Mary Queen of Scots – Tragic Heroine?

| October 29, 2010

On this day in history, 29th October 1586, four days after a commission had found Mary Queen of Scots guilty of conspiring to assassinate Elizabeth I, Parliament met to discuss her fate. It was decided that Elizabeth should be petitioned to execute Mary. In my previous article on Mary Queen of Scots, “The Trial of […]

John Dee and the Telescope

| October 27, 2010

One of my favourite Elizabethan characters is John Dee, the famous scholar, astrologer, astronomer, mathematician and scientist, a man who I think of as a combination of Derren Brown, Patrick Jane (The Mentalist), Paul McKenna, Einstein, Galileo and James Bond. A fascinating man! Those of you who are interested in John Dee will be interested […]

Elizabeth Returns to Hatfield

| October 18, 2010

On this day in history, the 18th October 1555, Elizabeth finally received permission from her half-sister, Mary I, to leave court and travel to her own estate at Hatfield, rather than return to house arrest in Woodstock. Elizabeth had been treated with suspicion by Mary and her council since Wyatt’s Revolt in early 1554. David […]

The Death of Philip Sidney

| October 17, 2010

On this day in history, 17th October 1586, the poet, courtier and soldier, Sir Philip Sidney, died as a result of an injury inflicted by the Spanish forces at the Battle of Zutphen in the Netherlands. His body was returned to England and laid to rest on the 16th February 1587 in St Paul’s Cathedral. […]

The Burnings of Ridley and Latimer

| October 16, 2010

On this day in history, the 16th October 1555, during the reign of Mary I, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley were burnt at the stake in Oxford. The two men, along with Thomas Cranmer, who was burnt at the stake on the 21st March 1556, are known as the Oxford Martyrs and their lives and […]

The First Day of the Gregorian Calendar

| October 15, 2010

The 15th October 1582 was the first day of the Gregorian calendar following the last day of the Julian calendar, 4th October 1582, meaning that the 5th-14th October did not exist in the year 1582! The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western or Christian calendar, was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII by a papal […]

Sir Thomas Chaloner

| October 14, 2010

On this day in history, 14th October 1565, statesman and poet, Thomas Chaloner, died at his home in Clerkenwell, London. But who was Thomas Chaloner? Here is a brief bio:- Thomas Chaloner was born in 1521, the son of a mercer, Roger Chaloner. He was educated at Oxford and Cambridge universities and in 1540 he […]

The Trial of Mary Queen of Scots

| October 14, 2010

On this day in history, 14th October 1586, the trial of Mary Queen of Scots began at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire. Historian John Guy, author of “My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots”, has written a brilliant chapter on Mary’s downfall, “Nemesis”, and I have him to thank for the […]

Happy Birthday Edward VI – Venus and Saturn in Conjunction

| October 12, 2010

Happy 473rd Birthday, Edward VI! Yes, on this day in 1537 Edward VI was born to Jane Seymour and Henry VIII. You can read more about his life at “Happy Birthday Edward VI, but read on for a special guest post by Robert Parry, author of “Virgin and the Crab”:- Venus and Saturn in Conjunction […]

The Arrest of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector

| October 11, 2010

On this day in history, 11th October 1549, Edward Seymour, the Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector of the Realm and Governor of the King’s Person, was arrested and brought in front of Edward VI who summarised his charges as “ambition, vainglory, entering into rash wars in mine youth, negligent looking on Newhaven, enriching himself of […]