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Henry VII

King for 24 years

1485 - 1509


Henry VIII 

King for 38 years 

1509 - 1547

Edward VI

King for 6 years 

1547 - 1553

Mary I  

Queen for 5 years

1553 - 1558

Elizabeth I

Queen for 45 years

1558 - 1603













Henry Tudor became king after defeating Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, and quickly married Elizabeth of York to heal the rift between the Houses of York and Lancaster. They had a son, Arthur, in September 1486.

Elizabeth gave birth to a second son, Henry in 1491.

Christopher Columbus reached America in 1492.

Arthur married Catherine of Aragon in 1501. 6 months later, in April 1502, Arthur died, leaving Henry as heir to the throne. 

In 1509, when Henry VII died, his son, Henry, became king and immediately married his brother's widow, Catherine of Aragon.

Between 1510 and 1514, Catherine gave birth to three sons, all of whom died soon after they were born. She also miscarried a daughter. 

Mary, Catherine's only child to survive, was born in 1516.

In 1533, Henry divorced Catherine after 24 years of marriage, and married Anne Boleyn, causing England to break from the Catholic Church. In the same year, Anne gave birth to Elizabeth.

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In 1536, Henry had Anne Boleyn beheaded and married Jane Seymour.

In 1537, Jane died, just twelve days after giving birth to Edward.

Henry married Anne of Cleves in January 1540, but divorced her and married Catherine Howard in July of the same year. 


In 1542, Henry had Catherine Howard beheaded. 

He married his sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr in 1543.

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The Mary Rose sank on 19 July 1545.

Henry VIII died in 1547, leaving his son, Edward, as king, though he was only 9. Edward never ruled because he died when he was 15. The Regency Council that ruled on his behalf continued the religious reforms begun by Henry VIII, making England much more Protestant during these years.

When Edward died in 1553, he named Lady Jane Grey as his successor. She was deposed just nine days later by Mary, Edward's older half-sister, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.

Mary was a Catholic, and known as "Bloody Mary", because in the five years that she was queen, she had over 280 Protestants burned at the stake.    

Mary died of flu in 1558. Since she had never had children, her half-sister, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, became queen, and ruled for even longer than her father. Under Elizabeth's rule, Protestantism was firmly established in England.

William Shakespeare was born in 1564.

Sir Francis Drake brought tobacco back to England with him from the Americas in 1573. English sailors had already been smoking it since about 1565, and it was being grown all over Spain as a medicine. One of the illnesses it was said to cure was cancer!

In 1588, Sir Francis Drake led the English fleet to defeat the Spanish Armada. 

Potatoes arrived in England, probably some time around 1590, though nobody knows for sure. Initially, they were considered poisonous, which is less silly than it sounds, as parts of the potato plant are poisonous. 

Elizabeth never married or had children, so when she died in 1603, the throne passed to James VI of Scotland, whose grandmother was Henry VIII's older sister. Elizabeth's death marks the end of the Tudor era. 

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