TUDOR AGE

The Tudors were a family of Welsh, French, and English descent. From 1485 to 1603 they ruled England, Wales, and rebellious Ireland. The Tudor kingdom became a powerful force in Europe and the New World.

HOW DID TUDOR MERCHANTS BECOME WEALTHY?

The Tudor economy depended on wool and the cloth trade, which was centered in the English region of East Anglia. To expand their trade, merchants and ships’ captains began to seek new business in distant lands.

WHO WAS THE GREATEST TUDOR MONARCH?

Henry VIII was followed as ruler by his three children, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I. Elizabeth was a strong and popular ruler, and a shrewd politician. She never married. Her reign saw battles with Spain, exploration of the New World, and a flowering of poetry and theater.

Table 47. TUDOR MONARCHS

TUDOR MONARCHS 
1485 Henry VII wins throne from Richard III
1509 Henry VIII is crowned king
1547 Rule of the boy king Edward VI
1553 Reign of Mary I
1558 Elizabeth I becomes queen
1603 Death of Elizabeth I

BIOGRAPHY: HENRY VIII 1491–1547

As a young man, Henry was handsome and intelligent. He loved hunting and dancing, and also composed music. As king, he became increasingly arrogant, selfish, and overweight. He married six times and had two of his wives executed. His reign was marked by political plotting, religious strife, and rebellion.

WHY DID HENRY VIII QUARREL WITH THE POPE?

King Henry VIII married his elder brother’s widow, a Spanish princess called Catherine of Aragon. Although she had a daughter, Mary, she did not produce the male heir Henry wanted. The king fell in love with a beautiful courtier named Anne Boleyn. When the Pope refused to give him a divorce, Henry VIII made himself head of a CHURCH OF ENGLAND.

CHURCH OF ENGLAND

Henry VIII finally broke with the Roman Catholic Church in 1534. However, he also rejected the Protestant teachings of Martin Luther. In 1559, after years of religious conflict, Elizabeth I created a reformed Church of England that contained both Catholic and Protestant elements. It was, and still is, headed by the monarch.

WHY DID RELIGION TROUBLE THE TUDORS?

Henry VIII’s political quarrel with the Pope coincided with the bitter religious quarrels of the Reformation in Europe. Edward VI and Elizabeth I were both Protestant, while Mary I was an ardent Catholic. Many ordinary people were tortured and executed for having a different faith than the reigning monarch.

FIND OUT MORE

Monarchy
Reformation

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

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