The Tudor Society
  • November 4 – Members of the Pole family and their associates are arrested for treason

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th November 1538, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu; his brother-in-law, Sir Edward Neville; Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter; Courtenay’s wife, Gertrude Blount, and the couple’s son, Edward Courtenay, were arrested for treason. They were taken to the Tower of London.

    Montagu, Neville and Exeter, along with Montagu’s brother, Geoffrey Pole, were accused of plotting with Montagu’s brother, Cardinal Reginald Pole, against King Henry VIII. Montagu’s mother, Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, was also arrested for treason.

    Henry VIII had sought Cardinal Pole’s opinion on his marriage and the papacy, so why were members of his family accused of treason for communicating with the cardinal?

    Find out what Cardinal Pole had done to upset the king, and what happened to his family and friends…

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  • 9 December -The King is a beast and worse than a beast!

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th December 1538, Sir Edward Neville, courtier, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber and son of George Neville, 2nd Baron Bergavenny, was beheaded on Tower Hill.

    He had been condemned to death for treason, accused of conspiring against the king in the Exeter Conspiracy of 1538, along with members of the Pole family. He was also accused of saying “The King is a beast and worse than a beast”, which is not a wise thing to be overheard saying in Tudor England.

    Find out more about Neville’s life and downfall in today’s talk.

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