Primary Sources

Primary Sources are crucial documents when it comes to researching a period of history because they were produced or created during the time under study. They can include artifacts, official records, speeches, journals and letters and offer us valuable insight into the past.

When it comes to researching the Tudors, there are countless books available on every topic imaginable. Rather than always referring to secondary sources, it’s a good idea to refer to the primary source wherever possible.

This has become a lot easier now that so many are available online. I have linked to over 20 primary sources related to the Tudors that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.  This is a work in progress and I will add new links as I come across useful sources. Feel free to contact me if you have a suggestion.

Love Letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn

Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts in the Archives and Collections of Milan – 1385-1618


Calendars of State Papers and Manuscripts relating to English affairs in the archives of Venice


Hall’s chronicle : containing the history of England, during the reign of Henry the Fourth, and the succeeding monarchs, to the end of the reign of Henry the Eighth, in which are particularly described the manners and customs of those periods. Carefully collated with the editions of 1548 and 1550 (1809).


Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII


The Privy Purse Expenses of Henry VIII

Privy Purse Expenses of the Princess Mary, After Queen Mary I

The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth I (Volume 1)

The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth I (Volume 2)

Queen Elizabeth and Her Times: A series of original letters (Volume 1 & 2)

Volume 1

Volume 2

Original Letters, illustrative of English History, ed. Sir Henry Ellis (Series 1, Volume 1-3)




Original Letters, illustrative of English History, ed. Sir Henry Ellis (Series 2, Volume 1-3)

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Original Letters, illustrative of English History, ed. Sir Henry Ellis (Series 3, Volume 1-4)



Volume 3


British History Online has put together a list of primary sources related to the reign of various Tudor monarchs:

King Henry VIII


Topics: Marriage to Catherine of Aragon, Field of Cloth of Gold, Defender of the Faith, Anne Boleyn, Thomas Moore and Pilgrimage of Grace.

Edward VI


Duke of Northumberland (1551), Lord Protector Somerset and Jane Seymour.

Mary I


Latimer and Ridley, Sir Thomas Wyatt and Philip of Spain.

Elizabeth I


Ridolfi Plot, Francis Drake, Mary Queen of Scots and Spanish Armada

Access a list of all primary sources available on British History Online, covering the sixteenth century here.



  1. Thomas Rutledge says:

    Off topic, but I’m curious as to whether anyone has either a mailing or an e-mail address for either Professor Scarisbrick or for G.J. Meyer. If you do and are able to share, I can be reached at terutledge@gmail.com.

  2. Hani abdihakim says:

    What archives in london is suitable for finding various tudor sources. Perhaps letters from richard III to anne neville or letters written by women?

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