fbpx
The Tudor Society
  • Blog: fascinating discoveries and intriguing collections

    From books to exhibitions, to new discoveries and more. Every month we (Merel and Emma) will give you an update on all things new and exciting in the Tudor world. Starting with the first blog in which we look back on what has happened in November. 

    [Read More...]

  • 8 November – The death of William Blount and King Henry VIII praises one wife while trying to marry another

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th November 1534, courtier, scholar and literary patron, William Blount, 4th Baron Mountjoy, died at Sutton on the Hill in Derbyshire.

    He’d had a wonderful court career, helping organise the young Henry VIII’s education, serving as Master of the Mint and chamberlain to Queen Catherine of Aragon, and he’d been close friends with the renowned humanist scholar, Erasmus.

    He’d wanted to be relieved of his position as chamberlain to the queen, though, after she’d been put aside and he’d had to break bad news to her.

    Find out all about Lord Mountjoy, his career and life, in this talk…

    [Read More...]
  • 3 November – Henry VIII’s supremacy of the English church and the death of Sir John Perrot

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd November 1534, Parliament passed the First Act of Supremacy, establishing King Henry VIII’s supremacy of the English church and rejecting the authority of the pope.

    In today’s talk, historian Claire Ridgway shares what the act said and explains that it didn’t actually make him head of the church, just confirmed the fact, and goes on to share the oath that people had to take and what it meant if they refused.

    It was an important act in the break with Rome and the English Reformation.

    [Read More...]
  • 2 November – The birth of King Edward V and the beginning of the end for Catherine Howard

    On this day in history, 2nd November 1470, the feast of All Souls, King Edward V was born at Westminster Abbey, London. Young Edward was King of England for just 2 months in 1483 before he disappeared.

    The events of his short life, his short reign and how it ended, are linked to the Tudors because Henry Tudor returned from exile to challenge King Richard III, who had, of course, taken the throne from Edward V.

    Find out about Edward V’s life and how he came to be one of the famous Princes in the Tower, in this talk…

    [Read More...]
  • 29 October – Henry VIII’s farewell to Francis I of France and the execution of Sir Walter Ralegh

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th October 1532, King Henry VIII bid farewell to his “loving brother”, his French counterpart, King Francis I.

    The two kings had enjoyed each other’s company at Calais and Boulogne, and Henry VIII was pleased with their meetings. In fact, things had gone so well that Henry VIII decided to marry Anne Boleyn!

    Find out more about their farewell, and what had happened during the trip, in this talk…

    [Read More...]
  • 28 October – Ivan the Terrible writes a rude letter to Elizabeth I and the Feast of St Simon and St Jude

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th October 1570, Ivan IV of Russia, known commonly as Ivan the Terrible, wrote a rather rude letter to Queen Elizabeth I.

    Ivan was upset with Elizabeth’s reaction to his idea of a political alliance, an agreement to help each other if their lives were in danger, and wrote the letter while he was still angry. They were words that must have made Elizabeth see red for a while, but she managed to write a calm reply to him.

    Find out exactly what Ivan the Terrible and Elizabeth I wrote to each other, and how they came to be corresponding in the first place, in this talk…

    [Read More...]
  • 27 October – The birth of Mary Herbert and the dramatic entrance of Anne Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th October 1561, Mary Herbert (née Sidney), Countess of Pembroke, writer and literary patron, was born at Tickenhall, near Bewdley in Worcestershire. She was the sister of the poets Sir Philip Sidney and Robert Sidney, Earl of Leicester, was a writer herself and an extremely talented lady, and she also lived life to the full.

    After her husband died, she had fun shooting pistols, flirting, taking tobacco and dancing. A fun lady!

    Find out more about this gifted Tudor woman, who was as beautiful as she was talented, and whose work was praised, and used, by men such as Shakespeare.

    [Read More...]
  • 25 October – Twin saints and Francis I’s gift to Anne Boleyn

    Today, 25th October, is a feast day which was celebrated in medieval and Tudor times – the feast of Saints Crispin and Crispinian, martyrs of the Early Church and the patron saints of cobblers.

    Find out more about these saints, how their feast day became linked to an important English victory over the French, how it was marked, and why these saints are linked to Faversham in Kent, in this talk…

    [Read More...]
  • 22 October – Examination of accusations against Henry VIII and the death of Baron Morley

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd October 1537, an examination, or rather interrogation, was carried out regarding an accusation of treasonous words spoken against King Henry VIII.

    Further investigations into the matter found that there was no evidence that these words were spoken, and that someone was trying to get another person into trouble.

    What was going on? In a time when the punishment for high treason was death, this was very serious.

    [Read More...]
  • 21 October – Lancaster Herald’s encounter with rebels and Henry VIII’s time at the French court

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st October 1536, during the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion, Lancaster Herald had an encounter with armed peasants on his way to Pontefract Castle and then met with the rebel leader, Robert Aske, at the castle.

    The meeting didn’t go well, with Aske putting his foot down and not allowing the herald to complete his mission.

    What was going on? Who was Lancaster Herald? What was his mission?

    [Read More...]
  • 16 October – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s French trip and the Oxford Martyrs

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th October 1532, while Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Marquess of Pembroke, were on their visit to Calais, English nobles met French nobles to arrange a meeting between the King of England and his French counterpart, King Francis I.

    In this video, I give details on this event, who was there, what happened, and why Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn had gone to Calais…

    [Read More...]
  • 7 October – A poet hired to woo Elizabeth I and there’s bad news for Henry VIII

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th October 1529, Pope Clement VII wrote to King Henry VIII regarding his quest for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

    It wasn’t good news. Catherine of Aragon had won this battle, with the pope deciding that the marriage was valid, but she hadn’t won the war. Henry VIII did get the marriage annulled in the end, but the pope didn’t do it.

    But what was going on? Why wouldn’t the pope help? What was Henry VIII’s argument for an annulment and on what grounds did Catherine appeal?

    Find out more…

    [Read More...]
  • 30 September – A victorious Henry VIII and a procession for Mary I

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th September 1544, fifty-three-year-old King Henry VIII returned to England after his third invasion of France and the French surrender of Boulogne to him and his troops.

    Hear a contemporary account of what happened during the siege of Boulogne and how and why the French surrendered to Henry VIII…

    [Read More...]
  • 16 September – A theologian dies after third bout of sweating sickness and Henry VIII and Catherine Howard enter York

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th September 1519, scholar, humanist, theologian, Dean of St Paul’s and founder of St Paul’s School, John Colet died after suffering three attacks of sweating sickness between 1517 and 1519. Humanists such as Erasmus were influenced by Colet’s work.

    In this video, I share an overview of this influential scholar’s life, including the fact that he was one of 20-22 children and that he used his wealth to refound a school…

    [Read More...]
  • 4 September – Another marriage is arranged for Henry VIII and the death of Robert Dudley

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th September 1539, William, Duke of Cleves, signed the marriage treaty promising his sister, Anne of Cleves, in marriage to King Henry VIII.

    Anne would of course become Henry VIII’s fourth wife.

    Find out all about the marriage agreement and its terms, and what happened next…

    [Read More...]
  • 30 June – Henry VIII and Catherine Howard set off on Progress

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th June 1541, Henry VIII and his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, set off on their progress to the north of England.

    Why did Henry VIII choose to go to the North?

    Find out in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

    [Read More...]
  • Events of Henry VIII’s Reign Quiz

    As it’s the anniversary of the birth of Henry VIII tomorrow, 28th June, I thought I’d test your knowledge of some of the events of his reign, which lasted from April 1509 to January 1547.

    How much do you know about the events of King Henry VIII’s reign?

    Test yourself with this fun quiz.

    [Read More...]
  • 25 June – Catherine of Aragon and Prince Henry are betrothed

    On 25th June 1503, the widowed Catherine of Aragon got betrothed to Prince Henry, second son of King Henry VII.

    Find out more about this, the plans for their marriage, and what happened, in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

    [Read More...]
  • 21 June – Henry VIII travels to the Tower

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st June 1509, King Henry VIII travelled from Greenwich to the Tower of London. Why was England’s new king going to the Tower of London?

    Find out in this #TudorHistoryShorts video…

    [Read More...]
  • The marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon Part 1 – talk by Claire Ridgway

    Here is the video of the Facebook Live talk I did for Tudor Society members in the private members-only group.

    In it, I look at the marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, from its very beginnings, with their betrothal in Henry VII’s reign, to 1527, when Henry applied for a dispensation to marry Anne Boleyn.

    [Read More...]
  • 21 Interesting Facts about Henry VIII

    My latest "Facts about..." video is on King Henry VIII, so I thought I'd share it here.

    Henry VIII is known for having six wives, and executing two of them, and for the break with Rome, as well as being the father of three Tudor monarchs: Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. However, there are lots more interesting facts about Henry VIII.

    [Read More...]

  • 20 April – An oath to swear

    n this day in Tudor history, on 20th April 1534, in the reign of King Henry VIII, prominent Londoners were called to swear a special oath.

    Just what was the Oath of the Act of Succession? What were people swearing to?

    Find out in this latest #TudorHistoryShorts video…

    [Read More...]
  • Henry VIII Quiz

    As April is the anniversary of Henry VIII’s accession in 1509, following the death of his father, Henry VII, I thought I’d test your knowledge of Henry VIII with a quiz.

    How much do you know about this iconic Tudor king?

    Get those little grey cells working with this fun quiz.

    [Read More...]
  • These Tudors Are Your Favourites

    A couple of weeks ago we asked our Instagram followers to vote on their favourite Tudor Monarch and wife of Henry VIII. We combined the votes with the most searched questions on Google and the country in which they are most popular. Here are the results!

    [Read More...]

  • Valentine’s Day in Tudor times

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    The 14th of February is the day on which we celebrate love. But what is the history of this feast? 

    [Read More...]

  • Off with her head – A History Channel Podcast including an interview with Claire

    Just before Christmas I recorded an interview with the History Channel podcast team, which was fun to do as it’s always lovely to talk about Tudor history, and especially Anne Boleyn.

    If you’re in an English speaking country, you should be able to find the podcast on your usual podcast platform. Here’s the blurb and a few links for you:

    [Read More...]
  • 8 October – Henry VIII forces Princess Mary to write letters

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th October 1536, while the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion was getting underway in Lincolnshire and spreading to Yorkshire, Henry VIII wasn’t only issuing orders regarding the rebels, he was also issuing orders regarding his eldest daughter.

    Henry and Mary had recently reconciled after Mary had finally submitted to him and recognised his supremacy and her illegitimate status. It was something that cost Mary dearly, but it did mend her relationship with her father and allow her back at court.

    But then Henry VIII put more pressure on his daughter by forcing her to write to the pope and to Mary of Hungary, the emperor’s sister.

    What did Mary have to write? What did the king want of his daughter? And why had Mary submitted to her father?

    Find out all about this in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
  • 30 September – A victorious Henry VIII returns to England

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th September 1544, fifty-three-year-old King Henry VIII returned to England after his third invasion of France and the French surrender of Boulogne to him and his troops.

    Hear a contemporary account of what happened during the siege of Boulogne and how and why the French surrendered to Henry VIII, in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
  • 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.

    [Read More...]
  • 3 June – The Royal Supremacy

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd June 1535, Thomas Cromwell, King Henry VIII’s vicar-general, issued orders regarding the royal supremacy to the bishops of the kingdom.

    But what was the royal supremacy and what were the clergy expected to do?

    Find out all about the royal supremacy, the orders sent and how bishops reacted, in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
Cart
  • No products in the cart.