Chapter 5 Absolutism &
Divine Right in Europe
Spain, England, France, Ge
rmany, & Russia
Chapter 5 : Royal Power and Conflict
During the 1500s and 1600s, European monarchies created powerful
Wars over religion and power engulfed many European
countries, including Holland, Spain, France, and Sweden.
In England the Tudor monarchies brought England peace and
stability, increasing royal power but allowing Parliament a share in the
England was building an overseas empire based on trade.
The monarchs of Europe based their reach for expanded royal power on
the theory of absolute monarchy, which held that kings and queens ruled
as representatives of God and were responsible to God alone, not to
parliaments and citizens.
In Russia, rulers like Peter the Great were enhancing the country's
military power and increasing contacts with western Europe.
Internally, however, they were increasing the gap between the upper and
Philip was the most powerful
monarch in Spanish history!
He was smart, handsome, welleducated, hardworking, prudent, cautious, and a
devout Catholic—Defender of the
He supported the arts, music, etc.
Well-connected—the son of Holy
Roman Emperor Charles V, great
grandson of Isabella and Ferdinand.
His capital was El Escorial, but he will
move it to Madrid.
He will feature Castile—most of his
advisors, etc. came from there and
Castillian will be the court language.
He will try to root out heresy in
Spain, and that includes the
Protestant minorities—Marranos and
Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
He supported the Spanish Inquisition.
He was married four times:
a) Maria Manuela of Portugal
b) Mary Tudor of England
c) Elizabeth of Valois (in France) and
d) to Anne of Austria.
From 1550-1650 Spain’s Golden
Century—El Siglo de Oro
Spain will become embroiled in a
series of European wars, mainly
defending Catholicism vs. the
Philip’s successors will face Spain’s
ultimate decline—fiscally and
Spain’s Golden Age
The century from 1550 to 1650 is often called Spain’s siglo
de oro, or “Golden century,” for the brilliance of its arts
El Greco produced haunting
religious pictures, dramatic
views of the city of Toledo,
and striking portraits of
Diego Velázquez painted
vivid portraits of Spanish
Lope de Vega wrote more
than 1,500 plays, including
witty comedies and actionpacked romances.
Miguel de Cervantes wrote
Don Quixote, the first
modern novel in Europe.
The Assumption of the Virgin (1577–
1579, oil on canvas, was one of the nine
paintings El Greco completed for the church
of Santo Domingo el Antiguo in Toledo, his
first commission in Spain.
View of Toledo is one of the two surviving
landscapes of Toledo painted by El Greco.
Miguel de Cervantes
de la Mancha is a
satire about the loss of
chivalry and honor in the
world, but one man still sees it and
acts although he is considered a fool
Aubrey, William Hickman Smith: “The National and Domestic History of England Vol 2” (1878)
The House of Habsburg or Hapsburg (also known as House of Austria)
was an important royal house of Europe and is best known for being an
origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1452
and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian and Spanish Empire and several
other countries. Originally from Switzerland, the dynasty first reigned in
Austria, which they ruled for over six centuries. A series of dynastic
marriages brought Burgundy, Spain, Bohemia, Hungary, and other
territories into the inheritance. In the 16th century the senior Spanish and
junior Austrian branches of the family separated.
As royal houses are by convention determined via the male line, the
Spanish branch ended upon the death of Charles II in 1700 and was
replaced by the Anjou branch of the House of Bourbon in the person of
his great-nephew Philip V. The Austrian branch went extinct in 1780 with
the death of Empress Maria Theresa and was replaced by the Vaudemont
branch of the House of Lorraine in the person of her son Joseph II. The
new successor house styled itself as House of Habsburg-Lorraine
Catherine of Aragon,
Catherine of Aragon, the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of
Spain, was born in 1485. Henry VII was worried that England might
be invaded by Spain, the most powerful country in Europe. In 1488
Henry signed a treaty with King Ferdinand of Spain. By this treaty
Henry agreed that his eldest son, Arthur, should marry Catherine.
• On 14 November 1501, Arthur, who was just fifteen, married
Catherine at St Paul's Cathedral in London. Five months later Arthur
died of tuberculosis. Henry VII was keen that England and Spain
should remain united and arranged for his other surviving son.
Henry, to marry Catherine. At that time, Christians believed it was
wrong for a man to marry his brother's wife. Henry VII therefore had
to gain special permission from the Pope before the marriage could
In 1509 Henry VII died. His son Henry now became king of England. It was very important to
Henry VIII that his wife, should give birth to a male child. Without a son to take over from him
when he died. Henry feared that the Tudor family would lose control of England. Catherine gave
birth to six children but five died within a few weeks of being born. Only one
child, Mary, survived into adulthood.
By 1530 Catherine was too old to have any more children. Therefore, Henry decided he would
have to have another wife. His choice was Anne Boleyn, the 20-year-old daughter of Viscount
Rochford. Before he could marry Anne, Henry had to gain permission from the Pope.
Henry VIII sent a message to the Pope arguing that his marriage to
Catherine had been invalid as she had previously been married to
his brother Arthur. When Catherine discovered Henry's plans she
informed King Charles (Carlos) of Spain and Emperor Charles (Karl) V
of the Holy Roman Empire. Unwilling to have his aunt lose her
position, Charles warned the Pope that he would be very angry if he
granted Henry a divorce. The Pope knew that once he made a
decision, he would upset one of these two powerful monarchs. In an
attempt to keep the peace, the Pope put off making a decision
about Henry's marriage.
In January 1533 Henry discovered that Anne Boleyn was pregnant.
As it was important that the child should not be classed as
illegitimate, arrangements were made for Henry and Anne to get
married. King Charles V of Spain threatened to invade England if the
marriage took place, but Henry ignored his threats and the marriage
In September Anne gave birth to a daughter called Elizabeth.
While Henry was furious about having another daughter, the
supporters of Catherine were delighted and claimed that it
proved God was punishing Henry for his illegal marriage to
Anne. Catherine was sent into retirement at
Ampthill, Bedfordshire. Later she moved to
Kimbolton, Cambridgeshire. Catherine of Aragon died in 1536.
Anne Boleyn •
Anne Boleyn, the daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn and Elizabeth
Howard, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk, was born in 1501. Her
father had high ambitions for his daughter and when she was only
seven she was sent to Paris to be educated with the children of the
French royal family.
At thirteen she became one of the Queen's maids of honor. There
was great competition to become a maid of honor as it offered the
opportunity of meeting members of the nobility. Parents hoped
that this would eventually lead to a good marriage. As maid of
honor, Anne entertained the Queen by playing musical instruments
and singing songs. She was also expected to make polite
conversation with important guests at the royal court.
In 1521 Sir Thomas Boleyn arranged for Anne to be brought home
because England and France were on the verge of war. Boleyn
hoped that Anne would now become a maid of honor to Catherine
of Aragon, the wife of Henry VIII. However, Anne had to wait until
1526 before being granted the post. Anne was a great success as a
maid of honor. She was a good musician and a talented singer. She
was also extremely intelligent and her time in the French court
provided her with a great deal of interesting conversation.
Henry seemed to find her very entertaining and was often seen dancing with her. It was not long
before Henry VIII had fallen deeply in love with Anne. Ever since 1524 Henry had been planning
to divorce Catherine of Aragon. Now he knew who he wanted to replace her with.
• Henry sent a message to the Pope arguing that his marriage to Catherine had
been invalid as she had previously been married to his brother Arthur. When
Catherine discovered Henry's plans she informed King Charles (Carlos) of Spain
and Emperor Charles (Karl) V of the Holy Roman Empire. Unwilling to have his
aunt lose her position, Charles warned the Pope that he would be very angry if
he granted Henry a divorce. The Pope knew that once he made a decision, he
would upset one of these two powerful monarchs. In an attempt to keep the
peace, the Pope put off making a decision about Henry's marriage..
• In January 1533 Henry discovered that Anne Boleyn was pregnant. As it was
important that the child should not be classed as illegitimate, arrangements
were made for Henry and Anne to get married. King Charles V of Spain
threatened to invade England if the marriage took place, but Henry ignored his
threats and the marriage went ahead. The child who was born was Elizabeth.
• Anne had strong opinions about religion. She tried to persuade Henry to give
permission for Bibles to be published in English. Anne also introduced Henry to
the books of Protestant writers such as William Tyndale.
• In March 1534, the Pope eventually made his decision. He
announced that Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn was invalid.
Henry reacted by declaring that the Pope no longer had authority in
England. In November 1534, Parliament passed an act that stated
that Henry VIII was now the Head of the Church of England, the
• In January 1536, Anne had a son but unfortunately he was born
dead. What is more, the baby was badly deformed. This was a
serious matter because in Tudor times Christians believed that a
deformed child was God's way of punishing parents for committing
serious sins. Henry feared that people might think that the Pope
was right when he claimed that God was angry because Henry had
divorced Catherine and married Anne.
• Henry's solution to this problem was to claim that he was not the
father of this deformed child. Soon afterwards, five men, including
Anne's brother, were accused of committing adultery with the
queen. Anne and the five men were found guilty and executed. Ten
days after Anne was beheaded, Henry married Jane Seymour.
• Jane Seymour, the daughter of Sir John
Seymour, was born in 1509. She was
lady in waiting to both Catherine of
Aragon and Anne Boleyn and married
Henry VIII in 1536.
• In 1537 Jane Seymour gave birth to
Edward but she died of septicemia ten
Jane died giving
birth to a son.
Henry now at
last had a male
heir, Edward VI.
But the boy was
sickly and frail.
Mark Twain will use
Edward in his book
The Prince and the Pauper
Anne of Cleves
• Anne of Cleves, the daughter of John, Duke of
Cleves, was born in 1515. Jane Seymour, the 3rd wife
of Henry VIII died in 1537. Henry now began to look
for another wife. His Lord Chancellor, Thomas
Cromwell, wanted England to form an alliance with
the Protestants in Saxony. One way Henry could do
this was by marrying Anne of Cleves.
• In 1539 Henry was sent paintings of Anne but he suspected that the artist had
exaggerated Anne's beauty. Henry therefore sent Hans Holbein to Saxony to paint
her picture. On the evidence of Holbein's painting. Henry decided to sign the
marriage contract. However, when Anne arrived in England for the wedding Henry
was very disappointed with her. Although he agreed that Holbein had captured her
physical likeness. Henry did not like her personality.
• Henry divorced Anne in 1540 and married Catherine Howard. Anne was granted a
pension and lived in England until her death in 1557.
Kathryn Howard was the daughter of Lord Edmund
Howard, a younger brother of Thomas Howard, Duke
of Norfolk. She was also first cousin to Anne
Boleyn, Henry's ill-fated second Queen. She was
brought up in the household of the Dowager Duchess
of Norfolk. As part of the Duchess' household, she
would have spent most of her time at Lambeth and
Kathryn came to court at about the age of 19 as a
lady in waiting to Anne of Cleves and there is no
doubt that the spirited young girl caught Henry's
attentions. Kathryn's uncle probably encouraged the
girl to respond to the King's attentions and saw it as a
way to increase his own influence over the monarch.
The Duke of Norfolk also took advantage of the
debacle of the Anne of Cleves marriage as a chance
to discredit his enemy, Thomas Cromwell. In
fact, Cromwell was executed shortly after the
marriage was nullified.
• Sixteen days after he was free of Anne, Henry took his fifth wife, Kathryn
Howard, on July 28, 1540. Henry was 49 and his bride was no older than 19.
• For all that can be said against this match, Kathryn did manage to lift the King's
spirits. Henry had gained a lot of weight and was dealing with the ulcerated leg that
was to pain him until his death. The vivacious young girl brought back some of
Henry's zest for life. The King lavished gifts on his young wife and called her his
'rose without a thorn' and the 'very jewel of womanhood'.
• Less than a year into Kathryn's marriage, the rumors of her infidelity began. In a
way, one couldn't blame her for seeking the company of handsome young men
closer to her own age. But to do so, even if only in courtly flirtations, was
dangerous for a Queen, especially one who came from a powerful family with many
enemies. Kathryn didn't help matters much by appointing one of her admirers as
her personal secretary.
• By November 1541, there was enough evidence against the Queen that Archbishop
Cranmer informed the King of Kathryn's misconduct. At first Henry did not believe
the accusations, but he agreed to allow further investigations into the matter.
Enough evidence was gathered that the Queen had been promiscuous before her
marriage and may have had liaisons after becoming Henry's wife. She was
executed on the Tower Green on February 13, 1542 and laid to rest near her cousin
Anne Boleyn in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London.
• Catherine Parr, the daughter of Sir Thomas Parr
of Kendal, was born in 1512.
• Henry VIII married his fifth wife, Catherine
Howard, in 1540. The following year she was
charged by Thomas Cranmer of having sexual
intercourse before her marriage with Henry
Mannock, Francis Dereham and Thomas
Henry now sought a new wife and in 1543 married Catherine Parr. She
was a good stepmother to Henry's two daughters Mary and Elizabeth.
Catherine also helped to moderate Henry's religious persecutions.
Soon after Henry VIII died in 1547, Catherine married Thomas
Seymour of Sudeley, but died in childbirth the following year.
1486 - Henry VII (Tudor) married Elizabeth of York uniting houses of York and Lancaster.
1487 - Battle of Stoke Field: In final engagement of the Wars of the Roses, Henry VII, defeats Yorkist
1502 - Margaret, daughter of Henry VII, marries James IV of Scotland.
1509 - Henry VIII, becomes king.
1513 - Battle of Flodden Field Scots are defeated by the English
1515 - Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York, is made Lord Chancellor of England and Cardinal
1521 - Henry VIII receives the title "Defender of the Faith" from Pope Leo X for his opposition to Luther
1529 - Henry VIII dismisses Lord Chancellor Thomas Wolsey for failing to obtain the Pope's consent to his
divorce from Catherine of Aragon; Sir Thomas More appointed Lord Chancellor; Henry VIII summons the
"Reformation Parliament" and begins to cut the ties with the Church of Rome
1530 - Thomas Wolsey dies
1532 - Sir Thomas More resigns over the question of Henry VIII's divorce
1533 - Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn and is excommunicated by Pope Clement VII; Thomas Cranmer
appointed Archbishop of Canterbury
1534 - Act of Supremacy: Henry VIII declared supreme head of the Church of England
1535 - Sir Thomas More is beheaded in Tower of London for failing to take the Oath of Supremacy
• 1536 - Anne Boleyn is beheaded; Henry VIII marries Jane Seymour;
dissolution of monasteries in England begins under the direction of
Thomas Cromwell, completed in 1539.
1537 - Jane Seymour dies after the birth of a son, the future Edward VI
1540 - Henry VIII marries Anne of Cleves following negotiations by Thomas
Cromwell; Henry divorces Anne of Cleves and marries Catherine Howard;
Thomas Cromwell executed on charge of treason
1542 - Catherine Howard is executed
1543 - Henry VIII marries Catherine Parr; alliance between Henry and
Charles V (Holy Roman Emperor) against Scotland and France
• 1544 - Henry VIII and Charles V invade France
1547 - Edward VI, King of England: Duke of Somerset acts as Protector
1549 - Introduction of uniform Protestant service in Edward VI's Book of
Edward was Henry VIII’s youngest child but first heir by the rules
of primogeniture, but because he was so young at the time of
both his own and his father’s death, he had a council of regency
ruling for him during his entire life. His reign was extremely
important in the religious conflicts of the time because he was
the first truly Protestant ruler of England. He was taught nearly
exclusively by Protestants for his whole life.
One of the reasons that Protestantism flourished in this time was because of the
power that Edward’s main advisors had over him. One of his main advisors was the
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer who virtually redesigned the English Protestant service in order
to separate it from Catholicism. Cranmer achieved this with acts such as writing the “Book of
Common Prayer” and appointing John Knox as a court Chaplin. The publication of this book
caused the Prayer book Rebellion in Cornwall which lead to the slaughter of the Cornish
rebels. The Earl of Warwick was another one of Edward’s influential advisors. He supported
the destruction of Catholic Churches, the forced use of the Book of Common Prayer in all
churches, and the burning of all religious rebels. Soon all unauthorized worship was
Before Edward died at age fifteen he changed his will so that instead of his
Catholic sister Mary inheriting the throne, his Protestant cousin Lady Jane Grey would be
crowned queen. Unfortunately for Jane Grey, she was not supported by the English people
(because regardless of her religion and Edward’s wishes her reign was against English law)
who had her declaration of royalty revoked after nine (or thirteen) days. Her cousin, Mary
had her executed for treason shortly thereafter.
in the House
• In the course of one hundred years the English monarchy
changed England's national religion five times, an
unprecedented development in European history. Each
monarch changed a whole population’s religion to match
their own beliefs; burning, beheading, and deporting anyone
who stood in their way. This website is looking at why and
how each monarch changed their subject’s religion, in the
most concise and simplest manner possible.
1553 - On death of Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey proclaimed queen of England, her
reign lasts nine days; Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of
Aragon, Queen of England (to 1558); Restoration of Roman Catholic bishops in
1554 - Execution of Lady Jane Grey
1555 - England returns to Roman Catholicism: Protestants are persecuted and
about 300, including Cranmer, are burned at the stake
1558 - England loses Calais, last English possession in France; Death of Mary I;
Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, becomes Queen; Repeal of
Catholic legislation in England
1560 - Treaty of Edinburgh among England, France, and Scotland
1567 - Murder of Lord Darnley, husband of Mary Queen of Scots, probably by Earl
of Bothwell; Mary Queen of Scots marries Bothwell, is imprisoned, and forced to
abdicate; James VI, King of Scotland
1568 - Mary Queen of Scots escapes to England and is imprisoned by Elizabeth I at
1577 - Alliance between England and Netherlands; Francis Drake sails around the
world (to 1580)
The Execution of Lady Jane Grey
by Paul Delaroche
• The Execution of Lady Jane Grey is an oil painting by Paul Delaroche
completed in 1833. It is currently housed in the National Gallery in
London. The painting portrays, erroneously in some regards, the
moments preceding the death of Lady Jane Grey, who, on July 10
1553, was proclaimed Queen of England, only to be deposed nine days
later and executed in 1554. Jane is sometimes known as "Nine Days'
Queen" due to the brevity of her reign.
• Lady Jane Grey was the niece of Henry VIII of England and cousin to
his son, the short-lived Edward VI. After the latter's death she was
proclaimed queen, being given precedence over Henry's
daughters, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth. Two weeks after the death of
her brother, Mary, who had the support of the English people, claimed
the throne, which Jane relinquished, having reigned for only nine days.
Jane, her husband Lord Guilford Dudley, and her father, were
imprisoned in the Tower of London on charges of high treason. Jane's
trial was conducted in November, but the death penalty handed to her
was temporarily suspended.
• In February 1554, Jane's father, who had been released, was one of
the rebel leaders in Wyatt's rebellion, and on February 12, Mary had
Jane, then aged 16, and her husband beheaded. Her father followed
two days later.
• Elizabeth I was queen of
England for forty five years. She
is remembered as the virgin
queen, and the savior of
England. Her long reign
stabilized England after the
constant changes of her father
and siblings' reigns. She
restored the treasury after her
father's extravagance destroyed
the royal funds. Elizabeth I also
made England a major naval
power by building the fishing
and boat building industries.
For all of these things she is
remembered fondly, but she is
also remembered for being the
most religiously tolerant
member of her family.
• Elizabeth’s reign
marked the Golden
Age of England. The
blossomed, the people
loved her, and she was
the best monarch—so
much better than a
Elizabeth I was queen of England for forty five years. She is remembered as the
virgin queen, and the savior of England. Here long reign stabilized England after the
constant changes of her father and siblings' reigns. She restored the treasury after
her father's extravagance destroyed the royal funds. Elizabeth I also made England a
major naval power by building the fishing and boat building industries. For all of
these things she is remembered fondly, but she is also remembered for being the
most religiously tolerant member of her family.
Unfortunately, given the rest of her family, this is not saying much. Elizabeth I was a
moderate Protestant, so when she came to the throne the Protestants in England
were sorely disappointed when she refused to persecute the Catholics who had
flourished under her sister's rule. On the other hand, she wasn't totally unbiased.
She made church attendance and the use of a revised copy of Thomas Cranmer's
“Book of Common Prayer” mandatory, but she also lessened the punishments for
disobeying these laws. So while she wasn't a saint, she also wasn't as fanatical as
the rest of her family, and her long reign gave England a chance to stabilize and
heal in several areas.
One of the major worries during her reign was her heir, or lack thereof. She never
married and therefore had no direct heir. Her closest relative was the extremely
Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots. Elizabeth spent a fair amount of her rule finding
ways to keep Mary from usurping her power, until Elizabeth I finally had her cousin
Mary beheaded after a lengthy stay in the Tower of London. When Elizabeth finally
died she was seventy years old and her closest heir was Mary, Queen of Scots only
son, James Stuart. He was the first of the House of Stuart, which was plagued to an
even greater extent by religious turmoil.
Combine the Cross of
St. George (England)
with St. Andrew’s Cross of
Scotland, then add the Irish flag,
and you have the Union Jack
Mary, Queen of Scots
Mary Stuart, also known as Mary, Queen of Scots
is a fascinating player in the Tudor dynasty mostly
because she wasn't in it. She fought her
cousin, Elizabeth bitterly for the English throne
several times, but each time she failed. Her
cousin finally jailed her in the Tower until
executing her in 1587.
Mary was thought by many to be the rightful heir
to the English throne due to the manner in which
Elizabeth’s parents were married. They were
married after Henry divorced his first wife, so to
many in the Catholic Europe Elizabeth was a
bastard and Mary Stuart was the legitimate
Her son, James, would become the first
King in the House of Stuart in 1603,long after
1587 - Execution of Mary Queen of Scots; England at war with Spain; Drake destroys
Spanish fleet at Cadiz
1588 - The Spanish Armada is defeated by the English fleet under Lord Howard of
Effingham, Sir Francis Drake, and Sir John Hawkins: war between Spain and England
continues until 1603
1597 - Irish rebellion under Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone (finally put down 1601)
1600 - Elizabeth I grants charter to East India Company
1601 - Elizabethan Poor Law charges the parishes with providing for the needy; Essex
attempts rebellion, and is executed
1603 - Elizabeth dies; James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England
1605 - Gunpowder Plot; Guy Fawkes and other Roman Catholic conspirators fail in attempt
to blow up Parliament and James I.
1607 - Parliament rejects proposals for union between England and Scotland; colony of
Virginia is founded at Jamestown by John Smith; Henry Hudson begins voyage to eastern
Greenland and Hudson River
1611 - James I's authorized version (King James Version) of the Bible is completed; English
and Scottish Protestant colonists settle in Ulster
A portrait of King
James of England
painted around 1619
gives no hint of the
Or does it?
(Reigned from 1603-1625)
In 1603, Queen Elizabeth (last of the Tudors) died,
leaving no children. She was replaced by her near
relative James, who became the first of the Stewart
Kings of England. He did not get along with Parliament!
James was considered educated, and authored a popular
book on witchcraft. He also directed the publication of the
Bible that remains in use to this day: The King James
Version of the Bible
The famous Gunpowder Plot occurred during his reign, only serving to
increase the persecution of Catholics in England.
A number of scandals during his administration, as well as his much-rumored
homosexuality, brought suspicion on his rule.
James reigned until 1625, when he died of natural causes.
His ill-fated son, Charles I, was next in line to the throne.
Jamestown was named for him and Shakespeare wrote “Macbeth” to honor
his ancestors and mix in some witchcraft.
Fawkes is notorious for his
involvement in the Gunpowder Plot
of 1605. He was probably placed in charge
of executing the plot because of his
military and explosives experience. The
plot, masterminded by Robert Catesby, was
an attempt by a group of religious
conspirators to kill King James I of
England, his family, and most of the
aristocracy, by blowing up the House of
Lords in the Palace of Westminster during
the State Opening of Parliament.
Fawkes is notorious for his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. He was probably
placed in charge of executing the plot because of his military and explosives experience. The
plot, masterminded by Robert Catesby, was an attempt by a group of religious conspirators
to kill King James I of England, his family, and most of the aristocracy, by blowing up the
House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster during the State Opening of Parliament.
The plot itself may have been occasioned by the realization by Protestant authorities and
Catholic recusants that the Kingdom of Spain was in far too much debt and fighting too
many wars to assist Catholics in Britain. Any possibility of toleration by Great Britain was
removed at the Hampton Court conference in 1604 when King James I attacked both
extreme Puritans and Catholics. The plotters realized that no outside help would be
forthcoming. Fawkes and the other conspirators rented a cellar beneath the House of Lords
after having failed in their attempt to dig a tunnel under the building. By March 1605, they
had hidden 1,800 pounds (36 barrels, or 800 kg) of gunpowder in the cellar.
• A few of the conspirators were concerned about fellow Catholics who would have
been present at Parliament during the opening. On the evening of 26 October Lord
Monteagle, received an anonymous letter warning him to stay away, and to "retyre
youre self into yowre contee whence yow maye expect the event in safti for ... they
shall receyve a terrible blowe this parleament". Despite quickly becoming aware of
the letter—informed by one of Monteagle's servants—they resolved to continue
with their plans, as it appeared that it "was clearly thought to be a hoax".
Monteagle had been made suspicious, however, and the letter was shown to King
• The king ordered Sir Thomas Knyvet to conduct a search of the cellars underneath
Parliament, which he did in the early hours of 5 November. Shortly after
midnight, Fawkes was found leaving the cellar the conspirators had rented and
was arrested. Inside, the barrels of gunpowder were discovered hidden under
piles of firewood and coal.
• Remember, remember the fifth of
November, The gunpowder treason and plot, I
know of no reason Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.”
• Fawkes gave his name as John Johnson, and was tortured over the next few
days in an effort to extract from him the names of his co-conspirators. King
James directed that the torture be light at first, but more severe if necessary.
Sir William Wade, Lieutenant of the Tower of London at this time, supervised
the torture and obtained Fawkes's confession. For three or four days Fawkes
said nothing, nor divulged the names of his co-conspirators. Only when he
found out that they had proclaimed themselves by appearing in arms did he
succumb. The torture only revealed the names of those conspirators who
were already dead or whose names were known to the authorities. On 31
January, Fawkes and a number of others implicated in the conspiracy were
tried in Westminster Hall. After being found guilty, they were taken to Old
Palace Yard in Westminster and St Paul's Yard, where they were to be
hanged, drawn and quartered. Fawkes, weakened by his torture, was the
last to climb the ladder to the gallows, from which he jumped, breaking his
neck in the fall and thus avoiding the gruesome latter part of his execution
On November 5th,
Guy Fawkes’ Day.
They take up a
and make “guys”—
dummies, and later
The effigies are burned
and fireworks are set
off designed to
execution of the
1614 - James I dissolves the "Addled Parliament" which has failed to pass any
1618 - Thirty Years' War begins, lasts until 1648
1620 - Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the
1622 - James I dissolves Parliament for asserting its right to debate foreign affairs
1624 - Alliance between James I and France; Parliament votes for war against Spain;
Virginia becomes crown colony
1625 - Charles I, King of England (to 1649); Charles I marries Henrietta Maria, sister
of Louis XIII of France; dissolves Parliament which fails to vote him money
1628 - Petition of Right; Charles I forced to accept Parliament's statement of civil
rights in return for finances
1629 - Charles I dissolves Parliament and rules personally until 1640
1630 - England makes peace with France and Spain
1640 - Charles I summons the "Short " Parliament ; dissolved for refusal to grant
money; The Long Parliament begins.
1641 - Triennial Act requires Parliament to be summoned every three years; Star
Chamber and High Commission abolished by Parliament; Catholics in Ireland revolt;
some 30,000 Protestants massacred; Grand Remonstrance of Parliament to Charles I
Charles I, (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649), the
second son of James VI of Scotland and I of England,
was King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 27
March 1625 until his execution. Charles famously
engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of
England. He was an advocate of the divine right of
kings, which was the belief that kings received their
power from God and thus could not be deposed. Many
of his English subjects feared that he was attempting to
gain absolute power. Many of his actions, particularly
the levying of taxes without Parliament's consent,
caused widespread opposition.
Religious conflicts permeated Charles' reign. He
married a Catholic princess, Henrietta Maria of France,
over the objections of Parliament and public opinion.
His last years were marked by the English Civil
War, in which he fought the forces of the English
and Scottish Parliaments, which challenged his
attempts to augment his own power, and the
Puritans, who were hostile to his religious policies
and supposed Catholic sympathies. Charles was
defeated in the First Civil War (1642–45), after
which Parliament expected him to accept its
demands for a constitutional monarchy. He instead
remained defiant by attempting to forge an alliance
with Scotland and escaping to the Isle of Wight.
This provoked the Second Civil War (1648–49) and
a second defeat for Charles, who was subsequently
captured, tried, convicted, and executed for high
The monarchy was then abolished and a republic
called the Commonwealth of England, also referred
to as the Cromwellian Interregnum, was declared.
Charles's son, Charles II, became king after the
restoration of the monarchy in 1660.
In that same year, Charles I was canonized by the
Church of England.
The English Civil War
The English Civil War pitted supporters of Charles I (Royalist/Cavaliers)against
the forces of Parliament, under Oliver Cromwell(Puritans/Roundheads).
Cromwell’s army defeated the forces of the king.
Parliament put Charles on trial and condemned him to death as “a
tyrant, traitor, murderer, and public enemy.”
They beheaded their king only on his order!
After the execution of Charles I, the House of Commons abolished the
monarchy, the House of Lords, and the official Church of England. It declared
England a republic, known as the Commonwealth, under the leadership of Oliver
In executing the king, parliamentary forces sent a clear signal that, in
England, no ruler could claim absolute power and ignore the rule of law.
1642 - Charles I fails in attempt to arrest five members of Parliament and rejects Parliament's
Nineteen Propositions; Civil War (until 1645) begins with battle of Edgehill between Cavaliers
(Royalists) and Roundheads (Parliamentarians)
1643 - Solemn League and Covenant is signed by Parliament
1644 - Battle of Marston Moor; Oliver Cromwell defeats Prince Rupert
1645 - Formation of Cromwell's New Model Army; Battle of Naseby; Charles I defeated by
1646 - Charles I surrenders to the Scots
1647 - Scots surrender Charles I to Parliament; he escapes to the Isle of Wright; makes secret
treaty with Scots.
1648 - Scots invade England and are defeated by Cromwell at battle of Preston Pride's Purge:
Presbyterians expelled from Parliament (known as the Rump Parliament); Treaty of Westphalia
ends Thirty Years' War
1649 - Charles I is tried and executed; The Commonwealth, in which; England is governed as a
republic, is established and lasts until 1660; Cromwell harshly suppresses Catholic rebellions in
1650 - Charles II lands in Scotland; is proclaimed king.
1651 - Charles II invades England and is defeated at Battle of Worcester; Charles escapes to France;
First Navigation Act, England gains virtual monopoly of foreign trade
1653 - Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector
1658 - Oliver Cromwell dies; succeeded as Lord Protector by son Richard; Battle of the
Dunes, England and France defeat Spain; England gains Dunkirk
Oliver Cromwell’s battle helmet
(1599 - 1658)
• English soldier
who helped make
England a republic
and then ruled as
from 1653 to
Oliver Cromwell (born April 25, 1599 Old Style, died September 3, 1658 Old Style) was an English
military and political leader best known for his involvement in making England into a republican
Commonwealth and for his later role as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
He was one of the commanders of the New Model Army which defeated the royalists in the English Civil
War. After the execution of King Charles I in 1649, Cromwell dominated the short-lived Commonwealth
of England, conquered Ireland and Scotland, and ruled as Lord Protector from 1653 until his death in
Cromwell was born into the ranks of the middle gentry, and remained relatively obscure for the first 40
years of his life. At times his lifestyle resembled that of a yeoman farmer until his finances were boosted
thanks to an inheritance from his uncle. After undergoing a religious conversion during the same
decade, he made an Independent style of Puritanism a core tenet of his life. Cromwell was elected
Member of Parliament (MP) for Cambridge in the Short (1640) and Long (1640-49) Parliaments, and
later entered the English Civil War on the side of the "Roundheads" or Parliamentarians.
An effective soldier (nicknamed "Old Ironsides"), he rose from leading a single cavalry troop to
command of the entire army. Cromwell was one of the signatories of Charles I's death warrant in 1649
and was an MP in the Rump Parliament (1649-1653), being chosen by the Rump to take command of the
English campaign in Ireland during 1649-50. He then led a campaign against the Scottish army between
1650-51. On April 20, 1653 he dismissed the Rump Parliament by force, setting up a short-lived
nominated assembly known as the Barebones Parliament before being made Lord Protector of
England, Scotland, and Ireland on 16 December 1653 until his death. He was buried in Westminster
Abbey, but when the Royalists returned to power his corpse was dug up, hung in chains, and beheaded.
Cromwell has been a very controversial figure in the history of the British Isles---a regicidal dictator to
some historians and a hero of liberty to others . In Britain he was elected as one of the Top 10 Britons of
all time in a 2002 BBC poll. His measures against Irish Catholics have been characterized by some
historians as genocidal or near-genocidal, and in Ireland itself he is widely hated.
1659 - Richard Cromwell forced to resign by the army; "Rump" Parliament restored
1660 - Convention Parliament restores Charles II to throne
1661 - Clarendon Code; "Cavalier" Parliament of Charles II passes series of repressive
laws against Nonconformists; English acquire Bombay
1662 - Act of Uniformity passed in England
1664 - England seizes New Amsterdam from the Dutch, change name to New York
1665 - Great Plague in London
1666 - Great Fire of London
1667 - Dutch fleet defeats the English in Medway river; treaties of Breda among
Netherlands, England, France, and Denmark
1668 - Triple Alliance of England, Netherlands, and Sweden against France
1670 - Secret Treaty of Dover between Charles II of England and Louis XIV of France to
restore Roman Catholicism to England; Hudson's Bay Company founded
1672 - Third Anglo-Dutch war (until 1674); William III (of Orange) becomes ruler of
1673 - Test Act aims to deprive English Roman Catholics and Nonconformists of public
1674 - Treaty of Westminster between England and the Netherlands
• Charles II was King of
England, Scotland and
Ireland, whose restoration to
the throne in 1660 marked the
end of republican rule in
Notice the ear/hair
The Diary of Samuel Pepys is perhaps the most well known collection of
reminiscences. He maintained it, in secrecy, from 1660, the year of the
Restoration, until 1669 when fear of blindness prevented his daily labors.
Though it covers less than a decade, it offers a lively and detailed insight into a
period and a personality – for he noted events in both public and private
life. Famous passages include descriptions of The Plague and the Great Fire
James II (1633-1701)
James was a Stuart king of England, Scotland and Ireland
who in 1688 was overthrown in the 'Glorious Revolution' by William III.
In 1685, James II became King after the death of his older brother, Charles II. Like his
brother Charles, James, who was Duke of York prior to becoming King, had many
exciting adventures in Europe as a wandering prince in exile from 1649 to 1660. His
first marriage was to Anne Hyde, who helped James convert to the Catholic faith in
the late 1660's. Anne Hyde died in 1671. The daughters of James and Anne
Hyde, Mary and Anne, would play an important part in the changes to come. In 1673
James married another Catholic, Mary of Modena, a young Italian princess.
James was stubborn, and only put his trust in a few close conniving advisors and
flatterers. Dull witted and pious, he surrounded himself with "yes men." and
conspiratorial characters, such as Sunderland, Father Petre , and "Lying Dick" Talbot.
James' attempts to increase the power of Catholics, through the Declarations of
Indulgence in 1687 and 1688, only served to antagonize Parliament and the
Anglican establishment. His short reign ended with the Glorious Revolution at the
arrival of William, Prince of Orange. In late Dec. 1688, James, his wife, and their
son, The Prince of Wales, who had been born in June 1688, fled to France. After 13
years of bitter exile, James died near Paris in 1701.
1677 - William III, ruler of the Netherlands, marries Mary, daughter of James, Duke of
York, heir to the English throne
1678 - 'Popish Plot' in England; Titus Oates falsely alleges a Catholic plot to murder
1679 - Act of Habeas Corpus passed, forbidding imprisonment without trial; Parliament's
Bill of Exclusion against the Roman Catholic Duke of York blocked by Charles II; Parliament
dismissed; Charles II rejects petitions calling for a new Parliament; petitioners become
known as Whigs; their opponents (royalists) known as Tories
1681 - Whigs reintroduce Exclusion Bill; Charles II dissolves Parliament
1685 - James II of England and VII of Scotland (to 1688); rebellion by Charles II's
illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, against James II is put down
1686 - James II disregards Test Act; Roman Catholics appointed to public office
1687 - James II issues Declaration of Liberty of Conscience, extends toleration to all
1688 - England's 'Glorious Revolution'; William III of Orange is invited to save England
from Roman Catholicism, lands in England, James II flees to France
1689 - Convention Parliament issues Bill of Rights; establishes a constitutional monarchy
in Britain; bars Roman Catholics from the throne; William III and Mary II become joint
monarchs of England and Scotland (to1694), Toleration Act grants freedom of worship to
dissenters in England; Grand Alliance of the League of Augsburg, England, and the
The Glorious Revolution
William & Mary
The Glorious Revolution, also called
the Revolution of 1688, was the
overthrow of King James II of England
(VII of Scotland and II of Ireland) in
1688 by a union of Parliamentarians
with an invading army led by the Dutch
stadtholder William III of OrangeNassau (William of Orange) who as a
result ascended the English throne as
William III of England. The expression
"Glorious Revolution" was first used by
John Hampden in late 1689, and is an
expression that is still used by the Westminster Parliament. William and Mary
were offered the throne as joint rulers, an arrangement which they accepted. On
February 13, 1689 ,February 23 (Gregorian calendar) Mary II and William III jointly
acceded to the throne of England. Since 1689, with the passage of the English Bill
of Rights government under a system of constitutional monarchy, in England, and
later the United Kingdom, has been uninterrupted.
Anne (6 February 1665 – 1 August 1714) became Queen of
England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702, succeeding her
brother-in-law, William III of England and II of Scotland. Her
Catholic father, James II and VII, was deemed by the English
Parliament to have abdicated when he was forced to retreat to
France during the Glorious Revolution of 1688/9; her brother-inlaw and her sister then became joint monarchs as William III & II
and Mary II, the only such case in British history. After Mary's
death in 1694, William continued as sole monarch until his own
death in 1702.
On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union 1707, England and Scotland were united
as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain. Anne became its first
sovereign, while continuing to hold the separate crown of Queen of Ireland and the
title of Queen of France. Anne reigned for twelve years until her death in August 1714.
Anne was therefore the last Queen of England and the last Queen of Scots.
Anne's life was marked by many crises, both personally and relating to succession of
the Crown and religious polarization. Because she died without surviving issue, Anne
was the last monarch of the House of Stuart. She was succeeded by her second
cousin, George I, of the House of Hanover, who was a descendant of the Stuarts
through his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth, daughter of James VI & I.
This is an example
of Queen Anne furniture,
with shapely legs.
Although she had been well-educated, Anne had no experience or training to
rule. She relied upon her advisors, called a cabinet, to help her rule. Almost as
soon as she succeeded to the throne, Anne became embroiled in the War of the
Spanish Succession. This war, in which England supported the claim of Archduke
Charles to succeed to the Spanish Throne, would continue until the last years of
Anne's reign, and would dominate both foreign and domestic policy. Anne's reign
was further marked by the development of a two-party system as the new era of
parliamentary governance unfolded and matured. Anne personally preferred the
Tory Party, but "endured" the Whigs.
During this period, Prince George and Princess Anne suffered great personal
misfortune. By 1700, the future Queen had been pregnant at least eighteen times;
thirteen times, she miscarried or gave birth to stillborn children. Of the remaining
five children, four died before reaching the age of two years.
Her only son to survive infancy, William, Duke of Gloucester, died at the age of
eleven on 29 July 1700, precipitating a succession crisis.
William and Mary had not had any children; thus, Princess Anne, the heir apparent
to the Throne, was the only individual remaining in the line of succession
established by the Bill of Rights 1689.
• If the line of succession were totally extinguished,…they would have to
seek out the German cousins in Hanover… which is what will bring in
George I, George II, and George III…
Events of English Parliament’s Growth
1. James I argues with Parliament.
2. Charles I dismisses Parliament (House of Lords only)
3. English Civil War—Cavaliers/Royalists vs. Puritans/
4. Charles I is beheaded. Puritan Protectorate/
Commonwealth—added House of Commons
5. Restoration: Charles II with a constitutional monarchy
6. The glorious Revolution: 1688-1689 Parliament asks
James II to leave and Dutch Protestant William and Mary
are invited from Netherlands to become monarchs of
7. No heirs, so Anne becomes Queen, but dies childless, so
Parliament invited George I from Hanover, Germany.
HOUSE OF TUDOR
HENRY VII, 1485-1509
HENRY VIII, 1509-1547
EDWARD VI, 1547-1553
HOUSE OF STUART
JAMES I, 1603-1625
CHARLES I, 1625-1649
English Civil War (1642 – 1649)
Charles I is beheaded 1649
Commonwealth 1649 led by
Oliver Cromwell as Lord
Protector to 1658
Richard Cromwell to 1660
RESTORED HOUSE OF STUART
CHARLES II, 1660-1685
JAMES II, 1685-1688
GLORIOUS REVOLUTION 1688 - 1689
THE PROTESTANT STUARTS
THROUGH THE FEMALE LINE
WILLIAM III AND MARY II, 16891702
HOUSE OF HANOVER
GEORGE I, 1714-1727
GEORGE II, 1727-1760
GEORGE III, 1760-1820
Spain: Charles V (Charles I of Spain); Philip II
France: Henry IV; Louis XIV
Britain: Henry VIII; Elizabeth I; James I; Charles I;
Oliver Cromwell; Charles II; James II; William and Mary
Austria: Ferdinand; Charles VI; Maria Theresa, Joseph II
Prussia: Frederick William the Elector; Frederick the
Russia: Peter the Great; Catherine the Great
Battle of Lepanto, 1571—Spain and allies against Ottoman Empire
Netherlands rebellions, 1560s–1580s—political and religious revolts
Spanish Armada attacks England, 1588
St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, 1572—slaughter of French
Thirty Years’ War, 1618–1648
English Civil War, 1642–1648
The Fronde, 1648–1653—uprising of various groups in France
Glorious Revolution, 1688—bloodless change of monarchs in England
War of the Spanish Succession, 1700–1713
Great Northern War, 1700–1721—Russia and allies against Sweden
War of the Austrian Succession, 1740–1748
Seven Years’ War, 1756–1763
Russo-Turkish War, 1768–1774—Russia against the Ottoman Empire
Partitions of Poland, 1772, 1793, 1795