Tudor King: Edward VI

Edward was born on the 12th October 1537 at Hampton Court to parents Henry VIII and Jane Seymour.  He ascended to the English throne on the 28th January 1547, following the death of his father, and was crowned King Edward VI of England on the 19th February 1547 at Westminster Abbey.

Edward was too young to rule, so Edward Seymour the Lord Protector of Somerset ruled in his name, and later replaced by John Dudley the Earl of Warwick.

On the 10th September 1547, English army led by the Duke of Somerset, defeated a Scottish army at the “Battle of Pinkie” near Musselburch, to the east of Edinburgh.  It was his intention to force the Scots to abide by the “Treaties of Greenwich” agreeing a marriage between King Edward VI of England and Queen Mary I of Scotland.

A small force of French troops arrived in Scotland to check out the situation, and this was followed up by 6,000 troops, preventing the English, from gaining a foothold in the Scottish borders.

The English effort to force Queen Mary I to marry King Edward VI into marriage, and joining of the two countries failed.  So it was on the 7th August Mary left Scotland bound for France to marry the dauphin.

She married the future French King; Francis II on the 19th April 1558 at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

In 1549, the first book of Common Prayer was introduced, and Church services changed from Latin to English.

Thousands of protestors from Cornwall and Devon protested against the new book of Common Prayer in the June, as they marched on Exeter under the banner of the “Five Wounds of Christ.”

In 1549, an act was passed “The First Act of Uniformity” making Roman Catholic Mass illegal, and icons and statues related to this form of worship were removed, and walls whitewashed to cover up paintings.

On the 8th July Robert Kett a Norfolk Tanner and landholder, led demonstrations against land enclosures in Wymondham, on Norwich.  Kett was hanged from Norwich Castle, for their attack on Norwich.

John Dudley, the Earl of Warwick creates for himself the Duke of Northumberland, and deposes the Duke of Somerset as Protector of England, and thereby controlled access to the King.

In March of 1550 England and France make peace with each other, through the “Treaty of Boulogne.”  England surrendered Boulogne for 400,000 crowns.  England withdrew its forces from Scotland.

On the 2nd May Joan Bucher (Joan of Kent) was burned at the stake in Smithfield for heresy.

On the 25th May 1551, London and its surrounding area, was hit by earthquake. 

On the 19th July a treaty was signed at Angers; the proposed marriage between King Edward VI and Elizabeth, daughter of Henry II of France … a sign of Anglo-French friendship.

In the August Princess Mary was ordered to obey the law and cease attending Latin mass.

On the 22nd January 1552 the Duke of Somerset was executed on Tower Hill on the charge of high treason.

On the 21st May 1553, Guildford Dudley married the King’s cousin, Lady Jane Grey.  In early June, the King collapsed, it was a sign, and death was at hand.

On the 6th July 1553 King Edward IV died at Greenwich Palace of suspected tuberculosis and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

Who would or should have succeeded him?

According to King Henry VIII, the Catholic Mary Tudor was heir by law. 

According to the wishes of King Edward VI, his successor was Lady Jane Grey.

Tudor King: Henry VIII

Henry VIII was born on the 28th June 1491 at Greenwich to parents; King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York.  He ascended to the English throne on the 21st April 1509.

Catherine of Aragon was the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, the joint rulers of Spain.  When she was three she was betrothed to Arthur aged two at the time, the son of Henry VII.  Catherine and Arthur were eventually married on the 14th November 1501in London and lived at Ludlow Castle, within six months Arthur had died.

Henry went on to marry his late brother’s wife Catherine of Aragon on the 11th June 1509 creating an alliance between England and Spain.  On the 24th June Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon were crowned King and Queen of England in a joint coronation at Westminster Abbey.

Henry wanted a son and as much as she tried, she was only ever able to conceive one child that being a daughter; Mary who was born in February 1516, for all other attempts ended in still born births or miscarriages.  Henry was frustrated that she had not given him a male heir, but always remained loyal to her.

By 1526, he had fallen in love with another, one Anne Boleyn and Catherine and Henry were hardly seen together.  With a new wife in the making, Henry made a petition to the Pope for an annulment of their marriage, for in his eyes, the only true heir should be a boy.

The wrangling between; Henry, Catherine and the Pope continued for many years.

Henry VIII wanted Anne Boleyn to become one of his many mistresses, but she implied she would be his wife and Queen or nothing.  Yet he was still married to Catherine of Aragon, and trying to get an annulment approved by the Pope.  Yet her face became a common sight in Court from 1528.  Then on the 1st September 1532, she was made the Marquess of Pembroke.

Henry VIII rejected the influence being imposed on him by the Pope’s representative in England, and insisted that the Archbishop of Canterbury; Thomas Cranmer should create an annulment.

In December 1532 she announced she was with child; Henry’s child.  On the 25th January 1533 Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn were secretly married, yet the marriage would be classed invalid as he was still married in the eyes of the law and church to Catherine of Aragon.

On the 23rd May 1533, the Archbishop of Canterbury formerly announced that the marriage between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon was invalid.

Catherine died at Kimbolton Castle on the 7th January 1536, and was buried at Peterborough Abbey as it was known then, as Princess Dowager, not as a Queen of England.

On the 1st June 1536 she was crowned Queen of England, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and on the 7th September she gave birth to a daughter; Princess Elizabeth, much to the disgust of Henry.

She had numerous failed attempts of giving birth to a boy.  With no male heir, her days as Queen were limited, for she had observed the King paying much attention to one of her ladies in waiting; Jane Seymour.

She sought to retain her position in court as Queen with her allies, but without conceiving a son her days were doomed.  One of Henry’s allies Cromwell aided his King in getting rid of Anne Boleyn, so he could re-marry.

On the 30th April 1536, Mark Smeaton was arrested and tortured, then from information received, Sir Henry Norris and George Boleyn’s the Queens own brother was arrested, along with Sir Francis Weston and Wiiliam Breton.

On the 2nd May the Queen was arrested and charged with committing adultery with Sir Francis Weston and Wiiliam Breton, and plotting against the life of the King.

They came to trial at Westminster Hall on the 12th May 1536 and were all found guilty of the charges.  So it was that on the 17th May George Boleyn was executed on Tower Hill.  Whilst Sir Henry Norris, Mark Smeaton, William Breton and Sir Francis Weston were beheaded the same day on Tower Hill.

On the 19th May Anne Boleyn was led out to Tower Hill and beheaded, and her remains were buried in the Chapel of St.Peter ad Vincula adjoining Tower Green.

Jane Seymour first arrived in court in the service of Queen Catherine of Aragon, and later became one of Queen Anne Boleyn’s ladies in waiting.

On the 20th May 1536 Jane Seymour was betrothed to henry VIII and on the 30th May they were married.

In the early part of 1537, Jane was with child, and in the October she gave birth to a son; Prince Edward at Hampton Court Palace.  He was christened on the 15th October 1537.

Jane Seymour died on the 24th October some two weeks after the birth of her son.  Jane was the only one of Henry’s six wives to be buried alongside him in St.George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.  It is believed that Henry’s love for Jane was one of sincerity, for he remained single for two years after her death.

Thomas Cromwell made inquiries on Henry’s behalf for a future bride from overseas, and Hans Holbein considered one of the finest Tudor court painters of his time, was dispatched to the court of the Duke of Cleaves.  Upon seeing the final image of Anne Cleaves a marriage contract was drawn up, and on the 6th January 1540 Henry VIII married Anne of Cleaves.

He found his new wife and future Queen unsuitable for life at court, for she had been raised for domestic work and his interest was one of literature and music.  In July of 1540 the marriage was dissolved, and she took the title “Kings Sister” and lived out the rest of her days at Hever Castle.  She died on the 16th July 1557, and was buried on the 4th August 1557 in Westminster Abbey.

Kathryn Howard came to court aged just nineteen, and was lady in waiting to Anne of Cleaves.  On the 28th July 1540 Henry VIII married Kathryn Howard at Oatlands Palace.

She was young and rumours of her infidelity spread, as men her own age attracted her.  Henry reached a point when enough was enough, as she hadn’t acted properly as a Queen, and Henry instigated investigations which proved her guilt without doubt.  She should never have been allowed to marry Henry VIII as the difference in their ages was far too great.  He was 49 she was 19.

On the 13th February she was executed on Tower Green and buried in the Chapel of St.Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London.

Katherine Parr the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Parr and Maud Green, formerly lady in waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon. She was fluent in French, Latin and Italian, and after her marriage to Henry VIII on the 12th July 1543 at Queen’s Closet, Hampton Court Palace opted to learn Spanish.

She was a reformer at heart, and she and Henry often argued over religion.  Ultimately, Henry remained committed to a mixture of Catholicism and Protestantism.  Parr went on to help Henry reconcile himself with his daughters Mary and Elizabeth.  In 1543, an Act of Parliament put the daughters back in the line of succession after his son Edward, Prince of Wales.  The same act allowed Henry to determiner further successions to the throne within his will.

King Henry VIII of England died on the 28th January 1547, making her a widow.  It had been expected she would take the role of Regency for the nine year-old King EdwardVI, but that was not to be.

After the death of her husband King Henry VIII, Katherine Parr married Thomas Seymour a few months later causing a political scandal in the process.

After three previous marriages and at the age of 36 Katherine was pregnant for the first time in June of 1548, and moved to Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire to await the birth of her child.  On the 30th August she gave birth to a child named Mary, and shortly after the birth was struck down with puerperal fever.  On the 5th September her life passed from her, and she was buried that very day in St.Mary’s Chapel in Sudeley Castle.

Tudor King: Henry VII

Henry was born on the 28th January 1457 to parents Edmund Tudor the Earl of Richmond and Margaret Beaufort at Pembroke Castle in Wales.  On the 22nd August 1485 he ascended to the English throne, after defeating King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, and was crowned at Westminster Abbey, as King Henry VII of England on the 30th October 1485.

On the 18th January 1486, he married Elizabeth of York, the daughter of Edward IV, thereby uniting the houses of York and Lancaster.  She bore him seven children, only four survived infancy; Arthur, Margaret, Henry and Mary.

On the 16th June 1487, Henry’s forces did battle with loyal Yorkists at the “Battle of Stoke” putting out the fire of rebellion, aimed at him.

On the 25th November 1487, Elizabeth of York was crowned Queen of England at Westminster Abbey.

On the 11th June 1488 James IV ascended to the Scottish throne, and one of his first acts was to permit rebel Yorkists safety in Scotland.

In 1492 Perkin Warbeck, claimed he be, the rightful heir to the throne, son of Edward IV, and imprisoned in the Tower of London.  Support for the pretender grew, until he was hanged on the 23rd November 1499, on the charge of treason.

On the 14th November 1501, Catherine of Aragon, daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain married Henry’s eldest son; Prince Arthur, by the then Archbishop of Canterbury (Henry Deane) at St.Paul’s Cathedral.

On the 24th January 1502 three treaties were signed between James IV of Scotland and Henry VII of England; a Treaty of Perpetual Peace, Treaty of Marriage between James IV and Henry’s daughter Margaret plus Treaty of Preservation covering Anglo-Scottish borders.

On the 25th January 1502 James and Margaret were married by proxy, and married on the 8th August 1503 at the Chapel of Holyrood house.

On the 2nd April 1502, Prince Arthur, Henry’s son died.

On the 11th February 1503, Elizabeth died and was buried at Westminster Abbey … Henry VII had lost his partner.

On the 25th June 1503, Henry the Prince of Wales is betrothed to Catherine of Aragon to preserve the English – Spanish alliance.

On the 21st April 1509, King Henry VII the first Tudor Monach of England, died at Richmond Palace, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.