We have chosen the beautiful and historic city of York for the latest in our highly successful series of symposia. The world of the Tudors continues to exert a deep fascination for scholars and history lovers alike. We are delighted to bring together some of the most distinguished historians of the era, all of whom have contributed immensely to our understanding of this beguiling period, through their books, teachings and broadcasts. Their ten talks, focusing predominantly on the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, promise to entertain, enrich and enlighten.
Our venue is the wood-panelled Grand Boardroom of the former offices of the North Eastern Railway, now a five-star hotel – The Grand, York, where participants can also stay.
There is a choice of two hotels, both within the city walls and easy distance from the station and Minster; stay at The Grand, with one dinner, two breakfasts, mid-session refreshments, a drinks reception and a private concert in the Chapter House by members of the Minster Choir included, OR choose a simpler bed & breakfast package at the Park Inn by Radisson nearby, which includes all symposium talks and refreshments, the concert and reception, but no dinner.
Stephen Alford. Professor of Early Modern British history at the University of Leeds and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He has broadcast, lectured and published extensively. Books include The Watchers: A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth and most recently, London’s Triumph: Merchant Adventurers & the Tudor City.
Anna Beer. Author and researcher working in the fields of literature, history, music and creative writing. She is a Visiting Fellow of Kellogg College, University of Oxford where she is a member of the Faculty of English. Her books include Bess: The Life of Lady Ralegh, Wife to Sir Walter and John Milton: Poet, Pamphleteer and Patriot. She is currently working on a life of William Shakespeare due to be published in late 2021.
Tracy Borman. Author and broadcaster, Chief Executive of the Heritage Education Trust and joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces. Her books include Elizabeth’s Women; Thomas Cromwell: the untold story of Henry VIII’s most faithful servant; The Private Lives of the Tudors and most recently Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him.
John Bryan. Emeritus professor of Music at the University of Huddersfield and a member of the Rose Consort of Viols. He is founder of the North East Early Music Forum, artistic adviser to York Early Music Festival and a contributor on BBC Radio 3. He is the author of Early English Viols: Instruments, Makers & Music (Routledge).
John Guy. Fellow of History at Clare College, Cambridge, he specialises in English history during the Tudors and is well-known for his books and broadcasts on the subject. He won the 2004 Whitbread Prize for his biography of Mary Queen of Scots, which was made into a major film. His latest book is an acclaimed biography of Sir Thomas Gresham.
Suzannah Lipscomb. Professor of History at the University of Roehampton, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, author and broadcaster. She has written and presented 18 historical documentary series. Her books include The Voices of Nîmes: Women, Sex, and Marriage in Reformation Languedoc; The King is Dead: The Last Will and Testament of Henry VIII; and 1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII.
Glenn Richardson. Professor of Early Modern History at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. He has written widely on Tudor England’s political and cultural relations with Continental Europe and on Renaissance monarchy. His most recent books are The Field of Cloth of Gold (2013) and his new biography on Cardinal Wolsey (2020).
Wednesday 6 October
Session 1: 3pm–6pm
Thomas Cromwell: the rise and fall of Henry VIII’s most faithful servant
Henry VIII, Holbein and the Tudor Court
Field of Cloth of Gold, the quest for ‘Universal Peace’?
Wine and soft drinks are served immediately after the session.
Thursday 7 October
Session 2: 9.30am–1pm
Wolsey – The Last Cardinal-Archbishop of York
Encountering Elizabethan London: from Paul’s Churchyard to the Royal Exchange
Elizabeth and Mary: Two Queens in One Isle
‘Our Phoenix, M. William Byrd’: a Catholic composer in Tudor England
Chapter House, York Minster
A wine reception is followed by a private concert performed by members of the Minster Choir.
Friday 8 October
Session 3: 9.30am–12.30pm
Shakespeare’s Women: Facts and Fictions
Anthony Jenkinson in Russia and Persia
Professor John Bryan
Emeritus professor of Music at the University of Huddersfield, and a practising musician, he is a member of the Rose Consort of Viols and has performed with Musica Antiqua. An artistic adviser to York Early Music Festival, he founded the North East Early Music Forum, is chair of the Viola da Gamba Society and has been guest conductor of York Opera and The Academy of St Olave's. His book Early English Viols: Instruments, Makers and Music was published by Routledge in 2016. He has lectured on several previous Martin Randall Festivals.
The Grand Hotel, York
Station Rise, North Yorkshire, YO1 6GD
Tel: 01904 890731
An award-winning five-star hotel, out of earshot but just five minutes (0.4 miles) walk from York station. Originally built in 1906 as a ‘Palace Of Business’ for the North Eastern Railway Company, the hotel retains many of its Edwardian features. The symposium takes place in the former Grand Boardroom. Bedrooms are well furnished, spacious and comfortable – bathrooms are sizeable; most have showers over baths. There is a spa and indoor pool. Some car parking is available.
Park Inn by Radisson, York
North Street, York Y01 6JF
Tel: 01904 459988
A short walk on from the Grand, and 0.8 miles from the Station, this seven-storey 1960s hotel is situated on the banks of the River Ouse. Interiors are contemporary, bright and functional. Rooms are small but comfortable, there are basic amenities and showers rather than baths. There is space for some car parking beneath the hotel and an NCP carpark nearby.
The Grand Hotel
Included: room and breakfast for two nights; admission to all talks; refreshments at the symposium; drinks after Session 1; dinner in the hotel on Wednesday 6th; entry to the private concert and reception in York Minster on Thursday 7th.
Prices, per person: Standard double/twin (two sharing): £850; Double room for single occupancy: £990.
Park Inn by Radisson
(does not include dinner)
Included: room and breakfast for two nights; admission to all talks, refreshments at the symposium; drinks after Session 1; entry to the private concert and reception in York Minster on Thursday 7th.
Prices, per person: Standard double/twin (two sharing): £610; Double room for single occupancy: £680.
Upgrading or extending your stay
Please contact us should you wish to upgrade at The Grand, or to an Executive Room at Park Inn by Radisson with a river or Minster view.
We can also quote for extra nights either side of the symposium.