A Brief History of the Tudor Age by Jasper Ridley

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By Jasper Ridley

From the arriving of Henry Tudor and his military, at Milford in 1485, to the loss of life of the good Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, this was once an astonishingly eventful and contradictory age. the entire strands of Tudor existence are accumulated in a wealthy tapestry - London and the rustic, costumes, furnishings and nutrition, commute, medication, activities and interests, grand tournaments and the nice flowering of English drama, juxtaposed with the stultifying narrowness of peasant existence, negative roads, an enormous underclass, the tough remedy of heretics and traitors, and the distress of the Plague.

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1536–7 Revolt of the Pilgrimage of Grace in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. 1536–44 Housing legislation deals with slum property. 1537 Birth of Edward VI. Death of Jane Seymour. Henry VIII permits the publication of the English translation of the Bible. 1538 Execution of Cardinal Pole’s family. 1538–46 Henry VIII builds Nonesuch Palace. 1539 Act of the Six Articles against the Protestants. 1540 Henry VIII marries and divorces Anne of Cleves. Fall and execution of Thomas Cromwell, and intensified persecution of Protestants.

1535 Execution of Bishop Fisher, Sir Thomas More, and the Carthusian monks. Henry VIII cuts his hair short and grows a beard. Nicholas Udall’s play, Ralph Roister Doister, performed. 1536 Execution of Anne Boleyn. Henry VIII marries Jane Seymour. 1536–9 Suppression of monasteries. 1536–7 Revolt of the Pilgrimage of Grace in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. 1536–44 Housing legislation deals with slum property. 1537 Birth of Edward VI. Death of Jane Seymour. Henry VIII permits the publication of the English translation of the Bible.

He never allowed his policy to be influenced by his wives, or by any woman. He was very much in love with Anne Boleyn, but he began divorce proceedings against Catherine of Aragon chiefly because he believed that she could not give him the male heir which he and his country required; and not all his passion for Anne Boleyn could persuade him for six years to break with Rome until events made it politically necessary for him to do so. He had Anne Boleyn beheaded because she had not given him a son, and because he wished to marry Jane Seymour; but although Jane sympathized with the Catholic faction at court, who had put her forward in the hopes that she would induce Henry to adopt a pro-Catholic policy, he surprised everyone by being more Protestant than ever after he had married her.

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