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The Tudor Society
  • Three Tudor Queens: Katherine Parr, Mary I and Mary, Queen of Scots

    Linda Porter is one of my favourite Tudor historians so for our Friday video this week I thought I’d share this talk she did for us back in 2014.

    In “Three Tudor Queens”, Linda explores the lives of Katherine Parr, Mary I and Mary, Queen of Scots.

    [Read More...]
  • April 8 – A priest cat and the Second Martin

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th April 1554, in the reign of Queen Mary I, there was an act of rebellion and religious defiance in London.

    Someone who didn’t like Mary’s religious changes hanged a cat on the gallows at Cheapside. The cat was dressed as a Catholic priest and was holding a piece of paper to represent that communion wafer.

    Find out more about what happened, the meaning behind it, and Mary’s reaction to it…

    [Read More...]
  • March 30 – Thomas Cranmer and his protestation, and A “pregnant” Mary I makes her will

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th March 1533, at the Passion Sunday service, Thomas Cranmer, Archdeacon of Taunton, was consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury.

    His consecration was not like those of others before him, however, because as well as making the usual oath promising to be faithful to the papacy and to denounce heretics, he also made a protestation to show that his oath would not conflict with his loyalty to King Henry VIII and his commitment to reforming the church. Hmmmm…. complicated.

    Find out more in this talk…

    [Read More...]
  • March 15 – Henry VIII uses foul language and The Lady Mary causes a stir in London

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th March 1532, King Henry VIII used what was described as “foul language” to William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury.

    Henry VIII also threatened the poor man, and it is amazing that Warham kept his head as the king was furious.

    What happened? Find out what Warham did to upset the king in this talk…

    [Read More...]
  • March 6 – The Dissolution of the Monasteries, and Juan Luis Vives and the young Mary I

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th March 1536, King Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries began when the “Act for the Suppression (or Dissolution) of the Lesser Monasteries” was introduced into the Reformation Parliament.

    The Dissolution of the Monasteries had a major impact on England and her people, but was of great benefit to the king, his nobles and the gentry.

    Find out what happened, why and its impact in this talk…

    [Read More...]
  • 26 January – Justice Spelman and Anne Boleyn’s trial, and Mary I writes to Elizabeth

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th January 1546, judge of assize and law reporter, Sir John Spelman, died.

    Now, you may never have heard of Justice John Spelman, but his reports on the legal cases of people like Queen Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas More, Bishop John Fisher and Cardinal Thomas Wolsey have been very useful to historians – a wonderful resource.

    Find out more about Sir John Spelman and what he had to say about Anne Boleyn’s trial in this video…

    [Read More...]
  • Johanna Strong – Mary I – Live Chat Transcript

    We had a wonderful time last Friday at the live Q&A session with historian Johanna Strong. Mary I is such a fascinating historical personality, and one that really divides opinions. A big thank you to Johanna for answering all of our questions.

    [Read More...]
  • Mary I Places Crossword Puzzle

    As the topic of our expert talk this month is Queen Mary I, I thought I’d test your knowledge of Mary I places with a fun crossword puzzle.

    Good luck!

    Simply click on the link or image below to open and print out.

    [Read More...]
  • Remembering Mary I – Johanna Strong – Expert Talk

    This month’s expert is Johanna Strong who is talking about England’s first crowned queen, Mary I.

    [Read More...]
  • 13 October – An intriguing letter from Mary I and the fall of Edward Seymour

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th October 1553, Queen Mary I wrote a very interesting letter to the imperial ambassador, Simon Renard. In it, she asked the ambassador to meet with her secretly, and she’d encouraged him previously to come to her secretly and in disguise.

    Why? What was going on? And why did Mary seem to trust the emperor and his ambassadors more than her own council?

    Find out more about the situation…

    [Read More...]
  • 8 October – Henry VIII puts pressure on his daughter and the birth of Lady Margaret Douglas

    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…

    [Read More...]
  • 5 October – Edward Seymour unravels and two-year-old Princess Mary becomes betrothed

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th October 1549, Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector, ordered a gathering of men at Hampton Court Palace, where he was lodged with the young King Edward VI, due to tensions mounting between Somerset and John Dudley, Earl of Warwick.

    What was going on and what happened when 4,000 peasants turned up? How did John Dudley react and what did King Edward VI have to say about it all?

    Find out what happened, and how this led to Somerset’s undoing…

    [Read More...]
  • 28 September – Robert Devereux sees Elizabeth I without her mask of youth and Mary I travels to the Tower

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th September 1599, Elizabeth I’s favourite, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, strode into the queen’s bedchamber unannounced and saw her without her makeup or wig, without her “mask of youth”.

    Why would he do such a thing?

    Find out why Devereux was troubled and wanted to see the queen urgently and how Elizabeth I reacted to his visit, and what happened next…

    [Read More...]
  • 26 August – A devastated Mary I and Anne Boleyn prepares to give birth

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th August 1555, Queen Mary I and her husband, Philip of Spain, departed from Whitehall in preparation for Philip’s return to the Low Countries.

    This was an awful time for Mary I. She had just come out of confinement after months of believing she was pregnant, and now her husband was leaving her. He’d be gone for over 18 months.

    Find out more about Mary’s state of health and mind, the arrangements for Philip’s departure, and Mary’s reaction…

    [Read More...]
  • 19 August – A defiant Mary I and the return of Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th August 1551, Princess Mary, the future Mary I, wrote to her half-brother King Edward VI regarding orders that he had sent, orders that she was not going to obey.

    As historian Henry Ellis noted, this letter is evidence of Mary’s talent at writing and her intellect, and it also shows just how stubborn she could be. But then Edward was stubborn too! He wasn’t going to let his sister defy him but she wasn’t going to obey him and compromise her faith – oh dear!

    Find out more about the situation, and hear Mary’s words to Edward…

    [Read More...]
  • 20 July – Philip of Spain prepares to marry Mary I

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th July 1554, Philip of Spain, son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, arrived in England to prepare for his marriage to Queen Mary I.

    Find out more in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

    [Read More...]
  • 21 Interesting Facts about Mary I

    Mary I was the daughter of King Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and she was Queen of England from July 1553 to November 1558, but how much do you know about her?

    In this latest edition of my “facts about…” series, I share 21 interesting facts about Mary I.

    [Read More...]
  • 12 July – True soldiers of Jesus Christ get burnt

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th July 1555, in the reign of Queen Mary I, men who were described as "true soldiers of Jesus Christ", were burnt at the stake at Canterbury.

    Find out about John Bland, John Frankesh, Nicholas Sheterden and Humphrey Middleton, and their fates, in this edition of TudorHistoryShorts... [Read More...]

  • The Places and People of July 1553

    July 1553 was the month of three monarchs: King Edward VI, Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey) and Mary I. It was a rather eventful month.

    But how much do you know about the places and people involved in this succession crisis? [Read More...]

  • 7 July – Mary hears news of Edward VI’s death

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th July 1553, in the short reign of Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey), Mary, eldest daughter of King Henry VIII, received news of her half-brother King Edward VI’s death.

    Where was Mary when she received the news? What was she doing and what happened next?

    Find out in this latest edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

    [Read More...]
  • 3 July – Mary I bids farewell to Philip for the final time

    On 3rd July 1557, Queen Mary I said goodbye to her husband, King Philip II of Spain, for the final time, although she didn’t know it at the time.

    Find out more about why he had returned in the first place and what happened next in this latest edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

    [Read More...]
  • 8 June – Mary is very wrong

    Henry VIII's eldest daughter, Mary, was convinced that her woes were all down to her stepmother, Anne Boleyn, and so there was hope for Mary after Anne Boleyn's execution in 1536.

    [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...]

  • This week in Tudor History – 18-24 January – Part 1

    Part 1 of “This week in Tudor History” covers Tudor history events from 18th to 21st January.

    Find out all about these Tudor events…

    [Read More...]
  • 13 October – Mary I’s secret meetings with ambassadors in disguise

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th October 1553, Queen Mary I wrote a very interesting letter to the imperial ambassador, Simon Renard. In it, she asked the ambassador to meet with her secretly, and she’d encouraged him previously to come to her secretly and in disguise.

    Why? What was going on? And why did Mary seem to trust the emperor and his ambassadors more than her own council?

    Find out more about the situation in today’s talk.

    [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...]
  • 26 August – A devastated Mary I prepares to be abandoned

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th August 1555, Queen Mary I and her husband, Philip of Spain, departed from Whitehall in preparation for Philip’s return to the Low Countries.

    This was an awful time for Mary I. She had just come out of confinement after months of believing she was pregnant, and now her husband was leaving her. He’d be gone for over 18 months.

    Find out more about Mary’s state of health and mind, the arrangements for Philip’s departure, and Mary’s reaction, in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
  • 19 August – A defiant but polite Mary I

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th August 1551, Princess Mary, the future Mary I, wrote to her half-brother King Edward VI regarding orders that he had sent, orders that she was not going to obey.

    As historian Henry Ellis noted, this letter is evidence of Mary’s talent at writing and her intellect, and it also shows just how stubborn she could be. But then Edward was stubborn too! He wasn’t going to let his sister defy him but she wasn’t going to obey him and compromise her faith – oh dear!

    Find out more about the situation, and hear Mary’s words to Edward, in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
  • 30 July – Elizabeth leaves Somerset House to meet Mary

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th July 1553, Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, left her new home, Somerset House, to ride to Wanstead and greet her half-sister, Mary, who’d been officially proclaimed queen on 19th July.

    Somerset House was Elizabeth’s new London residence and you can find out more about how Elizabeth acquired it and who built it originally in today’s talk.

    [Read More...]
  • 21 July – The arrest of John Dudley

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st July, 1553, just days after he’d left London with an army to apprehend Mary, half-sister of the late king, Edward VI, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland was arrested near Cambridge.

    But how and why did the man who had ruled England on Edward VI’s behalf, as Lord President of his privy council, come to this?

    I explain his role in the accession of Lady Jane Grey as Queen Jane in July 1553 and what happened when Mary overthrew Queen Jane.

    [Read More...]
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