Tudor England *End of Middle Ages

Tudor England was the period between 1485 and 1603 during which the Tudor dynasty ruled England. The Tudor rule significantly impacted the outlook of England, and influenced the society, politics, religion, economy and the intellectual orientation of the country very significantly. Notable among the Tudor kings was Henry VII, Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I.

During the Tudor reign, England decisively shifted to Protestantism and the influence of the Catholic Church in the country ended. It was also during this period that England's relations with other countries of Europe evolved. Of more importance were England's ties with Scotland and Ireland during this period which impacted the future of English policy towards these regions in the future.

Famous Tudor Kings

Henry VII was a Famous Tudor King who was a great leader and warrior as were other Tudor kings, but the most Famous Tudor King of them all was by far was Henry VIII Read more about the Famous Tudor Kings >>

Famous Tudor People

Famous Tudor People of the Middles Ages, none more so than William Shakespeare, Sir Francis Drake, Thomas Wolsey and Sir Francis Bacon Read more about the Famous Tudor People >>

Henrys Six Wives

The Tudor King Henry VII married no less than six wives during his reign in the Tudor period and he was married to Catherine of Aragon his first wife for 24 years Read more about the Henrys Six Wives >>

Key Tudor Events

The Tudor period was very important part of medieval History and there were many key events that shaped the course of History Read more about the Key Tudor Events >>

Power of the Tudor Dynasty

Discover the Tudor Dynasty during Medieval Times Read more about the Power of the Tudor Dynasty >>

The Tudors

The Tudor Dynasty is known in the Welsh origin as the royal house. Read more about the The Tudors >>

Top 10 Tudor People

Learn about the Most Important People of Tudor Times Read more about the Top 10 Tudor People >>

Tudor Clothing

Tudor Clothing was eleborate and stylish in keeping with the standards set by Tudor Monarchs such as Henry VIII Read more about the Tudor Clothing >>

Tudor Houses

Tudor Homes

During the Tudor period, especially in the time of Henry VIII, there was a significant boom in the construction of house Read more about the Tudor Houses >>

Tudor Times

Tudor Times

The Tudor times was a period from 1485 to 1603 during which the Tudor dynasty ruled England. The most famous Tudor ruler was Henry VIII Read more about the Tudor Times >>

Tudor Weapons List

Tudor era is marked by the use of conventional weapons such as swords, polearms, spears, axes and new gunpowder weapons Read more about the Tudor Weapons List >>

Tudors Timeline

Family of Henry VIII in Tudor England

The Tudor dynasty ruled England from 1485 to 1603. They rose to power at the end of the long era of Wars of the Roses and brought stability and peace to the country Read more about the Tudors Timeline >>

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare has been called the greatest playwright in the history of mankind. Read more about the William Shakespeare >>


The “End” of the Middle Ages and the Coming of the Tudors

As the Medieval Period ended a new Tudor dynasty took control of England *Tudor period 1485 – 1603 *includes Elizabethan Era – According to Historians “England was economically healthier, more expansive, and more optimistic under the Tudors” than at any time since the Roman occupation!

House of Tudor *1485 – 1603 had French and Welsh origins

There were a total of five monarchs who held the English throne of the Kingdom of England during the Tudor Period.

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Nobility in Tudor England

Nobility in Tudor England underwent significant changes. The Wars of the Roses which established the Tudor dynasty on the throne of England led to the downfall of the conventional nobility of England.

Wars of the Roses painting

Many new persons and families rose to prominence as the new nobility under the favors of the Tudor monarchs. Wealthy members of the mercantile class also rose to power and prestige at the court.

The themes of nobility changed from “honor, lineage, and locality” to “obedience, civil society, and the nation”. Membership in the English parliament also became a sign of nobility.

Parliament in Tudor England

During the Tudor period, the supreme power rested with the King and his privy council. The second in power was the parliament which, as a body, was very significant in important political matters.

Medieval Tudor Coat of Arms

Image of the medieval coat of arms used by King Henry VIII

Parliamentary sessions carried weight and were considered important affairs by the population at large. Parliament was particularly active during the reign of Henry VIII although it had little in its power to do against the will of the King.

However, the Tudor period saw the need for new legislation and parliament was often instrumental in devising and enacting such legislation.

Education in Tudor England

Education in Tudor England steadily became available to more and more people until the reign of Henry VIII. The key instrument in the expansion of education was the parish schools where local vicars taught the boys.

Subjects such as English, Latin, catechism, arithmetic, and Greek were taught at these schools. When Henry VIII abolished monasteries and the influence of the Catholic Church declined, education also took a hit.

To counter this, Henry VIII had a number of schools established. Later, Edward VI overlooked the setting up of many grammar schools for poorer students.

English Renaissance in Tudor England

The beginning of the Tudor dynasty is often marked as the start of the English Renaissance. Renaissance spawned a movement of culture and art which gave England an altogether new intellectual dimension.

During the Tudor period, some of the most notable names of the English Renaissance such as William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas More and Francis Bacon existed.

The Tudor monarchs were highly educated, and were often patrons of arts and also culture. Plays and playwrights became popular during the Tudor period.

The English Renaissance is said to have reached its peak during the time of Elizabeth I, the final monarch of the Tudor dynasty.

Shakespeares Globe Theatre London

Shakespeares Globe Theatre London

International Relations in Tudor England

Although the founder of the Tudor dynasty, Henry VII, strove to establish amicable ties with other European nations, his dreams didn’t bear fruit. The reign of Henry VIII was fraught with wars with a number of other nations, most notably with expeditions against France.

Medieval Footsoldiers Battle of Crecy

Medieval Foot soldiers Crossbowmen in the Battle of Crecy

Relations with Spain also deteriorated in the later Tudor period and by the time of Queen Elizabeth I, England had adverse relations with both France and Spain.

Tudor-Clothing-Queen-Elizabeth

It was in Elizabeth’s reign that England began its aspiration as an imperial power, seeking to establish colonies in different parts of the world.

Irish Question in Tudor England

Ireland figured prominently in the policy of Tudor monarchs. It was in the Tudor period that on one hand, England firmly established its power over Ireland, and on the other, it alienated most of the native population.

St Georges chapel Windsor castle

St Georges Chapel Windsor castle – St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle features Tudor architecture dated to the early 16th century

A number of military expeditions were taken to consolidate English power in Ireland and these were coupled with incentives extended to Irish chieftains.

However, with England predominantly shifting to Protestantism, the Catholic population of Ireland found itself at odds with England. This brewed up conflicts and clashes. Such dissent birthed in the Tudor era continues to influence the relations between England and Ireland to this day.

The naval power of Tudor England

During and after the Tudor period, England established its hegemony over other European powers most notably through its superiority at the seas.

Tudor-Naval-Ships-Mary-Rose

This superiority of the English naval power began during the time of Henry VIII, the second Tudor monarch. Henry VIII expanded the size of the English navy from 15 ships to 45 ships during his reign. He also had the first naval dock in England established at Portsmouth.


Religion and Reformation in Tudor England

The Protestant movement was launched by Martin Luther in 1517, in opposition to the hegemony of the Catholic Church over the Christian populations of Europe.

Tudor’s rule in England was critical in augmenting this movement when Henry VIII decided to break ties with Rome in 1533. As a result, the King of England became the head of the new Church of England and had the power to appoint the Archbishop.

Posting of 95 theses by Martin Luther in Protestant Reformation

He led the closing down of Catholic monasteries. The reign of Edward VI further cemented this transition.

He had new prayer books and bibles published in English. Elizabeth I also lend support to this by definitively establishing Protestantism as the official religion of England.

Tudor England summary

Tudor England is considered, in many ways, the golden period of English history. The Tudors were patrons of art and culture which helped bring about the immensely significant English Renaissance.

Protestant Reformation Life of Martin Luther

Image depicts the Protestant Reformation Life of Martin Luther

England, under the Tudor dynasty, grew politically and militarily, firmly annexing Ireland, defeating different European powers, and seceding from the Continental influence of the Catholic Church by establishing its own independent Church of England.

The Tudor period established Protestantism as the official religion of England, marking the final departure of England from the Catholic Church.