|1457||28 January||Birth of Henry VII|
|1466||11 February||Birth of Elizabeth of York|
|1485||22 August||Henry VII defeats Richard III at Battle of Bosworth|
|16 September||Birth of Katherine of Aragon|
|30 October||Coronation of Henry VII|
|1486||18 January||Marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York|
|20 September||Birth of Prince Arthur|
|1487||17 June||Defeat of Lambert Simnel at Battle of Stoke|
|1489||28 November||Birth of Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland|
|1491||28 June||Birth of Henry VIII|
|1496||18 March||Birth of Mary Tudor, Queen of France and Duchess of Suffolk|
|1499||28 November||Execution of Edward, Earl of Warwick|
|1501||14 November||Marriage of Katherine of Aragon and Prince Arthur|
|1502||2 April||Death of Prince Arthur|
|1503||11 February||Death of Elizabeth of York|
|8 August||Marriage of Margaret Tudor and James IV of Scotland|
|1509||21 April||Death of Henry VII and accession of Henry VIII|
|11 June||Marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon|
|24 June||Coronation of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon|
|29 June||Death of Margaret Beaufort|
|1511||1 January||Birth of Henry, Duke of Cornwall|
|1513||16 August||Battle of the Spurs|
|9 September||Defeat of James IV of Scotland at Battle of Flodden|
|1515||22 September||Birth of Anne of Cleves|
|1516||18 February||Birth of Mary I|
|1519||15 June||Birth of Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy|
|1520||7 June||Beginning of the Field of the Cloth of Gold|
|24 June||End of the Field of the Cloth of Gold|
|1521||17 May||Execution of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham|
|17 October||Pope grants Henry VIII title ‘Defender of the Faith’|
|1533||25 January||Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn|
|1 June||Coronation of Anne Boleyn|
|7 September||Birth of Elizabeth I|
|1534||20 April||Execution of Elizabeth Barton, Nun of Kent|
|1535||6 July||Execution of Thomas More|
|1536||7 January||Death of Katherine of Aragon|
|19 May||Execution of Anne Boleyn|
|30 May||Marriage of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour|
|23 July||Death of Henry Fitzroy|
|2 October||Beginning of the Lincolnshire Rising / Pilgrimage of Grace|
|1537||12 October||Birth of Edward VI|
|24 October||Death of Jane Seymour|
|1540||6 January||Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves|
|9 July||Annulment of marriage between Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves|
|28 July||Marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine Howard, execution of Thomas Cromwell|
|1541||27 May||Execution of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury|
|1542||13 February||Execution of Katherine Howard|
|1543||12 July||Marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine Parr|
|1545||19 July||Sinking of the Mary Rose|
|1546||16 July||Execution of Anne Askew|
|1547||19 January||Execution of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey|
|28 January||Death of Henry VIII and accession of Edward VI|
|10 September||Battle of Pinkie Cleugh|
|1548||5 September||Death of Katherine Parr|
|1549||20 March||Execution of Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour|
|1552||22 January||Execution of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset|
|1553||6 July||Death of Edward VI|
|10 July||Proclamation of Jane Grey as queen|
|19 July||Overthrow of Jane Grey and accession of Mary I|
|22 August||Execution of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland|
|1 October||Coronation of Mary I|
|1554||12 February||Execution of Jane Grey|
|25 July||Marriage of Mary I and Philip II of Spain|
|1555||16 October||Execution of Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London|
|1556||21 March||Execution of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury|
|1557||16 July||Death of Anne of Cleves|
|1558||17 November||Death of Mary I and accession of Elizabeth I|
|1559||15 January||Coronation of Elizabeth I|
|1587||8 February||Execution of Mary Queen of Scots|
|1588||19 July||First sighting of the Spanish Armada off the English coast|
|29 July||Battle of Gravelines and defeat of Spanish Armada|
|1601||25 February||Execution of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex|
|1603||24 March||Death of Elizabeth I and accession of James I|
Episode 1 – Civil Unrest
- Henry VIII introduces Ambassador Chapuys to Jane Seymour, like it was her first time meeting him – she had been at court for some years serving both Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, so would have met the ambassador before.
- Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, served as Jane’s principal lady-in-waiting – Jane Boleyn did serve under Jane Seymour, but the latter’s principal lady-in-waiting was actually her sister, Elizabeth Seymour.
- Francis Bryan first appears in season 3 – he was actually active at court from 1528, and was instrumental in helping Cromwell to bring about the fall of Anne Boleyn, although this isn’t shown.
- Francis Bryan threatening to beat Mary’s head against the wall until it was as soft as a boiled apple – these words were spoken to Mary, but it was before her mother had even died (season 2) and it wasn’t by Francis Bryan, but by either George Talbot or Thomas Howard, both staunch Boleyn supporters.
- The women at the Tudor court all seems to wear crowns and tiaras – all women in the Tudor court would have worn hoods rather than these, even queens.
Portcullis, greyhound, crowned Tudor rose, crowned hawthorn bush, red dragon
The portcullis is currently the symbol for parliament, an institution of justice and law, which Henry VII did revolutionise during his reign. The portcullis was also representative of his royal blood through his mother, Margaret Beaufort, as it was the symbol of her house.
Red is typically the colour that represents both military strength and magnanimity. The dragon represents valour and protection, and appears on the Welsh flag. This is possibly to demonstrate Henry’s Welsh roots (he was born in Wales, and the Tudor name is Welsh).
The greyhound represents courage, loyalty and vigilance. Henry VII courageously took the crown on the battlefield, and was vigilant for anyone looking to take it away from him. He appears to have been loyal to his wife, and we don’t know for sure of any illegitimate children he may have had, or even any mistresses. Continue reading
Aragon, Katherine of = First Queen to Henry VIII, marriage annulled 1533, died 1536.
Ashley, Kat = Governess and close friend to Elizabeth I from her childhood. Died 1565.
Aske, Robert = One of the leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536. Executed 1537.
Beaufort, Margaret = Mother to Henry VII. Outlived her son and saw the accession of her grandson, Henry VIII.
Blount, Bessie = Henry VIII’s mistress, and the only one to give him an acknowledged illegitimate child – Henry Fitzroy.
Boleyn, Anne = Second Queen to Henry VIII, executed 1536 for adultery and incest.
Boleyn, George = Brother to Henry VIII’s second Queen. Accused of adultery and incest with his sister. Executed 1536.
Boleyn, Mary = Sister of Henry VIII’s second Queen. Mistress of Henry VIII. Died 1543.
Brandon, Charles Duke of Suffolk and best friend to Henry VIII. Married Henry VIII’s sister, Mary. Died 1546. Continue reading
Episode 1 “Everything is Beautiful”
Charles Brandon and his ward – Charles Brandon married his ward, Katherine Brooke, but in reality she was Katherine Willoughby. On TV, Charles married Katherine in 1532, but in reality they didn’t marry until after Anne Boleyn’s coronation, in 1534.
Assassination attempt – According to the TV show, Pope Paul III organised an assassination attempt against Anne Boleyn before her coronation. In reality he wasn’t even elected until after her coronation, and there is no evidence for an assassination attempt.
Episode 2 “Tears of Blood”
Margaret More – Margaret More is shown to be in her mid-twenties when Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn, but at this point she was actually in her early thirties. Continue reading
Bradgate House = Bradgate House is now a ruin, but it was home to the Grey family, descended from the first son of Elizabeth Woodville by her first husband. Lady Jane Grey and her sisters, Katherine and Mary, grew up here. The Grey family lived here for two hundred year until 1739, but a newer house, also in ruins, now stands nearby to the original ruins. More of the Tudor chapel and tower stand now than of the house itself.
Burghley House = Burghley House was built by William Cecil, Lord Burghley. He was the most trusted councillor of Elizabeth I, and very focused on trying to catch Mary Queen of Scots in conducting treason. Burghley’s changes to the house took from 1555 to 1587, but little of the Tudor inside now remains. Burghley House is the only one of Cecil’s many properties still standing today, though it has been much changed. Continue reading
Leanda de Lisle, ‘Tudor: the Family Story 1437-1603’ (London: Chatto & Windus, 2013) Hardback, ISBN 978-0-701-18588-6
Title: The title suggests that the book doesn’t just discuss the events of the reigns of the Tudors, but actually the people involved – the monarchs, consorts, politicians and wider royal family. The focus on the people offers a different perspective on the Tudor era.
Preface: The introduction/preface introduces the ideas that shaped the Tudor dynasty and the ideas that allowed them to come to the throne – namely the killing of kings. It also discusses the beginnings of the Wars of the Roses (the Yorkist and Lancastrian lines).
Citations: The citations are very well done. They are clear and concise, and make it easy to find exactly the text you’re looking for. Divided down by chapter and then numbered within that makes it very easy. The extra information also included in the notes adds something to your knowledge. Continue reading
The Howards were one of the oldest families. They were the family who had the Dukedom of Norfolk. Anne of York, the daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, married into the Howard family. Well-known descendents included Anne Boleyn (second wife of Henry VIII) and Katherine Howard (fifth wife of Henry VIII). Mary Howard married Henry Fitzroy, illegitimate son of Henry VIII and Duke of Richmond and Somerset. It was probably their ambitions that brought them down in the end.
The Seymour family were pretty obscure until Henry VIII fell in love with Jane Seymour, who later became his third wife after the execution of his second, Anne Boleyn. Their triumph was short-lived. Jane’s only child became Edward VI, but he had no children. Jane’s two brothers, Edward and Thomas, were both executed in the reign of their nephew, Edward VI. Edward Seymour had been Lord Protector, until he was overthrown by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. Thomas Seymour tried to get control of Edward VI and was killed for it. Continue reading
1. Why does Philippa Gregory choose Mary to narrate the story? Keeping in mind the relationship between the observer and those observed, is Mary a good, trustworthy, narrator? As Mary ages, how is her loss of innocence reflected in her telling of the story?
I think the importance in Mary Boleyn narrating the story comes from her journey, from a relatively innocent girl to a mature woman who has seen more than her share of political intrigue, loss and death. I don’t think Mary is an unbiased narrator, but I do think that she reports events as she sees them, without any embellishment. I think that Mary was chosen to be the narrator because she is an outsider, even within her own family, and so can be more objective than those directly involved in the plots of the court. Her loss of innocence is reflected in her sister’s rise to power. When Mary had the King’s favour she believed that nothing could go wrong, but once Anne had taken him from her, she lost her innocence and realised just what a dangerous place the world was. Through the divorce, Mary had to support her sister, and saw just how hard it was to keep the King at bay, but still interested. Her loss of innocence in complete when she sees her sister executed. Because she believes until the last minute that a reprieve must come, it was more of a shock for her when it actually happened. But at least she had Stafford to comfort her. You can easily see at which parts of the story Mary is questioning herself and her naive view of the world. She didn’t think that Henry or Anne would go through with the divorce and their marriage and so Mary questions herself, and makes us question her too. Continue reading
- Discuss the roles guilt, jealousy, and vengeance play in the novel. How do these feelings affect and motivate Jane and influence the outcome of the story?
Jane is effectively guilty of the deaths of both Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard. This is because she accused Anne, with George, of committing incest, and then turned on Katherine. She is also responsible for her own death as well as theirs. These actions were both to try and save herself. Jane also feels guilt over George’s death, as the charges were fabricated and it has been argued that she hoped George would save himself at Anne’s expense, and they could live happily together. It is this guilt that, in my opinion, leads to her aiding Katherine Howard in her trysts – she wanted someone to have what she couldn’t. Jane was jealous of her husband’s relationship with his sister, hence where the charge of incest derived from. Similarly to Jane, Anne was jealous of Henry’s relationships with other women. There is a further consequence of Jane assisting Katherine – she becomes jealous of Katherine’s happiness. Jane wanted vengeance on Anne for supposedly ruining her marriage, as George appeared to prefer Anne to Jane. Jane also wanted vengeance on Katherine for finding with Culpeper what she never had with George. Henry wanted vengeance on both Anne and Katherine for cheating on him and cuckolding him. Ultimately, it was only Henry who achieved vengeance, by executing the women, as Jane was ultimately also executed, and was miserable for her whole life. Continue reading