The Tudor Society
  • #OTD in Tudor History – 7 February

    Portraits of Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII and Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th February, Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s famous Lord Chancellor, was born, Mary, Queen of Scots was informed she’d be executed the next day, and Henry VIII took part in the Shrovetide joust with the motto “Declare I dare not”…

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  • #OTD in Tudor History – 25 January

    Portraits of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, Henry VIII secretly married Anne Boleyn even though he was still married to Catherine of Aragon, Catholic martyr St Edmund Campion was born, Wyatt’s Rebellion began, and people celebrated the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul…

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  • May 28 – Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn is valid

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th May 1533, at Lambeth Palace, Thomas Cranmer, the recently appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, proclaimed the validity of the marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

    This proclamation was the result of a secret enquiry carried out by the archbishop following the ruling of the special court set up at Dunstable Priory to hear the case for the annulment of Henry VIII’s first marriage. That court dissolved the marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Convocation had already determined, on 5th April 1533, that the Pope had no power to issue a dispensation for a man to marry his brother’s widow when it was contrary to God’s law.

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  • April 27 – Can Henry VIII abandon Anne Boleyn?

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th April 1536, John Stokesley, Bishop of London, was approached to see if Henry VIII could “abandon” his second wife, Anne Boleyn.

    Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, recorded that Stokesley replied that he would only give his opinion to the king himself, and that before doing so he needed to be clear what the king wanted. He certainly didn’t want to endanger himself by offending the king or the queen.

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  • March 31 – John Donne, the bell tolls for thee and King Henry VIII as King Ahab, Anne Boleyn as Jezebel

    On this day in history, 31st March 1631, the Tudor and Stuart metaphysical poet, satirist, lawyer and clergyman John Donne died.

    Donne had an amazing career, going on voyages, serving as a royal chaplain and diplomat, and writing sermons, songs, satires and poetry, including an erotic poem, “The Flea”.

    Find out more about John Donne and hear some of his work in this talk…

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  • 30 November – Elizabeth I’s Golden Speech, and Henry VIII gets told off by Catherine of Aragon AND Anne Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th November 1601, sixty-eight-year-old Queen Elizabeth I delivered her famous Golden Speech to the House of Commons.

    In this final speech to Parliament, Elizabeth spoke of her position as Queen and her love and respect for her realm, her people, and for her members of Parliament. It was a speech that brought many of those listening to tears. It was obviously a very heartfelt speech by a queen who truly loved her people.

    In today’s talk, I share Elizabeth I’s Golden Speech along with some beautiful portraits of the queen.

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  • 15 November – The death of Katherine of York and the Pope threatens Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th November 1527, a woman who called herself “the excellent Princess Katherine, Countess of Devon, daughter, sister and aunt of kings”, died at Tiverton Castle in Devon.

    Katherine of York, Countess of Devon, daughter of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, was just forty-nine when she died and had taken a vow of chastity after her husband’s death.

    In this talk, I give an overview of Henry VIII’s aunt’s life and I explain why she took her vow of chastity. Find out all about her.

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  • 11 October Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn set sail, and the people pray for Jane Seymour

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th October 1532, King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, the newly created Marquess of Pembroke, set sail from Dover aboard the king’s ship, The Swallow.

    They were off to Calais on a mission involving the Great Matter, Henry VIII’s quest for an annulment. But why? What would they do there? Who would they meet?

    Find out more about this trip, what happened and what happened next…

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  • 30 November – Henry VIII gets told off by Catherine of Aragon AND Anne Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th November 1529, the feast of St Andrew, Henry VIII was reproached by the two women in his life: his wife, Catherine of Aragon, and the woman he wanted to marry, Anne Boleyn.

    Catherine of Aragon was not impressed by the way her husband was treating her, and Anne Boleyn didn’t like the fact that the king was letting Catherine get the upper hand. They both told the king exactly what they thought. It was not a good day for King Henry VIII.

    Find out exactly what happened with Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn on this day in 1529, in today’s talk.

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  • 15 November – The pope threatens Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th November 1532, a rather cross Pope Clement VII threatened King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn with excommunication.

    Why? Well, because Henry VIII had defied the pope’s instructions and previous threats, and gone his own way, setting aside Catherine of Aragon and living with Anne Boleyn. The pope was not impressed with this disobedient king.

    In today’s talk,I share excerpts of the pope’s letter, along with an explanation of the context and what happened next.

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  • 14 November – Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragon get married (but not to each other!)

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th November and the Feast of St Erkenwald, there may have been two royal Tudor weddings. We know that Catherine of Aragon married Arthur, Prince of Wales, on 14th November 1501, but chronicler Edward Hall gives 14th November 1532 as the date of a secret wedding for King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Marquess of Pembroke, in Dover.

    Let me tell you all about the weddings of Catherine of Aragon and Arthur Tudor, and Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

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  • 25 January

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th January 1533, King Henry VIII married his second wife, Anne Boleyn, at Whitehall Palace. In this video, I share an excerpt from my book, On This day in History, to tell you more about this event.

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