The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • 17 April – What happens when a jury doesn’t do what the Crown wants?

    What happens when a jury doesn’t find an alleged traitor guilty and, instead, acquits him? Well, the jurors get arrested and thrown into prison, of course!

    I explain exactly what happened on this day in Tudor history, 17th April 1554, in the case of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton. I also give details on how the jurors finally got released and what happened to Throckmorton. Don’t you just love Tudor justice?!

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  • 11 April – The end of rebel Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th April 1554, in the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I, Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger, son of poet and diplomat Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder, was beheaded on Tower Hill after being found guilty of high treason.

    Wyatt had led a rebellion which sought to depose the queen and to replace her with her half-sister Elizabeth, but he refused to implicate Elizabeth in the plot. He went to his death asserting her innocence.

    Find out more about what happened and hear his final speech in today’s video.

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  • Wyatt’s Rebellion 1554 Crossword Puzzle

    Today’s Sunday fun is a crossword puzzle to test your knowledge of Wyatt’s Rebellion, which took place in January and February 1554. You can open and print the puzzle (and answer page) by clicking on the link or picture below.

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  • 1 February – Mary I’s rousing speech

    On this day in Tudor history, 1st February 1554, Queen Mary I gave a rousing speech to the citizens of London. In this video, I explain what why she did and what she said.

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  • 30 January – Cooling Castle is besieged

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video, we go back to 1554 and to Wyatt’s Rebellion.

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  • 26 January

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history”, we go back to 1554, where trouble was brewing for both Mary I and her half-sister, Elizabeth.

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  • 17 April 1554 – Sir Nicholas Throckmorton’s acquittal and an arrested jury

    On this day in history, 17th April 1554, Sir Nicholas Throckmorton was tried for treason for his alleged involvement in Wyatt’s Rebellion, the rebellion led against Mary I by Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger in early 1554. The indictment against him accused him of being “a principal, deviser, procurer and contriver of the late Rebellion” and said that “Wyatt was but his minister”, but he was acquitted. According to Stanford Lehmberg, his Oxford Dictionary of National Biography biographer, “Throckmorton gave a bravura display of eloquence and learning to run rings round his accusers” and “poured ridicule on the prosecutors’ attempts to find him guilty by association, and repeatedly caught them out on points of law”. The jury acquitted him but the jurors were arrested straight after the trial and Throckmorton remained in prison until January 1555.

    The chronicle of Queen Jane, and of two years of Queen Mary, and especially of the rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyat gives the following account of what happened on that day:

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  • Are there any online primary sources for Wyatt’s Rebellion?

    Thank you to Georgia for asking this question: “I am unable to find any primary accounts of Wyatt’s Rebellion of 1554 – there are only secondary takes on the causes of the rebellion. I was just wondering if you had any links to a primary source that would be of assistance”.

    I (Claire Ridgway) will answer this question as I have a list of primary source from when I researched the rebellion in the past.

    “The Historie of Wyate’s Rebellion with the Order and Maner of Resisting the same” by John Proctor in “Tudor Tracts 1532-1588″…

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  • 11 April 1554 – Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger is executed

    On this day in history, 11th April 1554, Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger was beheaded and then his body quartered for treason, for leading Wyatt’s Rebellion against Queen Mary I.

    Wyatt had already shown his opposition to Mary when he supported Lady Jane Grey’s claim to the throne after the death of Edward VI – he escaped punishment that time – but he felt compelled to act when he found out about Mary I’s plans to marry King Philip II of Spain.

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  • 23 February 1554 – The Execution of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk

    On this day in history, 23rd February 1554, at nine o’clock in the morning, Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, was led out onto the scaffold on Tower Hill and beheaded. His daughter, Lady Jane Grey, or Queen Jane as I like to call her, had been executed eleven days earlier, along with her husband, Lord Guildford Dudley.

    Suffolk’s execution was down to his involvement in Wyatt’s Rebellion, a rebellion which sought to depose Mary I and replace her with her half-sister Elizabeth. The rebellion failed and Suffolk was arrested as he attempted to flee the country in disguise. He was tried for high treason on 17th February at Westminster Hall, having been charged with inciting war in the county of Leicester, posting proclamations against the Spanish marriage, and plotting the death of the queen. He was condemned to death.

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  • 30 January 1554 – Wyatt and his rebels besiege Cooling Castle

    On the 30th January 1554, Thomas Wyatt the Younger, son of poet and diplomat Sir Thomas Wyatt, and his fellow rebels besieged Cooling Castle, near Rochester in Kent.

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  • 22 January 1554 – The conspirators of Wyatt’s Rebellion meet

    On 22nd January 1554, Thomas Wyatt the Younger met with fellow conspirators at his home of Allington Castle in Kent to make final plans for their uprising against Mary I and her decision to marry Philip of Spain.

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  • 18 October 1555 – Elizabeth is free to go to Hatfield

    hatfieldhouseoldpalaceOn this day in history, the 18th October 1555, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, finally received permission from her half-sister, Mary I, to leave court and travel to her own estate at Hatfield, rather than return to house arrest in Woodstock.

    Elizabeth, the future Elizabeth I, had been treated with suspicion by Mary and her council since Wyatt's Revolt in early 1554. David Starkey says of the Revolt: "The rebellion of 1554 - known from the leader of its most important sector as Wyatt's Revolt - brought Elizabeth to her nadir. It led to the most dangerous and difficult time of her life when she feared imminent execution or murder. She even expressed a preference as to how she should die: like her mother, by the sword, rather than by the axe."1
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  • 11 April 1554 – The Execution of Thomas Wyatt the Younger

    On the 11th April 1554, Sir Thomas Wyatt the younger was beheaded and then his body quartered for treason, for leading Wyatt’s Rebellion against Queen Mary I.

    Wyatt had already shown his opposition to Mary when he supported Lady Jane Grey’s claim to the throne after the death of Edward VI – he escaped punishment that time – but he felt compelled to act when he found out about Mary I’s plans to marry King Philip II of Spain.
    The plan was to have a series of uprisings in the South, Southwest, Welsh Marches and Midlands, and then a march on London to overthrow the government, block the Spanish marriage, dethrone Mary and replace her with her Protestant half-sister, Elizabeth, who would marry Edward Courtenay. Unfortunately for Wyatt, other rebel leaders like the Duke of Suffolk (Lady Jane Grey’s father) and the ill-fated Lady Jane Grey (who had nothing to do with the revolt), the plan failed.

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  • 1 February 1554 – Mary I rallies London against Wyatt’s Rebellion

    On this day in 1554, Queen Mary I gave a rousing speech at the Guildhall to rally Londoners to her cause and to oppose Wyatt’s rebellion. Contemporary John Proctor recorded that Mary “did wonderfullye inamour the heartes of the hearers as it was a world to heare with what shoutes they exalted the honour and magnanimitie of Quene Mary”.

    Mary denounced Thomas Wyatt the Youngerand his rebels, but said that she had sent two of her privy council to “the traitour Wyat, desirous rather to quiete thys tumulte by mercie, then by iustice [justice] of the sworde to vanquishe.” She defended her plan to marry Philip of Spain as being beneficial to England, and affirmed:

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  • 26 January 1554 – Mary I warns Elizabeth of the danger of Wyatt’s Rebellion

    ary I became queen in 1553 and although the English people had been happy for her to become queen, some noblemen became worried about her plans to marry Philip II of Spain and the religious changes her reign was bringing. A group of men including Thomas Wyatt the Younger, Henry Grey (Duke of Suffolk and father of Lady Jane Grey), Sir Peter Carew, Sir Edward Rogers, Sir Edward Warner, Sir William Pickering, Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, Sir James Croft, Sir George Harper, Nicholas Arnold, William Thomas and William Winter decided that a military coup might be the only way to prevent Mary’s marriage and planned a series of uprisings with the aim of deposing Mary I and replacing her with her half-sister Elizabeth, who would marry Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon.

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  • Wyatt’s Rebellion 1554

    On 22nd January 1554, Thomas Wyatt the Younger met with fellow conspirators at his home of Allington Castle in Kent to make final plans for their uprising against Mary I and her decision to marry Philip of Spain. This rebellion would become known as Wyatt’s Rebellion.

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