The Tudor Society
  • 23 March – The last abbey is dissolved

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd March 1540, Waltham Abbey, an Augustinian house in Essex, was surrendered to the Crown. It was the last abbey to be dissolved in Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell’s dissolution of the monasteries.

    Find out more about this historic abbey, its origins and what’s left today, and also who profited from its lands, in today’s talk.

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  • The Dissolution of the Monasteries Crossword Puzzle

    How much do you know about King Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries, something that had a major impact on the country’s landscape and the lives of the people?

    Find out with this fun crossword puzzle. Good luck!

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  • 6 March – The Dissolution of the Monasteries

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th March 1536, King Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries began when the “Act for the Suppression (or Dissolution) of the Lesser Monasteries” was introduced into the Reformation Parliament.

    The Dissolution of the Monasteries had a major impact on England and her people, but was of great benefit to the king, his nobles and the gentry. Find out what happened, why and its impact in this talk.

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  • The Dissolution of the Monasteries and its impact – Part 2: The benefits for Henry VIII and the impact on his country

    In last week’s Claire Chats talk, I talked about the monasteries in medieval times, monastic life, and how the monasteries and church were central to their communities.
    In the 1530s, in the reign of King Henry VIII, there was the dissolution of the monasteries and so today I want to look at what that involved, the reasons for it, and what impact it had on England and its people.

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  • The Dissolution of the Monasteries and its impact – Part 1: The Monasteries

    I love walking around the ruins of abbeys such as Rievaulx, Fountains and Jervaulx, they’re just so beautiful, and I like to imagine what they were like in their heyday, when they were vibrant and bustling communities of religious people, and were important to their local communities.

    The Dissolution of the Monasteries had such an impact on England, on its landscape and on its people, and so I want to spend the next couple of Claire Chats talks exploring this topic. Today, I want to talk about the monasteries themselves, what they were like and how they played a role in daily life.

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  • 14 September – Henry VIII, the shrine destroyer

    Yes, on this day in Tudor history, 14th September 1538, a religious shrine which had stood since the early 12th century, was destroyed on the orders of King Henry VIII. The Shrine of Our Lady of Caversham was destroyed as part of Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries.

    In today’s talk, I share contemporary accounts of the shrine’s destruction, which included details of what was seized and sent to London.

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  • 11 August – Henry VIII treats friars abominably

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th August 1534, or shortly before, the friars observant were expelled from their religious houses due to their support of Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s first wife, and their refusal to accept the king as supreme head of the Church in England.

    These men were treated abominably by Henry VIII and his government and you can find out about their treatment and their fates in today’s talk from Claire Ridgway, author of “On This Day in Tudor History”.

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  • The destruction of religious shrines

    As today is the anniversary of the destruction of the Shrine of Our Lady of Caversham, near Reading, on 14th September 1538, I thought I’d do a Claire Chats on religious shrines and their destruction in the 1530s.

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  • 23 March 1540 – The surrender of Waltham Abbey

    On this day in history, 23rd March 1540, Waltham Abbey was surrendered to the Crown. It was the last abbey to be dissolved in Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell’s dissolution of the monasteries.

    Here is the record from Letters and Papers:

    “Surrender of the monastery and all its possessions in cos. Essex, Midd., Herts, Camb., Line, Norf., Suff., Berks, Oxon, Bucks, Beds, Kent, Sussex, Surr., Soms., Dors., Hants., Wilts., and Glouc., and the city of London and elsewhere in England, Wales, and the marches thereof. 23 March, 31 Hen. VIII. Signed by Robert the abbot, and 17 others…

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  • Claire’s visit to London Charterhouse

    In this week’s Claire Chat’s video I talk about my recent visit to London Charterhouse and the history of the site. I hope you enjoy the talk and the photos.

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  • 14 September 1538 – The Destruction of the Shrine of Our Lady of Caversham

    On this day in history, 14th September 1538, the Shrine of Our Lady of Caversham, near Reading, was destroyed by Dr John London, on the orders of Henry VIII. The shrine had been established in 1106.

    London wrote to Thomas Cromwell on 17th September to confirm the shrine’s destruction:

    “Has pulled down the image of Our Lady at Caversham, whereunto was great pilgrimage. It is plated over with silver. Has put it in a chest fast locked and nailed up, and will send it by next barge to London. Has pulled down the place she stood in with the lights, shrowds, crutches, images of wax &c. about the chapel, and defaced the same thoroughly. This chapel belonged to Notley Abbey and there was always a canon of that monastery warden of Caversham, who sang in chapel and had the offerings. He was accustomed to show many pretty relics, among others the holy dagger that killed King Henry, and the holy knife that killed St. Edward. All these with the coats of this image, her cap and hair, my servant will bring your Lordship next week. Has sent the canon home to Notley and made fast the doors of the chapel, the lead of which, if desired, he will make sure for the King: otherwise it will be stolen by night,—as happened at the Friars, where they took the clappers of the bells, and but for the aid of Mr. Fachell and the mayor they would have made no little spoil. Reading, 17 Sept.”

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