How Accurate Is: The Tudors (TV Show, 2007-2010) S1E3

Charles V (and a dog).
Charles V (and a dog).

Hello everyone! Today I am going to do another post on The Tudors, this time on the third episode of the first season. There is less to discuss in this post than the previous one because it appears that the show is going to continue willfully changing history, as mentioned in my previous post. This episode, incidentally, took place directly after the previous one, which is evident because Charles V visited England to sign the Treaty of Windsor in 1522, while the Duke of Buckingham was executed in 1521.[1] Here, then, are some of the changes made by this episode.

  • For one thing, no sister of Henry VIII married or was intended to marry the King of Portugal, as depicted in this episode. In real life, Margaret spent most of her life in Scotland, having been the Queen of Scotland during the life of James IV, her husband, and the Queen Regent during the childhood of James V, her son.[2]
  • Charles Brandon was indeed made the Duke of Suffolk, as shown in this episode, but in 1514 after the successful war with Scotland, not in 1522 as depicted in this episode.[3]
  • While Henry did write a pamphlet denouncing Luther, it was published in 1521 and written even earlier; this would place the writing outside the scope of this episode. This is a fairly minor error but is an error nonetheless.[4]
  • Anne Boleyn only caught the eye of Henry in 1526, not 1522 as was depicted in this episode.[5]

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How Accurate Is: The Tudors (TV Show, 2007-2010) S1E1

Henry VIII, by Hans Holbein the Younger.
Henry VIII, by Hans Holbein the Younger.

Hello everyone! Today, I will be posting about the show The Tudors, which aired 2007-2010 on Showtime. As has been said by just about everyone who reviews this show, the true standout is the costuming; it is brilliantly done and appears (based on the many paintings of Henry VIII, I am no expert on court fashion) to convey the style of the period accurately. The actors are also impressive, and the storyline, at least as of the very first episode, is fairly compelling. Historically, as always, there are several things to discuss.

  • First of all, the opening event of the episode, the murder of the King’s Uncle, the English Ambassador to Urbino, by French soldiers, does not appear to have occurred historically; the Treaty of London of 1518 was not signed in response to a direct threat of war between France and England, and in fact was signed four years after a conflict between the two ended.[1]
  • Mary appears to be between five and ten in this episode; historically, she was born in 1516 and so could not have been older than two when the Treaty of London was signed in 1518.[2]
  • In a similar note, while Henry says in the episode that they have had five stillborn children (though in fact only one of Henry’s children was actually stillborn; the others all lived at least a few days), the fifth has yet to be born at the point the show has reached.

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