Picture of The Week 11

Edward VI’s Diary

Edward VI reveals here that he and his sister Elizabeth learnt of their father Henry VIII’s death from his uncle Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, at Elizabeth’s Enfield residence on 30 January 1547.

Although he writes that it caused great grief in London, he reveals nothing of his personal feelings. He describes the Privy Council’s choice of Edward Seymour as Protector and Governor of the King’s Person and mentions how his father’s officers broke their staffs of office and threw them into Henry’s grave at his burial.

Edward may have been prompted to write his ‘diary’ by one of his tutors. It begins with a description of his childhood until 1547. For the years 1547 to 1549 the ‘diary’ is a chronicle of past events that mostly refers to Edward in the third person. From March 1550 until November 1552, when it ends, it is more like a diary, with entries for individual days.


Published in: on June 24, 2011 at 12:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Picture of the week 10

Henry VIII Coronation Oath (with notes by Henry himself)

On acceding to the throne, monarchs were crowned in a magnificent and elaborate ceremony in which the new king swore to defend the Church. Here the unmistakable hand of Henry has made several significant revisions to the oath.

Instead of swearing to maintain the rights and liberties of ‘holy churche’, he would swear to maintain those of ‘the holy church of England’, adding the crucial qualification, ‘nott preuto hys Iurysdyction and dignite ryall’. Walter Ullmann, a historian of medieval political thought, argued that these revisions anticipated the break with Rome.

However, there is nothing to confirm that this altered version of the oath was used in 1509, nor at the coronation of his son, Edward VI, in 1547. It is most likely that the revisions were made at the same time as the break with Rome, in the 1530s, and were taken no further. Nonetheless, they remain highly revealing about how Henry saw his Royal Supremacy over the Church.


Published in: on June 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Picture of the Week 9

This is the first love token Henry VIII gave to Anne Boleyn, which she kept until her death.  It is a tiny whistle pendant in the form of a pistol, chased with scrolling foliage. It contained cosmetic tools within the barrel (salt spoon, earpick and toothpick) (Henry VIII was known for his hygiene). When Anne gave it to her jailer shortly before her execution she pointed out that the design is of a serpent adding “and thus he (Henry) proved ever unto me”. It’s now kept at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s country residence.

Such little trinkets were often sewn onto the king’s masque costumes. They could be given away as gifts, easily lost or even stolen. For example, in September 1510a goldsmith was paid £266 to make new trinkets including small hearts and roses in gold because so many former charms had been stolen or ‘given away at Henry’s pleasure.



Published in: on June 16, 2011 at 9:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Picture of the Week 8

My First Tattoo

Today was my 23rd birthday and as a gift my parents and sister said they would pay for me to get my first tattoo, and because of my love for Tudor history I right away wanted a Tudor Rose. I went into the shop, met and amazing artist who took my idea and made it so much better. Then after a short time of waiting I went back to his area and he started my tattoo. My mom and best friend for over 17 years came with me, and let me just say it was truly and amazing experince that I shall never forget. The artist was so gentle and it only hurt at little in a couple little spots. So over all it went wonderfully and Im so glad I was able to get it done because I am so in love with the outcome of it. Let me know what you guys think of it.


Published in: on June 14, 2011 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Picture of the Week 7

Prince Henry’s Book

The boy who would become King Henry VIII wrote “Thys boke is myne Prince Henry” in this copy of Cicero’s writings from 1502. Although the writing is undated, Henry would have been about eleven—then considered a fine age to study Cicero—when the book was new. Annotations and glosses in two hands, identified by some as the writing of Prince Henry and his tutor, the poet John Skelton, appear on other pages of the book as well.

Cicero and other classic Roman prose writers formed the crux of the sixteenth-century curriculum, and were almost certainly studied some decades later by young William Shakespeare in the village grammar school at Stratford-upon-Avon. (His opinion of the era’s dry, laborious instruction may be inferred from the description in As You Like It of “the whining schoolboy…creeping like snail unwillingly to school.”)

In their compositions, which were also in Latin, students were encouraged to aspire to Ciceronian purity of language. Cicero’s writings have left their mark to this day on the study of ethics, political thought, oratory, logic, and rhetoric, and his works remain a valuable source of historical information on Roman life and times.


Published in: on June 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Picture of the Week 6

King Henry VIII’s vault drawing

I was doing some research on where was Henry VIII was buried and I came across this picture of a drawing that was done hundreds of years after his death of the vault in which he lies in now. I found it so interesting to think that, that is what it looks like underneath the area of floor at St George’s Chapel where his vault is. But the image also shows that Henry’s coffin is damaged and I find myself very upset that it was allowed to happen or that it might not of ever been fixed. (it might of been fixed but I’m not to far into my research about it so when I find out if it was fixed I will update this and let you know or if you know please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what all you know)

This sketch shows the vault in St George’s Chapel where Henry VIII lies buried with Jane Seymour. It was made by Alfred Nutt, Surveyor to the Dean and Canons. Henry’s coffin can be seen in the center, with Jane to the right. Charles I, who had been swiftly buried here following his execution in 1649, is to the left together with a child of Queen Anne. The vault had previously been opened in 1813 when an investigation was made to determine the location of Charles I’s coffin. A number of relics which had been removed at that time were returned to their rightful resting place in 1888, under the supervision of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII). Nutt recorded that Henry’s coffin, which was approximately two meters in length, was in a state of disrepair and that some remains of the king were partially visible. It is likely that some damage had occurred during the hasty burial of Charles I. The location of the vault can be seen today, marked by a flagstone in the floor of the Quire of St George’s Chapel.

(Check out the link below and you can see a magnified version of this picture)


Published in: on May 31, 2011 at 8:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Picture of the Week 5

Cradle of Napoleon’s Son

Just look at this. Nothing but the best for the son of Napoleon I. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this other then it is spectacular. I guess I’m a bit speechless.  When I read the title I didn’t think it would be like this but I also didn’t expect anything less.

The only legitimate son of Napoleon I (1769-1821) he was known as LAiglon, the Eaglet, and had the title King of Rome (1811-1814) conferred on him at his birth. His mother was Marie Louise (1791-1847), daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Francis II (later Emperor of Austria as Francis I.) who belonged to one of the oldest families of Europe, the Habsburgs. She married Napoleon I on April 2, 1810. The French were delighted when it was announced Marie Louise was with child. On March 20th of 1811 the child was born in Tuileries Palace. The people of France awaited the canon fire announcing the event: twenty one shots if a daughter, one hundred one for a son. At the twenty second shot cheers burst out; Napoleon had a son. The child slept in a magnificent cradle produced by the collaboration of Thomire, Odiot, and Prud’hon.


Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Picture of the Week 4

The Execution of Marie Antoinette

I was just doing a random search of the death of Marie Antoinette (I was actually trying to remember the name of her friend that was piked and shown to Marie while she was locked up) and well I came across this picture that is said to be the actual blade that beheaded Marie Antoinette. I would of never thought that it would of been saved and still to be around after so long but indeed it still is. Its actually very interesting but I think if I were to see it in person I would cry.  I truly believe that neither Marie or her husband deserved to die. Yes they may of made some mistakes (we all do) but to me, taking their lives and treating their children the way they did was not the way to handle what was going on in France. I’m also do wonder if there has been tests done to see if this is really the actual one.

Many French people hated the Queen for her Austrian blood and her expensive tastes. Marie Antoinette was called Madame Deficit and blame was placed on her for the country’s financial problems. As she matured, Marie Antoinette became less frivolous. She tried to change her image by wearing simple gowns and posing for portraits with her children, but her efforts had little effect on the brutal public. In October, she was tried by a mock trial, as was her husband. Marie Antoinette was convicted of treason and sentenced to be guillotined. On October 16, 1793 she was taken through the streets of Paris in an open cart. She maintained her dignity until the bitter end. On the scaffold she accidentally stepped on the executioner’s foot, and her last words were, “Monsieur, I ask your pardon. I did not do it on purpose.”

http://www.fotopedia.com/items/flickr-211244502  (picture)

http://library.thinkquest.org/C006257/revolution/execution_marie.shtml (article above)

Published in: on May 17, 2011 at 4:38 pm  Comments (1)  

Picture of the Week 3

Last Letter of Marie Antoinette

So this week I came across a blog that had a post talking about Marie Antoinette’s last letter before she was executed and it included pictures of the actual letter. So of course since Marie Antoinette is one of my favorite women in history I thought this would be a great picture of the week (though it is more then one picture). I hope you enjoy the pictures and article as much as I did.

The following is the October 16, 1793 letter written by Marie-Antoinette Queen of France a few hours before her execution to her sister-in-law Madame Elisabeth. An English translation is included below, as well as images of the original letter. The sweetness and innocence of Marie-Antoinette’s soul are captured in the lines in which she expresses her steadfast adherence to the Catholic religion and her concern for her friends and family. Note the delicate manner in which she refers to her little son’s accusation of incest, wrested from him by his tormentors, showing more concern for Elisabeth’s feelings than for her own agony. Although it is known that she had previously received the ministrations of a priest faithful to the Holy See while in prison, in order to protect him she wonders aloud if there are any Catholic priests left in France. Also, in the last sentence she states her refusal to “speak,” that is, to confess, to a juring priest, one who had denied the Pope by swearing an oath to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. Robespierre kept the letter; it never reached Elisabeth.

Here are pictures of the queen’s last letter, stained by her tears, followed by an English translation. When she speaks of her children the words themselves fall like tears.

16th October, 4.30 A.M.

It is to you, my sister, that I write for the last time. I have just been condemned, not to a shameful death, for such is only for criminals, but to go and rejoin your brother. Innocent like him, I hope to show the same firmness in my last moments. I am calm, as one is when one’s conscience reproaches one with nothing. I feel profound sorrow in leaving my poor children: you know that I only lived for them and for you, my good and tender sister. You who out of love have sacrificed everything to be with us, in what a position do I leave you! I have learned from the proceedings at my trial that my daughter was separated from you. Alas! poor child; I do not venture to write to her; she would not receive my letter. I do not even know whether this will reach you. Do you receive my blessing for both of them. I hope that one day when they are older they may be able to rejoin you, and to enjoy to the full your tender care. Let them both think of the lesson which I have never ceased to impress upon them, that the principles and the exact performance of their duties are the chief foundation of life; and then mutual affection and confidence in one another will constitute its happiness. Let my daughter feel that at her age she ought always to aid her brother by the advice which her greater
experience and her affection may inspire her to give him. And let my son in his turn render to his sister all the care and all the services which affection can inspire. Let them, in short, both feel that, in whatever positions they may be placed, they will never be truly happy but through their union. Let
them follow our example. In our own misfortunes how much comfort has our affection for one another afforded us! And, in times of happiness, we have enjoyed that doubly from being able to share it with a friend; and where can one find friends more tender and more united than in one’s own family? Let my son never forget the last words of his father, which I repeat emphatically; let him never seek to avenge our deaths.

I have to speak to you of one thing which is very painful to my heart, I know how much pain the child must have caused you. Forgive him, my dear sister; think of his age, and how easy it is to make a child say whatever one wishes, especially when he does not understand it. It will come to pass one day, I hope, that he will better feel the value of your kindness and of your tender affection for both of them. It remains to confide to you my last thoughts. I should have wished to write them at the beginning of my trial; but, besides that they did not leave me any means of writing, events have passed so rapidly that I really have not had time.

I die in the Catholic Apostolic and Roman religion, that of my fathers, that in which I was brought up, and which I have always professed. Having no spiritual consolation to look for, not even knowing whether there are still in this place any priests of that religion (and indeed the place where I am would expose them to too much danger if they were to enter it but once), I sincerely implore pardon of God for all the faults which I may have committed during my life. I trust that, in His goodness, He will mercifully accept my last prayers, as well as those which I have for a long time addressed to Him, to receive my soul into His mercy. I beg pardon of all whom I know, and especially of you, my sister, for all the vexations which, without intending it, I may have caused you. I pardon all my enemies the evils that they have done me. I bid farewell to my aunts and to all my brothers and sisters. I had friends. The idea of being forever separated from them and from all their troubles is one of the greatest sorrows that I suffer in dying. Let them at least know that to my latest moment I thought of them.

Farewell, my good and tender sister. May this letter reach you. Think always of me; I embrace you with all my heart, as I do my poor dear children. My God, how heart-rending it is to leave them forever! Farewell! farewell! I must now occupy myself with my spiritual duties, as I am not free in my actions. Perhaps they will bring me a priest; but I here protest that I will not say a word to him, but that I will treat him as a total stranger. (Translation by Charles Duke Yonge)


Published in: on May 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Picture of the Week 2

Surviving chemise worn by Marie Antoinette while in prison.

I came across this picture and article while surfing the internet today and right away knew I had to post it. To think that Marie Antoinette wore this chemise while in prison is fasinating. To think what all she might of gone through while in prison. The conditions couldnt of been wonderful at all and unfortionatly at the end of it all her life was taken when it didnt need to be.

With the onset of the Revolution in 1789, Marie Antoinette again used her fashion sense to represent her. Once the Royal Family was moved to Paris in 1789, Marie Antoinette was no longer able to live a pastoral life at the Petit Trianon. Rather, she began wearing more “Queenly” Robes a la francaise again, covering herself in diamonds to show the stark difference between her royal person and the revolutionary peasants. She staunchly, and not surprisingly, refused to wear anything related to the Revolution, such as the popular tricolore.

Her unpopularity had grown so much that at one point the Queen toyed with the idea of wear a “bullet proof”-type garment under her clothes. The corset-like garment was made by layers of glued taffeta which was said to guard against bullet or bayonet attack. However, in the end she refused to wear it

Once in the Tower, Marie Antoinette’s clothing became very simple and subdued. This was not like her earlier “simplistic” phase with muslin chemise-style dresses.

Rather, she wore simple white, brown, or black dresses which reflected her current mood. She also began to loose quite a bit of weight, as shown from a seamstress’s bill for taking in the sides of the Queen’s corsets.

The day of Louis XVI’s death, Marie Antoinette temporarily stopped her sobbing to ask for mourning clothes. From then on, she wore only black with the exception of her execution. To it, she wore a bright white dress, cut very simply. The Revolutionary government refused to allow the Queen to wear her mourning robes to the guillotine in fear she might spark sympathy as the King’s widow. I’m sure many of the Parisians who lined up to watch the former Queen roll by in the cart on the way to the guillotine were surprised to see her dressed so, in stark contrast to the depictions of her from the numerous revolutionary pamphlets and newspapers. I’m sure in many ways she, too, was surprised to find herself dressed so, such a change from the glittering bride who had arrived in France so many


Published in: on May 4, 2011 at 10:47 pm  Comments (2)