March 23 – The last abbey is dissolved and the Pope issued a bull proclaiming Catherine of Aragon to be England’s true queen

| March 23, 2022

March 23 – The last abbey is dissolved and the Pope issued a bull proclaiming Catherine of Aragon to be England’s true queen

On this day in Tudor history, 23rd March 1540, Waltham Abbey, an Augustinian house in Essex, was surrendered to the Crown. It was the last abbey to be dissolved in Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell’s dissolution of the monasteries. Find out more about this historic abbey, its origins and what’s left today, and also who […]

March 17 – Alexander Alesius’ terrifying vision of Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I’s famous Tide Letter

| March 17, 2022

March 17 – Alexander Alesius’ terrifying vision of Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I’s famous Tide Letter

On this day in Tudor history, 17th March 1565, Scottish theologian and Reformer Alexander Alesius (also known as Ales, Aless), died in either Leipzig or Edinburgh. Alesius wrote a huge number of theological works, was friends with reformers Philip Melancthon and Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, but had a row with the Bishop of London […]

March 4 – William Bullokar and his 40-letter alphabet and, Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Mary Boleyn star in the spectacular Chateau Vert Pageant

| March 4, 2022

March 4 – William Bullokar and his 40-letter alphabet and, Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Mary Boleyn star in the spectacular Chateau Vert Pageant

On this day in history, 4th March 1609, Tudor spelling reformer and grammarian William Bullokar died at Chichester in West Sussex. William Bullokar is known for writing the first grammar book of English, the “Pamphlet for Grammar”, and for his work reforming the alphabet to improve literacy. Find out more about him and what he […]

29 January – Queen Anne Boleyn miscarries and the burial of Catherine of Aragon

| January 29, 2022

29 January – Queen Anne Boleyn miscarries and the burial of Catherine of Aragon

On this day in Tudor history, 29th January 1536, the same day that Catherine of Aragon was buried at Peterborough Abbey, Queen Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII suffered a miscarriage. Contemporary accounts state that she was around 3 1/2 months pregnant and that it was a boy. In this talk, I share […]

28 October – Ivan the Terrible writes a rude letter to Elizabeth I and the Feast of St Simon and St Jude

| October 28, 2021

28 October – Ivan the Terrible writes a rude letter to Elizabeth I and the Feast of St Simon and St Jude

On this day in Tudor history, 28th October 1570, Ivan IV of Russia, known commonly as Ivan the Terrible, wrote a rather rude letter to Queen Elizabeth I. Ivan was upset with Elizabeth’s reaction to his idea of a political alliance, an agreement to help each other if their lives were in danger, and wrote […]

27 October – The birth of Mary Herbert and the dramatic entrance of Anne Boleyn

| October 27, 2021

27 October – The birth of Mary Herbert and the dramatic entrance of Anne Boleyn

On this day in Tudor history, 27th October 1561, Mary Herbert (née Sidney), Countess of Pembroke, writer and literary patron, was born at Tickenhall, near Bewdley in Worcestershire. She was the sister of the poets Sir Philip Sidney and Robert Sidney, Earl of Leicester, was a writer herself and an extremely talented lady, and she […]

25 October – Twin saints and Francis I’s gift to Anne Boleyn

| October 25, 2021

25 October – Twin saints and Francis I’s gift to Anne Boleyn

Today, 25th October, is a feast day which was celebrated in medieval and Tudor times – the feast of Saints Crispin and Crispinian, martyrs of the Early Church and the patron saints of cobblers. Find out more about these saints, how their feast day became linked to an important English victory over the French, how […]

21 October – Lancaster Herald’s encounter with rebels and Henry VIII’s time at the French court.

| October 21, 2021

21 October – Lancaster Herald’s encounter with rebels and Henry VIII’s time at the French court.

On this day in Tudor history, 21st October 1536, during the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion, Lancaster Herald had an encounter with armed peasants on his way to Pontefract Castle and then met with the rebel leader, Robert Aske, at the castle. The meeting didn’t go well, with Aske putting his foot down and not allowing […]

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