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The Tudor Society
  • 15 November – The death of Katherine of York and the Pope threatens Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th November 1527, a woman who called herself “the excellent Princess Katherine, Countess of Devon, daughter, sister and aunt of kings”, died at Tiverton Castle in Devon.

    Katherine of York, Countess of Devon, daughter of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, was just forty-nine when she died and had taken a vow of chastity after her husband’s death.

    In this talk, I give an overview of Henry VIII’s aunt’s life and I explain why she took her vow of chastity. Find out all about her.

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  • 15 November – The pope threatens Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th November 1532, a rather cross Pope Clement VII threatened King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn with excommunication.

    Why? Well, because Henry VIII had defied the pope’s instructions and previous threats, and gone his own way, setting aside Catherine of Aragon and living with Anne Boleyn. The pope was not impressed with this disobedient king.

    In today’s talk,I share excerpts of the pope’s letter, along with an explanation of the context and what happened next.

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  • 25 September – A pope, death cap mushrooms and poisoned candles

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th September 1534, Pope Clement VII (Giulio di Giuliano de’ Medici) died in Rome. It was rumoured that he died from eating death cap mushrooms or from fumes from poisoned candles placed in his room, but it was more likely to have been from natural causes.

    In today’s video, I introduce this pope, who was the leader of the Catholic Church at rather an interesting time, and also look at the rumours surrounding his death and what eating a death cap mushroom does. Lovely stuff!

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  • 11 July – The Pope’s had enough of Henry VIII!

    There’s only so much a pope can take of a misbehaving king, isn’t there? And Pope Clement VII had had enough of Henry VIII by 11th July 1533.

    But how had this English king gone from being lauded as Defender of the Faith to being threatened with excommunication? What had he done to upset the Pope?

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” talk, I give details on Henry VIII’s misbehaviour, the ultimatum that the pope gave Henry, and what happened next.

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  • 7 March – The Pope threatens Henry VIII

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th March 1530, Pope Clement VII threatened King Henry VIII with excommunication if he married again. Henry, of course, wanted to set aside his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and marry his sweetheart, Anne Boleyn.

    In today’s video, I explain the background of this threat and what happened next.

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  • The Sack of Rome by Heather R. Darsie

    6 May 1527. Pope Clement VII had been sitting on St. Peter’s Chair since 19 November 1523. An illegitimate member of the Medici clan, he was raised by his uncle Lorenzo de’ Medici, known as Lorenzo the Magnificent. His cousin was Pope Leo X, second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent and another Medici. Clement VII was originally trained for military service but showed a great interest in serving the clergy. Though it was traditional for illegitimate sons to be blocked from holding a bishopric, Clement VII’s cousin Leo X elevated him anyway, setting the stage for Clement VII to eventually become pope. Unfortunately, Clement VII proved to be an ineffective statesman and was caught between the powerful leaders of France, the Holy Roman Empire, and England: Francis I, Charles V and Henry VIII, respectively. This being caught between a rock and a hard place would set the stage for Rome to be overrun and defiled.

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