A Brief History of the Tudor Age by Jasper Ridley

By Jasper Ridley

From the coming of Henry Tudor and his military, at Milford in 1485, to the loss of life of the nice Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, this was once an astonishingly eventful and contradictory age. the entire strands of Tudor existence are accumulated in a wealthy tapestry - London and the rustic, costumes, furnishings and nutrients, go back and forth, drugs, activities and hobbies, grand tournaments and the nice flowering of English drama, juxtaposed with the stultifying narrowness of peasant lifestyles, negative roads, an enormous underclass, the cruel remedy of heretics and traitors, and the distress of the Plague.

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1584 Elizabeth I expels the Spanish ambassador. Assassination of William the Silent by a Catholic agent in the Netherlands. 1585 Treaty of Nonesuch between Elizabeth I and the Dutch Protestants. Leicester leads an army of English troops to help the Protestants in the Netherlands. Very large ruffs begin to come into fashion. 1585–6 Drake’s expedition to the West Indies; he loots and burns Cartagena. 1585–7 John Davis’s expeditions to find the North-west Passage. 1585–97 Elizabeth Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury, rebuilds Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire.

Henry VIII marries Jane Seymour. 1536–9 Suppression of monasteries. 1536–7 Revolt of the Pilgrimage of Grace in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. 1536–44 Housing legislation deals with slum property. 1537 Birth of Edward VI. Death of Jane Seymour. Henry VIII permits the publication of the English translation of the Bible. 1538 Execution of Cardinal Pole’s family. 1538–46 Henry VIII builds Nonesuch Palace. 1539 Act of the Six Articles against the Protestants. 1540 Henry VIII marries and divorces Anne of Cleves.

Like all Welshmen, Owain had only patronymics, and no surname; but in England they treated his grandfather’s name, Tewdwr, as if it were Owain’s surname, and called him Owen Tudor. When Henry V died in 1422, and his nine-month-old son became King Henry VI, Owen became an officer in the baby King’s bodyguard. The Queen Mother was the French Princess whom Henry V had married after his conquest of France – Shakespeare’s ‘fair Katherine of France’. She was only twenty when she became a widow, and within a few years she had noticed Owen Tudor.

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