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The Tudor Society
  • #OTD in Tudor history – 18 January

    Portraits of Elizabeth if York and Henry VII

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th January, King Henry VII married Elizabeth of York, uniting the Houses of Lancaster and York, Henry VIII dressed up as an outlaw to surprise his wife, and a man who was a composer, musician and spy was born…

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  • #OTD in Tudor history – 8 January

    A painting of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn wearing yellow, along with a miniature of Catherine of Aragon

    What happened on this day in history, 8th January, in Tudor times?

    Let me share with you some of the events that took place on this day in the reigns of the Tudor kings and queens…

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  • Catherine of Aragon – The Case for Non-consummation by Amanda Glover

    Portraits of Catherine of Aragon and Arthur Tudor

    Portraits of Catherine of Aragon and Arthur TudorThank you to Amanda Glover for writing this guest article for us on the question of whether Catherine of Aragon's marriage to Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales, was consummated.

    The story

    More than 500 years ago two teenagers married. Only four and a half months later the boy sadly died. Since then, historians have hotly debated whether the marriage was ever consummated.

    The girl was called Catalina, known in England as Catherine of Aragon, and the boy was Arthur, Prince of Wales, heir to the fledgling dynasty of the Tudors.

    But why was the question of the consummation so important?

    When Arthur died so tragically young, his ten-year-old brother, Henry became the heir to his father’s crown. In 1509, eight years after Arthur’s demise, the 17-year-old Henry ascended the throne as Henry VIII on the death of his father, Henry VII. One of his first acts was to marry Catherine, having obtained Papal dispensation, a necessity in the eyes of the Church because of Catherine’s first marriage to Arthur, which made the new couple “related”.

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  • Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon Quiz

    I thought we’d celebrate Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s wedding anniversary, which was yesterday, by testing your knowledge of them and their marriage.

    Get those little grey cells working with this fun quiz and do feel free to share your score.

    Good luck!

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  • June 11 – St Barnabas Day, Sir Anthony Cooke, and Henry VIII gets married to Catherine of Aragon

    Today, 11th June, is the Feast of St Barnabas, a feast day that was celebrated by the Tudors by decorating churches with garlands of flowers.

    Find out more about St Barnabas and how he was commemorated in medieval and Tudor times…

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  • 22 February – Marie de Guise, who avoided marrying Henry VIII, and Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII lose their baby boy

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd February 1540, twenty-four-year-old Marie de Guise, or Mary of Guise, queen consort of King James V of Scotland, was crowned queen at Holyrood Abbey.

    Did you know that Henry VIII was keen on making Marie de Guise his fourth wife? She declined, saying that her neck was small! Instead, she married James V.

    Marie was, of course, the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, and you can find out more about her 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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  • Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon Crossword Puzzle

    As June is the anniversary month of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon's marriage and coronation, I thought we'd mark the occasion by testing your knowledge of this Tudor couple.

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  • 25 June – Prince Henry (Henry VIII) gets betrothed

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th June 1503, the nearly twelve-year-old Henry, Prince of Wales, eldest surviving son of King Henry VII, got betrothed to seventeen-year-old Catherine of Aragon at the Bishop of Salisbury’s palace in Fleet Street, London.

    But why did it take them until 1509 to get married? What happened?

    Find out about their betrothal and their subsequent break-up in today’s talk.

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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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  • 8 November – King Henry VIII praises one wife while trying to marry another!

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th November 1528, at Bridewell Palace, King Henry VIII made a rather strange public oration to “the nobility, judges and councillors and divers other persons” to explain his troubled conscience regarding the lawfulness of his marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

    In today’s talk, I share an extract from the king’s speech, in which he praises Catherine of Aragon to the hilt even though he’d proposed to another woman, Anne Boleyn. Find out all about this strange situation!

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  • 27 June – Prince Henry breaks up with Catherine of Aragon

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th June 1505, thirteen-year-old Henry, Prince of Wales, only surviving son of King Henry VII, broke up with nineteen-year-old Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, by repudiating their two-year betrothal.

    It was the eve of their wedding, so why would Henry do this to Catherine?

    Let me explain exactly what happened on this day in 1505 and how the couple ended up getting married four years later.

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  • 23 June – Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s coronation procession

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd June 1509, the new King and Queen of England processed through the streets of London dressed in their finery.

    This procession was their coronation procession and it was a lavish spectacles. In today’s video, I share contemporary descriptions of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s appearance and outfits, the procession and the streets of London. It must have been wonderful to see!

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  • 23 May – Henry VIII’s first marriage is annulled

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd May 1533, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, declared the sentence of the special court that had met at Dunstable Priory in Bedfordshire.

    The Dunstable Priory court had convened to hear the case for the annulment of King Henry VIII’s marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Predictably, the court declared the marriage to be contrary to God’s laws and the archbishop was able to inform the king of the sentence of “divorce”.

    Find out more in today’s video.

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  • 18 January

    Today’s “on this day in Tudor history” is a happy episode from early in Henry VIII’s reign, when he was happy in his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

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  • Happy times for Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon

    With Henry VIII’s Great Matter, his six-year quest for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and his harsh treatment of her in the 1530s, we tend to forget that Henry was once besotted with Catherine. He had chosen to marry her in 1509, he wasn’t forced into it by diplomatic negotiations, and they were happy for over fifteen years.

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  • 18 January 1510 – Henry VIII dresses up

    On 18th January 1510, Henry VIII and twelve of his men disguised themselves as outlaws, or Robin Hood and his merry men, and surprised Queen Catherine and her ladies. Chronicler Edward Hall records this event:

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  • Video – The Annulment of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s Marriage

    A video on Henry VIII’s Great Matter and Catherine of Aragon’s opposition.

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