The Tudor Society
  • The Places and People of July 1553

    July 1553 was the month of three monarchs: King Edward VI, Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey) and Mary I. It was a rather eventful month.

    But how much do you know about the places and people involved in this succession crisis? [Read More...]

  • 7 July – Mary hears news of Edward VI’s death

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th July 1553, in the short reign of Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey), Mary, eldest daughter of King Henry VIII, received news of her half-brother King Edward VI’s death.

    Where was Mary when she received the news? What was she doing and what happened next?

    Find out in this latest edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

    [Read More...]
  • These Tudors Are Your Favourites

    A couple of weeks ago we asked our Instagram followers to vote on their favourite Tudor Monarch and wife of Henry VIII. We combined the votes with the most searched questions on Google and the country in which they are most popular. Here are the results!

    [Read More...]

  • 5 October – Edward Seymour gathers troops to defend Edward VI

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th October 1549, Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector, ordered a gathering of men at Hampton Court Palace, where he was lodged with the young King Edward VI, due to tensions mounting between Somerset and John Dudley, Earl of Warwick.

    What was going on and what happened when 4,000 peasants turned up? How did John Dudley react and what did King Edward VI have to say about it all?

    Find out what happened, and how this led to Somerset’s undoing, in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
  • 19 August – A defiant but polite Mary I

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th August 1551, Princess Mary, the future Mary I, wrote to her half-brother King Edward VI regarding orders that he had sent, orders that she was not going to obey.

    As historian Henry Ellis noted, this letter is evidence of Mary’s talent at writing and her intellect, and it also shows just how stubborn she could be. But then Edward was stubborn too! He wasn’t going to let his sister defy him but she wasn’t going to obey him and compromise her faith – oh dear!

    Find out more about the situation, and hear Mary’s words to Edward, in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
  • 8 August – Edward VI’s Burial

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th August 1553, fifteen-year-old King Edward VI was buried in Henry VII’s Lady Chapel in Westminster Abbey in a funeral service performed by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury.

    Although his Catholic half-sister, Mary, was on the throne, Edward was buried with Protestant rites and it was the first time the English Book of Common Prayer was used for the funeral of a monarch.

    Find out more about Edward VI’s funeral, how Mary I marked his passing, and Edward VI’s resting place, in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
  • The Summer of 3 Monarchs Crossword Puzzle

    The summer of 1553 was very eventful and saw three different Tudor monarchs rule England in just the month of July: King Edward VI, Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey) and Queen Mary I.

    How much do you know about the events of summer 1553 and the struggle for the throne?

    Test those little grey cells with this week’s puzzle, a fun crossword puzzle. Simply click on the link or image below to open and print out. Good luck!

    [Read More...]
  • 9 July – Mary wants to avoid bloodshed and vengeance

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th July 1553, three days after the death of her half-brother, King Edward VI, and the day after she’d proclaimed herself queen at her estate at Kenninghall, Mary (future Mary I), daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, wrote to the late king’s privy council regarding “some evil” that she’d heard.

    But what was going on? What had Mary heard and what was she going to do about it?

    Find out more about the situation and Mary’s letter in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
  • 21 June – Lady Jane Grey is Edward’s heir

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st June 1553, letters patent were issued stating that the dying King Edward VI’s heir was Lady Jane Grey, eldest daughter of the king’s cousin, Frances Grey (née Brandon), Duchess of Suffolk.

    Why was Lady Jane Grey his heir when Edward had two half-sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, and who else was listed in his “devise for the succession”. Find out more about Edward VI’s plan for the succession in today’s talk

    [Read More...]
  • Edward VI is king!

    On this day in history, 28th January 1547, nine-year-old Edward, son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, became King Edward VI, succeeding his father, King Henry VIII, who died on this day at Whitehall Palace. Edward didn’t hear the news of his father’s death until the next day, when he was told of it by Edward Seymour and Anthony Denny.

    Here are some resources on this young Tudor king…

    [Read More...]
  • 15 October – Edward VI’s christening and who was there

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th October 1537, Prince Edward ( future King Edward VI), son of King Henry VIII and his third wife, Queen Jane Seymour, was christened in a lavish ceremony in the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace. He was three days old.

    In today’s talk, I share details of Edward VI’s christening, including who played prominent roles, who stood as godparents and what gifts were given to little Prince Edward. Edward’s half-sisters, the future Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I were both there.

    [Read More...]
  • 12 October – Jane Seymour gives birth to Edward VI

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th October 1537, the eve of the Feast of St Edward the Confessor, Queen Jane Seymour, third wife of King Henry VIII, gave birth to a baby who would become King Edward VI.

    Edward VI was born at Hampton Court Palace after a long and difficult labour. London celebrated the birth of England’s new prince, but, of course, happiness would soon turn to grief as Jane died on 24th October 1537.

    In today’s talk, I share contemporary sources of Edward VI’s birth and the subsequent celebrations, and also talk about the myth that Edward VI was born by caesarean (c-section).

    [Read More...]
  • Edward VI – The good, the bad and the ugly

    In this week’s Claire Chats talk, I am continuing my series on the Tudor monarchs, and examining their reigns for “the good, the bad, the ugly”, i.e. their achievements and the not-so-good stuff, by looking at the reign of the third Tudor monarch, King Edward VI.

    Of course, Edward VI died before he reached his majority, so in examining his reign I have to look at “the good, the bad and the ugly” of the two men who led his government: Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, and John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland.

    [Read More...]
  • 28 August – Mary defies Edward VI

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th August 1551, the thirty-five-year-old Mary, future Mary I, received a visit from a delegation of men sent by her half-brother, thirteen-year-old King Edward VI.

    Mary was being defiant and disobedient. She was ignoring her half-brother’s orders and was breaking the laws of the land. What was she doing? She was continuing to celebrate the Catholic Mass in her household.

    In today’s talk, I explain exactly what happened on this day in 1551, drawing on the report that the delegation gave to the king and his council. It gives us a wonderful insight into the pre-accession Mary I and her character.

    [Read More...]
  • The Events of July 1553 Quiz

    July 1553 was a month of three monarchs: King Edward VI, Queen Jane (lady Jane Grey) and Queen Mary I – what a month for the citizens of London! It was definitely eventful. But how much do you know about the events that led from Edward’s death to Mary’s accession? Let me test your knowledge with this fun little quiz – good luck!

    [Read More...]
  • 6 July – The king is dead, long live the queen!

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th July 1553, fifteen-year-old King Edward VI died at Greenwich Palace leaving the throne to his cousin’s eldest daughter, Lady Jane Grey.

    I share details of Edward’s final illness and last days, his “Devise for the Succession”, and Lady Jane Grey’s reaction at being told that she was Edward’s successor.

    [Read More...]
  • 1 July – An interesting marriage agreement and rough wooing

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st July 1543, in the reign of King Henry VIII, the Treaties of Greenwich were signed.

    These treaties were between the kingdoms of Scotland and England, and, amongst other terms, was the agreement of a marriage between Prince Edward, the future King Edward VI, and Mary, Queen of Scots.

    Scotland’s subsequent rejection of the treaties led to a war known as the Rough Wooing – a great name!

    In today’s video, I explain what these treaties were all about and what happened in the war known as the Rough Wooing, and why it was called that.

    [Read More...]
  • Edward VI – True or false quiz

    This week’s Sunday quiz tests your knowledge of the third Tudor monarch, the boy-king Edward VI.

    How much do you know about him? Find out with this fun quiz. Good luck!

    [Read More...]
  • 2 April – Edward VI catches smallpox and measles

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd April 1552, King Edward VI recorded in his diary “I fell sick of the measles and the smallpox”.

    What do we know about his illness and subsequent recovery? What was smallpox like and how was it treated? Did this bout of illness have any bearing on his future health?

    Find out, in today’s “on this day” video.

    [Read More...]
  • March 15 – The Lady Mary causes a stir in London

    Mary I could be a tough cookie at times. She was courageous and strong-willed, and she showed that side of her personality on 15th March 1551 when she rode through the streets of London with a large company of knights, gentlemen and ladies doing something that was illegal and an act of defiance against her half-brother, King Edward VI.

    Find out more in today’s video.

    [Read More...]
  • 19 February – King Edward VI’s coronation procession

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th February 1547, the new king, the nine-year-old King Edward VI, son of King Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, processed through the streets of London on his coronation procession.

    In this video, I share details of the procession route, descriptions of the streets, the huge procession, and the pageants and entertainment that Edward VI and the citizens of London would have enjoyed on that day in 1547. It sounds like a spectacular event.

    [Read More...]
  • 28 January – The birth of Henry VII and the death of Henry VIII

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video, I read an extract from my book about the birth of King Henry VII on this day in 1457 and the death of his son, King Henry VIII, on this day in 1547.

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

    On this day in history, 12th October 1537, the eve of the feast of St Edward, Jane Seymour gave birth to the future King Edward VI. The third wife of Henry VIII had suffered a long and tiring 30-hour labour, but she had given the king what he’d wanted for so long: a legitimate son and heir.

    Henry VIII died on 28th January 1547, making Edward King Edward VI of England at the age of just nine.

    [Read More...]
  • Quiz – Edward VI’s Regency Council

    In January 1547, King Henry VIII died and left his throne to his son and heir, Edward. Henry’s will made provisions for the nine-year-old King Edward VI to be helped by a regency council, but how much do you know about this council and what happened in early 1547? Test your knowledge with this fun quiz. Good luck!

    [Read More...]
  • 2 April 1552 – Edward VI falls ill

    On this day in history, fourteen-year-old King Edward VI fell ill. His journal entry for 2nd April 1552 reads “I fell sike of the mesels [measles] and the small pokkes [smallpox]”, but he doesn’t mention it again in the entries for that month and he was still able to write entries.

    In a letter to his friend Barnaby Fitzpatrick written on 3 May 1552, Edward mentions his recent illness:

    “We have a little been troubled with the smallpox, which hath letted us to write hitherto; but now we have shaken that quite away.”

    [Read More...]
  • Edward VI Quiz

    Sundays come round rather quickly, don’t they? I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend so far.

    It’s time to grab your favourite beverage and snack, to make yourself comfortable and to get that brain working.
    Just how much do you know about King Edward VI? Find out with this quiz!

    [Read More...]
  • 19 February 1547 – The coronation procession of King Edward VI

    On Saturday 19th February 1547, King Edward VI rode from the Tower of London to Westminster in preparation for his coronation the next day. Chronicler and Windsor Herald Charles Wriothesley recorded:

    “The nynetenth daie of Februarie the Kinges Majestie rode from the Towre to Westminster through the cittie of London, which was rychly hanged with riche cloathes and divers pageantes, the conduites running wyne, the craftes standing in their raills, and the aldermen, the lord major riding in a crymosin velvett gowne with a rych collar of goulde, with a mase in his hand, afore the King; and, when his Majestie came where the aldermen stode, the Recorder made a proposition to his Majestie, and after the Chamberlaine gave his Majestie a purse of cloath of gould for a present from the cittie, which he thanckfullie tooke.”

    [Read More...]
  • 31 January 1547 – Henry VIII’s death is announced and Edward VI is proclaimed king

    On this day in history, 31st January 1547, Thomas Wriothesley, Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor and one of the executors of his will, announced the death of Henry VIII to Parliament. The late king’s nine-year-old son was proclaimed king, becoming King Edward VI.

    Chronicler and Windsor Herald Charles Wriothesley recorded:

    “The 31 of Januarie my lord major [mayor] was sent for to the Perliament Chamber at Westminster, before the lordes of the Kinges Majesties Privie Counsell, and their was declared to them by my Lord Chauncelor and other the death of the Kinges Majestic Henrie the Eight, our Soveraigne Lord, which deceased to Almightie God on Fridaie last, being the 28th of Januarie, and straig[ht]ly charging them to keepe the Kinges peace and to loke to the savegarde of the Kinges Majesties Chambre of London, and so they departed.

    [Read More...]
  • Thomas Seymour’s death warrant

    Thank you so much to historical novelist Janet Wertman for inspiring today’s Claire Chats on the subject of just who signed Thomas Seymour’s death warrant – was it King Edward VI or was it Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector? I look at what the sources say.

    [Read More...]
  • Did Edward VI really pluck and kill a falcon?

    This week’s Claire Chats video talk was inspired by an “ask the expert” question we received from Tudor Society member Elizabeth and her son Joseph. Elizabeth’s full question was “My son was reading up on Edward VI and came across this story and wondered if it was true. I said that you would know! Simon Renard, the Imperial Ambassador, reported that Edward had plucked a falcon which he had kept in his private chamber and had torn it into 4 pieces saying as he did so that he likened himself to a falcon whom everyone plucked but that he would pluck them too and tear them into 4 parts. We wondered if this was a true story.”

    It’s an interesting question and one I wanted to dig deeper into it.

    [Read More...]
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