The Tudor Society
  • May 14 – The Creeping Parliament and Lady Helena Gorges

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th May 1571, the “Creeping Parliament” was held in Edinburgh, Scotland. Why was it called the “Creeping Parliament” and why were there actually two Parliaments meeting? What was going on and what happened next?

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  • 14 May – Lady Helena Gorges

    On this day in history, 14th May 1635, Helena Gorges (née Snakenborg), Lady Gorges, was buried in Salisbury Cathedral.

    But who was this lady and how did a Swedish royal maid-of-honour end up being buried in England?

    In today’s video, I share some facts about this fascinating woman.

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  • Helena Gorges (1548-1635)

    Helena, Lady Gorges, was born in Sweden in 1548 and was the daughter of Ulf Henriksson of Östergötland and his wife, Agneta Knuttson. Before her two marriages, she was known as Helena (Elin) Snakenborg, the surname coming from her mother’s family, who came from Mecklenburg. Helena’s father was a nobleman of the Bååt family and her mother descended from the earls of Orkney.

    In the mid 1560s, Helena was chosen to serve Princess Cecilia of Sweden, Margravine of Baden, daughter of King Gustav I (Gustav Vasa) of Sweden, as a maid of honour. In late 1564, Helena left Sweden to accompany her mistress on a voyage to England to the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Their journey took almost a year due to bad weather and the need to avoid travelling through certain countries. Shortly after her arrival in England, Helena fell in love with William Parr, Marquis of Northampton and brother of Catherine Parr (Henry VIII’s sixth wife). When Princess Cecilia left England in 1566, Helena remained in England and joined Elizabeth I’s household in around 1567. Helena served Elizabeth I as maid of honour and then gentlewoman of the privy chamber.

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