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John Cabot (c.1450-1500)

Who would play you in a film of your life...?

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He was actually an Italian navigator named Giovanni Caboto who wanted to prove that the fastest way to China was via the Atlantic.  


None of the other European Kings would finance his voyage, but Henry VII took a chance on him and Cabot discovered Canada!  


He claimed parts of North America for England – the first European to explore there since the Vikings.

Thomas Wolsey (1473-1530)

He fell out of favour with Henry when he couldn’t get him a divorce from Catherine of Aragon.  


He died before Henry put him on trial.

Thomas More (1478-1535)

Was the Lord Chancellor after Wolsey and a good advisor to Henry VIII.


He was a devout Catholic and refused to support Henry as head of the Church of England or support the King’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, so Henry had him beheaded.

Thomas Cromwell (c.1485- 1540)

Was a lawyer who became Henry VIII’s chief minister.  


He helped create the Church of England and made many enemies.  


He fell out of favour with the King after he suggested the King’s disastrous marriage to Anne of Cleves.


He was of course executed!

Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556)

Was made the first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury after Henry split from the Catholic Church.  


When Edward VI was King he wrote the English Book of Common Prayer, but when Mary became Queen she had him executed.

Lady Jane Grey


When it was found out that Edward VI was terminally ill, John Dudley decided that the 17 year old Protestant Lady Jane (a great-grand daughter of Henry VII who was married to Dudley’s son) should become Queen next to stop the Catholic Mary getting the throne.  

With the permission of Queen Elizabeth he used to steal and capture treasure from the Spanish ships and towns – sometimes burying it like a pirate from the story books!  The Spanish were so scared of him, they gave him the nickname El Draque.  


He was the second in command of the English Fleet that defeated the Spanish Armada – making him a British military hero.


Drake died in 1596, of dysentry, just a few weeks after surviving an attack by the Spanish in which a cannonball was fired through his ship's cabin!


He was buried at sea in full armour, in a lead-lined coffin. Nobody has ever managed to find the coffin and divers continue to search to this day!

Sir Francis Drake (c.1540-1596)

Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587)

She was the Catholic Queen of Scotland who had to abdicate in favour of her son James VI (who later became King of England.)


She was held prisoner in various different English castles for 18 years, but the English Catholics decided she should be their Queen.  


Elizabeth I eventually had her executed when it was found she was plotting against her.

Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)

Was the second most famous playwright of the Tudor times and was an early influence on Shakespeare.


His most famous plays are probably “Doctor Faustus” and “The Jew of Malta.”  


He was a mysterious man (also a spy) who died mysteriously – he was stabbed, but nobody knows why.

Sir Walter Raleigh


Walter Raleigh was a favourite explorer of Queen Elizabeth and helped found the British colonies of North America.  


He brought back potatoes to England and started the fashion for smoking tobacco.  Naughty.  


The Queen become cross with him though when he secretly married one of her Ladies-In-Waiting.  She locked them both up in the Tower of London.


In 1594 he heard about “El Dorado” a lost city of gold and set out to South America to try and find it.  He wrote a book all about his adventures.  


When the Queen died, James I locked him up again for plotting against him.  He was released and made another trip to find El Dorado, but was then executed after the Spanish complained about his men ransacking a Spanish colony.

Francis Drake Francis Drake

Was the first Englishman to sail all around the world!

Walter Raleigh Thomas Wolsey

Was the Lord Chancellor (main advisor) to King Henry VIII and also the Catholic Cardinal in England.

Mary Queen of Scots Lady Jane Grey

Jane was apparently a very nice, clever girl who was put on the throne when Edward died, but she never got the chance to be crowned, as Mary raised an army by telling people that she wouldn’t change the religion of the country that much.  


Mary seized the crown and later executed Jane for treason to stop people trying to crown her instead.  


Poor Jane died bravely and never kicked up a fuss.