Sunday Short Takes

Yes, really, a Sunday Short Takes!! I finally had a confluence of enough stuff to post and time to actually post it.

First up – a couple of competitions are back this year!

* Tudor Ghost Story Competition at On the Tudor Trail

* Tudor Calendar Competition from The Anne Boleyn Files

Next – a few other things!

* Talking Tudors – Natalie at On the Tudor Trail has started a podcast!

* Tudor shipwreck discovered by local group on Kent beach

* Royal Mail will release stamps featuring Hampton Court Palace

And finally…

The first trailer for the Mary Queen of Scots movie starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie has been released:

(Thankfully I’m pretty good at disconnecting my amateur historian brain when watching historical fiction on TV or the big screen.)

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

Sunday Short Takes

* The remains of The Curtain have been found in London – here are several articles about the find:

Shakespeare’s Curtain theatre unearthed in east London

Is this a digger I see before me? ‘Wooden O’ stage of ‘lost’ Curtain theatre where Shakespeare premiered Henry V unearthed near Thames

Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre remains found (with video)

Does the rediscovery of Shakespeare’s Curtain theatre matter? Absolutely

* Mary Rose sailors ate diet of salt beef and biscuits, bone analysis shows

* Thomas Cromwell letter to Henry VIII before Anne of Cleves marriage discovered

* Woking Palace attacked by arsonists for a second timeDuring the Tudor period, Woking Palace was an important residence. Henry VIII spent considerable sums of money on Woking during his reign.

* Fort on St Catherine’s Island, Tenby, could reopen as visitor attractionOnce owned by Henry VII’s uncle Jasper, Earl of Pembroke, the island was sold by Tenby Corporation to the War Office in the 1860s to house a fort.

* Alice Simpson’s artist book The Dancing Chancellor about Sir Christopher Hatton is complete and now for sale. I’ve been exchanging emails with the artist for years and it is wonderful to see the final product. It’s gorgeous!

And finally, a humorous video for your enjoyment:

Sunday Short Takes

* BBC1 to screen War of the Roses epic – I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I’m happy to see some more historical drama on TV (especially that period) but on the other, we’ll have to deal with more distortions, misconceptions, and mistakes that need to be set straight.

* Bloody Tales of the Tower – Presented by Suzannah Lipscomb and Joe Crowley for National Geographic. Now *this* one I am unreservedly looking forward to!

* US publication of sequel to Mantel

Blanche Parry and Elizabeth I 2012 calendar

In celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, Ruth Richardson, author of Mistress Blanche: Queen Elizabeth I’s Confidante, has put together a limited edition calendar featuring images related to Elizabeth I and Blanche Parry. Proceeds from the calendar will benefit Becton Church in Hertfordshire, which has ties to Blanche and her family.

This calendar commemorates the Diamond Jubilee of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, 2012. Through the generosity of the Queen it includes the gorgeous portrait of Princess Elizabeth, c.1546, in her red and gold dress. The Marquess of Salisbury generously allowed the Rainbow portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, the portrait of Lord Burghley (Blanche’s cousin) and a photograph of Hatfield Old Palace to be used. The other pictures show: Blanche Parry’s St. Margaret’s Church (Westminster) tomb, her Bacton monument, Queen Elizabeth I’s Presence Chamber, the frontispiece of the 1588 Welsh Bible, Llangorse Lake + 1584 map, the site of Newcourt + drawing of the house, Bacton Church and Dore Abbey. We are most grateful to all the picture owners. Each picture has an explanatory paragraph describing the picture’s relevance. The front and back covers of the calendar, plus details of all the pictures, can be seen on

More information and instructions on how to order are available at

The Anne Boleyn Files 2012 Tudor Places Calendar is Launched!

Some of you may recall the calendar photo contest by The Anne Boleyn Files from earlier this year (my brief mention of it was here) and now the winners and calendar have been revealed! The image that won and graces the cover (above) is stunning. I especially love it since it is the polar opposite of all my photos from a rainy, gray day at Leeds Castle.

The calendar includes photos of the places listed below and the births and deaths of the Tudor kings and queens, plus the dates of important battles during the Tudor period.

Lord Leycester’s Hospital, Warwick, Warwickshire
Blickling Hall, Aylsham, Norfolk
Old Palace, Hatfield, Hertfordshire
Ludlow Castle, Ludlow, Shropshire
Hever Castle, Hever, Kent
Hampton Court Palace, Richmond, London
Haughmond Abbey, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire
Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent
Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury, Somerset
Coughton Court, Coughton, Warwickshire
Pembroke Castle, Pembroke, Pembrokeshire

Also, $1.50/

Sunday Short Takes

* All the King’s Fools: ‘Disability is deep in comedy’s DNA’ – Heritage entertainment develops historical accuracy at Hampton Court this week, as learning-disabled actors play Tudor jesters

* Milestone for work to save Astley Castle – Restoration work at a 13th century former stately home has reached a significant milestone with work ongoing to secure the building. (article with video) Previous story on the Astley Castle preservation here.

* Architect creates model of monarch

New Mary Rose collectible items

Image from The Royal Mint


THE MARY Rose has been chosen to feature on a set of commemorative coins for 2011.

The historic ship, housed at Portsmouth’s dockyard, is one of six coins that will be in circulation from next year and has been produced by the Royal Mint.

The Mary Rose, which was King Henry VIII’s flagship, has been chosen as next year marks the 500th anniversary of the great ship’s maiden voyage.

The image has been done by designer John Bergdahl and around the edge of the coin, a Latin inscription reads ‘your noblest shippe 1511’.

Full article

You can get a collectible version with an information folder from The Royal Mint here. I’ll be getting one to go with my Henry VIII 500th and Elizabeth I 450th accession anniversary special coins. 🙂


Press release image from The Mary Rose 500 Appeal

Unfortunately this particular collectible is a little out of my price range…

Press release from The Mary Rose 500 Appeal:

Alan Titchmarsh Pledges Support to New Mary Rose Museum Campaign

Broadcaster and author Alan Titchmarsh is putting his weight behind the campaign to build a spectacular new

Stewarts get stamp of approval

I know, *groan*, but I couldn’t resist.

From the BBC:

First Mary Queen of Scots stamp issued
The first stamp featuring Mary Queen of Scots has been unveiled by Royal Mail.

t is part of a new set celebrating the royal dynasty of the Stewarts, who ruled Scotland until 1603.

TV historian and archaeologist Neil Oliver launched the stamp series at Stirling Castle, the historical home of the Stewarts.

Full article

You can get first day covers and other collectible items at the Royal Mail website.

Catching up!

Sorry for the slow posting on this blog for the last week or so. Things have been busy, as you might have guessed!

* The celebrations that I blogged about back in February took place this weekend. Here is an article with some photos and I’ve embedded a You Tube video of the pageant passing Blackfriars Pier:

* Just a reminder that the Royal Mint has some special commemorative coins out this year for the Henry 500 celebrations. I posted about them back in December, but here is the link to the page on the Royal Mint website. (I have several of their less-expensive collectible coins, including the one for Henry, so if you’re in to those kinds of things I’d recommend them.)

* BBC 4 is showing the program Henry VIII: Patron or Plunderer? with Jonathan Foyle about cultural artifacts from the reign of Henry VIII.

* And finally (thanks to Kathy for sending this one in!) The Forme of Cury, a medieval cookbook, has been digitized and put online by the John Rylands Library in Manchester. Here is the BBC article and here is a link to the Rylands Medieval Collection at the library.

Hampton Court Palace events this year

Hampton Court Palace‘s 500th anniversary events will start this Friday, and there is a lot going on!

Here are some highlights:

Henry VIII: heads and hearts

Special events for 2009

Tudor music festival

The Henry VIII talks at Hampton Court Palace

And of course, I have to link to the shopping. Here’s the web store for the Historic Royal Palaces – I love the “Divorced, Beheaded, Survived” charm bracelet. There is also a neat one with each of the wives’ badges.

More stamps and first day covers

Actually, the stamps themselves are the same, but the cover is different.

First up are some larger images of the two sets from the Royal Mail (click on each thumbnail to see a bigger version):

And here is the press release from Royal Mail (PDF).

And here is another first day cover, this time from Bletchley Park (which some of you might know from the WW2 code-breaking efforts), highlighting Tudor spymasters and code breakers. The first day covers are available from the Bletchley Park post office. Proceeds will go to the Bletchley Park preservation fund. You can get more info from the press release here (PDF).

Stamps honoring the Tudors and the Mary Rose

More neat collectibles for those of you who are trying to keep up! I bought the Elizabeth 450 and Henry VIII 500 coins from the Royal Mint, but I so far have managed to hold off on all the cool stamps (we’ll see how long my resistance lasts).

All of these are from Buckingham First Day Covers and can be ordered at their website. Here is the press release for these covers (PDF).

The images below go to larger versions: