September 14 – Henry VIII destroys a centuries-old shrine

| September 14, 2022

September 14 – Henry VIII destroys a centuries-old shrine

On this day in Tudor history, 14th September 1538, the Shrine of Our Lady of Caversham, a religious shrine which had stood since the early 12th century, was destroyed on the orders of King Henry VIII. The shrine was destroyed as part of the king’s dissolution of the monasteries. Let me share some contemporary accounts […]

September 12 – The trial of Archbishop Cranmer

| September 12, 2022

September 12 – The trial of Archbishop Cranmer

On this day in Tudor history, Thursday 12th September 1555, in the reign of Queen Mary, the trial of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, opened in Oxford. The archbishop stood accused of heresy, but he did not recognise the authority of the court. He gave intelligent answers to his accusers, but they did him no […]

September 6 – Martin Luther sends a pamphlet to the pope

| September 6, 2022

September 6 – Martin Luther sends a pamphlet to the pope

On this day in Tudor history, 6th September 1520, in the reign of King Henry VIII, the famous reformer Martin Luther sent his pamphlet “On the Freedom of a Christian” (also known as “A Treatise on Christian Liberty”) to Pope Leo X. In this pamphlet, Luther emphasised the “two-fold nature” of Christians as saints and […]

August 11 – Henry VIII’s awful treatment of friars

| August 11, 2022

August 11 – Henry VIII’s awful treatment of friars

On this day in Tudor history, 11th August 1534, or shortly before, Henry VIII and his government expelled the friars observant from their religious houses. The expulsion was due to the friars’ support of Catherine of Aragon, the king’s first wife, and their refusal to accept the king as supreme head of the Church in […]

August 5 – The Battle of Clyst St Mary

| August 5, 2022

August 5 – The Battle of Clyst St Mary

On this day in Tudor history, 5th August 1549, during the reign of King Edward VI, son of King Henry VIII, the Battle of Clyst St Mary took place near Exeter, in Devon. This battle, which saw the Crown forces victorious, was part of the Prayer Book Rebellion, a rebellion against the religious measures of […]

July 30 – Catholics and Reformers executed in London

| July 30, 2022

July 30 – Catholics and Reformers executed in London

On this day in Tudor history, 30th July 1540, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Catholics Thomas Abell, Edward Powell and Richard Fetherston were hanged, drawn and quartered, and Reformers Robert Barnes, William Jerome and Thomas Garrard were burned at the stake, all at Smithfield in London. What a confusing day it must have […]

16 July – The burning of Anne Askew, Protestant martyr

| July 16, 2022

16 July – The burning of Anne Askew, Protestant martyr

On this day in Tudor history, 16th July 1546, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Protestants Anne Askew, John Lascelles, John Adams and Nicholas Belenian were burned at the stake at Smithfield in London. They’d been found guilty of heresy. Special provision had to be made for Anne Askew as her body was so […]

July 11 – Pope Clement VII has had all he can take of Henry VIII

| July 11, 2022

July 11 – Pope Clement VII has had all he can take of Henry VIII

By this day in Tudor history, 11th July 1533, Pope Clement VII had go to the end of his tether with King Henry VIII. But how had Henry VIII gone from being lauded as Defender of the Faith in 1521 to being threatened with excommunication under 12 years later? What on earth had he done […]