What was the role of the monarchy in Tudor England (1509-88)

  • Created by: S.Holmes
  • Created on: 09-12-17 21:06

What was the role of the monarchy in Tudor England, 1509-88?

  • Tudor society was hierarchical in nature that was placed on the importance on the monarch as the principle of society and God’s representative on earth.

  •  This is expressed in the Great Chain of Being (all members of society had their place and was dependent on each other.

  • God created an ordered society and obedience was owed to those higher up on the social scale.

  • 1509-1588, the rule of the monarchy was personal, it was believed that the King ruled by the Grace of God.

  • This supported the fact that 16th century monarchs were still in control of the government and the monarchy passed by the rule of primogeniture (father to son)

  • Monarchs decided if they wanted to make peace or go to war.

  • Also they summoned parliament at will.

  • Under the coronation oath they were responsible for upholding justice and law.

  • English monarch could not ignore the customs and traditions of England or the laws made by parliament.

  • Monarchs who tried to rule entirely as they pleased risked being labeled a tyrant and could face rebellion and uprising.

  • A monarch could choose their own friends and counsellors, they would also listen to their advice but choise if they should act on it.

  • Personal style of the monarch required the ruler of England to be physically able to run the country.

  • 1509, they needed to be an adult (21, male, physically strong, led an army into battle)

  • Monarch was vital to the smooth running of a country .

  • Henry 8th was determined to produce a living son and heir to carry the Tudor reign.

  • Henry was succeeded in 1547 by Edward VI.

Personal and political qualities of the Tudor monarchs

  • The personality, strengths and weakness of a monarch mattered.

Henry VIII, 1509-47

  1. Henry came to the throne at the age of 47.

  2. Until, 1502 he was brought up as the second son.

  3. He was well educated.

  4. He could speak four or five different languages, and he could sing and dance.

  5. He was intelligent.

  6. He wrote poems and songs, including ‘Pastime with Good Company’

  7. Wrote a book in Latin, Asertio Septem Sacramentorum (Defence of the seven sacraments, 1521)

  8. He was forceful and sometimes cruel.

  9. He disliked writing state papers, he made a comment that they were both tedious and painful.

  10. He instead left the details of day-to-day government to his ministers although he remained in charge.

  11. Henry was influenced by the Renaissance ideas of honour, that required him to defend England’s rights abroad.

  12. This meant going to war to regain English territory lost in France in the 1440s and 1450s.

  13. This appealed to Henry, who also enjoyed military sports such as jousting.

Edward VI, 1547-53

  1. Edward was nine years old when he became king.

  2. He remained a political figurehead controlled by his protectors.

  3. Educated by the best humanist thinkers in the country, such as John Cheke.

  4. He was a able child, at the age of severn he was already learning to


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