1501 CE to 1600 CE

Henry VIII Decapitated...in Painting

Why was Henry VIII’s face replaced in the painting “Field of the Cloth of Gold”?  The facial image of him on horseback is not the original, and theories abound as to why he was “decapitated”.

Erotic Tudor love poem discovered in West Virginia library

English gentlewomen of Tudor times, especially, married Catholic women to Protestant scholars, were not supposed to pen love poems to men, but this did not deter Lady Elizabeth Dacre, whose work was recently discovered in a 16th century copy of Chaucer.

Guinea pig joins the ranks of favorite medieval pets

Was there a guinea pig sitting in the cage of a 16th century classroom? A new archaeological find proves it's possible. The 3rd ever early European guinea pig skeleton has been found in Belgium. Experts believe it was buried like a pet.

Mona Lisa Has a Twin

The Prado Museum in Madrid recently announced that it has what is thought to be the earliest copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”.

Historical Christmas celebrations in London

Countess Alys Katharine reports that two sets of photos of Christmas interpretations, taken by British photographer and historical interpreter "spiral_tower," are available on Flickr.

Ancient stone may hold the fate of modern London

The Stone of Scone and the Tower Ravens may have some competition. A fight has broken out over the fate of London's Stone of Brutus. A development company wants to relocate the stone, while tradition holds that, "So long as the Stone of Brutus is safe, so long will London flourish."

The Queen's Servants: a review

On the blog KimikoSews, the author offers a detailed review of the book The Queen's Servants by Caroline Johnson which focusses on clothing of the serving class in Tudor England.

The secrets of the Mary Rose

In 1545, Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose sank while fighting the French in the Solent, the straits north of the Isle of Wight in England. The remains of the ship were rediscovered in 1971, catching the imagination of historians worldwide. A documentary, Ghosts of the Mary Rose, is available online.

Inventory of Catherine Howard's jewels online

The Art History News blog has published the full transcribed inventory of Catherine Howard's jewels, from the manuscript in the British Library. The transcription was done by Tudor historian Alasdair Hawkyard and compiled by Nicholas Bristowe, who was clerk of the King's wardrobes.

"Forgotten treasure" returns to Glastonbury

For the first time in 125 years, the Glastonbury Grace Cup, a 16th century, carved oak tankard, believed to have once belonged to the abbots of Glastonbury, is on display until January 31, 2012 in the abbey museum. (photo)

McParland’s, Parnell Street, Ireland's oldest timber-frame building

An unassuming building with an interesting chimney in Ennis, County Clare, Ireland, may be “potentially one of the most exciting urban archaeological discoveries in Ireland in recent years.” The building, currently under restoration, is believed to be Ireland’s earliest surviving example of a timber framed house. (photo)

Chatham's Tudor shipyard confirmed

Archaeologists working on a dig in Chatham, England have confirmed that a dockyard dating to the time oif Henry VIII existed on the site of the Command House pub on the banks of River Medway. Officials hope to make a bid to declare the dockyard a World Heritage site.

Italian officials concerned about effect on pollution on The Last Supper

Milan, Italy is one of Western Europe's most polluted city, and art historians fear for the survival of Leonard daVinci's Last Supper located on a wall of the refectory of Santa Maria Delle Grazie Church.

"The Manor Reborn" showcases 16th century home

The BBC program, The Manor Reborn, has restored a 16th century manor house to four distinct periods of its history.

Vatican publication claims Shakespeare was Catholic

The new film Anonymous, which debates the authorship of Shakespeare's plays, has opened a new controversary: the playwright's religion. L'Osservatore Romano reports that references in several plays prove that the Bard was Roman Catholic.

The musical sounds of 16th century Venice

Musicians and choir directors have long speculated on what music of the past would have sounded like. Now a new study by a student and a professor from New York University and the University of Cambridge may offer a sample from 16th century Venice.

Reproduced Stirling Heads images online

Lord Mungo Napier reports that all 37 of the reproduction Stirling Heads, from Stirling Castle in Scotland, are available as full colour images on the Stirling Castle website.

New from The Tudor Tailor: The Queen's Servants

The Tudor Tailor, publishers and authors of books on re-constructing sixteenth century dress, have announced the publication of their latest book: The Queen's Servants: Gentlewomen's dress at the accession of Henry VIII by Caroline Johnson.

Desperately seeking Sir Francis

The quest for the body of Sir Francis Drake, who died at sea in 1596, is on. Pat Croce, owner of a pirate museum, believes he has discovered the location of Drake's body off the coast of Panama.

English class looks at vagrancy laws in Tudor England

The Cornell College (Mount Vernon, Iowa) website, which publishes the writings by students in the class, Women Writers in the Age of Shakespeare, includes a short essay on vagrancy in Tudor England. The article, Vagrancy in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century England, was written by Sara Byrnes.

First church in Peru found

Peruvian and Spanish archaeologists recently used historical documents from an archive in Spain to help locate the site of Peru's oldest Roman Catholic church near Piura on the country's northern coast. The church was built in 1534.

Metal detectorist finds Tudor wedding ring

An inscribed woman's wedding ring, believed to date to the Tudor period, has been found by a metal detectorist in Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire, England. The inscription on the gold ring is unreadable.

Sing to the Hand!

Students of music in the Middle Ages would have learned their notes in a different manner than their modern counterparts. They would have learned the Guidonian Hand, a mthod in which "a map of notes  was arranged on the hand."

16th century Spanish artifacts found in Georgia

Jewelry and other artifacts from the 1500s have been found in an excavation of a Native American village in Georgia (USA). The artifacts suggest that conquistador Hernando de Soto may have travelled far off course in his exploration of Florida and points west.

Life of Jewish patroness Benvenida Abravanel explored

In an article for The Jerusalem Post Magazine, writer and professor of Jewish history Renee Levine Melammed explores the life of Benvenida Abravanel, a 16th century resident of Naples and Ferrara, known for her philantrophy and patronage of David Hareuveni, the 16th century messianic claimant.

Prestwich family treasures found on York farm

Craig Best and Derek Greenwell struck paydirt in 2010 when the two metal detectorists discovered a gold signet ring and a pilgrim badge bearing the image of St George. The coat of arms on the ring indicated that it belongs to the Prestwich family of Hulme in Manchester. (photo)

Shakespeare film sure to spark controversy

Anonymous, the new film by director Roland Emmerich which proposes that the plays of William Shakespeare were actually written by someone else, is causing controversy even before the film hits theater screens. James Shapiro offers his opinion in an op-ed for the New York Times.

Michelangelo's David heralds beginning of modern science

Most people viewing Michelangelo’s magnificent sculpture of David admire its artistic beauty and proportion, but to Dr. Kelly Cline, the statue symbolizes something else: the birth of modern science. The article appears in the Independent Record (Helena, Montana).

Nonsuch Palace rebuilt

Nonsuch Palace, the Surrey home of Henry VIII, built to rival French King, Francis I, has been rebuilt - as a 2.2m by 1.2m (7ft 2in by 3ft 11in) model. (photo)

Tudor bestiary resource online

Calligraphers, needleworkers, heralds and artists take note. The Retronaut website has posted pages from the Tudor Pattern Book published around 1520.