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Interesting Facts about the Tudors

The Tudor Family

The Tudors are one of the most famous families ever to rule England.
They were in power from 1485, when King Henry VII took the throne, until Queen Elizabeth I died without an heir in 1603. They were some of the most colourful people in history.

King Henry VII took the throne after defeating King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth. Richard was rather ruthless when dealing with his enemies, even if they were his own family. With his defeat, the Tudor reign began. When Henry married Elizabeth of York, it joined the two feuding families of the Yorks and the Lancasters. The famous War of the Roses came to an end. To symbolize this union, the Tudor family combined the Red rose of the Lancasters with the White rose of the Yorks to make the Tudor rose.

The famous King Henry VIII was the second son of Henry VII. He was supposed to become part of the Church rather than king, but his older brother died at the age of 15. Henry VIII went on to change England. He split with the Roman Church and formed the Church of England. He wrote a song called "Greensleeves" that many people today are still familiar with as the tune to the Christmas hymn "What Child is This?", but what he is best known for is his six wives. He was married to Katherine of Aragon, who was a princess from Spain. She gave him a daughter named Mary, who would later take the throne. He divorced her to marry Anne Boleyn, who gave him a daughter named Elizabeth, who would go on to be one of England's greatest monarchs. She was later imprisoned and beheaded on charges of treason. He married Jane Seymour next, who succeeded in giving him the son he wanted so much. She died almost two weeks after his birth. Anne of Cleves was Henry's next wife, but it didn't last long. Henry never liked her. Next, he married Catherine Howard, who was beheaded when she was only 21 in 1542. Henry's next wife, Katherine Parr, managed to outlive the king.

Upon Henry's death, his young son, Edward VI, took the throne. This was in 1547. He died at the age of 15. He never had good health. He named Lady Jane Grey as his heir, who ruled England for only  9 days.

Queen Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, earned the nickname of Bloody Mary because she was responsible for almost 300 executions during her reign - however this was only a small percentage of those who met their end due to her father's decree (not so bloody now, eh?) Mary had her sister, Elizabeth locked in the tower to protect her own right to the throne.

Queen Elizabeth I took the throne in 1558. She reigned for 45 years, remaining unmarried. She was an excellent strategist and politician. When she died in 1603, the Tudor reign ended since she had no child. The throne passed to King James VI of Scotland, beginning the reign of the Stuarts in England.

Read more about The Tudors for kids here.

This is an original news article © The Kids Window

One in a series of articles about History written for children.

Take a look at our children's Tudor dressing up clothes here.


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