Sunday, September 30, 2012

Question from Penelope - Queens paying their executioner

I've heard that traditionally, the condemned paid the headsman for his services prior to their executions - would this have applied to the executed Tudor queens (Anne, Kathryn, Jane Grey) as well, or, being of noble blood, were they allowed to forgo that? It seems so needlessly barbaric!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Question from Orla - John, heir of Sir George Hastings

I was wondering about John, son and heir of Sir George Hastings who was the ward of Thomas Boleyn. Is there any information on him? Did he live with the Boleyns?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Question from shtove - Chocolate in Tudor England

Chocolate: any evidence for it in Tudor England?

Familiar to the Spanish from about 1520, and imported to Spain comercially from the 1580s.

The first English reference to it that I can find is an ad for a chocolate house in London in 1657.

I find it difficult to believe the English were unfamiliar with it for so long.

Wikipedia has some decent articles on the history, but no answer to my question. One passage says Spain sweetened it up and then kept it a secret for almost 100 years, but doesn't elaborate.

As far as I can tell the drink was popular throughout Spain, at all levels of society, but it was only in the 17thC that the taste spread to France & Italy, eventually to England.

The potato popped up in Europe at about the same time, and seems to have spread through ordinary trade.

I suppose trade monopolies and embargos relating to the wars with Spain might explain its sluggish spread. But still ...

Any insights?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Question from Joycem - Richard III burial

I am facinated by the discovery of the remains that may be Richard III in Leicester Ive always been interested in Tudor history and lived in Leicester for a while (Im in California now) so was a fequent visitor to Bradgate. Also worked around the area where the remains were found.
So will Richard be given a grand buriel? what do folks think

Question from Amelia - Lady Elizabeth Tyrwhitt

Could you tell me about Lady Elizabeth Tyrwhitt, the chief lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth. I haven't been able to find anything on her. I was just curious about her life, family background, what she died of and when and what she looked like. I think she might have been an ancestor of mine and I would really like to know everything about her!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Question from Eva - Henry VIII's political philosophy


I am keen to get some opinions on Henry VIII's political philosophy. I find the man fascinating and have just read "The Prince" by Machiavelli for the first time. My impression is that the ideals in this book are certainly applicable to many facets of Henry VIII's reign, but having done some research (admittedly only online thus far) I am not sure I am convinced that Henry actually read this book and absorbed its advice. (I found a note that Cromwell spoke highly of it, but could not trace the source back to a letter or account. Has anyone come across this?)

On the other hand, I feel that the impact of Erasmus' work on Henry is clear. I would like to study more of the political theory that may have shaped Henry's reign, although the very question is tenuous. A book called "The Counter-Reformation Prince" by Robert Bireley came up in a search, and I have never heard of it before. Can anyone shed some light on it or point me in a different direction?

Thanks so much!