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The Tudor Society

YOUR SEARCH UNCOVERED 263 RESULTS

  • 27 January – Sir Francis Drake

    Sir Francis Drake died on this day in Tudor history in 1596, but who was he? I share some Francis Drake facts and two legends that surround this colourful man.

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  • This week in history 17 – 23 December

    17th December:

    1538 – Pope Paul III announced the excommunication of Henry VIII.
    1550 – Birth of Henry Cavendish, soldier, traveller and son of Bess of Hardwick and Sir William Cavendish. He was married to Grace Talbot, daughter of George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury. This match was arranged by his mother who had married the Earl of Shrewsbury.
    1559 – Matthew Parker was consecrated as Elizabeth I’s Archbishop of Canterbury. According to “The Correspondence of Matthew Parker”, Anne Boleyn charged him with the care of Elizabeth when she saw him in April 1536, “not six days before her apprehension”. Historian Eric Ives writes that this was a request that Parker never forgot, and something which stayed with him for ever. Parker obviously came to be important to Elizabeth, because she made him her Archbishop of Canterbury in 1559. It was a post which Parker admitted to Lord Burghley, he would not have accepted if he “had not been so much bound to the mother”. Parker was Archbishop until his death in 1575.

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  • This week in history 3 – 9 December

    3rd December:

    1536 – A proclamation was made to the rebels of the Pilgrimage of Grace offering them a pardon. The rebellion dispersed, but was followed by another rebellion, Bigod’s Rebellion, in early 1537. Click here to read more.
    1577 – Death or burial of William Downham, Bishop of Chester and former
    Chaplain of Elizabeth I before her accession. He was buried in the choir of Chester Cathedral.
    1600 – Death of Roger North, 2nd Baron North, peer and politician in Elizabeth I’s reign, at his London home in Charterhouse Square. He was given a funeral service at St Paul’s, followed by a burial at Kirtling in Cambridgeshire. North was a friend of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and served Elizabeth I as Privy Councillor and Treasurer of the Household.

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  • Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester (c. 1483/93-1555)

    Stephen Gardiner’s date of birth is not known, with some saying 1483 and others saying 1493 or 1497, but he was born in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. His father was William Gardiner (some say John Gardiner), a cloth merchant and a mercenary hired during the War of the Roses. According to Welsh accounts of the 1485 Battle of Bosworth, it was “Wyllyam Gardynyr” who killed King Richard III with a poleaxe. Sir William Gardiner later married Helen Tudor, a woman said to have been the illegitimate daughter of Jasper Tudor, uncle of King Henry VII.

    As a young man, Gardiner met the famous humanist scholar, Desiderius Erasmus, in Paris and he studied at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He received the degree of Doctor of Civil Law in 1520 and of Canon Law in 1521, and went on to work for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey as secretary. He met Henry VIII for the first time in 1525 at The More in Hertfordshire for the signing of the Treaty of the More between the King and Francis I of France. Two years later, in 1527, Gardiner and Sir Thomas More worked as commissioners in arranging, with the French ambassadors, a treaty to obtain support for an army against the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, in Italy.

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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 5 – 11 November

    1514 – Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, was crowned Queen of France. She had married King Louis XII at Abbeville on the 9th October 1514. The marriage was rather short-lived, as Louis died on the 1st January 1515, and Mary went on to marry Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.
    1520 – Death of Sir Robert Poyntz, courtier, landowner and Vice-Chamberlain and Chancellor of the Household to Queen Catherine of Aragon. He was around seventy when he died.
    1530 – Death of Sir John More, lawyer, judge and father of Sir Thomas More. More served as Serjeant-at-Law, Justice of Assize, Justice of the Common Pleas, and also served on the King’s Bench from 1520 until his death.
    1605 – Guy Fawkes was caught with thirty-six barrels of gunpowder in the cellars beneath Westminster. The idea was to blow up the House of Lords at the opening of Parliament on the 5th November, and to assassinate King James I.

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  • Discover the Tudors Tour Day 8 – Shakespeare’s Globe and the National Portrait Gallery

    I can’t believe that today was our last full day on the tour and that I will soon be saying goodbye to these lovely lords and ladies. We have gelled so much and I know that we have made friendships that will last a lifetime. It’s wonderful that Tudor history can bring us together like this.

    After another delicious breakfast, this time at the Doubletree by Hilton near the Tower of London, we headed out for the day. Although it was raining – well, we did have to give our group the true British experience! – we decided to stop off at the Tower Hill scaffold site to explain its relevance, as many people miss this entirely. So many important Tudor personalities lost their lives there, so it was good to visit and remember them. We then made our way down to the River Thames, at Tower Wharf, right where Anne Boleyn disembarked on 2nd May 1536 when she was taken to the Tower to be imprisoned, to catch the Clipper, the river bus service that would take us to Bankside, where Shakespeare’s Globe is located. It was wonderful seeing lots of London sights from the river and in just a few short minutes we were at Bankside.

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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 10 – 16 September

    10th September:

    1515 – Thomas Wolsey was made Cardinal.
    1533 – Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was christened at the Church of Observant Friars in Greenwich.
    1543 – Death of Sir Edward Chamberlayne, Oxfordshire gentleman and soldier. He was buried at Woodstock.
    1547 – The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, part of the War of the Rough Wooing between England and Scotland. Click here to read more.
    1549 – Death of Sir Anthony Denny, Henry VIII’s great friend and groom of the stool, at Cheshunt. He was buried in St Mary’s Church, Cheshunt.
    1557 – Execution of Joyce Lewis (née Curson and other married name Appleby, Lady Appleby), Protestant martyr, at Lichfield. She was burned at the stake for her Protestant beliefs.
    1569 – Death of Gilbert Bourne, Bishop of Bath and Wells, at Silverton in Devon. Bourne was deprived of his see in Elizabeth I’s reign after refusing to take the “Oath of Supremacy”. He was buried in Silverton Church.
    1604 – Death of William Morgan, Bishop of St Asaph and Bible translator, at the Bishop’s Palace at St Asaph. He was buried there in the cathedral church.

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  • Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London

    Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London (c. 1500-1569)
    Birth: c. 1500
    Place of birth: probably Hanley, Worcestershire
    Parents: Elizabeth Frodsham, wife of Edmund Bonner, sawyer. However, it was alleged that his father was actually George Savage, rector of Davenham, Cheshire.
    Education: Broadgates Hall (now Pembroke College), Oxford, where he studied civil and canon law. In 1526, he received a doctorate in civil law and was admitted to the College of Advocates, London.

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  • This week in history 6 – 12 August

    6 August:

    1504 – Birth of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the parish of St Saviour, Norwich. Parker was the son of worsted weaver William Parker and his wife Alice Monings [Monins] from Kent.
    1514 – Marriage of Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII and widow of James IV of Scotland, and Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, at Kinnoull in Perthshire.
    1549 – Battle of Clyst Heath during the Prayer Book Rebellion.
    1623 – Death of Anne Hathaway, wife of William Shakespeare. Anne was buried next to her husband in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon.

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  • This week in history 25 June – 1 July

    25th June:

    1503 – Catherine of Aragon was formally betrothed to Prince Henry, the future Henry VIII, and second son of Henry VII. She had been married to Arthur, Prince of Wales, Henry VII’s eldest son, but he died in 1501 after only six months of marriage.
    1533 – Death of Mary Tudor, Queen of France, the thirty-seven-year-old sister of Henry VIII and wife of his friend Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. She died at her home, Westhorpe Hall in Suffolk, and was buried at the local abbey in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. When the abbey was dissolved, however, her remains were moved to St Mary’s Church, Bury St Edmunds. Click here to read more.
    1539 – Baptism of courtier Gregory Fiennes, 10th Baron Dacre, the younger son of Thomas Fiennes, 9th Baron Dacre, and Mary, the daughter of George Neville, Baron Bergavenny.
    1601 – Death of Peregrine Bertie, 13th Baron Willoughby, Beck and Eresby, at Berwick upon Tweed. He died of a fever. Bertie was the only son of Richard Bertie and Katherine, Duchess of Suffolk, 12th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby and the well known Protestant patron. Bertie was a soldier, nobleman, ambassador, Governor of Berwick upon Tweed and Warden of the East March.

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  • 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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  • Sir John Gage (1479-1556)

    Sir John Gage was born on 28th October 1479 and was the only son of William Gage of Burstow and his wife, Agnes, daughter of Bartholomew Bolney of Bolney in Sussex. Gage was baptised in Burstow, where he was born, but the family later moved to Firle, near Lewes.

    In 1499, Gage became a ward of Robert Tate, alderman of London, and in 1502 Gage married Philippa, daughter of Sir Richard Guildford of Cranbrook who was comptroller of the royal household. This marriage match was good for Gage in that it helped him to join the royal household, which he did by becoming an esquire of the body to King Henry VII. He continued in this role after the accession of 17-year-old Henry VIII in 1509.

    Gage served as a Justice of the Peace for the counties of Sussex (1514) and Surrey (1528) and by 1522 he had been appointed as deputy to Sir Nicholas Vaux, who was serving as captain of Guînes. This was due to the patronage of Sir William Sandys who was serving as treasurer of Calais. In August 1522, Gage was granted survivorship of the office of comptroller of Calais, because the comptroller, Sir Robert Wotton was ill, and he became comptroller in 1524 on Wotton’s death. He served in the campaigns in France in the 1510s and 1520s and was rewarded with a knighthood in 1525.

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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.

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  • This week in history 23 – 29 April

    1500 – Birth of Alexander Ales (Alesius, Aless), Scottish theologian and reformer, at Edinburgh. His mother was Christina Bigholm, and his actual surname seems to have been Alan or Allane. He changed his name when he went into exile, choosing “Alesius”, meaning “bird”, or in this case, “exile”.
    1512 – Birth of Henry Fitzalan, 12th Earl of Arundel, son of William Fitzalan, 11th Earl of Arundel, and Anne (née Percy), daughter of Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland. At his baptism, Henry VIII stood as his godfather. He served Henry VIII as Deputy of Calais, Privy Councillor and Lord Chamberlain.
    1536 – Sir Nicholas Carew was elected to the Order of the Garter at the annual chapter meeting at Greenwich, rather than George Boleyn, brother of Queen Anne Boleyn.
    1564 – Traditional birthdate of William Shakespeare, the Bard. It is not known on what date Shakespeare was actually born but he was baptised at Stratford-upon-Avon on 26th April 1564, and baptism usually took place around three days after birth.
    William Shakespeare also died on this day in 1616. He was buried at the Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, in the chancel.
    23 April, St George’s Day, was the traditional day for announcing new appointments to the Order of the Garter, the highest order of chivalry in England.

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  • Sir Anthony Browne (c.1500-1548)

    Sir Anthony Browne was born in c.1500 and was the son of Sir Anthony Browne and his wife Lucy. Browne’s father was a member of the Browne family of Betchworth, in Surrey, and his mother was a widow of Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam of Aldwark, Yorkshire. She was also the daughter and coheir of John Neville, 1st Marquess of Montagu and son of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury. Browne’s great uncle was Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, the famous “Kingmaker”. From his mother’s first marriage, Browne had a half-brother, William Fitzwilliam, 1st Earl of Southampton, whose later career resembled his in many ways.

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  • This week in history 26 March – 1 April

    26th March:

    1533 – Convocation was asked to pronounce on the validity of a papal dispensation allowing a man to marry his brother’s widow, the man and widow in question being Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.
    1546 – Death of Sir Thomas Elyot, humanist scholar and diplomat. He was buried at Carleton Parish Church in Cambridgeshire. Elyot’s offices included Clerk of the Privy Council, High Sheriff of Oxfordshire and Berkshire, High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, and a commissioner in the inquiry into the monasteries before their dissolution. He also acted as a diplomat, visiting the court of Charles V in 1531, and was one of the men chosen to receive Anne of Cleves in 1540. Elyot’s works include the 1531 treatise “The Boke named the Governour”, the 1536 medical treatise “The Castell of Helth”, his 1538 “Latin Dictionary” and a number of translations.
    1556 – Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Edmund Grindal, Bishop of London, summoned one hundred and ten ministers to Lambeth Palace to get them to pledge their willingness to wear vestments, as worn by the man in front of them: Robert Cole, a former non-conformist who now complied. The outfit consisted of a square cap, gown, tippet, and surplice. They were also asked “to inviolably observe the rubric of the Book of Common Prayer, and the queen’s majesty’s injunctions, and the Book of Convocation” and to commit to these orders on the spot, by writing “volo” or “no volo”. 37 refused and were suspended.
    1609 – Date of death for John Dee, astrologer, mathematician, alchemist, antiquary, spy, philosopher, geographer and adviser to Elizabeth I, given by John Pontois, a merchant who inherited some of Dee’s books. This date was backed up by Anthony Wood, who told Elias Ashmole that Dee had died at Pontois’ house in Bishopsgate Street. Dee was buried in Mortlake Church. The traditional date for Dee’s death is December 1608.
    1618 – Death of John Bridges, Dean of Salisbury in Elizabeth I’s reign and Bishop of Oxford in James I’s reign, at Marsh Baldon, Oxfordshire. He was buried there.

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  • This week in history 19 – 25 March

    19th March:

    1563 – Deaths of Arthur Brooke, translator and poet, and Sir Thomas Finch, knight-marshal, in the shipwreck of the Greyhound, off the coast of Rye in East Sussex.
    1563 – Peace (Edict) of Amboise signed at the Château of Amboise by Catherine de’ Medici, as regent for her son, Charles IX. Catherine initiated this truce after the assassination of Francis, Duke of Guise, at the Siege of Orléans. The Edict ended the first phase of the French Wars of Religion and guaranteed the Huguenots religious privileges and freedoms. Peace did not last long, however.
    1568 – Death of Elizabeth Seymour, Lady Cromwell. Click here to read more.
    1577 – Death of Edmund Harman, former barber of Henry VIII, at Burford in Oxfordshire. He had retired there after Henry VIII’s death. Harman was buried at Taynton Church.
    1590 – Baptism of William Bradford, separatist and founder of the Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, at Austerfield in Yorkshire. Bradford was Governor of the colony for over thirty years.

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  • This week in history 5 – 11 March

    5th March:

    1496 – King Henry VII of England issued letters patent to John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto), the Italian navigator and explorer. Click here to read more.
    1549 – A bill of attainder was passed against Thomas Seymour, Baron Sudeley, after it was argued that his offences “were in the compasse of treason”. Seymour had been accused of attempting to kidnap his nephew, Edward VI, and also of plotting to marry the teenaged Elizabeth and put her on the throne.
    1558 – Smoking tobacco was introduced in Europe by Francisco Fernandes.
    1563 – Birth of Sir John Coke, politician and influential administrator during Charles I’s reign.
    1572 – Death of Edward Hastings, Baron Hastings of Loughborough, nobleman and soldier. In July 1553, when Lady Jane Grey became queen, he was involved in assembling supporters of Princess Mary in the Thames Valley and became one of Mary’s trusted confidants. In the reign of Elizabeth I he was imprisoned in the Tower for hearing mass, but was released after taking the oath of supremacy.
    1575 – Birth and baptism of William Oughtred, the mathematician responsible for developing a straight slide-rule, a gauging rod and various sundials. He also introduced the “×” symbol for multiplication and the abbreviations “sin” and “cos” for the sine and cosine functions.
    1618 – Burial of Robert Abbot, Bishop of Salisbury, in Salisbury Cathedral.

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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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  • This week in history 12 – 18 February

    12th February:

    1554 – Executions of Lady Jane Grey and her husband Lord Guildford Dudley for treason. They were buried in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London.
    1567 – Death of Sir Thomas White, founder of St John’s College, Oxford, and former Lord Mayor of London, at his property in Size Lane, London. He was buried in St John’s College Chapel.
    1584 – Executions of five Catholic priests, including James Fenn. They were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. Fenn was beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929.
    1590 – Death of Blanche Parry, chief Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber, at the age of eighty-two. She was buried in St Margaret’s, Westminster, with funeral rites which were usually reserved for a baroness. She has a monument in St Margaret’s and also one in Bacton Church, her home village in Herefordshire, which bears an inscription of twenty-eight lines of verse recording Blanche’s service to her beloved Queen.
    1611 – Probable date of death of Sir Henry Lee, Queen’s Champion from c.1580 to November 1590. He was buried at Quarrendon in Buckinghamshire.

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  • This week in history 5 – 11 February

    5th February:

    1537 – Birth of diplomat Sir Henry Brooke, son of George Brooke, 9th Baron Cobham, and his wife Anne Bray. Anne Bray was a lady in waiting to Anne Boleyn, and there is controversy over whether she was the “Nan Cobham” who was one of the Queen’s accusers in 1536. In Elizabeth I’s reign, Brooke was made a gentleman pensioner and carried out embassies to Spain, the Low Countries and France for her. In October 1579, Elizabeth appointed him as her resident ambassador in France, until he was replaced by Sir Edward Stafford in 1583.
    1556 – Treaty of Vaucelles between Philip II of Spain and Henry II of France. By the terms of this treaty, Henry II had to relinquish Franche-Comté to Philip, but the treaty was quickly broken.
    1557 – Death of Sir William Portman, Judge and Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 1555. He was buried at St Dunstan-in-the-West, Fleet Street, London.
    1576 – Henry of Navarre, the future Henry IV of France, abjured Catholicism at Tours, rejoining the Protestant forces, following his escape from Paris on 3rd February.
    1605 – Death of Sir Edward Stafford, son of Sir William Stafford (Mary Boleyn’s second husband) and his second wife Dorothy Stafford. Edward was an MP and diplomat, and there is controversy over his “spying” activities during the Armada and exactly how much information he passed to Mendoza. He was buried in St Margaret’s, Westminster.

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  • This week in history 22 – 28 January

    22 January:

    1528 – Henry VIII and Francis I declared war on Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.
    1552 – Former Lord Protector of England, Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, was executed by beheading on Tower Hill in London. He was laid to rest in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London, and records show that he was buried next to Anne Boleyn in the chancel area. Click here to read more.
    1554 – Thomas Wyatt the Younger met with fellow conspirators at his home of Allington Castle in Kent to make final plans for their uprising (Wyatt’s Rebellion) against Mary I and her decision to marry Philip of Spain – click here to read more.
    1561 – Birth of Francis Bacon, Viscount St Alban, the Elizabethan Lord Chancellor, politician, philosopher, author and scientist, at York House in the Strand, London. Bacon is known as “the Father of the Scientific method” and developed an investigative method, the Baconian method, which he put forward in his book Novum Organum in 1620. Some people (Baconians) believe that Francis Bacon was the true author of William Shakespeare’s plays.
    1575 – Death of James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran and Duke of Châtelherault, at Kinneil. Arran was appointed Regent for the infant Mary, Queen of Scots after James V’s death in 1542, but surrendered the regency to Mary’s mother, Mary of Guise in 1554.
    1613 – Death of Sir David Williams, Serjeant-at-Law in Elizabeth I’s reign and Puisne Justice of the King’s Bench in James I’s reign, from a fever at Kingston House, Kingston Bagpuize, Berkshire. His body was buried at St John’s Chapel, Brecon, and his entrails were buried at Kingston.

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  • This week in history 18 – 24 December

    18 December

    1555 – Burning of John Philpott, former Archdeacon of Winchester and Protestant martyr, at Smithfield. He had been imprisoned in London's coalhouse prison after writing letters to fellow Protestants to encourage them to stay strong in their faith. He was moved to the tower of St Paul's Cathedral, where he was put into solitary confinement before being condemned for heresy by Bishop Bonner.
    1575 - Nicholas Harpsfield, historian, Catholic apologist, priest and former Archdeacon of Canterbury, died in London. He had been released from Fleet prison four months earlier due to ill health.

    19 December

    Anne de Montmorency

    1562 – The Battle of Dreux between Catholics, led by Anne de Montmorency, and Huguenots, led by Louis I, Prince of Condé, during the first war of the French Wars of Religion. The Catholics were victorious, but both commanders were taken prisoner.
    1576 - Katherine Palmer, Abbess of Syon, died in Mechelen during exile in Elizabeth I's reign. Just over a month earlier, on 8th November, her convent had been broken into by a mob of Calvinists, and it is thought that confronting the mob had been too traumatic for her. She was laid to rest at Mechelen in the Church of the Augustinians.
    1578 (19th or 26th December) – Executions of Egremont Radcliffe and a man called Gray at Namur in Belgium. They were beheaded in the marketplace after being suspected of poisoning Don John of Austria.
    1583 – John Somerville, convicted conspirator, was found dead in his cell at Newgate Prison. Death was by strangulation, and it was said that his death was suicide. His body was buried in Moorfields, and his head was put on display on London Bridge. Somerville had been convicted of high treason for intending to shoot and kill Elizabeth I.
    1587 – Death of Thomas Seckford, lawyer and administrator, at Clerkenwell in Middlesex. He was buried at Clerkenwell, but then moved to the family vault at Woodbridge in Suffolk. Seckford served Mary I as Deputy Chief Steward of the Duchy of Lancaster and Elizabeth I as Master of Requests and Steward of the Marshalsea court.

    20 December

    1541 – A “very sickly” Agnes Tilney, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, who was imprisoned in the Tower of London after the fall of her granddaughter, Catherine Howard, begged Henry VIII for forgiveness. She also confessed to having another £800 hidden at Norfolk House.
    1558 – Death of John Holyman, Bishop of Bristol and Rector of Hanborough in Oxfordshire. He was buried at Hanborough Church, in the chancel.
    1559 – Burial of John Bekinsau (Beckinsau), scholar and theologian, at Sherborne St John in Hampshire. Bekinsau was the author of the 1546 tract De supremo et absoluto regis imperio in support of Henry VIII's supremacy.
    1562 – Death of Margaret Kitson (other married name Bourchier and née Donnington), Countess of Bath. She was buried at the church in Hengrave, near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, which was near Hengrave Hall, the Kitson family seat. Margaret was the second wife of merchant adventurer Sir Thomas Kitson.
    1571 – Death of Richard Butler, 1st Viscount Mountgarret and son of Piers Butler, 1st Earl of Ossory and 8th Earl of Ormond. He was buried in St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny city.
    1583 – Execution of Edward Arden, conspirator, at Smithfield. He was hanged, drawn and quartered after being convicted of high treason for plotting with John Somerville to kill Elizabeth I. Like Somerville, his body was buried at Moorfields and his head displayed on London Bridge.
    1606 – Death of Richard Reynolds (Rainolde), clergyman and author, in Essex. His work included the 1563 “ A booke called the foundacion of rhetorike, because all other partes of rhetorike are grounded thereupon” and “ A chronicle of all the noble emperours of the Romaines … setting forth the great power, and devine providence of almighty God, in preserving the godly princes and common wealthes” (1571).

    21 December

    Jasper Tudor

    Jasper Tudor

    1495 – Death of Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford and 1st Earl of Pembroke, at Thornbury. He was laid to rest at Keynsham Abbey, near Bristol. Jasper was the second son of Owen Tudor and Catherine of Valois, half-brother of Henry VI and uncle of Henry VII. It was alleged that he had an illegitimate daughter, Helen or Ellen, who was the mother of Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester. Click here to read more.
    1505 – Birth of Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton, Lord Privy Seal and Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII. He was the eldest son of William Wriothesley, York herald, and his wife, Agnes, and cousin of Charles Wriothesley, the Tudor chronicler.
    1539 – Death of Sir John Shelton, uncle (by marriage) of Queen Anne Boleyn and Controller of the Joint Household of Mary and Elizabeth, Henry VIII's daughters from July 1536. He was buried at Shelton Church in Norfolk, in the chancel.
    1540 (or 1542) – Birth of Thomas Allen, mathematician, astrologer and antiquary, at Uttoxeter in Staffordshire. Allen is known for his knowledge of mathematics, history and antiquity, astronomy and astrology, and philosophy. He served as Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester's astrologer and the horoscope he cast for poet Philip Sidney can be found in the Bodleian Library's Ashmole manuscripts. His links with John Dee, Thomas Harriot and other mathematicians, combined with his knowledge of astrology, led to him being labelled a necromancer or magician.
    1545 - William Cecil, the future Baron Burghley, married his second wife, Mildred Cooke (1526-1589), eldest daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke, Edward VI's tutor. Click here to read more.
    1549 - Marguerite of Navarre (also known as Margaret of Navarre, Marguerite of Angoulême and Marguerite de France) died in Odos in France at the age of fifty-seven. Marguerite was the daughter of Louise of Savoy and Charles of Orléans, Count of Angoulême.
    1584 – Probable date for the death of John Herd, physician, author and Rector of Waddington. He was buried at Waddington. Herd had acted as Physician to Archbishop Thomas Cranmer from c.1551 until August 1555. Herd wrote a verse history of England, covering the period 1461-1509, and was also said to have written a catechism of Christian doctrine for the young.
    1598 – Death of Thomas Owen, judge and member of Parliament. He was buried at Westminster Abbey. Owen served Elizabeth I as Serjeant-at-Law, Queen's Serjeant and Judge of the Court of Common Pleas.
    1608 – Death of William Davison, diplomat and administrator, at Stepney. He was buried there, in St Dunstan's Church. Davison served Elizabeth I as a diplomat, carrying out embassies to the Netherlands and Scotland, and as secretary. He is mainly known for his role in the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. Davison claimed that Elizabeth I signed Mary's death warrant and told him that she wished the execution to take place in the Great Hall of Fotheringhay Castle without delay. As instructed, Davison asked Sir Christopher Hatton, the acting Lord Chancellor, to seal the warrant with the Great Seal of England to validate it. Elizabeth, on the other hand, claimed that she had signed the warrant and then asked Davison not to disclose this fact to anyone. When she learned that it had been sealed with the Great Seal, she then asked Davison to swear on his life that he would not let the warrant out of his hands unless he had permission from her. After Mary's execution, the poor Davison was arrested, tried and sentenced to imprisonment in the Tower, and heavily fined.

    22 December

    Bishop Fisher

    Bishop Fisher

    1480 – Baptism of Sir Edward Chamberlayne, soldier, a leading member of Oxfordshire gentry and Commissioner of the Peace for Oxfordshire (1506-1539) at Weston in Northamptonshire.
    1534 – An imprisoned John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, wrote to Thomas Cromwell beseeching him to provide him with a shirt and sheet, neither of which he had, some food, some books “to stir his devotion more effectually” and a priest to hear his confession. He also asked Cromwell to intercede with the King and to “move” him to release Fisher from “this cold and painful imprisonment”. Fisher had been imprisoned for denying the King's supremacy.
    1541 - Several members of the Howard and Tilney family, plus their staff, were indicted for misprision of treason for covering up the “unlawful, carnal, voluptuous, and licentious life” of Queen Catherine Howard while she lived with the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk at Lambeth.
    1545 – Birth of George Bannatyne, compiler of the “Bannatyne Manuscript”, at Edinburgh. The “Bannatyne Manuscript” is an anthology of Scots literature and included poems by Bannatyne, Alexander Montgomerie, Alexander Scott, David Lyndsay, William Dunbar, Robert Henryson and King James I.
    1557 – Burnings of John Rough and Margaret Mearing, Protestant martyrs, at Smithfield for heresy.
    1558 (22nd or 28th) – Death of John Christopherson, Bishop of Chichester. He was buried at Christchurch, Newgate Street. He had been put under house arrest following his definition of Protestantism as “a new invention of new men and heresies” on 27th November 1558, preached in response to a sermon at Paul's Cross.

    23 December

    Henri de Lorraine

    Henri de Lorraine

    1513 – Birth of Sir Thomas Smith, scholar, humanist, colonialist diplomat (in Ireland) and political theorist, at Saffron Walden, Essex. He was the second son of sheep farmer, John Smith, and studied at Cambridge University and also in France and Italy. He served Edward VI as a Secretary of State, and was one of Elizabeth I's most trusted counsellors. He served her as a diplomat, Secretary of State and Chancellor of the Order of the Garter. Smith was the author of “De Republica Anglorum; the Manner of Government or Policie of the Realme of England” and “The Discourse of the Commonweal”.
    1556 – Burial of Nicholas Udall (Yevedale), schoolmaster, cleric, humanist and playwright, at St Margaret's, Westminster. His play “Ralph Roister Doister”, which combined Latin comedy and English tradition, is regarded as the first English language comedy. He played a part in Anne Boleyn's coronation in 1533, composing verses for the pageant, and in 1534 he published his Latin text book, “Floures for Latine Spekynge”. In 1541, Udall was imprisoned for a few months at Marshalsea after committing buggery with his pupil Thomas Cheney, but he was back in favour enough the next year to be leading a group of scholars in translating “The Paraphrase of Erasmus upon the New Testament” for Queen Catherine Parr.
    Udall's other works included translations of Erasmus's “Apophthegms”, Pietro Martire's “Discourse on the Eucharist” and Thomas Gemini's “Anatomia”, and the play “Respublica”.
    1558 – Queen Elizabeth I moved from Somerset House to Whitehall Palace, which became her principal residence.
    1558 – Death of Sir John Baker, administrator, Speaker of the House of Commons, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Under-Treasurer of England, in London. He was buried in Cranbrook Church in Kent.
    1559 – Death of Henry Morgan, Bishop of St David's, at Wolvercote in Oxfordshire. He had been deprived of his bishopric after Elizabeth I's accession because of his refusal to accept the religious changes of her reign. He was buried at Wolvercote.
    1568 – Roger Ascham, scholar and royal tutor, was taken ill, probably with malaria. He died on 30th December.
    1588 – The assassination of Henri de Lorraine, 3rd Duke of Guise and founder of the Catholic League, at the Château de Blois. He was killed by King Henry III's bodyguards, “the Forty-five”, in front of the King. His brother, Louis II, Cardinal of Guise, was assassinated the following day. The League had been controlling France, and the King was forced to act against it.
    1599 – Burial of Thomas Byng, civil lawyer, Regius Professor of the Civil Law at Cambridge and Master of Clare College, Cambridge. He was buried in Hackney Church, Middlesex.
    1607 – Death of Sir John Fortescue, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in Elizabeth I's reign.

    24 December

    1545 - King Henry VIII made his final speech to Parliament. Historian Robert Hutchinson describes it as “both measured and compelling”, and writes of how Henry wanted “to impart a stern message” to all of his subjects.
    1604 – Death of Sir Thomas Cornwallis, Comptroller of the household of Mary I and member of Parliament, at the age of eighty-six. He was buried at Brome in Suffolk. Cornwallis was active in putting down Kett's Rebellion in 1549 and in 1553, after originally proclaiming Lady Jane Grey as Queen in Ipswich, he swapped sides and swore allegiance to Mary I.

  • This week in history 6 – 12 November

    On this day in history…

    6th November:

    1501 – Catherine of Aragon met Arthur, Prince of Wales, for the first time at Dogmersfield in Hampshire. They married eight days later at St Paul’s.
    1514 – Mary Tudor, Queen of France, processed into Paris following her coronation the previous day at Saint-Denis.
    1541 – Henry VIII abandoned his Catherine Howard, his fifth wife, at Hampton Court Palace. The investigation into John Lassell’s claims that Catherine had two sexual relationships during her time in the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk’s household had proved them true.
    1558 – Baptism of Thomas Kyd, translator and playwright, at St Mary Woolnoth in London. Kyd is known for his play “The Spanish Tragedy”.
    1612 – Death of Nicholas Fitzherbert, author and former secretary of Cardinal William Allen, near Florence in Italy. Fitzherbert drowned while trying to ford a stream en route to Rome. Fitzherbert left England in the 1570s because of his Catholic faith and to study law at Bologna. In 1580, while he was in Italy, he was attainted of treason back in England due to his Catholic faith. He was buried at Florence, in the Benedictine abbey.

    [Read More...]
  • Happy birthday to Edward VI!

    Happy 480th birthday to King Edward VI who was born on this day in history, 12th October 1537. To commemorate his birthday, here is a mini-biography of him plus links to further resources.

    Edward VI was born on 12 October 1537 at Hampton Court Palace. He was the son of Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, who died twelve days after giving birth to him, probably of puerperal fever. He was tutored by scholars such as John Cheke, Richard Cox, Roger Ascham and Jean Belmain, and it appears that he was an intelligent child. By the age of twelve he was undertaking work on religious issues and controversies and had written a treatise about the Pope being the Antichrist.

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  • This week in history 18 – 24 September

    On this day…

    18th September:

    1501 – Birth of Henry Stafford, 10th Baron Stafford, at Penshurst in Kent. He was the son of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, and his wife Eleanor (née Percy), daughter of Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland. Henry married Ursula Pole, daughter of Sir Richard Pole and Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, in 1519, and the couple had around fourteen children. Stafford served Mary I as a Chamberlain of the Exchequer and Elizabeth I as a Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire.
    1535 – Birth of Henry Brandon, son of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and his wife Katherine (née Willoughby). Henry Brandon died on 14th July 1551, at the age of fifteen, from sweating sickness. His younger brother, Charles, survived him by just half an hour.
    1544 – Henry VIII rode triumphantly through the streets of Boulogne after the French surrendered, ending the Siege of Boulogne.
    1556 – Death of Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, from a fever at Padua in Italy. He was buried there in the church of Sant’Antonio. Courtenay had been sent overseas after he was implicated in Wyatt’s Rebellion as a future husband and consort of Mary I’s half-sister, Elizabeth.
    1559 – The fifteen-year-old Francis II was crowned King of France at Rheims by the Cardinal of Lorraine, following the death of his father Henry II in July 1559 after a jousting accident. Mary, Queen of Scots was Francis’ consort.

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  • This week in history 11 – 17 September

    On this day in history…

    11 September:

    1540 – Death of Thomas Kytson (Kitson) the Elder, merchant, Sheriff of London and builder of Hengrave Hall in Suffolk. He died at Hengrave and was buried in the church there.
    1561 – Mary, Queen of Scots began her first royal progress, visiting Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Stirling Castle, Kincardine Castle, Leslie Castle, Perth, Dundee, St Andrews, Cupar, Falkland Palace and Edinburgh, between the 11th and 29th September.
    1572 – Pope Gregory XIII ordered a joint commemoration for the defeat of the Ottoman troops by the Holy League at the Battle of Lepanto on 7th October 1571, and for the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of the Huguenots in France, in August 1572.
    1581 – Death of Barnaby Fitzpatrick, 2nd Baron of Upper Ossory, at Dublin, in the home of a surgeon, William Kelly. In his youth, Fitzpatrick had been friends with Prince Edward (future Edward VI) and had been educated with him. He went on to serve his friend, when he became king, as a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber.
    1605 – Death of Sir Thomas Tresham the Younger, Catholic recusant politician, at his home, Rushton Hall, in Northamptonshire. He was buried at St Peter’s Church, Rushton.
    1613 – Death of Sir John Brograve, lawyer. He was buried at St Mary’s Church, Braughing, Hertfordshire in the Brograve Chapel. Brograve was one of the leading lawyers in the House of Commons in Elizabeth I’s reign.
    1614 – Death of Sir Edward Phelips, Elizabeth I’s Sergeant-at-Law and Speaker of the House of Commons in James I’s reign. He died at Rolls House, London, and was buried at St Catherine’s Church, Montacute, Somerset.

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  • Recent and forthcoming Tudor history books

    In this week’s Claire Chats I share details on a new book I’ve just received in the post and look at some of the Tudor-linked history books that have just been released or are due out soon. Quite a few of these are going on my Christmas list!

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