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TudorCast #8
January 2007


Welcome to Tudor Cast, a podcast dedicated to Tudor History.

Hello, and welcome to Tudor Cast for January 2007. I’m your host, Lara Eakins owner of tudorhistory.org and the TudorTalk email list at YahooGroups.

Let’s get started with a recap of some of the Tudor news since the last podcast.

The first item is a follow-up on the letter by Catherine of Aragon that was up for auction last year. The letter was from Catherine to her nephew, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V asking for help in pleading her case to the pope with regards to her marriage to Henry VIII. The letter sold for $156,000 US (about £78,000) to a private American buyer.

In other Tudor items for sale news, a silver medal from 1545 with the image of Henry VIII fetched £22,500, or about $45,000 US at auction late last year. The original estimate was only about one tenth of the final sale price.

Slightly off the beaten track, for the first time since they were created by Henry VII, the Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London will have a woman join their ranks. When I posted the first articles her name had not been released, but we now know her name is Moira Cameron and she is originally from Argyll in Scotland. By the way, the full title for the Beefeaters is: "Yeoman Warder of Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, and Members of the Sovereign's Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary". Try fitting that on a business card!

In entertainment news, the Showtime series “The Tudors” has been set to premiere on April 1st this year in the US.

And finally, the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, best known as the burial place of William Shakespeare is trying to raise money for some much-needed repairs. You can find out more about how to help out at shakespeareschurch.org

For links to source articles and other past Tudor news, please see the archives of the news blog at tudorhistory.org/blog

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In this segment, I look at websites that explore aspects of Medieval, Tudor, Elizabethan or Renaissance history in depth.

This month we’re going architectural and featuring the website of the Historic Royal Palaces, the official sites for Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, the Banqueting House and Kew Palace. The website can be found at http://hrp.org.uk/

The site has the usual things you would expect, like event announcements, admission costs, hours of operation, etc. but it also has good discussions on the history of these palaces. When you click on the “history” tab on each palace, you get a basic overview timeline, but you can click in the upper right for a more in-depth history.

I’ve mainly gone to the site to get reference pages to send to people who ask me questions, so I’ve primarily looked at the Hampton Court Palace and Tower of London pages. But while I was looking at the site to write up for the podcast, I ended up learning quite a bit about the Banqueting House, which is the only remaining complete building of Whitehall Palace. Unfortunately for Tudor enthusiasts, the current building dates from the reign of James I. However, the website does cover a bit about the history Whitehall Palace including the Tudor buildings that no longer exist.

Be sure to also browse through the Corporate and Media sections for some fact sheets and lists of publications and conservation information. There are also links for information for students and educators. And of course, the all-important gift shop. I hate to think of the total amount of money I’ve spent in the Tower and Hampton Court shops over the years. By the way, the shopping can also be accessed at historicroyalpalaces.com so you can spend too much money there too!

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And now for This Month in Tudor History, where I feature some well known and maybe not as well known events that took place during this month.

On January 15, 1559, Elizabeth I was crowned Queen by Owen Oglethorpe, bishop of Carlisle at Westminster Abbey, a little less than two months after the death of Mary I. The total cost of the celebrations, excluding the coronation banquet was £16,741, which according to one calculator I found on the web would equal about £3.5 million today and at the current exchange rate that would be about 7,000,000 US dollars. Like her predecessors, Elizabeth knew the importance of a good show, especially for a new monarch who needed to re-affirm her right to her crown.

On January 12th, Elizabeth resided at the Tower of London and two days later made the procession to Westminster. Along the way were various displays and pageants, which I’ll cover some in the primary source text section of the podcast. On the night of the 14th, she spent the night at the Palace of Westminster, which was just a short walking distance from the Westminster Abbey. The next day, the 15th, Elizabeth walked in procession to the Abbey for the coronation on the date chosen by Dr. John Dee, who besides being a mathematician and Greek scholar, was also an astrologer. For the procession, Elizabeth walked on a blue carpet that ran from the palace to the abbey, which was torn up by souvenir seekers after the Queen walked passed. The ceremony of the coronation was much as it had been for Elizabeth’s predecessors, but with a few significant alterations to the religious aspects of the service. The coronation mass now included readings in English and Latin for the Epistle and Gospel and she retreated to a curtained area in St. Edward’s Chapel during the elevation of the host.

After the coronation, Elizabeth walked from the Abbey to Westminster Hall for the traditional coronation banquet, a custom that ended with the coronation of George IV in 1821.

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And now for a page from the Tudor History glossary. I thought this year we’d start going through terms alphabetically, so we’ll start off with a term beginning with A: attainder. You will also find these referred to as “bill or act of attainder”.

Attainder is an act passed by parliament against a person for a crime, or supposed crime, usually treason. It was a way to punish or even sentence someone to death for a crime without them actually standing trial. It was developed in the Middle Ages, and used in the Wars of the Roses by the rival houses against one another. A powerful extension of attainder was the idea of ‘corrupt blood’ which kept the heirs of the attainted person from inheriting property.

Henry VIII used attainder against, among others, Thomas Cromwell and Kathryn Howard. One presumes that he did not want Kathryn to stand trial in case potentially embarrassing details emerged while she was on the stand. Henry also used attainder posthumously against people already convicted for treason in the courts as a way of seizing property. In the reign of Elizabeth two attainders were reversed against descendents of men executed with Anne Boleyn.

The last act of attainder was used in England in the 18th century, although it was not officially abolished until 1870.

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Now it’s time for a segment where I feature a text from the Tudor period.

As promised, I’ve selected a few short excerpts from the descriptions of Elizabeth I’s procession to Westminster.

This excerpt is from the account of Richard Mulcaster entitled “The Passage of our Most Dread Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth, Through the City of London to Westminster, the Day before her Coronation”.

“Upon Saturday, which was the 14th day of January in the year of our Lord God 1558 [1559], about two of the clock in the afternoon, the most noble and Christian Princess, our most dread Sovereign Lady, Elizabeth, by the grace of God, Queen of England, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, etc. marched from the Tower to pass through the City of London, towards Westminster: richly furnished and most honorably accompanied, as well with Gentlemen, Barons and other of the Nobility of this realm, as also with a noble train of goodly and beautiful Ladies, richly appointed.

And entering the City, was of the people received marvelous entirely, as appeared by the assembly’s prayers, wishes, welcomings, cries, tender words, and all other signs: which argue a wonderful earnest love towards their sovereign. And on the other side, Her Grace, by holding up her hands, and merry countenance to such as stood afar off, and most tender and gentle language to those that stood nigh to her Grace, did declare herself no less thankfully to receive her people’s goodwill, than they lovingly offered it.

Near to Fanchurch, was erected a scaffold richly furnished; whereon stood a noise of instruments; and a child, in costly apparel, which was appointed to welcome the Queen’s Majesty, in the whole of the City’s behalf.

In Cheapside, Her Grace smiled; and being thereof demanded the cause, answered “For that she heard one say “Remember old King Henry VIII!” A natural child which at the very remembrance of her father’s name took so great a joy; that all men may well think that as she rejoiced at his name whom the realm doth hold of such worthy memory, so, in her doings, she will resemble the same.”

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And now for some closing comments…

I hope everyone has had a good start to 2007. It’s been a weird one weather-wise here in central Texas, with the first two days that the University was back in session being cancelled due to an ice storm. We were all a bit stir crazy after a weekend of rain and floods followed by the MLK holiday and two additional days of ice and snow.

I’m sorry that this podcast ended up getting out a little late, but I’ve been pretty busy at home and I haven’t had a chance to squeeze in the recording. Of course, if I had remembered to bring my headset home during the ice holiday, I would have had plenty of time, but instead it was an icy 30 miles away in my office.

Look for February’s podcast actually in the month of February instead of March! It was actually one of my goals this year to get the podcasts out around the middle of the month, but obviously I didn’t get off to a good start this year.

That just about wraps it up! If you want to comment on this podcast, you can do so at tudorhistory.org/podcast or send me an email at lara@tudorhistory.org A transcript of this and previous podcasts are also available at the website.

Logon to magnatune.com to listen to and purchase music from these and other artists that you heard featured in this podcast. I’ll have a complete rundown of which tracks I used in the podcast notes.

Until next month, fare the well!