The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • 13 November – Lady Jane Grey is tried for treason

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th November 1553, in the reign of Queen Mary I, the former queen Jane, or Lady Jane Grey, was tried for treason at Guildhall in London. She wasn’t the only one tried, her husband Lord Guildford Dudley, his brothers Ambrose and Henry Dudley, and Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, were also tried for treason for their parts in putting Jane on the throne.

    In today’s talk, I explain what happened at their trial and also what happened to these Tudor people after they were found guilty and condemned to death.

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  • 12 September – Thomas Cranmer is in big trouble

    On this day in Tudor history, Thursday 12th September 1555, in the reign of Catholic Queen Mary, the trial of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, began in Oxford.

    Archbishop Cranmer, who had, of course, played his part in the annulment of Mary I’s parents’ marriage (King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon) was accused of heresy. Cranmer, however, did not recognise the authority of the court. His intelligent answers to his accusers were to do no good, and he became one of the famous Oxford Martyrs in 1556.

    Find out more about what happened at his trial, and what happened next, in this talk.

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  • 2 July – 13 things you probably didn’t know about Thomas Cranmer

    Today is the anniversary of the birth of that famous Tudor clergyman, statesman, theologian, scholar and highly intelligent man, Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. He was born on 2nd July 1489 at Aslockton in Nottinghamshire.

    I thought I’d mark mark the occasion by sharing a few facts that you might not know about this Tudor birthday boy. Thomas Cranmer is a fascinating Tudor man.

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  • 21 March – This unworthy right hand! The end of Thomas Cranmer

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st March 1556, Thomas Cranmer, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, was burned at the stake in Oxford.

    Cranmer had served Henry VIII and Edward VI as Archbishop of Canterbury and had played a leading role in the Reformation, but he was, of course, seen as a heretic in the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I.

    In today's video, I share John Foxe's account of Thomas Cranmer's end.

    You can find out more about Thomas Cranmer here.

    Also on this day in history:

    • 1522 – Death of Christopher Urswick, courtier, diplomat, former confessor and chaplain to Lady Margaret Beaufort, and almoner to Henry VII. His ecclesiastical offices included Dean of York, Canon and Prebendary of St George's Chapel, Windsor and Dean of Windsor. He was also registrar of the Order of the Garter. He died at the rectory of St Augustine's in Hackney, and was buried there.
    • 1540 – Death of John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford. He died at Earls Colne in Essex, and was buried at Castle Hedingham on the 12th April. Oxford served Henry VIII as an Esquire of the Body, Lord Great Chamberlain and Royal Councillor. He was also a Knight of the Garter.
      1555 – Birth of Sir John Leveson, Kent landowner and Deputy Lieutenant of Kent. In 1601, Leveson helped put down the Earl of Essex's rebellion by commanding men on Ludgate Hill and giving no ground to Essex and his rebels. Essex and his men were forced to withdraw.
    • 1565 – Death of John Warner, Dean of Winchester and physician, at his home in Warwick Lane, London. He was buried at Great Stanmore in Middlesex.
    • 1591 – Death of Edmund Freake, Bishop of Norwich and then of Worcester. He was buried in Worcester Cathedral. In 1579, he tried Matthew Hamont, a Norfolk playwright, for heresy. Hamont was found guilty and burned at Norwich Castle.
    • 1617 – Burial of Pocahontas, the Algonquian Indian princess. Pocahontas was the daughter of Chief Powhatan (Wahunsonacock) of the Virginia Algonquian nation. She was renamed Rebecca in 1614 when she was baptised, and she married John Rolfe in Jamestown in April 1614. The couple, and their son Thomas, went to England in 1616. She was ill, probably from pneumonia or tuberculosis, when the family set sail for Virginia in March 1617 and had to be put ashore, where she died. She was buried at St George's in Gravesend, Kent.
  • Thomas Cranmer Quiz

    Thomas Cranmer, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury in the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Queen Jane and part of Mary I’s, is a fascinating Tudor personality. But how much do you know about the man who was burnt at the stake in 1556? Test yourself with this fun quiz.

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  • Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556)

    As today is the anniversary of the burning of Thomas Cranmer, former Archbishop of Canterbury, on 21st March 1556 in Oxford, I thought I’d list some resources for you to find out more about this fascinating Tudor man.

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  • The Trial of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer

    On this day in history, Thursday 12th September 1555, in the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I, the trial of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, opened in the University Church of St Mary the Virgin at Oxford. Cranmer stood accused of heresy, being charged with two main offences, or doctrinal errors: repudiating papal authority and denying transubstantiation.

    Martyrologist John Foxe gives an account of Thomas Cranmer’s trial in his “Book of Martyrs”:

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  • 21 March 1556 – The burning of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury

    On this day in history, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer was burned at the stake in Oxford. He had recanted his Protestant faith five times, but it didn’t stop his execution from being scheduled.

    On the day of his execution, Cranmer was taken to the University Church Oxford to make a final public recantation. He agreed to this, but after praying and exhorting the people to obey the King and Queen, he renounced his recantations and professed his true Protestant faith. He vowed that his right hand, the hand that he had used to write his recantations which were “contrary to the truth which I thought in my heart, and written for fear of death, and to save my life”, would be the first part of him burned in the fire.

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  • Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury

    Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, was born on 2nd July 1489 in Aslockton, Nottinghamshire, England. He was the son of Thomas Cranmer and his wife Agnes (nee Hatfield). He had an older brother, John, a younger brother, Edmund, and a sister called Alice.

    Cranmer’s father died in 1501. His mother sent Cranmer to grammar school and then in 1503, when he was fourteen years old, he was sent to Jesus College, Cambridge, where he studied for a Bachelor of Arts degree. His degree, which comprised logic, philosophy and classical literature, took him eight years to complete and he followed it with a Masters degree, studying the humanists. After obtaining his Masters degree in 1515, Cranmer he was elected to a Fellowship of Jesus College. Following his marriage to his first wife, Joan, he was forced to relinquish his fellowship and became a reader at Buckingham College. Sadly, Joan died in childbirth and the child also died.

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  • Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, articles

    Today is the anniversary of Thomas Cranmer’s execution on 21st March 1556, when he was burned at the stake in Oxford for heresy. Here is a list of articles from the Tudor Society and the Anne Boleyn Files about this Oxford Martyr.

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  • God’s Kingdom Awaits: The Death of Henry VIII by Beth von Staats

    As today is the anniversary of the death of King Henry VIII in 1547, Beth von Staats, Tudor Life magazine contributor and author of Thomas Cranmer in a Nutshell, has written a very moving piece of fiction about Henry VIII’s final days from the viewpoint of Thomas Cranmer. I do hope you enjoy it.

    It is time for the Lord to act; they have frustrated Your law. ~~~ Psalm 119:126

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  • Thomas Cranmer’s Everlasting Gift: The Book of Common Prayer

    Thank you to Beth von Staats for joining us here on the Tudor Society today as part of her book tour for Thomas Cranmer: In a Nutshell. She is here to share an excellent article on Thomas Cranmer and the Book of Common Prayer – thanks Beth!

    MadeGlobal Publishing is offering one copy of the paperback version of Thomas Cranmer: In a Nutshell as a prize for one lucky commenter. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is to comment below saying what you find so fascinating about Thomas Cranmer. You need to leave your comment by midnight (UK time) on Wednesday 15th July. The winner will be picked at random and contacted for his/her postal address. The giveaway is open internationally.

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  • Thomas Cranmer: In a Nutshell by Beth von Staats

    Tudor Life magazine contributor Beth von Staats has just released her first book Thomas Cranmer: In a Nutshell, a 90 page book which is exactly what the title suggests: a concise biography of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury and Protestant martyr. Congratulations to Beth!

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