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Tudors and Stuarts


Henry VIII (r. 1509-1547)

  • Was once the "Defender of the [Catholic] Faith" who hated Luther

  • Wanted to end marriage to Catherine of Aragon (daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain)

  • In order to marry Anne Boleyn

  • And have a male heir (Catherine had a daughter, Mary, but too old to bear more children).

  • Pope refused to grant Henry the annulment

  • Henry broke with the Catholic Church

  • Created the Protestant Anglican Church (Church of England)

  • Henry VIII was church's Supreme Head (Act of Supremacy 1534)

  • ​"Protector and Only Supreme Head of the Church and Clergy of England"

  • Anglican Church kept most Catholic traditions (hierarchy of the clergy, Six Articles, 1539 etc.

  • Beginning in 1536, Parliament began closing English monasteries and taking their land.

  • Most of the land was sold to nobles and rich merchants (supporters of Tudors)

  • Henry's wives and children:

  • Catherine of Aragon (marriage annuled) --> Mary

  • Anne Boleyn (beheaded) --> Elizabeth

  • Jane Seymour (died)--> Edward

  • Other wives: Anne of Cleves (annuled), Anne Howard (beheaded), Catherine Parr (survived)

Edward VI (r. 1547-1553)

  • Son of Jane Seymour (see above)

  • Crowned at age 9 --> England ruled by regents (person appointed when monarch is underage)

  • True Protestantism established

  • Priests can marry, no more Catholic-style Mass, services in English - not Latin

  • Edward died at age 15

Mary I ("Bloody Mary") (r. 1553-1558)

  • Daughter of Catherine of Aragon (see above)

  • Married King Philip II of Spain 1554-58 (see Family Tree)

  • Tried to restore Catholicism

  • Killed Protestant dissenters (reason for nickname "Bloody Mary")

  • Died without children

Elizabeth I ("Virgin Queen") (r. 1558-1603)

  • Daughter of Anne Boleyn

  • Enacted Elizabethan Religious Settlement, 1559

  • Protestant

  • Priests could marry

  • Sermons in English.

  • No images in churches

  • But

  • Elizabeth would be Supreme Governor of Anglican Church (Act of Supremacy 1558)

  • Church of England kept bishops and archbishops who wore vestments

  • And formal services with incense and other traditions.

  • Chose not to marry (hence nickname "Virgin Queen")

  • Defeated Spain in Spanish Armada 1588

  • Shakespeare wrote plays during Elizabethan era

  • Imprisoned and killed Mary Queen of Scots (see below)



James I (aka James VI of Scotland) (r. 1603-1625)

  • Son of Mary Queen of Scots (see Tudor/Stuart family tree above)

  • Raised Presbyterian (Scottish Calvinist) but favored Anglicanism

  • Became King of Scotland (as James VI) at age 1 when Mary (a Catholic) was overthrown

  • Became King of England (as James I) after Elizabeth died without heirs

  • Considered the "wisest fool in Christendom"

  • Believed in "Divine Right" of Kings (power to rule from God, not parliament)

  • Which offended parliament and Puritans (who dominated Parliament)

  • 1604 commissioned the King James Bible (to be the official Anglican version)

  • Supported Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud (r. 1633-1640) as his adviser

  • Laud supported Anglican hierarchy (offended Puritans)

  • And religious conformity, he enforced uniform rituals

  • James offended Catholics by banning Jesuits

  • Catholic plot to kill him (Called "Gunpowder plot")

  • Intensified anti-Catholic sentiment in England

  • Gave charter to Virginia Company of London to found Jamestown (1607)

  • The first permanent settlement in New World

  • Separatist Puritans ("Pilgrims") go to Plymouth on Mayflower in 1620

  • James always short on money

  • Because of wars with Spain and spending habits

  • Had to ask parliament for cash

  • Parliament (wealthy)

  • House of Lords (dominated by great noble landowners)

  • House of Commons (gentry and representatives of merchants and townspeople)

Charles I (r. 1625-1649)

  • Also believed in "Divine Right of Kings"

  • Ruled 11 years without calling parliament (1629-1640)

  • Parliament refused to pay for navy until it had a say in the way it was used.

  • Raised money by levying ancient "ship money" (a medieval tax on coastal towns) and "forced loans" (nobles who didn't "lend" money to king were arrested)

  • Puritans (Calvinists who wanted to "purify" Anglican church of Catholic elements)

  • Opposed Charles's support for High Anglicans.

  • Considered "disloyal" by Charles I

  • "Great Migration" of Puritans to Massachusetts Bay Colony in New World (1629-1640)

  • Presbyterian Scots rebelled against Anglican Church in Scotland 1637

  • Short Parliament (Apr.-May 1640)

  • Charles called parliament in 1640 to get money for battle with Scotland,

  • Disbanded it after three weeks when MPs ("members of parliament" - especially John Pym, Oliver Cromwell) demanded concessions in exchange

  • Most MPs were Puritans supported by merchant class.

  • Long Parliament (1640-1653)

  • Charles I forced to call parliament again in November 1640 to fight Scots

  • MPs agreed to money but said king couldn't disband parliament without its consent

  • Long Parliament executed royal advisers, ended the Anglican hierarchy, declared Presbyterianism (Calvinism) the legal religion.

  • Charles married Catholic sister of French King Louis XIII

  • = more concessions to English Catholics

  • Trouble in Catholic Ireland = parliament and King didn't trust each other, Both raised a militia

Civil War (1642-1649)

  • King Charles and Cavaliers v. Parliament, Puritans, Roundheads

  • Cavaliers

  • supporters king: nobles, peasants

  • Led by Charles I

  • Roundheads

  • Supporters of Parliament: Puritans, merchants

  • Led by Oliver Cromwell (nicknamed 'Old Ironsides")

  • Cromwell created troops called "The Ironsides" which became "New Model Army"

  • ​Based on extreme Calvinist discipline, democratic,

  • Charles surrendered to Scots

  • Who handed him over to Parliament in exchange for back military pay.

  • Rump Parliament

  • ​Parliament purged of all MPs who are sympathetic to King

  • Rump parliament vote to behead the king for treason (because of claims of "divine right" to demonstrate power of parliament over monarchy

  • Charles I beheaded (see painting below)

  • ​His sons, Charles and James, fled to Catholic France

Commonwealth (1649-1660)

  • Parliament ruled while Oliver Cromwell controlled policies

  • Cromwell brutally put down rebellions in Catholic Ireland and Calvinist Scotland

  • Settled Engish landlords in Ireland and forced Protestant church on population.

  • Opponents to the Commonwealth

  • Levellers

  • Wanted to "level" social differences to create social justice

  • Wanted members of Parliament (MPs) to be paid (so that poor could also serve)

  • Wanted a written constitution.

  • And Parliament to be chosen by vote of all male heads of household (without property requirements)

  • Quakers -- Opposed violence

  • Diggers -- Socialist - opposed private property

  • Fifth Monarchy Men

  • Believed the end of time and the "second coming of Jesus" was close.

  • In 1653, Cromwell disbanded Parliament when they tried to dismantle his army

  • Cromwell ruled as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland - became military dictator

  • Made Britain a model Puritan land (puritanical "blue laws" imposed)

  • Fast days once a month, no recreation allowed on Sunday, swearing was punishable by a fine, make-up, Christmas celebrations, horse racing was banned etc.

  • When Cromwell died, his son, Richard, became Lord Protector but he was weaker than his father and resigned after nine months.

Charles II (r. 1660-1685) ("Merry Monarch")

  • After Richard Cromwell resigned, Parliaemnt reinstated monarchy - invited Charles I's son to rule

  • Called the "Restoration" Period

  • Charles II ended Puritan restrictions (nicknamed the "Merry Monarch")

  • ​Dissenters (Puritans) severely restricted and couldn't vote.

  • Since he was invited by Parliament, Charles II had less power to tax and had to call Parliament every three years.

  • Charles turned to his ally, Catholic French King Louis XIV, for financing

  • Charles promised to convert to Catholicism on his deathbed in exchange

  • And pledged England to fight against the Dutch

  • To prevent Catholics from holding offices, Parliament passed Test Act in 1673

  • Which required Protestant oath of loyalty

  • All office-holders had to take communion in Church of England.

  • Catholics couldn't serve in army or navy.

  • Whigs and Tories

  • Whigs

  • Upper aristocracy backed by middle class and merchants

  • Against monarchy

  • Didn't want James II to succeed Charles (because he was Catholic)

  • Tories

  • Lesser aristocracy, gentry, suspicious of wealthy in London

  • Loyal to the Church and the King

James II (r. 1685-1688)

  • Charles I's son, Charles II's brother

  • James II was a Catholic married to a Catholic woman

  • His Protestant daughter, Mary, was married to Protestant William of Orange from the Netherlands

  • James II ignored Test Act (see above)

  • Appointed Catholics to lucrative position

  • Believed he had power to make and reject laws

  • When James II suddenly had a male child who was baptized Catholic

  • As male, he would replace Mary as James's successor

  • The Parliament invited William and Mary to take power.

Glorious Revolution (r 1688-89)

  • Parliament invited William of Orange (Dutch husband of James II's daughter Mary) to bring fleet of 14,000 men to England to overthrow King James II

  • James II defeated 1690 at Battle of the Boyne in Ireland then fled to France

  • ​French under Louis XIV continued to support "James the Pretender" (James II's son) as rightful successor.

  • Revolution was peaceful (hence "Glorious")

William III and Mary II (r. 1689-1702)

  • William reduced Ireland to a colony and took Irish Catholic lands.

  • For legitimacy, William and Mary signed an English "Bill of Rights" in 1689

  • Bill of Rights (1689)

  • Created a constitutional monarchy (monarch's power was limited by laws)

  • Listed ways James II violated English laws

  • Granted a number of freedoms: Can't suspend laws without parliament, no standing army in time of peace, Protestants may have arms for defense (right to bear arms), freedom of speech and debates, no excessive fines or cruel and unusual punishments etc. (see U.S. Bill of Rights)

  • Toleration Act (1689)

  • Religious freedom for Dissenters (Puritans)

  • William created a Bank of England

  • To pay for war with France

  • William and Mary died without an heir

Anne (r. 1702-1714)

  • Mary's sister

  • Act of Settlement (1701)

  • Successors to throne had to be Protestant descendants of the Stuart family

  • Act of Union (1707)

  • Created United Kingdom of Great Britain

  • Scots kept legal system and religion.

  • Anne also died without an heir



George I (r. 1714-1727)

  • First monarch from the German House of Hanover

  • Son of James VI's granddaughter, Sophia of Hanover

  • Although there were 56 closer relatives, George was the closest protestant relative (See Act of Settlement of 1701 above)

  • George only spoke German (not English) and didn't participate in the government.

  • The power of the monarchy diminished during his reign, actual power was held by a prime minister (Sir Robert Walpole)

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