The Tudor Dynasty

Updated July 17, 2003

  BBC - History: Tudors
Welcome to Tudor England, 1485-1603
Tudors & Stuarts
   Tudor Chronologies
Tudor Glossaries
  Genealogical Trees 
  Historical and Current Maps 
   Who's Who in Tudor History
Tudor Links of Interest 
Tudor Architecture 
Tudor Movies and Television
Tudors in the News
Students' Guide to Tudor England - The Tudor Dynasty
  What's New at Tudor England? 
  Articles on Tudor History 
  Tudor Women
  Tudors & Stuarts
  Fling the Teacher! - The Tudors

Tudor Electronic Texts and Documents
Tudor England - Primary Sources
Primary Sources - Letters of the Six Wives of Henry VIII
PRIMARY DOCUMENT: The Act of Supremacy
Medieval Sourcebook: Letter of Thomas Cranmer, 1533
Modern History Sourcebook: William Roper: The Life of Sir Thomas More
Check for more primary sources in the sections on each monarch.

The Tudor Dynasty - Owen Tudor and Henry VII
Henry VII and Tudor England
Henry VII
A Description of Henry VII
Henry VII Gallery
Henry VII: British Monarchs
Correspondence of Henry VII
The Tudors in the Wars of the Roses, Part One and Part Two
Henry VII--Shape Shifter (a bit of fun)

Henry VIII
Catholic Encyclopedia: HENRY VIII
Henry VIII Gallery
Henry VIII's Wholesale Plunder of Catholic Church Properties
Plantations of Henry VIII to the creation of an Irish Republic

The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Meet the Wives | PBS 
  The Six Wives of Henry VIII 
Catherine of Aragon - Divorced, mother of Mary I (Bloody Mary
Anne Boleyn - Beheaded, mother of Elizabeth I
Jane Seymour - Died after giving birth to Edward VI
Anne of Cleves - Marriage Annulled
Kathryn Howard - Beheaded
Katherine Parr - Outlived Henry, went on to marry Jane Seymour's (wife #3) brother
Primary Sources - Letters of the Six Wives of Henry VIII - Tudor Royal History - Henry VIII and His Six Wives

Anne is one of my favorite subjects. Was she the devil that is so often portrayed or just ambitious? Early on, she was shrewd. She wanted to be Queen and unlike her sister Mary, who earlier had had an affair with Henry, she held out for the "big" prize of the crown. Henry's first wife, Catherine of Aragon, of 20 years could not produce a living male heir (although she did have a daughter named Mary). Henry believed that his marriage to Catherine was a sin because she had been married to Henry's brother, Prince Arthur. Catherine swore that the marriage had never been consummated since Arthur had become ill right after the ceremony and died 6 weeks later. On Catherine's testimony, the Pope had granted a dispensation, annulling the marriage and allowing Henry to marry her. In his desire to marry again and produce a male heir, Henry broke with the Church in Rome and exiled Catherine and their daughter Princess Mary (who was proclaimed a bastard). Even before Catherine left the court, Henry's eye began to wander.

Anne, who had just returned from the French court was stylish and headstrong. Henry wrote her many love letters which can be found in the Vatican library.
Finally, Anne gave in to Henry's advances and became pregnant (with the future Queen Elizabeth I). Henry and Anne were married secretly. When the break with Rome was complete, Henry had Anne crowned Queen. The people despised her from the start. During the coronation procession, she was cursed by the crowds.

Things went well until the birth of Elizabeth. Henry expected a son and was not pleased with the outcome. Anne, in fear that her daughter might also someday be declared a bastard, pushed Henry into requiring all subjects to swear to the Oath of Succession which named Elizabeth the heir to the throne. Many notables, such as Sir Thomas More refused to take the Oath and were beheaded. Anne became pregnant again in 1535, but Henry was already tiring of her demands and began to seek the company of one of her lady's in waiting, Lady Jane Seymour. Anne, anxious and moody, awaited what she called her salvation. Sadly, she gave birth to a still born son and her fate was sealed. Henry decided he had been bewitched by Anne and sought a way to rid himself of her. This job he turned over to his Chancellor, Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell manufactured evidence that Anne had committed adultery which was treason for a Queen. Her court musician, Mark Smeaton, was tortured into confessing to adultery with Anne on the promise of mercy (Cromwell lied). Anne was also accused of incest with her own brother, Thomas. Even her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, sat with the court that tried and convicted her. She was beheaded in May 1536. Three days later, Henry married Jane Seymour who produced the much waited for male heir, Edward VI.

For an excellent book on Anne, try Carolly Erickson's Mistress Anne which should be available at your local library or book store. Check with your local video store to see if they have a copy of the PBS Masterpiece series, The Six Wives of Henry the VIII.

More info on Anne: Anne Boleyn, Letter of Thomas Cranmer on Henry VIII's divorce, 1533, The Lady Anne Boleyn, Anne Boleyn's speech at her execution - 1536, contemporary account of Anne Boleyn's execution - 1536

EDWARD VI (son of Jane Seymour)
Edward VI
Wedding Ceremony -- From Prayerbook of Edward VI

LADY JANE GREY (Queen for Nine Days)
Lady Jane Grey Queen for Nine Days
1554 - letter of Jane Grey
1554 - The execution of Queen Jane

MARY I - "Bloody Mary" (daughter of Catherine of Aragon)
Mary I
1556 - The execution of Thomas Cranmer

ELIZABETH I (daughter of Anne Boleyn)
Did you know? During the reign of Elizabeth I, there was a tax put on men's beards.
Elizabeth I (1533-1603)
The Works of Elizabeth I
The Virgin Queen
Marriage As Realpolitik: Elizabeth I on political marriage
For more on Elizabeth, check out the Elizabethan Period on my England, Great Britain, UK page.

Sir Thomas More
Utopia by Thomas More
The Trial of Sir Thomas More, 1535
Hampton Court History
Welcome to the Mary Rose
Mary Queen of Scots, 1542-1567, Queen of Scotland and beheaded by Elizabeth I in 1567
Mary Queen of Scots
The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots - For more on Mary, check out the Scotland section on my Gaelic page.
For more on Elizabeth, check out the Elizabethan Period links on my Main England, Great Britain, UK page.

Return to the Main England, Great Britain, UK page.