Arbella Stuart

Lady Arbella Stuart was a potential successor to Elizabeth I, but her life was one of frustration and sorrow.

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  • On This Day 14th February 1539

    On 14th February 1539, Sir Nicholas Carew, a former friend of Henry VIII, was tried and found guilty of treason. Carew, who had been in Henry’s household since he was about six, and Henry around 11 years old, had been a noted jouster in his youth. Although a cousin of Anne Boleyn, he and she were not on good terms, and, like many of Henry’s older friends, he supported Katharine of Aragon. When Henry appeared to be tiring of Anne, Carew promoted his other cousin, Jane Seymour’s, interests. In 1538, he was accused of involvement in the Exeter Conspiracy, resulting in the treason trial. He was executed on 3rd March 1539.

    Picture shows him painted by Holbein

  • On This Day 13th February 1542

    On 13th February 1542 Queen Katheryn Howard and Jane, Lady Rochford, were executed at the Tower of London. Katheryn, who was the youngest of Henry’s wives, probably only about twenty when he married her (although she may have been younger), was the niece of the Duke of Norfolk, and had been maid-of-honour to her predecessor, Anne of Cleves. For some reason that passes all understanding, Katheryn was indulging in a relationship, whether consummated or not, with a gentlemen of Henry’s Privy Chamber, Thomas Culpepper. During the progress the King and Queen made to York, Katheryn had had Culpepper smuggled into her room, aided and abetted by her Lady-in-Waiting, Jane, Lady Rochford. Lady Rochford was the widow of George Boleyn, brother of Queen Anne. One of the places Katheryn and Culpepper secretly met, was Gainsborough Hall

    Gainsborough Old Hall © Tudor Times 2016

  • On This Day 12th February 1554

    On 12th February 1554, Lady Jane Grey, aged about sixteen, was executed in the Tower of London. She had been tried for treason and condemned the previous year, following the coup which attempted to put her on the throne in July 1553. Jane was a brave and principled girl – modern scholarship suggests she was less of a passive victim than she has been portrayed in the past, but she was not responsible for the original coup. Originally, Queen Mary had had no intention of having the death sentence carried out on her young cousin, but a second rebellion, in which Jane’s father was prominent, suggested that whilst Jane lived she would be the focus of plots. Jane died firm in her Protestant faith.

    There is no definite likeness of Jane. The picture, © Surrey History Centre, shows a rare document signed by Jane the Queen.

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