The Everyday Tudor Woman – ENDED

Step into the shoes of the common Tudor woman

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Explore the intricacies of her daily life in my new online event, "The Everyday Tudor Woman". Delve into the beliefs surrounding women in Tudor society, discover the varied levels of education for girls, explore rites of passage and the preparations for marriage, as well as the challenges faced in widowhood and by women in business.

Journey through the phases of a Tudor woman's life after marriage, from the joys and challenges of pregnancy to the intricacies of childbirth and the complexities of motherhood. We'll also be lifting the veil on the topic of contraception, shedding light on the practices of the time.

Explore the role of the Tudor housewife, as we take a closer look at the meticulous tasks involved in running a household in the 16th century. From managing laundry and housework to making ale and administering medicine, gain insights into the chores and responsibilities that defined the daily life of a Tudor woman.

Dive into the fascinating world of Tudor fashion, understanding the distinctions in clothing and accessories across different classes. Discover the hygiene practices of the time and how they shaped the lives of common Tudor women.

Finally, savour the flavours of Tudor cuisine as we explore the art of storing and preparing food in this captivating journey through the everyday lives of Tudor women. Join us for an enlightening experience that goes beyond the grandeur of the courts, bringing to life the stories of the resilient and resourceful common Tudor women who played a crucial role in shaping the fabric of history.

Hosted by me, historian and author Claire Ridgway, this completely online event will feature talks and zoom calls with me, Brigitte Webster and Bess Chilver over six days.

Claire Ridgway brings Tudor history to life

If you don’t know me, I'm the author of fourteen history books, including On This Day in Tudor History, and the founder of the Anne Boleyn Files and Tudor Society sites. I've always enjoyed connecting Tudor history lovers with experts and I became even more passionate about this during the recent worldwide pandemic. People couldn't travel to see historians and authors speak, they couldn't participate in physical events, and some people just don't have the opportunity to do so anyway. I had experience of bringing Tudor history to people online so I decided to create online Tudor history events where people could learn about their favourite era and characters without leaving home, talk Tudor to their heart's content with other like-minded people (not people whose eyes glaze over!), share their views and “grill” reputable historians in real time. It's important to me that I choose experts who are interesting to listen to, who really know their stuff, and who are truly passionate about their subjects and enjoy sharing this passion with others.

I've been overwhelmed by the response to my previous eight events, with many people signing up time after time! I invite you to join us for The Everyday Tudor Woman. Let's learn and have fun while doing it!

Meet our Experts

Claire Ridgway

Historian Claire Ridgway is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the best-selling author of 14 history books, including "The Boleyns of Hever Castle" (co-written with Dr Owen Emmerson), "The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown", "George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat" (co-written with Clare Cherry, "The Anne Boleyn Collection", "On This Day in Tudor History", and "On This Day in Tudor History II".

Claire is also the founder of The Anne Boleyn Files and Elizabeth Files blogs, The Tudor Society, and the popular Anne Boleyn Files and Tudor Society YouTube Channel. She contributed to the BBC docudrama "The Boleyns: A Scandalous Family", has written for BBC History Extra and All About History Magazine, and been featured on a number of podcasts and radio stations internationally.

Bess Chilver

Bess Chilver is an entirely self-taught amateur historical costumer, who has been familiar with needle, thread and fabric since she was old enough to hold a needle, but caught the "costuming bug" in 1993 when she had to make her gown for her first year at Kentwell Hall's Recreations of Tudor Life in Suffolk, England. Bess’ Tudor roles at Kentwell cover elite and gentry, middle class, and working-class woman.

Bess’s costume wardrobe starts in 1420 (Medieval Queen) and finishes around 1959 (Christian Dior Gown), and includes 18th Century, “Jane Austen”/Regency, Victorian, Edwardian/WWI, and WW2 WAAF Officer. However, her first love is Tudor and Elizabethan dress: the research, the making, and the wearing of gowns through the 16th century – whether elite level, middle class or working class.

This interest has led to Bess giving lectures on Tudor and Elizabethan dress at Costume events in the USA such as Costume Con and Costume College, as well as at other events in the UK. Over the years, Bess has taught and supported other newbie costumers when embarking on making their own Tudor/Elizabethan (or other historical period) clothing – particularly for new participants at Kentwell Hall.

Bess has also been an extra, wearing her own costumes, in various documentaries such as BBC’s “Days that Shook the World: Affairs of the Crown – Execution of Anne Boleyn” (2004). Bess lent her own wedding gown (based on Court gowns of the 1540s) for the lead actress to wear as Anne Boleyn.
Other productions include portraying Anne of Cleves and Mary Queen of Scots in UKTV’s “History’s Ultimate Spies” (2015); carrying the train of a baby Prince Edward, as a noble lady at his christening in the BBCs’ “Britain's Tudor Treasure: A Night at Hampton Court” (2015), and as a working class woman in “Draw on Sweet Night” a film about John Wilbye composer (2015).

Bess’ costume To Do list is long, the Wishlist is longer, and the fabric stash is ever increasing and taking up space in the 14th century house she lives in along with her husband Edmund and Cockatoo Lady Jaffa.

Brigitte Webster

Brigitte Webster is the author of "Eating with the Tudors: Food and Recipes" and a qualified teacher of home economics and history, making her the perfect ‘accomplished’ Tudor housewife in modern-day Britain. As a competent and experienced cook with a deep passion for Tudor history she fully immersed herself in archaeological, experimental cookery which also motivated her to grow period vegetables, herbs and fruits to achieve the most authentic end results. In 2019 she and her husband bought a small Tudor manor that had escaped ruthless modernisation. This will form the hub of their Tudor & Seventeenth-century Experience where guests can enjoy hospitality in a place for like-minded people who can come together and embrace a stepping back into culinary Tudor England. Brigitte has appeared on Professor Suzannah Lipscomb’s TV series Walking Tudor England and is a regular contributor to the magazine Tudor Places. She also appears in popular history podcasts.


I just received my book and I'm looking forward to reading it. I enjoyed all of the presentations. Your current series on Anne's fall has been wonderful. I hope you will offer more in the future. Thank you very much for all you do to advance Tudor research.