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British Life and Culture

by Mandy Barrow

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British life and culture - England, Scotland and Wales
Tudor Dynasty 1485 - 1603

Henry VIIIThe Tudors were a Welsh-English family that ruled England from 1485 to 1603. They came to power as a result of the victory of Henry VII over Yorkist king Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. The Tudor dynasty ended when Henry's grand-daughter Elizabeth I died childless. The Throne passed to their cousins, the Scottish Stuarts, unifying Engalnd and Scotland.

Read more about Tudor Britain....

Visit our Tudor Monarchy page for more information about the Tudor Kings and Queens

Tudor Timeline


22 August: Henry Tudor defeats Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth.

1485 Heenry 730 October: Henry Vll crowned at Westminster Abbey
1486 January: Henry VII marries Elizabeth of York, uniting the two houses and ending the Wars of the Roses.

17 June: Henry VII defeats a pretender to his throne at the Battle of Stoke

1497 John Cabot sailed from Bristol aboard the 'Matthew' and discovered North America

2 April: Arthur, Prince of Wales dies, leaving his widow, Catherine of Aragon
With the heir to the throne now dead, the 11-year old Henry, Duke of York, became first in line to the throne.


8 August: James IV of Scotland marries Margaret, daughter of Henry VII of England. Although this meant peace between the two countries, the marriage also gives James IV's descendents a claim to the English throne.


Henry 821 April: Henry VII dies and is succeeded by his younger son Henry VIII
Two months after he became king, he married his brother's Spanish widow, Catherine of Aragon.


9 September: James IV of Scotland is defeated and killed at the Battle of Flodden Field. While Henry VIII's forces were campaigning against the French king Louis XII, James IV of Scotland invaded England.


Thomas Wolsey becomes a cardinal and Lord Chancellor

1518 Thomas Wolsey is made papal legate, making him effectively head of the English church. He was the most powerful man in England after the king.

June: Henry VIII meets Francis I of France at the 'Field of the Cloth of Gold'
The first meeting of Henry VIII and Francis I of France took place just outside the English-held town of Guines near Calais, France. In a fortnight of ceremonies and entertainments, the English and French kings attempted to outshine each other with extravagant clothes and jewels, lavish tents and spectacular feasts, jousts and games.


17 October: The pope grants Henry VIII the title 'Defender of the Faith'
Pope Leo X conferred the title on Henry for his book 'Assertio Septem Sacramentorum' (Defence of the Seven Sacraments), which affirmed the supremacy of the pope.


Henry VIII appeals to the pope to annul his marriage so that he could marry Ann Boleyn instead.


29 February: First Protestant martyr is burned in Scotland

1530 Thomas Wolsey, unable to arrange the king's divorce from Catherine of Aragon, was stripped of his offices and died on his way to face a charge of treason.
1533 January: Henry VIII commands Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer to declare the marriage to Catherine of Aragon void on the grounds that the union was illegitimate because Catherine was his brother's widow.

25 January: Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn, following divorce from Catherine of Aragon

1533 September: Anne Boleyn gives birth to Elizabeth

November: Act of Supremacy makes Henry head of the English church
Henry VIII formed the 'Church of England separating England from the Roman Catholic Church. Henry himself was never a Protestant, but the break with Rome was a huge encouragement to Protestants in England.


6 July: Former Chancellor Sir Thomas More is executed for treason for refusing to swear to the Act of Succession (which made Ann Boleyn's daughter Elizabeth heir to the throne) because its preface undermined the authority of the pope.

1536 WalesAct of Union joined England and Wales
The Laws in Wales Acts of 1535 and 1542 attempted to regularise the relationship between the two nations, by introducing the English legal system in Wales. English became the official language of administration.
1536 - 1540

Destruction or closure of 560 monasteries and religious houses


Henry VIII's second wife Anne Boleyn is executed

1536 Eleven days after the execution of his second wife, Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII marries Jane Seymour.

4 August Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer receives the first Bible in English


12 October: A male heir, Edward, is born to Henry VIII and Jane Seymour
Henry was shattered by her death shortly after Edward's birth.


Henry VIII changes his title from Lord of Ireland to King of Ireland

1542 Mary, Queen of Scots laid claim to the English throne

Edward 128 January: Henry VIII dies and is succeeded by nine-year-old Edward VI


6 July: Edward VI dies and is succeeded by Lady Jane Grey
Four days after Edward died, Jane was proclaimed queen, but widespread popular support for Mary ensured her reign lasted only a matter of days.


Mary 119 July: Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, becomes queen
Mary was the first woman to be crowned monarch of England in her own right. A devout Catholic, she was determined to halt the growth of Protestantism initiated by her father, and return England to Roman Catholicism.


25 July: Mary marries Philip of Spain despite widespread opposition


21 March: Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer is burnt for heresy
Thomas Cranmer, who had approved the divorce of Henry VIII from Mary's mother, Catherine of Aragon, went to the stake the following March.


7 January: England's last French possession, Calais, is lost


Elizabeth 117 November Mary dies and Elizabeth I accedes to the throne


24 June: Book of Common Prayer becomes the only legal form of worship

1570 Sir Francis Drake set sails for his first voyage to the West Indies
1577 15 November: Sir Francis Drake set sails in his flagship 'Pelican' - soon renamed 'Golden Hind' to circumnavigate the world.

c. 26 September: Francis Drake arrives at Plymouth after circumnavigating the world


8 February: Mary Stuart (Mary I of Scotland) is executed when found guilty of treason to kill Elizabeth

1588 The English defeats the Spanish Armada at the Battle of Gravelines
1591 First performance of a play by William Shakespeare
1600 First British involvement in the Indian continent - East India Company formed.
Population of Britain just over 4 million
Click here for Information on the Tudors

Medievallast pagenext pageStuart

Prehistoric Britain BC Roman Britain 43 AD Anglo Saxon Britain 450
Viking Britain 793 Medieval Britain 1066 Tudor Britain 1485
Stuart Britain 1603 Georgian Britain 1714 Victorian Britain 1837
Modern Britain 1902 +

Roman Britain
Saxon Britain
Viking Britain
Norman Britain
Tudor Britain
Victorian Britain
World War Two



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Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites and are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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