The Tudor Society
  • 19 June – Mary, Queen of Scots gives birth to a son called Charles

    On this day in Tudor history, on 19th June 1566, in Scotland, Mary, Queen of Scots gave birth to a baby boy who would grow up to be King James VI of Scotland and King James I of England. He was baptised Charles James though.

    Find out more…

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  • A new king’s journey, an earl who kept his head, injury kills a king, and a viscountess’s “Little Rome”

    In part 1 of This Week in Tudor History for the week beginning 5th April, I will be talking about King James VI of Scotland’s journey from Edinburgh to London, following his accession to the throne of England as James I; the life and career of Henry Stafford, Earl of Wiltshire, who managed to avoid the awful fates of his father and brother despite his Plantagenet blood; the death of King Charles VIII of France after hitting his head on a lintel, and the accession of King Louis XII, and finally Magdalen Browne, Viscountess Montagu, patron of Catholics and a woman whose properties were Catholic safe houses in Elizabeth I’s reign.

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  • 20 August – A proxy wedding for King James VI in Denmark

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th August 1589, twenty-three-year-old King James VI of Scotland married fourteen-year-old Anne of Denmark by proxy at Kronborg Castle, Helsingør, Denmark.

    James had chosen Anne of Denmark as his bride after praying and meditating over portraits of her and Catherine of Navarre, and Anne was very excited about marrying him. Unfortunately, married bliss didn’t last long.

    Find out more about the proxy wedding, Anne’s eventful voyage, their real wedding and their married life, in today’s talk.

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  • 5 August – Two brothers killed in suspicious circumstances

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th August 1600, John Ruthven, 3rd Earl of Gowrie, and his brother, Alexander Ruthven, Master of Ruthven, were killed in mysterious circumstances at Gowrie House near Perth in Scotland.

    Why am I talking about a Scottish event? Well, because the brothers were killed as they allegedly tried to kidnap, King James VI of Scotland, who, in 1603, inherited the English throne from Queen Elizabeth I.

    But what happened? Did these men really try to kidnap the king or was there more to the story?

    Find out in today’s talk.

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  • 24 July – Mary, Queen of Scots abdicates

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th July 1567, twenty-four-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, who was imprisoned at Lochleven Castle, and who was recovering after miscarrying twins, was threatened with violence and forced to abdicate. Her young son, James, became King James VI of Scotland in her place.

    I share a contemporary account from Mary’s private secretary regarding what happened that day and how Mary was forced to abdicate.

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  • July 2018 – Tudor Life – James VI & I

    In this month’s Tudor Life magazine we are focussing on James VI of Scotland who became the first king of Britain, James I. It’s an interesting view of the man who took over from Elizabeth I.

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  • James I and VI: Tudor King by Heather R. Darsie

    19th June 2016 marks the 450th birthday of King James I and VI of England and Scotland. Unification between the two countries, though at times strained, was brought about by James ascending the throne of England in 1603. The unification was the result of one hundred years of Tudor politics.

    Back in 1503, Henry VII arranged for his eldest daughter, Margaret Tudor, to marry James IV of Scotland. Margaret during the course of the marriage gave birth to the future James V in 1512. Fighting between Scotland and England resumed. In 1523, Henry VIII attempted to unite the thrones of Scotland and England by offering his daughter, Princess Mary, as a bride for James V. This proposal was rejected. Moving forward several years, James V married the French Mary of Guise in 1538. Henry VIII had lost his third wife in October 1537 and was seeking a new bride. James V beat his uncle, Henry VIII, who was also trying to marry Mary of Guise. In 1541, James V’s mother and Henry VIII’s sister, Margaret Tudor, passed away; this effectively ended the nearly thirty-year truce between Scotland and England. A war broke out, which saw the death of James V due to illness and depression of the current state of war in December 1542.

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