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NUME CANDIDAT : Filipescu Ionela Daniela

1. Introduction

2. The family tree

3. The Dinastys symbol

4. The Tudor Monarchs

1. Henry VII ( 1485 -1509 )

Early life
Finaly years
2. Henry VII ( 1509-1547)
Early life
Marriage :
2.1.1. Anne Boleyn
Henry VIII
2.1.2. Jane Seymour
Early life
Marriage with Henry VIII
Birth of a heir , death of a queen

2.1.3. Anne of Cleves

2.1.4. Katherine Howard
Early life
2.1.5. Katherine Parr
Early life
3. Edward VI ( 1547-1553)
3.1. Early life
3.2. Reign
4. Jane Grey ( July 1553 )
4.1. Early life
4.2. Reign
4.3. Downfall
5. Mary I ( 1553- 1558 )
5.1. Mary in Henry VIIIs Reign
5.2. Mary on Edward VI s Reign
5.3. Mary and The Nine Days Queen
6. Elizabeth I (1558-1603 )
6.1. Early Life
6.2. Reign
6.3. Conflicts
6.4. End of The Stuart Dynasty

5. Bibliography

The Tudor dynasty began with the clandestine marriage between Owen Tudor and Catherine
of Valois and continued the Plantagenet line, although in a much modified form. This
marriage produced a son, Edmund Tudor, who was made 13th earl of Richmond in 1453. His
son, Henry, was eventually crowned Henry VII after his victory at the Battle of Bosworth,
ending the Wars of the Roses and bringing the Tudors to power.

The Tudor dynasty, spanning from Henry VIIs reign in 1485 to the death of Elizabeth I in
1603, served as the catalyst for Englands maturation from a weak country in the Middle Ages
into a powerful Renaissance state and encompassed some of the most dynamic and
progressive changes in English history.
Although marked by intermittent religious strife, this dynasty also brought the restructure of
English society, the spread of capitalism, intellectual and cultural advancements, the
Protestant Reformation, economic stability, the growth of nationalism, the beginnings of the
Renaissance, and the birth of the Church of England.
The dynasty`s symbol
The 15th and the 16th centuries were a watershed time in English history because of a
multitude of events, and the Tudor dynasty played a crucial part within the larger scope of
both English and world history.
The dynastys symbol, the Tudor rose, combined the red and white roses of the Lancastrian
and Yorkist Houses and symbolized the union of the two factions, which was cemented by
Henry VII in January 1486 when he married Elizabeth of York, eldest daughter of Edward IV.
The Tudors began their rule among bloodshed and treason but left England a more peaceful
and confident nation.
Henry VII

Born: 28 Jan 1457, Pembroke Castle, Wales

Acceded: 30 Oct 1485, Westminster Abbey, London, England

Died: 21 Apr 1509, Richmond Palace, Richmond, Surrey, England

Buried: Henry VII Chapel, Westminster Abbey, London , England

Notes: Burke says he died 1 Apr 1509 and was born 26 Jul 1455

Father: Edmund TUDOR (E. Richmond)

Mother: Margaret BEAUFORT (C. Richmond/C. Derby)

Married 1: Elizabeth PLANTAGENET (Queen of England) 18 Jan 1486, Westminster Abbey,

London, England


1. Arthur TUDOR (P. of Wales)

2. Margaret TUDOR (Queen of Scotland)

3. HENRY VIII TUDOR (King of England)

4. Mary TUDOR (Queen of France/D. Suffolk)

The very fact that Henry Tudor became King of England at all is somewhat of a miracle. His
claim to the English throne was tenuous at best. His father was Edmund Tudor, a Welshman of
Welsh royal lineage, but that was not too important as far as his claim to the English throne
went. What was important though was his heritage through his mother, Margaret Beaufourt , a
descendant of Edward III. This descent from King Edward was through his third son, John of
Gaunt. John's third wife, Katherine Swynford had borne him several children as his mistress
before he married her. The children born before the marriage were later legitmized, but barred
from the succession. Margaret Beaufort was descended from one of the children born before
the marriage of John and Katherine.
By 1485 the Wars of the Roses had been raging in England for many years between the
Houses of York and Lancaster. The Lancastrian Henry later took for his bride Elizabeth of
York thereby uniting the houses.

The real matter was decided on the battlefield, at the Battle of Bosworth Field. It was here that
Henry and his forces met with Richard III and Henry won the crown. (see quotation above) It
was truly through the defeat of Richard and the 'right of conquest' that Henry claimed the
throne. It was solidified however, by his marriage to Elizabeth of York, the eldest child of the
late king, Edward IV.

The main problem facing Henry was restoring faith and strength in the monarchy. He also had
to deal with other claimants, with some of them having a far stronger claim than his own. To
deal with this, Henry strengthened the government and his own power, at the expense of the
nobles. Henry also had to deal with a treasury that was nearly bankrupt. The English
monarchy had never been one of the wealthiest of Europe and even more so after the War of
the Roses. Through his monetary strategy, Henry managed to steadily accumulate wealth
during his reign, so that by the time he died, he left a considerable fortune to his son, Henry

It could be debated whether or not Henry VII was a great king, but he was clearly a successful
king. He had several goals that he had accomplished by the end of his reign. He had
established a new dynasty after 30 years of struggle, he had strengthened the judicial system
as well as the treasury and had successfully denied all the other claimants to his throne. The
monarchy that he left to his son was a fairly secure one and most definitely a wealthy one.
Henry VIII
Henry Tudor, named after his father, Henry VII, was born by Elizabeth of York June 28, 1491
in Greenwich Palace . Since he was the second son, and not expected to become king, we
know little of his childhood until the death of his older brother Arthur, Prince of Wales. We
know that Henry attended the wedding celebrations of Arthur and his bride, Catherine of
Aragon, in November 1501 when he was 10 years old.

Shortly after the wedding, Arthur and Catherine went to live in Wales, as was tradition for the
heir to the throne. But, four months after the marriage began, it ended, with Arthur's death.

A treaty was signed that would allow Catherine to marry the next heir to the throne -- Prince
Henry. Until then, Catherine's parents, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain would send over
100,000 crowns worth of plate and gold as a wedding gift and Henry would pay the agreed
upon dowry.

It was deemed necessary for a papal dispensation to be issued allowing Henry to marry
Catherine, as she was his dead brother's wife, and this marriage was prohibited in Leviticus.
At the time, and throughout her life, Catherine denied that her marriage to Arthur had even
been consummated (and given the boy's health, that is most likely the case) so no dispensation
was needed. However, both the parties in Spain and England wanted to be sure of the
legitimacy of the marriage, so permission from the pope was sought and received. This issue
would be very important during the Divorce and the Break with Rome.

The marriage still did not take place however. Henry VII had been slow to pay his part of the
arrangement and her parents were refusing to send the marriage portion of plate and gold. The
stalemate continued until

Henry VII died on April 22, 1509 and his son became Henry VIII.

Henry was just shy of 18 years old when he became king, and had been preparing for it from
the time of his older brother Arthur's death. At this age, he was not the image that we usually
call to mind when we hear the name Henry VIII. He was not the overweight and ill man of his
later years. In his youth, he was handsome and athletic. He was
tall and had a bright red-gold cap of hair and beard, a far cry from
the fat, balding and unhealthy man that is often remembered

Henry's marital career is probably the thing that he is most known


Henry went on to marry another five wives Anne Boleyn, Jane

Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Katherine Parr.

Anne Boleyn

Anne spent some of her childhood and teenage years in Europe she was a lady-in-waiting to
Archduchess Margaret in the Netherlands. In 1514, Anne's father arranged for her to be a
lady-in-waiting at the French court to Queen Mary, King Henry VIII's younger sister. She
later served Queen Claude of France for almost seven years.

Henry VIII

On her return to England in 1522, Anne was appointed as lady-in-waiting to Henry VIII's wife
Catherine of Aragon. Anne's striking looks and sophisticated manners earned her many
admirers at court and by 1523 she was betrothed to Lord Henry Percy. However this
relationship was cut short by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.

Before pursuing Anne, Henry VIII had already had an affair with her sister, Mary. Henry
showered Anne and her family with titles and gifts. Anne's ambitious father was created Earl
of Wiltshire and her brother, Lord George Rochford, was appointed to the Royal Privy

Henry VIII had grown tired of his wife, as she had not produced a male heir. He appealed to
Pope Clement VII for an annulment to his marriage so that he could marry Anne. The Pope
refused to annul the marriage as he was afraid to go against the will of Catherine's nephew
Charles V, The Holy Roman Emperor.


Although she resisted Henry VIII's advances, by 1533 Anne was pregnant with her first child.
Henry was forced into action. In January 1533 Henry VIII and Anne were married in a secret
ceremony and Henry broke with the Catholic Church. He passed the Act of Supremacy,
declaring that he was the head of the English church. In June 1533 Anne was crowned Queen
of England in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
Henry and Anne's daughter Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth I) was born in September
1533. Two more pregnancies ended in miscarriage, in the summer of 1534 and in January
1536. When Henry discovered the second baby had been a boy, he became convinced the
marriage was cursed. Henry was still desperate for a male heir and he blamed Anne for this

He took on Annes lady-in-waiting Jane Seymour as his mistress and looked for a way to end
his marriage.


In April 1536, Sir Francis Weston, William Brereton, Mark Smeaton, Sir Henry Norris and
Anne's brother Lord Rochford were arrested on suspicion of having had relations with the

Anne was investigated by a secret commission which included her father, her uncle the Duke
of Norfolk and Thomas Cromwell. On 2 May 1536 Anne was arrested on charges of adultery
with five men including her own brother, Lord George Rochford. At the trial, presided over by
the Duke of Norfolk, Anne was accused of adultery and witchcraft. She was convicted and
imprisoned in the Tower of London.


On 19th May Anne was led from her quarters to Tower Green where, spared the axe, she was
granted the 'mercy' of beheading by a French swordsman. Anne was the first English queen to
be publicly executed. Rather than deny her guilt, she used her final moments to deliver a
speech praising King Henry VIII, stating that, "a more merciful prince was there never: and to
me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord."
Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour was born in England c. 1509. After Henry VIII's wife, Anne Boleyn, was
executed, Jane and Henry married on May 30, 1536. On October 12, 1537, she gave birth to
Henry VIII's first male heir, King Edward VI, the future king of England. She died of
childbirth complications less than two weeks later, on October 24, 1537, in London, England,
after having been queen for only a year and a half.

Early Life and Background

Queen of England Jane Seymour was born circa 1509 in England, as the daughter of Sir John
Seymour and Margery Wentworth. Born to a wealthy family, Seymour was a descendant of
Edward III and offered quite a bit as a member of such a prestigious family, including more
than 100 manors in 19 countries and five castles. The young woman wasn't well educated,
only knowing how to read and write her own name, she was proficient in household tasks and
other hobbies, such as gardening and needlework.

Marriage to King Henry VIII

Seymour acted as a lady in waiting, or maid of honor, for King Henry VIII's first wife
Catherine of Aragonand his secondAnne Boleynin 1529 and 1535, respectively. In
September of the year that Henry VIII married Boleyn, he visited the Seymour home. It's
believed that Jane Seymour caught his eye during the visit, and in February of the following
year, rumor of his attraction to Seymour began to spread. This was also a short time after
Boleyn's second miscarriage. Aside from her beauty and status, Seymour's timid and reserved
nature is thought to be what attracted the king to hera stark
contrast to his previous two wives.

After having incited controversy for divorcing his first wife,

Henry VIII had Boleyn executed on May 19, 1536, and
privately married Seymour 11 days later. Unlike her
predecessors, Seymour never underwent a coronation, thus
was never officially crowned queen. It has been argued that
Henry VIII was waiting for Seymour to deliver the son he
desired so desperately, but this hasn't been proven.

Birth of an Heir, Death of a Queen

In May 1537, it was announced that Seymour was pregnant. She gave birth on October 12,
1537, to the heir that Henry VIII had waited years to produce. Young Edward VI was born at
Hampton Court Palace. As was the custom at the time, Jane Seymour did not attend her son's
christening on October 15, but waited in her chambers until the elaborate ceremony was over
when Prince Edward was returned to her. Seymour died only nine days later of puerperal
fever, an infection that can occur post childbirth. She was buried at Windsor Castle in St.
George's Chapel.

As the mother of his heir, Henry VIII took the death of his wife hard. Not only did he
reportedly wear black for months after her death, but he also waited until 1540 to remarry. Of
the king's six wives, Seymour was the only spouse buried with him in the same tomb after his

Anne of Cleves
Henry VIII remained single for over two years after Jane Seymour's death, possibly giving
some credence to the thought that he genuinely mourned for her. However, it does seem that
someone, possibly Thomas Cromwell, began making inquiries shortly after Jane's death about
a possible foreign bride for Henry.
Henry's first marriage had been a foreign alliance of sorts, although it is almost certain that
the two were truly in love for some time. His next two brides were love matches and Henry
could have had little or no monetary or political gain from them.
But the events of the split from Rome left England isolated, and probably vulnerable. It was
these circumstances that led Henry and his ministers to look at the possibility of a bride to
secure an alliance. Henry did also want to be sure he was getting a desirable bride, so he had
agents in foreign courts report to him on the appearance and other qualities of various
candidates. He also sent painters to bring him images of these women.
Hans Holbein, probably the most famous of the Tudor court painters, was sent to the court of
the Duke of Cleves, who had two sisters: Amelia and Anne. When Holbein went in 1539,
Cleves was seen as an important potential ally in the event France and the Holy Roman
Empire (who had somewhat made a truce in their long history of conflict) decided to move
against the countries who had thrown off the Papal authority. England then sought alliances
with countries who had been supporting the reformation of the church. Several of the Duchys
and principalities along the Rhine were Lutheran. Holbein painted the sisters of the Duke of
Cleves and Henry decided to have a contract drawn up for his marriage to Anne.
Although the King of France and the Emperor had gone
back to their usual state of animosity, Henry proceeded
with the match. The marriage took place on January 6,
1540. By then, Henry was already looking for ways to get
out of the marriage.
Anne was ill-suited for life at the English court. Her
upbringing in Cleves had concentrated on domestic skills
and not the music and literature so popular at Henry's
court. And, most famously, Henry did not find his new
bride the least bit attractive and is said to have called her
a 'Flanders Mare'. In addition to his personal feelings for
wanting to end the marriage, there were now political
ones as well. Tension between the Duke of Cleves and the Empire was increasing towards war
and Henry had no desire to become involved. Last but not least, at some point, Henry had
become attracted to young Kathryn Howard.
Anne was probably smart enough to know that she would only be making trouble for herself
if she raised any obstacles to Henry's attempts to annul the marriage. She testified that the
match had not been consummated and that her previous engagement to the son of the Duke of
Lorraine had not been properly broken.
After the marriage had been dissolved, Anne accepted the honorary title as the 'King's Sister'.
She was given property, including Hever Castle, formerly the home of Anne Boleyn.
Anne lived away from court quietly in the countryside until 1557 and attended the coronation
of her former step-daughter, Mary I.
She is buried in a somewhat hard to find tomb in Westminster Abbey.

Katherine Howard

Kathryn Howard was the daughter of Lord Edmund Howard, a younger brother of Thomas
Howard, Duke of Norfolk. She was also first cousin to Anne Boleyn, Henry's ill-fated second
Queen. She was brought up in the household of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk. As part of
the Duchess' household, she would have spent most of her time at Lambeth and Horsham.
Kathryn came to court at about the age of 19 as a lady in waiting to Anne of Cleves and there
is no doubt that the spirited young girl caught Henry's attentions. Kathryn's uncle probably
encouraged the girl to respond to the King's attentions and saw it as a way to increase his own
influence over the monarch. The Duke of Norfolk also took advantage of the debacle of the
Anne of Cleves marriage as a chance to discredit his enemy, Thomas Cromwell. In fact,
Cromwell was executed shortly after the marriage was nullified.
Sixteen days after he was free of Anne, Henry took his fifth wife, Kathryn Howard, on July
28, 1540. Henry was 49 and his bride was no older than 19.
For all that can be said against this match, Kathryn did
manage to lift the King's spirits. Henry had gained a lot of
weight and was dealing with the ulcerated leg that was to
pain him until his death. The vivacious young girl brought
back some of Henry's zest for life. The King lavished gifts
on his young wife and called her his 'rose without a thorn'
and the 'very jewel of womanhood'.
Less than a year into Kathryn's marriage, the rumors of her
infidelity began. In a way, one couldn't blame her for
seeking the company of handsome young men closer to her
own age. But to do so, even if only in courtly flirtations, was
dangerous for a Queen, especially one who came from a
powerful family with many enemies. Kathryn didn't help matters much by appointing one of
her admirers as her personal secretary.
By November 1541, there was enough evidence against the Queen that Archbishop Cranmer
informed the King of Kathryn's misconduct. At first Henry did not believe the accusations, but
he agreed to allow further investigations into the matter. Enough evidence was gathered that
the Queen had been promiscuous before her marriage and may have had liaisons after
becoming Henry's wife. She was executed on the Tower Green on February 13, 1542 and laid
to rest near her cousin Anne Boleyn in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of

Katherine Parr

Katherine Parr was the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Parr and his wife Maud Green, both of
whom were at the court of Henry VIII in his early reign. Maud was a lady-in-waiting to
Queen Catherine of Aragon and named her daughter, born in 1512, after her. So, Henry VIIIs
last wife was named after his first. Thomas Parr died in November 1517, leaving his three
children, William, Katherine and Anne in the care of their mother. Maud managed the
childrens education and the family estates and must have left an impression on her daughter
of the greater role an independent woman could have in society. The education that Maud
arranged for the children was similar to that of other noble figures of the time and at least in
the case of Katherine, it ignited a life-long passion for learning. She was fluent in French,
Latin and Italian and began learning Spanish when she was Queen.
Katherine Parrs first marriage was to Edward Borough, the son of Thomas, third Baron
Borough of Gainsborough in 1529 when she was 17 years old. Edward died only a few years
later, probably in early 1533. It was during this marriage that Katherines mother Maud died,
in December 1531. Katherines second marriage was to John Neville, third Baron Latimer of
Snape Castle in Yorkshire, whom she married in the summer of 1534 when he was 41 and she
was 22. Latimer had two children from his previous marriages so Katherine also became a
stepmother for the first time. During the Pilgrimage of Grace a rebel mob forced Latimer to
join them and later took Katherine and her stepchildren hostage at the castle. Latimer was able
to eventually secure their freedom and managed to escape arrest for his associations with the
rebellion after it was finally put down.
Katherines ailing husband died in March 1543, leaving her a widow for the second time, now
at the age of 31. It was around this time that Katherine was noticed by not only the King, but
also Thomas Seymour, brother of the late Queen Jane Seymour. Katherine expressed her
desire to marry Thomas Seymour after Latimers death, but the Kings request for her hand
was one that Katherine felt it was her duty to accept. Katherine and Henry VIII were married
on July 12th in the Queens closet at Hampton Court Palace in a small ceremony attended by
about 20 people.
Katherine was interested in the reformed faith, making her enemies with the conservatives of
Henrys court. It was Katherines influence with the King and the Henrys failing health that
led to a plot against her in 1546 by the conservative faction. Katherine and her ladies were
known to have had banned books which was grounds for arrest and execution on charges of
heresy. To gain evidence against the Queen, Anne Askew, a well-known and active Protestant,
was questioned and tortured, but refused to recant her faith or give evidence against Katherine
and her ladies. However, there was enough other evidence against the Queen to issue a
warrant for her arrest. The warrant was accidentally dropped and someone loyal to the Queen
saw it and then quickly told her about it. This is a well-documented incident that has made its
way into many historical fiction accounts. Sometimes the history itself is the best drama!
After learning of the arrest warrant, Katherine was said to be very ill, either as a ruse to stall
or from a genuine panic attack. Henry went to see her and chastised her for her outspokenness
about the reformed religion and his feeling that she was forgetting her place by instructing
him on such matters. Katherines response in her defense was that she was only arguing with
him on these issues so she could be instructed by him, and to take his mind off other troubles.
Playing to Henrys ego no doubt helped and Katherine was forgiven.
Katherine was close with all three of her stepchildren as Henrys wife and was personally
involved in the educational program of the younger two, Elizabeth and Edward She was also a
patron of the arts and music. Katherines own learning and academic achievements, as alluded
to previously, were impressive, and in 1545, her book Prayers or Meditations became the
first work published by an English Queen under her own name. Another book, The
Lamentation of a Sinner, was published after Henry VIIIs death.
Henry VIII died in January 1547 and Katherine had probably expected to play some role in
the regency for the new nine-year-old king, Edward VI, but this was not to be. Only a few
months after Henrys death, Katherine secretly married Thomas Seymour, but the quickness
and secret nature of the union caused a scandal. Katherine was still able to take guardianship
of Princess Elizabeth and Seymour purchased the wardship of the kings cousin, Lady Jane
Grey. It was during this time that the rumors of a relationship between Elizabeth and
Seymour arose and Elizabeth was sent to another household in the spring of 1548.
After three previous marriages and at the age of 36, Katherine was pregnant for the first time
and in June 1548, she moved to Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire to await the birth of her
child. On August 30th she gave birth to a daughter named Mary. Katherine soon fell ill with
puerperal fever, which was to claim her life in the morning hours of September 5th. Katherine
was buried, with Lady Jane Grey as the chief mourner, in
the chapel at Sudeley Castle, where the tomb can still be
visited today.

Eduard VI

Henry VIII died in 1547, secure in the knowledge that he had left behind the male heir to the
throne that he had longed for. Unfortunately, the boy was young, not even 10 years old, when
he became king. His uncle, Edward Seymour became Lord Protector, and through Edward,
sought to control England. Seymour's brother, Thomas, was made Lord Admiral and was an
early influence on the life of the King's sister, the Princess Elizabeth.

Protector Somerset was later overthrown by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, who then
took control as Edward's chief advisor.

Protestants in England were happy for the young king's ascension to the throne, but feared
what might happen if the boy died. It was common knowledge that Mary, Henry's eldest
daughter and heir after Edward (according to Henry VIII's will), would return the country to
Roman Catholicism. To prevent this from happening, several of the nobles plotted to bring
another woman to the throne in her place. Some rallied behind the other heir of Henry VIII:
Elizabeth. Others looked to the descendants of of Henry VIII's
sister Mary. The oldest of these descendants was the
Lady Jane Grey

Lady Jane Grey

Born: 1537

Proclaimed Queen: 10 July 1553

Deposed: 19 July 1553

Executed: 12 February 1554

The Tower of London

Buried: 12 February 1554

Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London

It could be debated whether or not Jane should be included as a
"Tudor Monarch" but her story is such a fascinating one that it
bears telling.

The true tragedy of Jane Grey is that her death was through no fault
of her own, but of the unfortunate fact of her heritage and of her
religion. She most likely never really wanted to be Queen, but it
was not something that was under her control. Her ambitious
parents (Frances Brandon and Henry Grey), along with John
Dudley, father of her husband, Guilford Dudley, sought to keep a
Protestant monarch on the throne if Edward were to die without an
heir of his body and to have that monarch under their thumbs. The best way to do that was to
make their own children King and Queen.

Four days after Edward's death on July 6, 1553, Jane was proclaimed Queen of England.
However, Mary, who was the rightful heir to the throne according to Henry VIII's will, was
gathering support in Suffolk. She and her followers rode into London nine days later and
imprisoned Jane and her supporters. Mary was the next Queen of England.

Jane and her husband were held in the Tower of London but were not executed until after a
second ill-fated uprising in their name.

Mary I
Born: 18 February 1516
Greenwich Palace
Proclaimed Queen: 19 July 1553
St. Paul's Cathedral, London

Coronation: 1 October 1553

Westminster Abbey

Died: 17 November 1558

St. James's Palace

Buried: 14 December 1558

Westminster Abbey


Mary Tudor was the only child born to Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon to survive
childhood. Had she been born a boy, it is likely that the whole of English history would have
been different (but probably less interesting!).

Mary had a good childhood as a young princess, and was the center of court attention in her
earliest years. But, as the years progressed and no little brothers followed, Mary's father began
to look into the alternatives. Eventually, Henry sought an annulment from Catherine, and
married his second Queen: Anne Boleyn. Mary was declared illegitimate and was to no longer
be called "princess", but rather "The Lady Mary".

When Anne Boleyn gave birth to Elizabeth, Mary was sent to attend the new young Princess
in her household. Soon Elizabeth would be declared a bastard as well, since her mother also
failed to produce a male heir for Henry.

Shortly after the death of Anne Boleyn, Henry wed Jane Seymour, who sought to reconcile
the King with his two daughters. Henry and Jane visited Mary and after, she wrote letters to
the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (her cousin) and the Pope stating that her parent's
marriage had not been valid. [Mary was able to get an additional message to them, in secret,
saying that she wrote the letters under duress.] After that, she returned to court, although her
title of Princess still had not been restored.

In October 1537, Queen Jane gave birth to Edward, Henry's longed for son and Mary stood as
the young Prince's godmother at the christening. The court was soon plunged into mourning
as Jane died two weeks after Edward's birth.

In January 1540, Mary gained yet another stepmother: Anne of Cleves. Although they shared
different religions (Mary was Catholic, Anne a Lutheran), the two women became fast friends
and would remain so until Anne's death in 1557. Unfortunately Anne's marriage to Henry
wasn't so long-lived and she was divorced in July of the same year.

Shortly after the annulment of his marriage to Anne of Cleves,Henry took another wife [now
his 5th], Kathryn Howard. Kathryn was probably 18 years old, making Mary six years older
than her new stepmother. Mary was apparently appalled at her father's action and there were
come quarrels between Mary and Kathryn during the young Queen's reign. That reign turned
out to be all too short, as she was arrested, tried and executed for adultery in 1542.

At this time of emotional upheaval, Mary fell seriously ill and may have been in danger of
losing her life. Her father was concerned enough to send his own doctors to look after her.

Henry's last Queen was Katherine Parr, who was about four years older than Mary. They were
married in 1543, and she survived Henry at his death in 1547. All three of Henry's children
attended the wedding at Hampton Court. Mary was friends with her last stepmother, although
they too had religious differences, as Katherine was a strong supporter of the Reformed

When Henry VIII began to fall ill, he drafted his will declaring that Edward would be his heir
and Mary was to follow him if the young Prince were to die childless. Elizabeth was also
included, and she would take the throne if Mary were to die without an heir. As we know in
hindsight, this is exactly what was to happen.


Henry VIII died January 28, 1547, leaving his 9 year-old son as King. The young Edward was
a supporter of the Protestant faith, although Mary seems to have hoped at one point he would
see the error of his ways and return England to the Church of Rome.

Alas, this was not to be. She defied Edward's Act of Uniformity and openly celebrated Mass,
which had been abolished. Edward and Mary struggled with this issue through the rest of the
King's short reign.

Some time in 1552, Edward began to show signs of the illness that would eventually claim his
life. He was reported to have a hacking cough that eventually resulted in him spitting up blood
and tissue. Medical historians generally agree that he had tuberculosis.

Fearing Mary would return the country to the Catholic faith, powerful men in the realm, such
as John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland and Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk began to make
their plans. Although they made moves to court Mary's favor, they worked secretly with their
own agenda. Northumberland married his son Guildford to Suffolk's daughter Jane Grey, who
would be in line for the throne after Mary and Elizabeth. By placing Jane on the throne in
Edward's wake, they thought they would have a puppet they could control [although Jane
seems to have had other ideas about that!]

Northumberland put his plans into action and convinced Edward to leave his crown to his
cousin Jane.


Mary realized that a plot was being hatched to place Jane on the throne. She had been urged
by some friends to flee the country since they feared her life would be in danger. Mary knew
that if she fled, she would forfeit all chances of becoming Queen and returning England to
Catholicism, so she chose to remain and make a stand for her crown.
Edward died on July 6, 1553. Shortly afterwards, Northumberland informed Jane at Syon
house that Edward had left the crown to her and that she was now Queen of England. Mary,
meanwhile, was in East Anglia. Northumberland and three of his sons went to take Mary into
custody. Mary was at this time moving around with a growing army of supporters. She knew
that he must have confirmation of her brother's death, because it would be treason to declare
herself Queen otherwise. She received news from a reliable source that Edward was indeed
dead, and promptly sent proclamations throughout the country announcing her accession to
the throne.

Mary went to Framlingham Castle in Suffolk, which was better fortified. Her number of
supporters was increasing and Mary took time to inspect her troops personally. The people of
Suffolk were flocking to Mary and many of the leaders who were supposed to take her into
custody instead went and begged for her pardon.By this time, the Privy Council in London
realized their error in going along with Northumberland's plot and declared Mary the true
Queen of England. She left Framlingham for London on July 24.

Elizabeth I
Born: 7 September 1533
Greenwich Palace

Became Queen: 17 November 1558

Coronation: 15 January 1559

Westminster Abbey

Died: 24 March 1603

Richmond Palace

Buried: 28 April 1603

Westminster Abbey

Elizabeth's life was troubled from the moment she was born. Henry VIII had changed the
course of his country's history in order to marry Anne Boleyn, hoping that she would bear him
the strong and healthy son that Catherine of Aragon never did. But, on September 7, 1533
in Greenwich Palace, Anne bore Elizabeth instead.

Anne did eventually conceive a son, but he was stillborn. By that point, Henry had begun to
grow tired of Anne and began to orchestrate her downfall. Most, if not all, historians agree
that Henry's charges of incest and adultery against Anne were false, but they were all he
needed to sign her execution warrant. She was beheaded on the Tower Green on May 19,
1536, before Elizabeth was even three years old.

Elizabeth was probably at the royal manor at Hunsdon when her mother was arrested and
executed after being at court for Christmas (and likely the last time she saw her mother).
Henry had remarried and was eagerly awaiting the son he hoped Jane Seymour was carrying.
As it turned out, she was indeed to bear Henry a son, Edward (future Edward VI). Jane died
shortly after her son was born.

Elizabeth's last stepmother was Katherine Parr, the sixth queen to Henry VIII. Katherine had
hoped to marry Thomas Seymour (brother to the late Queen Jane), but she caught Henry's
eye. She brought both Elizabeth and her half-sister Mary back to court. When Henry died, she
became the Dowager Queen and took her household from Court. Because of the young age of
Edward VI, Edward Seymour (another brother of Jane's and therefore the young King's uncle)
became Lord Protector of England.

Elizabeth went to live with the Queen Dowager Katherine, but left her household after an
incident with the Lord Admiral, Thomas Seymour, who was now Katherine's husband. Just
what occurred between Elizabeth and Thomas will never be known for sure, but rumors at the
time suggested that Katherine had caught them kissing or perhaps even in bed together.
Katherine was pregnant at the time of the incident. She later gave birth to a daughter named
Mary. Katherine died not too long afterwards and was buried at Sudeley Castle. This left
Thomas Seymour as an eligible bachelor once again.

Because Elizabeth was a daughter of the late King Henry VIII, she was in line to the throne
(despite several attempts to remove her from the chain, she was in Henry's will as an heir) and
was therefore a most sought-after bride. During the reign of Edward VI, Thomas Seymour
asked for Elizabeth's hand in marriage, which she refused. From this incident, both Thomas
and Elizabeth were suspected of plotting against the king. Elizabeth was questioned, but was
never charged. Seymour however, after an attempt to kidnap the boy king, was arrested and
eventually executed for treason. Elizabeth was reported to have said, upon hearing of the Lord
Admiral's death (although it is probably apocryphal): "Today died a man of much wit, and
very little judgment."

Edward may have contracted what was then called consumption (possibly tuberculosis) or had
a severe respiratory infection. When it looked inevitable that the teenager would die without
an heir of his own body, the plots for his crown began. Reports of the young King's declining
health spurred on those who did not want the crown to fall to the Catholic Mary. It was during
this time that Guilford Dudley married Lady Jane Grey, who was a descendant of Henry
VIII's sister Mary, and was therefore also an heir to the throne. When Edward VI died in
1553, Jane was proclaimed Queen by her father Henry Grey and her father-in-law John
Dudley, who rallied armies to support her. However, many more supported the rightful heir:
Mary, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Nine days after Jane was proclaimed
Queen, Mary rode into London with her sister Elizabeth. Jane Grey and her husband Guilford
were imprisoned in the Tower.

Shortly after becoming Queen, Mary was wed to Prince Philip of Spain, which made the
Catholic Queen quite unpopular. The persecuted Protestants saw Elizabeth as their savior,
since she was seen as an icon of "the new faith". After all, it was to marry her mother Anne
Boleyn that Henry instituted the break with Rome. Because of this, several rebellions and
uprisings were made in Elizabeth's name, although she herself probably had little or no
knowledge of them. However, Mary sensed the danger from her younger sister, and
imprisoned her in the Tower.

The story, possibly apocryphal, of Elizabeth's entry into the Tower is an interesting one. She
was deathly (pun intended) afraid of the Tower, probably thinking of her mother's fate in that
place, and when she was told she would be entering through Traitor's Gate, she refused to
move. She had been secreted to the Tower in the dark so as not to raise the sympathy of
supporters. That night was cold and rainy, and the Princess Elizabeth sat, soaking wet, on the
stairs from the river to the gate. After her governess finally persuaded Elizabeth to enter, she
did so and became yet another famous prisoner of the Tower of London.

Elizabeth was released from the Tower after a few months of imprisonment and was sent to
Woodstock where she stayed for just under a year. When it appeared that Mary had become
pregnant, Elizabeth was no longer seen as a significant threat and the Queen let her return to
her residence at Hatfield, under semi- house arrest. Mary Tudor was nearly 40 years old when
the news of her "pregnancy" came. After a few months, her belly began to swell, but no baby
was ever forthcoming. Some modern historians think that she had a large ovarian cyst, and
this is also what lead to her failing health and eventual death.

News of Mary's death on November 17, 1558 reached Elizabeth at Hatfield, where she was
said to be out in the park, sitting under an oak tree. Upon hearing that she was Queen, legend
has it that Elizabeth quoted the 118th Psalm's twenty-third line, in Latin: "A Dominum factum
est illud, et est mirabile in oculis notris" -- "It is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our
Elizabeth had survived and was finally Queen of England.

Bibliography :