The Tudor Society
  • March 25 – Elizabeth I grants letters patent to Walter Ralegh

    On 25th March 1584, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, letters patent were granted to Walter Ralegh giving him “free liberty and licence… to discover, search for, fynde out and view… landes, countries and territories”, for the benefit of himself, “his heyres and assignes forever.”

    It went on to describe these territories: “such remote heathen and barbarous lands countries and territories not actually possessed of any Christian Prince and inhabited by Christian people”, and as Nancy Bradley Warren points out in her book “Women of God and Arms”, Elizabeth I and her government were not only granting Ralegh the right to colonise lands owned by the indigenous people, they were also giving him the right to take lands held by Spain, as they didn’t view Catholicism as true Christianity.

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  • October 29 – Sir Walter Ralegh is executed

    On this day in history, 29th October 1618, Sir Walter Ralegh (Raleigh, Rawley, Ralagh, Rawleigh) was executed in the Old Palace Yard at Westminster Palace.

    Although his execution took place in the reign of King James I, so in the Stuart period, Sir Walter Ralegh was a famous Elizabethan courtier, explorer, author and soldier.

    Ralegh had been a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, until he angered the queen by secretly marrying her lady, Bess Throckmorton, and he’d led an eventful life. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London on several occasions, he was accused of atheism at one point, and he had sailed to America and tried to establish a colony. He was also knighted for his service in Ireland, and he was a poet too!

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  • 29 October – Henry VIII’s farewell to Francis I of France and the execution of Sir Walter Ralegh

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th October 1532, King Henry VIII bid farewell to his “loving brother”, his French counterpart, King Francis I.

    The two kings had enjoyed each other’s company at Calais and Boulogne, and Henry VIII was pleased with their meetings. In fact, things had gone so well that Henry VIII decided to marry Anne Boleyn!

    Find out more about their farewell, and what had happened during the trip, in this talk…

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