts video.

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  • Artists in the Spotlight – Shera

    Shera is next on our list full of amazing artists! She is 31 years old and is based in California where she makes the most beautiful jewellery. We asked her a couple of questions about her Tudor bracelet collection.

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  • 19 April – Being a bookseller was a risky business!

    Being a bookseller in Tudor times could be a risky business, particularly if you had the wrong kind of books on your premises!

    On 19th April 1601, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, bookseller James Duckett was hanged at Tyburn. Find out why in this #TudorHistoryShorts…

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  • 14 April 1556 – Conspirator cheats executioner

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th April 1556, in the reign of Queen Mary I, Sir Anthony Kingston, died at Cirencester. He was on his way to London to face charges that had been laid against him, and it’s likely that he would have been executed.

    Why? What had he done?

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  • A murdered French duke, Margaret Douglas’s bad news, a Tudor countess, and Lady Katherine Grey

    In this second part of “This week in Tudor history” for the week beginning 15th February, I talk about how the death of a French duke led to an awful massacre, and how the imprisoned Margaret Douglas heard of her son’s murder, as well as introducing a countess who served all six of Henry VIII’s wives and who was close to his daughter Mary, and a noblewoman who managed to give birth twice while imprisoned in the Tower of London.

    18th February 1563 – Francis, Duke of Guise, was wounded by a Huguenot assassin at the Siege of Orléans. He died a few days later and his death was a factor in the 1572 St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.

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