Week 6 TUDOR ENGLAND History of British Social and Culture
When Henry VII defeated Richard III on the battlefield of Bosworth, and, according to legend, found the crown of England beneath a hedge, he started a dynasty that saw the blinkered Middle Ages transformed into an age of enlightenment. Indeed, the reign of Elizabeth I was a ‘Golden Age’: the age of Shakespeare, exploration and elegance.
Tudor is a name of the dynasty that occupied the throne of England from 1485 to 1603. The house was founded by the Welsh nobleman Owen Tudor, who married Catherine of Valois, the widow of the English king Henry V. ‘
Their eldest son, Edmund Tudor, married Margaret Beaufort, a descendant of John of Gaunt, son of King Edward III.
In 1485 Edmund and Margaret's son, Henry, killed Richard III of the house of York and became Henry VII, the first Tudor monarch.
The successive Tudor sovereigns were Henry VIII and his son and two daughters, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I; the three died childless.
The Tudors reunited the country after a period of civil strife and made the English church independent of the pope. They were followed in royal succession by the Stuart family.
Henry VII of England
Henry VII’s ascendancy to the throne of England in 1485 and his marriage to Elizabeth of York a year later marked the end of the Wars of the Roses, which had pitted the Yorks against Henry’s family, the Lancasters. This anonymous 16th-century portrait of Henry VII is at the Royal Society of Arts in London.
Still about Henry VII
Henry VII raised rents, forced nobles to pay heavy fines and increased taxes.
He became unpopular.
He treated his people with harshness and severity in order to make them obey him.
He died in 1509.
His death was followed with joy.
The Age of the Tudors
It began in 1485 when Henry VII seized the throne of England.
The age lasted for over 100 years, until the death of Elizabeth I in 1603.
Britain underwent more peaceful and stable situation than ever before.
Though there were rebellions and wars between England, Scotland and France, the turmoil experienced during the 15 th century had ceased.
Hans Holbein’s famous portrait of Henry VIII shows the Tudor king as the quintessential Renaissance sovereign. Henry prided himself on his education and his patronage of humanist scholars such as Sir Thomas More, but his increasingly despotic behavior left a more enduring image. He is most famous for founding the Church of England and for having six wives, two of whom he had beheaded.
About Henry VIII
He’s very different from his father (Henry VII).
He’s tall, handsome and energetic.
He liked hunting and was a fine swordman.
He’s intelligent. He spoke four languages, played music and sang well, and wrote ballads.
He became a king by accident. His elder brother, Arthur, who became an heir had died young.
Prince Henry replaced him and married his widow, the Spanish Princess, Catherine of Aragon.
Henry VIII was blessed with palaces, wealth and immense power. But, the only one that he desperately wanted was a son to become king after him.
Catherine of Aragon had given a birth to a son, but he died.
Still about Henry VIII
Catherine gave birth to three more sons between 1513 and 1514, but none survived.
Henry was a religious man. He believed that God was punishing him, because the Bible stated that a man should not marry his brother’s wife.
He considered his marriage with Catherine was sinful.
In 1526 he fell in love with Anne Boleyn. But she didn’t want to be his mistress. She wanted Henry to divorce Catherine and marry her.
The pope disapproved the divorce. Then, Henry blamed his Chancellor, Wolsey, and fired him.
Henry began to ignore the Pope’s authority.
In 1532, he forced priests to acknowledge him as the Head of the English church.
Still about Henry VIII
One year later, he appointed a new Archbishop, Thomas Cranmer, who granted him a divorce from Catherine.
Henry and Anne were secretly married, and Anne was crowned queen.
She gave birth to a girl, Princess Elizabeth, in September 1533.
No sons came, and by 1536 Henry wanted to get rid of Anne. She was accused of adultery, divorced and beheaded.
Only days later the king married Jane Seymour and she gave him a son.
But, she fell ill and died. Henry had a son but no wife.
Henry married again
Henry married three more times
In 1539 he agreed to marry a German princess, Anne of Cleves before he met her.
Next, he married Catherine Howard who became queen in 1540 and was beheaded for adultery in 1542.
A year later, Henry married Catherine Parr who looked after his children and nursed him through his final illness.
The English Reformation
The reformation began when Henry VIII wanted to divorce his wife, Catherine.
Henry defied the Pope and declared himself the head of English Church.
He cut England off Rome.
He was declared “Supreme Head of the English Church and Clergy.”
All the payments used to go to the Pope, they then went to the crown.
The Treason Act in 1534 threatened with a death sentence on anyone who denied Henry’s power over the church.
The Rebellion began
Monasteries, nunneries and religious houses were closed down, dissolved and plundered by Henry.
That made many people against Henry. Noblemen in Lincolnshire and Northern England started a rebellion which spread across the country.
The rebels demanded an end to the destruction of the religious houses and a return to rule by the Pope.
Over 30,000 people took part in a “Pilgrimage of Grace” in Yorkshire. Though it ended peacefully, Henry took revenge by executing 250 of the leaders.
The New Monarch
Henry died in 1547
His nine year old son, Edward VI, inherited the crown.
Edward VI was brought up as a Protestant.
He did many destructions to churches’ images and artifacts
King Edward VI of England, in whose reign the reform of the Anglican Church moved in a more Protestant direction.
From 1553, under the reign of Henry's Roman Catholic daughter, Mary I , the Reformation legislation was repealed and Mary sought to achieve the reunion with Rome.
Her first Act of Parliament was to retroactively validate Henry's marriage to her mother and so legitimise her claim to the throne.
Achieving her objective was however, not straightforward. The Pope was only prepared to accept reunion when church property disputes had been settled, which, in practice, meant allowing those who had bought former church property to keep it.
'Only when English landowners had secured their claims did Julius III's representative arrive in November 1554 to reconcile the realm'
The reformation continued
Thus did Cardinal Pole arrive to become Archbishop of Canterbury in Cranmer's place. Mary could have had Cranmer, imprisoned as he was, tried and executed for treason - he had supported the claims of Lady Jane Grey - but she had resolved to have him tried for heresy. His recantations of his Protestantism would have been a major coup for her. Unhappily for her, he unexpectedly withdrew his recantations at the last minute as he was to be burned at the stake, thus ruining her government's propaganda victory.
Queen Mary I
Queen Mary I of England restored the English allegiance to Rome.
Queen Elizabeth I of England reached a moderate religious settlement which became controversial after her death.