Everybody seemed to think that Geoffrey Blythe was very clever. Certainly he did well at University and had a law degree. Henry Vll sent him on special missions across Europe. You get the idea that Geoffrey could talk himself out of trouble and when your boss was a Tudor you needed to be able to do that.
Henry Vll got to be king by winning a war not by being the son of the last king so there were plenty of people who thought the crown belonged to the De la Pole family who were related to Richard lll and called Yorkists. So Henry Vll was pretty hard on anyone that looked like a threat.
Henry had been fond of Geoffrey’s brother John and after Geoffrey came back from Hungary making a treaty with the Hungarian king, he made him bishop of Litchfield Coventry and Chester. Quite a lot of money for Geoffrey. Nice thing is he got to be bishop of his birthplace too. And he sometimes popped home to buy or sell some land with his brother and sign family documents.
When Henry Vll died and his son Henry came to the throne Geoffrey was obviously as well liked by the son as the father, who gave him the difficult job of looking after the welsh borders and called him well beloved. The borderland was full of troublesome argumentative people. Where Henry Vll had come from. Henry Vll put someone there he obviously trusted and who was good at finding out who was likely to be a threat.
Geoffrey was accused twice of committing treason. Quite possibly because he made a number of enemies as the King’s man. He also wrote a lot of reports about failing monasteries which gave Henry good reasons to close the monasteries. And lastly Geoffrey executed some people called Lollards, a Christian group who believed in reading the bible themselves.
In 1513 he was said to have to have persuaded a dying man to give his money and lands to a friend which should have been the Kings. He was found guilty. Although named as treason generally the consequence was a large fine not a chopped off head. The king doesn’t seem to have minded as Geoffrey continued as his Man in the Welsh Borders for several more years.
In 1523 Geoffrey was thrown into the Tower of London and accused of conspiring with the de la Pole family to overthrow the king.
This was much more serious as the Blythe family had many connections with the De la Poles. Geoffrey’s sister had married the family’s lawyer and his nephew had married a Neville, who were also Yorkists. Geoffrey and John had worked for the Archbishop of York in their younger days.
In 1523 Richard de la Pole made joined with the French king with the idea of invading England and seizing back the crown that had been taken from his uncle Richard lll. Pretty scary times for the Tudors and anyone who the Tudors thought might be friends with the enemy.
No one knows how Geoffrey talked himself out of that tight spot but 6 weeks later he was out of the tower and back working. Richard de la Pole never invaded England as he died fighting alongside the French king.
So Geoffrey was one of the few people who went to the tower and came back without a mark on him.
Bishops have hats called mitres that they wear on special occasions and Geoffrey would have had a mitre but not day to day. Henry Vlll wore all kinds of hats. Even when he went to bed he wore a hat. The reason was that Henry was bald.
Ordinary people often wore wooly knitted hats but their favourite hat often made of woolen cloth is the hat I will show you how to make here.
You will need a tape measure. large piece of cardboard or a large sheet of paper, wool or string, panel pin or drawing pin, marker pen, fabric for the hat, thread and needle (bright coloured thread as well as same colour as fabric) scissors.
First measure round your head.
I drew a circle by holding the wool tight as I drew and it gave me a circle. Then I halved the length of the wool again and drew an inner circle.
Then I cut out the cardboard pattern till it looked like this.
I tried it on my models head to check it would fit. So now we have a hat pattern that we can use over and over again.
Now we need a piece of fabric big enough to draw 3 circles. Then draw 2 circles with an inner circle and 1 circle outside circle only.
So now there are 3 pieces and we need to sew the 2 hoops together along their outside edge outside of the fabric together, So do some big stitches round the outside in a bright thread to hold it all together while you sew.
You could use a sewing machine but I am sewing it by hand using a back stitch. When you have finished that take the circle and use the bright thread and sew big stitches round it and pull on the thread till it is like a wide bag and the gathered bit fits in the middle of the sewn hoops.
When you have stitched it turn it the right way out. and fold over the underside hoop to cover the joins and sew all the way round.
So now you have a Tudor hat. Both men and women wore this kind of hat though women usually wore a white linen cap underneath to keep all their hair covered.