Day 8 of the Discover the Tudors Tour

Sep 24, 2018 #Discover the Tudors tour

I can’t believe that today was our last full day on the tour and that I will soon be saying goodbye to these lovely lords and ladies. We have gelled so much and I know that we have made friendships that will last a lifetime. It’s wonderful that Tudor history can bring us together like this.

After another delicious breakfast, this time at the Doubletree by Hilton near the Tower of London, we headed out for the day. Although it was raining – well, we did have to give our group the true British experience! – we decided to stop off at the Tower Hill scaffold site to explain its relevance, as many people miss this entirely. So many important Tudor personalities lost their lives there, so it was good to visit and remember them. We then made our way down to the River Thames, at Tower Wharf, right where Anne Boleyn disembarked on 2nd May 1536 when she was taken to the Tower to be imprisoned, to catch the Clipper, the river bus service that would take us to Bankside, where Shakespeare’s Globe is located. It was wonderful seeing lots of London sights from the river and in just a few short minutes we were at Bankside.

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23 thoughts on “Day 8 of the Discover the Tudors Tour”
  1. I’m afraid this is something I’m not going to have the chance to do so thank you so much for posting the photos. I have really enjoyed them.

  2. Lovely photos as always and iv always found London enchanting by night, iv eaten at the Tower Hotel which reminds me of your hotel and seeing the photos reminded me of that time, the sights are all around you, it’s even more magical when it gets near Christmas, I’m glad they built the Globe theatre, it’s a fitting monument in fact to Shakespeare and I remember when plans of its construction was on the news, I’m sure he would be impressed with it, you have certainly covered plenty of ground on your tours Claire well done!

    1. I’m glad too, it’s a wonderful place to visit and now I really want to see a play there. Two of our group were lucky enough to get tickets to see Mark Rylance in Othello there!

  3. Hi Claire im 12 and love this website and the Tudors – bit of a Tudor geek! I would really like to know, did the Lady Elizabeth (as she was called then) ever meet her third stepmother, Queen Katheryn Howard? In Alison Weir’s THE LADY ELIZABETH, she writes about Elizabeth going to court during the New Year of 1541. However, I cannot find any evidence to back this up. I have read that the Lady Anna of Kleve and the Lady Mary were there, but cannot see Elizabeth’s name mentioned at all, visiting Katheryn Howard. If she did not, the there could be another reason as to why Elizabeth did not marry. Thanks!

    1. Hi Dylan, as her father’s new wife and queen and Elizabeths stepmother I’m sure she would have been introduced to her, she was related to her as well on her mothers side, Anne Boleyn was half Howard after all, and they would have all been together for the Christmas festivities as well as other occasions, so whilst there may not be any sources that tell us where Elizabeth was in the new year we can assume she must have been at court, unless she could have been ill she would have been in one of her favoured residences like possibly Hatfield recuperating, but Henry V111 did like to have all his children with him especially at Christmas, when he was suffering from his leg of course he would see no one for weeks on end including his wife but one Christmas Anna of Cleve’s was also at court and she and Henrys new queen danced together when Henry went to bed, Weir whilst being an historian also as you know writes historical fiction books and I have also read ‘The Lady Elizabeth’, in historical fiction the authors don’t always stick to the truth but add their own interpretations of what happened, after all it is just a novel, in this book she writes how Elizabeth had Seymour’s baby and a midwife was taken in great secrecy and in darkness with a blindfold across her eyes, to a great house and delivered a baby to a fair young woman, this was based on a tale that was circulating about Elizabeth as news of her rompings with Seymour became public knowledge, it was after her stepmothers execution that Elizabeth did tell who was to become a life long friend of hers that she would never marry, we can only infer from this that she was quite shaken with the news of her death and that it possibly brought up traumatic memories of her mother, of course as she grew older and into womanhood she did toy with the idea of marriage and loved to have suitors far and wide as well as at home, vying for her hand and she was very much in love with the Earl of Leicester, we will never know why Elizabeth did not marry, I do not think personally it had anything to do with her father’s marital escapades, I think it was more to do with the fact that as a woman, she would have to relinquish a certain amount of power to her husband, of course she did set pride on what she called her virgin state but iv often wondered if this was just a pr stunt, she wanted everyone to see her as this pure queen who as she once said, was married to her people, the daughter of a king who had married six times and of a woman who was notorious throughout her kingdom and Europe for triple adultery, was she trying to tell the world that she herself was this paragon of virtue? Her reputation had taken a beating with the Seymour affair and after she had lived quietly nun like with her studying and she had taken to dressing modestly to, there were suitors lined up for her but she rejected them all much to her sisters annoyance, some say she would have married the Earl of Leicester but for his wife, when she died mysteriously she was more of an obstacle to them than alive, as there were rumours she had been murdured so her husband could marry the queen, that stopped any idea of marriage between the queen and her favourite forever, she could have just died through a fatal accident, she had a cancer in the breast and was found dead down a flight of stairs one day, in pain sleepy and maybe disorientated she could just have tripped, the long gowns the ladies wore would have hindered her step, but because of her husband’s association with the queen there were rumours of murder, Elizabeth is an enigma like her mother and there are always theories as to why she never married, it is one of the many fascinating aspects about this most fascinating of queens.

      1. Hello Dylan and welcome to our community and Claire’s fantastic site. I have been searching through a recent biography by Gareth Russell on Katherine Howard and there is no mention of Elizabeth or Edward at Court during this period. She wasn’t there at New Year 1541_as far as we know, but on 6th May 1541 she came firstly to Chelsea House where Elizabeth stayed, probably so as she could attend functions if her father summoned his children to attend. Elizabeth was only seven at this time, although an impressive child, so she had her household away from Court. The same was true for Prince Edward, he was also kept mostly away from Court because of the fear of illness. This was a normal thing, not as a sign of falling out or anything else. Royal children had their own separate households and either came to Court on special occasions or saw their parents on visits.

        On 5th May 1541 Russell records, taking his information from sources written at the time, Henry and Katherine travelled to Baynards Castle in London and here arranged to receive the two young Royal children, Elizabeth and Edward. We know that Katherine was particularly anxious to meet Elizabeth alone due to her kinship, as Elizabeth was the daughter of her cousin, Anne Boleyn. She saw her and spent time with her separate from her father on 6th May at Chelsea. Unfortunately, we are not given a great deal of detail, but the little girl made an impression on the young Queen and she then spent four days with Katherine and Henry at the Castle. Katherine was then introduced to Prince Edward.

        The stepdaughter that Katherine encountered the most was Mary, an adult in her early twenties. Unfortunately they fell out and Katherine felt insulated. She had one of Mary’s maids removed. Mary complained to her father who didn’t overrule his wife, but at some point an attempt was made to reconcile with Mary. Mary also accompanied her father and stepmother to the North on progress in the Summer 1541. Unlike Elizabeth and Edward Mary had apartments at Court and a fully functioning household there. She also had various houses and spent time between them. She may have looked down on Katherine because of her former loyalty and friendship with Anne of Cleves. This is speculation but because Mary saw Anne as being a true Queen she probably resented her father’s treatment of a Royal Princess by divorcing her after only six months. Anne did well from the deal, inherited Richmond Palace and Hever Castle and a lot of cash. She was later buried by Mary in Westminster Abbey.

        It is of course possible that Elizabeth came briefly to Court at Christmas but may not have taken any public role. She would have been in the nursery most of the time and brought out on display if Henry wanted to show her off. There is, however, no record of any meetings at that time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she wasn’t somewhere nearby, just not in public. It is an easy assumption to make and authors don’t always get things right or even tell us fully were they got their information. Sometimes they cite a source from much later in time than the story they have told us. Even when they do a lot of research as Alison Weir obviously does they don’t always write the source down fully so it can be hard to find. Sometimes they speculate. Sometimes they analyse things in a way that may not make any sense and is different to other historians. Ms Weir is an excellent and entertaining historian, but she does fall into these traps at times. It is not always easy to trace her ideas, not because she hasn’t done the research, but because she doesn’t write the reference out correctly making it hard for us to follow up. However, it is reasonable to assume that all of the children came to Court in New Year or Christmas but as they were young, Edward and Elizabeth may well have been restricted to suitable entertainment or to their household. There is no record of them being presented to Katherine Howard before May 1541.

        Why Elizabeth never married is one of great debate and speculation. She obviously had the terrible trauma of her mother’s execution, then a father who skipped from one wife to the next, in quick succession. It has been suggested that she did become close to Katherine, maybe they exchanged notes, that she was again traumatised by Katherine’s execution. It is unlikely that at eight she would have decided not to marry and the situation changed in 1559 after her coronation as Queen Elizabeth I. Then she was the most eligible catch in Europe. Elizabeth also saw her stepmother Katherine Parr whom she lived with die in childbirth and it has been speculated that she feared childbirth. As a woman at this time if she married she would have to hand over power to her husband while she was pregnant. She would have to go to her room and stay there for several weeks before and after giving birth and her husband would rule instead of her. Elizabeth it was said was power crazy and would never share power as her husband would rule her. However, this may not be true because she had several offers of marriage and seriously considered more than one of them. Her Council found something wrong with all of them while urging her to marry and in the end Elizabeth got fed up and remained single. While this sounds strong and sensible it also meant that she had no children. Therefore Elizabeth had no direct heir. She didn’t nominate an heir and every high born family believed they had a better claim than Elizabeth or were suggested as her successor at one time or another. Her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots had a very strong claim to be the next Queen and many of Elizabeth’s people agreed. You see England still had a largely Catholic population and many of them supported Mary especially after she fled to England and Elizabeth locked her up. Later plots were made to get rid of Elizabeth and put her cousin on the throne and Elizabeth had Mary executed. Other families still saw themselves as her heir but she more or less groomed Mary’s son James to succeed without naming him. He had support at Court and was named on her deathbed as the only person with any real logical claim. Trauma may have played a part in her decision, but I really think she just trusted most in her own way of doing things, regardless of the outcome.

        1. P.S I found another reference, which refers to a general description of the relationship between Katherine Howard and Elizabeth, which was recorded by Lady Strickland, a gentlewoman who wrote a history of the Queens and Princesses of England from the Norman Conquest. It is now believed she had access to records from old archives that have since been lost to the public record and even though she made a few errors, she was very accurate. She was a very good amateur historian and was well respected. The reference talks about Katherine commanding that Elizabeth be seated opposite her at table and of numerous visits. Certainly from May she visited with Elizabeth a number of times before going on progress and had a big fan in the young lady.

          Again, Claire, what wonderful pictures and thanks for sharing your trip with us. The costumes look very sumptuous and amazing. Thanks.

        2. Margaret barnes book young Elizabeth, captures the feelings Elizabeth had about her step mothers

    2. Hi Dylan,
      Welcome to the Anne Boleyn Files! It appears that Elizabeth was actually an infrequent visitor to court at this time. She and Mary were present at the reception of Anne of Cleves in January 1540, but I can’t see a reference to her being at court in January 1541. She may have been there, as Christmas, Epiphany and New Year was a time of court festivities, but I can’t see any mention of her in the records.
      Catherine and Elizabeth definitely met, though, for example in May 1541 at Chelsea (LP xvi. 804), and Catherine sent Elizabeth a gift of beads.

      1. Thanks for replying, everyone, I did try to research it myself but could get nowhere; thank you all for taking the time to respond!

  4. Hi Bq, I too have heard that Miss. Strickland may have had access to records that are now lost, its a shame as one would expect these important historical documents to be carefully preserved, I once owned a copy of her work, lives of the Queens of England, I would love to own a copy of Mary Everett Greens book on the Princess’s of England to.

    1. Hi Christine, I am the proud owner of this set of old original hardback of the biographies by Agnus Strickland. I believe the books are also being published now on Kindle as individual stories. I also think you can read them and Mary Everett Green on an open website called which allows downloading as well as reading onto a mobile device such as a Kindle called a Mobi or as another version for Daisy, laptops and Kobo. You can read bits and pieces as well. There are literally many thousands of old books on there. Yes it is a shame many things have been lost. I really think that people should take care of old documents but then fires and war and violence and we get rid of clutter so documents vanished over time. Having said that there are literally hundreds of archives in old private homes and collections just waiting for things to be discovered in them. When Eleanor Rathbone died and her letters and papers came to our Reading Rooms the wealth of social information was a treasure. The Lost Princes Project looking for evidence to put light onto the fate of Edward and Richard the former Princes in the Tower have gone digging in all sorts of archives for two years now. They have also asked people to open up any archive of papers that dates from the period. Nothing much has been found on the fate but a few lost documents on their lives have and times have come out, never seen before. When Speke Hall decided to examine their own documents for the first time in 150 years, it was discovered that the family had plantations in the Indies, with slaves. They had suspected this because of the symbol in one of the coats of arms in a window. It is a bit odd but shows a colonial house and obscure shape of a black family, and there is a fruit symbol which now is believed to be connected to slavery. It also pre dated the official slave trade period but of course slaves have been around as long as humans. Our contact with the Indies and Americas dates back to the early 1500s so of course the bad elements go with that as well as the good. There was always the possibility that the black family were a free family, living in the household as many were, but the documents confirmed that one of the Norris men had brought and left in his will property which compromised of two female slaves and a boy slave and brought to England as house slaves a family. They were hidden by his descendants in the window coat of arms. He also didn’t spend much time over there, but had a huge plantation. He had workers as well but no doubt he had other slaves as well. The Norris family of Speke are not related to the Sir Henry Norris executed with Anne Boleyn although confusingly most of the Norris men were also called Henry. They were a well respected Catholic family and had a decent reputation. Keeping slaves in the West Indies somehow shattered that illusion. The window is now incorporated into the house tour and in modern guide books. There must literally be thousands of documents in lofts which can illuminate our social and national history. The main exhibition at Sudeley Castle was only put together a few years ago and contains items lost to history or unknown for centuries because the family who brought the Castle and restored it had a great aunt who collected everything of interest and stored them in large trunks. The American owner who is a widow and her son and daughter went through and found some very rare items belonging to Katherine Parr and Princess Elizabeth and other famous people from the past and many things from different cultures and they brought them together in new galleries a few years ago. Siezer Castle in Lancashire, the home of the Strickland family are forever adding new documentary evidence to their public display so who knows Lady Anges may have left the lot in a trunk in the attic. I love it when such and such a place puts an entire archive on the internet, wow that must take some hard work. The entire collection of documents and personal items belonging to George iii and iv were opened up in Windsor Castle last year and they were photographed and put online. The Queen hadn’t even seen most of them. You get some saucy tales as well, which adds to the spice of the secret history of these old families. They probably had a mad aunt Doris or something. We have lost so much history and found so much as well. I suppose it balanced out.

      1. Hi Bq I had an aunt Doris, mind you she wasn’t mad though and she was a wonderful cook I always remember eating her wonderful rabbit pie and she made a marvellous chocolate cake, whilst delving into my family tree I found that several branches of them owned coffee plantations and had slaves, awful when you think about it, I’m not sure where they were but some went to America and possibly in Antigua and the Bahamas, the young men sowed their wild oats and had children with some of the slave women so I have some distant cousins somewhere running about under the palm trees, the coffee is still in production today called ‘ blue mountain’, you are lucky owning the Strickland volumes I have seen that Archive website I will have to do some digging, I find it wonderful when some old document turns up or painting, my dads boss owned a beautiful listed Tudor building and there was a stained glass window depicting Philip of Spain, it also housed a stool which once belonged to Cardinal Wolsley and had previously stood in Hampton Court, truly wonderful when you think about it, you are actually standing near something and touching something that has links to the Tudor age and the men that are connected to it.

    1. But the Globe was a place of entertainment, where people would have enjoyed themselves and had rather a lot of ale too. I’m not sure what you mean.

    1. Ah, ok, I understand. I’m just glad that they have put a memorial there, although many people don’t realise it’s there. It’s very poignant and I’ve laid flowers there before. There are a few plaques with names on but many names, including the men executed in May 1536, are missing. It really was “good to visit and remember them” and I certainly wasn’t being offhand, I’ve written a lot about it in the past. We couldn’t stay there for very long this time as it was pouring with rain.

  5. Thank you Claire. After all, everything was done so wrong to get those people there. that even a plaque to commemorate them is better than nothing. When I visited the site, I thought it would be larger, more impressive. just a small island in the middle of a lot of traffic. It is great, what you have put up on this web site. Congratulations to you.

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