The Tudor Society
  • 26 September – The man Elizabeth I wanted to murder Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th September 1588, Sir Amias (Amyas) Paulet, administrator, diplomat, Governor of Jersey and gaoler of Mary, Queen of Scots died. He was buried in St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster.

    Sir Amias Paulet acted as gaoler to Mary, Queen of Scots, and it was while he was doing this that Elizabeth wanted him to abide by the Bond of Association and assassinate Mary, Queen of Scots, so that she didn’t have to sign her death warrant.

    What was the Bond of Association and what did Paulet do?

    Find out in today’s talk…

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  • 20 September – Anthony Babington and the Babington Plot

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th September 1586, Anthony Babington, John Ballard, John Savage, Chidiock Tichborne and three other conspirators were executed near St Giles-in-the-Fields in London.

    They suffered full traitors’ deaths, being hanged, drawn and quartered, after being found guilty of treason for plotting to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I in the famous Babington Plot, which sought to replace Elizabeth with Mary, Queen of Scots.

    Find out more about Anthony Babington, the Babington Plot, the men involved, how it was discovered, and how it led to Mary, Queen of Scots’ execution, in today’s talk.

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  • 12 September – The newly married Earl of Argyll dies suddenly

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th September 1573, Protestant reformer, and leading politician in the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots, Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll, died suddenly at Barbreck. He had got married six weeks earlier and had shown no signs of illness before retiring to bed.

    Argyll was the third most important noble in Scotland, the most important highland chief, and a founder of the Lords of the Congregation. He went from opposing Mary, Queen of Scots, to leading her troops in battle.

    Why?

    Find out all about this interesting Scot’s life and career in today’s talk.

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  • 9 September – The coronation of Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th September 1543, the 30th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden, Mary, Queen of Scots, was crowned queen at the Chapel Royal of Stirling Castle. Mary was just nine months old.

    Find out more about how Mary came to the throne, her coronation ceremony, in which Mary howled, and how she was already promised in marriage to Henry VIII’s son, the future Edward VI, in today’s talk.

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  • 7 August – Mary, Queen of Scots sets off for a new life in France

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th August 1548, five-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots set sail from Dumbarton in Scotland bound for France.

    A marriage had been agreed between Mary and Francis, the Dauphin, so Mary was going to be brought up at the French court. Mary travelled with her maids of honour, the Four Marys, or the Queen’s Maries: Mary Fleming, Mary Beaton, Mary Seton and Mary Livingston.

    Find out more in today’s talk.

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  • 23 July – Baby Mary, Queen of Scots, escapes with her mother

    On this day in Tudor history, 23rd July 1543, or 24th according to some sources, Marie de Guise and her baby daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, escaped from Linlithgow Palace, helped by Cardinal David Beaton, and taken to Stirling Castle.

    Why? What was going on in Scotland at this time?

    Find out all about Mary’s early months as Queen of Scots, and why Beaton helped her and her mother to move to Stirling, in today’s talk.

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  • 17 June – Mary, Queen of Scots is imprisoned in Scotland

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th June 1567, Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned at Loch Leven Castle following her surrender at the Battle of Carberry Hill on 15th June.

    Sadly, while she was imprisoned there, she miscarried twins and was forced to abdicate. She eventually escaped, but her freedom was only temporary.

    Find out more about this time in Mary, Queen of Scots’ life in today’s talk.

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  • 13 May – A battle between Mary, Queen of Scots, and her half-brother

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th May 1568, the forces of Mary, Queen of Scots, met those of her brother, the Regent Moray, at the Battle of Langside in Scotland.

    Mary, Queen of Scots was defeated soundly, but what happened and why was she fighting against the regent acting on behalf of her son, King James VI? What had led to this moment.

    I explain all in today’s talk.

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  • 7 May – The wife Bothwell divorced to marry Mary, Queen of Scots

    On 7th May 1567, eight days before James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, married Mary, Queen of Scots, the Catholic court granted him a divorce from his wife, Lady Jean Gordon.

    Who was Jean Gordon? Why did Bothwell divorce her? And what happened to Jean afterwards?

    Find out more about Bothwell and Jean’s marriage, and about Jean’s life, in today’s talk.

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  • 29 April – Bothwell prepares to marry Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th April 1567 (some sources suggest 26th), James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, who had recently abducted and allegedly “ravished” Mary, Queen of Scots, had a suit of divorce made against him by his wife, Lady Jean Gordon.

    Lady Gordon was persuaded by Bothwell to make this divorce suit as he was planning to marry Mary, Queen of Scots, which he did on 15th May 1567.

    In this talk, I explain what led up to this day, what happened next, and also what a truly horrible man Bothwell was.

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  • 19 April – Mary, Queen of Scots gets betrothed

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th April 1558, fifteen-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots and fourteen-year-old Francis, the Dauphin, son of King Henry II of France, were formally betrothed at the Louvre Palace in Paris.

    This betrothal was just five days before their wedding and was a lavish affair, celebrated with a ball.

    Find out more about the betrothal, the bride and groom, and arrangements for their marriage, in today’s talk.

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  • 17 February – Love at first sight for Mary, Queen of Scots?

    Well, ok, perhaps love at second or third sight!

    On this day in Tudor history, Saturday 17th February 1565, Mary, Queen of Scots, met and fell in love with Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, at Wemyss Castle in Scotland. Just over 7 months later, the couple got married.

    Find out more about the background of this meeting between Mary, Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley, Mary’s thoughts on Darnley, and what happened next, in today’s talk.

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  • 1 February – Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots’ death warrant

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st February 1587, Queen Elizabeth I called her secretary, William Davison, to her and asked him to bring her the death warrant of Mary, Queen of Scots. She then signed it. However, she didn’t want it to be sent to Fotheringhay, where Mary was held, until she said so. But it was sent.

    Elizabeth wanted someone else to take responsibility for Mary’s death, she even wanted her gaoler to assassinate her!

    Find out all about this, and how Mary DID end up being executed in February 1587, in today’s talk.

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  • 8 December – The birth of Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th December 1542, Mary Stuart (Stewart), or Mary, Queen of Scots, was born at Linlithgow Palace in Scotland.

    Mary was the daughter of King James V of Scotland and his second wife, Marie de Guise, and she became Queen of Scotland when she was just six days old.

    Find out about the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, including her three marriages and abdication, her imprisonment and downfall in today’s talk.

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  • 7 December – Lord Darnley, husband of Mary, Queen of Scots

    Today, 7th December, is the traditional date given for the birth of Henry Stuart (Stewart), Duke of Albany and Lord Darnley, in 1545.

    Lord Darnley was the son of Margaret Douglas and grandson of Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland, and her second husband, Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, but he is more known as the second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.

    Find out about Lord Darnley’s rather colourful life, his unhappy marriage, his role in a murder, AND his own sticky end, in today’s talk.

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  • Live Transcript – Gayle Hulme – Mary, Queen of Scots

    Here’s the transcript of the lively livechat that we had with Gayle Hulme over the weekend. All full members are welcome to join us at these events and you can either just watch or join in as you wish.

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  • Mary Queen of Scots in Edinburgh – Emma Casson

    This week we have Tudor Society member Emma Casson showing us around the places in Edinburgh that Mary, Queen of Scots would have known.

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  • The Places of Mary, Queen of Scots – Gayle Hulme – Expert Talk

    This month’s expert talk is by Gayle Hulme, taking us to some of the important places in the life of Mary, Queen of Scots. Gayle has travelled the length of the UK to give us this informative talk, including:
    Linlithgow Palace, Stirling Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh Castle, Kirk o’field, and even Westminster Abbey.

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  • 14 October – The trial of Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th October 1586, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots, began at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire.

    Although Mary did not recognise the authority of the commission and had threatened not to attend, she had been informed that the trial would go ahead with or without her and so attended.

    Find out all about Mary’s trial, what she was charged with and the evidence that Sir Francis Walsingham had gathered in today’s talk.

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  • 29 September – Elizabeth I tickles Robert Dudley while making him an earl

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th September 1564, Michaelmas, the queen’s favourite, Robert Dudley, was made Earl of Leicester and Baron Denbigh in front of the Scottish ambassador, Sir James Melville.

    Elizabeth I made Dudley an earl so that he’d be suitable as a potential bridegroom for Mary, Queen of Scots, but she couldn’t refrain from a display of affection during the ceremony, tickling him on the neck!

    In today’s talk, I explain why Elizabeth I was prepared to marry her favourite off to Mary, Queen of Scots, what happened on this day in 1564, and what happened next.

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  • 11 September – Mary, Queen of Scots’ Eventful Progress

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th September 1561, eighteen-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, began her first royal progress in Scotland. Mary had been in Scotland for less than a month, having returned from France, and so wanted to see her homeland and her people, as well as showing her people their queen.

    But this royal progress was to be an eventful one for Mary, Queen of Scots – a brush with death and a violent altercation were included! I tell all in today’s talk.

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  • 19 August – Mary, Queen of Scots returns to Scotland

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th August 1561, Mary, Queen of Scots returned to her homeland, Scotland, from France following the death of her first husband, King Francis II of France.

    In today's talk, I explain the context of her return to Scotland, which would, of course, be the start of her troubles.

    Also on this day in history:

    • 1531 – Burning of Thomas Bilney, Protestant martyr, at Lollard's Pit, just outside Bishopsgate. Although he was burned as a heretic, he actually denied his reformist views and affirmed his Catholic faith at his execution.
    • 1551 – Princess Mary, the future Mary I, wrote to her brother Edward VI regarding the instructions the officers of her household were given about forbidding her chaplains to say Mass and any of her household to hear Mass.
    • 1578 – Death of John Harpsfield, humanist, scholar and Roman Catholic priest, in London. He was buried in St Sepulchre Church, London. Harpsfield is known for his leading role in the Marian persecutions of Protestants and his nine sermons, which appear in Edmund Bonner's 1555 “Homilies”.
    • 1591 – Death of Welsh clergyman and Bible translator Thomas Huet at Tŷ Mawr, Llysdinam, Brecknockshire. He was buried in the chancel of Llanafan Fawr church. Huet helped Richard Davies and William Salesbury translate the “New Testament” into Welsh in 1567.
    • 1601 – Death of William Lambarde, writer, antiquary and lawyer, at Westcombe in East Greenwich. He was buried in St Alphege Church, East Greenwich, but in 1710 his monument was moved to the Lambarde chapel in St Nicholas's Church, Sevenoaks. Lambarde's works included his 1570 “Perambulation of Kent”, the 1581 “Eirenarcha: or of the Office of the Justices of Peace” and the 1591 “Archeion, or, A Discourse Upon the High Courts of Justice in England”.
  • 29 July – Mary, Queen of Scots gets married

    On this day in Tudor history, Sunday 29th July 1565, twenty-three-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, queen regnant of Scotland, married her second husband, nineteen-year-old Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, at Holyrood Palace.

    In today’s video, I give details of the wedding and how the marriage turned out. It wasn’t happy for long!

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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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  • 1 July – An interesting marriage agreement and rough wooing

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st July 1543, in the reign of King Henry VIII, the Treaties of Greenwich were signed.

    These treaties were between the kingdoms of Scotland and England, and, amongst other terms, was the agreement of a marriage between Prince Edward, the future King Edward VI, and Mary, Queen of Scots.

    Scotland’s subsequent rejection of the treaties led to a war known as the Rough Wooing – a great name!

    In today’s video, I explain what these treaties were all about and what happened in the war known as the Rough Wooing, and why it was called that.

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  • 20 June – The Casket Letters and Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th June 1567, a silver casket of eight letters, which have become known as the Casket Letters, were allegedly found in the possession of James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, the third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.

    These letters were instrumental in bringing down Mary, Queen of Scots, so in today’s video, I tell you a bit more about these letters and why they were “dynamite” for Elizabeth I’s advisors.

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  • 2 May – Mary, Queen of Scots escapes!

    On this day in Tudor history, 2 May 1568, Mary, Queen of Scots, who had recently been forced to abdicate in favour of her son, King James VI, successfully escaped from Lochleven Castle.

    How did she end up a prisoner at Lochleven? How did she escape? And what happened next?

    Let me explain…

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  • 24 April – Mary, Queen of Scots gets married

    On this day in Tudor history, 24th April 1558, fifteen-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, got married for the first time. The groom was fourteen-year-old Francis, the Dauphin of France.

    Find out more about the bride and groom, their wedding and what happened to them in today’s video.

    [Read More...]
  • 14 April – The death of the insane Earl of Bothwell, husband of Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 14th April 1578, Mary, Queen of Scots’ third husband, James Hepburn, Duke of Orkney and 4th Earl of Bothwell, died at Dragsholm Castle in Denmark. He’d been held at the castle in appalling conditions and it was said that he’d gone insane.

    Find out more about the life of this earl who’d risen to be the husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, but who’d died in prison, far away from home, in today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video.

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  • 9 March – Mary, Queen of Scots’ secretary is murdered

    On this day in history, 9th March 1566, a pregnant Mary, Queen of Scots witnessed the murder of her private secretary, David Rizzio. He was stabbed fifty-six times and one of the gang responsible was her own husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.

    What happened? Why was Rizzio murdered? How was Darnley involved? What happened next? All of these questions are answered in today’s video.

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