The Tudor Rose
The Tudors were a Welsh-English royal dynasty who ruled England and Wales from 1485 until 1603.
Why are the Tudors so Famous?
England saw significant change under Tudor rule. During the sixteenth century, England emerged from Medieval times securing greater wealth. The Protestant Reformation occurred, the plays of William Shakespeare were written, and England led explorations that discovered America.
Who Were the Tudor Monarchs?
There were 6 Tudor monarchs, with Tudor history spanning over 118 years. They were:
Henry VII (1485-1509)
The first of the Tudor king's, Henry VII ruled from 1485 until 1509. Henry VII ascended the throne after his victory at the Battle of Bosworth, defeating Richard III and ending the War of the Roses between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. Uniting the two warring houses, Henry VII was married to Elizabeth of York (daughter of Edward IV) and they had four children.
Henry VIII (1509-1547)
The most famous of the Tudor monarchs, Henry VIII ruled from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry VIII is most famous for his six wives and religious and social reform. Henry VIII was one of the most influential monarchs in Tudor history and is one of the strongest monarchs to have sat on the throne.
The second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, Henry VIII was born at Greenwich Palace in 1491 and became heir to the throne following the death of his elder brother, Prince Arthur, in 1502. Henry was 17 years old when he became king.
Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon. She was the daughter of Spanish rulers who had been married to Henry's brother Arthur up until his death. During his first 15 years as king, Henry VIII fought wars against France, was a devout Catholic, built grand palaces, enjoyed festivities at court and played music. However, his children with Catherine all died during infancy apart from Mary, this left the king with no male heir.
After meeting Anne Boleyn and desiring a male heir, Henry wished to divorce Catherine, but divorce was not recognised by the Catholic church. In order to secure the divorce and with the support of parliament and his clergy, Henry VIII founded the Church of England separate from the Catholic church in 1534. Henry sold the Catholic lands and riches of England to noblemen. The Protestant Reformation is one of the most significant events in Tudor history, and one of the main reasons the Tudors are so famous.
Anne gave birth to Elizabeth. But, still not having a male heir, Henry VIII remarried four more times after Anne Boleyn. His wives were Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr. From these marriages, he had only one son, Edward, with Jane. Henry annulled his marriages with Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves and beheaded Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. It is this beheading of his wives that made him so infamous.
Henry VIII, though athletic as a younger man, became incredibly overweight and unhealthy with age. He died in 1547 aged 55 years. He was outlived by his sixth wife Catherine Parr.