Last Wednesday, English Martyrs' was extremely fortunate to host Tracy Borman, acclaimed historian, broadcaster, curator of Historic Royal Palaces and author of numerous historical works on topics such as the Private Lives of the Tudors, a bestselling biography of Thomas Cromwell, Crown and Sceptre and others.
We were joined by students from Year 7, as well as the history students from Years 10 and 13. As Leicester EIP History hub host, we welcomed teachers from Moat Community College and New College, Leicester.
Tracy gave an insightful and fascinating talk on the Private Lives of the Tudors, from talks about Henry VII and his marriage arrangements with Elizabeth of York. Tracy talked about the surprisingly important, if rather unpleasant, role of the Groom of the Stool to Henry VIII. She described how Edward VI was not growing up to be the kindest of monarchs before his untimely death. There was talk of trying to humanise the reign of Mary I, otherwise known as Bloody Mary - she was a big drinker and a fan of parties and gambling apparently! We also learnt about Tracy's favourite, Elizabeth, including her four hour dressing regime, once monthly bath, her 'love life' and more.
Students were thoroughly engrossed by the talk and were highly engaged throughout. In many cases, students were fascinated with how Tracy came to have a career in history, and she was asked many questions about her time at school, university and earlier roles.
We hope to welcome Tracy back in future years. This event was truly memorable for all concerned.