Remember we are now running our sessions regularly from 2pm on 2nd and 4th Friday afternoons so see you on April 8th.
The group seemed a little shy, preferring me to do most of the talking. I summed up the Tudor dynasty, emphasising the fear created by violent switches in religious acceptability.
This will lead into looking at Middle Ages attitudes to death, heaven and hell.
Remember the 14th is a holiday so our only March session will be Thursday 24th. After that I hope you'll agree with my preference to shift to our old timeslot of Friday afternoons from April.
Armchair History is resuming at the Seniors Community Centre in 2022, with the full course ‘The Tudors’ being offered again. It returns in new timetable slots - the 2nd Monday and the 4th Thursday from 10 am to 12 noon, with our first sessions on the 14th and 24th February. We'll need to set up our diaries carefully!
Owing to the number of interruptions that this course had in 2021, Armchair History was cancelled in September 2021 for the rest of the year.
Armchair History will resume in 2022, with the full course will being offered again. It will return to Room 1 at the Seniors Community Centre, still from 10 am to 12 noon, but at new timetable slots - the 2nd Monday and the 4th Thursday. We'll need to set up our diaries carefully!
Due to The Hub being unavailable to classes of more than 10 people, Armchair History will not be meeting for the remainder of 2021. Armchair History will resume next year, with a timetable change likely from the Friday afternoon timeslot.
A small gathering for Armchair history on August 13th took us to the end of the unfortunate wives of Henry VIII.
We watched an interesting documentary on the rise and fall of Henry’s enforcer Thomas Cromwell. During his time, Cromwell helped lay the foundation of modern British Government. Cromwell was born in Putney, the son of a rough brewer. By 1502 he had had enough and left England, becoming a mercenary with the French Army and making friends with people in high places. On returning to England, Cromwell was proficient in languages and law. After negotiating a deal with the Vatican on behalf of the Guild Traders, he quickly came to the notice of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. Along the way he was elected a Member of Parliament and was co-opted to assist in the `Kings Great Matter’, the annulment of Henry’s 18-year marriage to Catherine of Aragon which produced one daughter, Mary, but not the longed-for son. Henry needed an annulment to marry Anne Boleyn. Cardinal Wolsey’s fall from power during this time also put Thomas Cromwell on shaky ground. Cromwell showed the King he could be valuable in his negotiations with the Papacy, who rejected Henry’s plea for annulment. Henry asked the people to reject the Papacy and in 1532 Parliament was given power to change the nature of the Constitution, creating the Empire of England, with King Henry becoming the supreme head of State. After Henry married Anne Boleyn, he began to eye the great wealth of the Monasteries and religious houses and the revenue that could be obtained from them. Thomas Cromwell oversaw the dissolution of over 800 monasteries and religious houses, an act of great destruction. While all this was taking place, Henry had Anne Boleyn beheaded for treason and adultery and set his sight on Jane Seymour. In a time of great change and uncertainty the Bible was translated into English, Henry approving every Parish to be given an English Bible.
Jane Seymour gave Henry his longed-for son, Edward, but died in the process. The arranged marriage to Ann of Cleaves was the undoing of Thomas Cromwell, whose enemies saw that he was sent off to the Tower and in 1540 was beheaded in front of a large crowd.
At our next Armchair History session, we will venture into the lives of Mary and Edward and eventually Mary Queen of Scots.
A small group enjoyed Terry’s session on the private lives of the six wives of Henry VIII presented by Historian Lucy Worsley.
Married to Catherine of Aragon, a daughter Mary was born, but Katherine failed to provide Henry with a male heir. Poor Katherine was cast aside as the dark haired and sophisticated Anne Boleyn, a lady in waiting in the French royal court, had caught Henry’s wandering eye. Anne kept Henry at arm’s length.
Unable to persuade the Pope to grant him an annulment, Henry broke with the Holy Roman Church and declared himself the head of the Church of England. 1536 then saw the destruction of many monasteries as Henry eyed the wealth that the monasteries held. Anne quickly became pregnant, giving birth to a daughter Princess Elizabeth.
Following a jousting accident that led to a permanent injury to his leg, Anne suffered a miscarriage of their longed for son and heir.
Henry’s wandering eye focused on lady in waiting, Jane Seymour, who was Anne’s cousin. Henry turned to Thomas Cromwell to secure his freedom. Anne, accused of adultery and incest, was sent to the Tower and beheaded, along with her brother and other young men accused of being her lovers.
Jane Seymour provided Henry with a son, Prince Edward, but lost her life after the birth.
In 1539 Henry negotiated a marriage with Anne of Cleves from Germany. Sight unseen, this was a strategic marriage.
The marriage was annulled as Henry had turned his eye to Catherine Howard, who also lost her head for indiscretions and an affair with Thomas Colpepper.
Katherine Parr was Henry’s last wife and was with him when he died.
An interesting Friday afternoon.
Did you miss class during the school holidays on Friday 9 July? While the documentary Terry showed on Anne Boleyn isn't currently available on You Tube, the following clip is available:
The notes which accompanied the video when it was shown on SBS are available at: link www.sbs.com.au/guide/article/2017/05/22/anne-boleyn-and-henry-viiis-love-story-ultimate-tragic-soap-opera.
We have been tracing the wreckage caused by Henry in pursuit of a new marriage with Anne. His attempts to pressure the pope led to Spain attacking the Vatican and holding the pope hostage in Catherine's cause. Both sides tried to involve the French as Henry increased the pressure.
We have considered how fiction writers portray the period and how filmmakers tackle the familiar story.
Two weeks ago we were just setting up as a number of phones rang announcing another shut down. I was dismayed! Two weeks later we will have our second class and catch up to where we were in March 2020 when we were forced to close. We will continue our investigation of Tudor rulers and how England and Scotland changed in this period.
Welcome to new members, and to Joyce, best wishes for a speedy recovery
Armchair History - 'Tudors - Power and Religion'
'Tudors- Power and Religion', commenced just before the Pandemic lock down in 2021. Owing to the number of interruptions that the course had in 2021, the full course is being offered again in 2022.
Convenor/s and Contact Details
Terry Case 0427621700
New times - 2nd & 4th Friday 2 to 4 pm from Friday 25th March.
U3A Room 1