Tudor dynasty

Tudor dynasty

Overview
The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor was a European royal house
Royal House
A royal house or royal dynasty consists of at least one, but usually more monarchs who are related to one another, as well as their non-reigning descendants and spouses. Monarchs of the same realm who are not related to one another are usually deemed to belong to different houses, and each house is...

 of Welsh
Welsh people
The Welsh people are an ethnic group and nation associated with Wales and the Welsh language.John Davies argues that the origin of the "Welsh nation" can be traced to the late 4th and early 5th centuries, following the Roman departure from Britain, although Brythonic Celtic languages seem to have...

 origin that ruled the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 and its realms, including the Lordship of Ireland
Lordship of Ireland
The Lordship of Ireland refers to that part of Ireland that was under the rule of the king of England, styled Lord of Ireland, between 1177 and 1541. It was created in the wake of the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169–71 and was succeeded by the Kingdom of Ireland...

, later the Kingdom of Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

, from 1485 until 1603. Its first monarch was Henry Tudor
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

, a descendant through his mother of a legitimised branch of the English royal House of Lancaster
House of Lancaster
The House of Lancaster was a branch of the royal House of Plantagenet. It was one of the opposing factions involved in the Wars of the Roses, an intermittent civil war which affected England and Wales during the 15th century...

. The Tudor family rose to power in the wake of the Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York...

, which left the House of Lancaster, to which the Tudors were aligned, extinct.

Henry Tudor was able to establish himself as a candidate not only of the traditional Lancastrian supporters, but of discontented supporters of the rival House of York
House of York
The House of York was a branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet, three members of which became English kings in the late 15th century. The House of York was descended in the paternal line from Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, but also represented...

, and rose to capture the throne in battle, becoming Henry VII
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Tudor dynasty'
Start a new discussion about 'Tudor dynasty'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia
The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor was a European royal house
Royal House
A royal house or royal dynasty consists of at least one, but usually more monarchs who are related to one another, as well as their non-reigning descendants and spouses. Monarchs of the same realm who are not related to one another are usually deemed to belong to different houses, and each house is...

 of Welsh
Welsh people
The Welsh people are an ethnic group and nation associated with Wales and the Welsh language.John Davies argues that the origin of the "Welsh nation" can be traced to the late 4th and early 5th centuries, following the Roman departure from Britain, although Brythonic Celtic languages seem to have...

 origin that ruled the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 and its realms, including the Lordship of Ireland
Lordship of Ireland
The Lordship of Ireland refers to that part of Ireland that was under the rule of the king of England, styled Lord of Ireland, between 1177 and 1541. It was created in the wake of the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169–71 and was succeeded by the Kingdom of Ireland...

, later the Kingdom of Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

, from 1485 until 1603. Its first monarch was Henry Tudor
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

, a descendant through his mother of a legitimised branch of the English royal House of Lancaster
House of Lancaster
The House of Lancaster was a branch of the royal House of Plantagenet. It was one of the opposing factions involved in the Wars of the Roses, an intermittent civil war which affected England and Wales during the 15th century...

. The Tudor family rose to power in the wake of the Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York...

, which left the House of Lancaster, to which the Tudors were aligned, extinct.

Henry Tudor was able to establish himself as a candidate not only of the traditional Lancastrian supporters, but of discontented supporters of the rival House of York
House of York
The House of York was a branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet, three members of which became English kings in the late 15th century. The House of York was descended in the paternal line from Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, but also represented...

, and rose to capture the throne in battle, becoming Henry VII
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

. His victory was reinforced by his marriage to Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York was Queen consort of England as spouse of King Henry VII from 1486 until 1503, and mother of King Henry VIII of England....

, symbolically uniting the former warring factions under a new dynasty. The Tudors extended their power beyond modern England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, achieving the full union of England and the Principality of Wales
Principality of Wales
The Principality of Wales existed between 1216 and 1542, encompassing two-thirds of modern Wales.It was formally founded in 1216 at the Council of Aberdyfi, and later recognised by the 1218 Treaty of Worcester between Llywelyn the Great of Wales and Henry III of England...

 in 1542, (Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542); and successfully asserting English authority over the Kingdom of Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

. They also maintained the traditional (i.e. nominal) claims to the Kingdom of France
Kingdom of France
The Kingdom of France was one of the most powerful states to exist in Europe during the second millennium.It originated from the Western portion of the Frankish empire, and consolidated significant power and influence over the next thousand years. Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King, developed a...

, but none of them tried to make substance of it, though Henry VIII fought wars with France to try to reclaim that title. After him, his daughter Mary I
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

 lost the claim on France forever with the Fall of Calais
Pale of Calais
The Pale of Calais is a historical region of France that was controlled by the Kingdom of England until 1558.- History :After the Battle of Crécy in 1346, Edward III of England, having renounced the throne of France, kept some territory within France, namely Aquitaine and the area around Calais,...

.

In total, five Tudor monarchs ruled their domains for just over a century. Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 was the only male-line male heir of Henry VII to live to the age of majority. Issues around the Royal succession (including marriage, divorce, and the succession rights of women) became major political themes during the Tudor era.

The Tudor line failed in 1603 with the death of Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

, who died without any children to succeed her. Through secret negotiations with her cousin James, King of Scotland (whose great-grandmother was Henry VIII's elder sister, Margaret), Elizabeth arranged the succession of the House of Stuart
House of Stuart
The House of Stuart is a European royal house. Founded by Robert II of Scotland, the Stewarts first became monarchs of the Kingdom of Scotland during the late 14th century, and subsequently held the position of the Kings of Great Britain and Ireland...

 to the English throne, uniting the Kingdoms of England and Scotland in a personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

.

Ascent to the throne



The Tudors descended on Henry VII's mother's side from John Beaufort, one of the illegitimate children of the 14th century English Prince John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster
John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster
John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster , KG was a member of the House of Plantagenet, the third surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault...

 (the third surviving son of Edward III of England
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

) by Gaunt's long-term mistress Katherine Swynford
Katherine Swynford
Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster , née Roet , was the daughter of Sir Payne Roet , originally a Flemish herald from County of Hainaut, later...

. The descendants of an illegitimate child of English Royalty would normally have no claim on the throne, but the situation was complicated when Gaunt and Swynford eventually married in 1396, when John Beaufort was 25. The church retroactively declared the Beauforts legitimate by way of a papal bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 the same year, confirmed by an Act of Parliament
Act of Parliament
An Act of Parliament is a statute enacted as primary legislation by a national or sub-national parliament. In the Republic of Ireland the term Act of the Oireachtas is used, and in the United States the term Act of Congress is used.In Commonwealth countries, the term is used both in a narrow...

 in 1397. A subsequent proclamation by John of Gaunt's legitimate son, King Henry IV
Henry IV of England
Henry IV was King of England and Lord of Ireland . He was the ninth King of England of the House of Plantagenet and also asserted his grandfather's claim to the title King of France. He was born at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire, hence his other name, Henry Bolingbroke...

, also recognised the Beauforts' legitimacy, but declared them ineligible ever to inherit the throne. Nevertheless, the Beauforts remained closely allied with Gaunt's legitimate descendants from his first marriage, the Royal House of Lancaster
House of Lancaster
The House of Lancaster was a branch of the royal House of Plantagenet. It was one of the opposing factions involved in the Wars of the Roses, an intermittent civil war which affected England and Wales during the 15th century...

.

John Beaufort's granddaughter Lady Margaret Beaufort, a considerable heiress, was married to Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond
Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond
Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond , also known as Edmund of Hadham , was the father of King Henry VII of England and a member of the Tudor family of Penmynydd, North Wales.-Birth and early life:...

. Tudor was the son of Welsh courtier Owain Tewdr (anglicised to "Owen Tudor
Owen Tudor
Sir Owen Meredith Tudor was a Welsh soldier and courtier, descended from a daughter of the Welsh prince Rhys ap Gruffudd, "Lord Rhys". However, Owen Tudor is particularly remembered for his role in founding England's Tudor dynasty – including his relationship with, and probable secret marriage to,...

") and Katherine of Valois, widowed Queen Consort of the Lancastrian King Henry V
Henry V of England
Henry V was King of England from 1413 until his death at the age of 35 in 1422. He was the second monarch belonging to the House of Lancaster....

. Edmund Tudor and his siblings were either illegitimate, or the product of a secret marriage, and owed their fortunes to the good will of their legitimate half-brother King Henry VI
Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, known as the Wars...

.

Henry VII



Edmund's son Henry Tudor
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

, born in Pembroke, grew up in south Wales and in exile in Brittany
Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

, while his mother Lady Margaret remained in England and remarried, quietly advancing the cause of her son in a Kingdom now ruled by the rival House of York
House of York
The House of York was a branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet, three members of which became English kings in the late 15th century. The House of York was descended in the paternal line from Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, but also represented...

. With most of the House of Lancaster now dead, Henry proclaimed himself the Lancastrian heir. Capitalising on the unpopularity of King Richard III
Richard III of England
Richard III was King of England for two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485 during the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty...

, his mother was able to forge an alliance with discontented Yorkists in support of her son, who landed in England and defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field
Battle of Bosworth Field
The Battle of Bosworth Field was the penultimate battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century. Fought on 22 August 1485, the battle was won by the Lancastrians...

 in 1485, proclaiming himself King Henry VII. By marrying Richard III's niece, Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York was Queen consort of England as spouse of King Henry VII from 1486 until 1503, and mother of King Henry VIII of England....

, Henry VII successfully bolstered his own disputed claim to the throne, whilst moving to end the Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York...

 by presenting England with a new dynasty, of both Lancastrian and Yorkist descent. The new dynasty was symbolised by the "Tudor Rose
Tudor rose
The Tudor Rose is the traditional floral heraldic emblem of England and takes its name and origins from the Tudor dynasty.-Origins:...

", a fusion of the White Rose symbol of the House of York, and the Red Rose of the House of Lancaster.

Henry VII
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

 and Queen Elizabeth
Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York was Queen consort of England as spouse of King Henry VII from 1486 until 1503, and mother of King Henry VIII of England....

 had several children, four of which survived infancy: Arthur, Prince of Wales
Arthur, Prince of Wales
Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales was the first son of King Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, and therefore, heir to the throne of England. As he predeceased his father, Arthur never became king...

, Henry, Duke of Richmond
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

, Margaret
Margaret Tudor
Margaret Tudor was the elder of the two surviving daughters of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, and the elder sister of Henry VIII. In 1503, she married James IV, King of Scots. James died in 1513, and their son became King James V. She married secondly Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of...

, who married James IV of Scotland
James IV of Scotland
James IV was King of Scots from 11 June 1488 to his death. He is generally regarded as the most successful of the Stewart monarchs of Scotland, but his reign ended with the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Flodden Field, where he became the last monarch from not only Scotland, but also from all...

, and Mary
Mary Tudor (queen consort of France)
Mary Tudor was the younger sister of King Henry VIII of England and queen consort of France through her marriage to Louis XII. The latter was more than 30 years her senior. Following his death, which occurred less than two months after her coronation as his third wife, she married Charles Brandon,...

, who married Louis XII of France
Louis XII of France
Louis proved to be a popular king. At the end of his reign the crown deficit was no greater than it had been when he succeeded Charles VIII in 1498, despite several expensive military campaigns in Italy. His fiscal reforms of 1504 and 1508 tightened and improved procedures for the collection of taxes...

. One of the objectives of Henry VII's foreign policy was dynastic security, which is portrayed through the alliance forged with the marriage of his daughter Margaret to James IV of Scotland and through the marriage of his eldest son. Henry VII married his son Arthur to Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon , also known as Katherine or Katharine, was Queen consort of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and Princess of Wales as the wife to Arthur, Prince of Wales...

, cementing an alliance with the Spanish monarchs, Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

 and Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I was Queen of Castile and León. She and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon brought stability to both kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain. Later the two laid the foundations for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor...

, and the two spent their honeymoon at Ludlow Castle
Ludlow Castle
Ludlow Castle is a large, partly ruined, non-inhabited castle which dominates the town of Ludlow in Shropshire, England. It stands on a high point overlooking the River Teme...

, the traditional seat of the Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

. However, four months after the marriage, Arthur died, leaving his younger brother Henry
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 as heir apparent. Henry VII acquired a Papal dispensation
Papal dispensation
Papal dispensation is a reserved right of the Pope that allows for individuals to be exempted from a specific Canon Law. Dispensations are divided into two categories: general, and matrimonial. Matrimonial dispensations can be either to allow a marriage in the first place, or to dissolve one...

 allowing Prince Henry to marry Arthur's widow; however, Henry VII delayed the marrige. Henry VII limited his involvement in European politics. He only went to war twice, once in 1489 during the Breton crisis and the invasion of Brittany, and in 1496–1497 in revenge for Scottish support of Perkin Warbeck
Perkin Warbeck
Perkin Warbeck was a pretender to the English throne during the reign of King Henry VII of England. By claiming to be Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York, the younger son of King Edward IV, one of the Princes in the Tower, Warbeck was a significant threat to the newly established Tudor Dynasty,...

 and for their invasion of Northern England. Henry VII made peace with France in 1492 and the war against Scotland was abandoned because of the Western Rebellion of 1497. Henry VII came to peace with James IV in 1502, paving the way for the marriage of his daughter Margaret.

One of the main concerns of Henry VII during his reign was the re-accumulation of the funds in the royal treasury. England had never been one of the wealthier European countries, and after the War of the Roses this was even more true. Through his strict monetary strategy, he was able to leave a considerable amount of money in the Treasury for his son and successor, Henry VIII. Although it is debated whether Henry VII was a great king, he certainly was a successful one if only because he restored the nation's finances, strengthened the judicial system and successfully denied all other claimants to the throne, thus further securing it for his heir.

Henry VIII



The new King Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 married Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon , also known as Katherine or Katharine, was Queen consort of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and Princess of Wales as the wife to Arthur, Prince of Wales...

 on 11 June 1509; they were crowned at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 on 24 June the same year. Catherine was Henry's older brother's wife, making the path for their marriage a rocky one from the start. A papal dispensation had to be granted for Henry to be able to marry Catherine, and the negotiations took some time. Despite the fact that Henry's father died before he was married to Catherine, he was determined to marry her anyway and make sure that everyone knew he intended on being his own master. When Henry first came to the throne, he had very little interest in actually ruling; rather, he preferred to indulge in luxuries and to partake in sports. He let others control the kingdom for the first two years of his reign, and then when he became more interested in military strategy, he took more interest in ruling his own throne. In his younger years, Henry was described as a man of gentle friendliness, gentle in debate, and who acted as more of a companion than a king. He was generous in his gifts and affection and was said to be easy to get along with. However, the Henry that many people picture when they hear his name is the Henry of his later years, when he became grotesquely fat, became very irritable, and was known for his great cruelty. Unfortunately, Catherine did not bear Henry the sons he was desperate for; Catherine's first child, a daughter, was stillborn, and her second child, a son named Henry, Duke of Cornwall
Henry, Duke of Cornwall
Henry, Duke of Cornwall was the name of two sons of King Henry VIII of England and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Henry and Catherine had five children, but only Princess Mary survived infancy.-The first Henry, Duke of Cornwall:...

, died 52 days after the birth. A further set of stillborn children were conceived, until a daughter Mary
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

 was born in 1516. When it became clear to Henry that the Tudor dynasty was at risk, he consulted his chief minister Cardinal
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

 Thomas Wolsey about the possibility of divorcing Catherine. Along with Henry's concern that he would not have an heir, it was also obvious to his court that he was becoming tired of his ageing wife, who was much older than him. Wolsey visited Rome, where he hoped to get the Pope's consent for a divorce. However, the church was reluctant to rescind the earlier papal dispensation and felt heavy pressure from Catherine's nephew, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

, in support of his aunt. Catherine contested the divorce, and a protracted legal battle followed. Wolsey fell from favour as a result of his failure to procure a divorce, and Henry appointed Thomas Cromwell
Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex
Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, , was an English statesman who served as chief minister of King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540....

 in his place. Despite his failure to produce the results that Henry wanted, there is little doubt that Wolsey was in support of the divorce; however, he never planned that Henry would marry a Boleyn. It is unclear how far Wolsey was actually responsible for the Reformation, but it is very clear that Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn ;c.1501/1507 – 19 May 1536) was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of Henry VIII of England and Marquess of Pembroke in her own right. Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the...

 precipitated the schism of the church. Henry's concern about having an heir to secure his family line and increase his security while alive would have prompted him to ask for a divorce sooner or later, whether Anne had precipitated it or not. Only Wolsey's sudden death on his journey to the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

 saved him from the public humiliation and inevitable execution he would have suffered upon his arrival at the Tower.

Break with Roman Catholicism



In order to allow Henry to divorce his wife, the English parliament enacted laws breaking ties with Rome, and declaring the king Supreme Governor of the Church of England
Supreme Governor of the Church of England
The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is a title held by the British monarchs which signifies their titular leadership over the Church of England. Although the monarch's authority over the Church of England is not strong, the position is still very relevant to the church and is mostly...

, thus severing the ecclesiastical structure of England from the Catholic Church and the Pope. The newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

, Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cranmer was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and, for a short time, Mary I. He helped build a favourable case for Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon which resulted in the separation of the English Church from...

, was then able to declare Henry's marriage to Catherine annulled
Annulment
Annulment is a legal procedure for declaring a marriage null and void. Unlike divorce, it is usually retroactive, meaning that an annulled marriage is considered to be invalid from the beginning almost as if it had never taken place...

. Catherine was removed from Court where she spent the last three years of her life in exile. This allowed Henry to marry one of his courtiers Anne Boleyn, the daughter of a minor diplomat Sir Thomas Boleyn. Anne had become pregnant by the end of 1532 and gave birth on 7 September of 1533 to Elizabeth
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 named in honour of Henry's mother. Anne may have had later pregnancies which ended in miscarriage or stillbirth. Thomas Cromwell
Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex
Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, , was an English statesman who served as chief minister of King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540....

 stepped in again, claiming that Anne had taken lovers during her marriage to Henry, and she was tried for high treason
High treason
High treason is criminal disloyalty to one's government. Participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplomats, or its secret services for a hostile and foreign power, or attempting to kill its head of state are perhaps...

, witchcraft
Witchcraft
Witchcraft, in historical, anthropological, religious, and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers. A witch is a practitioner of witchcraft...

 and incest
Incest
Incest is sexual intercourse between close relatives that is usually illegal in the jurisdiction where it takes place and/or is conventionally considered a taboo. The term may apply to sexual activities between: individuals of close "blood relationship"; members of the same household; step...

; these charges were most likely fabricated, but she was found guilty, and executed in 1536.


Protestant alliance


Henry married again, for the third time, to Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour was Queen of England as the third wife of King Henry VIII. She succeeded Anne Boleyn as queen consort following the latter's execution for trumped up charges of high treason, incest and adultery in May 1536. She died of postnatal complications less than two weeks after the birth of...

, the daughter of a Wiltshire knight. Jane became pregnant, and in 1537 produced a son, who became King Edward VI
Edward VI of England
Edward VI was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant...

 following Henry's death in 1547. Jane died of puerperal fever
Puerperal fever
Puerperal fever or childbed fever, is a bacterial infection contracted by women during childbirth or miscarriage. It can develop into puerperal sepsis, which is a serious form of septicaemia. If untreated, it is often fatal....

 only a few days after the birth, leaving Henry devastated. Cromwell continued to gain the king's favour when he designed and pushed through the Laws in Wales Acts
Laws in Wales Acts 1535-1542
The Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542 were parliamentary measures by which the legal system of Wales was annexed to England and the norms of English administration introduced. The intention was to create a single state and a single legal jurisdiction; frequently referred to as England and Wales...

, uniting England and Wales.

Henry married for the fourth time to the daughter of a Protestant German duke, Anne of Cleves
Anne of Cleves
Anne of Cleves was a German noblewoman and the fourth wife of Henry VIII of England and as such she was Queen of England from 6 January 1540 to 9 July 1540. The marriage was never consummated, and she was not crowned queen consort...

, thus forming an alliance with the Protestant German states. Henry was reluctant to marry again, especially to a Protestant, but he was persuaded when the court painter Hans Holbein the Younger
Hans Holbein the Younger
Hans Holbein the Younger was a German artist and printmaker who worked in a Northern Renaissance style. He is best known as one of the greatest portraitists of the 16th century. He also produced religious art, satire and Reformation propaganda, and made a significant contribution to the history...

 showed him a flattering portrait of her. She arrived in England in December 1539, and Henry rode to Rochester to meet her on 1 January 1540. Although the historian Gilbert Burnet
Gilbert Burnet
Gilbert Burnet was a Scottish theologian and historian, and Bishop of Salisbury. He was fluent in Dutch, French, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Burnet was respected as a cleric, a preacher, and an academic, as well as a writer and historian...

 claimed that Henry called her a Flanders Mare, there is no evidence that he said this; in truth, court ambassadors negotiating the marriage praised her beauty. Whatever the circumstances were, the marriage failed, and Anne agreed to a peaceful annulment, assumed the title My Lady, the King's Sister, and received a massive divorce settlement, which included Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace was a Thameside royal residence on the right bank of the river, upstream of the Palace of Westminster, to which it lay 9 miles SW of as the crow flies. It it was erected c. 1501 within the royal manor of Sheen, by Henry VII of England, formerly known by his title Earl of Richmond,...

, Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle is located in the village of Hever near Edenbridge, Kent, south-east of London, England. It began as a country house, built in the 13th century...

, and numerous other estates across the country. Although the marriage made sense in terms of foreign policy, Henry was still enraged and offended by the match. Henry chose to blame Cromwell for the failed marriage, and ordered him beheaded on 28 July 1540. Henry kept his word and took care of Anne in his last years alive; however, after his death Anne suffered from extreme financial hardship because Edward VI's councillors refused to give her any funds and confiscated the homes she had been given. She pleaded to her brother to let her return home, but he only sent a few agents who tried to assist in helping her situation and refused to let her return home. Anne died on 16 July 1557 in Chelsea Manor
Chelsea Manor
Chelsea Manor, is a former royal residence acquired by Henry VIII of England in 1536. It was home to Elizabeth I of England, as Princess, between 1536 and 1548, and then to Anne of Cleves, who died there in 1557. Other famous owners included James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton, Charles Cheyne,...

.

The fifth marriage was to the Catholic Catherine Howard
Catherine Howard
Catherine Howard , also spelled Katherine, Katheryn or Kathryn, was the fifth wife of Henry VIII of England, and sometimes known by his reference to her as his "rose without a thorn"....

, a cousin of Thomas Howard
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, KG, Earl Marshal was a prominent Tudor politician. He was uncle to Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, two of the wives of King Henry VIII, and played a major role in the machinations behind these marriages...

, the third Duke of Norfolk
Duke of Norfolk
The Duke of Norfolk is the premier duke in the peerage of England, and also, as Earl of Arundel, the premier earl. The Duke of Norfolk is, moreover, the Earl Marshal and hereditary Marshal of England. The seat of the Duke of Norfolk is Arundel Castle in Sussex, although the title refers to the...

, who was promoted by Norfolk in the hope that she would persuade Henry to restore the Catholic religion in England. Henry called her his “rose without a thorn”, but the marriage ended in failure. Henry's fancy with Catherine started before the end of his marriage with Anne when she was still a member of Anne's court. Catherine was young and vivacious, but Henry's age made him less inclined to use Catherine in the bedroom; rather, he preferred to admire her, which Catherine soon grew tired of. Catherine, forced into a marriage to an unattractive, obese man over 30 years her senior, had never wanted to marry Henry, and conducted an affair with the King's favourite, Thomas Culpeper
Thomas Culpeper
Sir Thomas Culpeper was a courtier of Henry VIII and the lover of Henry's fifth queen, Catherine Howard. He was born to Alexander Culpeper of Bedgebury, to the south of Maidstone in Kent, and his second wife, Constance Harper. He was the middle child and his older brother, also named Thomas, was a...

, while Henry and she were married. During her questioning, Catherine first denied everything but eventually she was broken down and told of her infidelity and her pre-nuptial relations with other men. Henry, first enraged, threatened to torture her to death but later became overcome with grief and self-pity. She was accused of treason and was executed on 13 February 1542, destroying the English Catholic holdouts' hopes of a national reconciliation with the Catholic Church. Her execution also marked the end of the Howard Family's power within the court.

By the time Henry conducted another Protestant marriage with his final wife Catherine Parr
Catherine Parr
Catherine Parr ; 1512 – 5 September 1548) was Queen consort of England and Ireland and the last of the six wives of King Henry VIII of England. She married Henry VIII on 12 July 1543. She was the fourth commoner Henry had taken as his consort, and outlived him...

 in 1543, the old Roman Catholic advisers, including the powerful third Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, KG, Earl Marshal was a prominent Tudor politician. He was uncle to Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, two of the wives of King Henry VIII, and played a major role in the machinations behind these marriages...

 had lost all their power and influence. The duke himself was still a committed Catholic, and he was nearly persuaded to arrest Catherine for preaching Lutheran doctrines to Henry while she attended his ill health. However, she managed to reconcile with the King after vowing that she had only argued about religion with him to take his mind off the suffering caused by his ulcerous leg. Her peacemaking also helped reconcile Henry with his daughters Mary and Elizabeth and fostered a good relationship between her and the crown prince.

Meanwhile, Edward
Edward VI of England
Edward VI was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant...

 was brought up a strict and devout Protestant by numerous tutors, including Bishop Richard Cox
Richard Cox (bishop)
Richard Cox was an English clergyman, who was Dean of Westminster and Bishop of Ely.-Biography:Cox was born of obscure parentage at Whaddon, Buckinghamshire, in 1499 or 1500....

, John Belmain
Jean Belmain
Jean Belmain, also John Belmain was a French Huguenot scholar who served as a French-language teacher to future English monarchs King Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth I at the court of their father, Henry VIII....

, and Sir John Cheke
John Cheke
Sir John Cheke was an English classical scholar and statesman, notable as the first Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridge University....

. The lady in charge of his upbringing was Blanche Herbert Lady Troy
Lady Troy
Blanche Herbert, Lady Troy, was the Lady Mistress in charge of the upbringing of Queen Elizabeth I, Edward VI and also of Queen Mary when she lived with the younger Tudor children...

, whose ancestors had residual Lollard connections. Her elegy includes the lines: ...To King Edward she was a true – (And) wise lady of dignity, – In charge of his fosterage (she was pre-eminent)....

Edward VI: Protestant Extremity


After Henry led troops during the Siege of Boulogne in 1544–an attempt to take French territory for England–he died on 28 January 1547. His will
Will (law)
A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his/her property at death...

 had reinstated his daughters by his annulled marriages to Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon , also known as Katherine or Katharine, was Queen consort of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and Princess of Wales as the wife to Arthur, Prince of Wales...

 and Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn ;c.1501/1507 – 19 May 1536) was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of Henry VIII of England and Marquess of Pembroke in her own right. Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the...

 to the line of succession
Line of succession to the British Throne
The line of succession to the British throne is the ordered sequence of those people eligible to succeed to the throne of the United Kingdom and the other 15 Commonwealth realms. By the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701, the succession is limited to the descendants of the Electress Sophia of...

, but did not legitimise them. (Because his marriages had been annulled, they legally never occurred, so his children by those marriages were illegitimate.) In the event that all 3 of his children died without heir, the will stipulated that the descendant of his younger sister Mary would take precedence over the descendants of his elder sister, Margaret, Queen of Scotland. Edward, his nine-year old son by Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour was Queen of England as the third wife of King Henry VIII. She succeeded Anne Boleyn as queen consort following the latter's execution for trumped up charges of high treason, incest and adultery in May 1536. She died of postnatal complications less than two weeks after the birth of...

, succeeded as Edward VI of England
Edward VI of England
Edward VI was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant...

. Unfortunately, the young King's kingdom was usually in turmoil between nobles who were trying to strengthen their own position in the kingdom by using the Regency in their favour.


Duke of Somerset's England


Although Henry had specified a group of men to act as regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

s during Edward's minority, Edward Seymour
Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset
Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, 1st Earl of Hertford, 1st Viscount Beauchamp of Hache, KG, Earl Marshal was Lord Protector of England in the period between the death of Henry VIII in 1547 and his own indictment in 1549....

, Edward's uncle, quickly seized complete control, and created himself Duke of Somerset
Duke of Somerset
Duke of Somerset is a title in the peerage of England that has been created several times. Derived from Somerset, it is particularly associated with two families; the Beauforts who held the title from the creation of 1448 and the Seymours, from the creation of 1547 and in whose name the title is...

 on 15 February 1547. His domination of the Privy Council
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

, the king's most senior body of advisers, was unchallenged. Somerset aimed to unite England and Scotland by marrying Edward to the young Scottish queen Mary, and aimed to forcibly impose the English Reformation
English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

 on the Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

. Somerset led a large and well equipped army to Scotland, where he and the Scottish regent James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran
James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran
James Hamilton, Duke of Châtellerault and 2nd Earl of Arran was a Scottish nobleman.-Biography:He was the eldest legitimate son of James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Arran....

, commanded their armies at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh
Battle of Pinkie Cleugh
The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, on the banks of the River Esk near Musselburgh, Scotland on 10 September 1547, was part of the War of the Rough Wooing. It was the last pitched battle between Scottish and English armies, and is seen as the first modern battle in the British Isles...

 on 10 September 1547. Somerset's army eventually defeated the Scots, but the young Queen Mary was smuggled to France, where she was betrothed to the Dauphin, the future Francis II of France
Francis II of France
Francis II was aged 15 when he succeeded to the throne of France after the accidental death of his father, King Henry II, in 1559. He reigned for 18 months before he died in December 1560...

. Despite Somerset's disappointment that no Scottish marriage would take place, his victory at Pinkie Cleugh made his position appear unassailable.

Meanwhile, Edward VI, despite the fact that he was only a child of nine, had his mind set on religious reform. In 1549, Edward ordered the publication of the Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

, containing the forms of worship for daily and Sunday church services. The controversial new book was not welcomed by either reformers or Catholic conservatives; and it was especially condemned in Devon
Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

 and Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, where traditional Catholic loyalty was at its strongest. In Cornwall at the time, many of the people
Cornish people
The Cornish are a people associated with Cornwall, a county and Duchy in the south-west of the United Kingdom that is seen in some respects as distinct from England, having more in common with the other Celtic parts of the United Kingdom such as Wales, as well as with other Celtic nations in Europe...

 could only speak the Cornish language
Cornish language
Cornish is a Brythonic Celtic language and a recognised minority language of the United Kingdom. Along with Welsh and Breton, it is directly descended from the ancient British language spoken throughout much of Britain before the English language came to dominate...

, so the uniform English bibles and church services were not understood by many. This caused the Prayer Book Rebellion
Prayer Book Rebellion
The Prayer Book Rebellion, Prayer Book Revolt, Prayer Book Rising, Western Rising or Western Rebellion was a popular revolt in Cornwall and Devon, in 1549. In 1549 the Book of Common Prayer, presenting the theology of the English Reformation, was introduced...

, in which groups of Cornish non-conformists gathered round the mayor. The rebellion worried Somerset, now Lord Protector
Lord Protector
Lord Protector is a title used in British constitutional law for certain heads of state at different periods of history. It is also a particular title for the British Heads of State in respect to the established church...

, and he sent an army to impose military solution to the rebellion. One in ten of the indigenous Cornish population was slaughtered. The rebellion did not persuade Edward to tread carefully, and only hardened his attitude towards Catholic non-conformists. This extended to Edward's elder sister, the daughter of Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon , also known as Katherine or Katharine, was Queen consort of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and Princess of Wales as the wife to Arthur, Prince of Wales...

, Mary Tudor
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

, who was a pious and devout Catholic. Although called before the Privy Council several times to renounce her faith and stop hearing the Catholic Mass
Mass (liturgy)
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...

, she refused. He had a good relationship with his sister Elizabeth
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

, who was a Protestant, albeit a moderate one, but this was strained when Elizabeth was accused of having an affair with the Duke of Somerset's brother, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley
Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley
Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, KG was an English politician.Thomas spent his childhood in Wulfhall, outside Savernake Forest, in Wiltshire. Historian David Starkey describes Thomas thus: 'tall, well-built and with a dashing beard and auburn hair, he was irresistible to women'...

, the husband of Henry's last wife Catherine Parr
Catherine Parr
Catherine Parr ; 1512 – 5 September 1548) was Queen consort of England and Ireland and the last of the six wives of King Henry VIII of England. She married Henry VIII on 12 July 1543. She was the fourth commoner Henry had taken as his consort, and outlived him...

. Elizabeth was interviewed by one of Edward's advisers, and she was eventually found not to be guilty, despite forced confessions from her servants Catherine Ashley and Thomas Parry
Thomas Parry (Comptroller of the Household)
Sir Thomas Parry was a Comptroller of the Household to the English Queen Elizabeth I.He was knighted by Elizabeth at her accession in 1558, and held the offices of royal steward, Cofferer, Privy Counselor, Comptroller of the Household , Master of the Court of Wards and Liveries , Member of...

. Thomas Seymour was arrested and beheaded on 20 March 1549.


Problematic succession


Lord Protector
Lord Protector
Lord Protector is a title used in British constitutional law for certain heads of state at different periods of history. It is also a particular title for the British Heads of State in respect to the established church...

 Somerset
Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset
Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, 1st Earl of Hertford, 1st Viscount Beauchamp of Hache, KG, Earl Marshal was Lord Protector of England in the period between the death of Henry VIII in 1547 and his own indictment in 1549....

 was also losing favour. After forcibly removing Edward VI to Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

, with the intention of keeping him hostage, Somerset was removed from power by members of the council, led by his chief rival, John Dudley
John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland
John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, KG was an English general, admiral, and politician, who led the government of the young King Edward VI from 1550 until 1553, and unsuccessfully tried to install Lady Jane Grey on the English throne after the King's death...

, the first Earl of Warwick
Earl of Warwick
Earl of Warwick is a title that has been created four times in British history and is one of the most prestigious titles in the peerages of the British Isles.-1088 creation:...

, who created himself Duke of Northumberland
Duke of Northumberland
The Duke of Northumberland is a title in the peerage of Great Britain that has been created several times. Since the third creation in 1766, the title has belonged to the House of Percy , which held the title of Earl of Northumberland from 1377....

 shortly after his rise. Northumberland effectively became Lord Protector, but he did not use this title, learning from the mistakes his predecessor made. Northumberland was furiously ambitious, and aimed to secure Protestant uniformity while making himself rich with land and money in the process. He ordered churches to be stripped of all traditional Catholic symbolism, resulting in the plainness often seen in Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 churches today. A revision of the Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

 was published in 1552. When Edward VI became ill in 1553, his advisers looked to the possible imminent accession of the Catholic Lady Mary, and feared that she would overturn all the reforms made during Edward's reign. Perhaps surprisingly, it was the dying Edward himself who feared a return to Catholicism, and wrote a new will
Will (law)
A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his/her property at death...

 repudiating the 1544 will of Henry VIII. This gave the succession to his cousin Lady Jane Grey
Lady Jane Grey
Lady Jane Grey , also known as The Nine Days' Queen, was an English noblewoman who was de facto monarch of England from 10 July until 19 July 1553 and was subsequently executed...

, the granddaughter of Henry VIII's sister Mary Tudor
Mary Tudor (queen consort of France)
Mary Tudor was the younger sister of King Henry VIII of England and queen consort of France through her marriage to Louis XII. The latter was more than 30 years her senior. Following his death, which occurred less than two months after her coronation as his third wife, she married Charles Brandon,...

, who, after the death of Louis XII of France
Louis XII of France
Louis proved to be a popular king. At the end of his reign the crown deficit was no greater than it had been when he succeeded Charles VIII in 1498, despite several expensive military campaigns in Italy. His fiscal reforms of 1504 and 1508 tightened and improved procedures for the collection of taxes...

 in 1515 had married Henry VIII's favourite Charles Brandon
Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk
Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, 1st Viscount Lisle, KG was the son of Sir William Brandon and Elizabeth Bruyn. Through his third wife Mary Tudor he was brother-in-law to Henry VIII. His father was the standard-bearer of Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond and was slain by Richard III in person at...

, the first Duke of Suffolk
Duke of Suffolk
Duke of Suffolk is a title that has been created three times in British history, all three times in the Peerage of England.The third creation of the dukedom of Suffolk was for Henry Grey, 3rd Marquess of Dorset, in 1551. The duke also held the title Baron Ferrers of Groby...

. Lady Jane's mother was Lady Frances Brandon
Lady Frances Brandon
Frances Grey, Duchess of Suffolk , born Lady Frances Brandon, was the second child and eldest daughter of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk and Mary Tudor, Dowager Queen of France...

, the daughter of Suffolk and Princess Mary. Northumberland married Jane to his youngest son Guildford Dudley, allowing himself to get the most out of a necessary Protestant succession. Most of Edward's council signed the Devise for the Succession, and when Edward VI died on 6 July 1553 from his battle with tuberculosis, Lady Jane was proclaimed queen. However, the popular support for the proper Tudor dynasty–even a Catholic member–overruled Northumberland's plans, and Jane, who had never wanted to accept the crown, was deposed after just nine days. Mary's supporters joined her in a triumphal procession to London, accompanied by her younger sister Elizabeth
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

.

Mary I: A troubled queen's reign



However, Mary soon announced that she was intending to marry the Spanish prince Philip
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

, son of her mother's nephew Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

. The prospect of a marriage alliance with Spain proved unpopular with the English people, who were worried that Spain would use England as a satellite, involving England in wars without the popular support of the people. Popular discontent grew; a Protestant courtier, Thomas Wyatt the younger
Thomas Wyatt the younger
Sir Thomas Wyatt the younger was a rebel leader during the reign of Queen Mary I of England; his rising is traditionally called "Wyatt's rebellion".-Birth and career:...

 led a rebellion
Wyatt's rebellion
Wyatt's Rebellion was a popular uprising in England in 1554, named after Thomas Wyatt the younger, one of its leaders. The rebellion arose out of concern over Queen Mary I's determination to marry Philip II of Spain, which was an unpopular policy with the English...

 against Mary, with the aim of deposing and replacing her with her half-sister Elizabeth
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

. The plot was discovered, and Wyatt's supporters were hunted down and killed. Wyatt himself was tortured, in the hope that he would give evidence that Elizabeth was involved so that Mary could have her executed for treason. Wyatt never implicated Elizabeth, and he was beheaded
Decapitation
Decapitation is the separation of the head from the body. Beheading typically refers to the act of intentional decapitation, e.g., as a means of murder or execution; it may be accomplished, for example, with an axe, sword, knife, wire, or by other more sophisticated means such as a guillotine...

. Elizabeth spent her time between different prisons, including the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

.

Mary married Philip at Winchester Cathedral
Winchester Cathedral
Winchester Cathedral at Winchester in Hampshire is one of the largest cathedrals in England, with the longest nave and overall length of any Gothic cathedral in Europe...

, on 25 July 1554. Philip found her unattractive, and only spent a minimal amount of time with her. Despite Mary believing she was pregnant numerous times during her five-year reign, she never reproduced. Devastated that she rarely saw her husband, and anxious that she was not bearing an heir to Catholic England, Mary became bitter. In her determination to restore England to the Catholic faith and to secure her throne from Protestant threats, she had many Protestants burnt at the stake between 1555 and 1558. Mary's main goal was to restore the Catholic faith to England; however, the Marian Persecutions
Marian Persecutions
The Marian Persecutions were carried out against religious reformers, Protestants, and other dissenters for their heretical beliefs during the reign of Mary I of England. The excesses of this period were mythologized in the historical record of Foxe's Book of Martyrs...

 were unpopular with the Protestant majority of England, though naturally supported by the Catholic minority. Because of her actions against the Protestants, Mary is to this day referred to as "Bloody Mary". English author Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

 stated that "as bloody Queen Mary this woman has become famous, and as Bloody Queen Mary she will ever be remembered with horror and detestation"


Mary's dream of a resurrected Catholic Tudor dynasty was finished, and her popularity further declined when she lost the last English area on French soil, Calais
Calais
Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

, to Francis, Duke of Guise
Francis, Duke of Guise
Francis de Lorraine II, Prince of Joinville, Duke of Guise, Duke of Aumale , called Balafré , was a French soldier and politician.-Early life:...

, on 7 January 1558. Mary's reign, however, introduced a new coining system that would be used until the 18th century, and her marriage to Philip II created new trade routes for England. Mary's government took a number of steps towards reversing the inflation, budgetary deficits, poverty, and trade crisis of her kingdom. She explored the commercial potential of Russian, African, and Baltic markets, revised the customs system, worked to counter the currency debasements of her predecessors, amalgamated several revenue courts, and strengthened the governing authority of the middling and larger towns. Mary also welcomed the first Russian ambassador to England, creating relations between England and Russia for the first time. Had she lived a little longer, then the Catholic religion that she worked so hard to restore into the realm may have taken deeper roots than it did; however, Mary died on 17 November 1558 at the relatively young age of 42. Elizabeth Tudor, age 25, then succeeded to become Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

.

The Age of Intrigues and Plots: Elizabeth I



Elizabeth I, who was staying at Hatfield House
Hatfield House
Hatfield House is a country house set in a large park, the Great Park, on the eastern side of the town of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. The present Jacobean house was built in 1611 by Robert Cecil, First Earl of Salisbury and Chief Minister to King James I and has been the home of the Cecil...

 at the time of her accession, rode to London to the cheers of both the ruling class and the common people.

When Elizabeth came to the throne, there was much apprehension among members of the council appointed by Anne, due to the fact that many of them (as noted by the Spanish ambassador) had participated in several plots against Elizabeth, such as her imprisonment in the Tower, trying to force her to marry a foreign prince and thereby sending her out of the realm, and even pushing for her death. In response to their fear, she chose as her chief minister Sir William Cecil
William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley
William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley , KG was an English statesman, the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I for most of her reign, twice Secretary of State and Lord High Treasurer from 1572...

, a Protestant, and former secretary to Lord Protector the Duke of Somerset
Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset
Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, 1st Earl of Hertford, 1st Viscount Beauchamp of Hache, KG, Earl Marshal was Lord Protector of England in the period between the death of Henry VIII in 1547 and his own indictment in 1549....

 and then to the Duke of Northumberland
John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland
John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, KG was an English general, admiral, and politician, who led the government of the young King Edward VI from 1550 until 1553, and unsuccessfully tried to install Lady Jane Grey on the English throne after the King's death...

. Under Mary, he had been spared, and often visited Elizabeth, ostensibly to review her accounts and expenditure. He was the cousin and friend of Blanche Parry
Blanche Parry
Blanche Parry was a personal attendant of Queen Elizabeth I of England, Chief Gentlewoman of Queen Elizabeth’s most honourable Privy Chamber and Keeper of Her Majesty’s jewels.-Early life:...

, the closest person to Elizabeth for 56 years. Elizabeth also appointed her personal favourite, the son of the Duke of Northumberland Lord Robert Dudley
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, KG was an English nobleman and the favourite and close friend of Elizabeth I from her first year on the throne until his death...

, her Master of the Horse, giving him constant personal access to the queen.

The early years


Elizabeth had a long, turbulent path to the throne. She had a number of problems during her childhood, one of the main ones being after the execution of her mother, Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn ;c.1501/1507 – 19 May 1536) was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of Henry VIII of England and Marquess of Pembroke in her own right. Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the...

. When Anne was beheaded, Henry declared Elizabeth an illegitimate child and she would, therefore, not be able to inherit the throne. After the death of her father, she was raised by his widow, Catherine Parr
Catherine Parr
Catherine Parr ; 1512 – 5 September 1548) was Queen consort of England and Ireland and the last of the six wives of King Henry VIII of England. She married Henry VIII on 12 July 1543. She was the fourth commoner Henry had taken as his consort, and outlived him...

 and her husband Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley
Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley
Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, KG was an English politician.Thomas spent his childhood in Wulfhall, outside Savernake Forest, in Wiltshire. Historian David Starkey describes Thomas thus: 'tall, well-built and with a dashing beard and auburn hair, he was irresistible to women'...

. A scandal arose with her and the Lord Admiral to which she stood trial. During the examinations, she answered truthfully and boldly and all charges were dropped. She was an excellent student, well schooled in Latin, French, Italian, and somewhat in Greek. She was supposedly a very skilled musician as well, in both singing and playing the lute. After the rebellion of Thomas Wyatt the younger
Thomas Wyatt the younger
Sir Thomas Wyatt the younger was a rebel leader during the reign of Queen Mary I of England; his rising is traditionally called "Wyatt's rebellion".-Birth and career:...

, Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

. No proof could be found that Elizabeth was involved and she was released and retired to the countryside until the death of her sister, Mary I of England
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

.

Imposing the Church of England


Elizabeth was a moderate Protestant; she was the daughter of Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn ;c.1501/1507 – 19 May 1536) was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of Henry VIII of England and Marquess of Pembroke in her own right. Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the...

, who played a key role in the English Reformation
English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

 in the 1520s. She had been brought up by Blanche Herbert Lady Troy
Lady Troy
Blanche Herbert, Lady Troy, was the Lady Mistress in charge of the upbringing of Queen Elizabeth I, Edward VI and also of Queen Mary when she lived with the younger Tudor children...

. At her coronation
Coronation of the British monarch
The coronation of the British monarch is a ceremony in which the monarch of the United Kingdom is formally crowned and invested with regalia...

 in January 1559, many of the bishops–Catholic, appointed by Mary, who had expelled many of the Protestant clergymen when she became queen in 1553–refused to perform the service in English. Eventually, the relatively minor Bishop of Carlisle
Bishop of Carlisle
The Bishop of Carlisle is the Ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Carlisle in the Province of York.The diocese covers the County of Cumbria except for Alston Moor and the former Sedbergh Rural District...

, Owen Oglethorpe
Owen Oglethorpe
Owen Oglethorpe: Bishop of Carlisle was an English academic and bishop.-Childhood and Education:He was born in Tadcaster, Yorkshire, in approximately 1505-10 and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was elected a fellow in 1526 and received his MA in 1529 and his DD in 1536...

, performed the ceremony; but when Oglethorpe attempted to perform traditional Catholic parts of the Coronation, Elizabeth got up and left. Following the Coronation, two important Acts were passed through parliament: the Act of Uniformity
Act of Uniformity 1559
The Act of Uniformity set the order of prayer to be used in the English Book of Common Prayer. Every man had to go to church once a week or be fined 12 pence , a considerable sum for the poor. By this Act Elizabeth I made it a legal obligation to go to church every Sunday...

 and the Act of Supremacy
Act of Supremacy 1559
The Act of Supremacy 1558 was an Act of the Parliament of England, passed under the auspices of Queen Elizabeth I of England. It replaced the original Act of Supremacy 1534 issued by Elizabeth's father, Henry VIII, which arrogated ecclesiastical authority to the monarchy, and which had been...

, establishing the Protestant Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 and creating Elizabeth Supreme Governor of the Church of England
Supreme Governor of the Church of England
The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is a title held by the British monarchs which signifies their titular leadership over the Church of England. Although the monarch's authority over the Church of England is not strong, the position is still very relevant to the church and is mostly...

 (Supreme Head, the title used by her father and brother, was seen as inappropriate for a woman ruler). These acts, known collectively as the Elizabethan Religious Settlement
Elizabethan Religious Settlement
The Elizabethan Religious Settlement was Elizabeth I’s response to the religious divisions created over the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary I. This response, described as "The Revolution of 1559", was set out in two Acts of the Parliament of England...

, made it compulsory to attend church services every Sunday; and imposed an oath on clergymen and statesmen to recognise the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, the independence of the Church of England from the Catholic Church, and the authority of Elizabeth as Supreme Governor. Elizabeth made it clear that if they refused the oath the first time, they would have a second opportunity, after which, if the oath was not sworn, the offender would be deprived of their offices and estates.

Pressure to marry


Even though Elizabeth was only twenty-five when she came to the throne, she was absolutely sure of her God-given place to be the queen and of her responsibilities as the 'handmaiden of the Lord'. She never let anyone challenge her authority as queen, even though many people who felt she was weak and should be married tried to do so. The popularity of Elizabeth was extremely high, but her Privy Council
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

, her Parliament and her subjects thought that the unmarried queen should take a husband; it was generally accepted that, once a queen regnant
Queen regnant
A queen regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right, in contrast to a queen consort, who is the wife of a reigning king. An empress regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right over an empire....

 was married, the husband would relieve the woman of the burdens of head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

. Also, without an heir, the Tudor dynasty would end; the risk of civil war between rival claimants was a possibility if Elizabeth died childless. Numerous suitors from nearly all European nations sent ambassadors to the English court to put forward their suit. Risk of death came dangerously close in 1564 when Elizabeth caught smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

; when she was most at risk, she named Robert Dudley
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, KG was an English nobleman and the favourite and close friend of Elizabeth I from her first year on the throne until his death...

 as Lord Protector in the event of her death. After her recovery, she appointed Dudley to the Privy Council
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

 and created him Earl of Leicester
Earl of Leicester
The title Earl of Leicester was created in the 12th century in the Peerage of England , and is currently a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, created in 1837.-Early creations:...

, in the hope that he would marry Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary rejected him, and instead married Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
Henry Stewart or Stuart, 1st Duke of Albany , styled Lord Darnley before 1565, was king consort of Scotland and murdered at Kirk o'Field...

, a descendant of Henry VII
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

, giving Mary a stronger claim to the English throne. Although many Catholics were loyal to Elizabeth, many also believed that, because Elizabeth was declared illegitimate after her parents' marriage was annulled
Annulment
Annulment is a legal procedure for declaring a marriage null and void. Unlike divorce, it is usually retroactive, meaning that an annulled marriage is considered to be invalid from the beginning almost as if it had never taken place...

, Mary was the strongest legitimate claimant. Despite this, Elizabeth would not name Mary her heir; as she had experienced during the reign of her predecessor Mary I, the opposition could flock around the heir if they were disheartened with Elizabeth's rule.

Numerous threats to the Tudor dynasty occurred during Elizabeth's reign. In 1569, a group of Earls led by Charles Neville
Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland
Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland was an English nobleman and one of the leaders of the Rising of the North in 1569....

, the sixth Earl of Westmorland
Earl of Westmorland
Earl of Westmorland is a title that has been created twice in the Peerage of England. The title was first created in 1397 for Ralph Neville. It was forfeited in 1571 by Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland for leading the Rising of the North. It was revived in 1624 in favour of Sir Francis...

, and Thomas Percy
Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland
Blessed Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland, 1st Baron Percy, KG , led the Rising of the North and was executed for treason. He was later beatified by the Catholic Church.-Early life:...

, the seventh Earl of Northumberland
Earl of Northumberland
The title of Earl of Northumberland was created several times in the Peerages of England and Great Britain, succeeding the title Earl of Northumbria. Its most famous holders were the House of Percy , who were the most powerful noble family in Northern England for much of the Middle Ages...

 attempted to depose Elizabeth and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots. In 1571, the Protestant-turned-Catholic Thomas Howard
Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, KG, Earl Marshal was an English nobleman.Norfolk was the son of the poet Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. He was taught as a child by John Foxe, the Protestant martyrologist, who remained a lifelong recipient of Norfolk's patronage...

, the fourth Duke of Norfolk
Duke of Norfolk
The Duke of Norfolk is the premier duke in the peerage of England, and also, as Earl of Arundel, the premier earl. The Duke of Norfolk is, moreover, the Earl Marshal and hereditary Marshal of England. The seat of the Duke of Norfolk is Arundel Castle in Sussex, although the title refers to the...

, had plans to marry Mary, Queen of Scots, and then replace Elizabeth with Mary. The plot
Ridolfi plot
The Ridolfi plot was a plot in 1570 to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I of England and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots. The plot was hatched and planned by Roberto di Ridolfi, an international banker who was able to travel between Brussels, Rome and Madrid to gather support without attracting...

, masterminded by Roberto di Ridolfi
Roberto di Ridolfi
Roberto Ridolfi was an Italian and Florentine nobleman and conspirator.Ridolfi belonged to a famous family of Florence, where he was born...

, was discovered and Norfolk was beheaded
Decapitation
Decapitation is the separation of the head from the body. Beheading typically refers to the act of intentional decapitation, e.g., as a means of murder or execution; it may be accomplished, for example, with an axe, sword, knife, wire, or by other more sophisticated means such as a guillotine...

. The next major uprising was in 1601, when Robert Devereux
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, KG was an English nobleman and a favourite of Elizabeth I. Politically ambitious, and a committed general, he was placed under house arrest following a poor campaign in Ireland during the Nine Years' War in 1599...

, the second Earl of Essex
Earl of Essex
Earl of Essex is a title that has been held by several families and individuals. The earldom was first created in the 12th century for Geoffrey II de Mandeville . Upon the death of the third earl in 1189, the title became dormant or extinct...

, attempted to raise the city of London against Elizabeth's government. The city of London proved unwilling to rebel; Essex and most of his co-rebels were executed. Threats also came from abroad. In 1570, Pope Pius V
Pope Pius V
Pope Saint Pius V , born Antonio Ghislieri , was Pope from 1566 to 1572 and is a saint of the Catholic Church. He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman liturgy within the Latin Church...

 issued a Papal bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

, Regnans in Excelsis
Regnans in Excelsis
Regnans in Excelsis was a papal bull issued on 25 February 1570 by Pope Pius V declaring "Elizabeth, the pretended Queen of England and the servant of crime" to be a heretic and releasing all her subjects from any allegiance to her and excommunicating any that obeyed her orders.The bull, written in...

, excommunicating Elizabeth, and releasing her subjects from their allegiance
Allegiance
An allegiance is a duty of fidelity said to be owed by a subject or a citizen to his/her state or sovereign.-Etymology:From Middle English ligeaunce . The al- prefix was probably added through confusion with another legal term, allegeance, an "allegation"...

 to her. Elizabeth came under pressure from Parliament to execute Mary, Queen of Scots, to prevent any further attempts to replace her; though faced with several official requests, she vacillated over the decision to execute an anointed queen. Finally, she was persuaded of Mary's (treasonous) complicity in the plotting against her, and she signed the death warrant
Execution warrant
An execution warrant is a writ which authorizes the execution of a judgment of death on an individual...

 in 1586. Mary was executed at Fotheringay Castle on 8 February 1587, to the outrage of Catholic Europe.

There are many reasons debated as to why Elizabeth never married. It was rumoured that she was in love with Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, KG was an English nobleman and the favourite and close friend of Elizabeth I from her first year on the throne until his death...

, and that on one of her summer progresses she had birthed his illegitimate child. This rumour was just one of many that swirled around the two's long-standing friendship. However, more importantly to focus on were the disasters that many women, such as Lady Jane Grey
Lady Jane Grey
Lady Jane Grey , also known as The Nine Days' Queen, was an English noblewoman who was de facto monarch of England from 10 July until 19 July 1553 and was subsequently executed...

, suffered due to being married into the royal family. Her sister Mary's marriage to Philip brought great contempt to the country, for many of her subjects despised Spain and Philip and feared that he would try to take complete control. Recalling her father's disdain for Anne of Cleves
Anne of Cleves
Anne of Cleves was a German noblewoman and the fourth wife of Henry VIII of England and as such she was Queen of England from 6 January 1540 to 9 July 1540. The marriage was never consummated, and she was not crowned queen consort...

, Elizabeth also refused to enter into a foreign match with a man that she had never seen before, so that also eliminated a large number of suitors.


Last hopes of a Tudor heir


Despite the uncertainty of Elizabeth's–and therefore the Tudor dynasty's–hold on England, Elizabeth never married. The closest she came to marriage was between 1579 and 1581, when she was courted by Francis, Duke of Anjou, the son of Henry II of France
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

 and Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman who was Queen consort of France from 1547 until 1559, as the wife of King Henry II of France....

. Despite Elizabeth's government constantly begging her to marry in the early years of her reign, it now was persuading Elizabeth not to marry the French prince for his mother, Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman who was Queen consort of France from 1547 until 1559, as the wife of King Henry II of France....

, was suspected of ordering the St Bartholomew's Day massacre of tens of thousands of French Protestant Hugenots in 1572. Elizabeth bowed to public discontent against the marriage, learning from the mistake her sister made when she married Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

, and sent the Duke of Anjou away. Elizabeth knew that the continuation of the Tudor dynasty was now impossible; she was forty-eight in 1581, and too old to bear children.
By far the most dangerous threat to the Tudor dynasty during Elizabeth's reign was the Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
This article refers to the Battle of Gravelines, for the modern navy of Spain, see Spanish NavyThe Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England to stop English...

 of 1588. Launched by Elizabeth's old suitor Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

, and commanded by Alonso de Guzmán El Bueno
Alonso de Guzmán El Bueno, 7th Duke of Medina Sidonia
Alonso Pérez de Guzmán y de Zúñiga-Sotomayor, 7th Duke of Medina Sidonia, , Grandee of Spain, a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece since 1581, was the commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armada....

, the seventh Duke of Medina Sidonia, the Spanish had 22 galleons and 108 armed merchant ships; however, the English and the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 outnumbered them. The Spanish lost as a result of bad weather on the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

 and poor planning and supplies, and the skills of Sir Francis Drake
Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and politician of the Elizabethan era. Elizabeth I of England awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He also carried out the...

 and Charles Howard
Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham
Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham , known as Howard of Effingham, was an English statesman and Lord High Admiral under Elizabeth I and James I...

, the second Baron Howard of Effingham (later first Earl of Nottingham
Earl of Nottingham
Earl of Nottingham is a title that has been created seven times in the Peerage of England.-Earls of Nottingham, First creation :* John de Mowbray , 5th Baron Mowbray-Earls of Nottingham, Second creation :...

).
While Elizabeth declined physically with age, her running of the country continued to benefit her people. In response to famine across England due to bad harvests in the 1590s, Elizabeth introduced the poor law
Poor Law
The English Poor Laws were a system of poor relief which existed in England and Wales that developed out of late-medieval and Tudor-era laws before being codified in 1587–98...

, allowing peasants that were too ill to work a certain amount of money from the state. All the money Elizabeth had borrowed from Parliament in 12 of the 13 parliamentary sessions was paid back; by the time of her death, Elizabeth not only had no debts, but was in credit. Elizabeth died childless at Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace was a Thameside royal residence on the right bank of the river, upstream of the Palace of Westminster, to which it lay 9 miles SW of as the crow flies. It it was erected c. 1501 within the royal manor of Sheen, by Henry VII of England, formerly known by his title Earl of Richmond,...

 on 24 March 1603. She never named a successor. However, her chief minister Sir Robert Cecil
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, KG, PC was an English administrator and politician.-Life:He was the son of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley and Mildred Cooke...

 had corresponded with the Protestant King James VI of Scotland
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

 son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and James's succession to the English throne was unopposed. The Tudor dynasty was survived only in the female line, with the House of Stuart
House of Stuart
The House of Stuart is a European royal house. Founded by Robert II of Scotland, the Stewarts first became monarchs of the Kingdom of Scotland during the late 14th century, and subsequently held the position of the Kings of Great Britain and Ireland...

 occupying the English throne for most of the following century.

Before and after comparisons


Public disorder regarding the Roses dynasties was always a threat until the 17th century Stuart/Bourbon re-alignment occasioned by a series of events such as the execution of Lady Jane Grey
Lady Jane Grey
Lady Jane Grey , also known as The Nine Days' Queen, was an English noblewoman who was de facto monarch of England from 10 July until 19 July 1553 and was subsequently executed...

, despite her brother in law, Leicester's reputation in Holland, the Rising of the North
Rising of the North
The Rising of the North of 1569, also called the Revolt of the Northern Earls or Northern Rebellion, was an unsuccessful attempt by Catholic nobles from Northern England to depose Queen Elizabeth I of England and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots.-Background:When Elizabeth I succeeded her...

 (in which the old Percy-Neville feud
Percy-Neville feud
The Percy–Neville feud was a series of skirmishes, raids and vandalism between two prominent northern English families, the House of Percy and the House of Neville, and their followers that helped provoke the Wars of the Roses.-Beginnings:...

 and even anti-Scottish sentiment was discarded on account of religion; Northern England
Northern England
Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North or the North Country, is a cultural region of England. It is not an official government region, but rather an informal amalgamation of counties. The southern extent of the region is roughly the River Trent, while the North is bordered...

 shared the same Avignonese bias as the Scottish court, on par with Valois France and Castile, which became the backbone of the Counter-Reformation, with Protestants being solidly anti-Avignonese) and death of Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 without children.

The Tudors made no substantial changes in their foreign policy from either Lancaster or York, whether the alliance was with Aragon or Cleves, the chief foreign enemies continuing as the Auld Alliance
Auld Alliance
The Auld Alliance was an alliance between the kingdoms of Scotland and France. It played a significant role in the relations between Scotland, France and England from its beginning in 1295 until the 1560 Treaty of Edinburgh. The alliance was renewed by all the French and Scottish monarchs of that...

, but the Tudors resurrected old ecclesiastic arguments once pursued by Henry II of England
Henry II of England
Henry II ruled as King of England , Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Count of Nantes, Lord of Ireland and, at various times, controlled parts of Wales, Scotland and western France. Henry, the great-grandson of William the Conqueror, was the...

 and his son John of England
John of England
John , also known as John Lackland , was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death...

. Yorkists were tied so much to the old order that Catholic rebellions (such as the Pilgrimage of Grace
Pilgrimage of Grace
The Pilgrimage of Grace was a popular rising in York, Yorkshire during 1536, in protest against Henry VIII's break with the Roman Catholic Church and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, as well as other specific political, social and economic grievances. It was done in action against Thomas Cromwell...

) and aspirations (exemplified by William Allen (cardinal)) were seen as continuing in their reactionary footsteps, when in opposition to the Tudors' reformation policies, although the Tudors were not uniformly Protestant according to Continental definition—instead were true to their Lancastrian Beaufort allegiance, in the appointment of Reginald Pole.
The essential difference between the Tudors and their predecessors, is the nationalisation and integration of John Wycliffe
John Wycliffe
John Wycliffe was an English Scholastic philosopher, theologian, lay preacher, translator, reformer and university teacher who was known as an early dissident in the Roman Catholic Church during the 14th century. His followers were known as Lollards, a somewhat rebellious movement, which preached...

's ideas to the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, holding onto the alignment of Richard II of England
Richard II of England
Richard II was King of England, a member of the House of Plantagenet and the last of its main-line kings. He ruled from 1377 until he was deposed in 1399. Richard was a son of Edward, the Black Prince, and was born during the reign of his grandfather, Edward III...

 and Anne of Bohemia
Anne of Bohemia
Anne of Bohemia was Queen of England as the first wife of King Richard II. A member of the House of Luxembourg, she was the eldest daughter of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, and Elizabeth of Pomerania....

, in which Anne's Hussite
Hussite
The Hussites were a Christian movement following the teachings of Czech reformer Jan Hus , who became one of the forerunners of the Protestant Reformation...

 brethren were in alliance to her husband's Wycliffite countrymen against the Avignon Papacy
Avignon Papacy
The Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven Popes resided in Avignon, in modern-day France. This arose from the conflict between the Papacy and the French crown....

. The Tudors otherwise rejected or suppressed other religious notions, whether for the Pope's award of Fidei Defensor or to prevent them from being in the hands of the common laity, who might be swayed by cells of Foreign Protestants, with whom they had conversation as Marian exiles
Marian exiles
The Marian Exiles were English Calvinist Protestants who fled to the continent during the reign of Queen Mary I.-Exile communities:According to English historian John Strype, more than 800 Protestants fled to the continent, mainly to the Low Countries, Germany, Switzerland, and France, and joined...

, pursuing a strategy of containment which the Lancastrians had done (after being vilified by Wat Tyler
Wat Tyler
Walter "Wat" Tyler was a leader of the English Peasants' Revolt of 1381.-Early life:Knowledge of Tyler's early life is very limited, and derives mostly through the records of his enemies. Historians believe he was born in Essex, but are not sure why he crossed the Thames Estuary to Kent...

), even though the phenomenon of "Lollard knights
Lollardy
Lollardy was a political and religious movement that existed from the mid-14th century to the English Reformation. The term "Lollard" refers to the followers of John Wycliffe, a prominent theologian who was dismissed from the University of Oxford in 1381 for criticism of the Church, especially his...

" (like John Oldcastle
John Oldcastle
Sir John Oldcastle , English Lollard leader, was son of Sir Richard Oldcastle of Almeley in northwest Herefordshire and grandson of another Sir John Oldcastle....

) had become almost a national sensation all on its own.

In essence, the Tudors followed a composite of Lancastrian (the court party) and Yorkist (the church party) policies. Henry VIII tried to extend his father's balancing act between the dynasties for opportunistic interventionism in the Italian Wars
Italian Wars
The Italian Wars, often referred to as the Great Italian Wars or the Great Wars of Italy and sometimes as the Habsburg–Valois Wars, were a series of conflicts from 1494 to 1559 that involved, at various times, most of the city-states of Italy, the Papal States, most of the major states of Western...

, which had unfortunate consequences for his own marriages and the Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

; the King furthermore tried to use similar tactics for the "via media" concept of Anglicanism
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

. A further parallelism was effected by turning Ireland into a kingdom and sharing the same episcopal establishment as England, whilst enlarging England by the annexation of Wales. The progress to Northern/Roses government would thenceforth pass across the border into Scotland, in 1603, due not only to the civil warring, but also because the Tudors' own dynasty was fragile and insecure, trying to reconcile the mortal enemies who had weakened England to the point of having to bow to new pressures, rather than dictate diplomacy on English terms.

Tudor monarchs of England and Ireland


The six Tudor monarchs were:
Portrait|Name|Birth|Accession date|Marriages|Death|Claim
Henry VII
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

28 January 1457
Pembroke Castle
Pembroke Castle
Pembroke Castle is a medieval castle in Pembroke, West Wales. Standing beside the River Cleddau, it underwent major restoration work in the early 20th century. The castle was the original seat of the Earldom of Pembroke....

22 August 1485
(crowned at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 on 30 October 1485)
Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York was Queen consort of England as spouse of King Henry VII from 1486 until 1503, and mother of King Henry VIII of England....

21 April 1509
Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace
Richmond Palace was a Thameside royal residence on the right bank of the river, upstream of the Palace of Westminster, to which it lay 9 miles SW of as the crow flies. It it was erected c. 1501 within the royal manor of Sheen, by Henry VII of England, formerly known by his title Earl of Richmond,...


aged 52
Descent from Edward III of England
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

 through his mother Lady Margaret Beaufort.
Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...


(first King of Ireland)
28 June 1491
Greenwich Palace
21 April 1509
(crowned at Westminster Abbey on 24 June 1509)
(1) Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon , also known as Katherine or Katharine, was Queen consort of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and Princess of Wales as the wife to Arthur, Prince of Wales...


(2) Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn ;c.1501/1507 – 19 May 1536) was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of Henry VIII of England and Marquess of Pembroke in her own right. Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the...


(3) Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour was Queen of England as the third wife of King Henry VIII. She succeeded Anne Boleyn as queen consort following the latter's execution for trumped up charges of high treason, incest and adultery in May 1536. She died of postnatal complications less than two weeks after the birth of...


(4) Anne of Cleves
Anne of Cleves
Anne of Cleves was a German noblewoman and the fourth wife of Henry VIII of England and as such she was Queen of England from 6 January 1540 to 9 July 1540. The marriage was never consummated, and she was not crowned queen consort...


(5) Catherine Howard
Catherine Howard
Catherine Howard , also spelled Katherine, Katheryn or Kathryn, was the fifth wife of Henry VIII of England, and sometimes known by his reference to her as his "rose without a thorn"....


(6) Catherine Parr
Catherine Parr
Catherine Parr ; 1512 – 5 September 1548) was Queen consort of England and Ireland and the last of the six wives of King Henry VIII of England. She married Henry VIII on 12 July 1543. She was the fourth commoner Henry had taken as his consort, and outlived him...

28 January 1547
Palace of Whitehall
Palace of Whitehall
The Palace of Whitehall was the main residence of the English monarchs in London from 1530 until 1698 when all except Inigo Jones's 1622 Banqueting House was destroyed by fire...


aged 55
Son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York
Edward VI
Edward VI of England
Edward VI was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant...

1
12 October 1537
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Greater London; it has not been inhabited by the British royal family since the 18th century. The palace is located south west of Charing Cross and upstream of Central London on the River Thames...

28 January 1547
(crowned at Westminster on Abbey 20 February 1547)
6 July 1553
Greenwich Palace
aged 15
Son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour was Queen of England as the third wife of King Henry VIII. She succeeded Anne Boleyn as queen consort following the latter's execution for trumped up charges of high treason, incest and adultery in May 1536. She died of postnatal complications less than two weeks after the birth of...

Jane
Lady Jane Grey
Lady Jane Grey , also known as The Nine Days' Queen, was an English noblewoman who was de facto monarch of England from 10 July until 19 July 1553 and was subsequently executed...

1
(disputed)
1537
Bradgate Park
Bradgate Park
Bradgate Park is a public park in Charnwood Forest, in Leicestershire, England, just northwest of Leicester. It covers 850 acres . The park lies between the villages of Newtown Linford, Anstey, Cropston, Woodhouse Eaves and Swithland. The River Lin runs through the park, flowing into Cropston...

10 July 1553
(never crowned)
Lord Guildford Dudley
Lord Guildford Dudley
Lord Guildford Dudley was the husband of Lady Jane Grey who, declared as his heir by King Edward VI, occupied the English throne from 6/10 July till 19 July 1553. Guildford Dudley enjoyed a humanist education and was married to Jane in a magnificent celebration about six weeks before...

12 February 1554
executed at the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...


aged 16–17
Great granddaughter of Henry VII; granddaughter of Henry VIII's sister, Mary Brandon (née Tudor), Duchess of Suffolk
Mary Tudor (queen consort of France)
Mary Tudor was the younger sister of King Henry VIII of England and queen consort of France through her marriage to Louis XII. The latter was more than 30 years her senior. Following his death, which occurred less than two months after her coronation as his third wife, she married Charles Brandon,...

; first-cousin once removed of Edward VI
Mary I
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

1
18 February 1516
Palace of Placentia
Palace of Placentia
The Palace of Placentia was an English Royal Palace built by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester in 1447, in Greenwich, on the banks of the River Thames, downstream from London...

19 July 1553
(crowned at Westminster Abbey on 1 October 1553)
Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

18 November 1558
St James's Palace
aged 42
Daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon
Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

1
7 September 1533
Greenwich Palace
17 November 1558
(crowned at Westminster Abbey on 15 January 1559)
24 March 1603
Richmond Palace
aged 69
Daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

1. To the Tudor period belongs the elevation of the English-ruled state in Ireland from a Lordship
Lordship of Ireland
The Lordship of Ireland refers to that part of Ireland that was under the rule of the king of England, styled Lord of Ireland, between 1177 and 1541. It was created in the wake of the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169–71 and was succeeded by the Kingdom of Ireland...

 to a Kingdom
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

 (1541) under Henry VIII.

Tudor family tree



Patrilineal descent


Patrilineal descent, the descent from a male ancestor in which all intervening ancestors are also male, is the principle behind membership in royal house
Royal House
A royal house or royal dynasty consists of at least one, but usually more monarchs who are related to one another, as well as their non-reigning descendants and spouses. Monarchs of the same realm who are not related to one another are usually deemed to belong to different houses, and each house is...

s, as it can be traced back through the paternal line. Note that as siblings, Edward
Edward VI of England
Edward VI was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant...

, Mary
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

 and Elizabeth
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

, share a generation number.

Royal House of Tudor

  1. Marchudd ap Cynan
    Fifteen Tribes of Wales
    The five royal tribes of Wales and The fifteen tribes of Gwynedd refer to a class of genealogical lists which were compiled by Welsh bards in the mid-15th century. These lists were constructed on the premise that many of the leading Welsh families of their time could trace their descent to the...

    , c. 846
  2. Kerwit, Lord of Brnffenigl
  3. Senylt, Lord of Brnffenigl
  4. Nathen of Brnffenigl
  5. Edryt ap Nathen, Prince in Wales
  6. Idnerth ap Edryd
  7. Gwgon of Brnffenigl
  8. Iorwerth of Brnffenigl
  9. Kendrig of Brnffenigl
  10. Ednyfed Fychan
    Ednyfed Fychan
    Ednyfed Fychan , full name Ednyfed Fychan ap Cynwrig, was a Welsh warrior who became seneschal to the Kingdom of Gwynedd in Northern Wales, serving Llywelyn the Great and his son Dafydd ap Llywelyn...

    , d. 1246
  11. Goronwy ab Ednyfed
    Goronwy ab Ednyfed
    Goronwy ab Ednyfed was senechal to Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Kingdom of Gwynedd between 1246 and 1256. and was the founder of the Tudor family of Penmynydd:...

    , Lord of Tres-gastell, d. 1268
  12. Tudur Hen
    Tudur Hen
    Tudur Hen or Tudur ap Goronwy was a Welsh aristocrat and a member of the Tudor family of Penmynydd, Anglesey, North Wales. His father Goronwy ab Ednyfed was seneschal to Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Kingdom of Gwynedd between 1246 and 1256...

    , Lord of Pemmynydd, d. 1311
  13. Goronwy ap Tudur Hen
    Goronwy ap Tudur Hen
    Goronwy ap Tudur Hen , Lord of Penmynydd was a member of the noble Tudor family of Penmynydd, Anglesey, North Wales and a descendant of Marchudd ap Cynan, Lord of Rhos, Lord Protector of Rhodri Mawr, King of Gwynedd and the ancestor of Owen Tudor and thereby of the Tudor dynasty. An elegy was...

    , d. 1331
  14. Tudur ap Goronwy
    Tudur ap Goronwy
    Tudur ap Goronwy was a Welsh nobleman and a member of the Tudor House of Penmynydd.His son Maredudd ap Tudur was father of Owen Tudor. His other two sons, Rhys ap Tudur and Gwilym ap Tudur were important players in the uprising of Owain Glyndŵr, their first cousin.He was a Welsh aristocrat of...

    , Lord of Pemmynydd, d. 1367
  15. Maredudd ap Tudur
    Maredudd ap Tudur
    Maredydd ap Tudur was a Welsh soldier and nobleman from the Tudor family of Penmynydd and Owen Tudor's father. He supported the 1400 Welsh uprising of his first cousin Owain Glyndwr....

    , d. 1406
  16. Owen Tudor
    Owen Tudor
    Sir Owen Meredith Tudor was a Welsh soldier and courtier, descended from a daughter of the Welsh prince Rhys ap Gruffudd, "Lord Rhys". However, Owen Tudor is particularly remembered for his role in founding England's Tudor dynasty – including his relationship with, and probable secret marriage to,...

    , 1400–1461
  17. Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond
    Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond
    Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond , also known as Edmund of Hadham , was the father of King Henry VII of England and a member of the Tudor family of Penmynydd, North Wales.-Birth and early life:...

    , 1430–1456
  18. Henry VII of England
    Henry VII of England
    Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

    , 1457–1509
  19. Henry VIII of England
    Henry VIII of England
    Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

    , 1491–1547
20a. Edward VI of England
Edward VI of England
Edward VI was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant...

, 1537–1553
20b. Mary I of England
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

, 1516–1558
20c. Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

, 1533–1603

In popular culture

  • Sandra Worth
    Sandra Worth
    Sandra Worth is a Canadian-American author of fiction.For her bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, she took a double major in Political Science and Economics.Her debut novel The Rose of York: Love and War was published in 2003....

     chronicles the birth of the Tudor dynasty in her novel, The King's Daughter: A Novel of the First Tudor Queen (Penguin Group, December 2008). Elizabeth of York
    Elizabeth of York
    Elizabeth of York was Queen consort of England as spouse of King Henry VII from 1486 until 1503, and mother of King Henry VIII of England....

     is the narrator.
  • The Tudors
    The Tudors
    The Tudors is a Canadian produced historical fiction television series filmed in Ireland, created by Michael Hirst and produced for the American premium cable television channel Showtime...

     is an Irish/Canadian produced historical fiction television series based upon the reign of Henry VIII.


Also see the entries on individual members of the Tudor dynasty.

See also

  • England and Wales
    England and Wales
    England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

  • Elizabethan era
    Elizabethan era
    The Elizabethan era was the epoch in English history of Queen Elizabeth I's reign . Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history...

  • Wars of the Roses
    Wars of the Roses
    The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York...

  • Tudor architecture
    Tudor architecture
    The Tudor architectural style is the final development of medieval architecture during the Tudor period and even beyond, for conservative college patrons...

  • Tudor Revival architecture
  • Tudor rose
    Tudor rose
    The Tudor Rose is the traditional floral heraldic emblem of England and takes its name and origins from the Tudor dynasty.-Origins:...

  • Richmond Castle
    Richmond Castle
    Richmond Castle in Richmond, North Yorkshire, England, stands in a commanding position above the River Swale, close to the centre of the town of Richmond. It was originally called Riche Mount, 'the strong hill'...

  • Richmond Palace
    Richmond Palace
    Richmond Palace was a Thameside royal residence on the right bank of the river, upstream of the Palace of Westminster, to which it lay 9 miles SW of as the crow flies. It it was erected c. 1501 within the royal manor of Sheen, by Henry VII of England, formerly known by his title Earl of Richmond,...

  • Tudor conquest of Ireland
  • The Tudors and the Royal Navy
    The Tudors and the Royal Navy
    The Tudor navy was the navy of the Kingdom of England under the ruling Tudor dynasty 1485-1603. The period involved important and critical changes that led to the establishment of a permanent navy and laid the foundations for the future Royal Navy.-Henry VII:...

  • Mid-Tudor Crisis
    Mid-Tudor Crisis
    The Mid-Tudor Crisis denotes the period of English history between 1547 and 1558 , when, it has been argued by Whitney Jones and others, English government and society were in imminent danger of collapse in the face of a combination of weak rulers, economic pressures, a series of rebellions, and...


See also information on Blanche Parry
Blanche Parry
Blanche Parry was a personal attendant of Queen Elizabeth I of England, Chief Gentlewoman of Queen Elizabeth’s most honourable Privy Chamber and Keeper of Her Majesty’s jewels.-Early life:...

 and Lady Troy
Lady Troy
Blanche Herbert, Lady Troy, was the Lady Mistress in charge of the upbringing of Queen Elizabeth I, Edward VI and also of Queen Mary when she lived with the younger Tudor children...

.

Further reading

  • Black, J. B. The Reign of Elizabeth: 1558-1603 (2nd ed. 1958) survey by leading scholar online edition
  • Bridgen, Susan (2001). New Worlds, Lost Worlds: The Rule of the Tudors, 1485–1603.
  • Cunningham, Sean. Henry VII (2007)
  • Garvin, Katharine (ed). The Great Tudors. E.P. Dutton and Co. Inc., 1935. ISBN 0841445036
  • Edwards, Philip. The Making of the Modern English State: 1460–1660 (2004)
  • Guy, John. The Tudors: A Very Short Introduction (2010)
  • Guy, John. Tudor England (1990)
  • Kinney, Arthur F. and David W. Swain. Tudor England: An Encyclopedia. Garland, 2001. ISBN 0-8153-0793-4.
  • Loades, David. Intrigue and Treason: The Tudor Court 1547–1558. Pearson Education Limited, 2004. ISBN 0-631-17163-0.
  • Loades, David M. The Reign of Mary Tudor: Politics, Government & Religion in England, 1553–58 (1991)
  • MacCaffrey Wallace T. Elizabeth I (1993)
  • Mackie, J. D. The Earlier Tudors, 1485–1558 (1952)
  • Neale, J. E. Queen Elizabeth I: A Biography (1934)
  • Scarisbrick, J. J. Henry VIII (1968)
  • Tittler, Robert and Norman Jones. A Companion to Tudor Britain. Blackwell Publishing, 2004. ISBN 0-631-23618X.
  • Wagner, John A. Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World: Britain, Ireland, Europe, and America (1999) online edition

External links