A Brief History of the Tudor Age

BOOK: A Brief History of the Tudor Age
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J
ASPER
R
IDLEY
is one of England’s leading biographers and historians. A former barrister turned author,
he has written many successful books, most recently
Bloody Mary’s Martyrs
, and highly acclaimed biographies of
Henry VIII
,
Elizabeth I
and
Thomas
Cranmer.

Praise for
The Tudor Age

‘The author’s intimate knowledge of the period allows him to select the most telling examples from his evidence and he presents his findings with the admirable
clarity which betokens a true understanding of the subject . . . Ridley expounds with ease the complex political and economic issues of the age, at the same time providing us with many fascinating
insights into the practicalities of everyday life.’

Scotsman

‘Tells its story with both descriptive and narrative skill.’

Observer

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Constable & Robinson Ltd
3 The Lanchesters
162 Fulham Palace Road
London W6 9ER
www.constablerobinson.com

First published in the UK as
The Tudor Age
by
Constable and Co. Ltd, 1998

This edition published by Robinson, an imprint of Constable & Robinson Ltd, 2002

Copyright © Jasper Ridley 1988, 2002

The right of Jasper Ridley to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

All rights reserved. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated in any
form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

A copy of the British Library Cataloguing in Publication data is available from the British Library

ISBN 978–1–84119–471–4 (pbk)
ISBN 978–0–09–472870–7 (hbk)
eISBN 978–1–47210–795–4

Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY

11

To my son John

CONTENTS

1 The Tudor Family

2 London

3 The King’s Highway

4 The Estates of the Realm

5 Heretics and Traitors

6 The Houses

7 Costume and Fashion

8 Furniture and Food

9 Husbandry

10 Scholars and Doctors

11 Ships and Voyages

12 Law-enforcement and War

13 Sports and Pastimes

14 Beggars and Vagabonds

15 Tudor Men and Women

ILLUSTRATIONS

Integrated illustrations

 

Livestock being driven to market, 1598 (
The British Library
)

A working-man’s habit, 1569 (
The British Library
)

Bishop Bonner flogging a Protestant, 1563 (
The British Library
)

Title-page of a Tudor Age bestseller

Gardeners at work in a kitchen garden (
The British Library
)

‘Certain observations for an ostreger im keeping of a Goshawke’ (
The British Library
)

The Swan Theatre, on Bankside (
The British Museum
)

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I wish to thank Roy Armstrong, Agathe Lewin, Dr Michael Smith, and Mr E. C. Till for their advice and assistance on various aspects of this book; John and Jennifer Arnold and
Tony Mercer for their hospitality on my travels while I was researching; the staff of the London Library for their help at all times; the Gloucestershire County Archivist; the staff of the British
Library, the Kent County Library at Tunbridge Wells, and the Worcestershire County Library at Evesham; and my wife Vera and my son John for their painstaking work in correcting the proofs.

 

Jasper Ridley

Tunbridge Wells

CHRONOLOGY

1485

Henry Tudor defeats and kills Richard III at Bosworth and becomes King Henry VII. Sweating sickness appears in London.

1486–7

Revolt of Lambert Simnel and the Earl of Lincoln suppressed by Henry VII.

1489

Henry VII refuses to finance Columbus’s voyage across the Atlantic.

1490–1510

Extensive building in brick, with new building methods.

1492

Henry VII’s expedition to Boulogne. Treaty of Etaples.

1494

Syphilis first appears in Naples.

1495

Execution of Sir William Stanley.

1495–7

Perkin Warbeck’s invasions of England.

1496

Statute of Labourers regulates wages and hours of work.

1497

John Cabot sails to Newfoundland. Building of Canterbury Cathedral tower completed.

1498

Sheen Palace burned; rebuilt as Richmond Palace.

1499

Execution of Perkin Warbeck and the Earl of Warwick.

1501

Marriage of Arthur, Prince of Wales, to Catherine of Aragon.

1502

Death of Arthur, Prince of Wales.

1509

Death of Henry VII. Accession of Henry VIII, who marries Catherine of Aragon.

1510

New Sumptuary Law regulates the dress to be worn by the different classes.

1512

Wolsey becomes Henry VIII’s chief minister. Expedition to Fuentarrabia; English troops mutiny because of lack of beer. College of Physicians founded.

1513

Henry VIII invades France; the Earl of Surrey defeats and kills James IV of Scotland at Flodden.

1514

Marriage of Henry VIII’s sister Mary to Louis XII of France. Wolsey begins to build Hampton Court and York Place (later Whitehall).

1515

Henry VIII’s sister Mary marries the Duke of Suffolk.

1516

Sir Thomas More’s book
Utopia
published. Birth of Henry VIII’s daughter Mary.

1517–18

Virulent outbreak of the sweating sickness in England.

1519–21

Magellan’s expedition from Spain sails round the world.

1520

Henry VIII meets Francis I of France at the Field of Cloth-of-gold.

1521

Execution of the Duke of Buckingham.

1525

William Tyndale translates the New Testament into English; it is illegally smuggled into England from the Netherlands.

1525–30

Anne Boleyn introduces the fashion of the French hood for women.

1527

Henry VIII begins divorce proceedings against Catherine of Aragon.

1528

Renewed outbreak of sweating sickness.

1529

Fall of Wolsey. The Reformation Parliament meets.

(1529?)

Morality play,
Everyman
, performed.

1530

Intensification of the suppression of the English Bible. New severe legislation against vagabonds. Death of Wolsey, while being brought as a prisoner to London.

1530–40

Bishop Vesey builds houses for labourers in Sutton Coldfield.

1531

Henry VIII separates from Catherine of Aragon, and Anne Boleyn lives with him as his mistress.

1533

Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn, who becomes Queen. Repudiation of Papal supremacy over the Church of England. Birth of Henry VIII’s daughter, the future Elizabeth I.
Thomas Cromwell becomes Henry VIII’s chief minister.

1535

Execution of Bishop Fisher, Sir Thomas More, and the Carthusian monks. Henry VIII cuts his hair short and grows a beard. Nicholas Udall’s play,
Ralph Roister
Doister
, performed.

1536

Execution of Anne Boleyn. Henry VIII marries Jane Seymour.

1536–9

Suppression of monasteries.

1536–7

Revolt of the Pilgrimage of Grace in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.

1536–44

Housing legislation deals with slum property.

1537

Birth of Edward VI. Death of Jane Seymour. Henry VIII permits the publication of the English translation of the Bible.

1538

Execution of Cardinal Pole’s family.

1538–46

Henry VIII builds Nonesuch Palace.

1539

Act of the Six Articles against the Protestants.

1540

Henry VIII marries and divorces Anne of Cleves. Fall and execution of Thomas Cromwell, and intensified persecution of Protestants. Henry VIII marries Katherine Howard.
Foundation of the College of Surgeons. The hottest summer within living memory.

1540–50

Beards and short hair become general. Hose gives way to trunk hose in men’s dress.

1541

Execution of the Countess of Salisbury. Henry VIII’s journey to York. Katherine Howard arrested for adultery; execution of her lovers.

1542

Execution of Katherine Howard.

1543

Severe restrictions on reading of the English Bible. Renewed persecution of Protestants; the Windsor heretics burned. Henry VIII marries Katherine Parr.

1544

English troops burn Edinburgh. Henry VIII captures Boulogne.

1545

French threaten to invade England;
Mary Rose
sunk. Henry VIII suppresses London hospitals. Henry Brinkelow illegally publishes
The Complaint of Roderick
Mors.
The Spanish farthingale first worn by ladies at the English court.

1545–56

Inflation; prices rise by 100 per cent in ten years.

1545–70

Gentlemen wear increasingly large ruffs.

1546

Burning of Anne Askew and other Protestants. Henry VIII suppresses the Catholic faction in his Council.

1547

Death of Henry VIII; accession of Edward VI, with the Duke of Somerset as Lord Protector. Somerset and Archbishop Cranmer take the first steps to make England a Protestant
nation. Statute making vagabonds slaves (repealed in 1550).

1549

First Book of Common Prayer suppresses the Catholic Mass. Catholic revolt in Devon and Cornwall suppressed. Kett’s agrarian revolt in Norfolk suppressed.

The Earl of Warwick (later Duke of Northumberland) overthrows Somerset.

1550

Act against unlawful assemblies. Workhouses for vagabonds introduced.

1550–3

Consumer protection legislation increases.

1551

Last great visitation of the sweating sickness.

1552

Execution of Somerset. The Second Book of Common Prayer introduces a more extreme form of Protestantism. The play
Gammer Gurton’s Needle
produced.

1553

Willoughby and Chancellor sail from London to find the North-east Passage.

1553

Death of Edward VI; Jane Grey proclaimed Queen; Mary Tudor defeats Jane Grey, and becomes Queen.

Execution of Northumberland; Protestant leaders arrested.

The Catholic Mass restored.

1554

Sir Thomas Wyatt leads a Protestant revolt in Kent. Suppression of Wyatt’s revolt; Jane Grey executed; Elizabeth sent to the Tower.

Chancellor received in Moscow by Ivan the Terrible.

Mary marries Philip of Spain, who becomes King of England.

Cardinal Pole returns from exile and reunites England to Rome.

1555

Burning of Protestants begins; Rogers and Hooper burned.

False report that Mary is pregnant.

Ridley and Latimer burned at Oxford.

1555–8

280 Protestants burned.

1555–87

Sir William Cecil (later Lord Burghley) rebuilds Burghley House at Stamford.

1556

Cranmer burned at Oxford.

1558

The French capture Calais. John Knox publishes four books in Geneva which justify Protestant revolutions against Catholic rulers.

Death of Mary; accession of Elizabeth I, with Cecil as Secretary of State.

1559

Elizabeth I repudiates Papal supremacy and makes England once again a Protestant nation; Third Book of Common Prayer published.

Protestant revolution in Scotland.

Elizabeth I sends William Winter and a fleet to the Firth of Forth to help the Scottish revolutionaries.

1560

Treaty of Edinburgh ends French control of Scotland and makes Scotland a Protestant nation. Death of Amy Robsart; Lord Robert Dudley suspected of her murder.

1560–75

Trunk hose, in men’s clothes, give way to breeches (‘Venetians’).

1561

Mary, Queen of Scots, returns from France to Scotland.

1561–4

Anthony Jenkinson’s voyage to Russia, Khiva and Persia.

1562

John Hawkins and Francis Drake go on their first slave-trading voyage to Guinea. Sackville and Norton’s play
Gorbaduc
produced.

1562–3

Elizabeth I intervenes disastrously in the French civil war.

1563

A new Statute of Labourers fixes wages and hours of work.

1563–4

17,000 die of plague in London.

1563–75

Cecil builds another house, Theolbands, near Cheshunt.

1566

Outbreak of Protestant revolt in the Netherlands against the rule of Philip II of Spain.

1567

Murder of Darnley; Mary Queen of Scots deposed and imprisoned in Scotland. Sir John Thynne begins building his house at Longleat.

1568

Severe repression of Protestants in the Netherlands by the Duke of Alva. Hawkins and Drake attacked by Spaniards in the West Indies.

Elizabeth I seizes Alva’s treasure-ships; Alva seizes English property in the Netherlands.

1568–9

Thomas Randolph’s mission as ambassador to Moscow.

1569–72

Hostility and economic sanctions between England and Spain.

1569

Catholic rising in the North suppressed by Elizabeth I.

1570

Pope Pius V’s Bull excommunicating and deposing Elizabeth I.

1572

Massacre of St Bartholomew of Protestants by Catholics in Paris. New outbreak of Protestant revolt in the Netherlands.

1574

The Earl of Leicester authorizes his players to act before the public in the London inns.

1575

Sir Humphrey Stafford builds Kirby Hall in Northamptonshire.

1576

First compulsory contribution imposed for alms for the impotent poor.

1576–8

Martin Frobisher’s voyages to find the North-west Passage.

1577

James Burbage opens The Theatre in Finsbury Fields.

1577–80

Drake sails round the world.

1579–81

Revolt in Munster, Ireland, suppressed.

1580

Massacre of Spanish prisoners at Smerwick in Ireland. Men begin to wear their cloaks ‘Collywestonwise’. The French farthingale replaces the Spanish farthingale
in women’s dress.

1584

Elizabeth I expels the Spanish ambassador. Assassination of William the Silent by a Catholic agent in the Netherlands.

1585

Treaty of Nonesuch between Elizabeth I and the Dutch Protestants. Leicester leads an army of English troops to help the Protestants in the Netherlands. Very large ruffs
begin to come into fashion.

1585–6

Drake’s expedition to the West Indies; he loots and burns Cartagena.

1585–7

John Davis’s expeditions to find the North-west Passage.

1585–97

Elizabeth Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury, rebuilds Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire.

1586

The Babington plot; trial of Mary, Queen of Scots.

1586–8

Thomas Cavendish sails round the world.

1587

Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. Drake attacks the Spanish Armada in Cadiz harbour. Marlowe’s play,
Tamburlaine
, produced in London.

BOOK: A Brief History of the Tudor Age
13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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