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There were 5 monarchs during the Tudor era, beginning with...
The Tudors ruled England for a total of 118 years!
HENRY VII (Henry Tudor)
Born: 28th June 1491
Became King: 21st April 1509 (aged 17)
Married: Catherine of Aragon in 1509
Anne Boleyn in 1533
Jane Seymour in 1536
Anne of Cleves in 1540
Catherine Howard in 1540
Catherine Parr in 1543
Died: 28th January 1547 (aged 55)
Henry VIII had a big brother called Arthur who was supposed to be King after their dad, Henry VII, but Arthur died before Henry VII so young Henry married Arthur’s wife Catherine of Aragon and got to be King!
Although Henry VIII was very clever he was also very vain and was determined to have a son. He didn’t believe that a queen would be strong enough to rule after him! This lead to him breaking away from the Catholic Church so that he was able to divorce Catherine and have five other wives (and also taking all the money that normally went to the Church) and making himself head of the Church of England.
Henry VIII’s vanity also meant that he was always at war with France (because he thought he should rule it) and that he spent far too much money.
Born: 28th January 1457
Became King: 22nd August 1485
Married: Elizabeth of York in 1486
Died: 21st April 1509 (aged 52)
Henry Tudor became king when he defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. This ended a long civil war over the throne between the houses of York and Lancaster, which was known as the Wars of the Roses.
When Henry became king he brought stability to England, but it later turned out that he was actually quite greedy and perhaps wasn’t as great as people had first thought.
Born: 12th October 1537
Became King: 28th January 1547 (aged 9)
Died: 6th July 1553 (aged 15)
Because Edward was just a boy when he was king, England was actually ruled by a Regency Council, lead first of all by the King’s uncle Edward Seymour and then by John Dudley.
Edward’s short time on the throne was important because in this period the Church of England became Protestant rather than Catholic – meaning things like church services were held in English and not Latin. It was also a time of unrest because England was at war with Scotland.
To stop England becoming Catholic again when the sickly boy king died it was decided that Edward’s Protestant cousin, Lady Jane Grey, should rule after him.
Born: 18th February 1516
Became Queen: July 1553 (aged 37)
Married: Philip II of Spain
Died: 17th November 1558 (aged 42)
Mary (Henry VIII eldest daughter by Catherine of Aragon) didn’t allow Lady Jane Grey to be queen for long – only 9 days! Lady Jane was later executed after Mary became England’s first proper Queen.
Mary set about making England a Catholic country again and in her short time on the throne she had 280 Protestants burnt at the stake – gaining her the nickname of Bloody Mary.
Born: 7th September 1533
Became Queen: 17th November 1558 (aged 25)
Died: 24th March 1603 (aged 69)
One of Good Queen Bess’ first jobs was to turn England Protestant again!
However when she did so she didn’t persecute those who disagreed with her unlike certain members of her family. She also didn’t get too heavily involved in wars apart from an unavoidable one with Spain when England defeated the Spanish Armada.
However, Elizabeth never married or had a child and so when she died the throne went to James VI of Scotland allowing him to become James I of England.