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The Tudor Society
  • May 16 – Another prison for Mary, Queen of Scots, Sir Thomas More resigns, and the real “John Blackthorne” of Shōgun

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th May 1568, following her escape from prison in Scotland, Mary landed on English soil and was taken prisoner once more, but this time by England.

    Why was Mary taken prisoner? What happened?

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  • 7 February – The birth of Sir Thomas More, a joust, unrequited love and a nasty accident

    On this day in history, 7th February 1477 or 1478, Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, was born in London.

    More had once wanted to be a monk but ended up being one of the most well-known statesmen of the Tudor period. Unfortunately, Sir Thomas More came to a sticky end after refusing to sign the oath recognising Henry VIII as the supreme head of the church in England, and was executed in 1535 as a traitor.

    Find out all about More’s rise to power, how he fell, and what he told his son-in-law about the king, in this talk…

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  • 26 October – Rain stops rebels going to battleand and Sir Thomas More is sworn in as Lord Chancellor

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th October 1536, the rebels of the Pilgrimage of Grace halted at Scawsby Leys near Doncaster, where they met crown troops. The rebels were said to number around 30,000 and the crown’s army was only a fifth of the size, but the rebel leader, lawyer Robert Aske, chose to negotiate rather than fight.

    Why, when they could well have won?

    Well, one Tudor chronicler puts it down to rain. You can find out more about this meeting, how rain put a stop to the rebels’ plans, and what happened next between the Pilgrimage of Grace rebels and Henry VIII, in this video…

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  • 1 July – Sir Thomas More is found guilty

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st July 1535, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s former Lord Chancellor, was tried for high treason by a special commission of oyer and terminer. The commission found him guilty and he was executed on 6th July 1535.

    But how did More, a faithful and loyal servant of the king, end up in this mess? Who was on the commission and what exactly happened?

    Find out all about the fall of Sir Thomas More in today’s talk.

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  • 13 April 1534 – Sir Thomas More is summoned to Lambeth

    On this day in history, 13th April 1534, Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s former Lord Chancellor and good friend, was summoned to Lambeth to swear his allegiance to the Act of Succession. He refused to swear the oath and “thereupon was he delivered to the abbot of Westminster to be kept as a prisoner.”

    His son-in-law, William Roper, recorded what happened that day in his book The Life of Sir Thomas More:

    “So fell it out, within a month, or thereabout, after the making of the Statute for the Oath of the Supremacy and Matrimony, that all the priests of London and Westminster, and no temporal men but he, were sent for to appear at Lambeth before the Bishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, and Secretary Cromwell, commissioners appointed there to tender the oath unto them. Then Sir Thomas More, as his accustomed manner was always ere he entered into any matter of importance, (as when he was first chosen of the king’s privy council, when he was sent ambassador, appointed Speaker of the parliament, made Lord Chancellor, or when he took any like weighty matter upon him) to go to church and be confessed, to hear mass, and be houseled; so did he likewise in the morning early the selfsame day that he was summoned to appear before the lords at Lambeth.

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  • Sir Thomas More

    Yesterday was the anniversary of the execution of Sir Thomas More, former Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, on 6th July 1535. To commemorate that anniversary, I thought I would share with you a brief bio of More, based on an extract from my book On This Day in Tudor History, and then some videos about him.

    Sir Thomas More is thought to have been born on 7th February 1477 or 1478 n Milk Street, London, and he was the son of Sir John More, lawyer and judge on the King’s Bench, and Agnes Graunger, daughter of Thomas Graunger, a Merchant of the Staple of Calais and an Alderman of London.

    More joined the household of John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, before studying Latin and logic at the University of Oxford. He then studied law in London. It was while he was a student that he met and became friends with men like William Lilye, John Colet and Erasmus.

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