By Robert Reed
The House of Tudor came from Wales, like Tom Jones (but, the similarities end about there). Henry VII was the first ruler in the dynasty. He defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22nd August 1485 and literally took his crown. Henry wanted to form foreign alliances and married his eldest son, Arthur, to Catherine of Aragon. Poor old Arthur died four months after marriage, and so Henry VII decided to marry his younger son, Henry, to Catherine as well. Yuk! Well, the Pope said it was okay, so the marriage went ahead.
In 1509, Henry -Hal to his mates- became King Henry VIII. Hal was described as “friendly” and “gentle” when he was young. However, unfortunately, he became a bit of an obese maniac in later years. Also, he had a few wives and fell out with the Pope. His son Edward VI succeeded him in 1547. Eddie was a young lad aged nine, but was serious about religious reform- probably because there were no PlayStations back then. He was never very healthy and died in 1553.
Then it was Mary’s turn. She became queen and married Prince Philip of Spain. The people weren’t happy with this. However, Phil was even more unhappy to be married to Mary (she wasn’t exactly a beauty queen). Mary became rather bitter and became too overzealous with reinstating the Catholic faith in England. Finally, “Bloody Mary” died childless and in 1558 Elizabeth became Queen of England.
Elizabeth I was under constant pressure to marry and have kids to produce a successor, but she liked to be the boss and wasn’t having any of that. There were lots of plots to get rid of her and put her cousin Mary Queen of Scots on the throne of England. Eventually, she agreed that Mary should have a date with an axeman. A few chops and that was that. Philip II of Spain was really annoyed about it and sent an invasion fleet. The Armada was defeated by the awful weather -no surprises there- and some skilful pirates working for Liz. On 24th March 1603, Elizabeth I died and the Tudor dynasty came to an end.
A good place to begin a class research topic on the Tudors is: http://tudorhistory.org/ .
Get a full assembly play about Henry VIII and his six marriages: http://artdramascripts.com/ks2_playscripts/henry_viii.
You can have the children read and/or perform the script in the classroom or in a school assembly!
Read funny dialogs from the play Henry VIII: Big Hal Knows Best: http://artdramascripts.com/r/henry_viii_big_hal_knows_best.pdf