Sunday Short Takes

Just a few stories this week!

* Five Things From the Mary Rose That’ll Make You Go ‘Oooh’! – Actually, I would say these make you go “Eewwwww” more than “Oooh”!

* Choral music not heard since era of Henry VIII has been played for first time in 500 yearsChoral music not heard since the time of Henry VIII has been brought to life for the first time in 500 years. The manuscript, a book of 34 religious songs, was given to Henry VIII as a lavish gift from a French diplomat in his early reign. (Autoplay video at link)

And finally, a video from one of my favorite places:

Welcome to Westminster Abbey

Sunday Short Takes

The biggest story of the week were further details on the death of Ricard III –

* King Richard III’s Final Moments Were Quick & Brutal

* King Richard III killed by blows to skull

* Richard III died in battle after losing helmet, new research shows

And other news from the week –

* Mary, Queen of Scots letter auction sells for £17,472

* Wolf Halls: take a look inside the properties where the new BBC series is filmed

* ‘A World of Their Design’: The men who shaped Tudor diplomacy – Podcast from The National Archives featuring historian Lauren Mackay

And just for fun –

Elizabethan Pageant from Historyworks on Vimeo. – A recreation of Elizabeth I’s progress to Cambridge for the 450th anniversary of the event.

Sunday Short Takes

It seems that I have things *mostly* back to normal, so here’s this week’s news round-up!

* 2015 Anne Boleyn Files Tudor Places Calendar Now Available – The 2015 version of Claire’s excellent calendar, once again filled with gorgeous images from submissions to the photo contest. (And no, I’m not getting anything for endorsing it, I’ve just really liked the past ones!)

* Richard III had lavish diet of swan and wine, new forensic study reveals – This is a summary of the research on the BBC History Extra site, but if you would like to read the original journal article it is available here: Multi-isotope analysis demonstrates significant lifestyle changes in King Richard III (Yay for open access!!)

And yet another entry in the “dream home” category:

This is Thurston End Hall, located in Suffolk about 10 miles away from Bury St. Edmonds. And it can be yours for the low, low price of £2,500,000 (about $4,180,000 as of this posting)!

Sunday Short Takes

I only had one news story this week but it’s a pretty important one so I wanted to mention it:

* King Richard lll to be reinterred in March 2015The date of the service in which Richard lll will be finally laid to rest will be Thursday 26th March 2015. This is one of three services which will remember the life and death of the only Monarch of England without a marked grave. The mortal remains of Richard lll will be received into the care of the Cathedral on the evening of 22nd March, will lie in repose for 3 days and will be reburied on the morning of Thursday 26th. The following days, Friday 27th and Saturday 28th March, will mark the end of the journey with the reveal of the tomb and a service to mark the completion of the reinterment, and events which will look to the future having laid the King to rest.

And I wanted to put up a note in case any of you have had trouble accessing the blog over the past week or so. WordPress is occasionally a little wonky on this site (which I’m pretty sure is an issue with my hosting provider and isn’t the fault of WordPress) and last week it was very slow or down completely on and off. My host did some upgrades too, which might have been part of that. I think everything is behaving normally again for site visitors but you may still experience some slowness or connection time outs. In those cases, just try again later and hopefully it will be back up. There seem to still be issues on the Dashboard site of things (where I write posts and approve comments, etc.) so I don’t think all of the bugs have been worked out yet. Fingers crossed that it gets sorted since it would be a bit of a pain to move the site!

Sunday Short Takes

Get ready for a bunch of links this week!

The King Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester opened this weekend, so here are a few articles related to that:

* Richard III: A look inside Leicester’s new visitor centre – This link from the Leicester Mercury has a short video tour

* Richard III visitor centre in Leicester opens its doors to the public

And in more archaeology news:

* Archaeological dig uncovers Rufford medieval church thought to have been destroyed by Henry VIII

* Help find Tudor mansion in Markeaton Park

Some more interesting stories that came along:

* Henry VIII’s armour returns to Leeds Castle after 500 years

* How Does It Feel?Understanding the emotional lives of people in the past is one of the most difficult challenges facing the historian, argues Suzannah Lipscomb. – I thought this was interesting in light of the “feelings” questions I’ve gotten on the Q&A blog over the years.

* A Tudor-Stewart marriage: oak chest wedding gift for James IV and Margaret Tudor discovered

And some BBC History Extra Tudor podcast goodness:

* Richard III and dirty Tudors – The past week’s podcast

* Top 10 Tudor podcasts – and a round-up of past Tudor-related podcasts you might have missed

Just for fun:

* Could you become a citizen of Elizabethan England? – Another entertaining quiz from BBC History Extra (I always do their weekly quiz – to date I think I have gotten a perfect score on only one occasion)

And finally:

I only recently found the Society of Antiquaries You Tube channel and I’ve embedded one of their recent videos of a short informal gallery talk about Tudor portrait sets. There are more at the channel including a few about their portrait of Richard III.

Sunday Short Takes

Only a few stories this week, but I really felt I should get a post up since I haven’t had one in a few weeks and there won’t be one next weekend since I’ll be traveling for work!

* Petworth dig to uncover King Henry’s historyAn excavation to uncover a house used by King Henry VIII in Petworth is hoped to unearth some hidden mysteries this month.

* Sir Walter Raleigh’s country manor where Elizabeth I once stayed as his guest goes on the market for £1.35 million

* V&A Museum bids for Cardinal Wolsey angels – You can learn more, including how to make a contribution, at the V&A webpage for the appeal.

* Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I returns to Museum of ReadingThe painting recently returned to Reading after several years on display at Kenilworth Castle.

Sunday Short Takes

* New dive to wreck of the Mary Rose allows archaeologists to find out more about ship siteExperts described the investigation – the first major dive to the underwater remains of the Mary Rose shipwreck in nine years – as “very successful”.

* The romantic roots of the Tudor dynastyThe beautiful Catherine De Valois, wife of Henry V, had a convention-defying affair with the little-known Welsh squire Owen Tudor

* Tudor monarchs’ treasured possessions to go on display at Portrait GalleryShow will include paintings, books and jewellery, including a ring of Elizabeth I’s containing a hidden picture of her dead mother (Oh how I wish I could see this exhibit!! At least I had a chance to see *the* ring at the 2003 Elizabeth I exhibition at Greenwich.)

And finally –

* Majesty and Mortar: Britain’s Great PalacesFrom the Tower of London to Buckingham Palace, Dan Cruickshank tells the story of a thousand years of palace building, the mystery of why so many have vanished and the magic of the ones that survive. – A new documentary series on BBC 4, starting next week. Short preview embedded below.

Sunday Short Takes

Just two stories this week, but they’re good ones!

* New 3D representation of Richard III’s spine – Researchers have made a 3-D computer reconstruction of Richard III’s spine from CT images. You can see the reconstruction and move it with your mouse at the link above. They also have a link to the research paper published in Lancet, which has been made freely available but you will have to register to download it.

And the other story this week:

* The Mary Rose Museum celebrates its First Birthday! – The museum had an amazing first year including a boatload (if you’ll pardon the pun) of awards. Congratulations to everyone involved – hopefully I’ll get to see it myself in the next few years!

The Mary Rose museum

Visitors view the hull of the Mary Rose

Sunday Short Takes

A variety of links this week:

* Clippers and coiners in 16th-century England

* What happened to William Shakespeare’s theatres?In London, no purpose-built theatres survive from his day. Where did they all go?

* BBC History Magazine’s May Issue features a cover article by Jessie Childs on Catholics under Elizabeth I

* Routledge is offering a limited free trial to English Historical Documents online through May 11. Try it here!

And finally:

* Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Stratford’s Guildhall is raising funds for conservation to open to the public for the first time. See Michael Wood’s short film about the schoolroom and guildhall in support of the project, which is embedded below.

Sunday Short Takes

First up is an article from the February History Today I missed a few weeks ago. (Note – you’ll need a subscription to read the full article.)

* Thomas Cromwell’s Abbess, Margaret VernonHenry VIII’s masterful administrator and reformer forged an unlikely friendship with a female religious, as Mary C. Erler explains.

Next up, a story about an interesting find in Deptford

* Deptford Dockyard royal Tudor foundation stone discovered with King Henry VIII’s initials

And I wanted to give a signal boost to the new blog at, run by my friend Heather! She’s also launched a Google+ page – go check them out!


It’s been a little while since I’ve posted some great historic properties on the market that I dream of buying should I win the lottery (actually *playing* the lottery would probably help my chances…). These two were posted by Jonathan Foyle on Twitter last week and caught my eye. If you’re on Twitter and interested in historic British buildings, he’s a must follow!

Both of these date from the late 15th century and have a bunch of architectural features that I love. If I were to actually win the lottery, I’d have a tough time choosing!

This first one is in Powys, near Offa’s Dyke:

And this one is in Chagford, Devon:

Click on the picture to go to the listings pages for more pictures and more information. And if you just happen to be in the market and purchase one of these properties, please invite me for a visit! 🙂

Sunday Short Takes

The story that lit up my news alerts the most this past week was the announcement that a team of researchers working on the DNA of Richard III are going to map the king’s complete genome:

* Richard III: Scientists to sequence DNA

Another popular story last week was the auction of another supposed flag from the Battle of Bosworth (see here for a link to another from past September):

* Richard III’s ‘Battle of Bosworth flag’ sold at Suffolk auction

In “Tudors on TV” news – Suzannah Lipscomb’s newest program, a two-part documentary on Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s relationship, starts Thursday on Channel 5 in the UK:

* Henry & Anne: The Lovers Who Changed History

And finally…

I just wanted to give a shout-out to the British Library’s Flickr account, which now has over 1 million public domain images from their collections. And of course there are some Tudor-history-related items in there, such as the one above of Henry VIII and Will Somers from the Psalter of Henry VIII and this one of the Trial of Mary Queen of Scots as just a few examples!

Sunday Short Takes

Another relatively short round-up this week!

An update on some of the continuing work at the site of Shakespeare’s last house, called New Place, in Stratford-upon-Avon:

* Shakespeare’s last house is ‘found’ by archaeologistsArchaeologists have been working on the site since 2009 and believe they have now identified features including kitchens and a brew house.

I received an email about this event coming up in April, but I thought I would go ahead and post it now in case it sells out:

* Tudor England conference with Dr. David Starkey – The event is on April 27, 2014 in Cambridge.

And finally:

* A tour of Tudor Christmas Customs at Blakesley Hall

Sunday Short Takes

* More cannon found on Alderney Elizabethan wreck – More news on a find that I’ve been following for a few years now. (Search on “Alderney” in the side bar for previous articles.)

* The December issue of BBC History Magazine is out and features an article by Steven Gunn and Tomasz Gromelski on animal accidents in Tudor England (another interesting product of their research into coroner’s reports).

* Revealed: the tomb of Henry VIII’s forgotten son – Digital reconstructions of the tombs of Henry Fitzroy and Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. (See this previous round-up for 2011 for some more articles related to this project.

* Spotted via the Lady Jane Grey Reference Guide, Dr. Stephan Edwards of Some Grey Matter has found and translated two Italian letters concerning Lady Jane Grey that seem to have been previously overlooked by scholars. Start here for the background on the letters and links to the originals and translations.

And finally:

* The annual Tanner Ritchie Holiday Sale is on! – A great time to stock up on their Tudor-era primary source texts.

Sunday Short Takes

Quite a hodge-podge of things today, including three things that you can help out with!

* Foose noted in the comments a couple of weeks ago that actor Nigel Davenport passed away on October 25th. He was Norfolk in the 1966 “A Man for All Seasons” and Bothwell in the 1971 “Mary Queen of Scots”.

* Frozen in time: Divers recover stunning collection of British treasure from the wreck of a 500-year-old galleon sunk in Caribbean

And now on to the things you can help with!

* If you’ve ever downloaded documents from please consider sending them a small donation after their scanning facility was damaged by fire last week. The archive has scanned many old books with primary sources and are a valuable resource to Tudor history fans and researchers alike.

* Have an interesting Tudor item you might like to sell? The Channel 4 program Four Rooms wants to hear from you! Click here for more information (PDF).

* The Rediscovering Rycote project that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago is hosting a Wikipedia Editathon on Friday November 15. You don’t need any prior Wikipedia editing experience and you can participate virtually if you aren’t lucky enough to be in Oxford. You can learn more about it here!

Sunday Short Takes

Lots of stories this week since I got totally sidetracked on something last weekend and never got around to writing a post!

* Bodleian Libraries’ archives reveal ‘lost’ Rycote mansionThe “lost” history of a Tudor mansion that hosted six English kings and queens, including Henry VIII, has been restored in a new online archive.

You can see the online archive here: Rediscovering Rycote. There are some great resources at the site, including a nice palaeography tutorial. Yes, my quest to get better at reading Tudor handwriting still continues…

* And more from the Elizabeth I and Her People exhibition at the NPG:

Elizabeth I and Her People – Slideshow from BBC History Extra. And the first part of this week’s History Extra podcast includes a discussion of the exhibition with Dr. Tarnya Cooper.

The National Portrait Gallery’s You Tube channel has several videos related to the exhibition. I’ve embedded one below, but be sure to check out the others at the channel.

* A castle fit for a king: Historic home once owned by Henry VIII and used for trysts with his mistresses goes up for sale for £2.6million – I’ve always wanted a house with a round tower on it… Anyone want to buy this one for me?

* A night in the shadow of Sir Thomas MoreThomas More was sent to the Tower of London by Henry VIII when he refused to support his new church, but what is it like to spend a night in his cell?

And finally:

* 3D animation: see London as it looked before the Great FireA team of six students from De Montfort University in Leicester have turned a historic map into a realistic and detailed 3D animation of Tudor London.

Sunday Short Takes

A couple of interesting articles about the Sir Walter Ralegh portrait on display at the new Elizabeth I & Her People exhibition at the NPG:

* Sir Walter Raleigh’s crescent moon compliment to Elizabeth I revealed

* Painting ‘reveals Walter Ralegh’s secret desire for Elizabeth I’

And a fun page from the NPG also related to the exhibition:

* Who do you think you were? – I got “The Landowner”, Bess of Hardwick! 🙂

A follow-up to an old post about the (possible) mummified head of French King Henri IV

* Researchers say mummified head isn’t French King Henri IV

And I’m not sure how I missed this before, but here’s a silly, fun video about Henry VIII and the wives from the fine folks at Hever Castle:

Sunday Short Takes

With the opening of the Cheapside Hoard exhibit at the Museum of London, there have been a few articles with more information on the fantastic collection of jewels:

* Mystery of the Cheapside Hoard – Includes a video and slideshow featuring some of the jewels

* A Priceless Treasure (And The Crime Behind It) Finally Exposed

The conservation of The Mary Rose enters its next stage:

* Drying times ahead for Henry VIII’s Mary Rose warship

More Richard III-related archaeological discoveries:

* Richard III’s lost chapel ‘has been found’

And speaking of Richard III…

* The mysteries of the Princes in the Tower – Leanda de Lisle is featured in the first half of the October 3rd History Extra podcast discussing the fate of the Princes

Sunday Short Takes

Not near as many things to link to as last week!

* The sad tale of James IV’s bodyScotland’s King James IV was killed at the Battle of Flodden 500 years ago. But what became of his body after the massacre?

* Flodden battlefield excavation: no human remains found

* Dusk ’til Dawn – Want to spend the night at Hampton Court Palace? You can!

And finally –

* There are a couple of articles of interest in the October 2013 BBC History Magazine, including Leanda de Lisle writing on the Princes in the Tower and Tracy Borman on James VI/I’s obsession with witchcraft.

Sunday Short Takes

Lots of articles related to the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden on Monday the 9th:

* 500 years ago- the bloodiest of battles

* 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden – the last time a British king died in battle

* Your 60-second guide to the battle of Flodden

* Excavation search for soldiers killed on Flodden battlefield

* Battle of Flodden burial excavation work begins

One of the stories that lit up my news alerts and Twitter stream was, unfortunately, also quite “Ewwwwww”-inducing:

* Soil samples show Richard III suffered from roundworm – and here’s another version of the story with a short video clip with one of the scientists involved in the work.

First in a set of follow-ups – some results from the 3-D scanning of tombs that I linked to previously here and here have been revealed:

* Tudor sculptures reassembled with help from 3D scanning

* Unfinished Tudor Sculptures Recreated

And a couple of follow-up stories related to Kenilworth Castle:

* Kenilworth Castle moat flood plans put on hold – I thought I had previously mentioned the discussions about re-flooding the mere at Kenilworth but I couldn’t find a post about it. Well, it looks like the plans are on hold for now anyway.

* Viewing platforms set back until February – (previous mention of the viewing platforms here back when I still thought I was going to get back there this year! *pout*)

And last, but definitely not least…

* The Tudor Ghost Story Contest is on again this year over at On the Tudor Trail!

Sunday Short Takes

Leanda de Lisle had a couple of interesting articles out this past week:

* Anne Boleyn’s last secretWhy was the queen executed with a sword, rather than an axe?

* Don’t always blame the mothersWith the kitsch BBC drama The White Queen moving to its conclusion Margaret Beaufort is the villainess viewers love to hate.

And there were a few articles from BBC History Extra website about the Battle of Bosworth:

* Historians identify ‘spot where Richard III was killed in battle’

* How re-enactments could one day help us understand the final moments of Richard III

Also from BBC History Magazine, the September 2013 issue has a cover article on the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden between England and Scotland.

And finally:

* New Shakespearean Prose Found in Old Play – I couldn’t resist posting this since it is from my university!