Tudor Artifacts

*Note: This Page is still under construction, thus the artifact listing is not complete. New items will be added periodically. If you stumble across an artifact you would like to add to the list, let me know here!

Below is a collection of surviving artifacts from the Tudor age. Some are associated with famous persons (such as Henry VIII and Elizabeth I), while others are simply from that time period. I have included information about who has the object, the website, and where you could possibly view it in person.

More Coming Soon!

Henry VII

Le Vaux Passional Manuscript

Thought to have been given to Henry VII upon the death of his wife, Elizabeth of York, this manuscript shows a young Prince Henry (later Henry VIII) crying upon a bed with his sisters, Margaret and Mary, nearby.


The catalog states, "Peniarth 482D is a manuscript written by one scribe, on parchment, probably in London, either in the late 15th century, or at the beginning of the 16th. As in the case of Peniarth MS 481D (The Battles of Alexander the Great), it is one of the most elaborately decorated medieval manuscripts in the Library, and a rare survival in its original binding. Its importance also lies in its connection to the Royal households of Henry VII and Henry VIII...The manuscript is illustrated with 34 large and beautiful Flemish-style miniatures in gold and colours, of which 33 accompany the Passional. The first miniature (f. 9) shows a man presenting a book to a sovereign, with the royal arms of England (France and England quarterly). The heraldry of the illuminations indicates that the volume may have been prepared for Henry VII of England. A mourning figure of a young man (possibly Prince Henry, later king Henry VIII) beside an empty, black-covered bed in the background, together with two girls before a fireplace wearing black head-dresses (possibly the 13 year old Princess Margaret and the 7 year old Princess Mary) may suggest that the presentation was in some way associated with either the death of Arthur, prince of Wales in 1502 or more likely that of his mother, Queen Elizabeth, in 1503."


Currently held by the National Library of Wales.

..............................................................................................................................................

The Deathbed Scene of Henry VII

"Though he may not have been present, the Garter King of Arms, Sir Thomas Wriothesley (d.1534), wrote a detailed account of the proceedings surrounding the death of Henry VII and drew this picture of the King on his deathbed.



The dying King is in his Privy Chamber, surrounded by his most intimate courtiers and household (clockwise round the bed): Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester (d.1528); George, Lord Hastings (d.1544); Richard Weston, Esquire of the Body (a household officer in constant attendance on the king) and Groom of the Privy Chamber (d.1541); Richard Clement, Groom of the Privy Chamber (d.1538); Matthew Baker (or Basquer), Esquire of the Body (d.1513); John Sharpe and William Tyler, Gentlemen Ushers; Hugh Denys, Esquire of the Body; and William Fitzwilliam, Gentleman Usher (d.1542), who holds a staff of office and closes the King’s eyes."

This image is from a manuscript currently held by the British Library.

..............................................................................................................................................


Beaufort Book of Hours

Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII inherited a Book of Hours which contains a calendar of Church festivals and saints’ days which Lady Margaret turned into a chronicle of the important political and dynastic events in the foundation of Tudor power," including the births of her grandchildren. 



The Book of Hours is currently held at the British Library

Henry VIII

Henry VIII's Psalter

"Jean Mallard, Henry VIII's 'orator in the French tongue', wrote and illuminated this Psalter for the king in the French style. As indicated by the many marginal notes added in Henry's own hand, the volume became the king's personal copy of the Psalms."



The Psalter is currently held by the British Library. You can virtually "flip through" the Psalter here.

..............................................................................................................................................

"Henry VIII's" Hawking Glove

Currently held at the Ashmolean Museum at the University of Oxford, this glove is thought to have belonged to Henry VIII. It was most likely one of the items given by royal warrant to the elder Tradescant in 1635, and mentioned in the 1656 catalog.



For more information on the glove, view the Ashmolean Online Catalog.
Currently located at the Ashmolean Museum.
..............................................................................................................................................

"Henry VIII's" Hawking Hood

According to the catalog, "There seems no reason to doubt that this hood is one of those referred to in the 1656 catalogue as belonging to King Henry VIII, for, although it is impossible to prove, both the quality and the date of the hood support this provenance."




For more information on the hawking hood, view the Ashmolean Online Catalog.
Currently located at the Ashmolean Museum.
..............................................................................................................................................

Henry VIII's Portable Writing Desk

From the catalog: "This writing box may have been made for Henry VIII or his wife, Katherine of Aragon. It is highly decorated and intricate in design. This box has many trays and compartments for writing implements and several such boxes were recorded at  Greenwich Palace when Henry VIII died in 1547. The royal arms and badges of Henry and Katherine of Aragon appear among figures and motifs based on European designs. Mars and Venus were based on woodcuts by the German Hans Burgkmair published in 1510."

The V&A has a nice video on the desk, explaining various emblems and compartments. View it here.
Currently located at the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A).

..............................................................................................................................................

Inventory of Henry VIII's Assets Upon His Death


"Commissioners appointed in September 1547 took 18 months to compile an inventory of Henry VIII’s movable goods. The first part of the surviving inventory includes money, jewels, plate, artillery, munitions, ships, arms, armour, horses, masque garments, tents, liturgical vestments and books. The second covers other items in the principal royal residences and wardrobes or stores. The inventory includes hundreds of thousands of objects. 

The contents of Henry’s palaces, particularly Whitehall, show that he was an insatiable collector of beautiful and costly things. They presented to his subjects and to foreign visitors a cumulative impression of dazzling royal magnificence. He possessed lavishly decorated furniture, numerous pictures, great quantities of jewellery, over 2,000 pieces of tapestry (the largest collection on record) and 2,028 pieces of plate." 


This Inventory is currently held by the British Library.

Six Wives of Henry VIII

Katherine of Aragon


A painting showing Katherine of Aragon watching the celebratory joust after giving birth to a short lived son. The queen lies upon a bed, surround by her ladies, as the King jousts.

Current Location unknown. If you know, let us know!
..............................................................................................................................................


Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn's Book of Hours

One of the few surviving artifacts belonging to Anne Boleyn, this Book of Hours gives us a rare glimpse into the courtship of Anne and Henry.


"The King often used the time before the consecration to transact business but this manuscript shows him using a book of prayers to send a flirtatious message to Anne Boleyn instead. He wrote in French: ‘If you remember my love in your prayers as strongly as I adore you, I shall hardly be forgotten, for I am yours. Henry R. forever.’ Presenting himself as lovesick, he wrote his note on a page depicting the man of sorrows. 


Anne replied with a couplet in English: 'By daily proof you shall me find To be to you both loving and kind.' And, with deliberate enticement, she chose to write her message below a miniature of the Annunciation, the angel telling the Virgin Mary that she would have a son."

This Book of Hours is currently held at the British Library.

*~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~*

The Anne Boleyn Clock

This ornate clock was said to have been given to Anne by Henry as a wedding gift in 1533. 


It is currently held in the Royal Collection at St. James Palace.

*~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~*

The Boleyn Cup

The 'Anne Boleyn Cup' was given by Queen Anne Boleyn to Dr. Richard Masters, physician, in thanks for his care of her daughter, the future Elizabeth I. It was presented by Dr. Masters to the church in 1561.


It is currently held at the St. John the Baptist Church, Cirenchester.
..............................................................................................................................................


Jane Seymour

Seymour Cup

A design by Hans Holbein for a cup for Jane Seymour. This sketch is currently held at the Ashmolean Museum.

..............................................................................................................................................

Anne of Cleves

Anne of Cleves Bedhead

This headboard was constructed to celebrate the marriage of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves in 1539. It is painted with the initials and symbols of Henry and Anne. 


It is currently held in the Burrell Collection in Glasgow.
..............................................................................................................................................

Katheryn Howard

Love Letter of Katheryn Howard to Thomas Culpepper


Transcribed, this letter reads:

"Master Culpeper, 

I heartily recommend me unto you, praying you to send me word how that you do. It was showed me that you was sick, the which thing troubled me very much till such time that I hear from you praying you to send me word how that you do, for I never longed so much for a thing as I do to see you and to speak with you, the which I trust shall be shortly now. That which doth comfortly me very much when I think of it, and when I think again that you shall depart from me again it makes my heart die to think what fortune I have that I cannot be always in your company. It my trust is always in you that you will be as you have promised me, and in that hope I trust upon still, praying you that you will come when my Lady Rochford is here for then I shall be best at leisure to be at your commandment, thanking you for that you have promised me to be so good unto that poor fellow my man which is one of the griefs that I do feel to depart from him for then I do know no one that I dare trust to send to you, and therefore I pray you take him to be with you that I may sometime hear from you one thing. I pray you to give me a horse for my man for I had much ado to get one and therefore I pray send me one by him and in so doing I am as I said afor, and thus I take my leave of you, trusting to see you shortly again and I would you was with me now that you might see what pain I take in writing to you. 

Yours as long as life endures, 

Katheryn. 

One thing I had forgotten and that is to instruct my man to tarry here with me still for he says whatsomever you bid him he will do it."

This letter is currently held at the National Archives, London
..............................................................................................................................................


Catherine Parr

Catherine Parr's Embroidered Copy of The Miroir or Glasse of the Synneful Soul

Believed to have been a 1554 gift to Queen Catherine Parr, from her step-daughter Elizabeth Tudor (later Queen Elizabeth I). Inside it contains a manuscript of The Miroir or Glasse of the Synneful Soul, which Elizabeth translated from French into English.



This item is currently held at Bodleian Library, University of Oxford


*~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~*


Catherine Parr's Embroidered Prayer Book

Another gift from the future Elizabeth I, this prayer book was created and given in 1545. The book contains prayers originally written by Catherine Parr in English, and translated by Elizabeth into French, Italian, and Latin.


*~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~*

Catherine Parr's Silver Prayer Book

It is thought that the book may have been written by Catherine in her own hand.



It is currently held in the Kendal City Hall. You can also read about it here.


*~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~**~*~*



Edward VI

Edward VI's Diary

According to the catalog, "Edward may have been prompted to write his ‘diary’ by one of his tutors. It begins with a description of his childhood until 1547. For the years 1547 to 1549 the ‘diary’ is a chronicle of past events that mostly refers to Edward in the third person. From March 1550 until November 1552, when it ends, it is more like a diary, with entries for individual days."



Currently held at the British Library.


Mary I


La Peregrina Pearl

Given to Mary I by her husband, Philip of Spain, the pearl belonged to the Queen until her death in 1558. After her death, it was returned to Spain and remained among the Spanish Crown Jewels, being worn by several Queens of Spain.

La Peregrina, set for Elizabeth Taylor.

 It eventually found its way to Napoleon III, an English courtier, and finally, actress Elizabeth Taylor, who wore it in her cameo appearance in the film 'Anne of the Thousand Days.'


Mary I is wearing La Peregrina in this portrait.
Elizabeth I

Coming Soon!

Other Tudor Artifacts

Coming Soon!

No comments :

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave a comment! All comments are moderated, so may not appear instantly.