by Heather R. Darsie, JD At the beginning of Henry VIII’s reign in 1509, there were three different coins used as currency. The coins and their value were roughly as follows: silver penny, the lowest; a silver groat (worth four pennies/pence); gold angel (worth 120 pence/10 shillings); and gold half-angel (worth 60 pence/10 shillings). The value of these coins remained the same from 1509 to … Continue reading Tudor Currency and the Great Debasement: An Overview
by Heather R. Darsie, J.D. The sixteenth century saw massive changes in the spiritual and visual culture of Western Europe. In the first half the sixteenth century, government-sanctioned iconoclasms during the German and English Reformations changed not only how people worshipped, but also what they saw. In the second half of the sixteenth century, religious revolts in France and the Netherlands violently changed the religious … Continue reading Iconoclasm in 16th Century Western Europe
by Heather R. Darsie Henry VIII is generally viewed as a Lothario during his marriages to Katharine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. During his lifetime, he fathered at least six children with Katharine of Aragon, two or possibly three with Anne Boleyn, one with Jane Seymour, and possibly an additional six illegitimate children. All of Henry’s children were born in or before 1537. Henry’s first … Continue reading Henry VIII: How Many Children did He Have?
by Heather R. Darsie On Sunday 15 January 1559, Elizabeth Tudor became Elizabeth I, Queen of England, Ireland, and France, Defender of the Faith. Elizabeth had just turned 25 years old that past September. She picked that date under the advice of the court astrologer, John Dee, By the time of her coronation, Elizabeth had outlived her mother, father, legitimate and confirmed illegitimate half-siblings, her … Continue reading Elizabeth I’s Coronation: A Perspective
by Heather R. Darsie Greetings, Dear Reader! I am pleased to announce that I launched a podcast over on Patreon called Tudor Speeches! I hope to post the first podcast this weekend. I will provide historical background for speeches and letters from the Tudor time period. I think hearing a speech or letter can impact the beholder differently than just reading it. Each patron will be … Continue reading Tudor Speeches: My New Podcast!
by Heather R. Darsie Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII and mother of Edward VI, died days after giving birth. An inscription above her grave read: “Here lieth a Phoenix, by whose death Another Phoenix life gave breath: It is to be lamented much The world at once ne’er knew two such.” As queen, Jane’s motto was, “Bound to Obey and Serve.” Her personal … Continue reading Phoenix Birth: Jane Seymour and the Importance of Death and Birth in Tudor England
by Heather R. Darsie July, 1549. The almost twelve-years-old Edward VI had been King of England for two-and-a-half years. Landlords had begun enclosing the common lands, which prevented peasants from being able to have a place for their animals to graze. Several landlords had taken to raising sheep, as the English wool trade was growing quite prosperous. This, in concert with a host of other … Continue reading The End of Kett’s Rebellion