Who Were the Tudors?

From 1485-1603, the Tudor Dynasty created a lasting legacy that has since been heavily featured in popular culture. Starting with Henry VII, and ending with Elizabeth I, this point in time has continued to fascinate both professional and amateur historians. Here is a brief guide to the ruling monarchs and consorts of the time:

Tudor Kings

Henry VII

To Ricardians, Henry VII was a king of dubious lineage at best. He was the descendent of Queen Catherine of Valois and her second husband, Owen Tudur. While Catherine had been married to King Henry V of England and Wales, she was monarch of French heritage. Nonetheless, Henry VII was eventually the person who came to represent the Lancastrian cause, and when he beat Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, he became the first Tudor king. He was best known for his frugal ways, as well as his trust in astronomy.

Henry VIII

Very few people do not automatically think of Henry VIII when they think of the Tudors. He ruled from 1509-1547, and is well-remembere for his role in the Protestant Reformation, as well as having six wives.

Edward VI

Edward VI was the first son of Henry VIII to survive beyond infancy. He came to power in 1547 at the tender age of 10, and ruled until he was 16. He was known for being a sickly child.

Phillip II of Spain

Phillip II of Spain became the King Consort of England by diplomatic chance. After marrying Mary I–aka bloody Mary–he became the King of England. He ruled alongside Mary from 1553-1558, and is well known for paying more attention to her ladies than her.

Tudor Queens

Elizabeth of York

Elizabeth of York was the Queen Consort of Henry VII. She ruled alongside Henry from 1486-1503, when she died in childbirth.

Katharine of Aragon

Katherine of Aragon began her life in England as the wife of Arthur Tudor. When he died, she remained in England, as she was a diplomatic asset for Henry VIII. She married Henry in 1509, and their marriage was officially ended in 1533. Katherine suffered several miscarriages, which led to Henry looking elsewhere.

Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn is one of the most famous queen consorts of England and Wales. She ruled from 1533-1536, and was excuted on false accusations of treason, witchcraft, and adultery.

Jane Seymour

Jane Seymour is often cited as being Henry VIII’s first ‘true love’. This is down to the fact that she produced a male heir. Sadly, Jane died as a result of childbirth in 1537.

Anne of Cleves

After a brief period of mourning, Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves. Unfortunately, the king was not enchanted by her in any way. They married in 1540, and divorced later that year. Anne remained in England as the king’s sister.

Catherine Howard

Catherine Howard may have been as young as 15 when she married Henry VIII. She ruled alongside Henry from 1540-1541. She was executed when it was revealed that she may have committed adultery. Catherine Howard was the cousin of Anne Boleyn.

Catherine Parr

From 1543-1547, Catherine Parr managed to weather the good nature of Henry. Her outspoken attitude towards religion almost saw her executed, but she escaped by the skin of her teeth.

Jane Grey

Lady Jane Grey was the granddaughter of Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon. She ruled for just nine days, before being imprisoned, and eventually executed, by Mary I.

Mary I

Mary I ruled from 1553-1558. She was known as  clevescene   Bloody Mary, as she may have executed up to 300 Protestants during her reign.

Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I is widely considered to be the greatest monarch in British history. She ruled from 1558-1603, and remained unmarried during that time.

L Mckeever is the creator of Tudor Queens, a website celebrating the life of the English Queens and Queen Consorts who contributed to the Tudor dynasty from Catherine of Valois


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