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Content.................................................................................................... 1

Introduction............................................................................................. 2

Henry VII of England (1485-1509)......................................................... 4

Henry VIII of England (1509-1547)........................................................ 5

Edward VI of England (1547-1553)........................................................ 9

Lady Jane Grey..................................................................................... 10

Mary I of England (1553-1558)............................................................. 15

Elizabeth I of England (1558-1603)....................................................... 17

Сonclusion............................................................................................ 20

References............................................................................................. 21


The dynasty started when Henry Tudor defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. This was the final stage of the Wars of the Roses and made him Henry VII, king of England. Arthur, Prince of Wales, was the oldest son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. He married Catherine of Argon. She was the daughter of Ferdinand II of Argon and Isabella I of Castle). Arthur died in 1502 and did not become King. When Henry VII died in 1509, Arthur's brother, Henry VIII married Catherine and became king.

During her marriage to Henry VIII, Catherine had six children. Only one of these children, Mary, survived. When Catherine became too old to have any more children, Henry divorced her. He then married a new wife, Anne Boleyn. Henry and Boleyn also had a daughter, Elizabeth. Anne Boleyn was executed in 1536. Shortly after, Henry VIII married Jane Seymour of England. She had one son, Edward VI of England, who would later become king himself at the age of 9. Jane died in 1537. Her death was caused by medical problems caused by Edward's birth

Henry married three other wives before his death in 1547. Edward, his only living son, became King after Henry died.

In 1553, Edward became ill. He created the "Device for Succession.". He said that his cousin, Lady Jane Grey, would be Queen after he died. Lady Jane was queen for only nine days.

Henry's daughter, Mary I of England, was the next ruler of the Tudor dynasty. Mary was a strong believer in Catholicism. As Queen, Mary did many things against hundreds of Protestants. Because of all the executions while she was Queen, she was given the nickname "Bloody Mary"

After Mary's death in 1558, her half-sister Elizabeth I of England became queen. Unlike Mary, Elizabeth was a Protestant. Elizabeth never married or had children. Because she never married, Elizabeth is often called the "Virgin Queen". She was well liked by most of the people of England.

The dynasty ended when Elizabeth died. She had not named a person to be ruler after her death. When she died, James I became King of England. He was the son of Elizabeth's cousin, Mary Stuart. This started the Stuart dynasty..

Henry VII of England (1485-1509)

Henry VII was born in 1457 to Edmund Tudor and Margaret Beaufort. His father died two months before he was born, leaving his 13-year-old mother as his only parent. After Henry's birth, he spent a lot of time with his uncle Jasper Tudor. Jasper took Henry to France, where he spent most of his youth. Henry had a claim to the throne of England, but it was not a very good one, and he had to wait a long time for a chance to take the throne.

In 1483, a new king came to the throne in England, called Richard III. King Richard was not popular with everyone, because it was thought that he had stolen the throne from his young nephews and had killed them. This gave Henry the chance he had been waiting for. With help from the French, he raised an army. They landed at Dale in Pembrokeshire, close to where Henry had been born, so he was able to gather more supporters on the way.

The Wars of the Roses (1455 - 1485) had been going on for years. They were fought over the throne of England between supporters of the House of Lancaster and supporters of the House of York. Both houses were branches of the Plantagenet royal house, tracing their descent from King Edward III.

King Henry VI and his family the House of Lancaster fought against their enemies for many years. The wars finally came to an end when King Henry VII of England came to the throne in 1485

On 22 August 1485, Henry's army defeated Richard III's army at the Battle of Bosworth Field. When Richard III died in this battle, Henry VII became king. Other people also had a claim on the throne, and Henry did his best to stop them from taking it from him, either by executing them, putting them in prison, or trying to make friends of them, as he did with the Earl of Lincoln. Another step he took was to marry Elizabeth of York, the niece of King Richard III, who would herself have been the heir to the throne if she had not been a girl.

There were also people who pretended to be long-lost members of the royal family, so that they could try to take the throne. One of these was a little boy called Lambert Simnel, who looked very like Edward, Earl of Warwick. The real Earl of Warwick was Henry's prisoner, but this did not stop other people from believing that Lambert was him. The Earl of Lincoln rebelled against King Henry and raised an army to make Lambert king, thinking that he himself could rule the country. There was a battle, and the Earl of Lincoln was killed. Lambert Simnel was captured, but, because he was only a child, Henry spared his life and he became a royal servant.

Henry married Elizabeth of York, and by this action put an end to the Wars of the Roses. They had six children, but only four survived infancy:

Henry VIII of England (1509-1547)

Early Life

Henry VIII was born in Greenwich. His mother and father, Elizabeth of York and Henry VII saw little of their children. Henry was their second son. He had his own servants and minstrels, including a fool named John Goose. He even had a whipping boy who was punished for Henry when he did something wrong. Prince Henry enjoyed music and was very good at it. At the age of 10 he could play many instruments, including the fife, harp, viola and drums. Henry VIII was a scholar, linguist, musician and athlete at his early age. He could speak fluent Latin, French and Spanish. He had the best tutors and he also had to learn jousting, archery, hunting and other military arts. Henry was very religious.

Henry's older brother was called Arthur. Arthur married a Spanish princess, Catalina de Aragon (Catherine of Aragon). He was fifteen years old. Prince Arthur died a few months later. He died of tuberculosis, but some say he died of plague or sweating sickness. After his brother died, Henry VIII bonded closely with Catalina de Aragon. Later, they got married. The couple had trouble getting married because in Leviticus 21, ‘If a brother is to marry the wife of a brother they will remain childless’. That meant that Catherine had to swear that her marriage with Arthur had not been perfect.

Young Prince Henry was now the heir to the throne. While his father was alive he was watched closely, because the King feared for the safety of his only remaining male heir. Henry could go out only through a private door, and then he was watched by specially appointed people. No one could speak to Henry. He spent most of his time in his room, which could only be entered through his father’s bedroom. Henry never spoke in public, unless it was to answer a question from his father. He kept his enthusiastic personality under control on public occasions because he feared his father's temper. He was given little training for his future role as King by his father, and relied heavily on his counselors in the early years of his reign. In 1509, Henry VII died of tuberculosis as well and his son became King Henry VIII. He was 18 when he was crowned king and Catherine was crowned queen consort.


The most important event that happened in England when Henry was the king was the country's change in religion. As his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, had only had one daughter, and they did not have any sons to be his heirs, Henry asked the Pope to give them a divorce. The Pope would not do this. Catherine's nephew was Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and he was very powerful. Also, Catherine's family ruled Spain, which was the largest Catholic country. Henry then chose a new Archbishop of Canterbury, a man called Thomas Cranmer. Henry knew that Cranmer would do what he wanted, and Cranmer agreed that Henry could have a divorce from Catherine. The Pope was so angry that he excommunicated Henry, meaning Henry was thrown out of the church.

Henry fought back. He switched from opposition to the Protestant Reformation and instead opposed Roman Catholicism. In 1534, he passed the Act of Supremacy, which meant that the king, not the pope, was the head of the church in England. This established the new Church of England. He then forced all priests and bishops to accept him as the new leader. Anyone who refused was punished.

Henry VIII spent a lot of time at a magnificent building named Hampton Court that belonged to his friend, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. He spent the equivalent of £18 million renovating the Court and building things such as tennis courts and jousting yards. However Cardinal Wolsey failed to get an anulment for Henry when he wished to divorce Catherine of Aragon. Many people think that this is the reason why Henry sacked Cardinal Wolsey and took Hampton Court from him.

Protestants thought that monasteries, in which Roman Catholic monks and nuns lived, had more money and land than the monks and nuns needed. Henry forced the monks and nuns to move out of the monasteries. Then Henry gave their money and land to men who supported him. Most of the men who received money and land from the closed monasteries were Protestants. This event was called the Dissolution of the monasteries.

After his divorce from Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn, who was younger than Catherine and still able to have children. When Anne, just like Catherine, only had a daughter and no sons, Henry blamed her for treason and had her beheaded by a French swordsman. He then started looking for another wife. Henry's most loyal official, Thomas Cromwell, helped him to find a way to get rid of Anne, by finding people who said that she had been the lover of several other men. Anne was put on trial and found guilty, and she was executed by having her head chopped off.

Henry's third wife was Jane Seymour. She soon gave birth to a son called Edward. Although this made Henry very happy, a few days later Jane died. Henry had loved her very much and he never got over his sadness at her death. He lost interest in everything, and became bigger in size. He became angry with Thomas Cromwell when Cromwell suggested that he should get married again after Jane's death.

After a while, Henry changed his mind. As he still only had one son, he realised that it might be a good idea to marry again, and he agreed to marry Anne of Cleves, a German princess. When Anne arrived, Henry did not think she was as pretty as she looked in the pictures he had seen, and he was not satisfied with her. Anne was also unhappy, and agreed to be divorced from Henry after only a few months. In the meantime, Henry had noticed a young lady at court, called Catherine Howard, and thought that she might make a good wife. Catherine Howard was a cousin of Henry's second wife, Anne Boleyn. Henry and Catherine got married in 1540, but Catherine was much younger than Henry and she soon got tired of him and started to flirt with other men. After they had been married for just over a year, Henry found out that Catherine had been having an affair with someone else. She was found guilty of treason and was executed, just like Anne Boleyn had been a few years before.

Henry's sixth and last wife was called Catherine Parr. She was a woman in her thirties who had already been married twice. Her first two husbands had been much older than she was, and both had died. Henry thought that she would be more sensible and faithful than his other wives, and he turned out to be right. Catherine Parr stayed married to Henry for over three years, until he died, but they did not have any children.

In 1520, an event named; 'The Field of the Cloth of Gold', took place in Calais which belonged to Britain rather than France at the time. It was organised by Britain (and therefore Henry VIII) to celebrate peace between France and England because they had been at war for a long time. Music, dancing, food, wine and culture dominated the event and millions of pounds was spent on the event (in modern day money). It is clear that no expense was spared. The event lasted for two and a half weeks. Henry famously wrestled King Francis I of France and lost.

After divorcing Catherine of Aragon, Henry began to suffer many different ailments, he never again regained health. He died on 28 January 1547 and was buried in Windsor Castle. Henry was the father of two queens and one king. They were Mary I of England, Elizabeth I of England, and Edward VI of England. None of them had any children of their own.

Henry often liked to be captured in his portraits with either food or pets. He had many pets. Henry was often seen with his dog. He owned a white pug and was very aware of how much his dog represented him as a rich wealthy man.

In 1536, the Act of Union was passed under Henry's rule which had a long lasting effect on Wales as a nation. The Act of Union meant that Welsh people were forced to speak English and things such as road signs were translated in to English. The Royal family, who were based in London, were now officially in charge of Wales. However the Act also meant that Welsh citizens were given the same legal rights as the English so there was an up side to this new law.

Edward VI of England (1547-1553)

Edward VI (12 October 1537 – 6 July 1553) was King of England and Ireland, from 28 January 1547, until his death on 6 July 1553.

Edward was the son of Henry VIII of England and Jane Seymour. His mother died 12 days after his birth. He became king at the age of 9 when his father died.

When their father died, Edward's half-sister Elizabeth was 13 years old. His other half sister, Mary was 31. Despite being the youngest, Edward was the heir apparent because he was male. Because he was such a young king, the realm was governed by a Regency Council. He died when he was 15 and a half years old. His successor was his cousin, Lady Jane Grey.

He had two advisers (or regents). The first was his uncle, Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, who became Lord Protector. For the first two-and-a-half years of Edward's reign, Lord Somerset advised and guided the young king. Somerset was replaced by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. Both men wanted major changes made to the Church of England.

As a result of their advice and his beliefs, Edward's reign is mainly remembered for the changes made to religion while he was king. Though his father, Henry VIII, had removed the Pope as Head of the Church in England, he had not changed much else. Most of the major changes to the Church of England happened during Edward's reign.

In February 1553, at age 15, Edward became sick. Before he died, he and his Council wrote a "Devise for the Succession". This was an attempt to prevent the country returning to Catholicism. Edward named his cousin, Lady Jane Grey, as his heir and excluded his half-sisters, Mary and Elizabeth. However, this was disputed after his death; Jane was deposed by Mary within 13 days. Mary I reversed Edward's Protestant reforms, which nonetheless became the basis of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement of 1559.

Religious changes

Laws were passed to make churches more plain. Catholic churches were rich in decorations and colour. Now under Edward, stained glass windows and icons were removed from churches; the furniture within churches became very basic and plain.

The actual services became more plain and the common person could now understand what was being said at services – now called Holy Communion – were in English rather than Latin. Archbishop Thomas Cranmer wrote the Book of Common Prayer also in English. Priests did not have to dress in the bright clothing associated with the Catholic Church and under Edward. They were also allowed to marry. The king remained as Head of the Church.

All of these changes were a major break from the traditions of the Catholic Church. In parts of Germany and Switzerland, religious groups had also broken away in protest against the wealth and corruption of the Catholic Church. They became known as Protestant, and England under Edward, became a Protestant country with an independent Church of England.

Edward had never been a healthy boy and his health failed in 1553. After the nine-day reign of Lady Jane Grey, his Catholic half-sister Mary became queen of England and the country went through another period of religious changes.

Lady Jane Grey

She was the daughter of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, and Lady Frances Brandon (16 July 1517 – 20 November 1559), the daughter of Henry VIII's sister, Mary.[2] She was born on 12 October 1537 and she was probably named after Jane Seymour (c. 1508 or 1509 – 4 October 1537). Jane had two younger sisters, Catherine (b. 1540) and Mary (b. 1545).

Early life

Jane's parents were very strict even by the standards of the day. If she made mistakes in her studies or had any other normal troubles, her mother would slap her or beat her. She found she loved her nurse, but otherwise lived a sad childhood.

She told a visiting scholar Roger Ascham:

"For when I am in the presence of either Father or Mother, whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand or go, eat, drink, be merry or sad, be sewing, playing, dancing, or doing anything else, I must do it as it were in such weight, measure and number, even so perfectly as God made the world; or else I am so sharply taunted, so cruelly threatened, yes presently sometimes with pinches, nips and bobs and other ways ... that I think myself in hell".

When Jane was nine, she was sent to the royal court to learn etiquette and manners with Henry VIII's sixth wife and eventual widow, Catherine Parr. Jane liked Catherine a great deal and found love with her, which she had not got from her parents. It was clear that Catherine was very fond of Jane in return.

Jane also found friendship with her cousin and future king Edward VI. They often studied together.

Jane was well educated as a child and learned to read in Latin, Greek, French and Italian, as well as English. Later in her life, she also learned Hebrew.

Parents' political ambitions

Jane's parents, especially her mother, wanted to gain more political influence. For that reason, they wanted to marry her to someone important. Jane had two sisters, Catherine, born in 1540, and Mary, born in 1545. After her sisters were born, her parents tried to marry Jane to her cousin Edward VI. They went to Catherine Parr's new husband, Thomas Seymour, to try to prepare this royal marriage. It is likely that King Edward loved Jane. However, he decided to arrange a marriage with a foreign princess instead.

In 1548, Jane was sent to Chelsea to be with Catherine Parr and Thomas Seymour. Catherine Parr became pregnant that same year and the family moved to Sudeley Castle in June, taking Jane with them. Tragedy struck when Catherine Parr died while having the baby in August of that year and Jane served as chief mourner in her funeral.

Jane was dealt another blow in 1549 when Thomas Seymour was arrested on charges of treason. She was sent back to her angered parents. They knew that their hopes of her marriage to the king were ruined; they punished her cruelly for this, even though it was not her fault.


In 1551 Jane's mother's two half-brothers died of the Sweating Sickness. Since Frances's father was dead, she became Duchess of Suffolk. Jane's father also became Duke of Suffolk. In the same year John Dudley was made the Duke of Northumberland and the chief councillor to Edward VI.

John Dudley's plot

In April 1552 Edward became sick with the measles and caught tuberculosis as well. By next year, Edward was so ill that he was weak and spitting up blood or something that was greenish-yellow. It was clear that he was going to die soon.

Dudley knew that if either of Edward's half-sisters, Mary or Elizabeth, became queen, he would not be powerful anymore. Dudley plotted with Jane's equally ambitious parents and planned that Jane became his ward, and also that she marry his son, Guildford Dudley. Jane's mother decided to give up her claim to be queen for Jane. This did not mean that Frances was any less greedy, however. This meant that Jane would become Frances and Dudley's puppet and do what they wanted. Now Jane would be the next in line to the throne if the rights of the princesses Mary and Elizabeth were ignored.


When Jane's mother and father told her that Jane was going to get married, Jane refused. She said that Guildford was ugly, stupid, and rude. She also hated John Dudley. When Jane refused, Frances and Henry swore at Jane and slapped her. This did not work, so Frances gave Jane a brutal whipping. Finally, Jane agreed. The wedding between Jane and Guildford happened on 25 May 1553. This became a triple marriage because Jane's sister, Katherine, was married at this time to Lord Herbert, and Guildford's sister, Katherine, was also married to Lord Hastings.


On 6 July 1553, King Edward VI died. Dudley's plan to make Jane queen was starting to take place. Edward's death was kept secret for a few days until Jane could be proclaimed queen.

Jane was told by her parents and John Dudley that she was queen. She became sick with fright and fainted. She did not want to take the crown. "The crown is not my right. It pleaseth me not. The Lady Mary is the rightful heir," Jane said. Her parents swore at her and John Dudley told her that she "doth wrong to herself and her house". Under pressure, Jane finally relented. Lady Jane said she never forgave herself for doing this.

Meanwhile, news was spreading the Jane had been proclaimed the new queen. Although the people liked Jane, they loved Mary and Elizabeth more. They also did not like John Dudley. In East Anglia, Mary was gaining support and planning to march into London. Dudley tried to enforce a counter-attack but to no avail. On 19 July Mary became queen. Jane was queen for nine days.


Jane returned all the crown jewels and clothes. She was then brought into the Tower of London. There, she was kept in a cell for the next few months. However, she was allowed to walk in the garden. She wrote many letters and read many books while at the Tower of London. She wrote a letter to Queen Mary saying that she never wanted the crown. Queen Mary believed Jane and refused to execute her cousin. Many people pressured Mary, but she was stubborn. She still ordered that a trial be held for traditional purposes. Jane was found guilty but the Queen pardoned her.

However, the next year, 1554, a group of rebels under Thomas Wyatt, including Jane's father Henry Grey, led a rebellion against Queen Mary because she was planning to marry prince Phillip II of Spain. It was quickly put down. Although Jane had nothing to do with it and Mary did not want to kill her cousin, her advisors told her that Phillip would only come if Jane was killed. So, with a heavy heart (sadly), Queen Mary signed the death warrant. Jane was going to be beheaded.


When Jane was told that her head was going to be cut off, she was very scared. Nonetheless, she was happy that her "sad and woeful days" of life were finally coming to an end.

Meanwhile, Mary still did not want to kill her cousin. So, she sent a Catholic priest Dr. Feckenham to try to convert Jane to Catholicism. That way, Jane would not be a threat. Jane was a firm Protestant, and refused to become a Catholic. Jane's execution was postponed from 9 February to 12 February, to try and make her a Catholic. The night before the execution, Jane wrote many letters to her family and prepared her neck for the block. The next morning, her hair was tied back, and she watched Guildford go very unwillingly to the block. Then it was her turn.


A bystander helps Jane find her way to the block. Meanwhile, the executioner gets ready to swing the axe on Jane's neck.

On 12 February 1554, at the Tower of London, Jane was sent to the scaffold. She calmly climbed the scaffold and said a speech. She said the Psalm 51 in "the most devout manner". She then knelt by the block and tied a piece of cloth around her eyes.

When the executioner told her to put her head on the block, she reached out but could not find the block since she was very scared. She cried for help until someone grabbed her hands and helped her find the block. Jane then put her neck above the block and slowly lowered it onto the block, pressed her neck against the wood and fit her chin in the hold. Then she brought her arms around her. Before she was executed, she cried out "Lord, into thy hands, I commend my spirit!"

Some say her last words were the name of her much loved husband, Lord Gilbert.


The crowd watched as the executioner raised the axe high in the air. Jane was shivering badly but her neck stayed perfectly still. Then, the executioner quickly swung the axe down perfectly at the middle of Jane's neck, which was severed in a single stroke. Jane's severed head fell to the straw in front of the block while huge amounts of blood splattered across the scaffold. The executioner then grabbed Jane's head by her red hair and lifted it up to show the crowd. He shouted "So perish all the Queen's enemies! Behold the head of a traitor!"

But some sources suggest the fact that it took 3 shots to remove Lady Janes head.


After the crowd left, the blood was removed, and Jane's body was brought to the church St. Peter ad Vincula.[2] Since the church had just become Catholic and Jane was a Protestant, they had to get permission from Queen Mary to bury her. It was four hours until her maids were allowed to prepare her body for burial. Jane's body was buried between former Queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. It is unknown what happened to her severed head.

Mary I of England (1553-1558)

Mary I (18 February 1516 – 17 November 1558), also known as Mary Tudor, was Queen regnant of England and Ireland from 19 July 1553 until her death. She was the oldest daughter of Henry VIII, and the only child of Catherine of Aragon who grew up.

Mary succeeded her short-lived half-brother, Edward VI, to the English throne. She was the fourth crowned monarch of the Tudor dynasty. Mary is remembered for briefly re-making England a Roman Catholic country.

Mary had almost 300 disagreeing religious people burned at the stake. Due to this, many called her "Bloody Mary". When her half-sister, Elizabeth I, came to the throne after Mary's death, she made England Protestant again.


Mary Tudor was born on 18 February 1516, in the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich. Unlike the other children of Catherine, she lived to be an adult. Her godfather was the famous Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.

Although she was not the heir Henry VIII was looking for, she was loved by her parents. When she was about 11, Henry decided to divorce Mary's mother, Catherine of Aragon, so he could marry Anne Boleyn.

After Anne Boleyn had a daughter, Mary had to become one of her servants. After Anne Boleyn was killed by the King, Mary's half-sister also became a servant. A month later, Henry VIII married Jane Seymour. Queen Jane gave birth to Edward, Prince of Wales. 12 days later, Queen Jane died.

Mary lost a faithful friend and also her pride. She had acknowledged her parents' marriage as invalid and herself an illegitimate daughter. The rest of Mary's life with Henry VIII gave her a quick succession of stepmothers. Henry VIII died soon after marrying his last wife, Catherine Parr.

Henry had decided that the young prince was to succeed him. If he had no heirs then his older half-sister, Mary, was to be Queen.

If Mary did not produce a child, then the Mary's half-sister, Elizabeth, was to be Queen. After Elizabeth and her heirs, would come Henry's sister Mary Tudor's side of the family.

Edward succeeded to the throne as King of England and Ireland. Edward began to show signs of a coughing disease.

Edward did not want Mary to succeed him. Edward went ahead with a plan to let his Protestant cousin Lady Jane Grey become Queen after he died. Lady Jane Grey was only queen of England for nine days. Mary executed Jane Grey and married Philip II of Spain.

Mary had two phantom pregnancies, but had no child. The phantom pregnancies were cancer in her liver. After Mary died Elizabeth succeeded to the throne, becoming the new Queen Elizabeth I of England.

Elizabeth I of England (1558-1603)

Elizabeth I of England (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was the Queen of England and Ireland. She was queen from 17 November 1558 until she died in March 1603. She was the daughter of King Henry VIII of England and Anne Boleyn, his second wife, and was the last of the Tudor dynasty of monarchs. When Boleyn was disgraced at court and executed, Elizabeth's life became a troubled one, including being locked up in the Tower of London, an old prison.

Even with all of that, Elizabeth reigned with intelligence and hard work. Her reign was distinguished with great achievements in the arts, trade, and exploration. She ably defended her country through the days of the Spanish Armada. She never married, but had several favourites, including the Earl of Leicester. At her death in 1603, King James VI of Scotland was named her successor.

Early life

Elizabeth was born in 1533 at Greenwich, England. She was the daughter of King Henry VIII of England and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. She had an older half-sister Mary, and, later, a younger half-brother Edward.

Elizabeth was given a good education. She could speak and read six languages: her native English, as well as French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, and Latin.

When she was thirteen and a half years old, on 28 January 1547, King Henry died. Elizabeth's half-brother, Edward, became King Edward VI of England. He died age 15. Mary succeeded him in 1553, and after Queen Mary's death in 1558, Elizabeth became Queen.

Achievements as Queen

Mary I had brought back the Roman Catholic religion in England. Elizabeth returned the nation to the Protestant faith made by her father. She did however retain some of the Catholic traditions. She wanted her subjects to make it look like they were being Protestant, even if they weren't.

The years of Elizabeth's reign had many artistic achievements. William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, and other writers created enduring drama and poetry. Composers Thomas Tallis and William Byrd worked at Elizabeth's court.

During her reign, many men sought adventure abroad. Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, Humphrey Gilbert, and other "sea dogs" looted Spanish ships. They also sailed to the Americas. In 1580, Drake became the first Englishman to sail around the world. The expeditions of these men prepared England for an age of discovery and owning other parts of the world and trading (doing deals) with other countries. In 1600, Elizabeth herself established a trading company known as the East India Company.

Spanish Armada

England and Spain had long quarreled. Elizabeth encouraged Protestants in the Spanish-held Netherlands to rebel against Spain. She also encouraged her "sea dogs" to raid Spanish ships. In 1588, King Philip II of Spain sent an armada (a large fleet of ships) to invade England.

Elizabeth met her troops at Tilbury telling them: "I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king - and of a King of England too."

The Spanish Armada was met by England's smaller ships on 29 July 1588. They defeated the armada, which was further devastated by bad weather near Scotland and Ireland as the remaining Spanish ships returned to Spain.

Queen's noblemen

Elizabeth never married, and she had no children. However, she was fond of several noblemen in her court. Prominent among these noblemen was Robert Dudley, the 1st Earl of Leicester. Later, she turned to Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex. He wanted to overthrow the government of the Queen. He was defeated and executed.

Elizabeth's death

Elizabeth died at Richmond Palace on 24 March 1603. The Protestant King of Scotland James VI became King of England. He was the son of her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots.

Elizabeth I was the last Tudor monarch, and reigned for 44 years. Her accession date was a national holiday for two hundred years.


None of Henry VIII’s children had any lasting offspring of their own, and when Elizabeth I died, she was the last of the Tudor monarchs; she was followed by James Stuart from Scotland, the first of the Stuart dynasty and a descendant of Henry VIII’s eldest sister, Margaret. The Tudors passed into history. And yet they have enjoyed a considerable afterlife, and remain among the most famous monarchs in the world.


The Official Website of the British Monarchy: Elizabeth I (r.1558-1603), The Royal Household, retrieved 8-29-2014

BBC History: Elizabeth I, BBC, retrieved 8-29-2014

Gibbs, Gary C. (2012), Elizabeth I, 6, The World Book Encyclopedia

BBC History: Robert, Earl of Essex (1566 - 1601), BBC, retrieved 8-29-2014


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