The Yorkist King, Edward IV overcame Lancastrian forces at the “Battle of Tewkesbury” in May of 1471. The Lancastrian heir to the English throne, Edward Prince of Wales died in battle, and shortly thereafter, Henry VI was murdered in the Tower of London.
Henry Tudor became the last Lancastrian heir and threat to the Yorkist dynasty. When Edward IV attempted to capture the fourteen year old Henry, only one option laid open to him…/ flee his home, go into exile at the Count of the Duke of Brittany, waiting for his time to come… and it would.
For fourteen long years, Henry remained in exile, waiting; and the opportunity came with the death of King Edward IV of England, on the 9th April 1483. Edward’s brother, Richard the Duke of Gloucester, usurped the English throne that should have gone to Edward’s nine year old son. Within months, Richard had been crowned King Richard III of England, and Edward’s sons, the two young princes had been murdered, possibly under the order’s of Richard III.
On the 25th December 1483, Henry took a solemn oath in Rennes Cathedral, that he would take Elizabeth of York, as his wife and Queen. Yorkist’s paid homage to Henry in return.
King Henry VII: 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.
Henry VII possessed only his ability and the ancient name and audacity of his welsh ancestors. His grandfather had married the widow of Henry V, and his father had Margaret Beaufort, an illegitimate descendant of Edward III. Henry’s only claim to the English throne was his victory at the “Battle of Bosworth,” defeating the English forces and killing of Richard III.
The Tudors gave England the government it so wanted, and they got the reputation of not pushing its subjects, where they were not ready to follow.
He gained much recognition from abroad; Spain in 1489 with the Treaty of Medina del Campo, and then from France, Netherlands and Scotland. He restored a strong government, promoted English trade which he could tax, avoided overseas wars and saved money.
On the 21st April 1509, King Henry VII the first Tudor Monach of England, died at Richmond Palace, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.
King Henry VIII: Henry was crowned King Henry VIII on the 24th June 1509 at Westminster Abbey. During his reign, he was responsible for the formation of the English Navy and the construction of shipyards on the River Thames.
Henry was an ambitious and bold King, different in many respects to that of his father; Henry VII. He received much praise from the likes of Thomas More, who served in his government.
In 1513, Henry won the “Battle of the Spurs” in France and overcome the Scots at Flodden.
In the years 1514-1529 Thomas Wolsey served as his Chancellor and Archbishop of York.
Henry’s desire for a male heir blighted his reign… leading to many Queens in his quest. Catherine of Aragon, bore him six children, but only one survived infancy; Mary I. Anne Boleyn his next quest, led to the creation of the Church of England, and a daughter: Elizabeth I. Henry’s third wife Jane Seymour gave birth to a son; Edward VI.
Thomas Cromwell oversaw the revolutionary changes of the 1530’s; Henry’s break from Rome and the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
King Henry VIII died on the 28th January 1547 at the Palace of Whitehall and was buried at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle alongside his third wife,; Jane Seymour.
King Edward VI: Edward VI was born on the 12th October 1537 at Hampton Court Palace to parents Henry VIII and Jane Seymour. He was crowned King Edward VI of England on the 20th February 1547.
Edward’s reign was overseen by a Regency Council, headed by Edward Seymour, the Duke of Somerset until his death in 1553, and from then by John Dudley, the Earl of Warwick.
During Edward’s short reign, he will be remembered for the introduction of the “Book of Common Prayer,” as still used today.
In 1549, an act was passed “The First Act of Uniformity” making Roman Catholic Mass illegal.
On the 6th July 1553 King Edward VI died at Greenwich Palace, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.
On the 6th July 1553, King Edward VI of England died at Greenwich Palace. On the 9th July, Bishop Ridley stated that contenders to the English throne, Mary and Elizabeth were illegitimate by right of birth. Then on the 10th July, proclamation of the death of King Edward VI was announced.
Lady Jane Grey: Lady Jane Grey was born in October 1537 at Bradgate Manor, Leicestershire to parents Henry Grey, Marquis Dorset and great grandson of Queen Elizabeth and her mother was Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk.
On the 21st May 1553, she married Lord Guildford Dudley, not by choice, but by request of her mother.
The Dudley’s were Protestant nobles, and as Protestant’s they feared, Mary a devout catholic, could become Edward’s successor, and so it was under pressure, his will was changed to include Lady Jane Grey as his Protestant heir.
Edward died on the 6th July 1553, and Lady Jane Grey made her claim to the English throne, by right of Edward’s will and that her grandmother; Mary Tudor was the sister of Henry VIII.
On the 3rd August 1553 Mary the people’s choice and her followers entered London; she was dressed in purple velvet and satin, receiving rejoicing from the people who had lined the streets to greet her… their new Queen.
On the 12th February 1554, Lady Jane grey and her husband Lord Guildford Dudley were beheaded at the Tower of London. Lady Jane Grey’s body was buried in the chapel of St.Peter ad Vincula within the Tower of London.
Queen Mary I: Mary was born on the 8th February 1516 at Greenwich Palace to parents Henry VIII and Catharine of Aragon. When Edward VI died, she seized the crown, from the newly crowned Queen; Jane Grey, Edward’s chosen successor, ascended to the throne on the 19th July 1553. On the 12th February 1554, Jane Grey and her husband Guildford Dudley were executed at the Tower of London, on the orders of Queen Mary I.
In the autumn of 1554, Mary overturned acts relating to the church, and in turn, returned England to Roman Catholicism. Many Protestant Bishops were persecuted, and some three hundred were burned at the stake.
Queen Mary I of England died on the 17th November 1558 at St.James Palace and was buried on the 14th December at Westminster Abbey.
This Queen who ruled for only five years, had attempted to return England to its Catholic roots of the past … she who was true to her faith, her beliefs.
What will she be remembered for? Her mass burning of Protestants, who refused to turn to Catholicism.
Queen Elizabeth I: Elizabeth was born on the 7th September 1533 at Greenwich Palace to parents Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. She ascended to the English throne on the 17th November 1558, following the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary I, and was crowned Queen Elizabeth I of England at Westminster Abbey on the 15th January 1559.
Elizabeth would have been well aware, what this new position in life held. She knew, she was considered an illegitimate child in the eyes of some of her Catholic subjects. For they believed, Mary, Queen of Scotland, the Catholic daughter of James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise, also the great niece of Henry VIII, gave her claim to the English throne.
Therefore if Elizabeth had died, Mary would have ascended to the English throne. Whilst Mary lived an assassination on Elizabeth’s life, by supporters loyal to Mary existed.
Elizabeth dismantled Mary’s Catholic England, and on the 29th May 1559 Edmund Grindal became the new Protestant Bishop of London. One by one, Catholic churches suppressed making way for Protestant England.
On the 19th June 1566, Mary, the Queen of Scots bore a son, baptised according to Catholic rites, and the child was named James, and Elizabeth was his godmother.
On the 29th July 1567, 13-month-old heir to the Scottish throne was crowned King James VI, after his mother, Mary had abdicated on the 24th July under duress.
On the 2nd May 1568, Mary escaped from Lochleven Castle, and on the 16th May crossed the border into England.
In the October of 1586 Mary was put on trial at Fotheringale Castle for plotting against the Queen’s life. On the 25th October she was found guilty, and sentenced to death.
On the 8th February 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots, she who sought support from England, yet being a conspirator against the life of Elizabeth lost her own life. Spain replied on the 19th July 1588, with the Spanish Armada.
Elizabeth had not married, she had no off-spring this Virgin Queen … it was just a matter of time for James, to wait for Elizabeth to die.
On the 24th March 1603, Queen Elizabeth I died at Richmond Palace and was buried at Westminster Abbey on the 28th April, alongside her half-sister Queen Mary I.