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Richard 3(r. 1483-1485)(uncle of Edward V)
[22-07-2009]  RICHARD III (r. 1483-1485)

Richard III usurped the throne from the young Edward V, who disappeared with his younger brother while under their ambitious uncle's supposed protection.

On becoming king, Richard attempted genuine reconciliation with the Yorkists by showing consideration to Lancastrians purged from office by Edward IV, and moved Henry VI's body to St George's Chapel at Windsor. The first laws written entirely in English were passed during his reign. In 1484, Richard's only legitimate son Edward predeceased him.

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Edward 5 (deposed)(r. April-June 1483)
[22-07-2009]  EDWARD V (r. April-June 1483) Edward V was a minor, and his uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was made Protector. Richard had been loyal throughout to his brother Edward IV including the events of 1470-71, Edward's exile and their brother's rebellion (the Duke of Clarence, who was executed in 1478 by drowning, reputedly in a barrel of Malmsey wine). However, he was suspicious of the Woodville faction, possibly believing they were the cause of Clarence's death. In response to an attempt by Elizabeth Woodville to take power, Richard and Edward V entered London in May, with Edward's coronation fixed for 22 June. However, in mid-June Richard assumed the throne as Richard III (reigned 1483-85). Edward V and his younger brother Richard were declared illegitimate, taken to the Royal apartments at the Tower of London (then a Royal residence) and never seen again. (Skeletons, allegedly theirs, found there in 1674 were later buried in Westminster Abbey.)

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THE YORKISTS : Edward 4 (deposed)(r. 1461-1470 and 1471-1483)(great grandson of Edmund of York, Edward III's youngest son)
[22-07-2009]  EDWARD IV (r. 1461-1470 and 1471-1483)

Edward IV was able to restore order, despite the temporary return to the throne of Henry VI (reigned 1470-71, during which time Edward fled to the Continent in exile) supported by the Earl of Warwick, 'the Kingmaker', who had previously supported Edward and who was killed at the Battle of Barnet in 1471. Edward also made peace with France; by a shrewd display of force to exert pressure, Edward reached a profitable agreement with Louis XI at Picquigny in 1475.
At home, Edward relied heavily on his own personal control in government, reviving the ancient custom of sitting in person 'on the bench' (i.e. in judgement) to enforce justice. He sacked Lancastrian office-holders and used his financial acumen to introduce tight management of royal revenues to reduce the Crown's debt. Building closer relations with the merchant community, he encouraged commercial treaties; he successfully traded in wool on his own account to restore his family's fortunes and enable the King to 'live of his own', paying the costs of the country's administration from the Crown Estates profits and freeing him from dependence on subsidies from Parliament.

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Elizabeth I's Speech to her Last Parliament (The Golden Speech).
[22-07-2009]  Q U E E N E
E L I Z A B E T H S
S P E E C H
T O H E R L A S T
P A R L I A M E N T.

The 30 of November 1601; her Maiestie being set vnder State in the Councell Chamber at Whitehall, the Speaker, accompanied with Privy Councellours, besides Knights and Burgesses of the lower House to the number of eight-score, presenting themselves at her Maeisties feet, for that so graciously and speedily shee had heard and yeelded to her Subiects desires, and proclaimed the same in their hearing as followeth.
Mr. Speaker,

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Elizabeth1(r. 1558-1603)(Henry's daughter by Anne Boleyn)
[22-07-2009]  ELIZABETH I (r. 1558-1603)

Elizabeth I - the last Tudor monarch - was born at Greenwich on 7 September 1533, the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Her early life was full of uncertainties, and her chances of succeeding to the throne seemed very slight once her half-brother Edward was born in 1537. She was then third in line behind her Roman Catholic half-sister, Princess Mary. Roman Catholics, indeed, always considered her illegitimate and she only narrowly escaped execution in the wake of a failed rebellion against Queen Mary in 1554.

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Mary1(r. 1553-1558)Henry's daughter by Queen Catherine)
[22-07-2009]  MARY I (r. 1553-1558)

Mary I was the first Queen Regnant (that is, a queen reigning in her own right rather than a queen through marriage to a king). Courageous and stubborn, her character was moulded by her earlier years: an Act of Parliament in 1533 had declared her illegitimate and removed her from the succession to the throne (she was reinstated in 1544, but her half-brother Edward removed her from the succession once more shortly before his death), whilst she was pressurised to give up the Mass and acknowledge the English Protestant Church.

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Jane(r. 10-19 July 1553)
[22-07-2009]  LADY JANE GREY (r. 10-19 July 1553) The Accession of Lady Jane Grey was engineered by the powerful Duke of Northumberland, President of the King's Council, in the interests of promoting his own dynastic line. Northumberland persuaded the sickly Edward VI to name Lady Jane Grey as his heir. As one of Henry VIII's great-nieces, the young girl was a genuine claimant to the throne. Northumberland then married his own son, Lord Guilford Dudley, to Lady Jane. On the death of Edward, Jane assumed the throne and her claim was recognised by the Council. Despite this, the country rallied to Mary, Catherine of Aragon's daughter and a devout Roman Catholic. Jane reigned for only nine days and was later executed with her husband in 1554.

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Edward6(r. 1547-1553)(Henry's son by Jane Seymour)
[22-07-2009]  EDWARD VI (r. 1547-1553)

Edward VI was intellectually precocious (fluent in Greek and Latin, he kept a full journal of his reign) but not physically robust. His short reign was dominated by nobles using the Regency to strengthen their own positions. The King's Council, previously dominated by Henry, succumbed to existing factionalism. On Henry's death, Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford and soon to be Duke of Somerset, the new King's eldest uncle, became Protector. Seymour was an able soldier; he led a punitive expedition against the Scots, for their failure to fulfil their promise to betroth Mary, Queen of Scots to Edward, which led to Seymour's victory at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in 1547 - although he failed to follow this up with satisfactory peace terms.

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Henry8(r. 1509-1547)(Henry VII's second son)
[22-07-2009]  HENRY VIII (r. 1509-1547)

Henry's interest in foreign policy was focused on Western Europe, which was a shifting pattern of alliances centred round the kings of Spain and France, and the Holy Roman Emperor. (Henry was related by marriage to all three - his wife Catherine was Ferdinand of Aragon's daughter, his sister Mary married Louis XII of France in 1514, and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V was Catherine's nephew.) An example of these shifts was Henry's unsuccessful Anglo-Spanish campaigns against France, ending in peace with France in 1520, when he spent huge sums on displays and tournaments at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Henry also invested in the navy, and increased its size from 5 to 53 ships (including the Mary Rose, the remains of which lie in the Portsmouth Naval Museum).

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THE TUDORS(1485-1603) : Henry7(r. 1485-1509)(grandson of Henry V, wife's second husband)
[22-07-2009]  HENRY VII (r. 1485-1509)

Although supported by Lancastrians and Yorkists alienated by Richard III's usurpation, Henry VII's first task was to secure his position. In 1486 he married Elizabeth of York, eldest daughter of Edward IV, thus uniting the Houses of York and Lancaster. Henry's reign (1485-1509) was troubled by revolts, sometimes involving pretenders (such as Perkin Warbeck and Lambert Simnel) who impersonated Edward V or his brother. In 1485, Henry formed a personal bodyguard from his followers known as the 'Yeomen of the Guard' (the oldest military corps in existence today).

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