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The Tudor Society
  • #OTD in Tudor History – 28 January

    Portraits of an older Henry VIII and a younger Henry VII

    On this day in Tudor history, we have the birth of King Henry VII, the death of King Henry VIII, and the death of John Dynham, 1st Baron Dynham, Lord High Treasurer of England and Lord Chancellor of Ireland…

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  • #OTD in Tudor History – 3 January

    Holbein's portrait of Anne of Cleves

    What happened on this day in Tudor history? Let me share with you some events from 3rd January during the reigns of the Tudor monarchs…

    1521 – Pope Leo X issued the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem excommunicating reformer, German priest and professor of theology Martin Luther from the Catholic Church. See below.
    1540 – Official reception of Anne of Cleves at Greenwich Palace. See below.
    1541 – Anne of Cleves visited Hampton Court Palace to greet her former husband, Henry VIII, and his new wife, Catherine Howard, and to exchange New Year’s gifts.

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  • October 11 – Henry VIII becomes Defender of the Faith

    A portrait of Henry VIII by an unknown artist, c. 1520.

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th October 1521, Pope Leo X conferred on King Henry VIII the title of Fidei Defensor, “Defender of the Faith”.

    This was a reward for Henry VIII writing his pamphlet Assertio septem sacramentorum adversus Martinum Lutherum, “Declaration of the Seven Sacraments Against Martin Luther”, which was dedicated to the Pope. The pamphlet defended the Catholic Church against Reformer Martin Luther’s work, “De captivitate Babylonica”, “On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church”, which had been published in 1520.

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  • October 31 – Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st October 1517, Martin Luther is said to have posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, although all we know for definite is that the Reformer, priest and professor of theology posted them to Bishop of Brandenburg and the Archbishop of Mainz.

    The full title of Luther’s work is the “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences”, and in it, Luther was protesting against the sale of indulgences by the papacy, as well as other points.

    Luther’s actions on 31st October 1517 had far-reaching consequences and were the catalyst of the European Reformation.

    Find out more about Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and what happened next…

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  • 31 October – The death of Thomas Howard and Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st October 1537, Lord Thomas Howard, second son of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, died while imprisoned in the Tower of London. He was about twenty-five years of age at his death.

    How did this son of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk and brother of the 3rd Duke of Norfolk end up dying in the Tower?

    Well, he fell in love with the wrong woman? He had become secretly betrothed to King Henry VIII’s niece, Lady Margaret Douglas.

    Find out more about Lord Thomas Howard, his relationship with Lady Margaret Douglas, and what happened to them both, in this talk… Oh, and Margaret really didn’t learn her lesson!

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  • 6 September – Martin Luther and Timothy Bright

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th September 1520, the famous reformer Martin Luther sent his pamphlet “On the Freedom of a Christian” (also known as “A Treatise on Christian Liberty”) to Pope Leo X. In the pamphlet, he emphasised the “two-fold nature” of Christians as saints and sinners, flesh and spirit.

    Luther is, of course, seen as the catalyst of the European Reformation, and in this video, I explain why, what he believed, how he ended up being excommunicated and made an outlaw, and what happened to him.

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  • 6 September – Martin Luther writes to the Pope

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th September 1520, the famous reformer Martin Luther sent his pamphlet “On the Freedom of a Christian” (also known as “A Treatise on Christian Liberty”) to Pope Leo X. In the pamphlet, he emphasised the “two-fold nature” of Christians as saints and sinners, flesh and spirit.

    Luther is, of course, seen as the catalyst of the European Reformation, and in today’s talk, I explain why, what he believed, how he ended up being excommunicated and made an outlaw, and what happened to him.

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  • 3 January – Martin Luther is excommunicated

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd January 1521, Pope Leo X excommunicated Reformer, German priest and professor of theology Martin Luther from the Catholic Church.

    In today’s talk, I explain what led to Luther’s excommunication, what happened when Luther was called to the Diet of Worms, and what happened next to this famous Reformer.

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  • 31 October – Martin Luther and his 95 Theses

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st October 1517, Reformer, priest and professor of theology Martin Luther is said to have posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, although all we know for definite is that he posted them to Bishop of Brandenburg and the Archbishop of Mainz.

    The proper title of his work was the “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences”, and he was protesting against the sale of indulgences by the papacy, as well as other points. His actions on this day had a huge impact on Europe and were the catalyst of the European Reformation.

    Find out more about Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and what happened next in today’s video.

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  • 12 May – Martin Luther’s books are burned in London

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th May 1521, reformer Martin Luther was proclaimed a heretic by Bishop John Fisher and Cardinal Thomas Wolsey at St Paul’s in London, and his works were burned.

    Hear a contemporary account of what happened on this day in 1521 in today’s video:

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  • Reformation 500 – The 500th anniversary of the Reformation

    Today, 31st October 2017, is the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. German Reformer Philipp Melancthon recorded that “Luther, burning with passion and just devoutness, posted the Ninety-Five Theses at the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany at All Saints Eve, October 31”, and Luther sent a copy of The Ninety-Five Theses (proper title: Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences) to Albert, Archbishop of Mainz, and the Bishop of Brandenburg along with a letter protesting against the sale of indulgences.

    Martin Luther’s 95 Theses had a major impact. The resulting controversy over Luther’s letter and his Theses is seen as the beginning of the Reformation, the schism from the Catholic Church and the start of Protestantism.

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  • Henry VIII – Defender of the Faith

    On 11th October 1521, Pope Leo X conferred upon King Henry VIII the title of Fidei Defensor, “Defender of the Faith”.

    Letters and Papers contains a record of “Wolsey’s speech on presenting the bull for the title of Defender of the Faith”:

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  • Martin Luther by Sarah Bryson

    On 3rd January 1521, Pope Leo X issued the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem which excommunicated Martin Luther from the Catholic Church. Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and most famously a reformer. His life and his beliefs changed the face of religion throughout Europe and saw many people break with the Catholic Church in the 16th century.

    Martin Luther was born on 10th November 1483 in Eisleben, Saxony (part of the Holy Roman Empire at the time), to Hans and Margarethe Luther. The following year Hans moved his family to Mansfeld where he owned a series of mines and smelters. At the age of seven, Luther started at Mansfeld School. At the age of fourteen, Luther went to Magdeburg before returning to Eisleben to complete his studies in grammar, rhetoric and logic. It is reported that Luther hated his time studying at Eisleben. At the age of nineteen Luther attended the University of Erfurt where he received his master’s degree in 1505.

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  • Martin Luther’s Influence on the German Language by Heather R. Darsie

    Today is the anniversary of Martin Luther’s birth in 1483, so regular contributor Heather R. Darsie joins us today with an article on this fascinating man and his influence on the German language.

    “When you go to bed in the evening, take something from the Holy Scripture with you to bed, in order to consider it in your heart and – the same as an animal – ruminate over it and gently fall asleep. It should not be much, but rather a little, but a good thing to go through and understand. And when you get up in the morning, you will find your profits from the previous day.”

    These were Luther’s feelings about the meaning of the Bible, and perhaps also a glimpse into his feelings about a person’s relationship with God.

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