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The Tudor Society
  • This week in history 18 – 24 September

    On this day…

    18th September:

    1501 – Birth of Henry Stafford, 10th Baron Stafford, at Penshurst in Kent. He was the son of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, and his wife Eleanor (née Percy), daughter of Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland. Henry married Ursula Pole, daughter of Sir Richard Pole and Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, in 1519, and the couple had around fourteen children. Stafford served Mary I as a Chamberlain of the Exchequer and Elizabeth I as a Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire.
    1535 – Birth of Henry Brandon, son of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and his wife Katherine (née Willoughby). Henry Brandon died on 14th July 1551, at the age of fifteen, from sweating sickness. His younger brother, Charles, survived him by just half an hour.
    1544 – Henry VIII rode triumphantly through the streets of Boulogne after the French surrendered, ending the Siege of Boulogne.
    1556 – Death of Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, from a fever at Padua in Italy. He was buried there in the church of Sant’Antonio. Courtenay had been sent overseas after he was implicated in Wyatt’s Rebellion as a future husband and consort of Mary I’s half-sister, Elizabeth.
    1559 – The fifteen-year-old Francis II was crowned King of France at Rheims by the Cardinal of Lorraine, following the death of his father Henry II in July 1559 after a jousting accident. Mary, Queen of Scots was Francis’ consort.

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  • This week in history 4 – 10 September

    On this day in history…

    4th September:

    1504 – Birth of Antoine de Noailles, soldier and French diplomat at the English court in Mary I’s reign, at Château de la Fage.
    1539 – William, Duke of Cleves, signed the marriage treaty promising his sister, Anne of Cleves, in marriage to King Henry VIII. The Duke then sent the treaty to England, where it was ratified and concluded by early October.
    1550 – Death of Sir Thomas Paston, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber in the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI.
    1588 – Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester died at his lodge at Cornbury, near Woodstock in Oxfordshire.
    He had been ill for some time with a recurring stomach ailment, and so had decided to travel to Buxton to take the waters, but he died on the way.
    1590 – Death of Sir James Croft, Lord Deputy of Ireland, member of Parliament and conspirator. Croft was one of the leaders of Wyatt’s Rebellion in 1554, but although he was sentenced to death for treason, he was eventually released and pardoned. He served Elizabeth I as Comptroller of the Household, but was imprisoned briefly in her reign for negotiating with the Duke of Parma without permission. Croft was buried at Westminster Abbey, in the Chapel of St John the Evangelist.

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  • This week in history 7 – 13 August

    On this day in Tudor history…

    7th August:

    1485 – Henry Tudor (future Henry VII) dropped anchor at Mill Bay, Milford Haven, Wales. He had returned from exile to claim the crown of England. Click here to read more.
    1514 – Peace treaty signed between England and France, arranging the marriage of the widowed fifty-two-year-old Louis XII of France and the eighteen-year-old Princess Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII.
    1541 – Death of Sir Richard Weston, courtier and father of Sir Francis Weston who was executed in 1536 for alleged adultery with Queen Anne Boleyn. Richard served Henry VII as Groom of the Chamber and Henry VIII as an Esquire of the Body, Governor of Guernsey and treasurer of Calais. He was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Guildford.
    1549 – The five-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots set sail from Dumbarton, Scotland, 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 arrived at Saint-Pol-de-Léon, near Roscoff in Brittany, just over a week later.
    1574 – Sir Robert Dudley, mariner, cartographer and landowner, was born on this day in 1574 at Sheen House, Richmond. He was the illegitimate son of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and favourite of Elizabeth I, and his lover Lady Douglas Sheffield, daughter of William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham, and widow of John Sheffield, 2nd Baron Sheffield.
    1600 – Burial of Sir Thomas Lucy in the parish church at Charlecote, Warwickshire. Lucy was a magistrate and member of Parliament, but is best known for his links with William Shakespeare. Tradition has it that Shakespeare wrote a satirical ballad about Lucy, or he made a caricature of him in the character of Judge Shallow, as revenge after he was judged too harshly for poaching on Lucy’s estate, Charlecote Park. There is no evidence to support this story.
    1613 – Death of Sir Thomas Fleming, Solicitor-General to Elizabeth I and James I, at Stoneham Park. He also served James I as Chief Justice of the King’s Bench. He was buried at North Stoneham Church.

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  • This week in history 31 July – 6 August

    On this day in history…

    31 July:

    1544 – The future Elizabeth I wrote her earliest surviving letter to her stepmother, Catherine Parr. It was written in Italian and in a beautiful italic hand. Click here to read more about it.
    1549 – Death of Edmund Sheffield, 1st Baron Sheffield, in Norwich. It is said that he was killed by a butcher called Fulke, while serving in the royal army against the rebels of Kett’s Rebellion. Apparently, he stumbled into a ditch and then was killed by a blow from Fulke. Sheffield was buried in St Martin’s at the Palace, Norwich.
    1553 – Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, “was discharged out of the Tower by the Earle of Arundell and had the Quenes pardon.”
    1574 – Death of John Douglas, Archbishop of St Andrews and educational reformer, in St Andrews. He was buried in the public cemetery. It is said that he died in the pulpit.

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  • This week in history 17 – 23 July

    On this day in history…
    17th July:

    1497 – Death of Sir James Ormond (Butler), administrator and illegitimate son of John Butler, 6th Earl of Ormond, in a duel with Sir Piers Butler, near Kilkenny. The Butlers of Ormond were related to Thomas Boleyn, Queen Anne Boleyn’s father.
    1537 – Burning of Janet Douglas, Lady Glamis, on the castle hill at Edinburgh after being found guilty of two counts of treason. She had been charged with plotting the King’s death (by poison) and assisting and corresponding with her brothers, Sir George Douglas and Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus.
    1555 – Protestant martyrs Christopher Wade (Waid) of Dartford, linen-weaver, and Margaret Polley of Tunbridge, were burned for heresy. Click here to read more.
    1555 – Birth of Richard Carew, antiquary, bee-keeper, translator and poet, at Antony House, Torpoint, Cornwall. Carew was the eldest son of Thomas Carew and his wife Elizabeth (née Edgcumbe). Carew was a member of the Elizabethan Society of Antiquaries, and his works included his “Survey of Cornwall”, a county history.
    1565 – Death of Sir Thomas Dacre of Lanercost, illegitimate son of Thomas Dacre, 2nd Baron Dacre. He died while holding the office of Sheriff of Cumberland.
    1601 – Death of Richard Latewar, poet, theologian, Vice-President of St John’s College, Oxford, and chaplain to Charles Blount, 8th Baron Mountjoy. He died from a gunshot wound sustained in a skirmish at Bennurb, in Ireland, while on a campaign there with Mountjoy. Latewar was buried at Armagh Cathedral, and a monument was erected to him in the chapel of St John’s in Oxford.

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  • This week in history 10 – 16 July

    On this day in history…

    10th July:

    1553 – Lady Jane Grey, her husband, Guildford Dudley, her parents and Guildford’s mother arrived by barge at the Tower of London, having travelled from Syon. Two heralds then proclaimed that Lady Jane Grey was now Queen of England before they moved on to proclaim their message in Cheapside and Fleet Street.
    1553 – A letter arrived from Mary, daughter of Henry VIII, informing the council that she was the rightful heir to the throne, not Lady Jane Grey, and demanding their support.
    1559 – Death of Henry II of France. He had been injured in a joust on 30th June when he was hit in the face by a lance. It is thought that a splinter entered his eye and went into his brain. He was buried in the Saint Denis Basilica.
    1559 – Accession of Francis II and Mary, Queen of Scots as King and Queen of France.
    1584 – Assassination of William of Orange, also known as William the Silent or William I, Prince of Orange. He was shot in the chest at his home in Delft by Balthasar Gérard, a Catholic Frenchman. A reward of 25,000 crowns had been offered by Philip II of Spain for the assassination of William, who was the main leader of the Dutch Protestant revolt against Spanish forces in the Netherlands. William was buried in the New Church in Delft. Gérard was captured and was tortured for days before being executed on 14th July 1584.

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  • This week in history 3 – 9 July

    On this day in history…

    3 July:

    1495 – The pretender Perkin Warbeck landed at Deal in Kent with men and ships. Around 150 of his men were killed and over 160 captured by Henry VII’s troops. Warbeck escaped, fleeing to Ireland. Warbeck claimed to be Richard, Duke of York, the younger of the Princes in the Tower.
    1533 – William Blount, 4th Baron Mountjoy, Catherine of Aragon’s Chamberlain, was ordered to inform Catherine again that she must recognise her new title of ‘Princess Dowager’ and not use the title of ‘Queen’. Catherine refused, and whenever she saw her new title written in letters, she crossed it out with a pen.
    1541 – Death of Girolamo Ghinucci, Italian papal administrator, Bishop of Worcester, papal nuncio and ambassador. He died in Rome and was buried in the church of San Clemente.
    1557 – Mary I bid farewell to her husband, Philip of Spain, at Dover as he set off for war with France.
    1579 – Death of Sir Edward Fitton, administrator and Vice-Treasurer for Elizabeth I in Ireland. His death was recorded as being ‘from the disease of the country’, which he had apparently caught on an expedition to Longford. He was buried in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, beside his wife, Anne.
    1594 (3rd or 4th July) – Executions of Catholic priest John Cornelius, Thomas Bosgrave (a relation of Sir John Arundell) and two servants of the Arundell family at Dorchester. They had been arrested when Cornelius was found hiding in a priest hole at Chideock Castle on 14th April 1594

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  • This week in history 26 June – 2 July

    On this day in history…

    26th June:

    1513 – Burial of Sir Edmund Carew, landowner, administrator and soldier, in the church of St Nicholas, Calais, after he was shot dead during the siege of Thérouanne in Artois.
    1535 – A new commission of oyer and terminer was appointed for the county of Middlesex. The commission ordered the Sheriff of Middlesex to gather the Grand Jury on the 28th June at Westminster Hall. This was to try Sir Thomas More who, according to the indictment, had been “traitorously attempting to deprive the King of his title of Supreme Head of the Church”.
    1568 – Death of Thomas Young, Archbishop of York, at Sheffield. He was buried in York Minster.
    1576 – Death of Edward Dering, scholar, Church of England clergyman and controversial evangelical preacher, from tuberculosis at Thobie Priory in Essex. A collection of his works, which included sermons, lectures, prayers and letters, was first published in 1590.
    1596 – Burial of Sir John Wingfield in the cathedral at Cadiz, Spain. He was shot in the head in the attack on Cadiz on 21st June. At Wingfield’s funeral, “the generalls threw their handkerchiefs wet from their eyes into the grave” (Stow, 775) and the poet John Donne, who was a member of the expedition, composed an epigram as a tribute to Wingfield: “Farther then Wingefield, no man dares to go”.

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  • This week in history 22 – 28 May

    On this day in history…

    22nd May:

    1490 – Death of Edmund Grey, 1st Earl of Kent.
    1537 – Edward Seymour, brother of Jane Seymour, was sworn in as a Privy Councillor.
    1538 – The burning of John Forest, Franciscan friar and martyr, at Smithfield for heresy, for his allegiance to Rome.
    1539 – Probable birthdate of Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford and son of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset (the Edward mentioned above). Hertford was also the husband of Katherine Grey, sister of Lady Jane Grey.
    1570 – Death of John Best, Bishop of Carlisle. He was buried in Carlisle Cathedral.

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  • This week in history 15 – 21 May

    On this day in history…

    15th May:

    1464 – Execution of Henry Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset, immediately after the Battle of Hexham. He was buried in Hexham Abbey.
    1536 – Trials of Anne Boleyn and George Boleyn in the King’s Hall at the Tower of London. They were both found guilty and sentenced to death.
    1537 – Thomas Darcy, 1st Baron Darcy de Darcy, and his cousin, John Hussey, 1st Baron Hussey of Sleaford, were tried for treason at Westminster after being implicated in the Pilgrimage of Grace. “Letters and Papers” recorded the verdict as guilty and the sentence was “Judgment as usual in cases of high treason. Execution to be at Tyburn.” They were actually beheaded.

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  • This week in history 8 -14 May

    On this day in history…

    8th May:
    1508 – Birth of Charles Wriothesley, herald and chronicler, in London. His chronicle is one of the major primary sources for Henry VIII’s reign. Charles came from a family of heralds; he was the younger son of Sir Thomas Wriothesley, Garter King of Arms, grandson of John Writhe, Garther King of Arms, and nephew of William Wriothesley, York Herald. Charles’ offices included Rouge Croix Pursuivant and Windsor Herald of Arms in Ordinary, but he did not go as far as his father and grandfather.
    1538 – Death of Edward Fox, Bishop of Hereford and diplomat. He was active in trying to secure the annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and produced several books and polemics on Henry’s Great Matter, including Henricus octavus.

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  • This week in history 1 – 7 May

    On this day in history…

    1st May:
    1461 – Execution of James Butler, 1st Earl of Wiltshire and 5th Earl of Ormond, at Newcastle after being captured by the Yorkists.
    1508 – Birth of Sir William Cavendish, administrator. Cavendish was one of Cromwell’s main agents in the dissolution of the monasteries and was appointed Treasurer of the Chamber in February 1546.
    1517 – The Evil May Day Riot. A mob of young apprentices and labourers gathered at St Paul’s and then went on a rampage through the streets of London, causing damage to property and hurting those who stood in their way.

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  • This week in history 24 – 30 April

    On this day in history…

    24th April:

    1536 – Commissions of oyer and terminer set up by Thomas Audley, Lord Chancellor. These particular commissions were for offences committed in the counties of Middlesex and Kent, and covered the crimes of misprision, treason, rebellion, felonies, murder, homicide, rioting, plotting, insurrection, extortion, oppression, contempt, concealment, ignorance, negligence, falsities, deception, conspiracy and being an accessory to these crimes. It is not known whether they were set up specifically to try the men who would later be charged with committing adultery with Queen Anne Boleyn.
    1545 – Baptism of Henry Wriothesley, 2nd Earl of Southampton, at St Andrews, Holborn. He was the son of Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton and 1st Baron Wriothesley, Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor.
    1549 – Death of Ralph Neville, 4th Earl of Westmorland, English peer, soldier and Privy Councillor. He was buried at Staindrop in County Durham. Neville was one of the peers who sat in judgement on Anne Boleyn in May 1536 and served Henry VIII as a soldier in the North of England and borders, and Edward VI in Scotland.
    1551 – Execution of Dutchman George van Parris, surgeon and religious radical at Smithfield. He was burned at the stake for Arianism (denying the divinity of Christ).

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  • This week in history 17 – 23 April

    17th April:

    1534 – Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, was sent to the Tower of London after refusing to swear the “Oath of Succession”.
    1554 – Sir Nicholas Throckmorton was acquitted of treason for being involved in Wyatt’s Rebellion. The jurors were arrested straight after the trial and Throckmorton remained in prison until January 1555.
    1554 – Thomas Wyatt the Younger’s head was stolen in the rejoicing after Throckmorton’s acquittal.

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  • This week in history 10 – 16 April

    On this day, 10th April…

    1512 – James V, King of Scotland, was born at Linlithgow Palace. He was the fourth child of James IV and Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII. He was the only one of James and Margaret’s children to survive childhood, and so inherited the crown of Scotland when his father was killed at the Battle of Flodden, 9th September 1513.
    1550 – Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, was re-admitted into Edward VI’s council.
    1559 – Death of Sir Rice Mansel, soldier and administrator, at his home in Clerkenwell. He served Henry VIII as Vice-Admiral in 1542, in France and Scotland, and in 1544 as Knight-Marshal. He was also Chamberlain of Chester.
    1585 – Death of Pope Gregory XIII, the Pope known for his introduction of the Gregorian Calendar, in Rome. He was succeeded by Pope Sixtus V.

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  • This week in history 3 – 9 April

    On this day in history…

    3rd April:

    1538 – Death of Elizabeth Boleyn, Countess of Wiltshire and Ormond, wife of Thomas Boleyn and mother of Anne Boleyn. Click here to read more.
    1559 – The second session of Parliament, in Elizabeth I’s reign, met after the Easter break. Its purpose was to obtain parliamentary sanction for royal supremacy and Protestant settlement.
    1559 – The Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis, ending the Italian Wars, was signed between Henry II and Philip II of Spain. Click here to read more.
    1578 – Burial of Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox and daughter of Margaret Tudor and Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus. She was buried in Henry VII’s Chapel of Westminster Abbey.

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  • This week in history 27 March – 2 April

    On this day in history…

    27th March:

    1489 – The Treaty of Medina del Campo was signed between England and Spain. One part of it was the arrangement of the marriage between Arthur, Prince of Wales, and Catherine (or Catalina) of Aragon. It was signed by Spain on this day and ratified in 1490 by Henry VII.
    1539 – Burial of George Talbot, 4th Earl of Shrewsbury, at St Peter’s Church, Sheffield. He is known for his loyalty to the King during the Pilgrimage of Grace uprisings, which was seen as crucial to the failure of the rebellion. His offices under Henry VIII included Chamberlain of the Exchequer, Lieutenant of the Vanguard in the 1513 French campaign and Lieutenant-General in 1522 in the Scottish borders.
    1555 – Burning of William Hunter, Protestant martyr. Nineteen-year-old Hunter got into trouble when he was found reading the Bible in Brentwood Chapel.

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  • This week in history 20 – 26 March

    On this day in history…

    20th March

    1469 – Birth of Cecily, Viscountess Welles and princess, also known as Cecily of York, third daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. She was born at Westminster Palace. A marriage alliance with Scotland was made in 1473 promising Cecily to James, the infant son of James III, but Cecily was still unmarried at her father’s death in 1483. Her uncle, Richard III, arranged Cecily’s marriage to Ralph Scrope of Upsall, but Henry VII dissolved the marriage in 1486 and she married John Welles, Viscount Welles, the King’s half-uncle. After Welles’ death in 1499, Cecily went on to marry Thomas Kyme of Friskney. Cecily died in 1507.
    1544 – Baptism of Cuthbert Mayne, Roman Catholic priest and martyr. He was hanged, drawn and quartered at Launceston on 30th November 1577 after being charged with traitorously getting hold of a papal bull and publishing it at Golden Manor, defending the authority of the Pope, purchasing a number of Agnus Dei and giving them to people, and celebrating the Catholic mass.
    1549 – Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron of Sudeley and Lord High Admiral, husband of the late Dowager Queen Catherine Parr and brother of Queen Jane Seymour and Protector Somerset, was executed after being charged with thirty-three counts of treason.
    1555 – Burial of John Russell, Earl of Bedford, courtier and magnate, at Chenies, following his death 14th March. It was a lavish funeral with three hundred horses, all in black trappings.

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  • This week in history 13 – 19 March

    On this day in history…

    13th March:

    1540 – Death of Henry Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Essex. He died after falling off a horse, and his title was given to Thomas Cromwell. His daughter, Anne, married Sir William Parr, brother of Queen Catherine Parr.
    1543 – Death of Sebastian Giustinian, the Venetian diplomat. He died in Venice at the age of eighty-three. Giustinian served as the Venetian ambassador to England from 1514 to 1519, and wrote 226 letters during his embassy there. He became ambassador to France in 1526 and procurator of St Mark in 1540.
    1594 – Death of John Woolton, Bishop of Exeter, from asthma at the bishop’s palace in Exeter. He was buried in the cathedral choir.

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  • This week in history 6 – 12 March

    On this day in history, 6th March…

    1492 – Birth of Juan Luis Vives, scholar, humanist and tutor of Mary I, in Valencia, Spain.
    1536 – Introduction into Parliament of the “Act for the Suppression (or Dissolution) of the Lesser Monasteries”. The act affected the “lesser monasteries”; those with fewer than twelve members and those worth less than £200 per year. They were to be dissolved, their heads pensioned off and their members to become secularized or moved to larger monasteries “where they may be compelled to live religiously for reformation of their lives”.
    1547 – Thomas Wriothesley lost the Great Seal of his Lord Chancellorship and was confined to his home at Ely Place for abusing his authority. He was found guilty of issuing a commission without the knowledge or permission of the other executors of Henry VIII’s will, but it was probably more to do with his opposition to Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, becoming Lord Protector. He was later re-admitted to the Privy Council, a position he’d also lost at his fall.

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  • This week in history 27 February – 5 March

    On this day in history…
    27th February:

    1531 – Birth of Roger North, 2nd Baron North, politician, diplomat and administrator at the court of Elizabeth I. North served as a Member of Parliament, Privy Councillor and Treasurer of the Household.
    1545 – The English forces were defeated by the Scots at the Battle of Ancrum Moor, near Jedburgh in Scotland.
    1555 – Death of Sir William Babthorpe, Member of Parliament and a man who was created Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Edward VI in 1547. Babthorpe had originally been on the rebel side in the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536, but fortunately swapped sides.

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  • This week in history 13 – 19 February

    On this day in history…

    13th February:

    1542 – Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, and Lady Jane Rochford were executed at the Tower of London. They had been found guilty of treason by Act of Attainder. They were both buried in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London. Click here to read more.
    1564 – Baptism of John Harvey, astrologer and physician, at Saffron Walden in Essex. Harvey was the third son of John Harvey, farmer and rope-maker, and his wife, Alice. His published works included “An Astrologicall Addition” (1583), a series of almanacs and “A Discoursive Probleme Concerning Prophesies” (1588).
    1579 – Death of John Fowler, the English Catholic printer and publisher, in Namur, during his exile in the reign of Elizabeth I. He was buried there in the church of St John the Evangelist. He is known as one of the most important English Catholic publishers of the 1560s and 70s.

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  • This week in history 6 – 12 February

    On this day in history, 6th February…
    1557 – The remains of reformers Martin Bucer and Paul Fagius were exhumed and publicly burned, after being posthumously found guilty of heresy. They were burned, along with their books, on Market Hill in Cambridge.
    1561 – Baptism of Tailboys Dymoke (pseudonym Thomas Cutwode) at Kyme in Lincolnshire. He was the son of Sir Robert Dymoke, and his wife, Bridget (née Clinton). Dymoke is known for his allegorical poem, Caltha poetarum, or, “The Bumble Bee”, which he published under the name of Thomas Cutwode.
    1585 – Death of Edmund Plowden, lawyer, legal scholar and law reporter, in London. He was laid to rest in the Middle Temple Church. Cambridge University libraries and the British Library contain manuscripts of his commentaries and opinions, and he is known for his 1571 “ Les comentaries ou les reportes de Edmunde Plowden” volume of law reports covering cases during the reigns of Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.

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  • This week in history 30 January – 5 February

    On this day in history, 30th January:

    1520 – Birth of Sir William More, member of Parliament, Protestant and son of Sir Christopher More, a powerful administrator in Henry VII’s reign. More served Elizabeth I as Constable of Farnham Castle, Treasurer of the Lottery, Commissioner for Ecclesiastical Causes, Collector of the Loan, Chamberlain of the Exchequer, Master of Swans and Deputy Custos Rotulorum. He was also a commissioner on various commissions of oyer and terminer during her reign.
    1531 – Death of Sir Robert Brudenell, Judge. He served Henry VII as King’s Serjeant and Henry VIII as Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. He was buried at Deene church, Northamptonshire.
    1554 – Rebel Thomas Wyatt the Younger and his men besieged Cooling Castle, owned by George Brooke, 9th Baron Cobham. Cobham claimed that he had fought valiantly against the rebels for seven hours before surrendering to them, but his biographer points out that his resistance was most probably a “pretence”.
    1593 – Ippolito Aldobrandini was elected as Pope Clement VIII.
    1606 – Execution of Robert Winter and three of his fellow conspirators, at St Paul’s. He was hanged, drawn and quartered for his part in the Gunpowder Plot. His brother, Thomas, was executed the next day.

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  • This week in history 23 – 29 January

    On this day in history, 23rd January…

    1516 – Death of Ferdinand II of Aragon in Madrigalejo, Extremadura. He was laid to rest in la Capilla Real, the Royal Chapel of Granada. Ferdinand was the husband of Isabella I of Castile and the father of Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s first wife. Ferdinand was succeeded by his daughter, Juana (Joanna), who ruled jointly with her son, Charles, who became King Charles I of Spain.
    1540 – Birth of Thomas Egerton, 1st Viscount Brackley and Lord Chancellor to James I. Egerton was the illegitimate son of Sir Richard Egerton, a landowner from Cheshire, by a servant girl.
    1552 – Parliament met to discuss the revision of the 1549 “Book of Common Prayer”.

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  • This week in history 16 – 22 January

    On this day in history, 16th January…

    1486 – The Bishop of Imola, the papal legate, authorised the marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, which was due to take place on 18th January.
    1501 – Birth of Sir Anthony Denny, courtier and close friend of Henry VIII, at Cheshunt. He was the second son of Sir Edmund Denny and his wife, Mary.
    1549 – Thomas Seymour was alleged to have broken into Edward VI’s apartments at Hampton Court Palace to kidnap the young King. Click here to read more about this incident.
    1558 – Death of Thomas Alsop, Chief Apothecary to Henry VIII and Serjeant of the Royal ‘Confectionary’ to Edward VI. He was buried in St Mary Woolchurch.

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  • This week in history 2 – 8 January

    On this day in history…

    2 January:

    1492 – King Boabdil surrendered Granada to the forces of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile – click here to read more.
    1525 – Death of Sir William Uvedale. Uvedale had been created a Knight of the Bath and Knight of the Royal Body by Henry VII, and served Arthur, Prince of Wales, as his counsellor.
    1536 – Eustace Chapuys, the Imperial Ambassador, arrived at the dying Catherine of Aragon’s bedside in Kimbolton Castle.
    1539 – Geoffrey Pole, son of Sir Richard Pole and Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, was pardoned after attempting suicide for the third time.

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  • This week in history 26 December – 1 January

    26th December:

    526 – Birth of Rose Throckmorton (née Lok, other married name: Hickman), Protestant and businesswoman, in London. She was the third child of Sir William Lok, a mercer who had also served Henry VIII as a gentleman usher. Rose was married twice: to merchant Anthony Hickman and to Simon Throckmorton of Brampton.
    1545 – Death of Sir George Bowes, soldier, rebel and Captain of Norham Castle. He was buried at Alnwick. Bowes was a member of the rebel army during the 1536 Pilgrimage of Grace, but the patronage of his uncle, Sir Robert Bowes, protected him. He fought in the 1542 Anglo-Scottish War and in the 1544 expedition. He was granted the Barony of Coldingham as a reward for seizing Coldingham Priory on November 1544, but was then taken prisoner in January 1545 and lost the barony.
    1546 – Henry VIII made some changes to his will, a document which had been prepared two years earlier. These changes were made to ensure successful transfer of royal authority to his son, the future Edward VI, and to prepare for Edward reigning during his minority.

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  • This week in history 19 – 25 December

    19 December

    Anne de Montmorency

    1562 – The Battle of Dreux between Catholics, led by Anne de Montmorency, and Huguenots, led by Louis I, Prince of Condé, during the first war of the French Wars of Religion. The Catholics were victorious, but both commanders were taken prisoner.
    1576 - Katherine Palmer, Abbess of Syon, died in Mechelen during exile in Elizabeth I's reign. Just over a month earlier, on 8th November, her convent had been broken into by a mob of Calvinists, and it is thought that confronting the mob had been too traumatic for her. She was laid to rest at Mechelen in the Church of the Augustinians.
    1578 (19th or 26th December) – Executions of Egremont Radcliffe and a man called Gray at Namur in Belgium. They were beheaded in the marketplace after being suspected of poisoning Don John of Austria.
    1583 – John Somerville, convicted conspirator, was found dead in his cell at Newgate Prison. Death was by strangulation, and it was said that his death was suicide. His body was buried in Moorfields, and his head was put on display on London Bridge. Somerville had been convicted of high treason for intending to shoot and kill Elizabeth I.
    1587 – Death of Thomas Seckford, lawyer and administrator, at Clerkenwell in Middlesex. He was buried at Clerkenwell, but then moved to the family vault at Woodbridge in Suffolk. Seckford served Mary I as Deputy Chief Steward of the Duchy of Lancaster and Elizabeth I as Master of Requests and Steward of the Marshalsea court.

    20 December

    1541 – A “very sickly” Agnes Tilney, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, who was imprisoned in the Tower of London after the fall of her granddaughter, Catherine Howard, begged Henry VIII for forgiveness. She also confessed to having another £800 hidden at Norfolk House.
    1558 – Death of John Holyman, Bishop of Bristol and Rector of Hanborough in Oxfordshire. He was buried at Hanborough Church, in the chancel.
    1559 – Burial of John Bekinsau (Beckinsau), scholar and theologian, at Sherborne St John in Hampshire. Bekinsau was the author of the 1546 tract De supremo et absoluto regis imperio in support of Henry VIII's supremacy.
    1562 – Death of Margaret Kitson (other married name Bourchier and née Donnington), Countess of Bath. She was buried at the church in Hengrave, near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, which was near Hengrave Hall, the Kitson family seat. Margaret was the second wife of merchant adventurer Sir Thomas Kitson.
    1571 – Death of Richard Butler, 1st Viscount Mountgarret and son of Piers Butler, 1st Earl of Ossory and 8th Earl of Ormond. He was buried in St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny city.
    1583 – Execution of Edward Arden, conspirator, at Smithfield. He was hanged, drawn and quartered after being convicted of high treason for plotting with John Somerville to kill Elizabeth I. Like Somerville, his body was buried at Moorfields and his head displayed on London Bridge.
    1606 – Death of Richard Reynolds (Rainolde), clergyman and author, in Essex. His work included the 1563 “ A booke called the foundacion of rhetorike, because all other partes of rhetorike are grounded thereupon” and “ A chronicle of all the noble emperours of the Romaines … setting forth the great power, and devine providence of almighty God, in preserving the godly princes and common wealthes” (1571).

    21 December

    Jasper Tudor

    Jasper Tudor

    1495 – Death of Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford and 1st Earl of Pembroke, at Thornbury. He was laid to rest at Keynsham Abbey, near Bristol. Jasper was the second son of Owen Tudor and Catherine of Valois, half-brother of Henry VI and uncle of Henry VII. It was alleged that he had an illegitimate daughter, Helen or Ellen, who was the mother of Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester. Click here to read more.
    1505 – Birth of Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton, Lord Privy Seal and Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII. He was the eldest son of William Wriothesley, York herald, and his wife, Agnes, and cousin of Charles Wriothesley, the Tudor chronicler.
    1539 – Death of Sir John Shelton, uncle (by marriage) of Queen Anne Boleyn and Controller of the Joint Household of Mary and Elizabeth, Henry VIII's daughters from July 1536. He was buried at Shelton Church in Norfolk, in the chancel.
    1540 (or 1542) – Birth of Thomas Allen, mathematician, astrologer and antiquary, at Uttoxeter in Staffordshire. Allen is known for his knowledge of mathematics, history and antiquity, astronomy and astrology, and philosophy. He served as Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester's astrologer and the horoscope he cast for poet Philip Sidney can be found in the Bodleian Library's Ashmole manuscripts. His links with John Dee, Thomas Harriot and other mathematicians, combined with his knowledge of astrology, led to him being labelled a necromancer or magician.
    1545 - William Cecil, the future Baron Burghley, married his second wife, Mildred Cooke (1526-1589), eldest daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke, Edward VI's tutor. Click here to read more.
    1549 - Marguerite of Navarre (also known as Margaret of Navarre, Marguerite of Angoulême and Marguerite de France) died in Odos in France at the age of fifty-seven. Marguerite was the daughter of Louise of Savoy and Charles of Orléans, Count of Angoulême.
    1584 – Probable date for the death of John Herd, physician, author and Rector of Waddington. He was buried at Waddington. Herd had acted as Physician to Archbishop Thomas Cranmer from c.1551 until August 1555. Herd wrote a verse history of England, covering the period 1461-1509, and was also said to have written a catechism of Christian doctrine for the young.
    1598 – Death of Thomas Owen, judge and member of Parliament. He was buried at Westminster Abbey. Owen served Elizabeth I as Serjeant-at-Law, Queen's Serjeant and Judge of the Court of Common Pleas.
    1608 – Death of William Davison, diplomat and administrator, at Stepney. He was buried there, in St Dunstan's Church. Davison served Elizabeth I as a diplomat, carrying out embassies to the Netherlands and Scotland, and as secretary. He is mainly known for his role in the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. Davison claimed that Elizabeth I signed Mary's death warrant and told him that she wished the execution to take place in the Great Hall of Fotheringhay Castle without delay. As instructed, Davison asked Sir Christopher Hatton, the acting Lord Chancellor, to seal the warrant with the Great Seal of England to validate it. Elizabeth, on the other hand, claimed that she had signed the warrant and then asked Davison not to disclose this fact to anyone. When she learned that it had been sealed with the Great Seal, she then asked Davison to swear on his life that he would not let the warrant out of his hands unless he had permission from her. After Mary's execution, the poor Davison was arrested, tried and sentenced to imprisonment in the Tower, and heavily fined.

    22 December

    Bishop Fisher

    Bishop Fisher

    1480 – Baptism of Sir Edward Chamberlayne, soldier, a leading member of Oxfordshire gentry and Commissioner of the Peace for Oxfordshire (1506-1539) at Weston in Northamptonshire.
    1534 – An imprisoned John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, wrote to Thomas Cromwell beseeching him to provide him with a shirt and sheet, neither of which he had, some food, some books “to stir his devotion more effectually” and a priest to hear his confession. He also asked Cromwell to intercede with the King and to “move” him to release Fisher from “this cold and painful imprisonment”. Fisher had been imprisoned for denying the King's supremacy.
    1541 - Several members of the Howard and Tilney family, plus their staff, were indicted for misprision of treason for covering up the “unlawful, carnal, voluptuous, and licentious life” of Queen Catherine Howard while she lived with the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk at Lambeth.
    1545 – Birth of George Bannatyne, compiler of the “Bannatyne Manuscript”, at Edinburgh. The “Bannatyne Manuscript” is an anthology of Scots literature and included poems by Bannatyne, Alexander Montgomerie, Alexander Scott, David Lyndsay, William Dunbar, Robert Henryson and King James I.
    1557 – Burnings of John Rough and Margaret Mearing, Protestant martyrs, at Smithfield for heresy.
    1558 (22nd or 28th) – Death of John Christopherson, Bishop of Chichester. He was buried at Christchurch, Newgate Street. He had been put under house arrest following his definition of Protestantism as “a new invention of new men and heresies” on 27th November 1558, preached in response to a sermon at Paul's Cross.

    23 December

    Henri de Lorraine

    Henri de Lorraine

    1513 – Birth of Sir Thomas Smith, scholar, humanist, colonialist diplomat (in Ireland) and political theorist, at Saffron Walden, Essex. He was the second son of sheep farmer, John Smith, and studied at Cambridge University and also in France and Italy. He served Edward VI as a Secretary of State, and was one of Elizabeth I's most trusted counsellors. He served her as a diplomat, Secretary of State and Chancellor of the Order of the Garter. Smith was the author of “De Republica Anglorum; the Manner of Government or Policie of the Realme of England” and “The Discourse of the Commonweal”.
    1556 – Burial of Nicholas Udall (Yevedale), schoolmaster, cleric, humanist and playwright, at St Margaret's, Westminster. His play “Ralph Roister Doister”, which combined Latin comedy and English tradition, is regarded as the first English language comedy. He played a part in Anne Boleyn's coronation in 1533, composing verses for the pageant, and in 1534 he published his Latin text book, “Floures for Latine Spekynge”. In 1541, Udall was imprisoned for a few months at Marshalsea after committing buggery with his pupil Thomas Cheney, but he was back in favour enough the next year to be leading a group of scholars in translating “The Paraphrase of Erasmus upon the New Testament” for Queen Catherine Parr.
    Udall's other works included translations of Erasmus's “Apophthegms”, Pietro Martire's “Discourse on the Eucharist” and Thomas Gemini's “Anatomia”, and the play “Respublica”.
    1558 – Queen Elizabeth I moved from Somerset House to Whitehall Palace, which became her principal residence.
    1558 – Death of Sir John Baker, administrator, Speaker of the House of Commons, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Under-Treasurer of England, in London. He was buried in Cranbrook Church in Kent.
    1559 – Death of Henry Morgan, Bishop of St David's, at Wolvercote in Oxfordshire. He had been deprived of his bishopric after Elizabeth I's accession because of his refusal to accept the religious changes of her reign. He was buried at Wolvercote.
    1568 – Roger Ascham, scholar and royal tutor, was taken ill, probably with malaria. He died on 30th December.
    1588 – The assassination of Henri de Lorraine, 3rd Duke of Guise and founder of the Catholic League, at the Château de Blois. He was killed by King Henry III's bodyguards, “the Forty-five”, in front of the King. His brother, Louis II, Cardinal of Guise, was assassinated the following day. The League had been controlling France, and the King was forced to act against it.
    1599 – Burial of Thomas Byng, civil lawyer, Regius Professor of the Civil Law at Cambridge and Master of Clare College, Cambridge. He was buried in Hackney Church, Middlesex.
    1607 – Death of Sir John Fortescue, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in Elizabeth I's reign.

    24 December

    1545 - King Henry VIII made his final speech to Parliament. Historian Robert Hutchinson describes it as “both measured and compelling”, and writes of how Henry wanted “to impart a stern message” to all of his subjects.
    1604 – Death of Sir Thomas Cornwallis, Comptroller of the household of Mary I and member of Parliament, at the age of eighty-six. He was buried at Brome in Suffolk. Cornwallis was active in putting down Kett's Rebellion in 1549 and in 1553, after originally proclaiming Lady Jane Grey as Queen in Ipswich, he swapped sides and swore allegiance to Mary I.

    25 December

    Lettice Blount

    Lettice Blount

    Christmas Day - Happy Christmas!
    1549 – Death of Stephen Vaughan, merchant, merchant adventurer, diplomat and administrator, in London. He was buried at London's St Mary-le-Bow. Vaughan served Sir Thomas Cromwell as a diplomat between 1524 and 1539, and moved into Henry VIII's service on Cromwell's fall. He acted as the King's Chief Financial Agent in the Netherlands from 1544 to 1546, and became Under-Treasurer of the Tower of London Mint in 1544.
    1553 – Birth of Thomas Thomas, Puritan printer and lexicographer, in London. He became the printer of Cambridge University in 1583, and concentrated on printing Protestant theology and education works. He is known for his Latin dictionary.
    1569 (25th or 26th) – Killing of Sir John Borthwick, soldier, diplomat and Protestant, near Bewcastle in Cumberland. He was killed by the Forster family as he was fighting on the side of James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray and the Regent, against Mary, Queen of Scots's forces. Borthwick had served Edward VI as a diplomat, Elizabeth I as a military commander and Mary, Queen of Scots as a diplomat.
    1587 – Death of Brian Darcy, magistrate, Sheriff of Essex, witch-hunter and contributor to the 1582 “A true and just recorde of the information, examination and confession of all the witches, taken at S. Oses”. “A True and Just Recorde” argued for harsher punishments for those found guilty of witchcraft.
    1634 – Death of Lettice Blount (née Knollys, other married names: Devereux and Dudley) at the age of ninety-one. Lettice died at her home at Drayton Bassett and was buried beside her second husband, Sir Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, in the Beauchamp Chapel of St Mary's Church, Warwick.
    1596 – Death of Sir Henry Curwen, member of Parliament, Justice of the Peace and Sheriff. He served Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I loyally.

  • This week in history 12-18 December

    12 December:

    1546 – Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey was led through the streets of London from Ely Place, where he had been held since the 2nd December, to the Tower of London. There, he was joined by his father, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, who was taken to the Tower by barge along the Thames.
    1574 – Birth of Anne of Denmark, Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland as consort of James I, at Skanderborg Castle, Jutland, Denmark. Anne was the second daughter of Frederick II, King of Denmark and Norway, and his wife, Sophia. She married James I, when he was James VI of Scotland, by proxy on 20th August 1589, and in a proper church ceremony on 23rd November 1589. The couple’s children included the future Charles I and Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia. Anne died on 2nd March 1619 of consumption and dropsy, and was buried in Henry VII’s Chapel, Westminster Abbey.
    1595 – Death of Sir Roger Williams, Protestant Welsh soldier and author, from a fever with his patron, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, at his side. He was buried at St Paul’s Cathedral. William served as a soldier in the Low Countries and France, and was second in command to Essex of the cavalry gathered at Tilbury in 1588. He wrote the 1590 “A Briefe Discourse of Warre”.

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