Between the years of 1485 and 1600, England was ruled over by a new dynasty—the Tudors. The Tudors were some of the most famous monarchs in European history. There were six Tudor monarchs. The first Tudor monarch of England was Henry VII. The next monarch was Henry VIII, his son Edward VI, Jane Grey, and Henry VIII’s two daughters, Mary I and Elizabeth I. Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth I are the best-known monarchs; however, all the monarchs experienced both success and failure during their reign.
Henry VII began the Tudor dynasty when he ascended to the throne in the early autumn of 1485. He earned his title as monarch during the Battle of Bosworth Field, where he defeated King Richard III. Henry VII had no real claim to the throne, so the Tudors really came to power through chance and a little bit of luck. Henry VII’s father was of Welsh lineage, but his mother was a descendant of Edward III, who was King of England during the 1300s (Eakins). However, she was descended from illegitimate children of Edward III, those who were banned from ever inheriting the throne of England.
By the “right of conquest” (Eakins) Henry VII became the new monarch of England. He strengthened his claim to the throne by marrying Elizabeth of York, who was the daughter of Edward IV—another King of England. This arranged marriage settled a long-term dispute between the two families, the Lancasters and the Yorks, creating what is called the Tudor Rose. The Tudor Rose was the term for the combined houses—the white Lancaster rose linked together with the red York rose. Arranged marriages were common during this time period, but rarely were they happy. However, Henry VII and Elizabeth of York reportedly had a successful marriage. Elizabeth bore Henry VII seven children, but only four made it to adulthood: Arthur, Margaret, Henry VIII, and Mary (Eakins).
Henry VII had a difficult reign, having to prove himself as King and ward off other claimants to the throne of England. The English monarchy was never rich, but Henry VII brought the monarchy out of bankruptcy (“The Tudors”). By the time of his death, England’s treasury held quite a fortune. Henry VII was not considered to be a popular king, but he was successful. He ended three decades of fighting over whom had the right to be the next King of England, and Henry VII also strengthened the monarchy for his new dynasty (Eakins).
Upon the death of his father, Henry VII, Henry VIII ascended the British throne as the second Tudor monarch. Henry VIII’s childhood history is largely absent, as he was the second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. This meant that he was never anticipated to ever come to power in England, and thus unimportant. Henry VIII’s eldest brother and heir to the throne, Arthur, never made it to the throne. In 1501 Arthur married Catherine of Aragon, the daughter of the famous French King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella (Eakins). In 1502 Arthur was overcome with Tuberculosis, and left Catherine...