Saturday, 24 Oct 2020

The Tudors. Powerful English Dynasty

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the Tudors
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The Tudors are the most famous ruling dynasty of England. Immediately after the war between the Scarlet and White Roses, they succeeded in restoring order in the country and making England one of the strongest countries of that time. The reign of the Tudors covers a little less than a century and a quarter between the accession of Henry VII to the throne on August 21, 1485 and the death of his granddaughter Elizabeth on March 24, 1603. These years are often called the beginning of the heyday of modern England, and 1485 – the turning point in the transition from the Middle Ages to the New Age, since events of extreme importance occurred during the Tudors rule.

During the Middle Ages, England remained the outskirts of Europe, the intellectual, artistic and spiritual quest of Western Europe almost did not affect her. Thus, the revival of sciences had almost no influence on England in the 15th century, where the level of intellectual life even decreased as compared with the 13-14th centuries. Jeffrey Chaucer, who died in 1400, expressed in his work the spirit of the Renaissance, but his successors could not even come close to his genius. The English Renaissance came to the end of the Tudors rule and was under the auspices of the court. During this period, the unity of the Western Christian world was undermined by the Lutheran uprising and related movements. In England, the course and character of a similar movement was largely determined by the royal court and the sovereign.

Henry VII of the Tudors, who ruled from 1485 to 1509, conquered the throne with a sword. The king he destroyed was himself a usurper. Heinrich’s claims were almost completely unfounded, although he was considered the representative of the line of the first Lancaster, descended from John of Gontsky, the fourth son of Edward III. In 1486 he strengthened his position by marrying Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV of the York dynasty. Thus the Lancaster red rose and the York white rose joined to form the Tudors dynasty. Heinrich’s strength was also the fact that his father Edmund Tudor belonged to the Welsh nobility and he himself was also born in Wales.

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the Tudors. Henry VII

In November 1485, the parliament adopted a statute that secured the English throne of the Tudors for Henry VII and his direct posterity (but not for the Tudor genus as a whole). In January 1486, Henry VII married Elizabeth Plantagenet (1466–1503), the eldest daughter of the English king Edward IV York (ruled 1461–1470, 1471–1483), thereby connecting the dynasties of Lancaster and York and putting an end to the war between the Red and White Roses.

The Tudors occupied the throne of England one hundred and eighteen years. After the death of Henry VII of the Tudors, the English crown was succeeded by his son Henry VIII (1509–1547), the son of Henry VIII Edward VI (1547–1553) and daughters Mary I the Bloody (1553–1558) and Elizabeth I (1558–1603). Their reign was marked by the English Reformation and the flourishing of English absolutism. With the death of the childless Elizabeth I on March 24, 1603 the Tudors dynasty ceased; the throne passed to the Scottish King James VI Stuart (James I of England), the great-great-grandson of Henry VII in the female line.

Henry VIII of the Tudors (1491-1547) was the second representative of the Tudors. He ruled the country for almost 38 years. Over this long period of time, he proved himself as a despotic and cruel ruler. It was during his time that the “vagrancy law” was passed. The ruined peasants who lost their property, just hung up. It was much easier than helping people get back on their feet and regain material wealth. He ruled cruelly, wasting the budget his father earned by killing imaginary enemies and putting England to where his predecessor had pulled it out. Generosity, cheerful disposition and magnificence of the court under Heinrich were in stark contrast to the meager prudence of the former king.

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the Tudors. Henry VIII

The king received a special “fame” because of the number of his wives. He was one of the Tudors who married six times and, in order not to go into details, briefly about his family life can be told like this: “divorced — executed — died — divorced — executed — survived”. By the way, the king had ten children from all six marriages, but only three survived: Edward, Mary and Elizabeth, who later ruled. At one point, the life situation aggravated the disease. The king became very fat. There is speculation that he suffered from gout. Began to know the old wounds received in previous years on the hunt. All this caused irritation and depression. Every day the king felt worse and worse. At the age of 55 he died. It happened on January 28, 1547 in London in the famous Whitehall Palace.

Edward VI of the Tudors is the youngest member of the Tudors when he came to the throne in 1547. He was the son of Henry VIII by his third wife, Jane Seymour. Edward was crowned at the age of nine, and he reigned for five years. The boy grew up healthy, intelligent, cheerful and strong child. Developed beyond his age, he knew four languages ​​and was the long-awaited son of his father. The board of Edward VI was marked by the beginning of the Reformation in England. For the first time, the doctrine and worship of Christianity of the new sense were legalized. In 1549 a new compulsory prayer book and a draftsman were approved (Book of Common Prayer). It was a translation and adaptation of medieval liturgical books, and in its tone it was generally Catholic texts. The next prayer book, released in 1552, bore the obvious features of the direction in which the continental reformers went.

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the Tudors. Edward VI

But in January 1553, the king fell ill, and in April, he was recovering. By July, his condition had worsened even more. The last time he appeared in public, the king was remembered as a thin, emaciated, pale and sick person. He died after six months of fighting the disease, leaving no heirs. Historians say that the cause of his death could be lung disease (as surgeons of that time said) or poisoning.

Immediately after Edward VI of the Tudors ascended the throne of the Tudors to Lady Jane Gray. She is called the”queen of nine days”. A companion to King Henry VII, the daughter of Duke Suffolk grew up in a Protestant environment and received an excellent education for her time. During the life of King Edward VI, being the fourth in the line of succession to the throne, she had only a ghostly chance of coming to power. The eldest sister, Maria, was the heir to the teenage king. However, in June 1553, mortally ill, Edward and Regent John Dudley removed Catholic Maria from the throne of the Tudors and appointed heir to sixteen-year-old Protestant Jane, who was recently married to Guilford, the son of the regent. Maria, the legitimate heiress, did not want to put up with it and run away from the palace, raised a rebellion. Nine days later, the Privy Council, assessing the balance of power, deposed Jane and called Mary on the throne. Jane Gray and her husband were imprisoned in the Tower, sentenced to death for treason and decapitated seven months later.

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the Tudors. Execution of Jane Gray

Mary I, or Mary of the Tudors, nicknamed Bloody, daughter of Henry VI and Catherine of Aragon, escaped from troops sent to capture her after Edward’s death and was proclaimed Queen in London on July 19, 1553. She considered the beginning of her reign on July 6, the day of Edward’s death, and ignored Lady Jane Gray’s nine-day rule. The new queen was committed to the old religion, but it received the support of precisely those eastern counties in which reform was the most prevalent. For a time, Mary led an extremely moderate policy. The bishops, displaced under Edward, were returned to their parishes, and those who replaced them, in turn, were deprived of their posts.

But in the sixteenth century, this name made even more trembling, because she was called “Bloody Mary.” Mary of the Tudors was a convinced Catholic, and therefore did not tolerate Protestants in her own country. All those who did not agree with her ended their lives at the stake. In 1554, Mary married Charles V, the Spanish prince, but the people disliked the new king and his retinue. There were no children in this marriage either. At the end of August 1558 the queen fell ill. This period is described in different ways, but it all converges to the fact that there was no hope for recovery. Despite this, Maria was still worried about the country. Solving state affairs, the queen soon fell into an unconscious state and ordered her oral blessing to be transferred to her sister. Early in the morning of November 17th, Maria passed away. Her funeral cost the country 7763 pounds (more than two million pounds by modern standards) and she was buried in Westminster Abbey, where she still lies with her sister Elizabeth. By the way, the day of Mary’s death is a national holiday in the country, and in all of England she will not find a single monument.When Mary died, England rejoiced.

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the Tudors. Bloody Mary

Elizabeth of the Tudors, who ruled from 1558 to 1603, was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Despite the fact that the marriage of her parents was declared invalid in 1536, she became queen in accordance with the law of the country and the will of the people. She inherited many of the features of her father. Like him, she had the gift of choosing competent advisers and understood the importance of a favorable-minded public opinion. In the religious sphere, she sought not to fall into the extremes of her predecessors. Jobs to the episcopal seats that opened after her accession to the throne, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, allowed the appointment of moderate priests who were ready to cooperate with the new queen.

During her reign, many famous poets, writers and playwrights presented their creations to the world, and Elizabeth herself created a royal troupe (to which, by the way, William Shakespeare belonged). But nevertheless, there were detractors in the country. So, for example, Mary Stuart until the end of her days believed that Elizabeth of the Tudors was a usurper and illegitimate, that she had absolutely no rights to the throne. In the end, Elizabeth died on March 24, 1603, and was buried with her sister. Interestingly, the nickname “Queen-Maiden” Elizabeth received for the fact that in all her life never married and had no children.

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the Tudors. Elizabeth I

According to one version, Elizabeth I’s reluctance to go down the aisle was due to physiological and mental abnormalities. There is another version. The Queen of England had an affair with Robert Dudley, a childhood friend, later a favorite. But Dudley was not on the list of grooms from the parliament. They say that the Queen’s romance with the lord lasted until the death of Robert Dudley in 1588. He became the one who today would be called the civil husband. Rumor has it that the couple even had children. Allegedly, a Spanish spy sent from England found letters in which he spoke about a mysterious young man named Arthur Dudley, who was the illegitimate son of Elizabeth of the Tudors from the lord. Elizabeth’s disease – dropsy, from which she recovered “in the abdomen” but of course, there are no real facts.

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the Tudors. Elizabeth I and Arthur Dudley

With the death of the queen, the Tudors ended and the Stuarts dynasty began, as Elizabeth I appointed James I, the son of Mary Stuart, to succeed her.

Coat of arms of the Tudors has its interesting history. The beginning of the reign of Henry VII of the Tudors marked the end of the Rose War, which lasted nearly thirty years between representatives of the House of Lancaster, to which Henry VII Tudor belonged, and the House of York, to which Henry’s wife belonged – Elizabeth of York. A prudent marriage helped the new king unite the two houses and put an end to the bloody struggle for power in England. Moreover, Heinrich spent a whole year pulling off marriage with promises, but apparently he understood that it was only in this way that he could really establish himself on the throne, and in 1486 the marriage with Elizabeth was concluded. However, they crowned the new queen only after the birth of her heir. He remembered the war of the Scarlet and White Rose, so using them in one emblem he showed the unity of the country. It was after this marriage that two roses appeared on the Tudor coat of arms.

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the Tudors. Coats of arms

After analyzing the peculiarities of the rule of the Tudors, only one thing can be understood: the Tudors keep many secrets and questions, not everything can be answered, all covered with a layer of time, a layer of history. Anyway, it is a fact that the Tudors made England really a strong and a prosperous country.


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12 thoughts on “The Tudors. Powerful English Dynasty

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    1. Hi there 🙂 Childless Elizabeth I bequeathed the English throne to her great-nephew, King of Scotland James IV, who ascended the English throne under the name of Jacob I. This decision was the last success of the Tudor dynasty: for centuries, warring England and Scotland peacefully united on the basis of personal union.

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