The Tudor Society
  • August 3 – Lord Russell prepares to fight the rebels of the Prayer Book Rebellion

    Drawing of John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford, by Hans Holbein the Younger

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd August 1549, in the reign of King Edward VI, Lord Russell marched his 1000 men from Honiton to Woodbury and set up camp for the night.

    Russell was heading towards Clyst St Mary and the rebels of the Prayer Book Rebellion.

    In 1549, the Book of Common Prayer was introduced. It was in English and it replaced the Catholic Mass. This change wasn’t embraced by all and there was trouble in Devon and Cornwall. The rebels called for the rebuilding of abbeys, the restoration of the Six Articles, the restoration of prayers for souls in purgatory, the policy of only the bread being given to the laity, and the use of Latin for the mass.
    The rebels were defeated by the crown in a series of battles.

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  • June 9 – William Courtenay, William Paget, and the 1549 Book of Common Prayer

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th June 1511, in the reign of King Henry VIII, William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, died.

    Who was Courtenay and how did he go from being in favour to being a traitor and then back to being in favour?

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  • 9 June – The Book of Common Prayer

    This day in Tudor history, 9th June 1549, was a big day for the English Reformation. It was on this day, at Whitsun services all around England, that Archbishop Thomas Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer was used for the very first time. A service in English!

    In today's video, I explain a bit more about this book and why this day was so important.

    Recommended reading:

    Also on this day in history:

    • 1511 – Death of William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, at Greenwich. He died of pleurisy and was buried at Blackfriars, London, with the honours due an earl, even though he hadn't been officially invested yet. Courtenay was Henry VIII's uncle, having married Katherine, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville.
    • 1563 – (or 10th June) Death of William Paget, 1st Baron Paget, diplomat and administrator, probably at his estate of West Drayton in Middlesex. Paget's career included serving as an ambassador to the French court, being a member of Henry VIII's Privy Council, sitting on the commission which tried the Earl of Surrey and serving on Mary I's Privy Council.
    • 1573 – Death of William Maitland of Lethington, Scottish courtier, politician, reformer and diplomat. He died in prison in Leith, in suspicious circumstances, though it was said to be suicide. Maitland supported the restoration of Mary, Queen of Scots, and was imprisoned as a result.
    • 1583 – Death of Thomas Radcliffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and President of the Council of the North, at Bermondsey. His body was buried at Boreham in Essex, but his innards were buried at the church in Bermondsey.
  • 9 June 1549 – First use of the Book of Common Prayer

    It was on this day in history, 9th June 1549, at Whitsun (Pentecost) services around the country that the Book of Common Prayer was first used.

    This prayer book was the official liturgy of Edward VI’s Protestant Church and was composed mainly by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. It was written in English and it replaced the traditional Latin mass. It was revised in 1552.

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