Tensions over religion rose throughout the 16th century in France, culminating in the French Wars of Religion (1562-1598). The Vassy Massacre on 1 March 1562 is frequently seen as the first major incident which sparked the Wars of Religion. The Catholic Francis, Duke of Guise, entered the small town of Vassy and was present for the massacre. A group of Huguenots were attacked and slaughtered, … Continue reading Massacre at Vassy? A Skirmish with Mary, Queen of Scots’ Uncle and the Huguenots
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
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
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 This weekend when I was researching for my new book, anticipated in Summer 2021, I stumbled across a curious book from the 15th century. It is called, Book of Hawking, Hunting, and Heraldry. The book was printed in 1496 at Westminster by Wykyn de Worde, who also published an account of Anne Boleyn’s coronation. Even more interesting were the hand-written notes at the … Continue reading How to Train Your Hawk: A 15th Century English Prioress’ Guide
by Heather R. Darsie Please note that this post originally appeared on TudorsDynasty.com. It was 29 June 1588. The Spanish Armada sailing in its customary crescent shape was spotted off the coast of Cornwall. After many years of waiting, the time had finally come: Spain was invading England to reclaim the country for Catholicism. It is possible that Philip II, former brother-in-law to Elizabeth I previous … Continue reading The Armada is Coming!
by Heather R. Darsie The 19th of June 2020 marks the 454th birthday of James I and VI of England and Scotland. Unification between the two countries, though at times strained, was brought by James’ ascending the throne of England in 1603. The unification was the result of one hundred years of Tudor politics. James I & VI, 1595; via Wikimedia Commons Back in 1503, … Continue reading James I & VI
by Heather R. Darsie By 15 June 1567, twenty-four-year-old Mary Stuart had been Queen of Scotland for almost her entire life; never knew her father, James V, because he died when she was six days old; was Queen Consort, then Queen, of France for less than seventeen months; had lost her mother in July 1560; was about to celebrate her son and heir’s first birthday … Continue reading The Scots Queen Surrenders: An Overview of the Battle of Carberry Hill
by Heather R. Darsie Mary of Guise was born 22 November 1515 to Claude of Lorraine, the Duke of Guise, and Antoinette of Bourbon. She was the eldest of twelve children. Mary was first made a wife in 1534 at the age of eighteen when she married the Duke of Longueville. She had two sons with her first husband, the second of whom died young. … Continue reading Coronation of Mary of Guise
by Heather R. Darsie Mary, Queen of Scots lost her life on 8 February 1587. She was not buried for almost a full five months, finally being laid to rest on 5 August 1587 in Peterborough Cathedral. Peterborough Cathedral already had one queen buried there, namely, Katharine of Aragon, buried in 1536. Peterborough Cathedral has an impressive history beginning in 655 BCE, when the site … Continue reading The Tomb of Mary, Queen of Scots