The ‘Answer Answerless’ and Elizabeth I’s attitude towards the Parliament of 1586-7

In the latest blog from our First Elizabethan Age series Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of our Lords 1558-1603 section, discusses the words- or lack of- given by Elizabeth I on this day 1586, and some of the more unusual features of the monarch’s sixth Parliament… At Richmond Palace on 24 November 1586, four hundred and twenty-six years ago to the day, Elizabeth I delivered a … Continue reading The ‘Answer Answerless’ and Elizabeth I’s attitude towards the Parliament of 1586-7

William Turner and the reformation of gardening

Climate change is making gardening more of a challenge in this country, but at least we have plenty of information on the best plants to use. Five hundred years ago the picture was a lot more confusing. Dr Paul Hunneyball of our Lords 1558-1603 section investigates a major botanical turning point… William Turner’s New Herbal, published in instalments between 1551 and 1568, is one of … Continue reading William Turner and the reformation of gardening

Execution or murder? Elizabeth I and the problem of how to kill Mary Queen of Scots

Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of our Lords 1558-1603 section, discusses the thorny issue that faced Elizabeth I in the wake of the discovery of Mary Queen of Scots’ role in the Babington Plot of 1586… On 1 February 1587 Sir Francis Walsingham and his fellow Secretary of State, William Davison, wrote on behalf of Elizabeth I to the privy councillor Sir Amias Paulet, one of … Continue reading Execution or murder? Elizabeth I and the problem of how to kill Mary Queen of Scots

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

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?

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

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 Great Survivor: Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton, 1540-1614

In today’s blog we hear from Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of our Lords 1558-1603 project, on the elusive career of Henry Howard, earl of Northampton. Howard’s shrewd political manoeuvres allowed him to evade attention from government officials throughout his career and often evade attention from historians- until now! In medieval and early modern England, membership of the nobility could be a decidedly mixed blessing, at … Continue reading The Great Survivor: Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton, 1540-1614

England’s Return to Protestantism, 1559

In the first of a new series of blogs on the Elizabethan period, Dr Andrew Thrush, editor of our 1558-1603 House of Lords project, discusses the last-minute attempts by the bench of Catholic bishops to thwart Elizabeth I’s reintroduction of Protestantism. He also draws attention to an important, if little appreciated, date in the re-establishment of the English Protestant state, as it was on 24 … Continue reading England’s Return to Protestantism, 1559