History of England
Henry Tudor ended the war of the Roses, used dynastic Royal marriages, established the Tudor dynasty and help maintain peace. Analysis the history of the reign of the English monarchy: Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Lady Jane grey, Mary I, Elizabeth I.
|Рубрика||История и исторические личности|
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The territory that now constitutes England, a country within the United Kingdom, was inhabited by ancient humans more than 800,000 years ago as the discovery of flint tools and footprints at Happisburgh in Norfolk has revealed. The earliest evidence for early modern humans in North West Europe is a jawbone discovered in Devon at Kents Cavern in 1927, which was re-dated in 2011 to between 41,000 and 44,000 years old. Continuous human habitation dates to around 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last glacial period. The region has numerous remains from the Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Bronze Age, such as Stonehenge and Avebury. In the Iron Age, England, like all of Britain south of the Firth of Forth, was inhabited by the Celtic people known as the Britons, but also by some Belgae tribes (e.g. the Atrebates, the Catuvellauni, the Trinovantes, etc.) in the south east. In AD 43 the Roman conquest of Britain began; the Romans maintained control of their province of Britannia until the 5th century.
The end of Roman rule in Britain enabled the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain, which is often regarded as the origin of England and the English people. The Anglo-Saxons, a collection of various Germanic peoples, established several kingdoms that became the primary powers in what is now England and parts of southern Scotland. They introduced the Old English language, which displaced the previous British language. The Anglo-Saxons warred with British successor states in Wales, Cornwall, and the Hen Ogledd (Old North; the Brythonic-speaking parts of northern England and southern Scotland), as well as with each other. Raids by the Vikings were frequent after about AD 800, and the Norsemen took control of large parts of what is now England. During this period several rulers attempted to unite the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, an effort that led to the emergence of the Kingdom of England by the 10th century.
In 1066, the Normans invaded and conquered England. The Norman Dynasty established by William the Conqueror ruled England for over half a century before the period of succession crisis known as The Anarchy. Following the Anarchy, England came to be ruled by the House of Plantagenet, a dynasty which also had claims to the Kingdom of France; a succession crisis in France led to the Hundred Years Wars, a series of conflicts involving the peoples and leaders of both nations. Following the Hundred Years Wars, England became embroiled in its own succession wars; the War of the Roses pitted two branches of the House of Plantagenet against one another, the House of York and the House of Lancaster. Henry Tudor ended the War of the Roses and established the Tudor dynasty.
Under the Tudors and later Stuart dynasty, England became a world colonial power. During the rule of the Stuarts, England fought the English Civil War, which resulted in the execution of King Charles I and the establishment of a series of republican governments, first a Parliamentary republic known as the Commonwealth of England, then as a military dictatorship under Oliver Cromwell known as The Protectorate. The Stuarts were restored to the throne in 1660, though continued questions over religion resulted in the deposition of another Stuart king, James II, in the Glorious Revolution. England, which had conquered Wales in the 13th century, was united with Scotland in the early 18th century to form a new sovereign state called Great Britain. Following the Industrial Revolution, Great Britain ruled a worldwide Empire, the largest in recorded history. Following a process of decolonisation in the 20th century the vast majority of the empire became independent; however, its cultural impact is widespread and deep in many countries of the present day.
1. Henry VII (r. 1485-1509)
Henry VII was the founder of the Tudor dynasty, unifying the warring factions in the Wars of the Roses. Although supported by Lancastrians and Yorkists alienated by Richard IIIs usurpation, Henry VIIs 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.
Henrys reign (1485-1509) was troubled by revolts, sometimes involving pretenders (such as Perkin Warbeck and Lambert Simnel) who impersonated Edward V or his brother. With this in mind, n 1485, Henry formed a personal bodyguard from his followers known as the Yeomen of the Guard (the oldest military corps in existence today).
Henry strengthened the power of the monarchy by using traditional methods of government to tighten royal administration and increase revenues (reportedly including a daily examination of accounts).
Royal income rose from an annual average of Ј52,000 to Ј142,000 by the end of Henrys reign. Little co-operation between King and Parliament was required; during Henrys reign of 24 years, seven Parliaments sat for some ten and a half months.
Henry used dynastic royal marriages to establish his dynasty in England and help maintain peace. One daughter, Margaret, was married to James IV of Scotland (from whom Mary, Queen of Scots and her son, James VI of Scotland and James I of England, were descended); the other daughter married Louis XII of France.
Henry spent money shrewdly and left a full treasury on his death in 1509.
2. Henry VIII (r.1509-1547)
Henry VIII was born at Greenwich on 28 June 1491, the second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. He became heir to the throne on the death of his elder brother, Prince Arthur, in 1502 and succeeded in 1509.
In his youth he was athletic and highly intelligent. A contemporary observer described him thus: he speaks good French, Latin and Spanish; is very religious; heard three masses daily when he hunted ... He is extremely fond of hunting, and never takes that diversion without tiring eight or ten horses ... He is also fond of tennis.
Henrys scholarly interests included writing both books and music, and he was a lavish patron of the arts.
He was an accomplished player of many instruments and a composer. Greensleeves, the popular melody frequently attributed to him is, however, almost certainly not one of his compositions.
As the author of a best-selling book (it went through some 20 editions in England and Europe) attacking Martin Luther and supporting the Roman Catholic church, in 1521 Henry was given the title Defender of the Faith by the Pope.
From his father, Henry VIII inherited a stable realm with the monarchs finances in healthy surplus - on his accession, Parliament had not been summoned for supplies for five years. Henrys varied interests and lack of application to government business and administration increased the influence of Thomas Wolsey, an Ipswich butchers son, who became Lord Chancellor in 1515.
Wolsey became one of the most powerful ministers in British history (symbolised by his building of Hampton Court Palace - on a greater scale than anything the king possessed). Wolsey exercised his powers vigorously in his own court of Chancery and in the increased use of the Councils judicial authority in the court of the Star Chamber.
Wolsey was also appointed Cardinal in 1515 and given papal legate powers which enabled him to by-pass the Archbishop of Canterbury and govern the Church in England.
Henrys 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 Aragons daughter, his sister Mary married Louis XII of France in 1514, and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V was Catherines nephew.)
An example of these shifts was Henrys 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).
The second half of Henrys reign was dominated by two issues very important for the later history of England and the monarchy: the succession and the Protestant Reformation, which led to the formation of the Church of England.
Henry had married his brothers widow, Catherine of Aragon, in 1509. Catherine had produced only one surviving child - a girl, Princess Mary, born in 1516. By the end of the 1520s, Henrys wife was in her forties and he was desperate for a son.
The Tudor dynasty had been established by conquest in 1485 and Henry was only its second monarch. England had not so far had a ruling queen, and the dynasty was not secure enough to run the risk of handing the Crown on to a woman, risking disputed succession or domination of a foreign power through marriage.
Henry had anyway fallen in love with Anne Boleyn, the sister of one of his many mistresses, and tried to persuade the Pope to grant him an annulment of his marriage on the grounds that it had never been legal.
Royal divorces had happened before: Louis XII had been granted a divorce in 1499, and in 1527 James IVs widow Margaret (Henrys sister) had also been granted one. However, a previous Pope had specifically granted Henry a licence to marry his brothers widow in 1509.
In May 1529, Wolsey failed to gain the Popes agreement to resolve Henrys case in England. All the efforts of Henry and his advisers came to nothing; Wolsey was dismissed and arrested, but died before he could be brought to trial.
Since the attempts to obtain the divorce through pressure on the papacy had failed, Wolseys eventual successor Thomas Cromwell (Henrys chief adviser from 1532 onwards) turned to Parliament, using its powers and anti-clerical attitude (encouraged by Wolseys excesses) to decide the issue.
The result was a series of Acts cutting back papal power and influence in England and bringing about the English Reformation.
In 1532, an Act against Annates - although suspended during the kings pleasure - was a clear warning to the Pope that ecclesiastical revenues were under threat.
In 1532, Cranmer was promoted to Archbishop of Canterbury and, following the Popes confirmation of his appointment, in May 1533 Cranmer declared Henrys marriage invalid; Anne Boleyn was crowned queen a week later.
The Pope responded with excommunication, and Parliamentary legislation enacting Henrys decision to break with the Roman Catholic Church soon followed. An Act in restraint of appeals forbade appeals to Rome, stating that England was an empire, governed by one supreme head and king who possessed whole and entire authority within the realm, and that no judgements or excommunications from Rome were valid.
An Act of Submission of the Clergy and an Act of Succession followed, together with an Act of Supremacy (1534) which recognised that the king was the only supreme head of the Church of England called Anglicana Ecclesia.
The breach between the king and the Pope forced clergy, office-holders and others to choose their allegiance - the most famous being Sir Thomas More, who was executed for treason in 1535.
The other effect of the English Protestant Reformation was the Dissolution of Monasteries, under which monastic lands and possessions were broken up and sold off. In the 1520s, Wolsey had closed down some of the small monastic communities to pay for his new foundations (he had colleges built at Oxford and Ipswich).
In 1535-6, another 200 smaller monasteries were dissolved by statute, followed by the remaining greater houses in 1538-40; as a result, Crown revenues doubled for a few years.
Henrys second marriage had raised hopes for a male heir. Anne Boleyn, however, produced another daughter, Princess Elizabeth, and failed to produce a male child. Henry got rid of Anne on charges of treason (presided over by Thomas Cromwell) which were almost certainly false, and she was executed in 1536. In 1537 her replacement, Henrys third wife Jane Seymour, finally bore him a son, who was later to become Edward VI. Jane died in childbed, 12 days after the birth in 1537.
Although Cromwell had proved an effective minister in bringing about the royal divorce and the English Reformation, his position was insecure. The Pilgrimage of Grace, an insurrection in 1536, called for Cromwells dismissal (the rebels were put down) but it was Henrys fourth, abortive and short-lived marriage to Anne of Cleves that led to Cromwells downfall. Despite being made Earl of Essex in 1540, three months later he was arrested and executed.
Henry made two more marriages, to Katherine Howard (executed on grounds of adultery in 1542) and Catherine Parr (who survived Henry to die in 1548).
None produced any children. Henry made sure that his sole male heir, Edward, was educated by people who believed in Protestantism rather than Catholicism because he wanted the anti-papal nature of his reformation and his dynasty to become more firmly established.
After Cromwells execution, no leading minister emerged in the last seven years of Henrys reign. Overweight, irascible and in failing health, Henry turned his attention to France once more.
Despite assembling an army of 40,000 men, only the town of Boulogne was captured and the French campaign failed. Although more than half the monastic properties had been sold off, forced loans and currency depreciation also had to be used to pay for the war, which contributed to increased inflation. Henry died in London on 28 January 1547.
To some, Henry VIII was a strong and ruthless ruler, forcing through changes to the Church-State relationship which excluded the papacy and brought the clergy under control, thus strengthening the Crowns position and acquiring the monasteries wealth.
However, Henrys reformation had produced dangerous Protestant-Roman Catholic differences in the kingdom. The monasteries wealth had been spent on wars and had also built up the economic strength of the aristocracy and other families in the counties, which in turn was to encourage ambitious Tudor court factions.
Significantly, Parliaments involvement in making religious and dynastic changes had been firmly established. For all his concern over establishing his dynasty and the resulting religious upheaval, Henrys six marriages had produced one sickly son and an insecure succession with two princesses (Mary and Elizabeth) who at one stage had been declared illegitimate - none of whom were to have children.
dynasty tudor history elizabeth
3. Edward VI (r.1547-1553)
Edward VI became king at the age of nine upon the death of his father, Henry VIII, and a Regency was created. Although he was intellectually precocious (fluent in Greek and Latin, he kept a full journal of his reign), he was not, however, physically robust.
His short reign was dominated by nobles using the Regency to strengthen their own positions. The Kings Council, previously dominated by Henry, succumbed to existing factionalism. On Henrys death, Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford and soon to be Duke of Somerset, the new Kings 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 Seymours victory at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in 1547 - although he failed to follow this up with satisfactory peace terms.
During Edwards reign, the Church of England became more explicitly Protestant - Edward himself was fiercely so. The Book of Common Prayer was introduced in 1549, aspects of Roman Catholic practices (including statues and stained glass) were eradicated and the marriage of clergy allowed. The imposition of the Prayer Book (which replaced Latin services with English) led to rebellions in Cornwall and Devon.
Despite his military ability, Seymour was too liberal to deal effectively with Ketts rebellion against land enclosures in Norfolk. Seymour was left isolated in the Council and the Duke of Northumberland subsequently overthrew him in 1551. Seymour was executed in 1552, an event which was only briefly mentioned by Edward in his diary: Today, the Duke of Somerset had his head cut off on Tower Hill.
Northumberland took greater trouble to charm and influence Edward; his powerful position as Lord President of the Council was based on his personal ascendancy over the King. However, the young king was ailing. Northumberland hurriedly married his son Lord Guilford Dudley to Lady Jane Grey, one of Henry VIIIs great-nieces and a claimant to the throne.
Edward accepted Jane as his heir and, on his death from tuberculosis in 1553, Jane assumed the throne.
4. Lady Jane Grey (r. 10-19 July 1553)
The accession of Lady Jane Grey as Queen was engineered by the powerful Duke of Northumberland, President of the Kings 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 VIIIs 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 Aragons daughter and a devout Roman Catholic.
Jane reigned for only nine days and was later executed with her husband in 1554.
5. 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 early 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.
Mary restored papal supremacy in England, abandoned the title of Supreme Head of the Church, reintroduced Roman Catholic bishops and began the slow reintroduction of monastic orders.
Mary also revived the old heresy laws to secure the religious conversion of the country; heresy was regarded as a religious and civil offence amounting to treason (to believe in a different religion from the Sovereign was an act of defiance and disloyalty).
As a result, around 300 Protestant heretics were burnt in three years - apart from eminent Protestant clergy such as Cranmer (a former archbishop and author of two Books of Common Prayer), Latimer and Ridley, these heretics were mostly poor and self-taught people.
Apart from making Mary deeply unpopular, such treatment demonstrated that people were prepared to die for the Protestant settlement established in Henrys reign.
The progress of Marys conversion of the country was also limited by the vested interests of the aristocracy and gentry who had bought the monastic lands sold off after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and who refused to return these possessions voluntarily as Mary invited them to do.
Aged 37 at her accession, Mary wished to marry and have children, thus leaving a Catholic heir to consolidate her religious reforms, and removing her half-sister Elizabeth (a focus for Protestant opposition) from direct succession.
Marys decision to marry Philip, King of Spain from 1556, in 1554 was very unpopular; the protest from the Commons prompted Marys reply that Parliament was not accustomed to use such language to the Kings of England and that in her marriage she would choose as God inspired her.
The marriage was childless, Philip spent most of it on the continent, England obtained no share in the Spanish monopolies in New World trade and the alliance with Spain dragged England into a war with France.
Popular discontent grew when Calais, the last vestige of Englands possessions in France dating from William the Conquerors time, was captured by the French in 1558.
Dogged by ill health, Mary died later that year, possibly from cancer, leaving the crown to her half-sister Elizabeth.
6. 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.
Elizabeth succeeded to the throne on her half-sisters death in November 1558. She was very well-educated (fluent in six languages), and had inherited intelligence, determination and shrewdness from both parents.
Her 45-year reign is generally considered one of the most glorious in English history. During it a secure Church of England was established. Its doctrines were laid down in the 39 Articles of 1563, a compromise between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.
Elizabeth herself refused to make windows into mens souls ... there is only one Jesus Christ and all the rest is a dispute over trifles; she asked for outward uniformity.
Most of her subjects accepted the compromise as the basis of their faith, and her church settlement probably saved England from religious wars like those which France suffered in the second half of the 16th century.
Although autocratic and capricious, Elizabeth had astute political judgement and chose her ministers well; these included Burghley (Secretary of State), Hatton (Lord Chancellor) and Walsingham (in charge of intelligence and also a Secretary of State).
Overall, Elizabeths administration consisted of some 600 officials administering the great offices of state, and a similar number dealing with the Crown lands (which funded the administrative costs). Social and economic regulation and law and order remained in the hands of the sheriffs at local level, supported by unpaid justices of the peace.
Elizabeths reign also saw many brave voyages of discovery, including those of Francis Drake, Walter Raleigh and Humphrey Gilbert, particularly to the Americas. These expeditions prepared England for an age of colonisation and trade expansion, which Elizabeth herself recognised by establishing the East India Company in 1600.
The arts flourished during Elizabeths reign. Country houses such as Longleat and Hardwick Hall were built, miniature painting reached its high point, theatres thrived - the Queen attended the first performance of Shakespeares A Midsummer Nights Dream. Composers such as William Byrd and Thomas Tallis worked in Elizabeths court and at the Chapel Royal, St. Jamess Palace.
The image of Elizabeths reign is one of triumph and success. The Queen herself was often called Gloriana, Good Queen Bess and The Virgin Queen.
Investing in expensive clothes and jewellery (to look the part, like all contemporary sovereigns), she cultivated this image by touring the country in regional visits known as progresses, often riding on horseback rather than by carriage. Elizabeth made at least 25 progresses during her reign.
However, Elizabeths reign was one of considerable danger and difficulty for many, with threats of invasion from Spain through Ireland, and from France through Scotland. Much of northern England was in rebellion in 1569-70. A papal bull of 1570 specifically released Elizabeths subjects from their allegiance, and she passed harsh laws against Roman Catholics after plots against her life were discovered.
One such plot involved Mary, Queen of Scots, who had fled to England in 1568 after her second husbands murder and her subsequent marriage to a man believed to have been involved in his murder.
As a likely successor to Elizabeth, Mary spent 19 years as Elizabeths prisoner because Mary was the focus for rebellion and possible assassination plots, such as the Babington Plot of 1586.
Mary was also a temptation for potential invaders such as Philip II. In a letter of 1586 to Mary, Elizabeth wrote, You have planned ... to take my life and ruin my kingdom ... I never proceeded so harshly against you. Despite Elizabeths reluctance to take drastic action, on the insistence of Parliament and her advisers, Mary was tried, found guilty and executed in 1587.
In 1588, aided by bad weather, the English navy scored a great victory over the Spanish invasion fleet of around 130 ships - the Armada. The Armada was intended to overthrow the Queen and re-establish Roman Catholicism by conquest, as Philip II believed he had a claim to the English throne through his marriage to Mary.
During Elizabeths long reign, the nation also suffered from high prices and severe economic depression, especially in the countryside, during the 1590s. The war against Spain was not very successful after the Armada had been beaten and, together with other campaigns, it was very costly.
Though she kept a tight rein on government expenditure, Elizabeth left large debts to her successor. Wars during Elizabeths reign are estimated to have cost over Ј5 million (at the prices of the time) which Crown revenues could not match - in 1588, for example, Elizabeths total annual revenue amounted to some Ј392,000.
Despite the combination of financial strains and prolonged war after 1588, Parliament was not summoned more often. There were only 16 sittings of the Commons during Elizabeths reign, five of which were in the period 1588-1601. Although Elizabeth freely used her power to veto legislation, she avoided confrontation and did not attempt to define Parliaments constitutional position and rights.
Elizabeth chose never to marry. If she had chosen a foreign prince, he would have drawn England into foreign policies for his own advantages (as in her sister Marys marriage to Philip of Spain); marrying a fellow countryman could have drawn the Queen into factional infighting. Elizabeth used her marriage prospects as a political tool in foreign and domestic policies.
However, the Virgin Queen was presented as a selfless woman who sacrificed personal happiness for the good of the nation, to which she was, in essence, married.
Late in her reign, she addressed Parliament in the so-called Golden Speech of 1601 when she told MPs: There is no jewel, be it of never so high a price, which I set before this jewel; I mean your love. She seems to have been very popular with the vast majority of her subjects.
Overall, Elizabeths always shrewd and, when necessary, decisive leadership brought successes during a period of great danger both at home and abroad. She died at Richmond Palace on 24 March 1603, having become a legend in her lifetime. The date of her accession was a national holiday for two hundred years.
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