Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Question from Guy - Books and speeches of Henry VIII

Has Henry VIII made any recorded speeches?

And what about the books he wrote, can you buy them or access them online?

Question from Lauren - Illegitimate children of Charles V and Francis I

Did Charles V or Francis I have illegitimate children? And if they did, did they give them dukedoms like Henry VIII?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Question from Guy - Group of courtiers

Is it true that a group of courtiers were called a threat?

Question from Guy - Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon's cornonation day

Was there any significance to Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon's coronation being on Midsummer's Day?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Question from Colleen - Nobility paying taxes

Did nobility (under Mary I, specifically) pay taxes to the Crown or were they exempt for any particular reason?

Question from Guy - John Dudley and Mary I

I read that John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland had once been close to Mary I and had made her godmother to his daughter. Is this true?

If so, what happened to his daughter? Did she side with her godmother or her father?

Question from Anonymous - Conducting business in St. Paul's Cathedral

I read that people used to conduct business in St Paul's Cathedral during Tudor Times, just as they did when Jesus went into the Temple. Is this true and was it allowed?

Question from Guy - 19th century examination of Henry's wives' bodies

I read that Henry VIII's wives Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr all had their bodies dug up in the nineteenth centruy. Is this true? And if so, why?

Also is it true that Catherine of Aragon's skeleton was completely destroyed, and if so how/why? Was it deliberate?

[Related threads linked below. - Lara]

Question from Lauren - Mary Tudor's tomb and the dissolution

Is it true that during the Dissolution of the Monasteries that Mary, sister of Henry VIII, had her tomb destroyed? Why would Henry VIII have allowed this?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Question from Guy - Tudor period county histories

I am interested in looking in more depth at counties during the Tudor period, and was considering Kent or Essex. Where can I find out more on them?

I see that there are books on Tudor Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, but could find nothing on other counties.

Question from Guy - Violent behavior at court

I have read that Henry VIII used to hit Cromwell, and that the Duke of Northumberland once slapped Bishop Gardiner in a Privy Council meeting. Was this kind of behaviour common, and what were the consequences for the courtiers involved?

Question from Orla - Biographies of Margaret Tudor

Can anyone recommend a good book on Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland? I've read Maria Perry's book, but has anyone read any others?

Question from Nomadic Queen - Biography of Edward Seymour, Duke of Seymour

Does anyone know a good bio on Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, brother of Queen Jane Seymour?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Question from Guy - Total number of Henry VIII's children

How many children did Henry VIII have in total?

[Of course, depending on who you ask, this will have a range of answers - see all the previous questions regarding possible illegitimate issue of Henry VIII - Lara]

Question from Guy - Foreign marriage alliance after Catherine Howard's execution

After Jane Seymour's death, his councillors began encouraging a foreign marriage alliance almost immediately. Did this happen after the execution of Catherine Howard?

Question from Guy - Malaria

Was malaria common in Tudor England?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Looking for reviewers for "The Queen's Lady"

I think this is a first of its kind for this blog - Ann is looking for people to comment on her manuscript "The Queen's Lady". If you're interested, drop me an email at and I'll put you in touch!

Here's short description of her book:
"The fictional story of Mary Hawke who witnessed and was involved in many of Anne Boleyn's most tremendous events."

Updated April 4 - Thanks to everyone who has volunteered, Ann has plenty of offers now so we don't need any more.

Question from Guy - Returning a prospective royal bride

Henry VIII allegedly wanted to send Anne of Cleves back after he met her. Had this ever happened before?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Question from Claire - Tudor recipes for preserves

I have recently started making and selling my own preserves and am researching the introduction of sugar and its use in preserving in Britians history. I would also love to find an old recipe that i can re-introduce on my stall and i understand that the Henry viii was fond of sugar and preserves? Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Question from Guy - Henry VIII and Valentine's Day

Is it true that Henry VIII started Valentine's Day being celebrated?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Questions for Sandra Worth - again!

Just in case people haven't seen the post over at the news blog, I'm doing another Q&A with author Sandra Worth and here's your chance to submit questions! If you have something you'd like to ask, leave a comment on that thread or email me at

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Question from Karen - Fate of Anne Boleyn's clothing and jewelry from her execution

I love this site and come on frequently to read the Q&As, its a wealth of information.

My question is in relation to Anne Boleyns clothing and possesions.

Annes body was taken by her ladies and stripped and placed in the arrows chest after her death. What happened to her clothing and the jewellery she was wearing at her execution? Ive read that after executions that the officers of the tower would take items from prisoners to the king and they would be rewarded for handing them in. Would this have happened with Annes items too?

Also what would have happened to her clothing and possesions after her death? Would these have been recycled by Jane Seymour or would they have been distributed to her ladies? I cant imagine Jane Seymour wanting to be reminded of her predecessor by wearing her clothing. I know that her book of hours is at Hever.

Many thanks

[I don't think the first question has been asked exactly this way, but some of the second question has been addressed in the previous threads linked below. - Lara]

Monday, March 14, 2011

Question from RW - Young Henry VIII's friends

Who were Henry VIII's closest friends at the start of his reign?

[This is basically a repeat question, but I don't have a contact email for the submitter. And I figure it couldn't hurt to throw it out there again in case anyone has additional information. Previous thread linked below. - Lara]

Question from Anonymous - Anne Boleyn encouraging action against Henry VIII's sister Mary

Mary Rose Tudor apparently didn't approve of Anne Boleyn. Did Anne ever encourage Henry to take action against her, as she did with Princess Mary Tudor his daughter?

And I read that Mary Rose's husband was a cousin of Anne's, through the Mowbrays, I think. Is this true?

Question from Lauren - Ancestry of Catherine Parr

Strickland said that Catherine Parr was "of a more distinguished ancestry than either sir Thomas Boleyn or Sir John Seymour. From the marriage of his Norman progenitor, Ivo de Tallebois, with Lucy, the sister of the renowned earls Morcar and Edwin, Sir Thomas Parr inherited the blood of the Anglo-Saxon kings."

Is it true that this made Catherine Parr "of more distinguished ancestry" than Jane or Anne? And is there proof that she was descended from Anglo-Saxon kings and if so which one?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Question from Nannette - Coffin family and Anne Boleyn

Joanna Denny, in her book "Anne Bolyen - A New Life of England's Tragic Queen", mentions William Cosyn, which is correctly spelled Coffin. On page 190 she states, "..., William Cosyn, another relative, was to be her Master of Horse."

I am interested in the connection between the Coffin family and Anne Boleyn. Do you know if it was through the Howards or the Boleyns? I have tried looking myself but being new to this I am not making any progress.

Thank you for any help you can give.


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Question from Bea - Accessibility of medicine in Tudor times

Hi I'm a 7th form and I'm doing a Project for History. I was hoping if you could assist me in answering one of my questions about tudor medicine.

"To what extent was medicine accessible to the different classes?"

I discovered it was difficult researching information on this question because most of the notes I found had no detail and would only be a sentence or so. I would appreciate any help towards this answer.

Thanks :)

[A related previous thread linked below. - Lara]

Question from Greg - Deciphered coded letters

I have been examining the calenders of Spanish papers and letters along with others for research for my Tudor books and have hit a snag. A number of letters are ciphered, has anyone deciphered them? If so where? Any suggestions would be appreciated

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Question from Cribbaquoy - Charges of witchcraft against Wolsey and Cromwell

I've read that when Wolsey and Cromwell fell foul of Henry VIII they were both accused (among other things, of course) of witchraft. Does anyone know any more about this?

Question from Meg - Advice for paper on influence of Henry's wives

I am currently a 3rd year history student writing a dissertation on the importance of Henry VIII's wives. My current title is "How far were the wives of Henry VIII able to excercise their influence over the royal Court". However, I feel that this is quite weak and would like to improve it. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can do this?

[This is a follow-up from Meg's question from last year, linked below. - Lara]

Monday, March 07, 2011

Question from TA - Index and access to PhD dissertations

I am thinking of doing a PhD on a sixteenth-century topic, probably on the reign of Henry VIII or Edward VI. However, I wouldn't like to spend all that time on it, and find that someone had already researched this area. Is there any way to find out what topics people have also done research masters or PhDs on? And if so, is there an index of them somewhere? Can we read them?

Question from TA - Poetry of Anne Locke

Hello, great website.

I am interested in Renaissance poetry, women's in particular, and have just come across Anne Locke. I don't know how well-known she was, but she was a sixteenth-century poet. What I want to known is: what she the first ever to write a sonnet sequence? And was she the first woman to write a sonnet?

Friday, March 04, 2011

Question from Guy - Tudor relations of Kate Middleton

I've read that Kate Middleton is distantly related to Prince William and thus descended from historic aristocrats or royalty. Does anyone know if she is descended from any Tudor notables?

Question from Anon - Tudor history societies

I'm interested in joining any societies (semi-academic or academic) about Tudor history, especially Henry VIII. Are there any?

I've heard of the King Henry VIII Society, but don't know if that's real as can't find any information on it.

Can anyone recommend journal/websites which track the very latest theories and research in the area?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Question from Lauren - Prebendaries Plot

I'm interested in the Prebendaries Plot. Can anyone tell me where I can get more info on it (the Wikipedia article isn't very detailed?) And was this the only serious plot against Cranmer before Mary's reign?

Question from Lauren - Queens publishing books

Catherine Parr published two books. I read that she was the first woman to do something like this, and definitely the first queen. I find this hard to believe, is it true? And if first queen, weren't there even any foreign queens who had published?

Question from Nancy - Daily life of aristocratic lady in Henry VIII's reign

I'm trying to find information about the daily life of an aristocratic lady in London in the reign of HVIII. Not a lady in waiting to the queen, but someone who owned a large manor house.

Question from Lauren - Illness of Prince Edward in 1541

Is it true that in 1541 Edward VI (then Prince of Wales) nearly died? Can anyone direct me to any sources on this?

Thank you

Question from Lauren - Catherine Howard seeing Culpepper and Dereham's heads

Did Catherine Howard really pass under the bridge which Culpeper and Derham's heads were displayed on?