Two-minute tales from history, myth and fiction, accompanied by word games, grammar games and writing practice, all based on traditional school textbooks.

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The Voyage of ‘Golden Hinde’
two-part story
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
Elizabethan adventurer Sir Francis Drake combined sailing round the world with really annoying the King of Spain.

IT was no secret in Elizabeth I’s reign that King Philip of Spain coveted her crown.

He had never understood why it passed from his late wife, Mary, to her half-sister Elizabeth and not to him, and he resented Elizabeth giving refuge to dissidents fleeing bloody persecution in the Spanish Netherlands.

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Six Posts
The Nine-Day Queen
Music: Ralph Vaughan Williams
Lady Jane Grey’s accession was almost instantly overturned.

JUST before the young King Edward VI, son of Henry VIII, died in 1553, he unexpectedly named Lady Jane Grey as his successor, passing over his half-sisters Elizabeth and Mary.

Jane was Edward’s cousin once removed: Edward’s grandfather King Henry VII was her great-grandfather.

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Flodden Edge
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
The Scots paid a heavy price for honouring their ‘Auld Alliance’ with France.

EARLY in the 16th century, Pope Julius II of Rome and King Louis XII of France were at war, and King Henry VIII of England had sided with the Pope. So Louis begged the Scottish King James IV to invade England, reminding him of the ‘Auld Alliance’, the Scots’ long-standing friendship with France.

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Sir Walter Raleigh
Music: William Byrd
Sir Walter’s dizzy life brought him fame and fortune in dangerous places, the most dangerous of which was Court.

WALTER Raleigh’s soldiering in Ireland, putting down the Desmond Rebellions, so impressed Queen Elizabeth I that in 1584 she engaged him to organise the founding of a gold-mining colony at Roanoke Island in the New World.

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Cvthbertvs
Music: John Garth
Henry VIII’s experts declared that saints were nothing special, but St Cuthbert had a surprise for them.

IN 1537, Henry VIII’s experts Dr Ley, Dr Henley and Dr Blythman travelled to Durham Cathedral to superintend another demolition: the shrine of St Cuthbert.

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The Re-rediscovery of America
Music: Matthew Locke
John Day of Bristol did not want Christopher Columbus to labour under a misapprehension.

ON 24th June 1497, the Feast of St John the Baptist, Venetian captain John Cabot and his crew of Englishmen landed at Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland, after leaving Bristol aboard the ‘Matthew’ towards the end of May. Cabot did not venture far inland or found any settlements, but took careful notes and charted the coastline.

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Mary Queen of Scots
two-part story
Music: George Frideric Handel
Henry VII’s great-granddaughter Mary never grasped that even royalty must win the people’s respect.

JAMES V of Scotland enraged his uncle, Henry VIII of England, by refusing to support the spread of Protestantism, and paid for it with defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss in 1542. James died shortly after, leaving his crown to his infant daughter Mary, barely a week old.

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All Posts
Tagged Tudor Era (9 posts)
page 1
1 The Voyage of ‘Golden Hinde’
Elizabethan adventurer Sir Francis Drake combined sailing round the world with really annoying the King of Spain.
2 Mary Queen of Scots
Henry VII’s great-granddaughter Mary never grasped that even royalty must win the people’s respect.
3 Merchants of Muscovy
In 1553, Richard Chancellor set out on a perilous voyage to Russia in order to bypass the Hanseatic League’s single market.
4 Sir Walter Raleigh
Sir Walter’s dizzy life brought him fame and fortune in dangerous places, the most dangerous of which was Court.
5 Cvthbertvs
Henry VIII’s experts declared that saints were nothing special, but St Cuthbert had a surprise for them.
6 Flodden Edge
The Scots paid a heavy price for honouring their ‘Auld Alliance’ with France.
page 2
7 The Re-rediscovery of America
John Day of Bristol did not want Christopher Columbus to labour under a misapprehension.
8 The Nine-Day Queen
Lady Jane Grey’s accession was almost instantly overturned.
9 The Spanish Armada
Philip of Spain’s attempt to teach Elizabeth I a lesson did not go as planned.
which is ‘English Style’ ?

Word Play: Verb or Noun?

Use each of the words below once as a noun and once as a verb:

Cook. Breakfast. Surprise.

JB Cramer was one of the finest pianists of his day, though his reverence for Mozart made his own music more popular in the drawing room than the concert hall.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley says that the pinnacle of political achievement is the government not of others, but of ourselves.
By John Keats
(1795-1821)
Poet John Keats speaks of the beauties of Autumn, her colours, her sounds and her rich harvest.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Shelley calls on November’s sister months to watch by the graveside of the dead Year.
Cut
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Polyword ‘Heft’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

Note: You can find more Polywords and other games on our Nine Lives puzzle page, and most of our stories are accompanied by games with words, grammar and numbers.

More Puzzles
Do you know ‘satisfied’ (7 letters), and ‘warm and cosy’ (4 letters)?
Do you know ‘a brilliant solo passage in a concerto’ (7 letters), and ‘e.g. lion, tiger’ (3,3 letters)?
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.
Change KEEP into MOAT, one letter at a time.
Do you know ‘additional’ (5), and ‘reject contemptuously’ (5)?
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
A word-making and word-searching game with a dash of strategy to it.
top topics
History (379)
Fiction (82)

letters game

Make words from two or more of the tiles below. What is the highest-scoring word you can make?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: High Tiles (Letters Game) Games with Words

numbers game

Make the total shown using two or more of the numbers underneath it. You can add, subtract, divide and multiply. Use any number once only.

More like this: Target Number (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic