Tag Archives: ambassadors

Did Edward VI Tear Apart His Falcon?

Edward VI was a “cold-hearted prick” according to the eminent Tudor historian G. R. Elton, and often repeated proof of this fact is a story about the 13-year-old king told by Simon Renard, then the emperor’s ambassador in France. On … Continue reading

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Robert Dudley in Quarantine

In August 1563, Robert Dudley found himself in quarantine. In theory this meant he had to stay away from court (and in his case, from home) for at least 40 days. The word “quarantine” originated in Venice, from the Italian … Continue reading

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Handkerchiefs and Tennis

On 31 March 1565, the English ambassador in Scotland reported to the former English ambassador in France an incident that had (probably) occurred at Hampton Court. He had heard it from the Earl of Atholl, a grandee at the court … Continue reading

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The Sieur de Vieilleville’s Memoirs – A 16th Century Fake?

The French ambassadors, who in early 1547 observed the strange habits of the English when serving their monarch at table and spoke to a mysterious but very outspoken English nobleman, were led by François de Scépeaux, Sieur de Vieilleville, who … Continue reading

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How Henry VIII Got Rid Of His Wives

We left the Ambassador Extraordinary of France, François de Scépeaux, Sieur de Vieilleville, and his companions at the court of Edward VI in early 1547 amazed at how English noblemen behaved towards their sovereign; they even knelt when serving the … Continue reading

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Why the English Serve Their King on Bended Knee

A few weeks into the reign of Edward VI, in early 1547, a French embassy arrived at the English court. They stayed for six days. François de Scépeaux, Sieur de Vieilleville (1509–1571), the special ambassador, was received by the Duke … Continue reading

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A Grand Conspiracy in 1553? – Foreign Affairs

On 13 March 1553 the English privy council busied itself with granting a licence for the export of 200,000 pairs of old shoes.1 On 27 June 1553 the members of the same council swore themselves to secrecy about their forthcoming … Continue reading

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A Grand Conspiracy in 1553? – Parliament

Historians have disagreed considerably on deciding when exactly the Duke of Northumberland’s plot to plant his son Guildford on the English throne – by marrying him to Lady Jane Grey – came into being. Traditionally this happened quite early, sometime … Continue reading

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The Lovesick Earl, Part II

The quarrel between the Earl of Leicester and Sir Thomas Heneage continued into 1566, though at some point it must have died down because 20 years later, when Elizabeth sent Heneage to rebuke Leicester in the Netherlands, he showed so … Continue reading

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The Lovesick Earl, Part I

By 1565, Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, ambassador first to France and then to Scotland, had become Leicester’s “political brain”.1 As will appear, he had also become the chief advisor of the earl’s love life. – For the first time since falling … Continue reading

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