Archive for the ‘Medieval Times’ Category

Lady Jane Grey

The Execution of Lady Jane Grey is an oil painting by Paul Delaroche completed in 1833. It is currently housed in the National Gallery in London.

Imagine being sentenced to the block or a traitor’s death in medieval England. What impression would you want to make in your last moments on this side of the grass?

This is a fascinating thesis on the importance of a good death. (It’s a little tedious for about ten pages, but then it gains traction.)

Performing at the Block: Scripting Early Modern Executions
Jennifer Lillian Lodine-Chaffey (The University of Montana)

Scroll down to “Click here to read this thesis from The University of Montana Missoula”


Anne_Boleyn_London_TowerOur cousin Anne Boleyn tucked the hems of her skirt so her legs wouldn’t splay after impact. The Tudors series did a beautiful job on her end (haven’t checked to see how factual it was).


Natalie Dormer, a historian at heart, was devoted to being as authentic as possible. “The execution scene was especially important to Natalie: “By the end of the season, when I’m standing on that scaffold,” she told Michael, “I hope you write it the way it should be. And I want the effect of that scene to remain with viewers for the length of the series…. Hirst, too, recalls the heightened emotions of shooting that scene: “That was an amazing day. Extraordinary day. After, I went in to congratulate her. She was weeping and saying, `She’s with me Michael. She’s with me.

In this video Natalie is taken to the actual spots where history was made, including Anne’s final resting place.



Cromwell,ThomasWyatt family friend Lord Thomas Cromwell was hacked to death by an inept executioner as our Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet watched weeping.

This is captured in The Tudors, but not in this strange edit of the scene:


(The Tudors is available on Netflix.)


CatherineHowardOur young relative* Queen Catherine (Henry’s fifth wife and Anne Boleyn’s cousin) rehearsed with a block so she wouldn’t make a fool of herself.

According to Wikipedia (not a resource I trust, but ok for these purposes) “She died with relative composure, but looked pale and terrified and required assistance to climb the scaffold.”

I could not find anything on youtube that portrayed her demise with adequate respect.


Lady Jane Gray – the innocent pawn known as “the nine day queen” – was blindfolded and needed help finding the block. Although the setting is all wrong, Paul Delaroche captured the emotion in 1833. (See main image, above.)


maryqueenofscotsI don’t know – we may be vaguely related – but Mary Queen of Scots went to the block with her small dog hiding in her red petticoats; red was the color of a Catholic martyr. She would have been mortified if she had known how humiliating her end would be.

Wikipedia again … “Mary was not beheaded with a single strike. The first blow missed her neck and struck the back of her head. The second blow severed the neck, except for a small bit of sinew, which the executioner cut through using the axe. Afterward, he held her head aloft and declared, “God save the Queen.” At that moment, the auburn tresses in his hand turned out to be a wig and the head fell to the ground, revealing that Mary had very short, grey hair. A small dog owned by the queen, a Skye terrier, is said to have been hiding among her skirts, unseen by the spectators.”

This is probably a better account: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandshistory/renaissancereformation/execution/index.asp


Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger gave a final speech that helped save Elizabeth Tudor’s life by denying her complicity in his rebellion.

Bloody Mary was beyond pissed. He was condemned to a traitor’s death where he was drawn, hanged and quartered. I find it too disturbing to describe.

This link provides an excellent explanation:



I no longer share original Wyatt content here because I will not give my work away. Cousins – please DO join me/us on Facebook where I share interesting articles from other Tudor and medieval fanatics daily. We are there as Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet. (See Facebook link at right.)

*We are related to all of Henry VIII’s queens through Jane Haute, wife of Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger.

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Restored medieval home

From the listing “An exceptional late medieval monastic building dating back as far as the middle ages, built with local limestone rubble in thin courses, with limestone dressings and a welsh slate roof. The property would have originally been regarded as an outstation of Llanthony Secunda Priory at Gloucester. Originally built as a first floor hall house it is a rare example to have survived in Wales. It’s current owner has lovingly restored the property back to its former glory and now offers flexible accommodation…

Originally a large medieval first floor hall house dating from the 12th century. The house was a extended in the 15th century adding a four story wing projecting from the back of the original house. This created an l-shape plan with the main block facing east.”

I found this fairly breathtaking; enjoy the photos.


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Professor Robert Bartlett

I LOVE the BBC! While researching over the holidays I discovered this wonderful history series by Professor Bartlett. He’s one of the world’s leading medievalists and he hosted a series Inside the Medieval Mind.

According to “The Open University” and BBC Four:

“The four-part series, co-produced by The Open University, will explore the mindset and lifestyle of medieval citizens and will reveal what motivated people who lived between 800AD and 1400AD and what beliefs we share with our ancestors…

Medieval expert Dr Rachel Gibbons, Open University Academic Advisor on the series, said: “This is an important series for several reasons. Robert Bartlett is one of the most authoritative voices on the subject of medieval history and is a voice the audience can trust. The academic research that has gone into this programme is impeccable and the viewer will learn so much about the times just by watching.

“The series’ approach is groundbreaking among history programmes. It doesn’t just present events and stories as historical fact, it examines why things happened and why people thought and acted as they did during the Middle Ages. It aims to understand a society rather than just talking about it. The series is not a conventional narrative of important dates; it uses the evidence of historical events and the words and thoughts of people alive in the time to truly get ‘inside the medieval mind.”

Each program is about an hour long. Make yourself a cup of tea and enjoy!

Inside the Medieval Mind – KNOWLEDGE – Part 1

Inside the Medieval Mind – SEX – Part 2

Inside the Medieval Mind – BELIEF – Part 3

Inside the Medieval Mind – POWER – Part 4

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