Tune in to Tudor time

IF you could walk into a time tunnel and come out the other side in another era, where would you go? Evening Star columnist JAMES MARSTON, 32, wonders what he would have been thinking in November 1558.

IF you could walk into a time tunnel and come out the other side in another era, where would you go?

Evening Star columnist JAMES MARSTON, 32, wonders what he would have been thinking in November 1558.

THE Queen is dead. Thank God.

I know here in Ipswich we supported Mary Tudor, when those up there in London tried to make Jane Grey the queen but I for one am not too sad to see the back of her.

It was just after the death of her brother Edward when she rallied her troops over at Framlingham. I wasn't very old but I remember when she came through Ipswich, her flags flying, her knights with her and her army marching behind. It was a truly impressive sight.

It felt unnatural at first but I don't mind too much a woman in charge. But Mary's lost us Calais, she's burnt too many people - including those poor people here in Ipswich - and she married that bloody Spaniard.

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My grandmother is so old now that she remembers the days of Wolsey and Henry and good Queen Kate.

Of course, when Kate died there was such a lot of grief. People were shocked, they lined the road and even threw flowers from the side of the road as her cortege made its way to Peterborough.

She had been divorced by Henry and he had married that awful Anne Boleyn. I think people thought the old Queen had been badly treated by the royals.

King Henry was a bit of a tyrant by all accounts. As soon as he got tired of Anne, he got rid of her. What sort of man kills his wife like that? On a block.

The word is that she did unspeakable things with her brother but I reckon it's because she had a daughter and not a son. That Princess Elizabeth wasn't good enough for him because he wanted a boy.

With Anne six foot under and Kate dead too, he went and married again. She was much younger than him though, was Jane Seymour. Apparently she was a sweet girl but I can't believe her family didn't guide her in the right direction towards His Grace's bedchamber, they did very well out of it didn't they?

Here in Ipswich today, we just keep going. Our busy wool trade dominates the town and its getting busier all the time.

There are new communities too, the Jews, the Dutch, the Flemish, and a few Germans can be seen in the town. There must be 4,000 or so of us here now and in summer it stinks - they really must do something about the drains.

This town is a changing place, and there's lots of building going on round town. Every time I go down to the Waterfront there's a new building going up. I suppose its progress.

And about ten years ago gentleman Withipoll built that big house out of town. Christchurch he calls it. I know a lad who works there and he says the kitchen is massive and they live like kings.

Yesterday, as I was watching a bear bating on the Cornhill, we heard that Princess Elizabeth was definitely going to be Queen.

Mary's advisors had ridden out to see her at Hatfield where she lives and told her her sister had died. I doubt she was too upset. Mary and she had their differences. I wonder whether Elizabeth will keep to the old religion or whether we'll be going back to the new ways. You can never tell nowadays.

I tell you what though, most people round here are pretty pleased that Mary has gone. At least Elizabeth is English through and through.

Tomorrow she's going to be officially declared Queen by the town's aldermen. It should be a colourful display and we get to celebrate with glass or two of mead.

I wonder what she'll be like though. I hear she's got red hair.

There are those that wanted her to take the throne earlier, but that wouldn't have been right.

Those above us are set on high by God himself, so I'm sure we'd better keep saying that old prayer God Save the Queen.


Which period in history would you like to go back to, and why?

Perhaps you'd like to change the course of history - and what would happen if you did?

To star in Time Tunnel, just get your imagination in gear and tell us your thoughts.

Send a story of about 700 words to tracey.sparling@eveningstar.co.uk or post to Features Desk, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

Famous faces:

Suleiman the Magnificent, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

Dutch painter Hendrik Goltzius is born.

Reginald, Cardinal Pole, the last Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury, dies.


January - French troops led by Francis, Duke of Guise take Calais, the last continental possession of England

November - Elizabethan era begins: Queen Mary dies and is succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth.


Tobacco comes to France for the first time.

Sforza Chapel in Rome designed by Michelangelo.

The book by reformer John Knox against the leadership of women entitled The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women was published.


Dolls, hoops, ball and cup, nine men's morris.