Monthly Archives: January 2013

Happy 30th Birthday to my amazing cousin!

I know this post isn’t history related but I thought that I would celebrate my cousin’s big birthday with a post on here. So, here it is Justin 🙂 Hope you have an amazing day and also an amazing week of celebration. I hope that you enjoy every bit of it because you are the best! Don’t get too drunk and if you happen to make sure you have a drink or two for me 🙂 Love you loads xxxx

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Elizabeth: The Golden Age Film Review

Rating 10 out of 10

‘I may not be a lion, but I am a lion’s cub, and I have a lion’s heart.’ – Elizabeth I

Last Saturday night I got my dad to record Elizabeth: The Golden Age for me and a couple of days ago I finally got to watch it. What can I say about it WELL it was such an amazing film to watch I would highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in Tudor England or Elizabethan England or even both. But if your not I would still recommend a watch. I love the way this film started and I wanted to share this with you: ‘Spain is the most powerful Empire in the world. Philip of Spain a devout Catholic has plunged Europe into Holy War. Only England stands against him. Ruled by a Protestant Queen – Elizabeth.’ Which the stained glass picture in the background while you was given a bit of background on the story that it about to unfold before your eyes! It was an absolutely magnificent view of Two Faiths, Two Empires and Two Rulers from 1588.

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The struggle between the Catholic’s and the Protestant’s is a well known event in History. At this point in History King Philip of Spain and the people of Spain believed that Elizabeth is a heretic and they want to make sure that they bring her downfall.

Now, I would like to talk about some of the characters that are portrayed in this film.

First, Clive Owen as Sir Walter Raleigh:

Well, right from the moment that Raleigh comes into this story I was hooked he was such an amazing character in the film and just like Queen Elizabeth and Bess Throckmorton I was captivated by this character. This is definitely a twist in his story line as when you first see Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth together and the way that they look at each other you can straight away see the chemistry between them. However, once you saw Raleigh and Bess Throckmorton together you knew straight away that their was true love between them. They are such a great Elizabethan couple. I love the fact that when Bess tells Raleigh to go back to sea he knows straight away that she is carrying his child. He then goes on to make sure that she will not be outcast totally by secretly marrying her. When the Queen hears that her number one Lady-in-waiting is pregnant with Raleigh’s child she goes mental and when she asks Bess if it is true she says it is my Husband child. That is such a fantastic moment when Bess finds the courage to tell Elizabeth that she has married Raleigh without permission from her. But from that point she orders Raleigh to be arrested and tells Bess she no longer has the protection of the Queen. This whole scene in the film is so captivating and I know straight away who’s side I was on.

I give Clive Owen a rating of 10 out of 10 on his role as Sir Walter Raleigh!

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Secondly, Abbie Cornish as Bess Throckmorton:

Right from the start Bess is a lovable character from the fact she has the Queen’s protection and her favor, to her love for Raleigh and to the dirty looks she gets from the Queen’s other Ladies-in-Waiting because of her relationship with the Queen. Throughout the whole film you can see Bess’ loyalty to Elizabeth even when Elizabeth makes her leave the court and removes her protection of the Queen. She still stands by her Queen faithfully.

I give Abbie Cornish a rating of 7 out of 10 for her role as Bess Throckmorton!

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The last character I would like to talk about is of course: Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth:

Cate Blanchett has been one of the best Queen Elizabeth I have seen. Once she put them clothes on and that ginger wig it was like she had become the character that she was playing. When it came to it she pulled all the stop to make sure that she played Queen Elizabeth the best she could. Her relationship with Bess Throckmorton shows that she did really have a true friend and it didn’t matter what she did to Bess, Bess still stuck by her beloved Queen with loyalty and faith. She played an amazing warrior Queen who had the strength to defeat King Philip and Spain for once and make sure he didn’t mess with her and her beloved country again. I loved the raw emotions she gave when it came to finally having to sign her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots death warrant and the powerful emotion that she had on the day of Mary’s execution. If is sure to bring many people to tears at how it is effecting Elizabeth.

I give Cate Blanchett a rating of 8 out of 10 for her role as Queen Elizabeth I!

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I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a King!’ – Elizabeth I

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Happy 31st Birthday Kate Middleton

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Death of Catherine of Aragon

Today is the 477th anniversary of the death of one of England’s great Queens. Catherine of Aragon died on the 7th January 1536 at the age of 50 years old. Catherine was the first wife of King Henry VIII and they were married in 1509. However, this wasn’t her first marriage Catherine had once been married to Henry’s elder brother Arthur, Prince of Wales. She had married Arthur in 1501. However, in 1502 both Arthur and Catherine became ill which is thought to have been sweating sickness. However, when Catherine eventually recovered from this illness to found out the news that would indeed change her life forever. Her beloved husband the young prince Arthur had actually died at the age of just 15.

Henry had set his eyes on Catherine since the day he became his father’s heir. Henry was certain that he was going to marry Catherine once he was of age. He did eventually fulfill this desire and made Catherine his wife in 1509. Catherine soon became pregnant and on the 31st January 1510 Catherine unfortunately gave birth to a stillborn daughter. However, good news was to come as Catherine found out she was pregnant for the second time and on New Year’s Day 1511 Catherine gave birth to a baby boy an heir for Henry. They named this child Henry, Duke of Cornwall and once again their happiness was short lived when only 52 days later the young heir suddenly died. In 1513, Catherine eventually did fall pregnant again. Henry was away in France when Catherine gave birth for the third time she had given birth to another baby boy however it is believed that this young Prince has either been stillborn or died shortly after childbirth. In December 1514 Catherine fell pregnant for the fourth time and again Catherine gave birth to another son they named the young Prince Henry and once again their happiness was short lived because the young Prince died shortly after childbirth. Finally, on the 18th February 1516 Catherine gave birth to a healthy baby daughter. They named the young Princess Mary. Once again in 1518 Catherine fell pregnant for the last time. On the 10th November Catherine gave birth to another daughter however the child is very weak and it is not known whether the young princess lived for a few hours or at most a week.

By this point Henry’s love for Catherine had slowly but surely disappeared and he had turned his attention to a Young Anne Boleyn. Catherine was devastated and was still trying to deal with the lost of five children out six. When Henry decided that he wanted a divorce he separated his young daughter from her mother. Due to the fact that the Pope would not give Henry the divorce that he desired so much he broke from the Roman Catholic church and created his own church which was know as the Protestant church. Once this had happened Henry annulled his marriage to Catherine and sent her away from court life. However, once Catherine had life court life Henry had forbidden her to see their daughter Princess Mary. They were even forbidden to write letters to each other however they still wrote to each other and they were passed along to each other. But on the other hand, Henry did offer both Catherine and Mary better quarters and also permission to see each other if they just accepted Anne Boleyn as their new Queen however they both refused and they never saw each other again.

In December 1535 Catherine knew her death was near so she sent two letters one to her nephew Emperor Charles V and that asked him to protect her daughter and the second letter was written to Henry which she addressed as her most dear lord and husband. In this letter Catherine asked Henry to come and see her before she died as she wanted to see him. Henry never did go and see Catherine and on the 7th January 1536 Catherine died and Catherine was buried in Peterborough Cathedral with the ceremony due to a Dowager Princess of Wales, not a funeral of a Queen of England. Henry never attended the funeral of his first wife and forbade Mary from attending too.

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Exhibitions of 2013

Once again Christmas and New Year have come and gone for another year but don’t slip into that same routine that many people slip into every year make this year different/special to any other year that you have had. For many people 2012 has been a really hard year. I can definitely say that 2012 has been the hardest year I have ever had to deal with. But I guess once you get to 18 you start to understood that becoming an adult is everything that you thought it would be and one bit of advise I would get to the generation younger then me is that don’t be in such a hurry to grow up. Enjoy being a child and don’t wish away your childhood or even school because before you know it that will all be over and you probably won’t believe me but you will miss it and wish that you could go back.

Right, now I’ve had a bit of a rabbit on about thing that have no relevance  to my blog it’s now time to get on with some History which is what this blog is all about!

So today I have decided to talk about some of the exhibition that are taking place in 2013 in the UK including ones that are ending this year. So it will be your last chance to get to see some of the exhibition, so get out their and have a look and really embrace in the History of our beautiful country.

So, I’m only going to list some exhibitions on this blog post but if none of them are for you there are plenty of others out there that many interest you.

First up is:

A living Tudor world – This will be taking place at Hampton Court Palace from the 28/10/2012 up until 31/03/2013. So these are the last few months for you go and see this before it ends. So, I highly suggest that if you love the Tudors or you have a passion to learn more about them then going and see this exhibition before it’s to late. But if you do decide to go don’t forget to prepare yourself for meeting the King otherwise you might just find yourself locked in the Tower of London or even your head meeting the block. Your probably wanting to know how much this event is going to cost well it’s from £14.40.

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Second up is:

Charles I’s Execution – This exhibition will take place at the Banqueting House from the 30/01/2013 up until 31/12/2013. So, this exhibition will be on for a quite awhile. So, this is a brand new display at the Banqueting House and is the idea exhibition to go to if you are a lover of Charles I or you just love History in general. The exhibition will be installed in time for the anniversary of Charles’ execution. So while not get along to it and just have a great day out experiencing the beautiful History of our country. Well, your probably wondering how much this exhibition is going to cost well its just from £5.00. So who could miss out on such a bargain!

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Third up is:

Beautifully Bitten: Acid-etched metal in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe – This exhibition will take place at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 4/07/2010 up until 30/06/2013. So, this year is the last time to see this beautiful exhibition if you hadn’t had chance to go and see it yet I would highly suggest that you get yourself along their straight before it is too late. This many only be a small display but it is well worth the visit. I’m pleased to be able to tell you that the price of this exhibition it absolutely Free so you don;t have to worry that you can;t go because it’s to pricey because it is 100% Free. What more could you ask for!

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Fourth up is:

Broadsides! Caricature and the Nay 1756 – 1815 – This exhibition is taking place at the National Maritime Museum from 25/10/2012 up until 3/02/2013. So, you only have a few weeks until this exhibition is no longer available for you to look at. This exhibition actually explores the history of Royal Navy from the late 18th Century to the early 19th Century, through the acerbit wit caricature of that time. Again, i bet you are wondering how much you need to pay to go and see this exhibition well your not going to believe this but this exhibition is also Free.

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Fifth up is:

Archaeology up close – This exhibition is taking place at the Museum of London from 1/09/2012 up until 31/01/2013. So, you don’t very long before this exhibition ends just a couple of weeks to go. So if you enjoy or you are a lover of Archeology they why not come and explore this exhibition before it’s too late. I can say that this exhibition is absolutely Free to!

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So, that is it from me on just some of the exhibition that you should visit in 2013. If you do get a chance to go along to any of these exhibition please to let me know and also tell me what you thought of it/them. Would love to hear from you and what you enjoyed most about these learning experiences.

Bye for now 🙂

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January 5, 2013 · 4:31 pm

Death of Catherine of Valois

On this day Catherine of Valois dies shortly after childbirth at just 35 years old. Catherine was the wife of King Henry V of England. They were married for just 2 years when Henry died from dysentery. He died just before his 35th Birthday, Catherine was not quite 21 and was now a widow. Henry never got to meet his baby and future heir Prince Henry. It is unsure whether Catherine married again as their is no record of her marriage again after Henry’s death. However, she died have a relationship with Owen Tudor who she went on to have at least 6 children with Owen. Their children were Thomas Tudor, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford, Owen Tudor, Tacinda Tudor and Margaret Tudor. Edmund, Jasper and Owen were all born away from court. However, on the 3rd January 1437, Catherine died shortly after childbirth and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Catherine and Owens sons were given earldoms by Catherine and Henry V’s son King Henry VI. Catherine and Owens son Edmund married Margaret Beaufort, who was a lady of royal decent and their son became King Henry VII of England. So not only was Catherine a wife of a King, and mother of a King, so was also a grandmother of a King.

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Happy New Year 2013

As New Year’s Day draws to an end I thought that I would just share some history on the origins of New Year’s Day from when it was first established in 46 B.C.E up to William the Conqueror.

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So, we begin in the year 46 B.C.E Julius Caesar actually first established January 1st as New Year’s Day. During Roman times there was a Roman God called Janus who was the God of doors and gates. He had two faces, one that looked forwards and one that looked backwards. Julius Caesar believed that the month that was actually named after this God (January) should in fact be the appropriate ‘door’ to the new year. In later years the Roman Pagans celebrated the New Year by engaging in drunken orgies. (In the picture below is the Roman God Janus).

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However, when Christianity started to spread across Europe a lot of Pagan holidays had been or were being abandoned. The beginning of the year had been moved to the 25th March. However, when William the Conqueror became the King of England on the 25th December, 1066 he actually returned New Years Day back to the 1st January. (In the picture below is the coronation of William the Conqueror).

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