The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • 21 April – The king is dead! Long live the king!

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st April 1509, King Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty on the English throne, died at Richmond Palace.

    Henry VII was succeeded by his seventeen-year-old son who, apparently, did “not desire gold or gems or precious metals, but virtue, glory, immortality”! Yes, this was Henry VIII.

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  • 31 March – King Henry VIII as King Ahab, Anne Boleyn as Jezebel

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st March 1532, Henry VIII was left fuming after Friar William Peto likened him to King Ahab and preached against his quest for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Friar Peto also made a prophecy that some believe was fulfilled after the king’s death in 1547.

    I explain exactly what happened on this day 1532 to make Henry VIII so furious, what Peto said and what happened next.

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  • 23 March – Who’s queen: Catherine of Aragon or Anne Boleyn?

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd March 1534, the Pope issued a bull proclaiming Catherine of Aragon to be England’s true queen and Mary the heir to the throne, while the English Parliament declared Anne Boleyn to be England’s rightful queen and her daughter, Elizabeth, the heir. Weird!

    In today’s video, I explain what was going on and what the 1534 Act of Succession stated.

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  • 10 March – Henry VIII and a nasty jousting accident

    Many people have heard of the jousting accident Henry VIII suffered in January 1536, but that wasn’t the first accident he suffered while participating in one of his favourite sports. On 10th March 1524, the king was struck on the brow while jousting, something that could have been incredibly serious and even fatal.

    What happened?

    In today’s video, I share a contemporary account of Henry VIII’s jousting accident.

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  • 7 March – The Pope threatens Henry VIII

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th March 1530, Pope Clement VII threatened King Henry VIII with excommunication if he married again. Henry, of course, wanted to set aside his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and marry his sweetheart, Anne Boleyn.

    In today’s video, I explain the background of this threat and what happened next.

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  • 2 March – The Shrovetide Joust

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video, I look at the Shrovetide joust, which took place on 2nd March 1522, and share Edward Hall’s wonderful account of the knights’ costumes and their mottoes.

    Was the theme of unrequited love aimed at anyone in particular?

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  • 16 February – The burial of King Henry VIII at St George’s Chapel, Windsor

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th February 1547, King Henry VIII was laid to rest in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. He was buried with his third wife, Queen Jane Seymour.

    In this video, I talk about his burial and what happened to the sarcophagus that he had planned to use. You can see that beautiful sarcophagus today, but it is the resting place of another famous historical person and is not at Windsor.

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  • 14 February – The dog licks up the king’s blood

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history”, I take you back to 1547 and a rather horrible event that was seen as the fulfilment of a prophecy. Friar William Peto had warned King Henry VIII that if he carried on with his behaviour then he would end up like King Ahab. Strong words!

    I then move on to a happier topic, Valentine’s Day in the Tudor period. Did the Tudors celebrate Valentine’s Day and what did they do to mark the occasion?

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  • 28 January – The birth of Henry VII and the death of Henry VIII

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video, I read an extract from my book about the birth of King Henry VII on this day in 1457 and the death of his son, King Henry VIII, on this day in 1547.

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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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  • 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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  • 12 January

    Let me tell you all about King Henry VIII’s first joust as king, which happened at Richmond Park on 12th January 1510.

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  • 6 January

    Happy Epiphany! In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video, I talk about the wedding of Anne of Cleves and Henry VIII, an event that took place on this day in 1540.

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  • 5 January

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th January 1531, the Pope got rather cross with Henry VIII. Find out why in my video.

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  • Henry VIII’s Six Wives Quiz

    This week’s Sunday quiz is on King Henry VIII’s six wives. How much do you know about these six fascinating women? Grab a snack and a drink, get yourself comfortable, and test your knowledge with this fun little quiz – good luck!

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  • King Henry VIII

    Happy birthday to the man who has the honour of being both my favourite and least favourite king! I find him fascinating but also love to hate him.

    I thought I’d celebrate the anniversary of his birth on 28th June 1491 by sharing some of the Henry VIII resources we have here for members at the Tudor Society:

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  • The Young Henry VIII Quiz

    How much do you know about the young King Henry VIII? Find out with this fun quiz. Grab your favourite beverage and snack and let’s get started! Good luck!

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  • 21 April 1509 – The king is dead! Long live the king!

    On this day in history, 21st April 1509, King Henry VIII died at Richmond Palace. He had ruled since defeating Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth on 22nd August 1485 and was aged fifty-two when he died. He was succeeded by his seventeen-year-old only surviving son, Henry, who became King Henry VIII.

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  • Catherine of Aragon’s Pregnancies Part 1: 1509 – 1511

    As this week was the anniversary of Queen Catherine of Aragon giving birth to a still-born daughter in 1510, I thought I’d look at the primary source accounts we have of Catherine’s pregnancies.

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  • Henry VIII: a tyrant? Live chat transcript

    Thank you to all those who came to the informal live chat on Henry VIII the Tyrant. We all had a wonderful time and this was an incredibly lively chat.

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  • Anne of Cleves Part 1 – September 1539 to 6 January 1540.

    As tomorrow is the anniversary of Henry VIII’s fourth marriage, his marriage to Anne of Cleves, I thought I’d start a series of Claire Chats video talks on the marriage.

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  • Informal live chat: Henry VIII, tyrant? – 13 January 2018

    This month’s informal live chat is on Saturday 13th January and the topic is Henry VIII – tyrant? Yes, we’re discussing that iconic monarch and whether or not the label “tyrant” can be used to describe him. It should be a very interesting debate and I’m looking forward to it.

    With our informal chats, we don’t have an expert to ‘grill’, we just all bundle into the chatroom and have fun debating the topic for an hour. The moderator is just there to check that it runs smoothly, and to join the debate too. Feel free to share book recommendations, to pose questions, to share your views…

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  • January 2018 – Tudor Life – Henry VIII

    Here is the full version of our 86-page January edition of Tudor Life Magazine. This month we have many articles about this fascinating king – all the way through to his final days.

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  • Happy Birthday Henry VIII!

    To celebrate the anniversary of Henry VIII’s birth on this day in history, 28th June 1491, I thought I’d give you some links to some talks, articles and resources on this iconic king. Happy 526th birthday to King Henry VIII.

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  • Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon Crossword

    As yesterday was the anniversary of the coronation of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon in 1509, we’re going to have some fun and exercise our brains with a Henry and Catherine-themed crossword – enjoy!

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  • Why did Henry VIII get so fat?

    Thank you to Ana for asking “Why did Henry VIII get so fat? Was he really obese because he ate too much? Or because he was ill?”. Here is Kyra Kramer’s answer:

    Henry was a man of large appetites, in so many ways. Until he was in his late 30s, he was an Adonis and Olympic-level athlete, and he ate to match the calorific needs of his muscular, 6’2″ body. Like many athletes, he continued to eat this way even when middle age slowed down his metabolism, meaning that while he still rode and jousted as much as ever, he was getting a bit thick in the middle. We’ve all, I believe, seen this happen to formerly strapping men. They call it the “dad jeans” phase in America; when men start wearing jeans a little bigger, a little looser, and with a little more room in the backside. They are by no means obese, but they are no longer the ab-showing gods of their youth.

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  • Did Henry VIII ever intend that Mary should be queen?

    Thank you to Lisa for asking this question. Here is an answer from Conor Byrne…

    I think until 1527 Henry VIII may have tentatively regarded his daughter Mary as his heir. Obviously, it’s impossible for us to say, but he did appoint her with a council in Wales and she had the same authority and rights that the Prince of Wales traditionally enjoyed, although she was never formally appointed Princess of Wales.

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  • 7 June 1520 – The Field of Cloth of Gold meeting begins

    On this day in history, 7th June 1520, the famous Field of Cloth of Gold meeting began.

    The meeting was between King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France and its aim was to solidify the Treaty of London. It took place between the English stronghold of Guînes and the French town of Ardres, on a piece of land referred to as the Field of Cloth of Gold, and ran from 7th June 1520 until 24th June 1520

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  • 26 May 1520 – Henry VIII and Charles V meet at Dover Castle

    On 26th May 1520, King Henry VIII met with Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, at Dover Castle on the south coast of England.

    Here is an account of this event from chronicler Edward Hall:

    “The king intending and perseveryng in purpose to mete with Frances the Frenche kyng, greate and riche provisions were made, wherfore the noble Kyng and the Quene with all the noble courte removed the twentie and one daie of May beyng on Mundaie, from their maner of Grenewyche towardes the Sea side, and so on the Fridaie beeyng the twentie and five daie of May, arrived at the citee of Canterbury, intendyng there to kepe his Pentecoste.

    Sone after whiche commyng to Cantorbury, tidynges wer brought that Charles Emperor electe, was on the sea, in sight of the coast of England, wherfore officers of the kyng were sent with great diligence to the Castle and toune of Dover to be there in a redines against the arrival of the Emperor.

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  • 11 May 1532 – Henry VIII attacks the clergy

    On this day in history, 11th May 1532, King Henry VIII sent for the Speaker and a delegation from the Commons and accused the clergy of being “scarce our subjects”, attacking their oath to the Pope.

    Here is chronicler Edward Hall’s account of this:

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