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The Tudor Society
  • 3 November – Sir John Perrot, Henry VIII’s illegitimate son?

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd November 1592, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, privy councillor and former Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir John Perrot, died at the Tower of London. He’d been imprisoned there since March 1591.

    Perrot is a fascinating Tudor man who survived being a Protestant and protecting ‘heretics’ in Mary I’s reign, and who was saved six times from serious punishment by Queen Elizabeth I’s intercession. Some people believe that this favour, and a few other factors, point to him being King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son.

    Find out more about Sir John Perrot, his life and the arguments for and against him being Henry VIII’s son in today’s talk.

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  • 22 July – The death of Henry Fitzroy, Henry VIII’s illegitimate son

    1536 was an eventful year for Henry VIII! Just over two months after the fall of his second wife, Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s only son, his illegitimate son by Elizabeth Blount, died on 22nd July 1536 at St James’s Palace. It was a huge blow for the king.

    In today’s “on this day” talk, I give details of Fitzroy’s illness, death and burial, and also just how much of a favourite he was with his father.

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  • Bessie Blount and Henry Fitzroy

    In this week’s video, author Sarah Bryson talks about Henry VIII’s mistress, Elizabeth (Bessie) Blount and the son she had by the king, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset.

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  • Richard Edwards – Henry VIII’s illegitimate son?

    In today’s Claire Chats I look at Richard Edwards: who he was and how he has become linked to Henry VIII.

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  • Was Thomas Stukeley Henry VIII’s son?

    In today’s Claire Chats, I look at the life of Thomas Stukeley (Stucley), the claim that he was an illegitimate son of Henry VIII and what evidence there is to back up that claim.

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  • Henry Fitzroy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset

    Henry Fitzroy was the illegitimate child of Henry VIII, the second Tudor monarch, with his mistress Elizabeth Blount. In 1512, when Henry VIII was approximately twenty-one years of age a beautiful young woman came to court. Her name was Elizabeth “Bessie” Blount and at that time she had no idea the future that lay ahead of her. While the Blounts were not members of nobility, they were members of the gentry who through opportunity, connections and talent had earned a place at court. It is believed that it was William Blount, Lord Mountjoy, Queen Katherine of Aragon’s chamberlain, who acquired a place at court for Elizabeth Blount. Sometime between 1513 – 1514, Bessie became a maid of honour to the Queen. As a maid of honour, Bessie would have had to have been beautiful and well-mannered, with all the accomplishments suitable for a young lady of the time. She’d need to be able to play a musical instrument, to sing and dance, to sew and embroider, to know her place and, most importantly, be devout to the Catholic faith. It is reported that Bessie was a very talented singer and dancer, and it may have been these talents which attracted the young Henry VIII.

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