“The Tudor Child”, by Amy Licence

January 25, 2017 in Guest Writers, Queen Anne Boleyn Youth Blog by Beth von Staats

Prince Edward Tudor (later King Edward VI) Artist: Hans Holbein the Younger

Prince Edward Tudor (later King Edward VI)
Artist: Hans Holbein the Younger



by Amy Licence


It’s something of a myth that the Tudors treated their children like small adults. Although some portraits show them dressed similarly, these were moments captured of children dressed up for the occasion. Society did recognise that there was a process of development involved; a rite of passage with different stages. Once the child had survived the dangerous years of infancy, learning to walk, read, write and care for themselves a little, they progressed into a different world.

richard3Seven was a critical age, especially for young aristocratic boys. Until then, they were under the care of the Lady Governess, overseeing the nursery, where they were dressed and shared similar experiences to their sisters. From their seventh birthday onwards, though, a boy’s masculinity was asserted, their clothing changed and they entered male company more frequently. Often the household of noble boys was rearranged, to give new positions of authority to trusted men, whose job was to serve and mentor their charge. Poorer children were often expected to work at this age: recent archaeological excavations show the effects of hard labour on the bones of children this young. Their formal education would begin, with the appointment of tutors, and their involvement in sports like archery and hunting would have been stepped up.


The next crucial stage was around twelve, when girls could be considered of marriageable age, rising to fourteen for boys. Some aristocratic matches were arranged well before this, in the children’s infancy, after which they might be brought up in the household of their betrothed. Royalty were united young: Richard of York was married at the age of four in 1478 to a five-year-old heiress, Anne de Mowbray. Sometimes these matches did not work out but often, the pair were considered capable of consummating the union by their mid-teens, such as with Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon in 1501. The onset of puberty was also considered to pose certain dangers to health, with girls suffering from “green sickness,” or anaemia, and commencing their menstruation. Early childbearing was avoided where possible, for the potential risks, with the consummation of marriages being delayed. However, this was not always the case and Margaret Beaufort’s experience of bearing Henry VII at the age of thirteen or fourteen either damaged her physically, or led her to avoid childbirth completely in later years. Writers on health, like Sir Thomas Elyot, identified fourteen as a cut-off point, offering different dietary advice to those younger than this, from the “adult” advice intended for men who had reached that age.

Fourteen was also the traditional age for apprenticeships and service to begin. Boys and girls could be bound to a master and learn a trade for the next seven years, being sent away from home and working long hours, sometimes for little food or recompense. They had to follow strict rules of conduct or face dismissal and punishment. The bands of unruly apprentices that caused havoc on London streets must have been exploiting their only outlet of freedom; small wonder these groups of repressed adolescents frequently turned to violence and mischief on feast days. The May Day riots of 1517 saw a few thousand young men causing mayhem in the streets under the excuse of xenophobia; many were captured but later pardoned by Catherine of Aragon.

henry viiiEducation was uneven across Tudor society. The wealthiest could afford their own private tutors. Henry VIII was taught by some of the leading thinkers of his day, such as poets Bernard Andre and John Skelton. Grammar schools did exist, particularly established under Edward VI, to instruct the sons of the middle classes in the basics, such as the one Shakespeare attended in Stratford-upon-Avon but there was no universal curriculum. Discipline was again harsh, classes large and experiences determined by the interest and character of the school master. Girls learned at home, from their mothers, who prepared them for their future lives as wives and mothers. A medieval poem “How the Goodwife taught her daughter” focuses on desirable behaviour and morals, such as modesty, charity and religion. Even Princess Mary was raised with these expectations, although she was then the heir to the throne. Other manuals, such as the fifteenth century “Babees’ Book” and the poem “Urbanitantis”, focused on table manners and a child’s interactions with others; they were to speak sensibly when spoken to and otherwise remain silent. As the sixteenth century progressed, more noble women were taught to read, to enable them to run their own households. The survival of letters, diaries, poems and recipe books show how this skill was becoming increasingly valued. Later, when religious changes meant that people were encouraged to read the Bible themselves in English, more impetus existed for the teaching of literacy. The most prominent women set the example; Elizabeth I, Jane Grey and the daughters of Thomas More all received impressive educations and by the end of Elizabeth’s reign, many more women were reading, writing and composing: the “Blue-stocking” had already been born.



Amy Licence

Amy Licence

Amy Licence is an historian of women’s lives in the medieval and early modern period, from Queens to commoners. Her particular interest lies in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century, in gender relations, Queenship and identity, rites of passage, pilgrimage, female orthodoxy and rebellion, superstition, magic, fertility and childbirth. She is also interested in Modernism, specifically Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, Picasso and Post-Impressionism.

Amy has written for The Guardian, The TLS, The New Statesman, BBC History, The English Review, The Huffington Post, The London Magazine and other places. She has been interviewed regularly for BBC radio, including Woman’s Hour, and made her TV debut in “The Real White Queen and her Rivals” documentary, for BBC2, in 2013. She also writes literary fiction and has been shortlisted twice for the Asham Award.

Her website can be found at AMY LICENCE




MadeGlobal’s “All About” series is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to know more about the key characters of history. The books are colourfully illustrated throughout, have a simple narrative to explain the key points in the character’s life and more detailed sections for the more-able reader or teacher. The book also contains a section of thought-provoking questions which can be used to further discussions about history.

Henry VIII is probably the most famous Tudor. He was a handsome, athletic young man; he never expected to become king and so was determined to enjoy his reign. Henry had six wives but could hate as passionately as he loved. He even had two wives executed. Henry surrounded himself with extraordinary men, including Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell, and, during his reign, he changed religion forever in England. His son and daughters went on to be famous monarchs too.

Why did Henry have so many wives? Why was his reign so important?

Read the facts about Henry VIII in this book and make up your own mind.

Paperback: 42 pages

Age Range: 7 years and up

Publisher: MadeGlobal Publishing

Language: English

ISBN-10: 8494593749

ISBN-13: 978-8494593741

Amazon UK: All About Henry VIII 

Amazon USA: All About Henry VIII




Amy Licence and MadeGlobal Publishing are graciously offering a complimentary copy of All About Henry VIII to one lucky QAB member or browser. If you are interested in being included in a drawing for a chance of winning this wonderful book, send the administrator a message via the website’s contact form. To complete the contact form, click here –> CONTACT US! We will draw a random winner on January 30, 2017. Good Luck!!!


QAB Interview: Author and Graphic Designer Verity Ridgway

November 29, 2014 in News, QAB Guest Interviews and Chats, Queen Anne Boleyn Youth Blog by Beth von Staats


Verity Ridgway (Photo Credit: Christian Rdgway)

Verity Ridgway
(Photo Credit: Christian Ridgway)


The recently released Illustrated Kings and Queens of England, an absolutely breathtaking and beautiful coffee table book highlighting not only the monarchs of England, but also the remarkable art and craftsmanship of 19th century engravers, is truly the result of the combined talents of historical writer Claire Ridgway, her husband graphic designer, Tim Ridgway — and perhaps most remarkably, their daughter, 14 year old Verity.

Verity Ridgway is a remarkably talented young woman. A British child living in Spain, Verity is bilingual, an accomplished and published creative writer of short stories, and an artistic graphic designer. She certainly provides an shining example of the talents many youth possess, and Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers is proud to highlight her accomplishments.

QAB recently caught up with Verity. Our interview with this bright and articulate child follows:

1. Verity, it is my understanding that you were very involved in the colorization of the engravings included in the Illustrated Kings and Queens of England. What was the process you used to do this? Did you need to complete any research to determine what colors to use? Did you contribute to the book in other ways that I am unaware of?

I was responsible for 11 out of 59 of the illustrations. I used photoshop and a graphics tablet to colour the images. To make the illustrations accurate I searched for portraits of the monarchs and then used the colours from those portraits (hair, clothes) as closely as I could.


King Edward II (Graphic design colorization by Verity Ridgway)

King Edward II
(Graphic design colorization by Verity Ridgway)


2. What did you find most interesting about your contribution towards the Illustrated Kings and Queens of England? Do you have a favorite engraving?

My favourite engraving is the one of Edward II, which was the first one I did. It’s my favourite because that’s the one that was a real test for me, I could test out everything my Dad taught me and perfect it. I loved doing his beard. I had fun messing around too – I drew moustaches on some monarchs (on hidden layers)!

3. How long would the average colorization take? Is this painstaking work? Or did you find it easy to do?

About two hours. It was very hard, many of them were very intricate and detailed. Elizabeth I had lots of little details.

4. Verity, I am a short story writer. I was very interested to learn that you already have a short story, Talia’s Adventures: Camp Under Attack, published in both English and Spanish. What genre is your short story? Can you tell me about your journey in creating your story?

It’s a children’s adventure story. Two summers ago Mum and Dad wanted to keep us busy during the summer holidays so they made up a competition. Me and my brothers had to write a story and the first one to be finished, to be good enough to publish and to sell to someone who wasn’t family won a prize. I was the only one to finish my story. Mum and Dad edited it and published it. I illustrated it myself. I wrote it in Spanish too so that my friends could read it. My brother helped me with that and a teacher from my school checked it and edited it. The local bookshop did a book signing event for me which was very exciting.


Queen Elizabeth Tudor (Graphic design colorization by Verity Ridgway)

Queen Elizabeth Tudor
(Graphic design colorization by Verity Ridgway)


5. Do you have any suggestions for children or teenagers interested in creative writing as to how they might get started?

Just write whatever you want, it doesn’t matter what it’s about.


Verity, your mother told me that you moved to Spain when you were nearly six years old. My next few questions are about your life in Spain.

6. Verity, how long have you lived in Spain? Do you ever miss Great Britain?

8 years. We moved when I was five, nearly six. I don’t miss the UK at all apart from Fish and Chips, and Cadbury’s chocolate.

7. If you could give any advice to a child or teenager about moving to a new home in another country, what would you suggest?

I don’t know, I was only 5. Probably, don’t worry about moving.

8. I understand that you are fluent in both English and Spanish. Did you know how to speak Spanish when you arrived in Spain? How hard was it learn Spanish?

I didn’t know any Spanish before we moved. I found it easy to learn because I was at school for 5 hours a day with Spanish children and teachers who didn’t know English.


Verity with her mother Claire Ridgway shortly after she moved from England to Spain.

Verity with her mother Claire Ridgway shortly after she moved from England to Spain.


9. I know this question is silly, but I am only able to speak and write in English, so I am very curious. When you think to yourself or dream at night, do you think or dream in English or Spanish?

It depends. When I dream about my Spanish friends I dream in Spanish, but sometimes I dream in English. When I’m at school I think in Spanish but when I’m at home with my family I think in English.

10. I know your mother is a history writer, and your father is a graphic designer, web designer and publisher. Do you share any of their interests? What are your own favorite interests?

I like reading and writing like Mum. I want to be a teacher when I grow up, like my Mum used to be.

11. Do you have any new projects on the horizon?

I’ve started writing my next book. It’s a prequel to Talia’s Adventures and is about the War of Power, a theme in my first book.

THANK YOU VERITY!!! We look forward to the release of your new book and would be very interested in highlighting it on Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers when it releases.



To Purchase Illustrated Kings and Queens of England, Click the Link Below!

Illustrated Kings and Queens of England


talias adventures

To Purchase Talia’s Adventures, Camp Under Attack, Click the Link Below!

Talia’s Adventures, Camp Under Attack, Book One



Tyler, son of Tanya Lewis and Jan ____ of Eastham, MA is a lover of American History.

Tyler is the son of Tanya Lewis and Jan Amaral of Eastham, Massachusetts, USA. Tyler is proudly holding his award for academic excellence in American History.


Do you have a child or adolescent in your life that loves history as much as Verity and Tyler? Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers would be happy to host your child’s work. Whether art, graphic design, poetry or prose, QAB will delightfully publish your child’s talent in our new featured blog, “Queen Anne Boleyn Youth Blog”. Your child’s work may highlight a topic of history from any historical era of World History. Your child’s work need not be perfect. All we ask that he or she extend best effort.

Members of Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers directly writing on the website must be 18 years of age or older. The work of children under the age of 18 will be published as a courtesy by the administrator of the website with parental consent required.

To submit entries to the “Queen Anne Boleyn Youth Blog”, email submissions to Royal Squire at hisgracetcanterbury@gmail.com.


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