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  • Liz Burnside

    Detail of a portrait of Sir Francis Walsingham, circa 1587, by John de Critz. NPG, London. Queen Elizabeth's Spymaster

  • Rowan Morrison

    This painting is of Queen Elizabeth’s spy master, the ruthless Francis Walsingham. Walsingham ran a vast network of spies and secret informers, who helped bring about the execution of Elizabeth's arch rival, Mary Queen of Scots, and played a key role in the defeat of the Spanish Armada. But Elizabeth was strangely reluctant to fund his secret service, and Walsingham was forced to sink much of his personal wealth into the operation

  • Marie In Virginia

    Sir Francis Walsingham, brilliant spy master to Queen Elizabeth I.

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Hampton Court Palace - A nice shot of the hammer beam roof of the Great Hall. Installed by King Henry VIII when he took ownership of the palace from Cardinal Wolsey. Originally this ceiling would have been brightly painted. The inside of the great hall itself is approx. 100 feet long, 40 feet wide and 60 feet high, and is home to 6 of the famous Abraham Tapestries, which are woven with gold and silver thread, and were commissioned for the hall.

Portrait of Sir Thomas Egerton (1540–1617), 1st Viscount Brackley, Aged 58.

"Portrait of Two Brothers". By Marcus Gheeraerts the younger, 1586. Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, 1931P734.

"Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe" is available for free download or for reading online.

On this day (July 27th) in 1575, Queen Elizabeth I reached the end of her 19-day stay with the Earl of Leicester at Kenilworth Castle. The Earl had spent about £175,000 a day on entertaining and feeding the Queen and her retinue, on top of the £10.5m he had already spent renovating the castle for her visit. IMAGE: Photo by BeingBess/A.Jensen

Being Bess: On This Day (July 23rd, 1596) in Elizabethan History: The Death of Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon: www.beingbess.blo...

On this day (July 19th)‬ in 1584, Robert, Little Lord Denbigh, the "noble imp", young son of the Earl of Leicester, tragically died: allthingsrobertdu...

Being Bess: On This Day (July 19th) in Elizabethan History: The Death of Sir Francis Knollys, Privy Councillor, Knight of the Garter, and Vice-Chamberlain of the household of Queen Elizabeth I: beingbess.blogspo...

The eight Royal Beasts in the Tudor Garden at Hampton Court Palace have been painted (and gilded) with the correct heraldic colours of the period. The Red Dragon was used as his badge by Henry VII’s grandfather, Sir Owen Tudor, who took it as a token of his supposed descent from Cadwalader, the last native ruler of Britain. The Welsh Dragon was used by all the Tudor sovereigns – the three kings colouring it red, while Mary and Elizabeth made it gold.

A reproduction of Henry VIII's lost coronation crown will be on display at Hampton Court Palace. The original was melted down, along with every scrap of royal regalia Cromwell's government could get it's hands on. The crown was used in the coronations of his children Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, and then in the coronations of James I and Charles I.

"Was it Culpepper or a lack of virginity that doomed Katheryn Howard?" - Kyra Kramer author of 'The Jezebel Effect: Why the Slut Shaming of Famous Queens Still Matters': www.theanneboleyn...

Ireland Recovers Artifacts From Exposed Spanish Armada Ship "La Juliana", Shipwrecked off Sligo in 1588: www.archaeology.o...

6 Royal Births That Changed The World (Or Could Have), by Amy Licence: www.historyextra.... IMAGE: c1547, Henry VIII with Prince Edward. School of Holbein in the collection at Hampton Court Palace. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

On this day (May 2nd) in 1536, Queen Anne Boleyn was arrested on (trumped up) charges of adultery and incest and brought to the Tower of London. IMAGE: The Tower of London Facebook Page.

History Pinners Unite!

Being Bess: Wolf Hall Tie-in: Hampton Court Palace's "A Protestant Allegory": beingbess.blogspo...

Being Bess: Elizabethan Fact of the Day: Easter in Elizabethan Times: beingbess.blogspo... IMAGE:

Detail of thought to be of Tomasin de Paris, or Thomasina, Queen Elizabeth I's female dwarf at court, from a portrait of Queen Elizabeth I dancing.

Detail of Jane the Fool, Fool to Henry VIII and Queen Mary I, from "The Family of Henry VIII", at Hampton Court Palace. Photo by BeingBess.

Detail of Will Sommers, Fool to the Tudors, from "The Family of Henry VIII", at Hampton Court Palace. Photo by BeingBess.

Once located in the north choir aisle, in Southwark Cathedral, this magnificent chest was given to the church to contain parish records in the year of the Armada, 1588. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Great Britain.

Portrait of Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland. Percy was an English conspirator during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, who sought the release of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the free exercise of the Roman Catholic religion. He was beheaded in 1572, in the marketplace at York.

Thomas Cromwell's Unlikely Friendship with Abbess Margaret Vernon: www.historytoday.... IMAGE: Portrait of Thomas Cromwell, by Hans Holbein the Younger.

Being Bess: On this day (March 18th) in 1563, the French city of Le Havre fell. Queen Elizabeth I had sent troops to the city, led by Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick, brother of her favorite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. After the siege, Elizabeth I paid a key role in negotiating the Treaty of Troyes, which was signed in 1564. To read more about the siege of Le Havre and the Treaty of Troyes, please read our article on The Treaty of Troyes: beingbess.blogspo...

Being Bess: "16th century Irish Rebel: Eleanor FitzGerald, Countess of Desmond" beingbess.blogspo... IMAGE: This is NOT a portrait of Eleanor FitzGerald, Countess of Desmond, but with a lack of an authentic portrait of her, I had to supply a substitute. This is how I had been picturing her when I had been researching her. This portrait is Albrecht Durer's Portrait of a Young Venetian Woman, 1505.