9.00am - 5.00pm


9.00am - 5.00pm


12.00pm - 3.00pm


Katharine of Aragon Festival Lecture: Dr Jonathan Foyle

Peterborough Cathedral
Friday 29 January 2016 19:30 - 21:30

Dr Jonathan Foyle will give an illustrated talk about "The Forgotten Origins of the Tudor Rose", giving examples of the symbolic messages on show at Katharine and Henry's court.

Historian and writer Jonathan Foyle was the presenter of BBC2's “Climbing Great Buildings” series, as well as “Henry VIII: Patron or Plunderer?” for BBC2 and BBC Scotland. He was also a panellist in the Great History Quiz on BBC2 on Christmas Eve 2015. He was a Curator at Hampton Court for eight years and has a reputation as a lively and engaging speaker. His illustrated talk will focus on the origins of the Tudor rose as a symbol.

“As the bride of the first-born Tudor prince (Arthur) and the first queen of Henry VIII, Katharine of Aragon was central to the promotion of royal imagery in the early sixteenth century. The talk will show several examples of symbolic messages in her arts,” says Jonathan.

The talk is based on original research about a much-overlooked aspect of royal iconography: the use of flowers as symbols in the late middle ages. The 'Tudor rose' has been one of Britain’s foremost emblems for half a millennium. But does the later name 'Wars of the Roses' truly reflect York and Lancaster's heraldry as white and red roses? And was the ‘Tudor rose' really a combination of these two heraldic devices to symbolize the united bloodlines of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York from 1486?

This talk answers those questions to completely revise the origin and primary meaning of the ‘Tudor rose'. An understanding of how daisies, marigolds, red and white roses were used to convey the qualities of Christ and the Virgin Mary in the fifteenth century challenges our centuries-old assumptions and throws unexpected new light on the self-identity of the first 'Tudors'.

Jonathan will take questions after his illustrated talk, which will last around 45-50 minutes.

Download a leaflet about this event.

Optional Pre-lecture Supper

6.00pm, A Tudor-style Pottage and Ale Supper, in The Becket Chapel, within the Cathedral Precincts. NOW SOLD OUT

Book Lecture Tickets

The Tudor rose (Lichfield Cathedral)Lecture tickets are £11 (£5.50 for under 18s) including a glass of wine or a soft drink after the talk. The seating is unreserved.

To book phone Oundle Box Office on 01832 274734 or book online via Peterborough Cathedral's page at Oundle Box Office or call at the Peterborough Cathedral Shop or visit the Information Centre on Bridge Street, Peterborough (01733 452336).


These events are part of the Katharine of Aragon Festival weekend