‘Gold and Glory’ at Hampton Court Palace

The Field of Cloth of Gold was one of the most spectacular events of its age. Feted for the ostentatious display of power and wealth on both sides, its principal architect, Cardinal Wolsey, provided a glittering stage upon which two young, alpha males of Europe, Francis I of France and Henry VIII of England, might … Read more

The Charterhouse: Piety, Power and Treason in the City

In this blog, we will be visiting the most prestigious religious institution of Tudor London: the Charterhouse. Its Tudor history embraces piety, bloodshed, triumph and treason as men of God, and men of power came and went, shaping not only its history but the very fabric of the building. Thankfully, today, some of the original … Read more

The Burial of Anne Boleyn and the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula

When Anne Boleyn was executed within the precinct of the Tower of London on 19 May 1536, no provision had been made for her burial. She had died a convicted traitor, guilty of adultery, incest, and treason. Henry had already washed his hands of her and would marry his third wife, Jane Seymour, within days. … Read more

Leez Priory & The Most Notorious Villain in Tudor History

Leez Priory

When one of the most commonly cited life achievements of a man is the illegal torture of a defenceless, young woman, you know that you must have met one of the most wretchedly cruel villains of Tudor history. However, this man was no shady character of the streets; not a heinous criminal bent on breaking … Read more

Chesworth House & The Scandalous Undoing of Katherine Howard

When Katherine Howard stepped upon the scaffold at The Tower of London to make her final speech of contrition, all the shocking details of the young queen’s earlier, scandalous life had been laid bare for all to see. Much of the evidence that came to light in her indictment was given in evidence by friends … Read more

Mary Queen of Scots: A Glittering Future at the French Court

All I can tell you is that I account myself one of the happiest women in the world. These words were written by the fifteen-year-old Mary Queen of Scots on the morning of her wedding to the Dauphin of France in 1558. It is almost impossible to believe that these sentiments are associated with the … Read more

The Memorialisation of Mary Queen of Scots: The Making of an Icon

This blog is adapted from an interview, recorded for my podcast, The Tudor History & Travel Show. Our historian is Dr Steven Reid, Senior Lecturer in Scottish History at the University of Glasgow. He specialises in the intellectual, political and religious history of Scotland between c.1450 and c.1650, with a strong interest in Mary Queen of Scots … Read more

Middleham Castle: Daunting Fortress, Luxurious Home and One Priceless Jewel!

Middleham Castle sits in the wide-open, rugged and beautiful landscape of North Yorkshire, about 230 miles north of London and 45 miles northwest of York. It was recounted by Tudor antiquary, John Leyland, as ‘a pretty market town, and standith on a rocky hill, on the top whereof is the castle meately welle dyked with … Read more

Kimbolton Castle: The Final Days and Death of Katherine of Aragon

On 7 January 1536, a beleaguered Katherine of Aragon died at Kimbolton Castle in Cambridgeshire. She had spent the final years of her eventful life in exile, abandoned by her husband, Henry VIII, on account of the king’s quest for a legitimate son and heir. Katherine’s is a sorry tale and her end at Kimbolton … Read more