Tudors for kids learning in KS2 at Primary School. Homework help on the history of the Tudors, Tudor Britain and Henry VIII.
Time: 1485AD – 1603AD
Who were the Tudors?
The Tudors are one of the most famous families ever to rule England. They were in power from 1485 when Henry Tudor was crowned King Henry VII, until the time Queen Elizabeth I died, without an heir, in 1603. They were some of the most colourful people in history.
Explore the high seas with the Tudors. From the National Maritime Museum.
This website covers a huge amount of information on the Tudors. Topics include Tudor Monarchs, Tudor food, entertainment, the Spanish Armada and more…
Tudor Kings and Queens
There were six Tudor Kings and Queens.
- Henry VII – 1485-1509
- Henry VIII – 1509-1547
- Edward VI – 1547-1553
- Jane Grey – July 1553
- Mary I – 1553-1558
- Elizabeth I – 1558-1603
Horrible Histories – Terrible Tudors
When Henry’s father (Henry VII) died, he became King. He loved to be rich and powerful and he would show this off by having castles built and palaces such as the most famous one, Hampton Court Palace. He wore jewels in his clothes and spent his money on huge feasts just to show off. He was a very grumpy King and if you were to upset him, you could have your head chopped off.
He had eight wives:
- Catherine of Aragon – She had a daughter with Henry, but no son so Henry divorced her.
- Anne Boleyn – She had a daughter (who will be Queen Elizabeth I) with Henry, but Henry turned against his wife and had her head chopped off.
- Jane Seymour – They had a son, Edward (who was the next King) but she died two weeks after he was born.
- Anne of Cleves – Henry divorced her after only six months.
- Catherine Howard – She was only 19 when they married. He had her head chopped off.
- Catherine Parr – She looked after this children.
Learn about what Henry VIII was like and why he was so famous even today.
Explore Henry VIII’s majestic palace including his magnificent state apartments, haunted gallery, the formal gardens and the famous maze.
Elizabeth I was the last Tudor ruler. She was Queen for 45 years from 1558 and made England a rich and powerful country famous for its writers and composers. She would invite poets and musicians to entertain her. The most famous writers were William Shakespeare.
She had a quick temper and liked to get her own way. She lived in fine palaces in London. It was an exciting time when she ruled. There were a lot of new ideas being discovered and many English explores sailed off to new lands.
She never married, unlike Henry VIII, and as she grew older the people wondered who would be next. So when she died on 24th March 1603 the Tudor period ended and the next in line to the throne was James VI of Scotland who became King and started the Stuarts period.
Even though Elizabethan England was very rich there where many poor people who had to beg for a living. In 1563 a Poor Law was passed so that money could be raised for the less fortunate ones.
An era of change and triumph, from Henry VIII’s Reformation to Elizabeth and the Armada.
Find out about the Tudors. See real documents and objects from Tudor times. Test your skills with our games.
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Clips on looking at what life was like in Tudor times. The houses they used to live in, their way of life and more.
Sir Walter Raleigh
Sir Walter Raleigh was an English Explorer, soldier and writer. He was a favourite of Elizabeth I and she knighted him after he fought in Ireland. It is said in history that he spread his expensive cloak over a puddle for the Queen to walk over.
He had many expeditions across the Atlantic to America, one trip he brought back potatoes and tobacco to Europe, two things that were not known of at that time.
Sir Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake was a famous explorer. He was the first Englishman to sail around the world. His first expedition was to Africa where they captured people there and sold them to be slaves in the New World (The Americas). In 1577 Sir Francis Drake set sail around the world stealing from Spanish ships as he went and attacking Spanish ports. He brought back lots of treasure to which the Queen was very proud of him for and he was knighted him, Sir Francis Drake.
The Spanish Armada
How did the Spanish Armada start?
In 1588 King Philip II of Spain, angry that the English were raiding Spanish ships, and stealing their treasures, sent a fleet of ships (The Spanish Armada), to invade England. They planned to sail to the Netherlands to meet an army to join them but while sailing through the English Channel they were attacked by English warships. There were fierce sea battles and one night while the Spanish ships were anchored near France the English sent eight ships that had been set on fire, into the middle of the Spanish ships. They panicked and scattered all over the place.
Who won in the Spanish Armada?
The next day they both battled all day but the English, in the end, won.
What happened to the Spanish Armada?
The Spanish ships were blown north around Scotland and Ireland where most of the ships were wrecked in terrible storms.
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Also on Super Brainy Beans
Homelife | Tudor Food | Tudor Towns
Poor Tudors | Rich Tudors l Entertainment
Tudor Punishment l Tudor Sports l Tudor Music
Life in Tudor Britain was harsh - the average life expectancy was just 35 years.
Most Tudor people lived in the countryside, but some people lived in towns or big Tudor cities like London, Bristol or Norwich.
Tudor England was a farming society. Most of the population (over 90 %) lived in small villages and made their living from farming. Under Tudor rule England became a more peaceful and richer place. Towns grew larger and the mining of coal, tin and lead became very popular.
There were none of the comforts we have today. Water was collected from village pumps, wells or streams but was often polluted.
Toilets were called 'Privies' and were not very private at all. They were often just a piece of wood over a bowl or a hole in the ground.
People would wipe their bottoms with leaves or moss and the wealthier people used soft lamb's wool.
In palaces and castles, which had a moat, the lords and ladies would retire to a toilet set into a cupboard in the wall called a garderobe. Here the waste would drop down a shaft into the moat below.
Wealthy Tudors loved to show of their riches. The clothes they wore and the homes they lived in were all signs of their place in society.
Click here to read about the clothes people wore and the homes they lived
Food was another show of wealth. The rich could afford all kinds of meats and fish and expensive French wine. The best food was considered to be roast veal and venison.
People also ate robins, badgers, otters, tortoises and seagulls.
Find out more about food eaten
The types of sports or pastimes a person did was another sign of their rank or wealth. The rich had time for falconry, hunting, jousting, tennis and bowls.
Find out more about entertainment
The poor had to work hard and struggled to survive. They worked six days a week and only had holy days and public holidays off work. They ate coarse grey bread made from rye and barley. Soups were made from vegetables and herbs. Meat was a luxury but poor people sometimes kept animals to provide milk, cheese and eggs.
Life for the poor in Tudor times was harsh. When the harvest failed it was tempting for poor people to steal food. When people did break the law, they risked public flogging or being hanged.
More information on the poor
Tudor Sports and Pastimes