Sunday Short Takes

Well, here we are finally on the eve of the big announcement from the University of Leicester! Just a reminder, you can get info from their website here: and this one will be re-launched after the press conference: And don’t forget the documentary that will run on Channel 4 later in the evening.

I’m guessing that the vast majority of people interested in the findings will get the info through avenues other than my website or Twitter account, so I’ll probably just do a round-up at the end of the day of the articles I found most interesting or informative.

Other news from the week:

* I totally missed posting about this year’s Catherine of Aragon Festival at Peterborough Cathedral, but to make up for it, here is a page with photos and videos from this year’s celebration.

* Historic Royal Palaces has launched a podcast series commemorating the ten people named on the memorial to those executed on Tower Green.

* And the Mary Rose Trust has started a Just Giving campaign to raise the final £35,000 (US $55,000) for the new museum, which will be opening later this year.

Sunday Short Takes

The first Sunday Short Takes of 2013!

A few stories showed up last week related to the new National Portrait Gallery’s “Hidden: Unseen Paintings Beneath Tudor Portraits” that I mentioned in the January 2013 upcoming books and exhibitions post.

* X-rays reveal hidden secrets of Tudor portraits

* The Tudor Catholic-catcher and the Popish plot behind his portrait: How subversive artist painted Elizabeth I’s henchman over the Virgin Mary (… how he would have hated that!)

The National Archives Podcast series already has another Tudor-related item out:

* Geography, art and the sinking of the Mary Rose

In closely-related news…

* In pictures: Portsmouth’s new Mary Rose museum nears completion

And a few fun, lighter stories from the past week:

* Scale model Lego Tudor castle to go on display in Winchester

* If this be the food of love then bake on: Inspired Shakespeare fan creates three-tiered cake featuring the bard’s most famous characters

Sunday Short Takes

Yes, they’re back! Sorry for the silence last weekend in particular – I got really ill about a week and a half ago and I basically slept all of last Saturday and Sunday. Thankfully I got better before the holidays!

* The BBC’s Your Paintings (which I first mentioned back in 2011 when it was getting started) has now compiled the nation’s collection of 210,000 paintings!

* The UK National Archives podcasts have a new one out on Bess of Hardwick

And finally, there were several articles out on the recreation of the Blue Boar Inn in Leicester where Richard III stayed the night before the Battle of Bosworth. I *really* want a 3D printer!

* King Richard III’s medieval inn recreated by archaeologists

* Model of Richard III’s Blue Boar Inn made in Leicester

* And a short video from the University of Leicester:

Sunday Short Takes

Two more obituaries for Eric Ives were published over the past week:

* The Guardian: Eric Ives obituaryLeading Tudor historian and university administrator known for his books on Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey

* Sydney Morning Hearald: Historian of Tudor treacheryEric Ives, 1931-2012

Another interesting obituary was caught by my Google news alerts, that of Lady Kinloss, the senior descendant of Lady Catherine Grey.

And the rest of this week’s links:

* Would you have been accused of witchcraft? – Fun quiz from BBC History Extra

* A book I missed in last week’s round-up post: Claire Ridgway of The Anne Boleyn Files has launched her third book, On This Day in Tudor History! (Links go to the paperback versions, but there are also inexpensive Kindle versions you can get to from the links below)

And a few videos for your enjoyment:

More on the re-creation of Henry VIII’s crown for Hampton Court Palace. This has some of the same footage from the news video I posted last month, but has some additional information:

Next up is a lecture at the Stanford National Accelerator Laboratory about their work on the wreck of the Mary Rose. I love it when science and history come together!

And finally, Tudor Kickz – An educational video which advertises the Tudor attractions within Southampton through rap:

Sunday Short Takes

Quite a few more news items this week than last!

* In a follow-up to last week’s video about the recreation of Henry VIII’s crown, here’s more about it from the Historic Royal Palaces website

* And for anyone with a little cash to spare: Henry VIII home goes on sale for £26m

* Hidden secrets of Hans Holbein’s mystery sitter revealedExtensive conservation on a portrait by the royal painter Hans Holbein has shed new light on the true identity of the sitter.

* Inside the Masterpiece: Portrait of Catherine of Aragon

Thursday October 11 marked the 30th anniversary of the raising of Henry VIII’s flagship the Mary Rose from the Solent, where it sank 437 years before. In celebration, the Mary Rose Museum organized a boat trip to the site, and you can see some (very wet!) video from that below:

* Mary Rose anniversary marked by Solent boat trip

And more coverage:

* Archers’ tribute to the Mary Rose

* University harnesses modern technology to understand Tudor weaponry and ammunition

Sunday Short Takes

The Tudor Ghost Story contest is on again! Head over to On the Tudor Trail for more information on this year’s contest.

And for some follow-up on a couple of previous stories:

The re-enactment of the funeral of Katherine Parr at Sudeley Castle was held today. See a gallery of photos from the event on the Sudeley Castle Facebook page.

And more news has come from the dig in search of the grave of Richard III! From the University of Leicester blog –

* Search for Richard III confirms that remains are the long-lost Church of the Grey Friars

* September 7 update: Archaeologists uncover remains of 17th century garden where memorial pillar once stood.

And here’s an interesting article from the BBC on the background research:

* Richard III dig: How search reached Leicester car park

The initial run of the project was due to wrap up this weekend, with the possibility that it would be extended if significant progress has been made. And I saw on the University Leicester twitter account that is has been confirmed that they will get a third week!

Sunday Short Takes

Since a lot of stuff piled up while I was traveling for work (and then recovering from a cold I brought back with me) there will be a lot of links today!


There were several articles about the discovery of medieval underwear in an Austrian castle last week. The items are of interest since they show that these types of undergarments are older than had been generally thought.

* Discovered in a castle vault, the scraps of lace that show lingerie was all the rage 500 years ago – From The Daily Mail

* Medieval lingerie – From History Extra

* Medieval lingerie from Lengberg Castle, East-Tyrol – From Universität Innsbruck


This next topic brought a few chuckles on Twitter and emails lists last week:

* French city of Angers that was home of Plantagenets demands return of Crown Jewels – From The Telegraph

* French demand Crown Jewels from the Queen to compensate for 1499 murder of Edward Plantagenet


More on the plans for the site of the Rose Theatre, which I’ve mentioned before:

* Bankside’s first Elizabethan theatre to get makeover – From The Telegraph

* Elizabethan Rose theatre set to bloom again – From The Guardian


And a fascinating article by Michael Wood on the Elizabethan black community

* Britain’s first black community in Elizabethan London


And finally… I was going to just put this into the August round-up of upcoming events, but just in case the tickets go fast I wanted to post it now too:

* Funeral Re-enactment with Dr David Starkey – Tickets now on sale! – From Sudeley Castle’s official site

* Funeral of Katherine Parr to take place again – 500 years later – From This Is Gloucestershire

(okay, I have to nitpick on genealogical terminology again… Lady Jane Grey can’t have any “direct descendants” since she didn’t have children. My guess is that the young lady mentioned is a direct descendant of Jane’s sister Katherine, so she would be *related* to Jane, but not descended from her. That always bugs me!)

Sunday Short Takes

* Britain’s moral mythology: The 800-year-old ‘medieval encyclopaedia’ written by monks and fit for King Henry VIII goes on display

* Pembrokeshire Tudor trader’s house to open at St Fagans Museum

* Sixteenth-Century Girl’s love for Tudor SuffolkHaving grown up around streets called Anne Boleyn’s Walk and Aragon Avenue, Suzannah Lipscomb couldn’t become anything but a historian with a penchant for the Tudor period, could she? She tells STEVEN RUSSELL about her favourite Tudor spots in Suffolk

* Who was Henry VIII?Suzannah Lipscomb looks beyond the stereotypes that surround our most infamous monarch to ask: who was Henry VIII and when did it all go wrong? – From the History Today archives, reposted for Henry VIII’s birthday last week.

* The story of the Reformation needs reforming – Thought-provoking article from Eamon Duffy in The Telegraph

And finally…

* The Theatre – Archaeology and digital reconstruction of Shakespeare’s first theatre. I’ve embedded the fly-through video below but I recommend watching it on The Theatre’s site to see it larger.

Sunday Short Takes

* Historical Reconstruction: Anne Boleyn ‘The Moost Happi’ Portrait MedalA restored copy of the only surviving undisputed contemporary portrait of Anne Boleyn. (And the copies are for sale!)

* Rare church artefact to be restoredDepicting the royal coat of arms during Edward VI’s seven-year reign from 1547-1553, it is thought to be the oldest of just three in existence.

* e-Petition:Campaign for Statue of Henry VII in Pembroke – Just a note, you do not have live in the UK to sign

* Gun Removal From The Mary Rose Museum – Through The Roof!…the Mary Rose Trust removed the five large Tudor bronze guns from the current museum in preparation for the new museum due to open at the end of the year at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Owing to the size of the original Tudor artefacts found with the hull, they were removed by crane through the roof of the building.

* 16th-century big thinker Erasmus was censored – I found the 16th century version of [redacted] to be quite interesting

Sunday Short Takes

Just a quick link-dump without much commentary this week!

* Letters reveal Henry VIII’s doting queen harboured secret desires and Queen Katherine Parr’s love letters on show to public

* Elizabethan eras collide as Golden Hinde prepares to join Queen’s Jubilee flotilla

* With Help from Jimi Hendrix and King Henry VIII, an Olympic Boat Sails into History – okay, one quick comment here: as a fan of both Jimi Hendrix and the Tudors, this makes me very happy. 🙂

* Celebrate your Tudor history, Pembrokeshire told

* Anne Boleyn: witch, bitch, temptress, feminist

* Folger Consort: Early Music Explained

Eastbury Manor House

A while back I received an email from Eastbury Manor House about their upcoming events and looked into the property some more since I wasn’t familiar with it. Eastbury was built during the reign of Elizabeth I and is owned by the National Trust and managed by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, where it is located.

This summer they will have a special Tudor tie-in event to the Olympics:

Saturday 7 July Tudor Olympics!
Indulge in some Tudor games. Meet Amy barn Owl, Tink the hawk and have your picture taken for a pound with birds of prey. There will be the opportunity to stroke these birds and find out more but there will not be a flying display. Get ready for some action and meet two Tudor archers in camp. Have a go at archery all day, suitable for 5+ with demonstrations at 11.30 and 1.30 if you are brave enough. There will be Children craft activities.

You can find more information about the property at: National Trust: Eastbury Manor House and London Borough of Barking and Dagenham – Eastbury Manor House: A magnificent Tudor survival

Upcoming books and events

I’m a little late on this, since the first book is already out!


* Nancy Bilyeau’s debut novel The Crown is now out in the US and will be out next month in the UK. Stay tuned for a guest post from Nancy soon!

* Kelly Hart’s Jane Seymour is out February 1 in the US and UK, but I haven’t heard much about this one.

* Our Man in Rome by Catherine Fletcher is about Henry VIII’s representative to the Pope during the Divorce. It is out February 2 in the UK and comes out in the US under the title The Divorce of Henry VIII: The Untold Story from Inside the Vatican on June 19.


Peterborough Cathedral’s annual Katharine of Aragon Festival will run January 27 to 29 this year. More information is available on their webpage for the festival. (Note, the graphic on the page currently has last year’s dates, but if you download the program it has the correct information.)

Edited 1-18-12: I corrected the info on Our Man in Rome: Henry VIII and his Italian Ambassador – I mistakenly thought that there were two separate books coming out, when in fact there were two titles for the same book. I get fooled by that occasionally!

Sunday Short Takes

* Westminster Abbey’s junk room has the best view in Europe – I really hope they are able to open this room up to the public permanently because I want to see it!

* Royal matters – Interesting answer on the question of the numbering of King Edwards

* A castle celebrates the Queen’s 500th birthday – More on the plans of Sudeley Castle to celebrate Katherine Parr’s birthday next year

* Imagined Lives: Portraits of Unknown People – Display at the National Portrait Gallery that opens December 3 that looks at 14 portraits of unknown men and women (I’m not sure if this is the same exhibit that was at Montacute House last year or a continuation of the same project)

Sunday Short Takes

* Ludlow Castle seeks new keyholder – Want to be the custodian of the castle where Arthur Tudor died?

* Revealed, Henry VIII’s lost pleasure palace: Amazing scale model recreates Nonsuch Palace more than 300 years after it was destroyed – More photos of the recreation of Nonsuch Palace that I posted about in a previous Sunday Short Takes

* Scottish football ‘more than 500 years old’ – Way back when this blog used to be a static “News and Events” page I had a post about the ball mentioned in this article, but it must not have made it through the transition. This new documentary evidence sheds some interesting light on the history of sport in the 16th century.

Sunday Short Takes

I finally had a nice stockpile of links to post this week… the last few weeks have been a bit dry.

* Mary Rose £2 coin floated on the Solent – A giant, inflatable replica of the coin I mentioned previously here

* Armada wreck discovered off Donegal – The wreckage of a sunken vessel believed to be from the Spanish Armada has been discovered off the Donegal coast.

* Plan to sail Golden Hinde down ThamesThe Golden Hinde could join in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee River Pageant next year.

* Lanterns! Candles! Shakespeare for Jacobeans – A little past the Tudor/Elizabethan period, but a really neat project. More info here from the Shakespeare’s Globe site, including a video and how you can help make this happen!

Sunday Short Takes

Just a few short links today since I have several things that I want to dedicate their own posts to in the next few days…

* In honor of the final Harry Potter movie, a Tudor recipe for Buttered Beere from Historical Foods

* Rare portraits of England’s early monarchs in London display – More from the Making Art in Tudor Britain research project of the National Portrait Gallery

* All the King’s Fools – Interesting article in the latest issue of History Today by Suzannah Lipscomb, related to the work she did that I linked to in a previous Sunday news round-up.

Sunday Short Takes

* Tombs in Suffolk studied with aid of space-age science and Here come the Tudors… in 3D – In a follow-up to a story that I had in some news round-ups back in December 2010 and January 2011, researchers have revealed results of their laser scanning of the tombs of Henry Fitzroy and Thomas Howard.

* In the July Issue of History Today – A small but intriguing mention of an article in the upcoming issue about the fate of Katherine Parr’s daughter. What happened to Mary Seymour is in the top 5 of the most frequently asked Tudor history questions I’ve seen.

* Stirling Castle – A Glimpse of Magnificence – I know you’re all probably sick of me linking to things about the Stirling Castle renovations, but as you’ve probably guessed, I’ve found the whole project quite interesting. Here’s a video overview of the project now that it is open to the public.

Sunday Short Takes

* Tudor coroners’ records give clue to ‘real Ophelia’ for Shakespeare – I saw a lot of articles going around last week on this discovery by Dr. Steven Gunn, but I liked the discussion in this one of safety in the period in general. I’m particularly intrigued by the fatal maypole accidents…

* Mary Arden’s Farm blog – If you’re interested in Tudor and Elizabethan daily life topics, check out this new blog from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

* English Heritage Free Sites Audio Tours – English Heritage has put up mp3 versions of audio tours for their free sites that you can download. Be sure to check out some of the other goodies in their multimedia library!

* Damon Albarn and the Elizabethan magical mystery man and The Mystical Artefacts Of John Dee At The British Museum – I don’t get a whole lot of hits on my “John Dee” news alert, so it was particularly surprising to get two in one week (even though they are related, prompted by a new opera)

* Gunpowder Plot documents among millions of papers put online by National Archives and Fourth and final part of State Papers Online – I’ve linked to related stories on this topic in the past and it’s nice to see that it is finally complete. Unfortunately there still doesn’t appear to be a way for individuals to access it without an institutional affiliation (which I’m lucky to have through work!).

* And finally, Mullions XP – Operating System For The Tudor Times, a fun video sent to me by Stephanie through twitter. Enjoy!

Sunday Short Takes

Yes, the Sunday news round-up is back! Sorry it’s been quiet around here, I’ve been working on a few projects and taking some time off but now I should be back on a regular schedule until I take some more time off in August.

* I’ve mentioned this project many times over the past few years, and now the restored royal apartmetns at Stirling Castle are open! The video in the link to the STV story has some neat views and a snippet of the weavers still working on the reproduction tapestries for the castle. STV – Stirling Castle apartments reopen after makeover (with video) and BBC – Doors open after £12m Stirling Castle royal palace revamp

* And if you happen to be in Scotland, there is an exhibit at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on The Northern Renaissance: Dürer to Holbein from June 2011 to January 2012 (More information from The Royal Collection website, including links to some of the works featured in the exhibition)

* Starkey to head Parr quincentenary – Next year marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of Katherine Parr, and Sudeley Castle is planning events to celebrate!

* Funding backs probe into John Cabot’s Canadian expeditions – I linked to a related story back in 2009 and I’m happy to see that work is still continuing on this project

* For the more academically minded, there is a nice collection of essays in PDF format at the State Papers Online site.

* Historic Royal Palaces: Curators’ Choice – a new book from Historic Royal Palaces highlighting some of their magnificent treasures. Here’s a video about some of the featured items, more information from the HRP website and Amazon affiliate store links.