The Tudor Society
  • The Women of the House of Trastámara: An Introduction

    Thank you to regular contributor Heather R. Darsie for writing this introduction to the women of the House of Trastámara.

    When thinking about the important players of the Renaissance, particularly during the reign of Henry VIII of England, one recalls the powerful families of the English Tudors, French Valois, and Burgundian Habsburgs. The family that is even more influential, even if quietly, is the overlooked Trastámaras of Spain. This family married into the Tudor, Valois, and Habsburg families, among others, and its reach was far. Who were they?

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  • The Moot Virginity of Catherine of Aragon, the Belfast Ensemble

    Tudor Society member Ceri Creffield has kindly agreed to share with us her experience of seeing “The Moot Virginity of Catherine of Aragon” production which was performed by the Belfast Ensemble at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff, South Wales.

    Here is a description of the production from the theatre website:


    Europe divides in two. An act of teenage love could be the cause. Catherine of Aragon’s first wedding night with Henry VIII’s brother, Arthur comes into question in this no-nonsense music-theatre first. Did they? Didn’t they?

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  • 31 January 1510 – Queen Catherine of Aragon gives birth to a stillborn daughter

    On this day in history, 31st January 1510, Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII, gave birth to a stillborn daughter. It was her first pregnancy and she had been married to Henry for just over 7 months.

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  • Catherine of Aragon resources

    As today is the anniversary of the birth of Catherine of Aragon on 16th December 1485, I thought I would share with you some book recommendations and resources for finding out more about Catherine.

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  • Katherine of Aragon Quiz

    Rebecca’s quiz this week is on Katherine of Aragon, first wife and queen consort of King Henry VIII. How much do you know about this fascinating Tudor lady?

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  • Henry VIII’s six wives are as popular as ever – Conor Byrne

    Henry VIII’s six wives are as popular as ever. In the 2016 History Hot 100 recently compiled by BBC History Magazine, no less than four of the notorious Tudor king’s consorts featured. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, wife number two Anne Boleyn finished highest, at number 4. Katherine Parr came in at number 31, Katherine of Aragon at 36, and Anne of Cleves at 38.

    Tudormania, as coined by a Guardian article, is pervasive. The general public and historians alike cannot get enough of the Tudors. But our obsession with this colourful dynasty, by and large, centres on a handful of characters that dominate films, novels and articles. This confinement of our focus is starkly revealed in the Hot 100: the top Tudor figures are, unsurprisingly, Elizabeth I, Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell.

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  • Catherine of Aragon – A true maid?

    In today’s Claire Chats, I talk about Catherine of Aragon, her marriage to Arthur Tudor and its implications in Henry VIII’s quest for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine.

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  • Katharine of Aragon’s Spain by Heather R. Darsie

    The AlhambraThank you to Heather for sharing with us this article on "Katharine of Aragon's Spain: the Moorish Influence of Convivencia on the Newly-Modern Kingdom".

    Prior to Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, the Catholic Monarchs, finally removing the last Islamic presence from the Kingdom of Granada, there was a considerable Islamic and Jewish presence that lasted over 700 hundred years.

    The Muslims first came to Spain during the Umayyad conquest of Hispania around the year 711, when they invaded from North Africa. At the time, the Iberian Peninsula was a Visigoth kingdom. The area of the Iberian Peninsula controlled by the Muslims was called Al-Andalus. After the invasion, conversion from Christianity to Islam was advantageous. There was relative peace in Muslim-controlled Spain for about three hundred years. The main cities of Al-Andalus were Granada, Toledo and Cordoba.
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  • 9 April 1533 – No Longer Queen by Sarah Bryson

    On 9th April 1533, the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk accompanied by a delegation from King Henry VIII met with Queen Katherine of Aragon at her residence at Ampthill where she had been moved to in February. When they arrived they informed Katherine that she was no longer Queen of England, but from that day forward she had to style herself as the Dowager Princess of Wales. Katherine took the news with grace but refused neither to use the new title nor to believe that Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn was valid.

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  • Katharine of Aragon Festival 2016 – 28-31st January

    Every year, Peterborough Cathedral, the resting place of Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII, put on a programme of events around the anniversary of her burial (29th January) known as the Katharine of Aragon Festival to commemorate her life.

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  • The Pregnancies of Katherine of Aragon by Sarah Bryson

    Sadly, on this day in history, on the 9th of November 1518, Katherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII, gave birth to a stillborn girl.

    There are very few surviving details of Katherine’s pregnancy but Venetian Ambassador Sebastian Giustinian wrote that “This night the Queen was delivered of a daughter, to the vexation of as many as know it;—the entire nation looked for a prince.” A later report in the Venetian archives stated that: “The Queen had been delivered in her eighth month of a stillborn daughter, to the great sorrow of the nation at large”.

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  • 9 September 1513 – The Battle of Flodden

    On the 9th September 1513, while Henry VIII was away, busy campaigning against the French, James IV and his Scottish troops crossed the border and challenged the English force, which was headed by Thomas Howard, the Earl of Surrey, at Flodden in Northumberland.

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  • 23 June 1509 – Coronation procession of King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon

    On Saturday 23rd June, Henry VIII and his wife Catherine of Aragon left the Tower of London and made their way through the streets of London to Westminster on their coronation procession.

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  • The Procession and Pageants for the wedding of Catherine of Aragon and Prince Arthur

    In today’s Claire Chats, I look at an event from Henry VII’s reign, the marriage of Catherine of Aragon and Arthur, Prince of Wales, and the pageantry involved in Catherine’s procession through London.

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  • Video – Claire at the Alhambra in Granada

    A video recorded on Claire’s visit to the Alhambra in Granada.

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  • Catherine of Aragon’s Stillbirth on 31 January 1510 – The Primary Source

    On this day in history, 31st January 1510, Queen Catherine of Aragon gave birth to a still-born daughter. Although she had lost her baby, Catherine’s abdomen stayed rounded and actually began to increase in size, leading her physicians to conclude that she was still pregnant with the twin of the baby she’d lost. This was not true.
    I thought it would be interesting to share the primary source account of this event here.

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  • Video – The Annulment of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s Marriage

    A video on Henry VIII’s Great Matter and Catherine of Aragon’s opposition.

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  • Catherine of Aragon’s Black Heart and Poison: The Primary Sources

    Following Catherine of Aragon’s death on the afternoon of 7th January 1536, her body was prepared for burial by a chandler in her household, whose job it would have been to embalm her body. Sir Edmund Bedingfield and Sir Edward Chamberlain wrote to Thomas Cromwell from Kimbolton on 7th January about the arrangements they had made:

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