Christmas in the Tudor period was an elaborate affair, with feasting, religious services, and merry entertainments. There was the year that Elizabeth I walked out over the frozen Thames, while Henry VIII would give and receive presents at New Year as part of the Christmas festivities. The lord of misrule, too, who was appointed every year, would ensure that the festive season was filled with fun and excitement. Christmas was celebrated throughout Tudor England in a variety of ways, with many of the traditions still current today and some which have entirely disappeared.
Led by an expert on the Tudor period, Dr. Elizabeth Norton, this Conversation will explore Christmas and other seasonal holidays in the sixteenth century. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of just how Henry VIII, his court, subjects, and children celebrated the holiday period.
The Tudor Dynasty captures the imagination like no other period in English history. This series of talks led by British historian Dr. Elizabeth Norton will examine the world of the Tudors – and the many wives of the notorious King Henry VIII – with each week’s standalone lecture looking at a particular topic or theme.
About Your Expert
Dr Elizabeth Norton is a British historian, specialising in the Tudor period. She has degrees from both Oxford and Cambridge universities and King's College London. She is the author of twelve books, including 'The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women', 'The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor' and biographies of four of Henry VIII's wives. She regularly appears as an expert on television.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.
Dr. Norton shared Christmas traditions for commoners as well as royalty, but I especially enjoyed hearing about court festivities. She shared fun bits about wassailing, decorating, and gift-giving.