The Tudor Society
  • Mary Howard’s Lucky Escape: A Tudor Tale of Fortunate Refusal

    Thumbnail for my video showing a photo of me with portraits of Thomas Seymour and Mary Howard

    Following the death of her husband, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset, Mary Howard’s father, Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, put forward the idea that his daughter should marry the up and coming Thomas Seymour, but Mary wasn’t keen. In hindsight she had a rather lucky escape.

    Let me tell you more…

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  • 26 November – The first men executed under Elizabeth I’s new law and the marriage of Henry Fitzroy

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th November 1585, Catholic priest Hugh Taylor and his friend Marmaduke Bowes were hanged at York.

    They were the first men executed under Elizabeth I’s 1585 statute which made it treason to be a Jesuit or seminary priest in England or to harbour such a priest.

    These two Catholics were beatified in 1987 by Pope John Paul II as two of the 85 Martyrs of England, Scotland and Wales.

    Find out more about these men and what this 1585 legislation was all about in this talk…

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  • 26 November – Henry Fitzroy gets married

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th November 1533, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset, illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, married Mary Howard, daughter of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, at Hampton Court Palace. They were both fourteen years old.

    It appears that the marriage, which was a political match rather than a love match, was the idea of Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn.

    Find out more about Henry Fitzroy and Mary Howard’s marriage and its context in today’s talk.

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  • Mary Howard Quiz

    This week’s Sunday fun is a quiz on a Tudor lady: Mary Howard, cousin of Queens Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard. Enjoy getting those little grey cells working with these ten questions – good luck!

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  • Mary Howard, Duchess of Richmond and Somerset

    Born in 1519, Mary Howard was the daughter of Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk. Her mother, Elizabeth, was the daughter of the disgraced Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. Mary was highly educated, and spent the majority of her childhood at the family residences in Norfolk. As she entered her teenage years, Mary participated in ceremonies at court, including that of her kinswoman Anne Boleyn’s elevation to the marquisate of Pembroke in September 1532. It is likely that Mary also attended Anne’s coronation the following summer, and she carried the chrism at Princess Elizabeth’s christening in September. She seems to have shared the queen’s reformist sympathies and was rebuked by her brother for her love of reading the scriptures.

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