Henry VIII: How Many Children did He Have?

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?

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Poor Relief in Reformation England, Germany, and the Netherlands

by Heather R. Darsie** Attempts at providing poor relief increased in the late 16th century. Some of the more overt changes happened in Elizabethan England, and in the Netherlands and Germany. This is in part due to religious changes.  In this essay, trends in charitable giving and social changes in poor relief due to the Reformation in England, Germany, and the Netherlands are explored. Poverty … Continue reading Poor Relief in Reformation England, Germany, and the Netherlands

Elizabeth I’s Coronation: A Perspective

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, … Continue reading Elizabeth I’s Coronation: A Perspective

Of Dwarves, Pet Elk, and Gold Noses: Tycho Brahe, Danish Astronomer

by Heather R. Darsie Tyge Ottensen Brahe, or Tycho Brahe as he is usually known to English speakers, was born on 14 December 1546 on the Danish peninsula of Skania. Tycho was born into a noble family and benefited from an excellent education. He was very passionate about mathematics, which caused him grave disfigurement. How, exactly, does one become disfigured because of mathematics? Why, by … Continue reading Of Dwarves, Pet Elk, and Gold Noses: Tycho Brahe, Danish Astronomer

Two Battles, Two Queens, Two Speeches: Mary I and Elizabeth I

by Heather R. Darsie Mary and Elizabeth, the two Tudor queens regnant, each faced serious military campaigns against them. In Mary’s case, Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger started an uprising which threatened Mary’s reign. There is debate amongst historians as to the cause of the uprising, however at least Mary believed it was due in part to her impending marriage with Philip II of Spain. … Continue reading Two Battles, Two Queens, Two Speeches: Mary I and Elizabeth I

Sir Francis Drake’s 1570s Adventure in Panama

by Heather R. Darsie During the Elizabethan period, English privateers careened up and down the Atlantic coast of the Americas in an attempt to capture Spanish ships. One of the more famous privateers was Sir Francis Drake. Regarded as an all-out pirate by the Spanish,  Drake harassed Spanish ships wherever he found them. This included attacks in what is now Central America. In 1572, Drake … Continue reading Sir Francis Drake’s 1570s Adventure in Panama

Mary, Queen of Scots: What a Difference Two Years Can Make

by Heather R. Darsie Mary, Queen of Scots returned to Scotland on 19 August 1561. She was not quite nineteen years old, and already a widow. Speculation swirled around whom the young Scottish queen with a claim to the English throne would wed. Mary, Queen of Scots in White Mourning after the Queens of France, after Francois Clouet, c. 1560. Via Wikimedia Commons. Mary’s next … Continue reading Mary, Queen of Scots: What a Difference Two Years Can Make

Anna of Cleves Learns her Marriage is Annulled

by Heather R. Darsie On 9 July 1540 while she was at Richmond, Anna was told that her marriage to Henry VIII was unlawful. Her marriage annulled, Anna was no longer Queen Consort of England. “Anna reportedly wailed and screamed when Henry’s representatives came to deliver the news of the annulment. A few days before, Henry covered his tracks by ordering…[for] ‘counsel learned in those … Continue reading Anna of Cleves Learns her Marriage is Annulled

Gloriana’s Rainbow: Elizabeth I and the Rainbow Portrait

by Heather R. Darsie One of the most iconic images of Elizabeth I in full array as Gloriana, the Virgin Empress of the Seas, is the Rainbow Portrait, painted around 1600. Elizabeth turned 67 years old in 1600. She became Queen of England in 1558, and the weight of her responsibilities was surely showing on her face by this point. Elizabeth was a master of … Continue reading Gloriana’s Rainbow: Elizabeth I and the Rainbow Portrait

Tudor Speeches: My New Podcast!

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!