In English history, the reign of Tudors was one of the most exciting periods that lasted from 1485-1603.
The Royal dynasty of Tudors gave five sovereigns to England: Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I. England experienced immense changes during this period primarily caused by Reformation and Renaissance. According to historians, during the Tudor era, England was economically healthier, more optimistic and expansive.
The ascent of the Tudors can be traced back to the 13th century. The dynastic fortunes were established by a Welsh adventurer Owen Tudor. Owen served king Henry V and fought in the Wars of Roses from the Lancastrian side. After the death of the king, Owen married his widow Catherine. Their only child Henry Tudor led an invasion against the Yorkist King Richard III and claimed the throne by just the title of inheritance.
The first monarch the house of Tudor, Henry VII, attained the throne after defeating King Richard II at the battle of Bosworth field. He married Elizabeth of York who was the daughter of Richard’s brother Edward IV. After the civil war, Henry successfully restored the power as well as stability of the English monarchy.
The supportive policy of Henry towards the wool industry of England had a long-lasting benefit to the English economy. Instead of spending lavishly, the king focused on raising new revenues and was credited with a number of diplomatic and economic initiatives. Henry created many foreign alliances to avoid wars and keep his kingdom secure.
After reigning for almost 24 years, Henry VII was succeeded peacefully by his son, Henry VIII who was a striking contrast to his father. During his reign, art and commerce flourished. However, the religious imagery in the churches was destroyed in order to make England a truly Protestant state. Henry VIII is considered to be one of the most famed historical figures and is well-known for his six marriages.
Among all the English monarchs, Elizabeth I was thought to be the most astute and successful ruler. The last Tudor monarch was also known as the ‘virgin queen’ as she never got married. She returned England back to Protestantism, yet did not enforce any strict religious conformity. Moreover, a secure Church of England was established by compromising between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.
Elizabeth reigned for 45 years and this period is called the most glorious in English history. Nevertheless, her reign was considerable dangerous by many, with threats of invasion from Spain and France. Under her monarchy, the country also suffered severe economic depression and high prices, particularly in the countryside.
Elizabeth died on 24 March 1603 at Richmond Palace, and had already become a legend in her lifetime. Her accession date was a national holiday for almost two hundred years. Not having married, she left no heirs. With her death, James VI of Scotland become the King of England, bringing the era of Tudor dynasty to an end.