Introduction to Tudor England
|Before England became a territory, there was a number of dominating hereditary sovereign dynasties. These came from the native of Wales, who succeeded in ending the wars and developed the country into one of the most powerful European colonies to conquest many parts of the new world. Between 1485 and 1603, there were five kings and queens who were crowned and reined as Tudors. || |
| Each one of them played a vital role in the rise and fall of England starting from the numerous people who were executed or killed during this period. Tudor England was a time of great abandonment and transformation in their socially and culturally aspect of life that takes place to encourage comprehensive individuals to bring together their powers. |
With the King on top, people during Tudor period were categorized into dominions of hierarch. Rich people had the chance to rise to the top and be even richer, while the poor had little chance of getting rich and remained as poor as ever. The King or Queen were always the top tier of the social system and the richest people in the whole land. They owned enormous amounts of land and royal residences known as palaces.
They had the rights to impose and established laws, despite of the existence of the courts. Both rich and poor people were obliged to render service to the King or Queen without any exemptions; any instance of failing to do so would result in execution. People believed in the teachings of the church, that their condition and situation in life was determined by God and that gave them the example that those who were born poor could become rich and have great power in the afterlife.
During this time, people of the Tudor society belonged to all types, they focused much more on religion by attending mass and offering service influenced by the great power of the church, which controlled peoples day to day lives, preaching what they did and believed. Until land owned by the church was forfeited by Henry VIII, during his reign, and he made himself the centre of the church. He terminated all operations of monasteries, seminaries and other religious groups. But before this, churches were managed by archbishops, bishops and clergyman who all took important roles in the government.
Aside from taking influential actions and making decisions over political direction and control, archbishops were also granted the power to own land, until the reformation of the monarch system. Just like archbishops, bishops of great significant were also powerful and rich, until reformation came that made them and their position dependent on the support of the monarch. On the other hand, the most respected individuals of the community were the clergymen who preached services, offered counselling and education to the people, despite of their low wages.
Other individuals that composed the Tudor society, starting from the upper class to the lower class, were the gentlemen, yeomen and citizens, labourers and vagrants or beggars. Gentlemen sprang from the families with distinguishing names such as nobleman of the lowest class, people above deputy and the sovereign prince, who mostly owned the biggest estates and were given vital parts in political government. They were the ones who provided to the needs of the King or Queen, together with their Royal relatives, advisers and ministers during their journeys throughout the kingdom. Unless a summoned was issued to a gentleman, then they were mandated to vacate their home and land to be with the King or Queen in London.
Farmers or yeomen were citizens of the Tudor society who are fairly wealthy but not considered from a high-status family, renting land for their living but not capable enough to hire servants and keep houses of their own. Their success in farming was their only adequate source of income, also used to hire labourers to do the heavy jobs on their farm. Other citizens lived in cities and towns making crafts and goods to be traded as their source of their living. While craftsmen were skilled workers who could request a better price for their finished products. Underneath these citizens were labourers, who were employed and paid only for the work they carried out, such as heavy jobs on the farm. They were expected to work from dusk till dawn depending on the established act of labour wage.
Making up the poorest and the lowest citizens in Tudor society are the beggars and vagrants. They did not earn any money because they did not work and were forced to ask for alms in the streets to feed their hungry stomachs. It was in 1536 that laws were passed to inflict a penalty for those who were capable of work, but chose to become undeserving and beg. People exempt, due to illness or disabilities were supported by the church.
This period saw violent disorders of two authorized religions (Protestant and Roman Catholic) that evolved in England, because of the active support and continuing participation, belief of the people to the church ending up in the extreme sufferings of the many ignorant believers. The reformation movement in 16th century that occured in Western Europe endangered many Catholics, in terms of their practices and doctrines and ended up with the introduction and building of Protestant churches throughout the world.
The Tudor period introduces you to the successful monarchs who reigned and possessed the throne, fighting various battles and taking part in many challenges in order to protect their dynasties. The five crowned sovereign monarchs were Henry VII of Lambert Simnel, Henry VIII, who became King only after the death of his brother Arthur, Edward VI who became a King when he was ten years old, Lady Jane Grey who reigned for only 9 days and Mary I, an entrusted catholic and daughter of King Henry VIII. Some of them died having victory and triumphs, but other failed and many successors took over their power.
Original Authors: Phil Post
Edit Update Authors: RPN
Updated On: 07/02/2007