The Tudor Society
  • March 25 – Margaret Clitherow, the Pearl of York, and her awful end and the start of the new calendar year in the Tudor period

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th March 1586, Good Friday and also Lady Day, the Feast of the Annunciation, Catholic martyr Margaret Clitherow (née Middleton), known as “the Pearl of York”, was pressed to death at the toll-booth on Ouse Bridge in York, under 7 or 8 hundredweight. She was executed for harbouring Catholic priests.

    Find out more in this talk…

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  • New Year in Tudor Times

    Find out how New Year was celebrated in Tudor times in this talk…

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  • New Year in Tudor Times

    As today is New Year’s Eve, I thought I’d share with you some resources for learning more about how the New Year was marked in Tudor times…

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  • New Year’s Eve and St Sylvester

    I’m posting this week’s Friday video a day early because I’m talking about New Year’s Eve, which is also the feast day of St Sylvester, a 4th century pope.

    Find out more about this saint and hear William Caxton’s 15th century version of a legend associated with him, in this week’s video.

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  • Happy New Year!

    A very Happy New Year to Tudor Society members! Here’s to a wonderful 2020 for all of us! Thank you for being a member and we look forward to bringing you lots of Tudor history this year.

    So far in 2020, we have Tony Riches, Sean Cunningham, Tracy Borman, Sarah Bryson, Kathleen Brogan and Sarah-Beth Watkins booked as speakers, and there are lots more to be scheduled – phew! It will be brilliant to hear them speak to us and to chat with them in the chatroom.

    How did those at the Tudor court celebrate New Year? Well, here are some videos I’ve done on the topic…

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  • New Year’s Day

    Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all good things for 2019. Here at the Tudor Society, we have lots planned for this year – phew!

    As you will have noticed, every week I have been posting a “This week in history” article listing all of the “on this day in history” events for the current week, with links to read more where appopriate. Well, this year I thought I’d do something a bit different. I have decided to do a short daily video picking one particular event. Each video will be shared here on the Tudor Society website. I do hope you enjoy them.

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  • New Year and New Year Gifts

    Happy New Year to you all and let’s raise our glasses to another year jam-packed with Tudor history!

    In the medieval and Tudor periods, New Year was the traditional time for gifts to be exchanged between the monarch and nobles. Here are two Claire Chats talks I did on this topic:

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  • Sausages, sponges and silver: Modern New Year vs Roman Saturnalia

    Following on from yesterday’s article Io! Io! Io! Modern Christmas vs Roman Saturnalia, we have another article from Kevin Butcher, Professor of Roman History at Warwick University. If you’ve been watching our Tudor Society Advent Calendar videos, you’ll know that I mentioned Saturnalia in the talk I did on the Lord of Misrule tradition, and this article is interesting because the Tudor monarchs and nobility followed the Roman tradition of gift-giving at New Year.

    Ancient Romans celebrated the start of the New Year as part of a winter festival called Saturnalia – with sausages, sponges and silver given as gifts, alongside human sacrifice.
    Kevin Butcher, Professor of Roman history at the University of Warwick says that it was a time of the year known for inclusivity and role-reversal as well as riotous partying and the exchange of weird and wonderful gifts as New Year presents.
    Romans would make prayers and sacrifices to the gods, sometimes even human, in the hope of gaining the gods’ favour
    Before being moved to 1st January in 153 BC, the Roman New Year began on 1st March.

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  • Happy New Year 2017

    Tim and I just wanted to wish all Tudor Society members a very Happy New Year and to thank you for all the support you’ve given us in 2016. We hope that 2017 brings you joy, health and prosperity – Happy New Year!

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  • The ceremony of the New Year’s gifts – video

    King Henry VII by an unknown artist

    In today’s Claire Chats I talk about the origin of the medieval and Tudor custom of New Year gift-giving, the ceremony associated with the monarch receiving gifts and the other traditions associated with New Year – enjoy! Happy New Year and a big thank you for all your support and encouragement in 2015.

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  • Tudor Life January 2015

    New Year Magazine with a huge 70 pages of Tudor madness!

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