The Tudors



Politicians and the Prime Minister make the majority of important decisions on a number of different issues in Britain today. These decisions change the day to day lives of millions of people in Britain. 500 years ago the Royal Family made the majority of important decisions in Wales and England. Kings and Queens influenced the lives of the average citizen. Each Tudor King or Queen had their own style in which they ruled. The man who started the reign of the Tudors was a Welshman called Henry Tudor.

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The House of Lancaster: Henry Tudor

Henry Tudor was born at Pembroke Castle in 1457. The family that ruled England, the ‘House of York’, and Henry’s family, ‘The House of Lancaster’, hated each other.
When he was younger Henry had been held prisoner by the Yorkists. After escaping prison Henry had to avoid the Yorkists for a number of years because they were trying to kill him.

He decided to flee from Wales for a while and sailed to Brittany, France.
When King Edward V died in 1483, Richard III became King of England. Henry was determined to become King of England, and in1485 he was given 1,800 soldiers by the French King to sail with him to Wales to try and capture the English crown.

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The Battle of Bosworth

There is a separate document for this that goes in further detail. It’s titled ‘The Battle of Bosworth’.

On the 7th of August 1485 Henry landed in Milford Haven with about 1,800 soldiers that were given to him by the French King. By marching towards London through Wales Henry’s army gained more and more soldiers and had the backing of some of Wales’ most influential Lords.

August 11 - Richard III hears that Henry has landed and is marching towards London. He immediately made plans to meet Henry’s army before he reached London.

22 August - the two armies meet in Bosworth. Henry had managed to collect an army of about 5,000, but Richard had double that number in his army. There was fierce fighting for hours. Henry used his long bowmen to great effect against his enemies.
Richard III was killed during the battle.
Henry became King of England. This is where the Tudor reign begins.

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Henry VIII

Henry VIII reigned from 1509 i 1547. Henry VIII is one of the most recognised English monarchs. Henry wasn’t supposed to inherit the English throne, his brother Arthur was the heir, but he died when he was 15.

Henry is known as a King who was fond of hunting, a strong leader in battles, and mainly because he married 6 times.

He was crowned at 18 years old and decided to marry Catherine of Aragon, his brother Arthur’s widow.

Henry ruled to suit himself. He established the English Church to divorce his first wife Catherine of Aragon, and dissolved the monasteries to inherit their land. Henry certainly made the most of his status as King.

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