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Tudor Period
1485–1603

Allegory of the Tudor dynasty (detail), attributed to Lucas de Heere, c.1572: left to right, Philip II of Spain, Mary, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Elizabeth.

Preceded by   Plantagenet era
Followed by   Elizabethan Era
Periods and eras in English History
Tudor period Tudors.JPG (1485–1603)
Elizabethan era Elizabeth I (Armada Portrait).jpg (1558–1603)
Stuart period James I of England by Daniel Mytens.jpg (1603–1714)
Jacobean era James I of England by Daniel Mytens.jpg (1603–1625)
Caroline era Carolus I.jpg (1625–1642)
Georgian era The.circus.bath.arp.jpg (1714–1830)
British Regency George IV bust1.jpg (1811–1820)
Victorian era Queen Victoria 1887.jpg (1837–1901)
Edwardian era Edward vii england.jpg (1901–1910)

The Tudor period usually refers to the period between 1485 and 1603, specifically in relation to the history of England. This coincides with the rule of the Tudor dynasty in England whose first monarch was Henry VII (1457 – 1509). The term is often used more broadly to include Elizabeth I's reign (1558 – 1603), although this is often treated separately as the Elizabethan era.

Contents

Social and Economic Revolution

Tudor coat of arms

Following the Black Death and the agricultural depression of the late 14th century, population growth began to increase. The export of woollen products resulted in economic upturn with products exported to mainland Europe. Henry VII negotiated the favourable Intercursus Magnus treaty in 1496.[1]

The high wages and abundance of available land seen in the late 14th century and early 15th century were replaced with low wages and a land shortage. Various inflationary pressures, perhaps due to influx of New World gold and rising population, set the stage for social upheaval with the gap between the rich and poor widening. This was a period of significant change for the majority of the rural population, with manorial lords beginning the process of enclosure.

Financial Development of Tudor Government, 1536–53

Impact of Dissolution
The Tudor Government raised a huge amount of revenue from the dissolution of the monasteries. The clerical income from First Fruits and Tenths, which previously went to the Pope, now went to the King. The Tudor Government gained further revenue from the clerical lands in two ways: by receiving rents from confiscated lands and by selling the lands. Altogether, between 1536 and Henry’s death, the Government collected £1.3 million; this huge influx of money caused Cromwell to change the Crown’s financial system so as to manage the money. Cromwell created a new department of state and a new official to collect the proceeds of the dissolution and the first fruits and tenths: the court of augmentations and treasurer of first fruits and tenths.[citation needed]

Revenue Courts
Partly because of the new revenue raised from the dissolution of monasteries, Cromwell created revenue courts to allot the royal income properly to various departments. These were the six courts or departments of state, each fully organised with its own specialised officials, equipped with seals and habitat, and responsible for a particular kind of revenue. Although this new financial system did not work with admirable precision, it was improved in a sense that it didn’t involve the excessive formality of the old Exchequer or the excessive informality of the chamber system. Its drawback was the multiplication of departments whose sole unifying agent was Cromwell; his fall raised difficulties necessitating further reforms which, however, followed his principle of relying on bureaucratic institutions.[citation needed]

Role of Winchester
The growing number of departments meant that the number of officials involved increased, which made the management of revenue troublesome and expensive. There were further financial and administrative difficulties of the years 1540–58, aggravated by war, debasement, corruption and inefficiency, which were mainly caused by Somerset. After Cromwell’s fall, Winchester, the Lord Treasurer, produced further reforms to simplify the arrangements; reforms which united most of the crown’s financed under the exchequer. The courts of general surveyors and augmentations were fused into a new court of augmentations, and this, was later absorbed into the exchequer along with the First Fruits and Tenths.[citation needed]

Impact of War
Henry’s war with France and Somerset’s war with France and Scotland cost England huge sums of money. Since 1540, there was the Privy Coffers, which was responsible for ‘secret affairs’, in particular for the financing of war. The royal Mint was used to generate revenue by debasing the coinage; the government’s profit in 1547–51 was £537,000. Most of the money that was raised from the dissolution was squandered on the Boulogne campaign of 1544. However, under the rule of Northumberland, the wars were brought to an end and the Mint no longer generated revenue after debasement was bought to an end in 1551.[citation needed]

Significant events of the period

Battle of Stoke (1487)

In 1487 Henry VII's enemies from the House of York had crowned a pretender and landed a small army off the coast of Cumbria with the intention of stealing the crown. Henry VII defeated them at East Stoke.[2] This was perhaps the last battle in the Wars of the Roses.[citation needed]

English Reformation

This was perhaps the most significant series of events which took place during the Tudor period. It began as a result of Henry VIII's grievance at Pope Clement VII regarding his refusal to grant a divorce.[3] It ended with the Church of England breaking away from the Roman Catholic Church and perhaps contributed to the Civil War.[citation needed]

Norfolk Rebellion (1549)

Beginning in 1549, this was to be the largest popular uprising during the Tudor period. It was at first intended as a demonstration against enclosures of common land. The instigator, Robert Kett, was hanged for treason.[2] [4]

Daily Life in the period

Poverty

About a third of the population lived in poverty with the wealthy expected to give alms to assist the impotent poor. Tudor law was harsh on the able bodied poor i.e, those unable to find work.[citation needed] Those who left their parishes in order to locate work were termed vagabonds and could be subjected to punishments including whipping.[5]

The idea of the workhouse for the able bodied poor was first suggested in 1576.[6]

Health

See also: Health and diet in Elizabethan England

Average life span was 35. High rates of childhood mortality saw only 33–50% of the population reaching the age of 16.

Although home to only a small part of the population the Tudor municipalities were overcrowded and unhygenic. Most municipalities were unpaved although this differed in larger towns and cities.

There were no sewers or drains and rubbish was simply abandoned in the street. Animals such as rats thrived in these conditions. In larger towns and cities, such as London, common diseases arising from lack of sanitation included smallpox, measles, malaria, typhus, diphtheria, Scarlet fever, and chickenpox.[7]

Outbreaks of the Black Death pandemic occurred in 1498, 1535, 1543, 1563, 1589 and 1603. The reason for the speedy spread of the disease was the increase of rats infected by fleas carrying the disease.[8]

Food and diet

The Tudor people ate a lot of fresh food because there was no way of storing food to be eaten later. People kept animals, such as chickens, all year round and would kill them just before they needed to be eaten. This meant that the meat was always fresh. Three-quarters of the wealthy Tudor's diet was made up of meat such as oxen, deer, calves, pigs, badger or wild boar. Birds such as chicken, pigeons, sparrows, heron, crane, pheasant, woodcock, partridge, blackbirds and peacocks were also eaten. To improve the flavour of game, such as deer, pheasant and rabbit, it was common to hang it from the ceiling in a cold room for several days before eating. Some meat was preserved by rubbing salt into it. Bread was served with most meals. You could tell the class of a person by the bread they ate; rich people ate bread made from white of wholemeal flour, but poor people ate bread made from rye and even ground acorns. Fruit and vegetables were mostly eaten when they were in season and soon after picking. They ate fruits such as pears, apples, plums and cherries. Bananas and other foreign fruits were unheard of during the Tudor period. Some fruits were preserved in syrup to make them last longer through the winter months. The common vegetables were cabbages and onions. Towards the end of the Tudor period, new foods were brought over from the Americas by people such as Sir Walter Raleigh, e.g. potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, maize and turkey, although they were uncommon in most households. Sugar also came from abroad and so was expensive, which meant the Tudor people often used honey to sweeten their food instead, although when they did have sugar, they put it on everything, including meat. Fish was mainly eaten by people living near rivers and the sea, although it was compulsory to eat fish on Fridays and during Lent. The fresh water fish included eels, pike, perch, trout, sturgeon, roach, and salmon. Poor people ate a herb-flavoured soup called pottage which would be served with bread. It was made of peas, milk, egg yolks, breadcrumbs and parsley and flavoured with saffron and ginger. Instead of drinking water with their meals, they often drank ale and wine. Water was often unfit for drinking because it as contaminated with sewage. The Tudors ate with fingers, knives and spoons. There were no forks. [9]

Homes and dwellings

The majority of the population lived in small villages. Their homes were, as in earlier centuries, thatched huts with one or two rooms, although later on during this period, rooves were also tiled. Furniture was basic with stools being commonplace rather than chairs.[7] The walls of Tudor houses were often made from timber and wattle & daube, or brick, stone and tiles in the wealthier part of the population's case. The daube was usually then painted with limewash, making it white, and the wood was painted with black tar to prevent rotting. The bricks were handmade and thinner than modern bricks. The wooden beams were cut by hand, which makes telling the difference between Tudor houses and Tudor-style houses easy, as the original beams are not straight. The upper floors of Tudor houses were often larger than the ground floors, which would create an over-hang (Or Jetty). This would create more floor-surface ubove while also keeping maximum street width. During the Tudor period, the use of glass when building houses was first used, and became widespread. It was very expensive and difficult to make, so the panes were made small and held together with a lead lattice, in casement windows. People who couldn't afford glass often used polished horn, cloth or even paper. Tudor chimneys were tall, thin, and often patterned with symmetrical patters of moulded or cut brick. Early Tudor houses, and the homes of poorer people, did not have chimneys. The smoke in these cases would be let out through a simple hole in the roof.

Mansions had many chimneys for the many fireplaces required to keep the vast rooms warm. These fires were also the only way of cooking food. Wealthy Tudor homes needed many rooms, where a large number of guests and servants could be accommodated, fed and entertained. Wealth was demonstrated by the extensive use of glass. Windows became the main feature of Tudor mansions, and were often a fashion statement. Mansions were often designed to a symmetrical plan – "E" and "H" shapes were popular. [10]

Education

However, boys were often sent to schools which belonged to the monasteries and there they would learn mainly Latin in classes of up to 60 boys.[citation needed]

Not many children went to school in Tudor times. Those that did go were mainly the sons of wealthy or working families who could afford to pay the attendance fee. Boys began school at the age of 4 and moved to grammar school when they were 7. Girls were either kept at home by their parents to help with housework or sent out to work to bring money in for the family. Boys were educated for work and the girls for marriage and running a household. The wealthiest families hired a tutor to teach the boys at home. Many Tudor towns and villages had a parish school where the local vicar taught boys to read and write. At school, pupils often had to speak in Latin. They were also taught Greek, religion and mathematics. The boys practiced writing in ink by copying the alphabet and the Lord's Prayer. There were few books, so pupils read from hornbooks instead. These wooden boards had the alphabet, prayers or other writings pinned to them and were covered with a thin layer of transparent cow's horn. There were two types of school in Tudor times:

  • The Petty School – this taught young children to read and write.
  • The Grammar School – this taught boys Latin.

It was usual for children to attend six days a week. The school day started at 7:00 am in winter and 6:00 am in summer and finished about 5:00 pm. Petty schools had shorter hours, mostly to allow poorer boys the opportunity to work as well. Schools were harsh and teachers were very strict, often [[beating] their pupils with birches os other canes if they misbehaved. Teachers used to give 50 strokes of the birch. Pupils were sometimes too scared to go to school because of the beatings. Wealthier boys could often afford a special friend called a 'whipping-boy'. When the rich child was naughty, it was the whipping-boy who received the punishment. During the reign of Henry VIII, many schools attached to monasteries suffered, often being shut. This happened when Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church after it refused to agree to him divorcing his first wife. Henry VIII needed well-educated men to work for him. Because of this, when the monasteries closed, Henry had to refound many monastic schools using his own money. This is why there are so many 'Kin's' schools all over Britain. During the reign of Edward VI many free grammar school were set up to take in non-fee paying students. There were only two universities in Tudor England – Oxford and Cambridge. Some boys went to university at the age of about fourteen.[11]

Pastimes

In the Tudor times many people had to make their own entertainment. Lack of electricity meant that people often got up early in the morning when it was light and went to bed when it was dark. They worked most of the day and week, so entertainment was saved until Sundays, the one day of the week when most people didn't work. Watching plays became very popular during the Tudor times. This popularity was helped by the rise of great playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe as well as the building of the Globe theatre in London. By 1595, 15,000 people a week were watching plays in London. It was during Elizabeth's reign that the first real theatres were built in England. Before theatres were built, actors travelled from town to town and performed in the streets or outside inns.[12] The rich enjoyed fencing and jousting contests. Most rich people also watched bear fighting. Poor people, who could not afford these certain luxuries, played a kind of football where the posts were about a mile apart, during which they would jump on each other, often breaking their necks and backs[citation needed]. They also enjoyed hunting. Rich tudors enjoyed hawking.

Monarchs

The House of Tudor produced five English monarchs who ruled during this period.

See also

References

  1. ^ "United Kingdom."Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica 2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD.[Accessed May 1, 2008].
  2. ^ a b "BBC Interactive Timeline". BBC Corp.. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/launch_tl_british.shtml. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  3. ^ "Reformation."Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica 2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD.[Accessed May 2, 2008].
  4. ^ "Ket, Robert."Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica 2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD.[Accessed May 2, 2008].
  5. ^ Poverty in Tudor Times
  6. ^ [ Martin Pugh (1999), Britain since 1789: A Concise History. La Nuova Italia Scientifica, Roma.]
  7. ^ a b Life In Tudor Times
  8. ^ Spread of the Plague
  9. ^ Tudor Food
  10. ^ Tudor Houses
  11. ^ Tudor Schools
  12. ^ Tudor Entertainment
  13. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/grey_lady_jane.shtml

Harrington, Peter. The Castles of Henry VIII. Oxford, Osprey, 2007.

Further reading

  • Bridgen, Susan (2001). New Worlds, Lost Worlds: The Rule of the Tudors, 1485–1603. New York, NY: Viking Penguin. ISBN 9780670899852. 

External links



Simple English

The Tudor period usually refers to the period between 1485 and 1603, specifically in relation to the history of England. This was the period when the Tudor dynasty ruled in England. Its first monarch was Henry VII (1457 – 1509). The term is often used more broadly to include Elizabeth I's reign (1558 – 1603), although this is often treated separately as the Elizabethan era.

Contents

Social and Economic Revolution

Following the Black Death and the agricultural depression of the late 14th century, population grew bigger again. The export of woollen products to mainland Europe helped the economy rather much. Henry VII got favourable trading conditions in 1496.[1]

The high wages and abundance of available land seen in the late 14th century and early 15th century were replaced with low wages and a land shortage. Various inflationary pressures, perhaps due to influx of New World gold and rising population, meant that the gap between the rich and poor widened.[1] This was a period of significant change for the majority of the rural population, because enclosure started.

Financial Development of Tudor Government, 1536-53

Impact of Dissolution
The Tudor Government raised a huge amount of revenue from the dissolution of the monasteries. The clerical income from First Fruits and Tenths, which previously went to the Pope, now went to the King.

Revenue Courts
Partly because of the new revenue raised from the dissolution of monasteries, Cromwell created revenue courts to allot the royal income properly to various departments. These were the six courts or departments of state, each fully organised with its own specialised officials, equipped with seals and habitat, and responsible for a particular kind of revenue.

Role of Winchester
The growing number of departments meant that the number of officials involved increased, which made the management of revenue troublesome and expensive. There were further financial and administrative difficulties of the years 1540-58.

Impact of War
Henry’s war with France and Somerset’s war with France and Scotland cost England huge sums of money. The royal Mint was used to generate revenue by producing coins with less quality.

Significant events of the period

Battle of Stoke (1487)

In 1487 Henry VII's enemies from the House of York had crowned a pretender and landed a small army off the coast of Cumbria with the intention of stealing the crown. Henry VII defeated them at East Stoke.[2] This was perhaps the last battle in the Wars of the Roses.

English Reformation

This was perhaps the most significant series of events which took place during the Tudor period. It began as a result of Henry VIII's quarrel with Pope Clement VII regarding his refusal to grant a divorce.[3]

Norfolk Rebellion (1549)

Beginning in 1549, this was to be the largest popular uprising during the Tudor period. It was at first intended as a demonstration against enclosures of common land. The leader, Robert Kett, was hanged for treason.[2] [4]

Poverty

About a third of the population lived in poverty with the wealthy expected to give alms to assist the impotent poor. Tudor law was harsh on those unable to find work. Those who left their parishes in order to find work were called vagabonds and could be punished by whipping.[5]

The idea of the workhouse was first suggested in 1576.[6]

Health

Average life span was 35. High rates of childhood mortality saw only 33-50% of the population reaching the age of 16.

Although home to only a small part of the population the Tudor municipalities were overcrowded and unhygenic. Most municipalities were unpaved although this differed in larger towns and cities.

There were no sewers or drains and rubbish was simply abandoned in the street. Animals such as rats thrived in these conditions. In larger towns and cities, such as London, common diseases arising from lack of sanitation included smallpox, measles, malaria, typhus, diphtheria, Scarlet fever, and chickenpox.[7]

Outbreaks of the Black Death pandemic occurred in 1498, 1535, 1543, 1563, 1589 and 1603. The reason for the speedy spread of the disease was the increase of rats infected by fleas carrying the disease)[8]

Food and diet

The food consumed by the very rich in this period consisted largely of venison, and often of blackbirds and larks. However, potatoes had not reached the table to any great extent, because farmers had only just begun growing them, although explorers such as Sir Walter Raleigh had brought them to Britain.

Homes and dwellings

The majority of the population lived in small villages. Their homes comprised, as in earlier centuries, of thatched huts with one or two rooms. Furniture was basic with stools being commonplace rather than chairs.[7]

Mansions had many chimneys for the many fireplaces required to keep the vast rooms warm. These fires were also the only way of cooking food. The very large houses were often, designed in symmetrical shapes such as 'E' and 'H'.

Education

Poorer children never went to school. Children from better-off families had tutors to teach them reading and French. However, boys were often sent to schools which belonged to the monasteries and there they would learn mainly Latin in classes of up to 60 boys. Schools were harsh and caning was not unheard of.

Pastimes

The rich used to go hunting to kill deer and wild boar for their feasts. They also enjoyed fencing and jousting contests. Most rich people watched bear fighting.

Monarchs

The House of Tudor produced five English monarchs who ruled during this period.

Other pages

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "United Kingdom."Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica 2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD.[Accessed May 1, 2008] Intercursus Magnus
  2. 2.0 2.1 "BBC Interactive Timeline". BBC Corp.. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/launch_tl_british.shtml. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  3. "Reformation."Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica 2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD.[Accessed May 2, 2008].
  4. "Ket, Robert."Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica 2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD.[Accessed May 2, 2008].
  5. Poverty in Tudor Times
  6. [ Martin Pugh (1999), Britain since 1789: A Concise History. La Nuova Italia Scientifica, Roma.]
  7. 7.0 7.1 Life In Tudor Times
  8. Spread of the Plague
  9. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/grey_lady_jane.shtml

Harrington, Peter. The Castles of Henry VIII. Oxford, Osprey, 2007.

Further reading

  • Bridgen, Susan (2001). New Worlds, Lost Worlds: The Rule of the Tudors, 1485-1603. New York, NY: Viking Penguin. ISBN 9780670899852. 

Other websites








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