The Tudor Society
  • 11 December – A lavish reception for Anne of Cleves and the burial of Douglas Sheffield, lover of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th December 1539, Anne of Cleves and her retinue were received at Gravelines, just a few miles outside of Calais, by Lord Lisle, Deputy of Calais.

    Anne of Cleves was on her way to England to marry King Henry VIII, but her journey had been rather slow and she was about to be delayed even more.

    The reception was rather lavish, with everyone dressed up to the nines.

    Enjoy a contemporary description in this talk…

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  • 7 August – Sir Robert Dudley, Dudley’s illegitimate son

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th August 1574, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester’s illegitimate son, Sir Robert Dudley, was born at Sheen.

    Find out more about Sir Robert Dudley, who grew up to be a mariner, cartographer and landowner, in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

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  • 11 December – Robert Dudley’s lover and mother of his son

    On this day in history, 11th December 1608, one of Queen Elizabeth I’s former ladies and a lover of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was buried at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster. Her name was Douglas Sheffield (née Howard), Lady Sheffield, and she was the mother of Leicester’s illegitimate son, Sir Robert Dudley.

    Find out more about Douglas Sheffield, who claimed to be Leicester’s legal wife, in today’s talk.

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  • Douglas Sheffield, Baroness Sheffield (c.1542/3-1608)

    Douglas Sheffield, née Howard, was the oldest daughter of William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham, Surrey, and his wife, Margaret Gamage. Her date of birth has been a source of debate among historians. However, Simon Adams has argued that the dates of 1542 and 1543 are the most likely due to her being seventeen upon her marriage in 1560. Her older brother was Charles Howard, 2nd Baron of Effingham and 1st Earl of Nottingham. Charles was a successful English statesman and Lord High Admiral under Elizabeth I and James I. Commander of the English forces, he was hugely influential during the Armada period and was renowned for having been a significant figure in the naval defence against Spanish invasion during the 1590s. Douglas was part of a distinguished and notorious noble family that had been instrumental in court politics since the early sixteenth century. While her father held the title of baron, his half-brother was the Duke of Norfolk, William enjoyed a successful career under all four of the Tudor monarchs, and this favour ensured his daughter made a good marriage; Douglas married John Sheffield, 2nd Baron Sheffield. The couple had two surviving children: Edmund Sheffield, later 1st Earl of Mulgrave, and a daughter, Elizabeth, who married Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormonde. The newly married couple were received well by the queen, who provided a wedding gift on 27th October 1560.

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