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  1. Margaret Tudor has intrigued me for a number of years. I often feel that Henry’s sisters tend to be forgotten about in favour of their far more controversial brother and his multitude of wives. And yet both women were themselves controversial at the time. While they didn’t quite reach the dizzying heights of six spouses, they did both marry several times each. And although Mary, Henry’s youngest sister, died quite young, Margaret lived in to her early fifties and was also the mother of a future King. It was through her that King James VI of Scotland was able to claim the English throne.

  2. If you’ve ever spent an afternoon walking around a National Trust property (or even worked for them, as I used to do) then you’ll probably hear a volunteer talking about the previous owners. Most country houses have had a famous or infamous occupant, or a relation of a famous individual, at some point in their history. Although the National Trust is doing it’s best to ensure more women are visible in their house histories, it’s a long process to research And that’s just the National Trust! There are still plenty of country houses that are privately owned and are opened to the public by the family, or owned by charitable trusts dedicated to the preservation of a particular property.

  3. “Let not poor Nellie starve”.

    This is reported to be one of the last requests that King Charles II made to his brother James shortly before his death. Charles had had multiple mistresses during his life, and Eleanor “Nell” Gwyn was just one of several long-term favourites. But unlike her contemporaries, who had powerful families and connections to protect them after his death, Nell was a commoner who could easily be dropped by her supporters, thus the request that his brother help her after he was gone.