Tag Archives: Tudor History

On this day in 1560 – Sir Edward Hoby born

Sir Edward Hoby was born on 20th March 1560 to Thomas Hoby and Elizabeth Cooke. Hoby was also the nephew of William Cecil, Lord Burghley and eventually the son in law of Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, Queen Elizabeth’s cousin.

Hoby was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Oxford. With his uncle’s guidance he quickly rose in the Elizabethan court and was sent on many confidential missions as a spy.

Hoby married Elizabeth Paulet, the daughter of William 1st Marquess of Winchester but then in 1582 remarried Margaret Carey, daughter of Elizabeth’s cousin, Henry Carey 1st Baron Hunsdon. The day after his wedding to Margaret he was knighted by the Queen.

In 1584 Hoby was sent on a mission to Scotland with his new father in law and greatly impressed King James VI, later the King of England. He was commended and highly praised in writing by the king and was asked to wear a token of appreciation and their brotherhood. Elizabeth’s disapproval of this relationship was a reason for Hoby to stay away from court for a time.

In July 1588 Hoby was again selected again to check on the progress on the preparation for the Spanish Armada.

Hoby received many accolades serving in Elizabeth’s court some of these included being made a knight of the shire in Berkshire in 1588, justice of the peace for Middlesex in 1591 and constable of Queenborough Castle, Kent in 1597.

Upon the ascension of King James I Hoby was made a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber and had his debts wiped cleaned.

Hoby died at Queenborough Castle on 1st March 1617.

Sir Edward Hoby

On this day in 1563 – Arthur Brooke died

Arthur Brooke, the English poet died on 19th March 1563. Very little is known about Arthur Brooke’s life.

Brookes wrote the English poem ‘The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet’ the poem in which William Shakespeare used as his inspiration for Romeo and Juliet. Brooke’s version was taken from the French translation of a story that was included in Matteo Bandello’s ‘Novelle’. Brooke made many changes to the story; the role of the nurse was developed further and the final scene was significantly altered. Most importantly Brooke introduced the idea that fortune was the force that controlled the lives of Romeo and Juliet. As Shakespeare used these changes in his version we can see that Brooke’s poem was his inspiration and not the original text.

Brooke’s died on 19th March 1563 in a shipwreck whilst aboard the Queen’s ship, Greyhound. The vessels destination was set for Le Havre in order to help the Protestant cause in France.


On this day in 1496 – Mary Tudor was born

Mary Tudor was born on 18th March 1496. She was the third daughter and fifth child of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Mary was born at Richmond Palace.

In 1507 Mary was betrothed to the future Holy Roman Emperor, Charles. However, with Henry VIII changing political allegiance to favour France the betrothal was off. Instead Mary was promised to the aging King of France, Louis XII and at the age of 18 in 1514 she was married and proclaimed Queen of France. Less than three months into the marriage Louis died.

Henry VIII sent an envoy to France to bring his sister home, amongst them was Charles Brandon. Mary and Brandon were married in secret on 3rd March 1515. As the marriage was without the King’s permission they had caused treason, upon return to the English court they were summoned to explain themselves. Henry was furious and the couple were eventually let off with a heavy fine and an official marriage ceremony on 13th May 1515 at Greenwich Palace.

Mary was opposed to the King’s divorce to Katherine of Aragon and didn’t hide her feelings on the matter causing the once close siblings to fight. Mary also opposed Henry’s choice of new bride, Anne Boleyn. Anne was a maid in waiting during Mary’s time as Queen of France.

Mary Tudor

Mary died at her home in Westhorpe, Suffolk on 25th June 1533 and buried at Bury St Edmunds Abbey. After the dissolution of the monasteries her body was removed and re-interred at St Mary’s Church. Mary and Charles had four children and through her eldest daughter Frances was the grandmother of the nine day Queen, Lady Jane Grey.

On this day in 1473 – King James IV was born

On 17th March 1473 the future King James IV of Scotland was born to King James III and Margaret of Denmark. The location of his birth is most likely to be Stirling Castle.

At a young age the heir apparent was proclaimed Duke of Rothesay and was betrothed to marry Princess Cecily of England, the third daughter of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville.

King James III of Scotland was killed in the Battle of Sauchieburn in 1488 leaving the 15 year old prince the new King of Scotland. The Battle of Sauchieburn saw James III face a rebellion which used the young prince as their figurehead. The new King felt guilty over his indirect role in his father’s death and for the rest of his life at Lent he wore a heavy iron chain cilice around his waist, adding weight every year, as penance.

King James IV was involved in many arguments with the English court, including the backing of Perkin Warbeck, the pretender to the Plantagenet line. James even went as far as invading England in 1496.

In 1502 James signed the Treaty of Perpetual Peace with King Henry VII in a bid to end warfare between the two countries. As part of the treaty a marriage proposal between James IV and Margaret Tudor, daughter of the King of England, was agreed. Whilst agreeing to peace with England, James also maintained a relationship with France and began building a fleet that would defend Scotland and give them a large maritime presence.

King James IV married Margaret Tudor on 8th August 1503 at Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh. They had four living children including the future King James V. James IV also had eight illegitimate children with four of his mistresses.

The Italian Wars broke out in 1494 and lasted until 1559; it saw many countries involved from Italy and France to England and Scotland. As a result war broke out between England and France. Scotland was tied to both countries through treaties but declared war on England after Henry VIII invaded France. Pope Leo X threatened James with ecclesiastical censure for breaking his treaty with England and was later excommunicated by Cardinal Christopher Bainbridge.

In September 1513 Scottish troops invaded England and headed towards Northumbria where they clashed with English forces on the 9th September. The English troops were under the leadership of Katherine of Aragon who was Regent of England whilst her husband Henry VIII was fighting in France. King James IV was killed in the battle and was the last King of Great Britain to die in battle. His body was taken to London for burial, however due to his excommunication King Henry VIII had to gain permission from the Pope to bury the Scottish King. He was never buried though; his embalmed body lay unburied for many years with his body going missing during the Reformation when Sheen Priory in Surrey, where he was lying, was demolished.

James IV

On this day in 1593 – Thomas Snagge died

Thomas Snagge was born in 1536 in Letchworth and studied law at Gray’s Inn, London. He began practising law in London in 1554.

Snagge had a great career under Queen Elizabeth I as he was appointed to the role of Attorney General for Ireland in 1577. Snagge held this role for three years until 1580 and it appears that he disliked being in Ireland, with all official paperwork listing the many complaints he had, in particular complaints about Nicholas White, the Master of the Rolls in Ireland.

Snagge was appointed, in 1580, the position of Serjeant at law, a role that would see him work with a small group of lawyers that took a lot of the work of the common law courts. However with Queen Elizabeth I created the Queen’s Council, this group of lawyers began to diminish. In 1589, Snagge was created Speaker at the House of Commons and the following year was appointed to Queen’s Serjeant.

Snagge died in 1593 and buried in St Mary’s Church in Marston Moretaine

Tomb of Thomas Snagge

On this day in 1504 – John Arundell died

John Arundell (bishop of Exeter) died on 15th March 1504

John Arundell was the son of Rainford Arundell and was born in Cornwall. Arundell was educated at Exeter College, Oxford and had a life within the church.

Not much is known about John Arundell, In 1479 he was appointed as Canon of Windsor. He was made Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield on 6th November 1496 and on 29th June 1502 he was consecrated into the position of Bishop of Exeter.

Following a short illness John Arundell died on 15th March 1504 and was buried on the south side of St Clement’s Church

On this day in 1513 – Pope Leo X proclaimed Pope

Pope Leo X was born Giovanni di Lorenzo de’Menici on 11th December 1475.

In 1492 Giovanni was admitted into the Sacred College of Cardinals and was present in Rome at the conclave that followed the death of Pope Innocent VIII.

Following Pope Innocent VIII and Pope Julius II, Giovanni was elected Pope on 9th March 1513 and proclaimed Pope two days later on 11th March. However, there was a problem; Giovanni had never been ordained as a priest. On 15th March Giovanni was ordained as a priest and on the 17th was consercrated as a bishop, before being finally crowned Pope Leo X on 19th March. Pope Leo was the last non priest to be elected to the position of Pope.

Pope Leo was in office at the start of the protestant reformation. Martin Luther had begun spreading his gospel around Europe and gaining followers. Pope Leo, in May 1517, summoned Luther to Rome to explain his thesis. Luther cancelled this meeting and instead met with Cardinal Cajetan. Pope Leo would be unable to stop the machine that was the reformation.

Pope Leo also oversaw the election of Charles V of Spain to Holy Roman Emperor.

Pope Leo X died on 1st December 1521 after contracting bronchopneumonia.

Pope Leo

On this day in 1524 – King Henry VIII was injured in a jousting accident

On 10th March 1524 Henry VIII was injured whilst partaking in a jousting tournament.

In his youth Henry was a well loved sportsman participating in events like archery, wrestling, tennis and jousting. In 1524, aged 33, Henry enlisted in a jousting tournament and faced his close friend Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. Henry or his servants failed to lower his visor before any of the participants or courtiers could stop the tilt Brandon had hit Henry with his lance just above his right eye. Upon contact the lance splintered and filled his helmet with shards of wood.

With Henry off his horse and heavily bleeding Brandon rushed to the King’s side in fear of seriously harming the King. Upon seeing the King conscious and communicating he vowed never to run against the King again.

The chronicler Edward Hall said of the event:

“The 10th day of March, the king having a new harness [armour] made of his own design and fashion, such as no armourer before that time had seen, thought to test the same at the tilt and appointed a joust to serve this purpose.

On foot were appointed the Lord Marquis of Dorset and the Earl of Surrey; the King came to one end of the tilt and the Duke of Suffolk to the other. Then a gentleman said to the Duke, “Sir, the King is come to the tilt’s end.” “I see him not,” said the Duke, “on my faith, for my headpiece takes from me my sight.” With these words, God knoweth by what chance, the King had his spear delivered to him by the Lord Marquis, the visor of his headpiece being up and not down nor fastened, so that his face was clean naked. Then the gentleman said to the Duke, “Sir, the King cometh”

Then the Duke set forward and charged his spear, and the King likewise inadvisedly set off towards the Duke. The people, perceiving the King’s face bare, cried “Hold! Hold!”, but the Duke neither saw nor heard, and whether the King remembered that his visor was up or not few could tell. Alas, what sorrow was it to the people when they saw the splinters of the Duke’s spear strike on the King’s headpiece. For most certainly, the Duke struck the King on the brow, right under the defence of the headpiece, on the very skull cap or basinet piece where unto the barbette is hinged for power and defence, to which skull cap or basinet no armourer takes heed of, for it is evermore covered with the visor, barbet and volant piece, and so that piece is so defended that it forceth of no charge. But when the spear landed on that place, it was great jeopardy of death, in so much that the face was bare, for the Duke’s spear broke all to splinters and pushed the King’s visor or barbet so far back by the counter blow that all the King’s headpiece was full of splinters. The armourers for this matter were much blamed and so was the Lord Marquis for delivering the spear when his face was open, but the King said that no-one was to blame but himself, for he intended to have saved himself and his sight.

The Duke immediately disarmed himself and came to the King, showing him the closeness of his sight, and swore that he would never run against the King again. But if the King had been even a little hurt, the King’s servants would have put the Duke in jeopardy. Then the King called his armourers and put all his pieces together and then took a spear and ran six courses very well, by which all men might perceive that he had no hurt, which was a great joy and comfort to all his subjects there present.”

Although Henry not seriously injured he did suffer from migraines for the rest of his life.


On this day in 1578 – Lady Margaret Douglas died

In 1515, Margaret Douglas was born to Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, and Margaret Tudor, the Dowager Queen of Scotland. Therefore making the younger Margaret niece to the reigning Henry VIII.

Margaret’s relationship was not easy going with the King of England. She twice incurred his wrath due to her personal relationships. The first time was due to her unauthorised engagement to Lord Thomas Howard, who in 1537 died imprisoned in the Tower of London. The second time was due to an affair with the brother of the current Queen, Catherine Howard. Margaret was finally and legally married in 1544 when she became the wife of Matthew Stuart, 4th Earl of Lennox.

Her marriage produced two living children Charles and Henry. Henry in later life became Lord Darnley.

Upon the ascension of Elizabeth I, she roused suspicion when she negotiated the marriage of her son Henry to Mary, Queen of Scots. This strengthened their claim to the English throne and it probably worried Elizabeth as it was a cause for rebels to focus on. Henry and Mary had one son, James. He later became James I of England after Elizabeth’s death.

Margaret died on 9th March 1578, from unknown causes. Rumours at the time suggested that she had dined with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, just days before she was taken ill and that she had been poisoned. Was this a suggestion that the Queen was involved in order to suppress any further rebellions? There was never any evidence of this and so it shall be left as rumour.

Margaret Douglas

Elizabeth I provided Margaret with a grand funeral in Westminster Abbey and she is buried sharing a grave with her other son, Charles in Henry VII’s chapel.

On this day in 1539 – Nicolas Carew executed

Nicolas Carew was beheaded on 8th March 1539 on Tower Hill, London for his alleged involvement in the Exeter Conspiracy.

Nicolas Carew grew up in the company and shared education with the future Henry VIII when they were children so it comes as no surprise that when Henry became king, Carew was knighted and rewarded for his loyalty. He held the role of Master of the Horse and was a leading figure within Henry’s court.

Carew was highly regarded by Henry VIII and was always close by. Carew was one of many that Cardinal Wolsey believed had too much influence over Henry and so engineered his dismissal from court in 1526. His dismissal only lasted a couple of years and by 1528 he was inducted into the Privy Council on recommendation of Francis I of France.

Nicolas Carew

Carew, like many others at the court during Henry’s divorce proceedings, began to disapprove of Anne Boleyn and the influence she held over Henry. Carew revealed to the Imperial ambassador, Eustace Chapuys, his sympathy and support for Katherine of Aragon and the Princess Mary. This outburst only made his downfall easier to engineer.

In 1538, two years after Anne Boleyn’s execution, Thomas Cromwell began to turn against those who helped him bring down the former Queen. Cromwell presented letters to Henry that allegedly came from Nicolas Carew that contained words of treason. Henry became convinced that his close friend Carew was involved in a plot to depose him and in his place crown a Yorkist claimant to the throne, most likely Reginald Pole, the last strong Plantagenet claim.

Carew was arrested and stood trial on 14th February 1539 where he was found guilty of high treason and sentenced to death. Carew was beheaded on 8th March at Tower Hill.