Tudor (1485-1603)

The Tudor period began with the coronation of Henry VII following the defeat of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. His careful husbandry of the royal finances was comprehensively reversed by his profligate son, Henry VIII, who virtually bankrupted the country prior to his death in 1547. Edward VI, reigned from 1547-1553 whereupon the throne passed to his elder sister, Mary. Mary's attempts to impose catholicism on England resulted in thousands being burnt at the stake and earned her the title 'Bloody Mary'. She married Philip of Spain in 1554, but died childless in 1558 and her half-sister Elizabeth became queen. Elizabeth ruled wisely, but never married and so had no heir. This constitutional problem was resolved when the English throne was offered to James VI of Scotland in 1603 as her preferred protestant successor.