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The Tudor Society
  • 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.”

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  • 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!

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  • 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.”

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Happy birthday to Edward VI!

    Happy 480th birthday to King Edward VI who was born on this day in history, 12th October 1537. To commemorate his birthday, here is a mini-biography of him plus links to further resources.

    Edward VI was born on 12 October 1537 at Hampton Court Palace. He was the son of Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, who died twelve days after giving birth to him, probably of puerperal fever. He was tutored by scholars such as John Cheke, Richard Cox, Roger Ascham and Jean Belmain, and it appears that he was an intelligent child. By the age of twelve he was undertaking work on religious issues and controversies and had written a treatise about the Pope being the Antichrist.

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  • Robert Wingfield’s Vitae Mariae – A first-hand account of the events of July 1553

    In today’s Claire chats video talk, I delve into the “Vita Mariae Angliae Reginae”, Robert Wingfield of Brantham’s account of Mary I’s successful coup d’état in July 1553. It is a fascinating primary source as it gives us details of Mary’s side of things, what was happening in East Anglia then.

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  • 28 August 1551 – A defiant Lady Mary

    On this day in history, 28th August 1551, Lord Chancellor Richard Rich, Sir Anthony Wingfield and Sir William Petre went to Copthall in Essex to see the Lady Mary (future Mary I), half-sister of their king and master, Edward VI.

    They had been sent to Copthall to deliver a message to Mary from the king. Edward VI was ordering Mary and her household to desist from celebrating the Catholic mass. Edward also ordered that Sir Anthony Wingfield should replace Robert Rochester as Mary’s comptroller.

    Mary was furious with the men and refused to obey them or her brother’s orders. The men reported what happened in a letter to the king and his privy council. Here is the whole letter:

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  • Claire Chats video – A timeline of the events of 1553

    July 1553 was a month of three monarchs – Edward VI, Queen Jane and Mary I – but how did this come about? In today’s Claire chats, I look at what led to the events of July 1553 and particularly the actions that Mary took to stage her successful coup d’etat.

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  • 6 July 1553 – The king is dead, long live the queen!

    On this day in history, 6th July 1553, between 8 and 9 o’clock in the evening, fifteen-year-old King Edward VI died in the arms of Sir Henry Sidney, one of the Chief Gentleman of his Privy Chamber, at Greenwich Palace. His last words were reported to be “I am faint; Lord have mercy upon me, and take my spirit”.

    Edward VI had been ill for several months and on 21st June 1553 his “Devise for the Succession” had been issued as “Letters Patent for the Limitation of the Crown”. In his devise, Edward VI stipulated that his crown was to be passed on to “the eldest SONNE OF THE BODYE OF THE SAID LADY FRAUNCIS [Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk], LAWFULLY BEGOTTONE, beinge borne into the world in our lyfetyme” and failing that the crown would pass on to Frances’ daughter, Lady Jane Grey, and her heirs male. When Edward died in July 1553, Frances did not have a son and so Jane became queen, being officially proclaimed such on 10th July 1553.

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  • 21 June 1553 – Lady Jane Grey is heir to the throne

    On 21st June 1553, letters patent were issued stating that King Edward VI’s heir was Lady Jane Grey, eldest daughter of the king’s cousin, Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk.

    Edward VI was dying, having been ill for a few months, and in the original draft of his “Devise for the Succession” he stipulated that the Crown would descend through the male heirs of Frances, Duchess of Suffolk, if Edward died childless. The problem was that there were no male heirs yet, so when Edward made a turn for the worse he decided to change the document to read: “To the Lady Fraunceses heirs males, if she have any such issue before my death to the Lady Jane and her heirs males.”

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  • 20 February 1547 – Nine-year-old Edward VI is crowned king

    On this day in history, 20th February 1547, the nine-year-old son of the late King Henry VIII was crowned King Edward VI by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer at Westminster Abbey.

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  • 1 February 1547 – Edward Seymour is appointed Lord Protector

    On this day in history, Tuesday 1st February 1547, the executors of Henry VIII’s will appointed Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, to the offices of Lord Protector of the Realm and Governor of the King’s Person.

    Here is the record from Acts of the Privy Council:

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  • 28 January – Henry VII, Henry VIII and Edward VI

    This day in history involves Henry VII, Henry VIII and Edward VI; grandfather, father and son. For it was on this day in 1457 that Henry VII was born, this day in 1547 that Henry VIII died, and this day in 1547 that Edward VI became king. What a day in history.

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  • King Edward VI Quiz

    How much do you know about King Edward VI, the third Tudor monarch? Test yourself with this fun quiz! Good luck!

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  • Kyra Kramer book tour and giveaway

    At today’s stop for her book tour for Edward VI in a Nutshell, Kyra Kramer is giving us an overview of Edward VI. He’s a fascinating Tudor personality and it’s a shame that he’s often overlooked and overshadowed by his father and half-sisters.

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  • Edward VI “Monarch Series” book out now

    We’ve completed the work on the next book in our Monarch Series – it’s the turn of Edward VI.

    You can download ALL of the monarch series books for free as full access members of the Tudor Society.

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  • Researching Edward VI

    In today’s Claire Chats I talk about the research I have recently been doing on Edward VI, how I went about it and the primary sources I found.

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  • 15 October 1537 – Edward VI’s Christening

    On this day in 1537, three days after his birth, Henry VIII’s son, the future Edward VI, was christened in the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court in a lavish ceremony. You can read a primary source account of the christening in an article I wrote over at The Anne Boleyn Files – click here.

    In 2015 Lucy Worsley and David Starkey celebrates the 500th anniversary of Britain’s finest surviving Tudor building, Hampton Court Palace, in a documentary which saw a re-enactment of the christening of Prince Edward, the future Edward VI.

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  • 12 October 1537 – Birth of King Edward VI

    Today is the anniversary of the birth of Edward VI, son of Henry VIII and his third wife, Jane Seymour, in 1537 at Hampton Court Palace.

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  • 19 August 1551 – Mary writes a letter to Edward VI

    The following letter was written by Princess Mary, the future Mary I, to her brother Edward VI on 19th August 1551. Henry Ellis, editor of Original Letters, Illustrative of English History… explains:

    “The following Letter from the Princess Mary to her brother, is preserved upon the Books of the Privy Council. It is probably the best specimen which we have in our power to give of her talent at writing: and, with the singular Paper which follows it by way of comment, will show her to have been a woman of more intellect than the world has usually supposed. Queen Catherine Parr took great pains in the education both of Mary and Elizabeth.

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  • Queen Jane or Lady Jane Grey

    In today’s Claire Chats video I discuss whether Lady Jane Grey should actually be called Queen Jane.

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  • 6 July – The deaths of two important Tudors

    On this day in history, two important Tudors died: Sir Thomas More was beheaded on 6th July 1535 for high treason for denying the King’s supremacy, and fifteen year-old King Edward VI died on 6th July 1553 of natural causes at Greenwich Palace.

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  • 1 July 1543 – Treaties of Greenwich

    On this day in 1543, the Treaties of Greenwich were signed. In these treaties between England and Scotland, it was agreed that Prince Edward, the future Edward VI, would marry Mary, Queen of Scots.

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  • July Tudor Life Magazine Taster

    Tudor Life July 2016 is packed with 64 pages on Edward VI and the Tudor period … why not join the society to read more?

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  • July 2016 Tudor Life Magazine

    Interested in the life and reign of Edward VI, the boy king? This magazine is just for you. Also has an exclusive article about artist Levina Teerlinc.

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  • 21 June 1553 – Edward VI chooses Lady Jane Grey as his heir

    On 21st June 1553, letters patent were issued stating that King Edward VI’s heir was Lady Jane Grey, eldest daughter of the king’s cousin, Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk.

    Edward VI was dying, having been ill for a few months, and in the original draft of his “Devise for the Succession” he stipulated that the Crown would descend through the male heirs of Frances, Duchess of Suffolk, if Edward died childless. The problem was that there were no male heirs yet, so when Edward made a turn for the worse he decided to change the document to read: “To the Lady Fraunceses heirs males, if she have any such issue before my death to the Lady Jane and her heirs males.”

    [Read More...]
  • 15 March 1551 – The Lady Mary causes a stir in London

    On this day in 1551, the Lady Mary ( the future Mary I), half-sister of King Edward VI, rode through London causing a stir. Here is diarist Henry Machyn’s record of the event:

    “The xv day the Lady Mary rode through London unto St. John’s, her place, with fifty knights and gentlemen in velvet coats and chains of gold afore her, and after her iiij score gentlemen and ladies every one havyng a peyre of bedes of black. She rode through Chepe-syde and thrugh Smythfeld.”

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  • Battle of Ancrum Moor

    On 27th February 1545, the English forces were defeated by the Scots at the Battle of Ancrum Moor, near Jedburgh in Scotland.

    The battle was part of the 1543-1550 War of the Rough Wooing, a war attempting to put pressure on the Scots to agree to a marriage match between the infant Mary, Queen of Scots and Henry VIII’s son, Edward (the future Edward VI).

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