The Tudor Family
The Tudor family ruled England from 1485 until 1603. This was a period of change and discovery all over the Europe. In Italy, at the beginning of this period, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo and the other great men were at work and Christopher Columbus discovered America.
In England there were five Tudor monarchs. The greatest were Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, who ruled at the end of the Tudor period.
In 1509, when Henry VIII became king, England was a Catholic country. Henry was handsome and intelligent. He spoke four languages and wrote poetry. He was good at maths, astronomy and music. He loved sports, especially archery, wrestling, hunting and tennis. He was also determined and cruel. He executed people who didn’t obey him.
His first wife Catherine of Aragon didn’t give him a son, so in 1533 Henry decided to divorce her and marry Anne Boleyn. When the Pope refused to annul the marriage, Henry left the Catholic Church, created the Church of England, and declared himself head. Henry married six times and had eleven children, but only three lived to become monarchs: Edward, Mary and Elizabeth. Edward was only 9 years old when he became monarchs. He died when he was 15. Mary then ruled for five years, and she was very cruel.
Elizabeth was queen from 1558 until her death in 1603. She was an intelligent woman. She liked foreign languages and music. She never married and she had no children. Elizabeth I’s reign is known as the “Golden Age”. She nominated a group of advisor to help her and she avoided war. As there was peace and prosperity, exploration, commerce and entertainment were possible. Francis Drake sailed around the world. Luxuries such as carpets and sugar were introduced. People went to the theatre and everybody talked about a new talent –William Shakespear.