Henry VII, the First of the Tudors

Henry VII came to the throne of England after defeating Richard III at Bosworth in 1485. With his accedence, England came into a long period of “National Pride.” The War of the Roses had weakened the nobility to the point where the Tudors could wield more power than had their predecessors, the Plantagenets. When Henry VII took the throne he broke the power of the barons by bringing back into favor the Court of the Star Chamber, to put on trial those who opposed Henry’s rule.

Henry married Elizabeth of York (uniting the houses of York and Lancaster) at Westminster Abbey on 18 January 1486. Together, they had seven children. He died at Richmond Palace in Surrey on 21 April 1509 at age 52. During his reign, Henry crushed a revolt at Stoke by the Earl of Lincoln on behalf of Lambert Simnel, a claimant to the throne. His invasion of France ended quickly when he withdrew his forces in return for a substantial payment from the French crown. In 1492, Henry managed to squash a second attempt to overthrow his rule. Perkin Warbeck made a claim to the throne; Warbeck was put to death in 1499.

Let us outline the Tudor dynasty.

Henry VII (1485-1509) marries Elizabeth of York (d 1503)

Their children were

(1) Arthur, Prince of Wales (19 September 1486 to 2 April 1502) marries Catherine of Aragon in 1501. (When Arthur dies, Prince Henry becomes heir to the throne. Henry later marries Arthur’s widow.)

(2) Margaret Tudor (28 November 1489 to 18 October 1541) marries James IV, King of Scotland (1473 – 1513) in 1503. Their child was James V of Scotland (1513 – 1542). James V married Mary of Guise. Their marriage gave the land Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1567). Mary first married Francis II of France (who died in 1560); then Henry Lord Darnley (who died in 1567); and, finally, James, Earl of Bothwell (who died in 1578).

Margaret Tudor

(3) Henry VIII, who was born on 28 June 1491, (1509 -1547) marries Catherine of Aragon (divorced 1533). Their child Mary I ruled England from 1553-1558. Mary I married Philip II of Spain.

Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn (beheaded in 1536). Their child, Elizabeth I, ruled England from 1558 to 1603.

Henry VIII marries Jane Seymour, who died from complications of child birth in 1537. Their son, Edward VI, ruled from 1547-1553.

Henry VIII marries Anne of Cleves (married and divorced within 7 months in 1540).

Henry VIII marries Catherine Howard (beheaded on grounds of adultery in 1542).

Henry VIII marries Catherine Parr (who died in 1548). Catherine outlived Henry. She married again shortly after his death.

(4) Elizabeth Tudor was born on 2 July 1492 and died 14 September 1495.

Mary Tudor

(5) Mary Tudor was born on 18 March 1496. Mary married Louis XII of France in 1514. Unfortunately, Louis passed in 1515. Mary then married Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. Their child, Francis, married Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk. Francis and Henry’s child was Lady Jane Grey.

(6) Edmund Tudor, Duke of Somerset, was born on 21 February 1499 and died on 19 June 1500.

(7) Katherine Tudor was born on 2 February 1503 and died the same day. Elizabeth of York died as a result of Katherine’s birth.

(8) An illegitimate son was born to a “Breton Lady.” Sir Roland de Velville was born in 1474. He was knighted in 1497 and was Constable of Beaumaris Castle.





About Regina Jeffers

Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency and historical romantic suspense.
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