Friday 23 April 2021

A Seal for Queen Mary

My illumination of a royal seal for Mary Tudor, Queen of England. 

Inks, watercolors, 23K gold leaf, shell gold and shell silver on calfskin vellum. 3.5" diameter. 

For the original 1558 drawing of the seal:



Tuesday 13 April 2021

How Much to Jail and Execute a Queen?


Anne Boleyn (by an Unknown Artist)


 Henry VIII's expenses for Anne Boleyn; the Tower of London, May 2 - 19 1536:


  • £100 (about £42100 today) for her clothes/jewels
  • £20 (about £8400) for her charity to the poor
  • £25 (about £10500) for her meals
  • £23 (about £9700) for the executioner's 'reward'


Total: £168 (about £70,700 / $96,894.98 USD today)



The Tower of London (by Wenceslaus Hollar)



The Execution of Anne Boleyn (by Jan Luyken)



Thursday 8 April 2021

A Room With A View For Lady Jane Grey


Lady Jane Grey (by an Unknown Artist, The Royal Collection)


On July 19, 1553, after being dethroned by Mary Tudor, Lady Jane Grey, the 'Nine Days' Queen', was imprisoned in the Tower of London in an upper story room in her warder Nathaniel Partridge's house (now the Gentleman Gaoler's Lodgings) facing Tower Green.

From there, she would have seen her cousin Mary enter in triumph towards the royal palace complex (where Jane herself briefly lived as Queen) through the Cold Harbour Gate (now in ruins) next to the White Tower.


From a window in the Gentleman Gaoler's Lodgings


Nathaniel Partridge's house (as shown on an Elizabethan survey map of the Tower of London)

On August 21, it was reported that 'the Lady Jane, looking through the window' saw her detested father-in-law, the Duke of Northumberland (who had installed Jane as Queen), taken to the Chapel of St. Peter Ad Vincula, to make his reconciliation with the Catholic Church shortly before his beheading.

Then on February 12, 1554, Jane saw  her husband Guilford Dudley taken to and back from his execution outside on Tower Hill. She would also have noticed the crowd gathering by the White Tower to witness her own death. 

 The scaffold site was not in front of the Chapel of St. Peter's as seen railed off in this older photo (above), but rather by the north side of the White Tower. Nonetheless, the supposed execution site is now marked by a glass memorial. 


 The present day Tower Green memorial