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TudorCast #26
June 2009


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

Hello, and welcome to Tudor Cast for June 2009. 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 the news since the last podcast!

In addition to all of the big 500th anniversaries this year there is the 400th anniversary of the first publication of Shakespeare’s sonnets in 1609. While that is technically not in Tudor period, I thought it deserved a mention.

The British Library, in addition to the blog and podcast for the Henry 500 celebrations, have added Henry VIII’s Psalter to their “Turning The Pages” online collection. The site allows you to examine images of the works in detail and “turn the pages”. There are lots of other great treasures to examine there as well.

A £21 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was approved for the new museum for Henry VIII’s ship, The Mary Rose. The Mary Rose Trust hopes to have the new museum complete by 2012 for the London Olympics. The ship itself won’t be fully displayed until about 2016 when the preservation process has been completed.

The Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey have put forth a proposal to add a corona to the crossing of the Abbey. As I mentioned on the blog post, until I saw that article come through the news alerts, I had never really thought about the fact that Westminster Abbey doesn’t have a dome, large spire or tower at its crossing - just a little pyramid. They are also considering opening the upper gallery of the abbey for a museum and exhibition area and creating a new café and education center.

And finally, in book news, Philippa Gregory’s next work “The White Queen” will be on Elizabeth Woodville, mother of Elizabeth of York and will be the first of a trilogy set in The Wars of the Roses. It will be released in both the US and UK on August 18th.

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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And now for This Month in Tudor History, where I feature some well-known and maybe not as well-known Tudor History events that took place during this month. This month will, in part, be a retread of stuff from the second podcast I ever did, the one for June 2006. I guess I didn’t have the foresight then to think, hey, I might want to save these events for a podcast in three years when it will be the 500th anniversary. So, I’m going to re-use some of the material on the marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon and their coronation two weeks later.

Henry VIII, less than two months into his reign chose to take his late brother Arthur’s widow, Catherine of Aragon, as his wife. The two were married on the 11th of June 1509. The wedding took place in the oratory of the Franciscan Observants next to the Palace of Greenwich, where Henry VIII was born 18 years earlier. Catherine was 23, six years the senior of her new husband. Of course, this marriage and whether or not Catherine came to Henry’s bed a virgin would come under great scrutiny about twenty years later.

The two were crowned in a joint ceremony on the 24th of June at Westminster Abbey by William Warham, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The coronation was of course recorded by the chroniclers of the time. Here is an excerpt from John Hall:

The following day being a Sunday, and also Mid-summer’s Day. The noble prince with his queen left the palace for Westminster Abbey at the appointed hour. The barons of the Cinq Ports held canopies over the royal couple who trod on striped cloth of ray, which was immediately cut up by the crowd when they had entered the abbey. Inside, according to sacred tradition and ancient custom, his grace and his queen were anointed and crowned by the archbishop of Canterbury in the presence of other prelates of the realm and the nobility and a large number of civic dignitaries. The people were asked if they would take this most noble prince as their king and obey him. With great reverence, love and willingness they responded with the cry “Yea, yea”.

When the ceremony was finished, the lords spiritual and temporal paid homage to the king and, with the queen’s permission, returned to Westminster Hall – each one beneath his canopy – where the lord marshall bearing his staff of office ushered all to their seats. Each noble and lord proceeded to his allotted place arranged earlier according seniority. The nine-piece table being set with the king’s estate on the right and the queen’s estate on the left, the first course of the banquet was announced with a fanfare. At the sound, the duke of Buckingham entered rising a huge charger covered with richly embroidered trappings, together with the lord steward mounted on a horse decked with cloth of gold. The two of them led in the banquet which was truly sumptuous, and as well as a great number of delicacies also included unusual heraldic devices and mottoes.

Hall goes into detail of the banquet and the ceremony that continues through the feast. He goes on to explain that as part of this ritual, the king’s champion goes to the armoury and takes the second best of the king’s armour, harness and things for decorating his crest or helm and then takes the king’s second best charger horse. At the end of the ceremony, the champion gets to keep all the trappings, including the gold cup he drank from.

The celebrations continued, including jousts and tourneys in the grounds of the palace of Westminster, where the Houses of Parliament now stand, incorporating the great hall from the old Palace.

To further enhance the triumphal coronation, jousts and tourneys were organized, to be held in the grounds of the palace of Westminster. For the comfort of the royal spectators a pavilion was constructed covered with tapestries and hung with rich Arras cloth. And nearby there was a curious fountain over which was built a sort of castle with an imperial crown on the top and battlements of roses and gilded pomegranates. A vine with gilded leaves and grapes grew up it and on its walls were painted white and green lozenges, each containing a rose, a pomegranate, a quiver of arrows or the letters H and K - all gilded – and the castle itself was supported by gilded arches and turrets.

The shields of arms of the jousters also appeared on the walls and on certain days, notably the day of the coronation as well as those of the jousts and tourneys, red, white and claret wine ran from the mouths of the castle’s gargoyles.

The organizers of these jousts were Lord Thomas Howard, heir apparent to the Earl of Surrey, Admiral Sir Edward Howard, his brother, Lord Richard Grey, brother of the Marquess of Dorset, Sir Edmund Howard, Sir Thomas Knevet and Charles Brandon, esquire.

Hall goes on to describe the jousts and tourneys in detail, but I will spare you more descriptions for this podcast. If you are interested in Hall’s Chronicle, you can download it from the Internet Archive, where I got my copy, and possibly from Google Books, although I haven’t checked for it there yet. You can also find excerpts with modern spelling in a book I’ve used a lot for these podcasts – “Chronicles of the Tudor Kings” edited by David Loades.

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And now some closing notes…

First up, my apologies for the very late June podcast. Once again in an attempt to balance all my responsibilities and trying to take a little time for myself, something had to fall to the wayside and the podcast was it. Sorry! I might have to combine the July and August ones into a single podcast at the rate I’m going, and it won’t even be because of a vacation unfortunately!

If you are familiar with Twitter, I’ve started a Tudor History Twitter feed where I post when I update the website (primarily the blog right now) and some occasional “Today in Tudor History” tweets. The address is twitter.com/tudorhistoryorgg (no “dot” in there). I’m not using that account to follow anyone, but I might follow people back on my personal Twitter account, which I mainly tweet science and boring personal stuff on. I’ll put a link in the show notes.

This month’s featured piece of music is “Past Time With Good Company”, written by Henry VIII. I know I used it already in a podcast before the break, but I wanted to use a piece by Henry VIII and well, I also just like the song! It is performed by La Primavera on their album “English Renaissance Music”. Logon to magnatune.com to listen to and purchase music from the artist that you heard featured in this podcast. I’ll have a link in to this album the show notes.

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 as well as links to mp3s of all the episodes.

Until next month, fare the well!