- Tudor home is icon of Britishness
- Quaint relics of the past – changed them and us
- Age of discovery and anything is possible – change most evident in the home, domestic life transformed
- As with anything new there were risks
- Life threatening changes made their way into the heart of the Tudor home
- Emergence of people with new wealth – aspirations for their homes
- New homes introduced hidden killers to the home
- Newly discovered lands brought killers home into the kitchen and dining room
- Boom in trade, prospering in trade and new goods including food and furniture, home became more comfortable than ever home
- Increase in material goods
- Dining room – taste for the new and exotic
- Until the 1540s the English didn’t have a word for orange
- Sugar became more available with lower prices – slave trade
- Medieval diet rather bland, enhanced with sugar in Tudor period
- Sugar needs to be broken up – work hours as well as expense, desirable way of displaying status
- Could play with sugar to shape and dye it
- Huge release of energy when sugar introduced to a diet that had none before
- Consumption more widespread but caused trouble – changes in disease patterns over time, impact of sugar on health
- Dental health – marked change in dental health. Medieval teeth much healthier than Tudor skulls as sugar introduced
- Methods of cleaning teeth in the Tudor period made things worse
- Used solutions to clean their teeth containing sugar or alabaster
- Kissing comfits were sweets which took away bad breath but damaged teeth
- Sugar also affects chemicals in the body – serotonin, pleasure chemical
Anne Boleyn was the most notorious mistress in English history
Intelligent, sophisticated, ambitious
Captivated Henry VIII
Together Henry and Anne destroyed Katherine of Aragon
Anne became too confident and paid for the crown with her life
1529 Henry VIII in love with Anne for 3 years
Was lady in waiting to Katherine of Aragon – tired of being mistress
Anne promised Henry a living son – the one thing Katherine had failed to give him – but she wouldn’t sleep with Henry until he left his wife
Katherine refused to step aside – loyal wife for 2 decades
Katherine wouldn’t give up Henry without a fight – Katherine asked Henry to allow marriage to be judged in public court
Katherine had chance to save marriage and crown
Katherine had been preparing for this her whole life – not to be crushed by any man
All or nothing
21 June 1529 great hall at Blackfriars priory – struggle made public
Henry and Katherine faced each other in the divorce court in front of public audience
Henry VIII most infamous monarch in English history
38 year reign, 6 marriages
Divorced, beheaded died, divorced, beheaded, survived
Women more than wives – also queens
Formidable individuals, all changed history and shaped Henry VIII and England
What was it really like to be married to Henry VIII?
Passions, obsessions and betrayals
Katherine of Aragon
Warrior queen who taught Henry how to be a king
Love, passions and tragedies that tore them apart
November 14 1501 Katherine prepared for wedding night in London, aged 15
1000 miles from home speaking little English
In front of thousands of people in St Paul’s Cathedral married Prince Arthur, heir to English throne
Katherine was to be English queen Continue reading
Event– Birth of Prince Arthur
Location– Winchester Cathedral Priory, England
Prince Arthur was the eldest son and heir of Henry VII, King of England, and his wife, Elizabeth of York. Arthur was the symbol of the union of the warring houses of Lancaster and York. His father, Henry VII, was Lancastrian and his mother, Elizabeth of York, was a Yorkist. Arthur himself was the symbol of the union of the houses, ending the Wars of the Roses.
Henry VII decided to name his firstborn son after the legendary King Arthur and he decided that Winchester was representative of Camelot. In the 16th century the location was St Swithin’s Priory in Winchester (today Winchester Cathedral Priory). He was born at around 1am on 20 September 1486, just 8 months after the marriage of his parents, meaning he was either 1 month premature, or his parents had consummated their union without waiting for an official marriage.
Prince Arthur would later marry Katherine of Aragon, but would die just short of his 16th birthday in 1502, leaving his brother to become the future Henry VIII.
Brigden, Susan, New Worlds, Lost Worlds (2000)
Gunn, Steven & Monckton, Linda, Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales: Life, Death and Commemoration (2009)
Lisle, Leanda de, Tudor: the Family Story (2013)
Loades, David, The Tudors: History of a Dynasty (2012)
Weir, Alison, Britain’s Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy (2008)
Name: William Cecil
Title/s: Baron Burghley
Birth / Death: 13 September 1520 – 4 August 1598
Spouse: Mary Cheke ?-1543 & Mildred Cooke 1526-1589
Children: Thomas Cecil, Earl of Exeter 1542-1623 / Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury 1563-1612 / Anne de Vere, Countess of Oxford 1556-1588 / Francisca Cecil / William Cecil 1559 / William Cecil 1561 / Elizabeth Wentworth 1564-1583
Parents: Richard Cecil c.1495-1553 & Jane Heckington
Siblings: Anne White / Margaret Cave / Elizabeth Wingfield
Noble Connections: William Cecil was Secretary of State to both Edward VI and Elizabeth I. He was also Elizabeth I’s closest advisor for most of her reign. He also initially supported the reign of Lady Jane Grey in 1553. He is the founder of the Cecil dynasty which has produced 2 prime ministers including the 3rd Marquis of Salisbury. Continue reading
The study of history has inevitably changed over the last few decades, and no doubt will continue to change because of the introduction of new technologies such as computers and the internet. It is now much easier to share things online than it used to be, and this means that more people can access a wider range of information.
Many archives and journals now publish online, meaning that more people have access to the sources and information that they provide. For example, online databases like British History Online (http://www.british-history.ac.uk/) brings together a selection of sources from different periods, and makes them available for anyone to look at without having to travel down to archives in London or Edinburgh or Dublin. For my own analysis of British History Online see https://tudorblogger.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/review-of-sources-on-british-history-online/. The National Archives operate similarly and I’m sure many others do as well. Even the BBC have audio clips on a wide range of subjects from people who were there, and even old newsreels. Continue reading
Name: Edward of Westminster / Edward of Lancaster
Title/s: Prince of Wales
Birth / Death: 13 October 1453 – 4 May 1471
Spouse: Anne Neville 1456-1485
Parents: Henry VI 1421-1471 & Margaret of Anjou 1430-1482
Noble Connections: Edward was the Prince of Wales, son of Henry VI of England. Through his mother, Margaret of Anjou, he was also related to the Kings of France. Through his wife, Anne Neville, he was also related to the Earls of Warwick, and distantly to Edward IV.
Events of their Lifetime: Deposition of Henry VI and accession of Edward IV 1461, Marriage of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville 1464, Readeption of Henry VI 1470, Battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury 1471. Continue reading
Name: Francis Drake
Birth / Death: c. 1540 – 27 January 1596
Spouse: Mary Newman ?-1581 / Elizabeth Sydenham 1562-?
Parents: Edmund Drake 1518-1585 & Mary Mylwaye ?-?
Siblings: John c.1552-1573 / Thomas 1556-1606 / Edward c.1550-1568 / Joseph c.1554-1572 / William c.1525-c.1581
Noble Connections: He was awarded a knighthood by Elizabeth I in 1581. Drake’s godfather was Francis Russell, Earl of Bedford. He was made a naval officer by John Hawkins, who was pivotal in the Armada expedition. Continue reading
Name: Catherine of Valois
Title/s: Queen of England
Birth / Death: 27 October 1401 – 3 January 1437
Spouse: Henry V of England 1420-1422 & Owen Tudor?
Children: Henry VI of England 1421-1471 / Edmund Earl of Richmond 1430-1456 / Jasper Duke of Bedford 1431-1495 / Edward ?-? / Owen ?-? / Margaret 1437-1437
Parents: Charles VI of France 1368-1422 & Isabella of Bavaria 1370-1435
Siblings: Charles 1386-1386 / Jeanne 1388-1390 / Isabella Duchess of Orleans 1389-1409 / Jeanne Duchess of Brittany 1391-1433 / Charles 1392-1401 / Marie 1393-1438 / Michelle 1395-1422 / Louis 1397-1415 / John 1398-1417 / Charles VII of France 1403-1461 / Philip 1407-1407 Continue reading
Event– Marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon
Location– Greenwich Palace, England
The wedding of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon isn’t as well-known as their very public divorce. Katherine was the widow of Henry’s older brother, Arthur, who had died in 1502. Henry would later allege that this was an impediment from which the Pope couldn’t dispense.
Katherine and Henry had been betrothed for 6 years by the time that they married, and it wasn’t certain that they would marry even after the betrothal. When Katherine’s mother, Isabella of Castile, died Katherine was seen as less valuable on the marriage market as she was no longer the product of a united Spain. Henry VII began to look elsewhere for a bride for his son.
When Henry VII died in 1509 Katherine’s fortunes changed overnight and the marriage negotiations were successfully brought to an end in May 1509. The marriage licence was issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Warham, on 8 June 1509.
The marriage was a private ceremony in the queen’s closet at Greenwich Palace on 11 June 1509 with just a couple of witnesses in attendance. Katherine was aged 23 and Henry just 18 – she was beautiful still and he was in his prime. The marriage wasn’t only a love match (it was rumoured that Henry wanted Katherine when she was married to Arthur), but a political one as well.
As soon as the wedding itself was over, preparations were made for their joint coronation which happened just a couple of weeks later.
Amy Licence, Catherine of Aragon: an Intimate Life of Henry VIII’s True Wife (2016)
Garrett Mattingley, Catherine of Aragon (1960)
David Starkey, Six Wives: the Queens of Henry VIII (2004)
Giles Tremlett, Catherine of Aragon: Henry’s Spanish Queen (2011)
Alison Weir, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1991)