Tag Archives: Tudor History

Wabuda Sheds New Light on the Dynamic Archbishop Thomas Cranmer

 This week sees the publication of Professor Susan Wabuda‘s new study of the life and career of the archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556). Professor Wabuda was interviewed by the book’s publisher Routledge and you can read that interview on their website. We took the opportunity to ask Professor Wabuda some questions of our own about how the new book relates to her earlier research and the ways that it intersects with her teaching and other projects at Fordham.
The story of the book:

Wabuda told us that toward the end of 2010, the British publisher Routledge approached her to write a new biography of Thomas Cranmer, the sixty-eighth archbishop of Canterbury, for the Routledge Historical Biographies series.  A that point, she was already deep in a draft of another book, a new study of Cranmer‘s Cambridge colleague Hugh Latimer, but Routledge’s invitation made her realize that it was possible to let each project inform the other.

Thomas Cranmer  is meant to be an engaging and highly readable account of the archbishop’s life.  Although he is a familiar figure in Tudor history,  in her research Wabuda was able to discover aspects of his career that now can
be known for the very first time. In particular, she was fascinated by the earliest expression of evangelical reforms at the University of Cambridge in the sixteenth century, which she was able to refer to briefly in Thomas Cranmer.  The next book will explore in detail the leading role Latimer had in the Reformation in England.

Susan Wabuda (photographed by Susan Bolognino).

How the book relates to teaching and other projects at Fordham:

October 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the release of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, one of the great watersheds in the history of the West. Wabuda looks forward to the graduate class she will teach this fall (2017) on Luther and the Reformation. This graduate class will doubtless be fascinating, but Wabuda also offers regular undergraduate classes on Tudor and Stuart England, the Renaissance, and the English Reformation.

She reports that:

It is exciting to lead class discussions on Henry VIII’s many marriages and the political and diplomatic problems that England and western Europe faced in the early modern period.  Wonderful guest speakers come to my classes,  most frequently Arthur L. Schwarz of New York’s Grolier Club, who speaks on rare books of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.   A number of international scholars have delivered  the St. Robert Southwell, S.J.  Lecture at Fordham University, which I administer. Our speakers have included Susan Brigden (University of Oxford), Peter Marshall (University of Warwick),  Andrew Pettegree (St Andrew’s), Miri Rubin (Queen Mary University of London), and  Bill Sherman (the new director of the Warburg Institute in London).
Exciting indeed. Congratulations Professor Wabuda!

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Postcard: A Bury Fun Summer


The Ruins at Bury St. Edmunds

Thanks to the History Department’s Leahey fellowship for summer travel, graduate student and medievalist Louisa Foroughi was able to spend five weeks in June and July visiting archives in England and Scotland (with a very brief Welsh detour!). Louisa’s dissertation focuses on the origins and social significance of the English “yeomen,” a group situated at the mid-point of the social scale, who made their first appearance in the early fifteenth century and quickly rose to prominence under the Tudors. She spent ten days in London and Chester tracking down a yeomen family from a small town near Chester, during which time she snuck in a quick jaunt across the Welsh border, a mere 30 minute walk from the city walls! She spent a further two weeks gathering probate records in local record offices in Norwich, Bury St. Edmunds, and Ipswich, all favorite haunts. She is now in possession of c. 377 wills and inventories produced by husbandmen, yeomen, and gentlemen from 1348-1538, one of the three main document times upon which her dissertation will be based. While in England, Louisa also presented a paper on Archbishops’ Registers at the International Medieval Congress at Leeds and attended the Anglo-American Seminar with Professor Maryanne Kowaleski. She is happy to be back in the US, and looks forward to finally being able to answer the question, “what is a yeomen?”

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Summer Postcard from Bruges

Left to right: Clare King'oo (University of Connecticut ) Susan Felch (Calvin College) Jamie H. Ferguson (University of Houston), and Susan Wabuda (Fordham)

Left to right: Clare King’oo (University of Connecticut ) Susan Felch (Calvin College) Jamie H. Ferguson (University of Houston), and Susan Wabuda (Fordham)

Below, Professor Susan Wabuda discusses the Sixteenth Century Society Conference held in Bruges this summer, as well as her adventures in the historic Belgian city, in the latest installment of our Summer Postcards series. Read on to learn more about the city’s intellectual and aesthetic delights. Continue reading

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Christopher Maginn on Discovering a Manuscript and his New Book: “The Tudor Discovery of Ireland”


Professor Christopher Maginn recently co-authored The Tudor Discovery of Ireland; a text that analyzes how the Tudor family–and by extension Elizabeth I’s councilor William Cecil–came to understand Ireland’s history, people, and geography. What’s even cooler? Maginn, and co-author Steven G. Ellis, based their analysis on a previously unknown manuscript that Maginn found. Let’s see what Professor Maginn has to say on his new book, co-authoring, and the process of writing …

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Tudor Historian Offers Perspective on Scottish Independence (Video Link)


When ABC News was looking for an expert to provide historial background to the momentous vote for Scottish Independence this past September, they turned to Fordham historian Chris Maginn. Chris gives us some background:

though I am a Tudor specialist by training, and am interested in the history of state formation, I try to keep abreast of contemporary politics in Britain in Ireland. While on leave in Ireland I was interviewed by America Magazine about the importance of the President of Ireland’s state visit to England: http://americamagazine.org/issue/higgins-visit-suggests-sea-change-anglo-irish-relations. So, the afternoon before the referendum I went up to ABC’s studio on 66th street and did a television interview; the following morning, in the wake of the election result, I was asked to do radio interviews on some of ABC’s national affiliates.

And here’s the video of the interview with Chris on ABC News (scroll to 7:40 to hear Chris Maginn’s comments)

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