Thomas Wolsey, a cardinal who was named Lord Chancellor under Henry VIII, became the subject of the children’s rhyme Humpty Dumpty when he suffered a “great fall” in 1530. His descent ended on November 29 when he died on his way to prison. Wolsey is thought to have been a spectacular example of social climbing: he was born around 1473 to Robert Wolsey, who may … Continue reading That’s One Way to Avoid Prison
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. On October 30, 1470, Henry VI gave ruling England another try when he was restored to the throne after the Earl of Warwick managed to defeat the Yorkist king Edward IV. Unfortunately, the second attempt at reigning really didn’t take. Despite being the son of the legendary Henry V, Henry VI wasn’t a great warrior; nor … Continue reading Take Two!
On October 9, 1709, Barbara Palmer, Duchess of Cleveland, one of the most famous royal mistresses of all time, died at the age of 68, after having lived one hell of a life. Barbara was born in London on November 27, 1640. She was the only child of William Villiers, 2nd Viscount Grandison, who died in the English Civil War shortly before his daughter’s third … Continue reading The Royal Mistress
Farewell, Robert. On September 4, 1558, Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, favorite and rumored lover of Queen Elizabeth, died near Oxford from a longstanding illness. Robert was born in June 1532, the fifth son of the Duke of Northumberland. He was well educated and spent time at the courts of both Henry VIII and Edward VI. He married an heiress, Amy Robsart, in 1550, … Continue reading Robert Dudley