Posted in Anne Boleyn, Breaking News...

Is this Anne Boleyn’s ghost?

Liam Archer, 26, claims to have captured ghost of Anne Boleyn on camera:

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Featured image credit: antonychammond via / CC BY-NC-SA

Above Photo credit: Southendian via / CC BY-NC-ND


Posted in Anne Boleyn, Crime and Punishment, Tudor London

19th May 1536: Queen of England executed for treason…

Anne Boleyn by Hans Holbein wearing a linen coif like the one she wore for her execution.

Before her execution Anne Boleyn heard Mass and took Holy Communion for the last time. She declared her innocence before and after taking the Eucharist before witnesses. This is important because She believed, like all Tudors, that if she lied that she would be condemned to hell.

No commoners mocked or goaded the Queen on the way to the scaffold because it was a private execution within the tower walls. Anne kept looking behind her as if waiting for a message from her husband. The message that never came.

Her ermine cloak, a symbol of Royalty, was removed from her shoulders by her ladies. She took off her English Gable hood and tucked her long chestnut brown hair into a coif. She then said goodbye to the ladies who had been with her during her incarceration. After her arrest, Anne said the King knew that none of these women were her friends and that they had been sent to spy on her. Nevertheless every one of those woman wept.  As the horror of her death became a stark reality. She asked her ladies to pray for her. One of them tied a blindfold over her eyes.

Continue reading “19th May 1536: Queen of England executed for treason…”

Posted in Traditions

Bringing in the May… What is May day?

Celebrated with dangerous sports, exotic rituals and wild festivities May Day has been celebrated in Britain for centuries. The cheese rolling festival: pictured below takes place in the Cotswolds each May. The cheese can reach speeds of 70mph during the race and their are no rules. Bones are broken and concussion is a regular injury.

An ancient Scottish legend says that if a young woman climbs Arthur’s seat hill peak on May Day and washes her face in the morning dew she will have lifelong beauty.

“Bringing in the May” in Tudor times was celebrated by people collecting flowers and branches at dawn to decorate the houses. May Day was once dedicated to Saint Mary and May Queens are traditionally innocent girls like the Virgin. Statues of Mary in Catholic England (pre the reformation) were crowned with blossom. Today some British Catholics wear blossoms in honour of Mary on the 1st of May

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The students at the University of St Andrews above, run naked into the Icy North Sea at sunrise on May Day. There are torch lit processions too. This was the university which Prince William and his wife attended.

Padstow holds its annual ‘Obby-Oss day’ (Hobby Horse) which is one of the oldest fertility rites in the UK. Revellers dance with the ‘Oss’ through the streets of the town and sometimes through private gardens. They are accompanied by accordion players and followers dressed in white with red or blue sashes who sing the traditional “May Day” song. The whole town is decorated with springtime greenery, and every year thousands of people attend.

1620: Morris dancers and a hobby horse: Richmond, London

Cornwall, in southwest England, has a unique ‘Flower Boat’ ritual. A model ship named ‘The Black Prince’ is covered with flowers and is taken in procession to the beach where it is cast adrift.

May Day is a public holiday in the UK and many villages hold traditional fetes which include: Maypole dancing, crowning the May queen and Morris dancing.

A May queen on her throne

The ‘Moorish dance,’ was popular at the Royal court in the 15th century. Courtiers blackened their faces to look like the exotic people they had heard lived overseas. In 1448 the payment of seven shillings was paid to ‘Moorish dancer’ by the Goldsmiths’ Company in London.


Then in 1600, the Shakespearean actor William Kempe Morris danced from London to Norwich making the traditional ‘Moorish dancing’ become ‘Morris dancing.’

The rural folk dance is usually accompanied by music played by an accordion. The dance has plenty of rhythmic skipping, handkerchief waving, stick thrusting and sword shaking. The male dancers wear bell pads on their shins and often wear decorative hats.

British expatriates form a large part of the Morris traditions in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Hong Kong. There are also around 150 Morris sides (or teams) in the United States.

An accordion used to play music for Morris men

Villagers from Needham Market in Suffolk make their own boats to race on a local lake. The boats can be elaborate painted but they often sink very fast. Some ‘sailors’ dress as Vikings in their longboats or ‘Popeye the Sailor man’. In reality the race is more of a jovial ‘who can sink last contest,’ than a serious competition.


‘Jack in the Green’ who looks like a moving hedgerow and his bogies pictured above is a pre Tudor festival

Victorian May Queens

The ‘May Day run,’ involves thousands of motorbikes taking a 55-mile trip from London to the Hastings. The event is not officially organised; the police only manage the traffic and volunteers manage the parking.

Anne Boleyn’s co-accused were were arrested for treason on May day 1536. Anne was arrested while watching a game of tennis at Greenwich Palace 2nd May.

Happy May Day!


Continue reading “Bringing in the May… What is May day?”

Posted in Tudor Medicine

Henry VIII’s near to death experience…

During a bout of jousting on 24th January 1536, Henry VIII fell from his horse, Smashing to the ground with the fully armour plated horse landing on top of him. Henry lay unconscious and ‘Without speech,’ for two hours.

The impact that the consequent injuries had on his personality, his life and his government are often debated. Henry was a powerful man who was in constant and insufferable pain. His accident, clearly made him very aware of his own mortality and led to unprecedented changes in his life.

If the King had of died on that January day he would have left his kingdom in chaos. Not only because of his lack of a male heir but because Princess Elizabeth was a baby, his first daughter, Lady Mary, had been made illegitimate and his present Queen was the most unpopular woman in the country.

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Posted in Anne Boleyn, Breaking News..., From around the web

A new image of Anne Boleyn that has been hiding in plain sight for years…

I had a good look at this image in the early hours of this morning and I noticed that the medallion does not show the usual ‘AB’ or ‘A’ initials. But instead, had the initials ‘AR, instead. Anne was a queen consort and not a queen regnant wasn’t she?

Well no. Anne was the only queen consort to be crowned with Saint Edwards crown (Which is reserved solely for the ruling monarch.) Making her a monarch too and means she was able to use the Initials ‘AR.’ Henry never crowned another queen after Anne died.

Link to the original site with lots of information:

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Posted in Tudor Medicine

Tudor cure for Smallpox Demons…

It is thought that only about 10% of all Tudors lived to be beyond their 40th birthdays and one of the reasons was the poor standard of Tudor medicine and medical knowledge.

Smallpox was a highly contagious, potentially disfiguring and deadly disease. There was no cure and no effective treatment.

Henry VIII contracted smallpox, as did his forth wife Anne of Cleaves but his daughter Elizabeth I was the family member to become seriously ill with the disease. In 1562 her doctors thought that she would die. Fear gripped her people because Elizabeth was unmarried and had no heirs. The queen was lucky and  she survived with only a few pockmark scars. The ‘cure’ was thought to be caused by ‘the red treatment’ which was administered to the queen  by being wrapped in a red blanket and placed by a fire.


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Posted in Early Tudors

The Unlikely King: Henry VII: The last hope of the house of Lancaster…

When Edward IV died unexpectedly of a short illness aged forty in April 1471 he left two sons. Richard Duke of York, aged 9 and Edward, Prince of Wales aged 12. After young Edward V was proclaimed King, his uncle Richard of Gloucester went to York Minster to declare his loyalty to his nephew.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Does this old Rhyme describe Henry VIII’s marital history and executions?

Continue reading “Does this old Rhyme describe Henry VIII’s marital history and executions?”

Posted in Crime and Punishment

Bloody and brutal, Tudor Punishments…


This was a very cruel way to die and it was used to convince a prisoner who refused to give a plea of innocent or guilty to change their mind. If no plea was given then a trial could not take place. Pressing took place inside prisons like Newgate or the fleet. The accused was laid on a table and had another table put on top of them. Then lead, rocks and weights were put on until they either decided to plea or were crushed to death.

The prison guards or ‘Keepers’ fed the victim with ‘Three morsels of barley bread without drink for the first day and as much filthy water as they like if they survived to the next day.

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Posted in Crime and Punishment

Why did Anne Boleyn REALLY have to die?..

The execution of Anne Boleyn has been portrayed in so many books and films that it is easy to forget that she was once a real breathing human being and not just a character in a play. Unlike us, Anne did not know the end of her script until the cold morning of 19th May 1536 and for her it must have been a terrifying and shocking end.

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Posted in Tudor London

London’s heart of stone? Excalibur? King Arthur’s sword in the stone? What is the London stone?

 The London Stone was originally situated on the south side of medieval Candlewick Street (Now Cannon Street) opposite the west end of  St Swithins church. This was very close to the homes of Henry VII’s financial agents Edmund Dudley and his next door neighbour Richard Epson. Both  were falsely executed as traitors in 1510 and were Henry VIII’s first scapegoats for his father’s unpopular policies.

The square marks the spot on the Agas map

Continue reading “London’s heart of stone? Excalibur? King Arthur’s sword in the stone? What is the London stone?”