The Tudor Rose

The Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York, alter combined to create the iconic Tudor Rose.
The Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York, alter combined to create the iconic Tudor Rose.

The Tudor rose is, of course, the most poignant symbol of the Tudor dynasty and what it stood for. The visuals are very well-known – the red rose and the white rose together. But what does it actually stand for and what is the significance of it?

Jean Plaidy in her novel, The Red Rose of Anjou imagines a scene where the roses come into play. It goes as follows:

“[Somerset] moved away from Buckingham’s restraining hand and plucking one of the red roses, the symbol of the House of Lancaster since the days of Edmund, Earl of Lancaster and brother of Edward the First, he cried out: ‘I pluck this red rose. The red rose of Lancaster. I am for Lancaster and the King.’

Warwick turned away and immediately picked a white rose – the symbol of York – the white rose worn by the Black Prince himself. He held the rose on high. ‘I pluck this white rose,’ he said. ‘The white rose of York. Let every man among us choose his rose. Continue reading “The Tudor Rose”


My Five Best Books

While I don’t really have the time to do a blog post a day for August, this one really caught my eye on The Anne Boleyn Files: the opening lines from each of your five favourite books. Hard, but here it is. Have you read any of them? What did you think?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling:-

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' by J.K. Rowling (2007).
‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ by J.K. Rowling (2007).

“The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane. For a second they stood quite still, wands directed at each other’s chests; then, recognising each other, they stowed their wands beneath their cloaks and started walking briskly in the same direction. Continue reading “My Five Best Books”

Photos from my visit to Framlingham Castle and St Michael’s Church!

Photos from my visit to Framlingham Castle and St Michael’s Church!

If you click on the above link you can see photos from my visit to Framlingham Castle, the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk, and also where Mary I gathered her forces to overthrow Jane Grey and the Duke of Northumberland in 1553.

There are also photos of St Michael’s Church, where the bodies of the 3rd Duke of Norfolk and his wife are buried, along with Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and his wife, and the two wives of the 4th Duke of Norfolk. Also entombed there is Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of Henry VIII.

Framlingham Castle, Suffolk.
Framlingham Castle, Suffolk.

Possible Tudor-Related Dissertation / Essay Titles

So judging from some of the searches coming up on my stats page, and from personal experience, now is about the time that people begin to choose their dissertation questions, and some essay questions so I thought I’d put up a list of possibles here to help you guys out. I realise these are far from exhaustive, and some of the phrasing could do with improving, but they’re just examples.

Henry VII holding a Tudor Rose, wearing collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece, 1505.
Henry VII holding a Tudor Rose, wearing collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece, 1505.

Henry VII

  1. What steps did Henry VII take to consolidate his power after Bosworth?
  2. How did Henry VII manipulate Richard III’s image to suit his own purpose?
  3. How serious was the threat to Henry VII by pretenders?
  4. How far was Henry VII’s authority challenged by rebellions and conspiracies during his reign?
  5. How did Henry VII exert control ove his financial policies and why was this control so important?
  6. Henry VII negotiated marriages for his children before his death, but how successful were they politically?
  7. Compare the success of the pretenders Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck?
  8. To what extent did Henry VII contribute to the death of Prince Arthur?
  9. What did Henry VII do to try to win over the English people?
  10. How crucial were the roles of councillors in Henry VII’s reign?

Continue reading “Possible Tudor-Related Dissertation / Essay Titles”

My published piece on royal succession


An early-20th-century painting of Anne Boleyn, depicting her deer hunting with the King.
An early-20th-century painting of Anne Boleyn, depicting her deer hunting with the King.
Duke & Duchess of Cambridge
Duke & Duchess of Cambridge

My published piece on royal succession

Just to publish a link to something I’ve had published via my university at which looks at present issues from a historical perspective.

I’ve written on royal succession, comparing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

And, yes, before anyone points it out, I do realise that there is a mistake with Queen Victoria being the only queen since Elizabeth. I did remember about Mary II and Anne, but I meant to type ‘overly successful female monarch’, but missed it during the final check. Oops!

Anne Boleyn Play by Tom Taylor 1875

Anne Boleyn National Portrait Gallery.
Anne Boleyn National Portrait Gallery.

This post piqued my interest, and I thought I had to share. Anyone read this? Or Francis Bacon’s ‘The Tragedy of Anne Boleyn’ or John Banks’ ‘Virtue Betray’d’?

Review of Sources on British History Online

British History Online []

British History Online
British History Online

The internet is a fast-growing source of information. British History Online is a source database which allows students and academics to conduct research into a variety of areas in British history pre-1800, specifically in the workings of parliament and the monarchy. This is a side-effect of the age of technology – people are using digital resources more and more in order to conduct research, rather than visiting a physical archive. This is because digital resources in general do not have some of the drawbacks that physical archives do. For example, you do not have to travel to access digital archives, and you are less likely to have time restrictions on studying them. Travelling to and from archives also tends to be quite expensive, depending on how far afield you have to go. For example, studying American history might mean that the majority of archives are in America. Reading physical documents can be quite time-consuming, particularly if they are old and you have to decipher the handwriting or if they are considered fragile. Continue reading “Review of Sources on British History Online”

Why Should Schools Teach History?

History in Words.
History in Words.

History is a very important subject. Although there has been debate over the years about whether or not to remove History as a core subject in high school, this has not yet happened. I hope it will not. History is inspirational. Personally, it has improved not just my knowledge of the past, but my analysis in general, and has honed my opinions about a wide range of subjects, including my knowledge of current affairs. However, according to a poll conducted on, only 53% of people believe that history should continue to be taught in schools.[i]

History is a subject that focuses on the past, but can also give us an insight into the present, and how to deal with circumstances that bear a significant resemblance to those of decades or centuries ago. For example, the current recession has been compared to the Great Depression beginning in 1929. The reign of Elizabeth II has also been compared to that of Elizabeth I in the late sixteenth-century as a Golden Age. Continue reading “Why Should Schools Teach History?”

Bones of Richard III


Richard III Late 16th Century Portrait
Richard III Late 16th Century Portrait

Bones of Richard III

As I’m sure avid historians will have heard by now, it was confirmed this morning that the bones found under a car park in Leicester are in fact the bones of English King, Richard III who ruled from 1483-1485, and was killed by Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth Field.