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The Tudor Society
  • 23 January – Elizabeth I opens the Royal Exchange and the death of Ferdinand II

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd January 1571, after dining with its founder, Sir Thomas Gresham, Queen Elizabeth I opened the Royal Exchange in London.

    Find out more about the official opening, what the Royal Exchange was, why Gresham paid for its building, and what happened to it, in this talk…

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  • 19 October – An important European marriage

    On this day in history, 19th October 1469, an event took place in Spain that was not only important in Spanish history, but which had an impact on Europe and which has links with the Tudors.

    The event was the marriage of an eighteen-year-old woman called Isabella and a seventeen-year-old man called Ferdinand. They’d become the famous Reyes Catolicos, the Catholic monarchs, Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, and would bring together two powerful kingdoms, which comprised most of what is modern-day Spain.

    In today’s talk, I tell you more about this powerful couple, their reigns and their legacy.

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  • 23 January

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video, I take you to Spain and back to 1516. I hope you enjoy the video and the photos of the Capilla Real.

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  • Should Ferdinand of Aragon have insisted on Katherine’s return?

    Thank you to Tudor Society member Angela for asking the question “Should Ferdinand of Aragon have insisted on Katherine’s return when Prince Arthur died?”. Historian Amy Licence, who is the author of “Catherine of Aragon: An Intimate Life of Henry VIII’s True Wife” has answered Angela’s question…

    This is a complex question, because Katherine’s position in England fluctuated during the period of her widowhood between 1502 and 1509. Also, we have to consider the dual impulses in Ferdinand, as a father on one hand, and as a monarch on the other, playing on the international stage, on which all his children were pawns for the furtherment of the Spanish Empire. Out of Katherine’s parents, it was Isabella of Castile who played a more active role in terms of writing to Henry VII before and after her daughter’s wedding, so she was really the commanding figure of the pair until her death in 1505. We must be careful too, with the word “should,” because it is suggestive of hindsight. We know what an awful time Katherine was to have during her widowhood and later, at the hands of Henry VIII, but back then they didn’t know how things would turn out.

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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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