The execution of Thomas Howard, 4th duke of Norfolk

As the 450th anniversary of the execution of the Elizabethan duke of Norfolk approaches, Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of our Lords 1558-1603 section, considers both the background to his trial for treason and the queen’s reluctance to carry out the sentence of the court … Shortly before seven in the morning on Monday, 2 June 1572, Thomas Howard, 4th duke of Norfolk, was led the … Continue reading The execution of Thomas Howard, 4th duke of Norfolk

Did they marry? Lady Katherine Grey and Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford

For Elizabeth I’s closest relatives, the process of finding a spouse could be fraught with difficulties, as Dr Ben Coates of our Lords 1558-1603 section explains… On 9 August 1561 Lady Katherine Grey, one of Elizabeth I’s maids of honour, confided to her colleague, Elizabeth St Loe, that she was pregnant, and that she had secretly married the father, Edward Seymour, 1st earl of Hertford, … Continue reading Did they marry? Lady Katherine Grey and Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford

‘There is no more accoumpt to bee made of them than the kylling of ij sheep’: Charles, Lord Stourton (d.1557), and the murder of the Hartgills

Last year Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project explored the case of the first peer to be executed of a crime short of treason. In today’s blog Dr Payling turns his attention to the second peer to face this punishment. But, this time, was the sentence deserved? The fate of Thomas Fiennes, Lord Dacre, in 1541, the first peer to be executed for … Continue reading ‘There is no more accoumpt to bee made of them than the kylling of ij sheep’: Charles, Lord Stourton (d.1557), and the murder of the Hartgills

Henry Clinton, earl of Lincoln: a peer governed by the underworld?

What’s your image of an Elizabethan nobleman? A grave elder statesmen with a long beard, perhaps, or a dashing young courtier in a large ruff. How about a pantomime villain? Dr Paul Hunneyball of our Lords 1558-1603 section considers a peer whose bad behaviour shocked even his contemporaries… According to the conventional narrative of English history, medieval peers lived in castles, employed private armies, oppressed … Continue reading Henry Clinton, earl of Lincoln: a peer governed by the underworld?

Disability at Court in Early Modern England

As the UK marks Disability History Month over the next few weeks, in today’s blog Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of our Lords 1558-1603 project, looks into the prominent early modern figures who had physical disabilities and their treatment at court… Writing in the late 1590s to his sister-in-law, the dowager Lady Stourton, Secretary of State Sir Robert Cecil observed that it was ‘the fashion of … Continue reading Disability at Court in Early Modern England

The hanging of Thomas Fiennes, Lord Dacre: Henry VIII and the abuse of law

On our blog today Dr Simon Payling, Senior Research Fellow in our Commons 1461-1504 project, looks into the landmark case of Thomas Fiennes, Lord Dacre, the first peer to be executed for an offence other than treason. But what led to this sentence– and was it deserved? The hanging of Thomas Dacre, Lord Fiennes, on 29 June 1541 has a particular and important place in … Continue reading The hanging of Thomas Fiennes, Lord Dacre: Henry VIII and the abuse of law

Prorogation Tide: Elizabeth I and the Parliament of 1572-81

In the sixteenth century, parliaments were not only summoned but also prorogued at the behest of the monarch. In this blog, Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of our Lords 1558-1603 project, discusses an exceptionally large but often overlooked number of prorogations that took place during the mid-Elizabethan period… Before the Long Parliament of 1640-53, the Parliament of 1572-81 bore the distinction of being the longest in … Continue reading Prorogation Tide: Elizabeth I and the Parliament of 1572-81

Immigrants and refugees at Westminster: the foreign ancestry of mid-17th century MPs

With refugee crises and immigration back in the news, Dr Vivienne Larminie, assistant editor of our Commons 1640-1660 section, considers how these issues impacted on the character of the House of Commons nearly 400 years ago… Business involving immigrants and refugees was not uncommon in mid-seventeenth century Parliaments. Petitions for naturalization, the trading rights of ‘stranger’ merchants, provision for destitute fugitives arriving in England and … Continue reading Immigrants and refugees at Westminster: the foreign ancestry of mid-17th century MPs

What did the Elizabethan House of Lords look like?

This might seem like a simple question but, as Dr Paul Hunneyball of our Lords 1558-1603 project explains, the answer is anything but straightforward… In 21st-century Britain, we take it for granted that we know what our parliamentary chambers look like. At Westminster, both the House of Commons and House of Lords are open to visitors, and parliamentary debates are recorded on television and illustrated … Continue reading What did the Elizabethan House of Lords look like?

‘The Downe-fall of Dagon’: the post-Reformation campaign against Cheapside Cross

The recent trend of attacks on statues with uncomfortable moral or historical associations is nothing new; Dr Paul Hunneyball of our Lords 1558-1603 project considers the parallels with early modern English iconoclasm… In November 1290 the queen consort, Eleanor of Castile, died in Nottinghamshire. Her grief-stricken husband, Edward I, subsequently constructed 12 stone monuments, the so-called Eleanor crosses, along the route of her funeral procession … Continue reading ‘The Downe-fall of Dagon’: the post-Reformation campaign against Cheapside Cross