Saturday, 29 June 2013

Jousting Rules

This document was written on 12 February 1511 for a joust given by Henry VIII as a celebration for the birth of a son to the young King and Catherine of Aragon. The latter is even mentioned in the document as "Queen Noble Renown"  who was there when the tournament took place. She had sent four knights by the nicknames of "Ceure Loyall" (Sir Loyal), "Vailliaunt Desyre" (Valiant Desire), Bone Voloyor and "Joyous Panser" - the men behind these amusing nicknames were in fact Henry VIII himself (remember that he called himself "Sir Loyal Heart"), Sir Thomas Knyvet, Lord William Courtenay and Sir Edward Neville. The list also names several other courtiers who signed up for the challenge.

The tournament itself had all the typical grandiose luxury of Henry VIII. The fighting knights would arrive to the jousting place disguised as a moving forest with a castle of golden paper! Recordings from the Great Wardrobe shows that extravagant costumes were ordered. But the prince for whom this was all arranged would be dead by 10 days.

Hatfield House

Hatfield House as it stands today was completed in 1611 - that is after the death of Elizabeth I. But the old castle played an important part in the royal Tudor's life.
It was build in 1485 - the same year that Henry VII became King - by John Morton, the Bishop of Ely. The Banqueting Hall is the main remainder of the old palace.

It was one of the many houses owned by Henry VIII (he bought it in 1538) who used it to house Prince Edward, Princess Mary and Princess Elizabeth. But it was Elizabeth who has the greatest connection to the place. Her childhood there was happy and she would participate in her younger brother's education. However, when Mary I became Queen Hatfield House was transformed into a "country prison" for the threat that was Elizabeth. While staying there in 1558 she was informed that her sister had died and that she was now Queen of England.
The famous Rainbow Portrait of Elizabeth I is stored at this house and is one of the greatest examples of Tudor iconography. The portrait was painted when the Queen was in her later years but she appears as young as ever - it was to give the impression that she was immune to ageing. The text "Non Sine Sole Iris" means "No Rainbow Without the Sun"; the sun being Elizabeth which is another attempt at signifying her importance.

The Banqueting Hall - still as Elizabeth would have seen it
The Rainbow Portrait proudly on display in the Marble Hall

Jane Seymour's Necklace

The only official portrait of Jane Seymour shows her wearing a massive necklace in gold. The chain itself consists of four pearls (two by two) interrupted with golden ouches adorned with what appears to be onyxes. The same pattern is used for her neckline at the bodice. The pendant is as large as could be expected and looks a bit like Elizabeth's in her portrait painted when she was a young girl. The base of the pendant is gold which has two stones on it. The upper one is red but it is not a ruby but a carnelian - a ruby is generally shinier than a carnelian. The other stone is a large black onyx. To finish it all, a large drop pearl hangs from the pendant.

Replica found at

Chains of Office

The Chains of Office or Livery Collar were used as signs of status during the Tudor times. The chains were heavy with an equally heavy - and large - pendant hanging from it. The chain itself would hang from shoulder to shoulder compared to a normal necklace.
Throughout his reign Henry VIII only gave out 20 chains (a small number compared to the King's otherwise infamous love of luxury) and as such they would only be given to the most trusted and faithful servants. The most famous of the chains is the Chain of Esses; one was found for the very first time in the house of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (poet). It belonged to Edward Montagu who was Lord Chief Justice of Henry VIII in the 1540's. The chain has been given its name from the double S's that makes up the chain; it stands for "Spiritus Sanctus" meaning Holy Spirit. It was common that a Tudor-rose would be hanging from the chain.

Thomas More (by Hans Holbein) can be seen
wearing the large chain of esses with a Tudor-rose pendant
Replica of another version of the Chain of Esses

Inside the Body of Henry VIII

Sounds unpleasant, does it not? Nevertheless, the huge figure that Henry VIII acquired over the years has been a source of fascination for quite some time since historians and doctors think that the King''s health might have had something to do with his sudden change in personality. This is a link to an entire 45 minutes documentary on the subject (I am uploading different documentaries in time):

Inside the Body of Henry VIII - link 

The Royal Tudor Family

The Tudor family was not very large but sometimes it can be difficult to remember exactly how the different people were related. So, if you are ever wondering about questions such as: did Mary, Queen of Scots actually have a claim to the English Throne through her blood? Why was it decided that James VI should be James I of England? Then I found this lovely family tree (courtesy to wikipedia) that includes small portraits of them all:

If you have troubles making out what it says then here is the link: 

The Cornish Rebellion

Henry VII was determined to fill the treasury to its limits and he succeeded. But in doing so he had to raise taxes which led to a rebellion in Cornwall in 1497. It was Michael Joseph (An Gof) and Thomas Flamank - who was a blacksmith and a lawyer respectively - who eventually took the lead. In May they led a 15.000 man army towards Devon and when they reached Wells they had gained an influential ally: the Baron Audley.

But the militia had not expected to meet no resistance whatsoever from the King's side and they began to realize that they could not push the King aside with the relatively small army. So, Thomas Flamank suggested that they sought support in Kent since several rebellions had started here. But the people of Kent was unwilling to aid the rebels and even enlisted in their Earl's armed forces against him. And that was not the only misunderstanding made in the rebel camp. Henry VII had not sat quietly with his hands in his lap (did he ever?) but had called back 8000 soldiers back from his war with Scotland. Meanwhile the royal family had moved to the security of the Tower of London. The citizens armed themselves and prepared to defend their King.
Simple drawing of the Battle of Blackheath

Henry VII sent out 500 men armed with spears on June 14 which seems to have been too much for the Cornish rebels to handle at once. They retreated to Blackheath where they would set up their last camp. Despite good leadership from Michael Joseph, some of the rebels were terrified as they lay up on a hill, looking down towards the Thames and some choose to desert. This would reduce the army to 9-10000.
The final battle was to be at Blackheath itself (though the battle is also referred to as the Battle of Deptford Bridge) and took place on June 17, 1497. By then Henry VII had gathered 25.000 men including cavalry - the elite soldiers of the day. Lords Oxford, Surrey and Essex led the three battalions and the rebels surrendered that same day.One of the great mistakes of the rebels was to fail sending support to the archers positioned at the crossing of the river Deptford Strand and another was to simply release Lord Dauberny when they actually managed to catch him. It is estimated that between 200-2000 rebels died.

The King's Wrath
Michael Joseph (An Gof) gave the final word to surrender and then fled to Greenwich but was caught. Both Baron Audley and Thomas Flamank were caught on the battlefield itself. Now the time had come to face Henry VII's vengance. Some prisoners were sold into slavery while Michael Joseph and Thomas Flamank was sentenced to death - at first they were to be hanged, drawn and quartered but some sources claims that they were "merely" hanged and then their bodies were dismembered. Their executions took place on June 27, 1497 at Tyburn while Lord Audley (being a part of the nobility) was beheaded within the Tower the next day.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Killing a Lawyer

Thomas Flamank was a lawyer who became a prominent figure in the Cornish Rebellion of 1497 when the people rose up against Henry VII's continuous demand for tax money. However, the rebellion was struck down and Thomas Flamank was captured on the battlefield. From there he was led to London in chains on June 26, 1497. He was condemned to die the next day.
As a commoner, Thomas Flamank could not expect a swift beheading. The original sentence was that he was to be hanged, drawn and quartered but some sources claim that the King changed the sentence to hanging - the body would be quartered after Flamank's death. Whether or not the sentence was altered is not entirely certain but Flamank's head still ended on a spike on London Bridge.

A statue of Thomas Flamank
and another Cornish rebel

The End of Two Tax Collectors

Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley worked for Henry VII performing a job just as unpopular then as it is know: tax collecting. Henry VII was determined to refill the treasury and managed to do so but not without the help of his hated tax collectors. But despite public opinion the two remained safe until Henry VII died.

After just a couple of days after the old monarch's death the newly crowned Henry VIII decided to do something to soothe the ill-will of his subjects. Consequently, Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley were brought before a jury and demanded to explain their aggressive methods. But the case was tricky. It had to be carried out without disgracing Henry VII but at the same time making it clear that they were actually guilty of treason. They were both convicted for treason (on the grounds of a royal warrant, not a bill of attainder) and sentenced to be beheaded in 1510 on Tower Hill.

And here we have the trio: Henry VII (centre),
Richard Empson (left) and Edmund Dudley (right)

Joan Boughton's Painful End

Joan Boughton was tried for heresy and sentenced to be burned at the stake; the sentence was carried out on April 28, 1485 (according to Fox's Book of Martyrs). One of the things that had gotten Joan in the ever-paranoid view of the Church was the following statement claiming that:
"she was soo beloved with God and his angelys that all the ffyre in London would not hurt her."
She had also made the "mistake" of openly supporting the doctrines of Wickliffe whom the Catholic Church saw as an increasing threat. The Catholic Church had tried to convince Joan that she could be offered a pardon if she would admit her errors but the elderly lady refused - and paid for it with her life.
Joan Boughton was no less than 80 years old when she was taken to her place of execution at Smithfield which means that she would have been born in 1395. The surprising thing about this case is not that she was given such a hard penalty (burning was the standard execution method for female heretics) but that Joan Boughton was not a nobody. She had considerable influence and status. According to the London Chronicle her ashes were gathered and placed in a pot that would become known as a "precious relic".

Friday, 7 June 2013

Coronation of Edward VI

On February 20 1547 Prince Edward Tudor was crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey - at nine years of age. Edward's clothes were made of cloth-of-silver which had been embroidered with gold. Beneath this was white velvet adorned with rubies, pearls and diamonds.
The boy king-to-be rode on horseback through London to Westminster Abbey and on his way he was met with plays and masques. It is said that the royal procession was stopped along the way and Edward was given a purse of 1000 pounds to which the boy asked "Why do they give me this?". Edward was in particular amused by a Spanish entertainer who played with robes. It was the first time ever than the pageants on the road to Westminster Abbey had expressed an opinion as to what the new King's policy should aim at: one of the pageants involved players meant to embody England's desire for Edward to continue the reformation.
Some of the expenses of the account of the Revels' states:
"newe making and altering of Sundry maskes, and garments for players agenste the Coronacion of our soveraigne lorde Edward the Sixth"
Even the new King took part of the plays! According to "The Drama of Coronation" there are no surviving texts that tells us exactly what the plays were about but we do have one rather clear lead: cardinals, popes and kings were all a part of the play. The ceremonies that usually followed such an event had been shortened because Edward was so young and it was feared that he would be too tired before seeing it all. This meant that the celebrations lasted seven hours instead of twelve as was custom. All in all the procession to Westminster Abbey had taken four hours.

As Edward made his way to the raised dais on which he would be crowned, he was escorted by a bishop (most like Thomas Cranmer) and a lay magnate. He was carried around in a "litill cheyre" (little chair) by four gentleman ushers before Thomas Cranmer presented him to the waiting congregation.
Thomas Cranmer performed the ceremony (ever since the Boleyn family raised him to an Archbishop, he had been a symbol of Protestantism in England). But there was something different about this coronation which was first and foremost because of the strong desire of Edward Seymour (Lord Protector) and the young boy himself to complete the Protestant reformation. One of the changes was the meaning of the anointing oil - before adding it, Thomas Cranmer proclaimed "the oil, if added, is but a ceremony". Hereby the ceremony has lost its religious meaning and had become nothing else but a ceremony. Besides, Edward was the first King to be crowned as Head of the Church of England. His oath and the Recognition was edited as well to fit with the new regime.

This is an extract of Cranmer's speech at the coronation itself:
"Most dread and royal sovereign: the promises your highness hath made here, at your coronation, to forsake the devil and all his works, are not to be taken in the bishop of Rome’s sense, when you commit anything distasteful to that see, to hit your majesty in the teeth, as Pope Paul the Third, late bishop of Rome, sent to your royal father, saying, ‘Didst thou not promise, at our permission of thy coronation, to forsake the devil and all his works, and dost thou turn to heresy? For the breach of this thy promise, knowest thou not, that it is in our power to dispose of the sword and sceptre to whom we please?’ We, your majesty’s clergy, do humbly conceive that this promise reacheth not at your highness’  sword, spiritual or temporal, or in the least at your highness’ swaying the sceptre  of this your dominion, as you and your predecessors have had them from God. Neither could your ancestors lawfully resign up their crowns to the bishop of Rome or to his legates, according to their ancient oaths then taken upon that  ceremony."
At the end of the coronation the congregation (consisting of the lords and ladies of England) answered Cranmer's proclamation of Edward as the rightful King with: "Yea, yea, yea, God Save King Edwarde, God Save King Edwarde, King Edwarde."
When the coronation ceremony was over, the newly crowned King went to Westminster Hall for the great feast that was to follow. In his diary Edward wrote that he sat at the high-table with Edward Seymour and Thomas Cranmer "with the crown on his head". During this celebration a man named Edward Dymoke made the traditional display of loyalty by proclaiming that he would fight anyone who questioned Edward's right as King.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

House of Percy

The House of Percy descends from William de Percy who came to England from France in 1067. Apparently, he must have made an impression on William the Conqueror and was made baron of Topcliffe. William de Percy rebuilt York Castle in 1070 - previously to that the family name was derived from their castle in Normandy. Throughout the years the family gained influence and the titles of Earl or Duke of Northumberland (alongside that if Baron Percy) has been in the family for centuries.
Had it not been for the women in the family, the name would have died out because the male line died out twice - in both cases a Percy-lady's husband would adopt the name to keep it alive. The family produced countless of prominent gentlemen and ladies among which are:

Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland - supported Henry VI but was killed at the beginning of the War of the Roses

Henry Percy, 6th Earl of Northumberland - was betrothed to Anne Boleyn

Sir Henry Percy - better known as Harry Hotspur

Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland - imprisoned after the Gunpowder Plot

Feeding a Court

When Cardinal Wolsey "handed over" Hampton Court Palace to Henry VIII, considerable changes were made to the kitchens' function even though the look remained largely the same as when Cardinal Wolsey occupied the palace. The King was always surrounded by courtiers and they expected to dine with their monarch as well; just about six hundred people took their place at the dinner table - twice each day! This meant that the original kitchens were not nearly enough and thus they were expanded to the extent of spanning 50 rooms. When this remodelling was done in 1529 the kitchen-area was 3000 square metres. Such a large amount of courtier required a large amount of servants; 200 people would work in the kitchen. So what did they eat during a normal year?

Elizabeth I's court consumed 1240 oxen, 8200 sheep, 2330 deer, 760 calves, 1870 pigs and 53 wild boars! But the monarch's own dinner was not prepared with the rest since the risk of poisoning was too great - imagine how easy it would be to poison one of the many dishes leaving the kitchens.

The kitchen-complex (conveniently located to the north so it does not receive the full heat of the sun) shows that Henry VIII's court was actually aware of the importance of keeping some level of hygiene. This resulted in the construction of several smaller kitchens within the kitchen-complex itself and each of them served their own purpose. Let's take a look:

  • The Boiling Room: meat
  • The Pastry Room: pies and pasties
  • The Confectionery: sweets (this was normally preserved the richest)
To this came the three larders to contain the ingredients (without a refrigerator, of course) and the three cellars for the enormous amount of alcohol that went with every meal:
  • The Flesh Larder: meat
  • The Dry Larder: grain and nuts
  • The Wet Larder: fish
  • The Wine Cellar with 300 casks of wine
  • The Great Cellar where no less than 600.000 gallons of ale was stored
  • The Privy Cellar which was only for the monarch's drinks
This huge meal required through organization. You could only get to the kitchens by passing a gatehouse where the Offerer and his assistants - with the strange name of Clerks of the Greencloth - kept a close eye on everything that came into the royal palace - including the members of staff! Explore the different aspect of the kitchen-complex to find out what happened in each room.

Great Kitchen

The Great Kitchen was the main room in the vast "kitchen apartments" and it was from here that the finishing touch would be added to the food. Originally the Great Kitchen had six open fireplaces with spit-racks but only one of them is still as it was when Henry VIII expected his dinner. At the rear of the hall waiters would bring the finished dishes to the Great Hall - the dishes would be delivered through hatches. Large parts of the Great Kitchen was finished in 1514 but was expanded when Henry VIII took over the palace.

This should give you an impression of how big the fireplaces are! 

The Children of Henry VIII

Alison Weir is the author behind this book about the three children of Henry VIII and his great-niece Lady Jane Grey.

Anne Boleyn's "B"- Necklace

The most famous portrait of Anne Boleyn in
which she is wearing her signature necklace
If we are to judge from the few portraits of Anne Boleyn then her "B"- necklace must have been her favourite jewellery since it is featured in so many of them. Obviously, the "B" stands for Boleyn. After Anne had been executed the necklace (extraordinarily enough) passed on to her daughter, Elizabeth I, alongside another necklace of Anne's with the letters "AB" on it. During the Tudors it was common to wear jewellery with your initials on it, so Anne's necklace would not have been thought odd. As can be seen from the portrait the necklace consists of pearls with the golden "B"-pendant from which three large drop-pearls hangs.

It is difficult to see but the young Elizabeth is wearing a
necklace with the letter "A" on it - almost certainly the one
her mother left her

Wolsey's Closet

Wolsey's Closet is the only room that we know to have been one of the Cardinal's personal rooms. The ceiling clearly shows Wolsey's attempts at displaying where his loyalty lay: Tudor roses and the feathers of the Prince of Wales are both a part of the decoration. His own motto "Dominus michi adjutor" (The Lord my helper) can also be found on the ornate ceiling. It was Henry VIII who ordered the painted panels that is still a part of the interior. A small door leads into a minor room - or rather an alcove - which is believed to have been used as a wardrobe for the Cardinal. A fireplace has been installed which could be a sign that the Cardinal spent quite a lot of time in this room.

Close-up of the ceiling. Notice the red Tudor roses
within every square

The Queen's Gallery

The Queen's Gallery was not created during the Tudors - actually work was begun in 1689 which makes it 78 years after the death of Elizabeth I. It was Christopher Wren who drew up the design for the gallery for Mary II but when she suddenly died the building process was paused. Opposite of the windows hangs several tapestries from Brussels, all dated to the 18th century. The ceiling is completely without any decoration and the walls are covered with wood. At the centre of the walls with the tapestries, a marble fireplace has been installed and it is definitely not Tudor. The large cherubs as well as the doves and flowers are all a testimony to the baroque.

Drawing of the Queen's Gallery from 1819

The Clock Tower

The Clock Tower (so named due to Henry VIII's large astronomical clock that hangs on the outside walls) still has traces of Cardinal Wolsey: his seal is still under the entrance arch. The Clock Tower connects the Clock Court and the First or Base Court. Besides the great clock, two medallions of Roman emperors adorns the sides of the clock. The medallions were made in 1521 by Giovanni di Maiano; their design is based on medallions created for Cardinal of Amboise (apparently, they were popular among cardinals).

The Clock Tower from the Clock Court

The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots

On the night of February 7, 1587 at Fortheringhay Castle Mary Stuart was informed that she had been found guilty in treason and was to die the next die. Having received the news, Mary wrote a letter to her brother-in-law King Henri of France.
She was woken around 8 in the morning on February 8 and taken to the great hall of the castle where she was to be executed. The dethroned Scottish Queen wore a long black cloak as she entered the hall. But Mary had not performed her last act of drama yet: when she removed the cloak, she revealed a scarlet dress. Red is the colour of martyrs in Catholicism and by wearing this particular colour she made it clear to all the spectators that she considered herself a martyr for her beliefs. After ridding herself of her cloak, she kissed a crucifix.
Mary, Queen of Scots then knelled before the block where she was blindfolded. The executioner cut off her head with two blows from his axe and then held up her severed head saying: "Such end all the Queen's and the Gospel's enemies". It was at this moment that one of Mary's small lapdogs was discovered underneath her skirt, covered in its mistress' blood. Her body was buried in Peterborough Cathedral where it would remain until her son, James I of Scotland, had her moved to Westminster Abbey.

The following is an account of the execution by Robert Wynkfielde:
"Her [Mary queen of Scots] prayers being ended, the executioners, kneeling, desired her Grace to forgive them her death: who answered, 'I forgive you with all my heart, for now, I hope, you shall make an end of all my troubles.'  Then they, with her two women, helping her up, began to disrobe her of her apparel: then she, laying her crucifix upon the stool, one of the executioners took from her neck the Agnus Dei, which she, laying hands off it, gave to one of her women, and told the executioner he should be answered money for it.  Then she suffered them, with her two women, to disrobe her of her chain of pomander beads and all other her apparel most willingly, and with joy rather than sorrow, helped to make unready herself, putting on a pair of sleeves with her own hands which they had pulled off, and that with some haste, as if she had longed to be gone.
All this time they were pulling off her apparel, she never changed her countenance, but with smiling cheer she uttered these words, 'that she never had such grooms to make her unready, and that she never put off her clothes before such a company.'
Then she, being stripped of all her apparel saving her petticoat and kirtle, her two women beholding her made great lamentation, and crying and crossing themselves prayed in Latin.  She, turning herself to them, embracing them, said these words in French, 'Ne crie vous, j'ay prome pour vous', and so crossing and kissing them, bade them pray for her and rejoice and not weep, for that now they should see an end of all their mistress's troubles.
Then she, with a smiling countenance, turning to her men servants, as Melvin and the rest, standing upon a bench nigh the scaffold, who sometime weeping, sometime crying out aloud, and continually crossing themselves, prayed in Latin, crossing them with her hand bade them farewell, and wishing them to pray for her even until the last hour.
This done, one of the women having a Corpus Christi cloth lapped up three-corner-ways, kissing it, put it over the Queen of Scots' face, and pinned it fast to the caule of her head.  Then the two women departed from her, and she kneeling down upon the cushion most resolutely, and without any token or fear of death, she spake aloud this Psalm in Latin, In Te Domine confido, non confundar in eternam, etc.  Then, groping for the block, she laid down her head, putting her chin over the block with both her hands, which, holding there still, had been cut off had they not been espied.  Then lying upon the block most quietly, and stretching out her arms cried, In manus tuas, Domine, etc., three or four times.  Then she, lying very still upon the block, one of the executioners holding her slightly with one of his hands, she endured two strokes of the other executioner with an axe, she making very small noise or none at all, and not stirring any part of her from the place where she lay: and so the executioner cut off her head, saving one little gristle, which being cut asunder, he lift up her head to the view of all the assembly and bade God save the Queen.  Then, her dress of lawn falling from off her head, it appeared as grey as one of threescore and ten years old, polled very short, her face in a moment being so much altered from the form she had when she was alive, as few could remember her by her dead face.  Her lips stirred up and down a quarter of an hour after her head was cut off.
Then Mr Dean [Dr Fletcher, Dean of Peterborough] said with a loud voice, 'So perish all the Queen's enemies,' and afterwards the Earl of Kent came to the dead body, and standing over it, with a loud voice said, 'Such end of all the Queen's and the Gospel's enemies.'
Then one of the executioners, pulling off her garters, espied her little dog which was crept under her clothes, which could not be gotten forth but by force, yet afterward would not depart from the dead corpse, but came and lay between her head and her shoulders, which being imbrued with her blood was carried away and washed, as all things else were that had any blood was either burned or washed clean, and the executioners sent away with money for their fees, not having any one thing that belonged unto her.  And so, every man being commanded out of the hall, except the sheriff and his men, she was carried by them up into a great chamber lying ready for the surgeons to embalm her."
Here are some depictions of Mary, Queen of Scot's execution:

Death mask of Mary, Queen of Scots

Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury

Margaret Pole was born on August 14, 1473 to George Plantagenet and his wife, Isabel. Henry VII arranged for her to marry Sir Richard Pole between 1491 and 1494 but the exact year is unknown. The marriage produced five children, one girl (Ursula) and four boys including Reginald Pole, Henry Pole, Arthur Pole and Geoffrey Pole. Sadly Sir Richard died in 1505 and Margaret was left a widow. But before that - in 1499 - Margaret suffered another personal loss when her brother was killed by Henry VII himself in what can only be described as a judicially murder.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

These Bloody Days...

The road from the gilded Hampton Court Palace to the scaffold could be shorter than expected, and to many of the Tudor-family's contemporaries this was far too true. This is a complete list of the people executed by all five Tudor-monarchs - of course, this does not include the countless men and women whose names are forgotten to history due to their social status (this could be peasants or even the bourgeois). To read about how these people met their fate, just follow the links:

Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick - beheaded on November 28, 1499

Joan Boughton - burnt at the stake on April 28, 1494

William Catesby, Esquire of the Royal Body - beheaded on August 25, 1485

Thomas Flamank, Lawyer and rebellion leader - hanged (drawn and quartered?) on June 27, 1497

William Stanley, Chief Justice of North Wales - executed on February 10, 1495

Sir James Tyrrell, Knight - beheaded on May 6, 1502

Perkin Warbeck, Pretender to the Throne - hanged on November 23, 1499

Edmund Dudley, financial agent - beheaded on August 17, 1510

Richard Empson, Chancellor of Lancaster and financier - beheaded on August 17, 1510

Edmund de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk - beheaded in 1513

Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham - beheaded on May 17, 1521

Elizabeth Barton, "the Nun of Kent" - hanged on April 20,1534

John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester - beheaded on June 22, 1535

Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor - beheaded on July 6, 1535

George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford - beheaded on May 17, 1536

Sir Henry Norris, Constable of Beaumais - beheaded on May 17, 1536

Sir William Brereton, Groom of the Privy Chamber - beheaded on May 17, 1536

Mark Smeaton, Musician - beheaded on May 17, 1536

Sir Francis Weston, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber - beheaded on May 17, 1536

Anne Boleyn, Queen of England - beheaded on May 19, 1536

Thomas Darcy, Baron de Darcy - beheaded on June 30, 1537

Sir Robert Constable, Courtier - hanged on July 6, 1537

Robert Aske, Rebel - hung from chains on July 12, 1537

Francis Bigod, Rebel - hanged on June 2, 1537

Thomas Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare - hanged then beheaded on February 3, 1537

Sir Edward Neville, Esquire of the Body - beheaded on December 8, 1538

Henry Courtenay, Marquess of Exeter - beheaded on January 9, 1539

Thomas Cromwell, Lord Chancellor - beheaded on July 28, 1540

Walter Hungerford, Baron Hungerford - beheaded on July 28, 1540

Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury - beheaded on May 27, 1541

Leonard Grey, Viscount Grane - beheaded on July 28, 1541

Francis Dereham, Courtier - hanged, drawn and quartered on December 10, 1541

Thomas Culpepper, Gentleman of the King's Privy Chamber - beheaded on December 10, 1541

Jane Parker, Lady Rochford - beheaded on February 13, 1542

Katherine Howard, Queen of England - beheaded on February 13, 1542

Anne Askew, Preacher - burnt at the stake on July 16, 1546

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey - beheaded on January 19, 1547

Thomas Seymour, Baron of Sudely - beheaded on March 20, 1549

Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector - beheaded on January 22, 1552

John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland - beheaded on August 22, 1553

Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk - beheaded on February 23, 1554

Lady Jane Grey, Disputed Queen of England - beheaded on February 12, 1554

Guildford Dudley - beheaded on February 13, 1554

Sir Thomas Wyatt, Rebel - beheaded on April 11, 1554

John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester - burnt at the stake on February 9, 1555

Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London - burnt at the stake on October 16, 1555

Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester - burnt at the stake on October 16, 1555

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury - burnt at the stake on March 21, 1556

Thomas Howard, Duke of Northumberland - executed on June 2, 1572

Sir Anthony Babington, Conspirator - hanged, drawn and quartered on September 20, 1586

John Ballard, Jesuit Priest - hanged, drawn and quartered on September 20, 1586

Chidiock Tichborne, Poet - hanged, drawn and quartered on September 20, 1586

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots - beheaded on February 8, 1587

Henry Abbot, Layman - hanged, drawn and quartering on July 4, 1597

Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex - beheaded on February, 1601

An Early Memory

Even though this cross may not have a direct connection to a specific Tudor, it has witnessed the start of it all: the Battle of Bosworth Field. It was found as late as 1778 on Bosworth Field itself. The cross is made of gilded bronze and has been decorated with a "sunburst symbol" which was a badge of the York-family - this makes it quite possible that it was carried by Richard's supporters. The four circles bears the symbols of the four Evangelists: an eagle (St. John), a winged man (St. Matthew), the winged lion (St. Mark) and the winged ox (St. Luke).
The cross was found alongside the remains of a wooden shaft which indicates that it has been carried on procession - it must have been lost or forgotten since it was still at Bosworth Field three hundred years after the battle itself.

A Subtle Hint ..

These pieces were made by Mary, Queen of Scots and has a very symbolic meaning: the cat - or "catte" - represents her cousin Elizabeth I whereas Mary herself is the mouse. It is believed that Mary created this while she was her cousin's prisoner. This is one of the many pieces that Mary either sew or embroidered that has survived to the present day.

Portrait Miniature

It is Thomas More and his family that is the motive for this miniature. The portrait is not contemporary since there are four generations present in this portrait and the family members did not live at the same time. The cabinet is made from walnut and the portrait has been painted on vellum by Rowland Lockey between 1593-94. Of course, by then Thomas More himself was long dead, so Lockey used Hans Holbein's portrait of the disgraced Chancellor.

The Howard Grace Cup

The Howard Grace Cup was made in London between 1525-26. The bowl is made from elephant ivory and the rest is gilded gold and silver adorned with pearls and gemstones. A grace cup was normally used when giving thanks for a meal. The gold mount is dated between 1525-1526 but it is possible that the ivory bowl was from the 12th century. It has been in the Howard family's possession since 1614 - hence "the Howard Grace Cup".
The style is a mixture between Tudor-style and the Gothic. Several Latin inscriptions can be found on the cup including: "Be Sober", "Fear God" and "Drink Thy Wine With Joy".

The Dudley Box

This beautiful box was made in 1579 for Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and Elizabeth I's favourite. It's original purpose was to contain sweetmeats. Robert Dudley's personal crest is on the inside of the lid and it is believed to have been a present - possibly for New Year since sweetmeat was a common present at this time of year.
The box is made of iron and has been decorated with a special technique known as "damascening" - the silver and gold ribbons would have been mixed with the iron.

Lettice Knollys, Countess of Essex and Leicester

Lettice Knollys was born in 1540 in Oxfordshire but the exact date is unknown. Lettice's mother, Catherine Carey, was the daughter of none other than Mary Boleyn which made Lettice Elizabeth I's cousin. Very little is known of her childhood and her youth; actually it is not until the reign of Mary I that Lettice's life changed dramatically. Her family had to flee to the Continent to escape Mary's religious persecutions. Luckily for them, Mary's reign was short and the family could return home when Elizabeth became Queen - apparently, they made an impression on the new Queen because Sir Francis Knollys (Lettice's father) was named Treasurer of the Royal Bedchamber and Lettice a maid-of-honour to Elizabeth herself.

If there is one thing that can be said for sure about Lettice Knollys then it must be that she was beautiful. She had naturally red hair and porcelain skin which was the ideal beauty for an Elizabethan woman. This, combined with a natural sense of fashion, caused her to be the centre of attention - something that made Elizabeth I very jealous. She was married off to Walter Devereux and left court to live in her new home in Staffordshire where she gave birth to the couple's five children. Her status was considerably raised when her husband was made Earl of Essex in 1572. While her husband performed his duties in Ireland, Lettice embarked on an affair with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicestershire. Sadly, her husband never returned home and his death was rumoured to be a result of poisoning.
Lettice was at that time pregnant with Robert Dudley's child and the couple married in secret on September 21, 1578 - apparently, Lettice's father had insisted that they married rather than seeing his daughter give birth to an illegitimate child. When Elizabeth I found out she was furious and banished Lettice from court; she was only to return once. Lettice had given birth to a son - named after his father - but he died at just five years old. In 1584 her husband died as well which threw Lettice into grievance - their marriage is reputed to have been happy. But life goes on and Lettice married Sir Christopher Blount a year later. Elizabeth I still had not forgiven Lettice for her secret marriage to Robert Dudley and remained resentful of her throughout her life.

However, the Queen's strong contempt for the mother did not stand in the way for her son, the Earl of Essex, to become the Queen's last favourite. When Essex attempted to raise a riot Lettice's husband joined in which resulted in his execution in 1601. Lettice would move to Drayton Bassett where she would die on December 25, 1634.

A Different Style

Joss Stone portrays Anne of Cleves on "the Tudors" in which she wears this gown. It is different from other gowns on the show because Anne is wore German clothes at first which had a completely different style. The bodice is made of vertical stripes of moss green and purple with golden patterns (the one in the middle looks a bit like an elephant..). The dark green sleeves are not just very voluminous but has been cut open to show the arms - the openings are trimmed with braidings.
The neckline really stands out with its thick golden braiding from shoulder to shoulder. Instead of opening up to reveal a petticoat, the green skirt is completely closed; a piece of cream fabric with roses makes up for the "missing" petticoat. It almost seems as if the golden chain with the green emeralds has been sewn into the dress. The entire mixture of fabrics and patterns must have seemed very strange to the nobles at Henry VIII's court.

Faded Reds

Another gown worn by Daphne Slater as Mary I in "Elizabeth R". The cut is similar to the previous coronation gown but the colours are far brighter adn more cheerful. The faded and the dark red fabric is velvet whereas the sleeves are made from of damask with golden emblems on a dark (purple?) background - notice that the dark fabric is replaced by the same faded red at the very edge of the sleeves. The same damask fabric has been used for the petticoat. The white linen shirt underneath peaks out as half-circles at the sleeves and at the thin neckline. The waistline is highlighted by two strings of white peals that continues all the way down to the hem of the gown.
The large pendant is definitely a symbol of wealth with its large diamond surrounded by a golden circle and a large drop-pearl.