Sunday, May 14, 2017

Question from Sarah - Mary & Elizabeth declared legitimate

When were Mary and Elizabeth declared legitimate? Is this the same as the time they were put back in the line of succession?

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Question from Charles - Tudor surname

So I just found this site and wondered if I could find out more about my ancestry through others. So I was born Charles Tudor and my father and grandfather have the same first and last name. I want to dig deeper into whether I have any descendants of the royal family. Do you have any ideas about my lineage or can help with it?

[Note from Lara - we've had this question before, I think, along with some recent general genealogy questions so I thought I would open it up for people to comment with some of their favorite genealogy resources and tips.]

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Question from George - Further inquires on toilet facilities for large crowds

George contacted me about posting this again since it seems to still be a bit of a mystery!

Below is an illustration from a lecture I Googled about the Great House, and I guess it's of men using that facility. Several questions: Were such facilities separated by gender, as this drawing suggests? By class? Note the absence of anything -- a cloth, a sponge, even water -- to wipe their bottoms.

Can anyone comment on this as well as answer more completely my initial questions re: "toilet facilities" for large gatherings?

In looking through a synopsis of David Stewart's lecture at Little Waldingfield History Society re: Hampton Court, the statement below appeared. It's in line with my questions about: how toilet facilities were available and serviced for large numbers of people? Were they separated by gender and/or class? How did they clean themselves? In light of inventories, descriptions of room use, servant assignments, and so forth, one would think evidence would be available. Today, a review of event plans and budgets would show evidence of toilet facilities, supplies, and services since costs, space, and labor are needed.

Henry really used Hampton Court to impress, and in August 1546 he feasted and fĂȘted the French ambassador and his entourage of two hundred gentlemen, along with 1,300 members of his own court, for six days!

Original post from 2013 here:

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Question from Arthur - Seating arrangements at early Tudor feasts

Hi, I have a question about feasts in the early tudor period.I just watched the TV A Tudor Feast and I have a few questions I wondered if someone knew the answer too.

Who exactly sat at the top table, I know the lord did but who else? If the lord has several sons and daughters and they are all adults or teens where do they sit? Also if there is visiting nobility of a higher status do they get the prim place at the top table in place of the lord? And lastly in the case of a wedding feast do the couple occupy the head table too?

I am writing a novel and want to try and get things as accurate as possible..thanks.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Question from Pendragon525 - Lady in waiting to all of Henry's wives

I attended a lecture on Tudor-era women in England, and the lecturer mentioned--briefly--that there was one lady-in-waiting who served all 6 of Henry VIII's wives. Her name was not given. I have researched this with no success. Does anyone know if this is factual, and if so, who the lady in question was?

I brought this up to a fellow history buff who thought that the lecturer might be referring to Jane the Fool, but I can find no evidence of Jane in Katherine of Aragon's service, and she looks quite young in the famous "family portrait" painting; she appears to be of roughly the same age as Mary I.

Which brings me to my second question: why were the fools in that portrait at all, and was that commonplace? Are there other such paintings?

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Question from Tonya - Margaret Tudor

I'm the 15th great granddaughter of Margaret Tudor Queen of Scotland and located in Tennessee, USA. I'm curious about information in regards to her as I have not been able to find much and also would love to hear about others that fit into my family through Margaret or Mary of Scots.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Question from Stacey - Lady Catherine Huntley

What happened to Lady Catherine Huntley after Perkin Warbeck's execution?

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Question from David - Elizabeth I and cataracts

Last year I visited a small museum in Italy in an Abbey near the town of Preci. In Tudor times that region had a reputation for skilled eye surgeons and it was said that one operated on Queen Elizabeth 1 of England, as evidence of this fame. This intrigued me. I have done some searches and some Italian references suggest that either Durante or Cesare Scacchi operated on the queen to "remove" cataracts in 1588, with some secrecy as Durante was a surgeon to the Pope.
Searching on line I can't find any references to Elizabeth having cataracts, although she was said to be short-sighted and have various ailments, and any ill-health was not made public.
Does anyone have any useful references that would support the claims from Italy?
The museum may well have been damaged by recent earthquakes.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Question from Arthur - Subsidiary and courtesy titles of heirs

Hi, I been reading up the stuff on this site on courtesy tiles of nobility in the Tudor period...there a couple of things I would like to ask, apologies if it has been asked before but I could not find anything...

i)What happens if the father has no subsidiary title for his eldest son to use? does the heir simply not take one? Or is one invented for him?

ii)Is there any cases where second subsequent sons will use courtesy tiles if they have having a living elder brother? What i mean by that is not when the eldest son has died and the next son becomes the heir, but at the same time?

iii)Slightly off at a tangent but somewhat related at what age was the heir considered to be "of age" and what happened the courtesy tiles when a new heir took over?

This is for a novel I am researching, while its fiction and I have certain amount of poetic licence as it were, I still want get it historically credible...thanks.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Question from EBJohnson - Anne Boleyn's 'difficult' pregnancies

Eric Ives, as well as several other historians, reference Anne Boleyn as having a "difficult pregnancy" in 1533, as well as references to a "difficult pregnancies" later on (which ultimately ended in miscarriage). Does anyone know where this information comes from? Scouring through the primary sources and don't see anything that lead me to believe Anne's pregnancies were anything short of normal. Who or what, specifically, detailed her pregnancies as being "difficult"?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Question from Kenneth - Anne Boleyn's last days in the Tower

I am thinking about writing a play about Anne Boleyn's last few days in the Tower. How much freedom would she have had, could she move about or was she confined to a room or rooms? Would she be allowed visitors or any other contact with the outside world? Any information or insight you could give me would be appreciated. Thank you.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Question from Julia - Anne Boleyn book receommendations

I'm 22, from Brazil and I'm studying Anne Boleyn for a theatre project. At first I wanted to find a diary or something she wrote but, unfortunately, according to my little research (which is beggining now) she does not have one.

I found some letters and it is really going to help but I wanted to ask if you could recommend some books about her. I found out that there's a million books but I don't know what I should read because I don't know what's true and what's not or in which books I could trust. It is really important to have all the information right.

I tried to find it in google or ask people but no one knows what to say.

Sorry if my english is kind of a mess and thank you so much for this website!

[Book recommendation posts are frequently asked questions, but it never hurts to post some again with all the new works coming out every year! - Lara]

Monday, August 29, 2016

Question from KG - Henry VIII destined for the Church

Is it true that Henry VII planned for his son Henry to become archbishop of Canterbury? Are there any sources for this rumour? Thank you.

[This is one of those questions that I could have sworn was asked before, and while I did find a thread that included it - see below - I couldn't find a question directly about it. So here is one! - Lara]

Previous thread:

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Question from Allyson - Follow-up questions to previous post

Some follow up questions to my previous ones.

Who was rich in the 1520s? Was it only royalty? Furthermore, if it wasn't how could one become rich in such a time.

Was there a guild for book making/selling? What sorts of people might have been in this profession?

Because cities were mainly self-governing what sorts of things were people persecuted or outcast from society for? Did they organized their own courts and trials? Who might have led the self-governing, or was it more mob like.

I also came across an interesting event called Dancing Mania. It seems people don't really know much about what it really was although it was documented enough for it to be excepted as a real event. How isolated was this? Do we know how people reacted to such an event?

Royalty and royal blood was obviously very important in that time, so how well did people track their royal blood? I assume very well, and how were certain relations to the royal family acknowledged. Furthermore, and more importantly, how were illegitimate children of the royal family cared for and addressed?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Question from Allyson - Resources for c. 1520 England

Hello, I'm doing research for a novel I'm writing which takes place in or close to 1520 Reading, England. It is fiction but I want to have the details as factual as possible. Some questions that have come up.

What were the rolls of viscounts at the time? Who were they, what did they do, how did they live, who were they above and under?

Can you tell me anything or refer me to something that will give me information about the industries, jobs, etc. of the time (specifically the book and printing industry)

Another question I have is about the levels of law enforcement at the time. What were offenses to the law? How were they reported, enforced, investigated, etc.?

Also, a lot of information goes around about how the common people lived. Where could I look for an educational, factual representation of everyday life in the 1520s.

Thank you.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Question from Camilla - Edward Seymour, the "Good Duke"

Hello, I am 17, currently researching Edward Seymour 1st Duke of Somerset for my A Level History coursework and looking to reassess the title of "Good Duke" which has long lingered over Seymour's reputation.

I am finding it particularly difficult to find written correspondence originating from Seymour himself (which would help to shed light upon his personal character) and/or any sources from the general populous (around the period 1547-1549) as to the common consensus on his character/protectorship. Would it be possible for any help in direction towards possibly useful sources? Is there any trace of the Duke within folk tales/song?

My main question however is if this "Good Duke" title originated within posthumous historical thought or whether the common people genuinely saw the Lord Protector in such a light- and more importantly, whether this corresponded in actuality to Somerset's protectorship/personality. In short, was his title duly granted?


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Question from KG - Henry VIII fasting during Advent and Lent

I read that Henry VIII fasted during Advent and Lent. Our image of him is that of a consummate overeater - would he really have had to keep to the same rules of fasting as everyone else? And what exactly would have been expected in terms of "fasting"?

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Question from KG - Baptism of Henry VIII's children who died young

Do we know if Henry VIII's children, such as the Henry, duke of Cornwall born in 1513, or the stillborn/short-lived children he had with Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn who weren't named, were baptised? If so, do we have any descriptions of the proceedings?

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Question from Arthur - Grief in the 15th century

Can anyone tell me how grief was dealt with in 15th century? I know death was a lot more prevalent but I assume human emotions and feelings of loss and grief have not altered all that much over time that even though people harden to death might not be as sensitive. I think that loosing a beloved spouse,child, parent, or close sibling must of still be painful for them.

So how did the people around the griever? Especially in the case of men I presume that people would just expect him to pull himself together and be stoic about it?

I think I remember they had mourning periods but what I am really trying to find out is what emotional support grieving people got from family and friends.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Question from Arthur - Courtiers time away from Court

Can anyone tell me when Courtiers such as Kings grooms and ushers etc in the reins of Henry 7th and 8th would go home? As in have enough time to return to country estates?

Would you ever have a situation where they were 'not allowed' to return home? Were there specific things they had to be at court for?

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Question from KG - Henry VIII's godchildren

Do we know the names of all/any of Henry VIII's godchildren, and how he fulfilled this role?

Monday, July 04, 2016

Question from KG - Dicing and bowling in Henry VIII's reign

I have read that dicing and bowling were considered immoral in Henry VIII's reign, yet he and his courtiers enjoyed these activities. Would they have been judged for this, or was it socially (and religiously) acceptable?

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Question from KG - Tudor monarchs and Mass

How often would the Tudor monarchs have gone to Mass and what would the services have been like? Can anyone direct me to a really good source please? This is for a university project.

Question from Mary the Quene - Reading of the charges against George Boleyn

My question is regarding the reading of the charges against George Boleyn during his trial.

He (George Boleyn) was instructed to NOT read aloud the statements he and his sister allegedly made concerning the virility of Henry VIII.
In a swipe at the powers railroading him towards the scaffold, George Boleyn intentionally, and in a clear loud voice, spoke the comments for alllllll those courtiers and ghoulish court-haunters to hear.

Does anybody know if Henry VIII learned that his shame had been made ever so public?

Friday, July 01, 2016

Question from Michael - Nudity in Tudor England

Dear All

Can anyone tell me how nudity was seen in Tudor England. Was it a criminal offence? Were people prosecuted for it? was it socially acceptable behind closed doors?