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The Tudor Society

YOUR SEARCH UNCOVERED 149 RESULTS

  • 25 September – A pope, death cap mushrooms and poisoned candles

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th September 1534, Pope Clement VII (Giulio di Giuliano de’ Medici) died in Rome. It was rumoured that he died from eating death cap mushrooms or from fumes from poisoned candles placed in his room, but it was more likely to have been from natural causes.

    In today’s video, I introduce this pope, who was the leader of the Catholic Church at rather an interesting time, and also look at the rumours surrounding his death and what eating a death cap mushroom does. Lovely stuff!

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  • 18 September – A victorious Henry VIII

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th September 1544, Henry VIII rode triumphantly through the streets of Boulogne after the French surrendered it to him.

    This English victory came after the first siege of Boulogne of 1544 which saw the town “sore assaulted and so besieged with such abundance of great ordinance that never was there a more valianter assault made”.

    The French surrendered Boulogne on 13th September 1544 and King Henry VIII entered it and was given its keys by his good friend, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, on 18th September. England was victorious but his ally, the Holy Roman Emperor, wasn’t behaving himself.

    Find out more in today’s talk.

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  • 4 September – The death of Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I’s reaction

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th September 1588, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, died at Cornbury while on his way to Buxton to take the waters for his health.

    The death of her favourite, and the man that is considered to be her ‘true love’, was a devastating blow to Elizabeth I and her reaction to the news shows just how much she loved her “sweet Robin”.

    Leicester wrote to his queen just days before his death and “His Last Letter” was something that Elizabeth I treasured for the rest of her life.

    Find out more about Leicester’s death, his last letter and Elizabeth’s grief in today’s video.

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  • 23 May – Henry VIII’s first marriage is annulled

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd May 1533, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, declared the sentence of the special court that had met at Dunstable Priory in Bedfordshire.

    The Dunstable Priory court had convened to hear the case for the annulment of King Henry VIII’s marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Predictably, the court declared the marriage to be contrary to God’s laws and the archbishop was able to inform the king of the sentence of “divorce”.

    Find out more in today’s video.

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  • 18 May – Catherine Woodville

    Today is the anniversary of the death of Catherine Woodville, Duchess of Buckingham and Bedford, in 1497.

    Who was this noblewoman and how was she linked to the famous Woodvilles that rose in the reign of King Edward IV? Find out in today’s video.

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  • 3 May – Thomas Tusser and his advice for May

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd May 1580, poet, farmer and agricultural writer Thomas Tusser died.

    I mark the anniversary of his death by sharing with you his verses for the month of May.

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  • 17 March – Elizabeth I’s famous Tide Letter

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th March 1554, two members of Queen Mary I’s council turned up at Whitehall Palace to escort Elizabeth (future Elizabeth I) to prison at the Tower of London. Elizabeth was able to stall things for one day by writing a letter to her half-sister, the queen.

    In today’s video, I share Elizabeth’s famous letter and explain how it prevented the men from taking Elizabeth to the Tower that day.

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  • Lady Jane Grey’s Final Days – Claire Chats video talk

    As we’re coming up to the anniversary of the execution of Lady Jane Grey on 12th February 1554, I thought it would be interesting to examine the time between 19th July 1553, when Mary I took the throne from Jane, and Jane’s execution.

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  • 1 February – Mary I’s rousing speech

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st February 1554, Queen Mary I gave a rousing speech to the citizens of London. In this video, I explain what why she did and what she said.

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  • 26 January

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history”, we go back to 1554, where trouble was brewing for both Mary I and her half-sister, Elizabeth.

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  • 25 January

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th January 1533, King Henry VIII married his second wife, Anne Boleyn, at Whitehall Palace. In this video, I share an excerpt from my book, On This day in History, to tell you more about this event.

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  • This week in history 26 November – 2 December

    26th November:

    1533 – Henry Fitzroy, the Duke of Richmond and Somerset, married Lady Mary Howard at Hampton Court Palace. Fitzroy was the illegitimate son of Henry VIII by his mistress Elizabeth (Bessie Blount) and Mary was the daughter of Thomas Howard, the 3rd Duke of Norfolk, and the cousin of Anne Boleyn.
    1542 (26th or 27th November) – Death of Robert Radcliffe, 1st Earl of Sussex, courtier, soldier and Lord Great Chamberlain of England. He was buried at St Laurence Pountney Church in London, but then moved to Boreham in Essex. Radcliffe was made Lord Great Chamberlain of England for life on 3rd May 1540 for his loyal service to Henry VIII.
    1546 – Baptism of Sir Giles Fletcher the Elder, diplomat, member of Parliament and author, in Watford, Hertfordshire. Fletcher was the son of Richard Fletcher, Church of England clergyman, and his wife, Joan. Fletcher is known for his poetical work, “Licia” (1593), but his other works included the Latin pastorals Poemata varii argumenti, the poem De literis antiquae Britanniae and the account of his travels as diplomat, “Of the Russe Common Wealth. Or, Maner of gouernement of the Russe emperour, (commonly called the Emperour of Moskouia) with the manners, and fashions of the people of that countrey”. He was the father of the poet Sir Giles Fletcher the Younger.
    1585 – Executions of Hugh Taylor, Catholic priest, and his friend Marmaduke Bowes at York. They were both hanged, and were the first men executed under the 1585 statute which made it treason to be a Jesuit or seminary priest in England, or to harbour such a priest. Both men were beatified in 1987.
    1612 – Death of Sir Thomas Walmsley, Judge and Justice of the Common Pleas, at his home at Dunkenhalgh in Lancashire. He was buried at Blackburn.

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  • This week in history 12 – 18 November

    12th November:

    1532 – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn finally left Calais after being delayed by a Channel fog. They landed at Dover on Thursday 14th November. They had been visiting Calais to meet with the French king, Francis I.
    1537 – Jane Seymour’s body was taken by chariot from Hampton Court Palace to Windsor Castle.
    1554 – The opening of Mary I’s third Parliament. At this Parliament, a bill was passed allowing the exiled Cardinal Reginald Pole to return to England as papal legate.
    1555 – Mary I’s Parliament re-established Catholicism in England.
    1555 – Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester and Mary I’s Lord Chancellor, died. Gardiner crowned Mary I Queen of England at her coronation at Westminster Abbey on the 1st October 1553, and helped Mary to restore Catholicism and overturn the annulment of her parents’ marriage, making her legitimate. He was also instrumental in the marriage negotiations between Mary and Philip II of Spain, and married the couple at Winchester Cathedral on the 25th July 1554. He was laid to rest at Winchester Cathedral in what is now known as the Bishop Gardiner Chantry Chapel.
    1576 – Death of Sir Edward Saunders, judge. He was buried at Weston under Wetherley, Warwickshire. Saunders’ offices included Serjeant-at-Law, Recorder of Coventry, Chief Justice of the King’s Bench and Chief Baron of the Exchequer.
    1586 – A delegation of forty MPs and twenty peers presented Elizabeth I with a petition demanding that “a just sentence might be followed by as just an execution” in the case of Mary, Queen of Scots.
    1595 – Death of Sir John Hawkins, merchant, shipbuilder, navigator, explorer, slave trader and naval commander, at Puerto Rico on a voyage, with Sir Francis Drake, which aimed to capture Panama. He was buried at sea. Hawkins is known for being the chief architect of Elizabeth I’s navy, and he was knighted for gallantry after serving as Vice-Admiral during the Spanish Armada.

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  • This week in history 29 October – 4 November

    29th October:

    1532 – Henry VIII accompanied Francis I to the border between English Calais and France to bid farewell to him.
    1586 – Four days after a commission had found Mary, Queen of Scots guilty of conspiring to assassinate Elizabeth I, Parliament met to discuss Mary’s fate. They decided that they should petition the Queen for Mary’s execution.
    1605 – Death of George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, courtier and naval commander, at the duchy house, near the Savoy in London. He was buried in the family vault in Holy Trinity Church, Skipton, near Skipton Castle. Clifford was Elizabeth I’s second champion. He commanded a ship in the Anglo-Spanish War, and is known for capturing Fort San Felipe del Morro in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1598. Elizabeth I nicknamed him her “rogue”.
    1618 – Sir Walter Ralegh (Raleigh), courtier, explorer, author and soldier, was executed at Westminster. Ralegh had originally been found guilty of treason and sentenced to death in 1603, after being implicated in the Main Plot against James I, but the King spared his life. In 1618, the death sentence was reinstated after he incurred the wrath of Spain for storming San Thomé and killing the Spanish governor.

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  • This week in history 22 – 28 October

    22nd October:

    1521 – Death of Sir Edward Poynings, soldier, administrator and diplomat at his manor of Westenhanger in Kent. Poynings served Henry VII as Lord Deputy of Ireland and Henry VIII as an ambassador, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Chancellor of the Order of the Garter,
    1554 (22nd or 23rd) – Death of John Veysey/Vesey (born John Harman), Bishop of Exeter, at Moor Hall, Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire.
    1577 – Death of Henry Parker, 11th Baron Morley and Roman Catholic exile, in Paris. Morley had fled abroad after refusing to subscribe to Elizabeth I’s “Act of Uniformity” and after being implicated in the 1569 Rising of the North.

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  • This week in history 24 – 30 September

    24th September:

    1486 – Arthur, Prince of Wales and son of Henry VII, was christened at a lavish ceremony at Winchester Cathedral.
    1516 – Birth of Richard Pate, lawyer, member of Parliament and refounder of Cheltenham Grammar School, now known as Pate’s Grammar School.
    1526 – Sometime before 24th September 1526, Marmaduke Huby, Abbot of Fountains since 1495, died at around the age of 87. It is thought that he was buried under the floor of the chapter house.
    1561 – Birth of Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp, son of Katherine Grey (sister of Lady Jane Grey) and Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford, in the Tower of London. He was born in the Tower because his parents had been imprisoned for marrying without the Queen’s permission.
    1589 – Executions of William Spenser, Roman Catholic priest and martyr, and layman Robert Hardesty at York. Spenser was executed for being a priest, and Hardesty for sheltering Spenser.

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  • This week in history 17 – 23 September

    17th September:

    1558 – Death of Walter Devereux, 1st Viscount Hereford, at the Devereux seat at Chartley in Staffordshire. He was buried in Stowe church. Devereux served Henry VIII as joint Constable of Warwick Castle, as a member of the jury at the trial of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, in 1521, in the government of the Welsh Marches, as Steward in Princess Mary’s household at Ludlow and Chamberlain of the Court of General Surveyors. He also served Edward VI as a Privy Councillor.
    1563 – Death of Henry Manners, 2nd Earl of Rutland, courtier and soldier, during an outbreak of the plague. He was buried at Bottesford parish church in Leicestershire. Manners served Edward VI as Warden of the East and Middle Marches on the Scottish borders, joint Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, and Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire. He was imprisoned when Mary I came to the throne for his support of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, but was released into house arrest and then pardoned. He served Mary I as Captain-General of Horsemen and Lieutenant and Captain-General in Calais. During Elizabeth I’s reign, he served as Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire and Rutland, and President of the Council of the North.
    1575 – Death of Heinrich (Henry) Bullinger, the Swiss reformer and theologian, in Zurich. Bullinger succeeded Huldrych Zwingli as pastor at Grossmünster and head of the church in Zurich. His main work was “The Decades”, a theological work, but his sermons were also translated and published, and he wrote historical works.
    1577 – The Edict of Poitiers ratified the Treaty of Bergerac, which had been signed between Henry III of France and the Huguenot princes.

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  • This week in history 3 – 9 September

    3rd September:

    1553 – Edward Courtenay was created Earl of Devon. He had been imprisoned in 1538, at the age of twelve, due to his family’s links with the Poles and Nevilles, but was released shortly after the accession of Mary I.
    1557 – News reached London that the English and Imperial troops had been successful in storming St Quentin, and there were widespread celebrations; bonfires were lit, bells were rung and there was singing. The good news was marred, however, by news of the death of Henry Dudley.
    1588 (3rd or 5th September) – Death of Richard Tarlton, actor and famous clown, in Shoreditch. He was buried in St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch. Tarlton was a member of the Queen’s Men, but is famed for his post-play jigs as a clown.
    1592 – Death of writer and playwright Robert Greene in Dowgate. He died from a fever and was buried in a churchyard near Bedlam. Greene was a prolific writer, writing autobiographical works, plays and romances, but is best known for his pamphlet “Greene’s Groats-worth of Wit bought with a Million of Repentance”, which is the first contemporary reference to William Shakespeare. It was actually an attack on Shakespeare, whom Greene accused of plagiarism, and of being uneducated.
    1597 – Death of Sir John Norreys (Norris), military commander, at his brother Thomas’s home, Norris Castle in Mallow, co. Cork. He died in his brother’s arms, and it is thought that his death was due to trouble from old wounds, perhaps gangrene. Norris served as a soldier in France, the Low Countries and Ireland.

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  • This week in history 21 – 27 May

    21 May

    Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk

    Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk

    1508 – Death of Giles Daubenay, 1st Baron Daubeney, administrator, soldier, and diplomat. He was buried in St Paul's Chapel, Westminster Abbey.
    1524 – Death of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, courtier, magnate and soldier, and grandfather of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. He was created Duke of Norfolk in 1514 as a reward for his part in the English victory at the Battle of Flodden.
    1527 – Birth of Philip II of Spain, King of Spain and consort of Mary I, at Valladolid, Spain. He was the son of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and Isabella of Portugal.
    1535 – The arrest of William Tyndale, Bible translator and religious reformer, in Antwerp, after he was tricked into leaving the English House owned by Thomas Pontz. He was condemned as a heretic and strangled, then burned in October 1536.
    1558 – Death of William Glyn, Bishop of Bangor, at Bangor. He was buried in Bangor Cathedral.
    1580 – Death of Sir John Thynne, member of Parliament and builder of Longleat. He was buried at Longbridge Deverill, Wiltshire.

    22 May

    Edward Seymour, Lord Protector

    Edward Seymour, brother of Jane Seymour

    1490 – Death of Edmund Grey, 1st Earl of Kent.
    1537 – Edward Seymour, brother of Jane Seymour, was sworn in as a Privy Councillor.
    1538 – The burning of John Forest, Franciscan friar and martyr, at Smithfield for heresy, for his allegiance to Rome.
    1539 – Probable birthdate of Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford and son of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset (the Edward mentioned above). Hertford was also the husband of Katherine Grey, sister of Lady Jane Grey.
    1570 – Death of John Best, Bishop of Carlisle. He was buried in Carlisle Cathedral.

    23 May

    1547 - Henry Grey, 3rd Marquis of Dorset (future Duke of Suffolk) and father of Lady Jane Grey, was installed as a Knight of the Garter.
    1554 – The future Elizabeth I arrived at Woodstock, where she was put under house arrest. She had been released from the Tower of London on 19th May after being examined regarding Wyatt's Rebellion.
    1572 – Burial of John Carré, entrepreneur and glass manufacturer, at Alford parish church. According to his biographer, Andrew Spicer, Carré "is credited with the re-establishment of window glass production in England and for introducing the manufacture of cristallo tableware".
    1576 – Burial of Francis Barnham, alderman and draper, and husband of Alice Barnham, silkwoman and benefactor, at St Clement Eastcheap.
    1591 – Death of John Blitheman, composer of organ and vocal sacred music, and tutor of John Bull. He was buried at the parish church of St Nicholas Olave, London.

    24 May

    John Jewel

    John Jewel

    1522 – Birth of John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury and Apologist of the Church of England, in Berrynarbor, North Devon.
    1546 – Letters were sent from Privy Council to Anne Askew (future Protestant martyr) and her estranged husband Thomas Kyme, ordering them to appear in front of the council within fourteen days.
    1562 - Chronicler Raphael Holinshed recorded that on this day in 1562, a monstrous child was born in Chichester, Sussex.
    1576 – Birth of Elizabeth Chamberlain, Lady Chamberlain, daughter of Sir George Carey, 2nd Baron Hunsdon (grandson of Mary Boleyn), and Elizabeth Spencer. Elizabeth I was Elizabeth's godmother.
    1612 – Death of Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, politician, courtier and Elizabeth I's Secretary of State, at Marlborough, Wiltshire. Cecil was the only surviving son of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley.
    1616 – Death of Margaret Clifford, Countess of Cumberland, at Brougham Castle, Westmorland. She was buried in Appleby Church.

    25 May

    Lady Jane Grey

    Lady Jane Grey

    1524 – Death of Sir Thomas Lovell, administrator and Speaker of the House of Commons, at Elsings in Enfield.
    1537 – Hanging of John Pickering, Dominican friar, at Tyburn. Pickering had been found guilty of treason for his part in the Pilgrimage of Grace uprising.
    1551 – Croydon (London) and its neighbouring villages experienced a shock from an earthquake.
    1553 - A triple wedding took place at Durham House, the London residence of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. Lady Jane Grey married Guildford Dudley, one of the Duke’s sons, her sister Lady Katherine Grey married Lord Henry Herbert, son of the Earl of Pembroke, and Guildford’s sister, twelve year-old Lady Catherine Dudley, married Lord Henry Hastings. Click here for more information.
    1554 – Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon, was moved from the Tower of London to Fotheringhay Castle. He had been implicated in Wyatt’s Rebellion.
    1607 – Funeral of John Rainolds (Reynolds), theologian and President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He was buried in the college chapel.
    1625 – Death of William Barlow, philosopher and Church of England clergyman. He was buried in the chancel of Easton church, the church where he was rector.
    1632 – Death of William Knollys, 1st Earl of Banbury and courtier. He was the son of Sir Francis Knollys and Catherine Carey, and grandson of Mary Boleyn. He was buried at Rotherfield Greys.

    26 May

    Barbara Sidney, Countess of Leicester

    Barbara Sidney, Countess of Leicester

    1520 – Meeting of Henry VIII and Charles V at Dover Castle. Click here to read more.
    1536 - The Lady Mary, daughter of Henry VIII, wrote to Thomas Cromwell asking him to intercede with her father on her behalf, now that Anne Boleyn was gone. Click here to read more about the letter.
    1537 – Executions of Adam Sedbergh, Cistercian monk and Abbot of Jervaulx, and William Wood, Prior of Bridlington, at Tyburn. They were condemned for treason following the Pilgrimage of Grace.
    1538 – Death of Sir Anthony Fitzherbert, Judge and legal writer. He was buried at Norbury, Derbyshire. He is one of the best-known English legal writers of the sixteenth century.
    1583 – Death of Esmé Stuart, 1st Duke of Lennox, only child of John Stuart, fifth Seigneur d'Aubigny, and his wife, Anne de La Queulle.
    1596 – Burial of Thomas Bickley, Bishop of Chichester, in Chichester Cathedral.
    1604 – Death of Godfrey Goldsborough, Bishop of Gloucester. He was buried in the Cathedral.
    1621 – Burial of Barbara Sidney (née Gamage), Countess of Leicester, at Penshurst.
    1623 – Death of Francis Anthony, alchemist and physician. He was buried in the church of St Bartholomew-the-Great.

    27 May

    Margaret Pole

    Margaret Pole

    1492 – Birth of Sir Antonio Guidotti, merchant and diplomat, in Florence, Italy. Guidotti brought together England and France in 1549–50 in negotiations for peace and the restoration of Boulogne to France. His rewards from Edward VI included a knighthood.
    1536 – Cardinal Reginald Pole sent Henry VIII a copy of De Unitate (Pro Ecclesiasticae Unitatis Defensione). In it, he criticised the King's divorce and the trouble it had caused.
    1537 – Chronicler Edward Hall recorded that "there was a Te Deum sung in St Paul's cathedral for joy at the queen's [Jane Seymour] quickening of her child". Click here to read more about this.
    1541 – Execution of Margaret Pole, suo jure (in her own right) Countess of Salisbury. It is recorded that she was beheaded by "a wretched and blundering youth … who literally hacked her head and shoulders to pieces in the most pitiful manner". She was buried in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. Click here to read more about Margaret and her execution.
    1560 – Burial of Thomas Wendy, royal physician, at Haslingfield, Cambridgeshire.
    1601 – Death of Robert Beale, administrator and diplomat, at his home, Barn Elms, Surrey. He served Elizabeth I as a clerk of the Privy Council and as a special ambassador. He was buried in All Hallows, London Wall.
    1614 – Death of Peter Turner, physician and MP, in London. He had attended Sir Walter Ralegh in the Tower of London.

  • This week in history 14 – 20 May

    14 May:

    1511 – Death of Walter Fitzsimmons, Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Deputy of Ireland, at Finglas, Dublin. He was buried in the nave of St Patrick’s Cathedral.
    1523 – Death of Nicholas Vaux, 1st Baron Vaux, courtier and soldier, at the Hospital of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem in Clerkenwell.
    1571 – Matthew Stewart, Earl of Lennox and regent to James VI, held the “Creeping Parliament”.
    1595 – Death of Anne Fiennes (née Sackville), Lady Dacre, at Chelsea. She was buried in the More Chapel, Chelsea, next to her husband, Gregory Fiennes, 10th Baron Dacre.
    1629 – Death of Jean Gordon, Countess of Bothwell and Sutherland. She is known for having been married, albeit briefly, to James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, who went on to marry Mary, Queen of Scots. In 1573 she married Alexander Gordon, 12th Earl of Sutherland, and after his death she married Alexander Ogilvy of Boyne, the man she had been in love with before she married Bothwell.
    1635 – Burial of Helena Gorges (née Snakenborg), Lady Gorges, in Salisbury Cathedral. Helena was married twice, firstly to William Parr, Marquis of Northampton (brother of Catherine Parr), and secondly to Sir Thomas Gorges, courtier.

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  • This week in history 30 April – 6 May

    1532 – James Bainham, lawyer and Protestant martyr, was burned at Smithfield.
    1536 – Scottish theologian Alexander Alesius witnessed an argument between Queen Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, and at 11 o’clock that night, the King and Queen’s upcoming visit to Calais was cancelled and arrangements made for the King to journey alone a week later. Also 30th April, court musician and member of the Boleyn circle, Mark Smeaton, was taken to Thomas Cromwell’s house in Stepney and interrogated. Within twenty-four hours, he had confessed to making love three times to the Queen.
    1544 – Death of Thomas Audley, Baron Audley of Walden and Lord Chancellor, at his home in Aldgate, London. Audley was Cromwell’s right-hand man in 1536, during the fall of Anne Boleyn, and became even more important after Cromwell’s fall.
    1547 – Sir Anthony Denny was made Henry VIII’s Groom of the Stool.
    1563 – Death of Henry Stafford, 10th Baron Stafford, at Caus Castle, Shropshire. Stafford was the only legitimate son of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, and his wife, Eleanor, daughter of Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland.
    1595 – Death of Thomas Bedwell, mathematician, engineer and keeper of the ordnance store at the Tower of London. He was buried at the Tower, in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. Bedwell’s engineering projects included him supervising the building of Dover harbour, giving advice on the fortification of Portsmouth and working on the River Thames’ defences at Tilbury and Gravesend in 1588, at the time of the Spanish Armada.
    1596 – Death of Sir John Puckering, administrator and Speaker of the House of Commons, from apoplexy. Puckering’s other offices included Serjeant-at-Law, Recorder of Warwick, Privy Councillor and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. In 1587, he was involved in the trial of Elizabeth I’s secretary William Davison, appearing for the Crown. He was buried at Westminster Abbey, in St Paul’s Chapel.
    1596 – Death of Thomas Bickley, Bishop of Chichester, at the bishop’s palace in Aldingbourne. He was buried in his cathedral.

    [Read More...]
  • This week in history 16 – 22 April

    16th April:

    1512 – The Mary Rose began her first tour of duty in the English Channel on the hunt for French warships.
    1521 – German Protestant reformer, Martin Luther, appeared in front of Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms. He had been summoned to the diet to either recant or reaffirm his religious views.
    1550 – Birth of Francis Anthony, alchemist, apothecary and physician. He was probably born in London and was the son of Derrick Anthony, a goldsmith. Anthony was imprisoned twice for practising as a physician without a licence, and is known for his aurum potabile (drinkable gold), made from gold and mercury, which he claimed had amazing curative powers. His works included Medicinae chymicae et veri potabilis auri assertio (1610).
    1570 – Baptism of Guy Fawkes, conspirator, at the Church of St Michael le Belfrey in York.
    1578 – Burial of Thomas Drant, Church of England clergyman and poet. He was part of the “Areopagus” intellectual circle at court, but also had an ecclesiastical career and was chaplain to Edmund Grindal, Bishop of London. He is known for his work on prosody (metre), and actually drew up some rules concerning it, which were mentioned by Edmund Spenser, Gabriel Harvey, Philip Sidney, Edward Dyer and Fulke Greville.
    1587 – Death of Anne Seymour (née Stanhope), Duchess of Somerset and wife of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector during part of Edward VI’s reign. Anne was a reformer and a literary patron. She died at Hanworth Place and was buried at Westminster Abbey.
    1595 – Death of Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby and literary patron. His sudden death caused rumours of poisoning and witchcraft, but nothing was ever proved. Stanley was patron of the Strange’s Men company of players, which probably included William Shakespeare, and he was also a patron of poets. It is thought that he also was a poet.

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  • This week in history 9 – 15 April

    9th April:

    1483 – Death of Edward IV at the Palace of Westminster. He was laid to rest in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 20th April. His cause of death is unknown. It may have been caused by a chill, but he was known for overindulging in food and drink, and that would not have helped his health.
    1533 – A delegation of the King’s councillors, headed by the Duke of Norfolk, visited Catherine of Aragon and informed her that Henry VIII was now married to Anne Boleyn. After they left, Catherine’s Chamberlain, Sir William Blount, 4th Baron Mountjoy, had to tell her that she had been demoted from Queen to Dowager Princess of Wales.
    1557 – Cardinal Reginald Pole’s legatine powers were revoked by Pope Paul IV.
    1582 – Death of Richard Bertie, evangelical, member of Parliament and second husband of Katherine Willoughby (other married name Brandon), Duchess of Suffolk, at Bourne. He had met Katherine when he became her Gentleman Usher. He was buried with Katherine, who died in 1580, at Spilsby.
    1590 – Funeral of Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick. He was laid to rest in the Beauchamp Chapel of St Mary’s Church, Warwick.
    1626 – Death of Francis Bacon, Viscount St Alban, Lord Chancellor, politician and philosopher. It appears that Bacon died from inhaling nitre or opiates in a botched experiment.

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  • This week in history 12 -18 March

    12th March:

    1537 – Execution of William Haydock, Cistercian monk. He was hanged for his involvement in the Pilgrimage of Grace. Interestingly, his remains were discovered in the family’s home, Cottam Hall, in the early 19th century because his nephew had saved his body and hidden it there.
    1539 – Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire and Earl of Ormond, and father of Queen Anne Boleyn, died at Hever Castle, aged around sixty-two. He was laid to rest at St Peter’s Church, Hever.
    1564 – Baptism of Christopher Bales, Roman Catholic priest and martyr. Bales was executed by hanging on 4th March 1590 in Fleet Street. Two others, Nicholas Horner and Alexander Blake, were executed at Smithfield and Grays Inn Lane for harbouring him.
    1573 (11th or 12th) – Death of Edmund Brydges, 2nd Baron Chandos, soldier, politician, Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire and Vice-Admiral of Gloucestershire. He was laid to rest at Sudeley.
    1628 – Death of John Bull, composer, musician and organ builder, at Antwerp.

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  • Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk (1517-1554)

    Henry Grey was born on 17th January 1517 at Bradgate in Leicestershire. He was the eldest son of Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset, and the marquess’s second wife, Margaret Wotton, who was the widow of William Medley. Henry’s father was the grandson of Sir John Grey of Groby, Leicestershire, and Elizabeth Woodville, who went on to marry King Edward IV.

    After his father’s death in 1530, thirteen-year-old Henry became Marquess of Dorset and also the ward of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk and a close friend of King Henry VIII. Henry had been betrothed to Katherine Fitzalan, daughter of the Earl of Arundel, but in May 1533 Henry married Frances Brandon, daughter of Suffolk by his first wife, Mary Tudor, Queen of France. Frances’ mother died in June 1533 and her father went on to marry his other ward, Katherine Willoughby, in September 1533. Suffolk supported Henry and Frances financially until Henry reached his majority. The couple went on to have five children, but the first two, a son and daughter, died in infancy. Their eldest surviving daughter, Jane, the future Lady Jane Grey or Queen Jane, was born in 1537, followed by Katherine in 1540 and Mary in 1545.

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  • This week in history 19 – 25 February

    19th February:

    1473 – Birth of Nicholas Copernicus, the Renaissance mathematician and astronomer, in Thorn, in the province of Royal Prussia, Poland. Copernicus is known for his theory of heliocentric cosmology, or the idea that the sun was stationary in the centre of the universe and that the earth revolved around it.
    1547 – King Edward VI rode from the Tower of London to Westminster in preparation for his coronation the next day. Click here to read more.
    1546 – William Cavendish was appointed Treasurer of the Privy Chamber. He later claimed that he had paid £1000 for the position.
    1567 – The imprisoned Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, was informed of the murder of her son, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, by William Cecil’s wife, Mildred, and Lady William Howard. The Spanish ambassador recorded that Margaret’s grief was such “that it was necessary for the Queen to send her doctors to her”.
    1592 – The Rose Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse, was opened in London on Bankside.
    1598 – Death of Jasper Heywood, Jesuit and poet, in Naples. Heywood had been deported to France in January 1585, after being imprisoned in the Tower of London for treason, and was then summoned to Rome. He never returned to England.
    1601 – Death of Thomas Fanshawe, at Warwick Lane. He was buried in the south aisle of Ware church in Hertfordshire. Fanshawe was an Exchequer official during Elizabeth I’s reign.

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  • 1 February – A busy day in Tudor history!

    1 February seems to have been a rather busy day in the Tudor period and here are three events, linked to further reading about them…

    1514 – Henry VIII granted the dukedom of Suffolk to Charles Brandon, his future brother-in-law, and also made Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, and Howard’s son, also called Thomas, the Earl of Surrey. Charles Somerset was also made Earl of Worcester.

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  • This week in history 15 – 21 January

    15th January:

    1522 – Death of Richard Fitzjames, Bishop of London, in London. He was buried in the nave of St Paul’s.
    1522 – Death of Sir John Heron, Treasurer of the Chamber to Henry VII and General Receiver to Henry VIII. He was buried at the Whitefriars, London.
    1522 – Death of Richard Fitzjames, Bishop of London, in London. He was buried in the nave of St Paul’s.
    1535 – Henry VIII declared himself head of the Church in England.
    1555 – Death of Jane Dudley, Duchess of Northumberland and wife of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. Jane died in Chelsea, London, and was buried there. She outlived her husband, who was executed in 1553 after Mary seized the throne from his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey.
    1559 – Coronation of Elizabeth I at Westminster Abbey. Click here to read more.
    1569 – Death of Catherine Knollys (née Carey), wife of Sir Francis Knollys and daughter of Sir William Carey and Mary Boleyn. Queen Elizabeth I was grief-stricken at the death of her cousin and friend, and gave her a lavish funeral at Westminster Abbey. Some believe Katherine to have been the illegitimate daughter of Henry VIII.

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  • This week in history 1 – 7 January

    1 January:

    1463 – Probable birthdate of Silvestro Gigli, diplomat and Bishop of Worcester, at Lucca in Italy. Gigli was nominated as Bishop of Worcester in December 1498, and enthroned in April 1499.
    1511 – Queen Catherine of Aragon gave birth to a son, Henry, Duke of Cornwall. His birth was met with celebrations throughout England – bonfires, wine flowing through the streets of London, cannons firing, pageants, banqueting and jousts. He died on 22nd February 1511, just fifty-two days after his birth
    1515 – Death of Louis XII of France, less than three months after his marriage to Mary Tudor, the sister of Henry VIII. He did not have a son, and so was succeeded by Francis I, his cousin’s son and the husband of Louis’ daughter, Claude. Louis was buried in Saint Denis Basilica.
    1537 – Marriage of James V of Scotland and Madeleine de Valois, daughter of Francis I, at Notre Dame in Paris.
    1540 – Henry VIII met his bride-to-be, Anne of Cleves, at Rochester. Following the great chivalric tradition, Henry disguised himself and attempted to kiss her, but a shocked Anne did not recognise him as King. It was a disastrous first meeting, and Henry was sorely disappointed that she could not recognise him as her true love.
    1556 – Nicholas Heath, Archbishop of York, became Mary I’s Lord Chancellor.

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  • This week in history 27 November – 3 December

    27th November:

    1531 (some say 4th December) – Burning of Richard Bayfield, Benedictine monk and reformist, at Smithfield for heresy. Sir Thomas More caught Bayfield importing Lutheran books into England, and he was tried by John Stokesley, Bishop of London, at St Paul’s on 10th November 1531, and convicted.
    1544 – Death of Sir Edward Baynton, soldier, courtier and Vice-Chamberlain to five of Henry VIII’s wives, in France. His cause of death is unknown, but he may have been wounded while serving as a soldier in France. Baynton had arranged to be buried at Bromham, but it appears that he was buried in France.
    1556 – Death of Henry Parker, 10th Baron Morley, nobleman, diplomat, translator and father of Jane Boleyn (wife of George Boleyn), at his home, Hallingbury Place, Great Hallingbury, Essex. He was in his late seventies at the time of his death. He was buried at St Giles’s Church, Great Hallingbury. Click here to read more about this interesting Tudor man.

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