Wednesday, December 17, 2014

News blog problems

Apologies to anyone who has tried to reach the news blog ( today and got a database connection error. I've been trying all the troubleshooting things I can think of on my end and nothing has worked, so I'm guessing it is a problem with the webserver (yet again). If it is still down after I get back from running errands tomorrow, I'll see if I can actually get ahold of my host's tech support!

Update Dec 18 - I think I fixed it! I tried one additional thing that popped in my head while I was trying to fall asleep last night and it seemed to work. I'll do some additional testing later today, but it looks like stuff is running okay for now. Yay! (This is not exactly what I was planning to do with my first few days of winter break....)

Question from Julia - Rolled vs folded letters


Here's another correspondence question: does anyone know whether a letter would be more likely to be rolled up like a scroll or folded? I am assuming it would be sealed with wax, to help to preserve its privacy, and I was imagining a roll tied up with ribbon or bands of some kind. But I suddenly wondered if it might have been folded up into some sort of envelope. Does anyone know?



Monday, December 01, 2014

Question from Julia - Containers for messages during transport

Was there any special vessel or container for carrying a message from the household of one nobleman to another? When a messenger was on horseback, did he carry the letter in a bag / a tube / was it attached to him or in some kind of saddlebag on a horse?

Thank you for any help!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Question from Rachel - Biggest inaccuracies of "The Tudors"

What are the three biggest/worst historical inaccuracies in The Tudors (in your opinion)?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Question from Joanna - Henry and Anne in the woods

At the end of first season of The Tudors, there's this scene where Anne and Henry have sex in the woods. Is there any historical basis (not necessarily sex, but something, like Henry chasing Anne, which I think Hilary Mantel used in her TC-books) for that, or was it just made up?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Question from Sara - Robert Dudley as Protector

When Elizabeth I nearly died of smallpox, she requested that Robert Dudley be appointed as Protector in the event of her death. My question is, what did Elizabeth mean by "Protector"? What kind of role or responsibilities did she assume Robert Dudley would have in this position? I have heard the title used in regard to regents ruling for minors, or as a title for the head of state himself (like Cromwell later in history). Did Elizabeth envision one of these situations, or did she mean something else entirely?

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Question from Kristin - Lady Mary Cholmondeley

I'm looking for information on Lady Mary Cholmondeley, a lady knighted by Queen Elizabeth according Nichols. [J. Nichols, Progresses of King James the First (1828), vol. 3, p.406.]

Any tips for possible sources appreciated.

Thank you

Question from Marilyn R - Duties and statue of a chamberer

During her interrogation regarding Katherine Howard's past, Mary Lassels thought that 'Margery, my ladys chamberer,can tell much.'

What were the duties and status of a chamberer?

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Question from Sarah - John Foxe and the Book of Martyrs

Did John Foxe write the Book of Martyrs by himself, or was he more of a compiler and editor?

Question from Sarah - Bishop William Barlow in the 1550s

Does anyone know of any research into Bishop William Barlow's time in Poland or Lithuania during the 1550s? All I can find is from Brett's Narratives, confirming that he was there with the Duchess of Suffolk, but nothing about what he did there.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Question from Heather R. - Swaddling and limb binding

I am writing an college essay on the practices of swaddling or limb binding to prevent physical deformities during the Tudor Era. Can anyone help me locate any other sources besides Wikipedia? Thank you.

Question from Sarah - Self-description of mid-Tudor Protestants

During the reigns of Edward VI and Mary I, what did English Protestants describe themselves as? Were the terms "Protestant" or "Anglican" in existence? I'm thinking mainly of people like Hugh Latimer.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Question from Rene - Byzantine cultural transfer

We know about the scientific and cultural transfers between Islam and mediaeval Christianity, especially in the days of the Crusader states. Was there any significant scientific and/or cultural transfer from Byzantium into Catholic Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries too, or did the Papacy discourage study of the ways of the Greek "apostates" too?

The reason why I ask is that far too often the links between Western Catholicism and Islam are frequently touched upon by mainstream Western media (read: Hollywood) but hardly anything is mentioned about the Byzantines who would've been more advanced and prosperous ....

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Question from Annette - Edward Seymour and Catherine Fillol's chidren

Question about edward seymours 1st marriage and children.

Research for my novel, his marriage to catherine fillol was annulled and she was sent to live in a convent, their subsequent children two boys named John and Edward were declared bastards..what happened after their mother was sent away..where did they live, who took care of them, surely not either Seymour or fillol families as it was a scandal at the time.

Can anyone tell me what happened to these boys.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Question from Julian - Early Tudor era maps and plans

Maps and or Sketches of Henry VII's City of London; - of the Palaces of White Hall, - and that of Westminster; - and/or a ground plan of the Abbey of Bermondsey [demolished immediately following the Dissolution]?

The earliest map [of White Hall Palace] I have been able to find after many hours of searching the internet dates from the 17th C. I haven't been able to find anything that shows early Tudor London, or the Tudor Palace of Westminster and the Abbey Pale as it then existed at all.

I'm researching the life of a senior King's Officer to write his Biography; and these are all Locations where the Official Archives place the man at various time during his 24yr. Service to king Henry VII,[houses assigned as his Official Quarters, Security Duties or Custodial Duties officially assigned to him], and relevant mentions in the "Rolls Series" transcriptions.

If anyone on this List knows of any "public domain" Maps and ground plans closer to the 1485-1509 Period than the 17th C. that have been digitised online , - I'd be very grateful for the URLs.

Question from Larry - Henry VIII doctor named Salmon

I watched a youtube video called "Inside the body of Henry Vlll". There was a photo of physicians who attended the king. One was labeled X.Salmon. I was curious if there was a doctor named Salmon who looked after him?

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Question from Annabeth - Lucy Negro and Shakespeare's "Dark Lady"

Hello everyone! I was reading an article about The Dark Lady of the sonnets and I want to know something more about Lucy Negro who was mentioned as possible Dark Lady.Thank you on your answers.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Question from Rita - Illegitimate son of Charles Brandon

I am researching my family history on my maiden name, Brandon. I have come to a standstill regarding Thomas Brandon, presumably born in 1550 and his presumed father, Sir Charles Brandon,the illegitimate son of Charles, 1st Duke of Suffolk. Is Sir Charles Brandon the illegitimate son of the 1st Duke? If so, did he have a son Thomas? In either case, I would like some information to continue my family tree. It intrigues me I could be a possible descendent of the Tudor family. Thank you so much for any information or resources which would be be beneficial.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Question from Alex - Mary Tudor and Henry Fitzroy

I recently read that Henry VIII, at one point, thought about possibility of Mary marrying her half-brother, Henry Fitzroy. How serious that intent was, and why it failed in the end?

[Some coverage of this question is in the comments to the previous post linked below. - Lara]

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Question from Hannah - Widows of executed noblemen

What was the fate of widows of noblemen, who had been executed - assuming that widow had been deemed innocent of whatever crime her husband had been condemned? Were treatment and customs much different from normal?

[Similar question from 2011 linked below. - Lara]

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Question from Em - Jacobean lace

Was jacobean lace made of silk, linen, or all three? Does it make a difference if the lace was used on the neck, the cuff or elsewhere?

Any idea of the relative cost of a great lace neckpiece?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Question from Peter - City Bars and Gates

Dear Tudor Q&As

Query re City Bars & Gates.

I have a reference to a house that was the last before the city Bar (also written as Barre sometimes). The implication is that the Bar marked the limit of the city boundary. But what exactly was the Bar. Was it an actual structure or a notional boundary?

Could you confirm that the word "Gate" meant road or street as well as gate as we understand it today?

Very many thanks for your help.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Question from Stephanie - Elizabeth I's possible marriage to Philip of Spain

How likely did people think it was that Elizabeth would marry Philip of Spain when she ascended the throne? Did she immediately reject him, or did she keep him hanging on like she did with later suitors? I'm thinking that that would have been a worry for English Protestants.

Question from JenGin - Mary Boleyn at court in during Anne's queenship

Hello everyone,

I'm currently reading Alison Weir's bio of Mary Boleyn and there is something that I'm curious about. Weir says:

"In April 1535, as we have seen, John Hale mentioned that 'the Queen's Grace might not suffer her sister to be in the court', and so it is unlikely that Anne and Mary were ever reconciled".

Is it true that Anne couldn't "suffer" her sister to be at court? Is this John Hale the same person who claimed that Mary Boleyn's son was Henry VIII's child? I'm very curious. Thank you in advance.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Question from Annette - Gertrude Blount and Jane Seymour

To question about Gertrude Blount,lady Exeter, I have just been reading david starkys six wives of Henry viii and he says that she and sir Nicholas Carew were sponsors to jane Seymour , what did sponsors do for their sponsees? and does anyone know what she looked like..apparently she was supposed to be attractive.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Question from Jane - Executions of husbands and wives

If both husband and wife were to be executed by beheading, would they be executed at the same time or not? Would it be up to King to decide that?

Monday, September 01, 2014

Question from Peter - Abbreviation in Yorkshire Deeds

Please could you or your readers advise what the abbreviation 'clk' found in the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Record Series, Yorkshire Deeds, for the 15th Century means?


'to Robert Frost, clk., chancellor of the lord Prince, Thomas Pek, clk.,'

Many thanks.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Question from Colleen - Form of address for a younger son of an Earl

Hello! I'm looking for clarification - how would one refer to the younger son of an earl? I know "Right Honourable" is a fairly recent development and would not have been in use in the 16th century. But would he be "Lord (Name)" or "Master (Name)"? Or something else entirely?

Thank you!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Question from Ben - Phrase about Elizabeth I and James VI/I

I would like to ask where did phrase that Elizabeth was King:now james is queen "Rex fuit Elizabeth:nunc est regina Jacobus"?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Question from Elliott - Wedding vows in the 1480s

Before the establishment of the Church of England, what were the Catholic wedding vows one would have had to take in the 1480s?

Question from Annette - Catherine Fillol's convent

Question about catherine fillol and John Seymour, after they allegedly had an affair and her father found out about it..she was sent to a convent...can anyone hazard a guess or Actually know which convent she was sent to? Would it have been in Wiltshire or her native Dorset ? Did convents allow visitors? I also read that convents only took wealthy women with dowrys, how is this possible if her dowry would have gone to her husband edward surely? Thanks again.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Question from annette - 1535 progress of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

A question about the progress Henry viii and anne boleyn went on in 1535 when he ultimately met his next wife at wolf hall .
What path did the progress take?What areas or counties did they visit? Did anne boleyn visit wolf hall as well? And when he toured his which order did he visit? Whitehall, Greenwich , Hampton etc??. In seasons aswell summer and winter? Can't seem to find a lot online about it unless I;m wording it incorrectly. I'm working on a novel by the way so this serves as research. Thank you for any answers and time taken.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Question from Stacey - Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots' pearls

I know that Elizabeth wore the pearls that belonged to Mary Queen of Scots in the Armada portrait, but are there other portraits she wore them in? Why would she deliberately wear something that so obviously belonged to Mary Stuart?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Question from John - Elizabeth I nicknames

I would like to ask is it true that Elizabeth I was the nickname actress?

[The sender didn't leave an email address so I couldn't contact him for clarification, but I suspect this is about Elizabeth I's habit of giving people at her court nicknames. - Lara]

Friday, August 01, 2014

Question from Lizelle - Illegitimate son of Francis I of France


Hope you can help me. I am trying to find sources that can verify if my ancestor Henry De La Rieux (born 1502) is in fact an illegitimate son of Francis I, King of France? Henry's mother is just known as "Daughter De La Rieux" and was apparently a mistress of the King.

Thanks so much!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Question from Elina - Clothing requirements for women's executions

If woman was sentenced to death, what sort of requirements was there for her clothing (if there was any), and did execution method bring its own requirements (for example, was she supposed to wear lighter dress/clothes for burning than for beheading)?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Question from Annette - Jane Seymour's betrothal to William Dormer


i';m hoping to start a novel based on jane seymour..fingers crossed..wondered if anyone had information on her bethrothal to william dormer..what year and such and whether she was actually in france the same time as anne boleyn, serving and finishing her education there..i know theres not alot known about her early life..but any information and dates would be useful!

Thanks muchly!

Question from Vera - Inheritance of daughters of barons

In Tudor era, if baron had only one child, a daughter, would she inherit a barony, or would it go to baron's other male relatives?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Traveling for work through Monday July 21

Hello all! I just want to put up a note that I'll be traveling for work through Monday so question-posting and comment-approving may be sporadic, depending on my schedule and/or internet availability.

(For those curious, this is where I'm going to be!)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Question from Annabell - Lady Howard and Lady Dacre

Hello! I was reading a question about lady Howard at the New Year gift list and found it by myself and I was researching about lady Howard junior and lady Dacres of the South, but could not find anything about them. Were they related or not and biographies. Thank you a lot!!!!!

[The previous thread referenced in this question is linked below. - Lara]

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Question from shtove - Source of Armada quote

Here's a famous Armada quote: "we are sailing against England in the confident hope of a miracle."

It's reported by a papal legate as spoken to him by a Spanish government official a few weeks before the Armada sailed in 1588.

It's the end part of a short, ironic speech that shows the official was fully aware the Armada was doomed to defeat, and is cited all over the place as an example of the folly of religious absolutism. One author uses the very final phrase as the title of his book on the Armada. Important stuff.

So I looked for the source, and everything led back to Garrett Mattingly from his Armada book in 1960 - I think he got a Pulitzer for it:

It reads very nicely, but no source. Then I found Geoffrey Parker using it - good, a serious historian - in his revised book on the Armada with a footnote that gives the source as ... Mattingly.

I can't get past Mattingly. And Britannica says this about him: "However, Garrett Mattingly (190062), generally regarded as the master of historical narrative among American historians, enlivened his work with speeches he wrote and attributed to historical characters without always identifying them as invented."

Not good. Can anyone get past Mattingly? (I tried Foosean search terms - no luck.)


Sunday, June 08, 2014

Question from ? - Marriage of bishops from 1547 to 1553

Can anyone help in finding marriage records between 1547 and 1553 of Bishops.

John Bird, Bishop of Chester who had responsible position within Henry V111 court, was married after
Henry V111's death in 1547. As many other Bishops married during the same period, once Mary 1 was on
the throne, some were sent to their death and others were given different punishments.

John Bird, Bishop of Chester had to surrender his Bishopric and repudiate his wife. He was sent as
vicar to Great Dunmow in Essex and died in 1558 and stated as in an 'obscure condition'.

With his connections to Henry V111 ,therefore his position being of some importance I would have
thought a record of Bishop John Bird's marriage between 1547 and 1553, would have been recorded
somewhere. To date I can find no mention of who his wife might have been, other than being young.

Can anyone help? Many thanks in advance.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Question from Peter - Tudor marriage records

Dear Friends,

Re Tudor marriage records.

What sources are there for marriage records apart from Parish Registers, Bishop's Transcripts, Marriage Allegations and Bonds, Herald's visitations and Wills?

I have a record of one Wakefield (in Yorkshire) Tudor ancestor with four wives but no source given!

Thank you for any help,

Question from Peter - Inquisitions post mortem

Dear Friends,

Re Inquisitions post mortem.

Please could someone shed light on the role of Trustees per the following IPM below.

What are the duties of Trustees?

Why was the Trusteeship passed down the Peck family for several generations?

What does having the role of trustee tell us about the Peck family?

What does the Peck trusteeship tell us about the nature of their relationship to Sayvile?

What other genealogical and social nuggets can we glean from this IPM regarding the Peck family?

So many questions - sorry and thank you.

John Sayvile, Knt. 21 March, 12 Hen. VIII. (1520/1)

One Thomas Sayvile, great-grandfather of the said John,was seised of the manor of Folrigge, co. Lancaster. By charter, dated at Folrigge, St. Hilary's day, 8 Hen. V., he conveyed the same to trustees (amongst whom was Henry Sayvile of Copley, Esq.), entailing it on his heirs male.

(The last surviving trustee was Richard Peke, from whom the trusteeship has descended to John Peke, now living, son of Richard, son of Richard, son of John, son of the afore- said Richard Peke).

John Sayvile, Knt., died 20 March, 20 Hen. VII. Henry Saivile, Esq., is his son and heir, and
heir of the aforesaid Thomas, viz., son of John, son of John,son of John, son of the said Thomas. At the date of this inquisition he is 22 and upwards. By Letters Patent,5 Nov., 2 Hen. VIII., the wardship and marriage of the said Henry Saivile were granted to Richard Hastings, Knt.
Vol. ii., no. 11.

Very many thanks,

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Question from kb - Elizabeth Trevanion Carey, Baroness Carey, Countess Of Monmouth

Hi All,

I am looking for any stray information about Elizabeth Trevanion Carey, Baroness Carey, Countess Of Monmouth. I have the memoirs of Robert Carey, her husband and the entry on Kate Meerson's site. Anything else anyone can contribute would be helpful including birth/death dates, reception in the Jacobean Court, her nature or character, etc.

Thank you so much,

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Question from Annabel - Rural life in 1520s

I'm writing a novel set in the 1520s: to be specific, it's set in rural England between March 1526 and September 1527, and has virtually nothing to do with either court, the monarchy, or the Reformation. Instead, it features the gentry and a supernatural love affair: Jane Austen, but set three hundred years back! And with vampires! (I'm really making it sound very coherent, aren't I?)

Unfortunately, as you can imagine, this has made doing research somewhat difficult. If I can find books with a more anthropological bent, they seem to mainly describe life at court and the romance between Henry and Anne, which is interesting, but not what I need.

I know that while writing it I'll have far more questions than I would feel comfortable bothering you with, so my question is this: can you recommend some books or websites for me to find more information? I'd be interested particularly in things like etiquette, how courtship was conducted, where/when people would have socialised with one another, and a typical day for a young member of the gentry living deep in the country (getting up times, how they filled the hours, etc). Daily life, essentially, for the large number of people in the sixteenth century who were not Henry VIII.
Thank you in advance for your help.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Question from Collin - Henry Fitzroy and royal bastards

I am working on a paper for school and I have to argue why Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of King Henry VIII, should have been king. There is not a lot written about him. Any suggestions?

Are there are instances when bastards became king?

Thanks for your help.


[Previous related thread linked below. - Lara]

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Question from shtove - Verification of MacDonnell quote

Verifying quote: "My Son Hath Many Heads"

The Scottish warlord Sorley Boy MacDonnell was brought to Dublin in 1586 to negotiate a peace settlement with Elizabeth I's government.

An official pointed to the severed head of MacDonnell's son, nailed above the gateway of Dublin Castle. MacDonnell said: "My Son Hath Many Heads".

It's in the old DNB, but I can't trace the quote back to its root, so I'm hoping for assistance.

I tried Clan Donald resources, but my best effort is a history from the 1870s (p.187): "The grief-stricken old man, groaning in spirit, proudly replied My son hath many heads! The knowledge of this striking incident is preserved in a Macdonnell manuscript"

Monday, May 12, 2014

Question from Nyele - Kat Ashley and Thomas Seymour

Was Kat Ashley in love whit Thomas Seymour? You can read on wikipedia:

One must understand that the deposition of Kat Ashley, which incorporates the queen joining her husband in his escapades, was given after Ashley was arrested, put in the Tower, and threatened to be tortured unless she confessed what she knew about Seymour and Elizabeth's relationship.At the time of the deposition, Catherine had died and Seymour had been arrested for another attempt at marrying Lady Elizabeth. It must be mentioned though, that throughout her time at Chelsea, Ashley developed a crush on Seymour and actually encouraged her charge to "play along." At one point she even made a comment of how lucky Elizabeth would have been to have a husband like Seymour.'

It quotes David Starkey, but I can't find more information than this.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Question from Danielle - Symbols and propaganda in Elizabethan portraiture

Hi There :)

I was just wondering if anyone had any information of the hidden symbols and propaganda in Elizabethan portraiture.

I don't just mean the crowns or the tudor roses, the sunshine in the background etc I mean the really hidden ones.

I'm particularly interested in Elizabeth's courtiers and ladies in waiting, such as Bess of Hardwick etc.

I'd be grateful for any information on books to look through, websites with information or just general information.

Thanks in advance :) x

Friday, May 02, 2014

Question from Anonymous - Lady Susan Bowes (or Bowser)

Hi,I am reading an online book about queen Elizabeth`s maids of honor and I could not find anything about lady Susan Bowes/Bowser (maid from1576 to 1578).
Please help me.Thank you.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Question from Conor - Early Tudor relations with the Danish kings

Hello, just wondering what kind of relations did the Tudor court have with the Danish kings if any? More interested about Henry VII or Henry VIII rather than Elizabeth's involvement with King Eric. Were there resident ambassadors representing the Kalmar Union in Tudor England? Thanks

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Question from Emilie - Robert Dudley and Lettice Knollys banishments from court after their marriage

Just a quick question - after Ribert Dudley married Lettice Knollys, I understand she was permanently banished from court however I also though Dudley himself was banished for a time I was just wondering if this was true and if so for how long and between what years if at all possible?

Many thanks in advance,


Question from Cynthia - Lady Howard in 1570s New Years Gift lists

Hello! I found a web page about queen Elizabeth's new year gifts and I wanted to know who is lady Howard mentioned in the 1570s lists. Can anyone help?

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Question from Lizabeth - Other ladies in "The Noble Arte of Venerie" illustration

Hi all! I was reading a book about The Tower of London and find illustration from Turberville`s book The Noble Arte of Venerie or Hunting of queen Elizabeth and courtiers. I was wondering who are the ladies behind the queen? Can anyone help?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Question from Rose - Elizabeth I's closest ladies in the 1570s

Hi! I'm doing a paper project for a history class about queen Elizabeth's ladies (maids of honour too) and I would like to know who were her closest friends among them (in the 1570's especially).

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Question from flyingwind66 - Mid-16th century French gowns

I am making a mid-16th-century historically accurate replica of a French noble gown for the SCA.

I would like clarification of how the gowns of the French court were constructed. There is no shortage of information regarding the layers and construction of English Tudor gowns though very little about the French fashions in the same time period.

I read everywhere that the English were heavily influenced by the French fashions and that the French were influenced by Italian fashions... so what was common in the French courts?

I see in portraits of the French upper class that they seem to favour the detached and slashed sleeves of Italian influence though I am most confused about the method of closure on the French gowns... I know that the English Tudor gowns were closed in the front and had a placard/stomacher pinned or tied on to cover the closure though I am unsure if this was an English invention or if the French did it too? Did the French upper class have gowns tied closed on the sides/back/front like Italian gowns? Do they pin/tie on placards/stomachers? I read somewhere that they could have hidden hook and eye closures in the front but I don't know the source.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Question from Cindy - Connections between Queens Catherine Howard and Catherine Medici

Hello! Here is my question: My ancestor, Thomas Haws Howard, stated on his Civil War records that our family was related to Queen Howard Medici. Obviously this has posed a problem because I know of Queen Catherine Howard and Queen Catherine Medici, so I can't figure out which queen he meant. Does anyone know of a connection between these two queens or have any ideas on what this statement could have meant?
Thank you so much!

Question from Danielle - Surviving jewelry and clothing from the Tudor period

Is there anywhere I can see official clothing or jewellery from the Tudor period? If not not, what happened to all the dresses worn by Henry's wives & children?

[Variations on this question have been asked before, and some are linked below - but it's one that doesn't hurt to be asked again given rotating displays in museums, historic houses, etc. - Lara]

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Question from CJ - Children of a nobleman who lost his fortune

I was wondering what might happen to the children of a nobleman who lost his fortune. What would happen to his daughters if he couldn't dower them? Would they go into some kind of service? Presumably a son would still inherit, but aside from finding a rich wife, in what ways would he maintain his lifestyle? (Aside from borrowing, of course.) Thank you!

Question from Sarah - The King's Primer

What was the 'King's Primer' in the 1540s and was it written by Cranmer?

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Question from Amanda - Siblings of Katherine Howard

I have come across various sources that differ on how many siblings Katherine Howard had. Some state that she had none and others say that she had numerous brothers and sisters. Is there any concrete info regarding the validity of either of these? Assuming that Katherine did have siblings, how many were there and were they older or younger than she? Also, is there any list anywhere that lists the siblings (Katherine included) in their birth order? Thanks in advance. :)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Question from Brenda - Flower in Mor portrait of Mary I

In a portrait of Mary Tudor painted by Anthonis Mors in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, she is holding a flower. It is not clear if this is the Tudor rose or a carnation. I understand the latter can represent betrothal and this painting was done for her new husband Phillip II of Spain.
Can you shed any light on this? I know the same portrait is also in the Prado.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Question from Laura - Martin Luther's books in England

I assume that Martin Luther's books were banned in England. If so, when did it become legal to read / own them?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Question from Laura - Henry VIII's wives' signatures

Did Henry VIII's wives retain their maiden names to some degree, e.g. in their signatures? If so, was this normal (especially when, I would have thought, they would not have wanted to flaunt their non-royal roots). And if they did this, was it perhaps to distinguish between different "Anne the Queen" and "Katherine the Queen"s?

[See also related thread linked below. - Lara]

Question from Emily - Anne of Cleves quote

Is: "She was too much a child to deny herself any sweet thing she wanted" - Anne of Cleves, an actual quote or not?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Question from Kelly - Ideas for graduate-level research on Anne Boleyn and/or Henry VIII

I am planning to begin graduate studies in the Fall of this year and I want to write about Anne Boleyn and/or Henry VIII. I am most interested in the circumstances surrounding her downfall and what really happened, but I am also trying to brainstorm more original areas that have not yet been explored. I was thinking about doing something regarding the psychology and psychological downfall of Henry VIII, but I don't know if I will be considered as qualified to do this. Any ideas would be helpful. I am also looking around to see what has already been published. Any direction in researching this and current topics that are of interest would be great. Thank you for your help.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Question from Shae - Chapuys quote

Hello there!

I'm studying Katherine Howard's life, and have frequently come across this quote from Chapuys:

"She is a pretty young creature, with wit enough to do as badly as the others if she were to try"

It's a popular quote - it's cited frequently - but nobody can seem to agree on who 'she' is: based on the majority of studies I've read of Katherine Howard's reign, the most popular view is that 'she' is Lady Elizabeth Wyatt (the wife of Thomas Wyatt.) However she would have been around 40 at the time so this seems to not fit, despite it being the most popular choice. If not her, then people argue that Chapuys meant Elizabeth Brooke, the niece of Elizabeth Wyatt. Which fits more, since she was younger, but why the insistence on it being a Wyatt/Brooke?

It's also been described as being about Katherine Howard, herself, very often.

Where is this quote from, and is there someone to access the full thing online? Can anybody clear up who the quote is referring to? I find it unlikely to be Katherine Howard, but I don't understand why the Brooke/Wyatts crop up so often.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Question from Karen - Thomas Stafford after the Lovell plot

I've been rereading history of the Lovell plot, an early rebellion in the reign of Henry VII that involved the Stafford brothers, Humphrey and Thomas. The Stafford brothers, having been ferreted out of sanctuary, were found guilty of treason. Humphrey was hanged, Thomas was pardoned.

What happened to Thomas afterward? I can't find a single thing

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Question from Jessica - Elizabeth I and Empire

Hi, I am 15 and in AP world history. for our Christmas assignment we were given a ruler and I receiver Queen Elizabeth I. Well the assignment is to answer the following questions the teacher gave us in the rulers point of view and I've answered most but I cant seem to find these two. The questions are: "How does your empire establish legitimacy?" and "what are the greatest strengths and weaknesses of your empire?" I am at a loss, can you help? Thank you!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Question from Peter - Goldsmiths and Silversmiths

I have the following reference in

The Story of old Halifax by Thomas William Hanson

"Richard Peck was one of the largest landholders in Halifax town in 1439.................By trade Peck was a Goldsmith and Silversmith"

Unfortunately Mr Hanson does not give his source for this claim.

Could anyone suggest possible sources 'primary' sources please?

Many thanks Peter