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The Tudor Society
  • 30 October – Elizabeth I’s refusal to renew Robert Devereux and the coronation of Henry VII

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th October 1600, Queen Elizabeth I refused to renew Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex’s monopoly on sweet wines, saying that “an unruly horse must be abated of his provender, that he may be the easier and better managed.”

    It may not sound like a major event, but it was for Essex and it drove him to desperation and, ultimately, to the scaffold.

    Why? What was going on? How could the queen’s refusal to renew this monopoly lead to Essex’s undoing?

    Find out what was happened in 1600 and what happened next with the queen and her favourite, in this talk…

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  • Henry VII’s Early Life Quiz

    As yesterday was the anniversary of Henry Tudor landing on the Pembrokeshire coastline in 1485 in preparation for claiming the throne of England, I thought I’d test your knowledge of Henry VII’s early life, from his birth in 1457 to his defeat of Richard III in 1485.

    Get those little grey cells working with this fun quiz.

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  • Was Henry Tudor a Coward at Bosworth? – Julian Humphrys

    Some say that Henry Tudor was a coward for hiding behind his men and that Richard was the braver of the two men at this battle – but is this the right assessment?

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  • 22 August – The Battle of Bosworth Field and the beginning of the Tudor dynasty

    Today is the anniversary of the battle which started the Tudor period: the Battle of Bosworth Field. The Tudor dynasty on the throne of England began on this day, when Henry Tudor’s forces beat those of King Richard III, and Richard was killed.

    In today’s talk, I explain what happened on that day in rural Leicestershire, and how Henry Tudor was victorious even though Richard III came into battle with a huge advantage.

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  • 7 August – Henry Tudor lands at Mill Bay

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th August 1485, Henry Tudor, the soon-to-be King Henry VII, returned from exile, landing at Mill Bay in Wales. His intention was, of course, to claim the throne of England and to depose King Richard III.

    I share two accounts of his landing and explains what Henry did next.

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  • 7 August 1485 – Henry Tudor returns to claim the throne

    On this day in history, Sunday 7th August 1485, Henry Tudor, son of Lady Margaret Beaufort and the late Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, “came unto Wales”, landing at Mill Bay, Milford Haven, Wales. Chronicler Robert Fabyan recorded that on disembarking at Mill Bay, Henry “kneeled down upon the earth, and with meek countenance and pure devotion began this psalm: ‘Judica me Deus, et discerne causam’ [‘Judge me, O God, and favour my cause’].” He then “kissed the ground meekly and reverently, made the sign of a cross upon him” and then “he commanded such as were about him boldly in the name of God and Saint George to set forward.”

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  • 7 August 1485 – Henry Tudor came unto Wales

    On this day in history, Sunday 7th August 1485, Henry Tudor, son of Lady Margaret Beaufort and the late Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, “came unto Wales”, returning from exile in Brittany to claim the throne of England from Richard III.

    Polydore Vergil records Henry’s return:

    “Than Henry, thinkinge yt nedefull to make haste, that his arrive the frinds showld not be any longer kept in perplexytie betwene hope and drede, uncertane what to do, after he had made hisprayers to God that he might have an happy and prosperousjourney, he lowsyd from the mowth of Seyne with two thousand onely of armyd men and a few shippes, the calends of August, and with a soft suthren wynde. The weather being very fayre he came unto Wales the 7th day after, a lyttle before soone set, wher, entring thaven caulyd Milford, and furthwith going a land, he took
    first a place the name wherof ys Dalley, wher he herd that certane companyes of his adversaryes had had ther stations the wynter by past to have kept him from landing. From thence departing in the breake of dav he went to Haverforde, which vs a towne not xne. myles from Dalley, wher he was receavyd with great goodwill of all men, and the same he dyd with suche celerytie as that he was present and spoken of all at once.”

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  • Henry Tudor’s Guide to Pembrokeshire

    Thank you to Nathen Amin of The Henry Tudor Society for sharing this on Facebook, I just had to share it with you. Henry Tudor’s Guide to Pembrokeshire – enjoy!

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  • The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 7 – The Battle of Bosworth by Tony Riches

    In this series, I have followed the progress of Henry and Jasper Tudor from Pembroke Castle to their long exile in Brittany and their return with an army to Wales. Their long march, covering as much as twenty-six miles a day, ended when they encountered King Richard III’s army camped at Ambion Hill, close to Sutton Cheyney.

    The Battle of Bosworth is poorly documented, with no first-hand accounts surviving. Anything we read about the battle, therefore, has to be looked at closely to see who wrote it and when. One of the best summaries of the often conflicting accounts is Chris Skidmore’s book, Bosworth – The Birth of The Tudors. Even as Chris was writing the book, news emerged of a new location for the battlefield site, and the bones of Richard III were discovered in a car park as he completed the first draft.

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  • The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 6 – The Tudors Land at Mill Bay in Pembrokeshire by Tony Riches

    After following the long exile of Jasper and Henry Tudor in Brittany, I have now returned to Pembrokeshire in West Wales. The Tudors had made an unsuccessful attempt to invade England in 1483 but learned from this near disaster. On Monday 1st of August, 1485 they sailed again from the mouth of the Seine with their mercenary army of some four thousand men to challenge King Richard III for the crown.

    It seems the sea voyage led by the Poulian De Dieppe, flagship of their capable captain, Guillaume de Casenove, was uneventful and had the benefit of favourable winds. They made landfall at Mill Bay, a secluded, pebble-strewn beach in the far west of Wales just before sunset on Sunday 7th August. It is reported that, on going ashore, Henry Tudor kissed the ground and recited a Psalm in Latin. Some accounts suggest it was Psalm 23, but the consensus was Psalm 46: ‘Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.’

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  • The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 5 – Jasper Tudor at Château Josselin, Brittany by Tony Riches

    In this series, I have followed Jasper Tudor and his nephew Henry’s escape from Tenby in Wales to their long exile in Brittany. Young Henry Tudor found himself deep in the forest at the remote Forteresse de Largoët, outside of the Breton town of Elven. He would have missed the company of his uncle Jasper, who was now in a far grander place, the Château de Josselin.

    Originating from the year 1008, the château overlooking the River Oust has changed many times over the centuries. Olivier de Clisson, Constable of France, became Lord of Josselin in 1370 and rebuilt the fortress with eight high towers and married his daughter Beatrice to Viscount Alain de Rohan. During the religious wars of the seventeenth century, Duke Henri de Rohan commanded the Calvinists and his château was sacked by Cardinal de Richelieu. Only four of the original towers remain today, but the château is still home to the fourteenth Duke Josselin de Rohan.

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  • 7 August 1485 – Henry Tudor lands at Mill Bay

    On this day in history, 7th August 1485, Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII, dropped anchor at Mill Bay, near Milford Haven, Wales. When he reached the beach, it is said that he prayed “Judge me, O Lord, and favour my cause.”

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  • The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 4 – Henry Tudor at Forteresse de Largoët by Tony Riches

    Earlier in this series, I traced the journey of Jasper Tudor and his young nephew Henry’s escape from West Wales and their arrival in Brittany. The Tudors were welcomed to Vannes as guests of the powerful Duke Francis of Brittany before moving to the more remote Château de Suscinio for their own safety. The increased threat of abduction by York’s agents finally convinced Duke Francis to reduce the risk by moving them to separate locations inland.

    Fourteen-year-old Henry was relocated to the Forteresse de Largoët, deep in the forest outside of the sleepy town of Elven. His custodian, Marshall of Brittany, Jean IV, Lord of Rieux and Rochefort, had two sons of a similar age to Henry, and it is thought they continued their education together. Henry was however prevented from communicating with his mother in England or his uncle Jasper Tudor, who now resided in a château elsewhere in Brittany.

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  • The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 3 – Exiled at Château de Suscinio, Brittany, by Tony Riches

    In the first two parts of this series, I followed Jasper Tudor and his fourteen-year-old nephew Henry’s escape from Tenby in Wales and their arrival in Brittany. The Tudors are recorded as spending a year in Vannes as guests of Duke Francis of Brittany but, in October 1472, the duke became concerned they might be abducted by York’s agents. They were moved to his remote ‘hunting lodge’ by the sea, south of Vannes, the Château de Suscinio.

    The Tudors’ new home had been fortified in the fourteenth century by Breton knight Bertrand du Guesclin, nicknamed ‘The Eagle of Brittany’, a military commander during the Hundred Years’ War. As well as building the seigniorial residence block and a corner tower known as the Tour Neuve, the moat was deepened and a raising drawbridge added, together with casemates to house artillery. By the time the Tudors arrived, the original thirteenth century château resembled a castle of generous proportions.

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  • The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 2 – Exiled at Château de l’Hermine, Brittany, by Tony Riches

    In the first part of this series, I followed Jasper Tudor and his young nephew Henry’s escape from Tenby in West Wales. There are tales of storms and of them being forced to shelter in the lee of the island of Jersey before they were able to make landfall at the Breton fishing port of Le Conquet in September 1471.

    Jasper and Henry sought sanctuary from Duke Francis of Brittany and became his guests at the ducal palace, the Château de l’Hermine in Vannes. Duke Francis was a skilled politician, so would have appreciated the political value of the exiled Tudors to King Edward IV of England, as well as to his rival King Louis of France, to whom they were related through the Valois family of Jasper’s mother, Henry’s grandmother, Queen Catherine.

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  • The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 1 by Tony Riches

    Henry Tudor’s return from exile to victory at Bosworth has to be one of the greatest moments in the history of the Tudor dynasty. So why is the Bosworth story so often told from the perspective of Richard III, with Henry depicted as lucky to have won?

    I was born within sight of Pembroke Castle and have always been intrigued by the small room where the thirteen-year-old Lady Margaret Beaufort gave birth to the future king, Henry Tudor. I’ve also stood on the remote beach at Mill Bay near Milford Haven imagining how Henry would have felt as he approached with his uncle Jasper and his mercenary army.

    All I knew about Jasper’s father, Henry’s grandfather, Owen Tudor, was that he’d been a Welsh servant who somehow married the young widow of King Henry V, Queen Catherine of Valois. Inspired to write a historical fiction trilogy about them, I wanted to research their stories in as much detail as possible and to sort out the many myths from the facts.

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  • August Tudor Life Magazine Taster

    Tudor Life August 2016 is packed with an incredible 68 pages, including a feature section on the Early Tudor period. We hope you’ll join the society to enjoy ALL of our magazines, including all of the back issues!

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  • August 2016 Tudor Life Magazine

    This month we travel a little further back in the Tudor period to look at the early Tudors… We have an article by Leanda de Lisle on Owen Tudor, and a day-by-day build-up to the Battle of Bosworth by Debra Bayani, along with other excellent articles by a whole host of historians and authors.

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  • Expert Talk: Susan Fern on Bosworth’s Lost Commander

    Here’s this month’s expert talk, a wonderful description of the times just before the battle of Bosworth, when the houses of Lancaster and York were both trying to win the support of Rhys ap Thomas and Wales.

    Susan Fern, author of “The Man Who Killed Richard III: Rhys ap Thomas” takes us step by step through these turbulent times and helps us to understand who Rhys was, and why he was to change the course of history.

    This is PART ONE of a two part talk recorded exclusively for the Tudor Society. Susan will be joining us live in the chatroom on 14th October, 10pm UK time.

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