With Christmas fast approaching, there is still time to find the perfect gift for fans of Tudor history. But with so much available, what should you get for them? Read on for my five favourite gift ideas…. (I am not affiliated to any of these companies or products and have not been asked to promote them; these are my personal choices).
BOOKS. There are a wealth of books about the Tudor period, but my two recommendations for year would be: The House of Dudley by Joanne Paul which traces three generations of the Dudley as they rose under Henry VII only to fall at the start of Henry VIII’s reign, rose again to great heights under Edward VI only to fall again with Lady Jane Grey, then rose again with Elizabeth I’s favouritism of Robert Dudley; and Mary Roseby Alexzandra Hildred, a beautifully illustrated coffee table book which will interest historians, archaeologists, divers and convservationists as it explores the story of the Mary Rose from her construction and sinking, to her underwater excavation, raising, and preservation.
England is blessed with a large number of castles (both ruined and adapted for later use) many of which are of interest to fans of the Tudor period. It is also often possible to combine two of my favourite pasttimes – visiting historic sites and eating ice cream. In this series of posts, I am going to give you run down of my favourite castles with a connection to the Tudor period (and the opportunities for eating ice cream in the local area!). This first post mostly covers northern England/Midlands, further south to follow in part 2.
Norham Castle (Northumberland)
Why should I visit? One of the most important castles in the English/Scottish border area. Between the 12th and 16th centuries, the castle was beseiged at least 13 times. In the Tudor period, it was captured by King James IV of Scotland when he invaded England in 1513. Afterward the English victory at the battle of Flodden, the castle adapted for artillery but, in the 1590s, Elizabeth I refused to spend any more money on its upkeep and it soon feel into disrepair.
It is that time of year when people like to look ahead at the year to come. As an alternative, I thought that I would take a look at what we can expect in terms of 500yr anniversaries of English events.
By the standards of Henry VIII’s reign, 1522 was a relatively quiet year dominated by an alliance with the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, and the start of a war with France.
It is the time of year when many people’s thoughts turn to buying Christmas gifts, but what would your shopping have looked like if you were buying in 1521? Here are some ideas for your perfect Tudor Christmas* gifts….
*Actually New Year, as the main day for exchanging gifts was 1st January not 25th December
Ok, so some people may dismiss money as a Christmas gift lacking in imagination but gifting cash has a long history in many countries. In 1533, Sir Edward Don of Horsenden in Buckinghamshire gifted his wife, Anne, 15 shillings at New Year, and gave 6 shillings 8 pence to one of his senior retainers. Money was also a regular New Year’s gift for Henry VIII.