Tudor Rebellions: Causes & Timeline

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  • 0:04 The Tudor Period Background
  • 0:31 Henry VII and VIII
  • 2:04 Edward VI and Lady Jane Grey
  • 3:26 Mary I and Elizabeth I
  • 5:22 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Anne Butler

Anne has a bachelor's in K-12 art education and a master's in visual art and design. She currently works at a living history museum in Colorado.

The 118 years of the Tudor dynasty were a time of tremendous change in England. Beginning in 1485 with the reign of Henry VII and ending in 1603 with the death of Elizabeth I, this period was quite tumultuous. Not everyone was ready for change.

The Tudor Period Background

There were six rulers to sit on the throne of England during the Tudor period, which was a time period in English history that lasted between 1485 and 1603. All of the rulers - even Lady Jane Grey, who only ruled for nine days - dealt with different rebellions during their reign. Most were over taxes, people trying to take over the throne, and religion.

Let's now take a look at the different monarchs and rebellions that occurred during their reign one at a time.

Henry VII and VIII

Henry VII - reigned from 1485-1509

When Henry VII was crowned in 1485 after the end of the War of the Roses, he established the House of Tudor. Most of the rebellions that occurred during his reign involved the House of York trying to reestablish their hold on the English throne. These rebellions were the Stafford/Lovell Rebellion and the Lambert Simnel Rebellion in 1486, and the Perkin Warbeck Rebellion from 1491-1499.

Two other rebellions occurred during Henry VII's reign. These happened when Henry wanted to raise taxes to support different battle campaigns. The Yorkshire Rebellion was in 1489, and the Cornish Rebellion happened in 1497.

Henry VIII - reigned from 1509-1547

Henry VII's infamous son was Henry VIII. He's best known for being overweight, having six wives, and creating the Church of England when the Catholic Church refused to allow him to divorce his first wife. Three major rebellions occurred during his reign. The Amicable Grant Rebellion of 1525 occurred when Henry - but mostly his advisor Cardinal Wolsey - wanted to raise taxes to fund a war with France.

The Silken Thomas Rebellion from 1534-37 was an act of rebellion by Thomas Fitzgerald, who thought his father had been executed.

The Pilgrimage of Grace transpired in 1536. Those in Northern England were angry that Henry VIII was changing the official religion from Catholicism to the Church of England.

Edward VI and Lady Jane Grey

Edward VI - reigned from 1547-1553

The Prayer Book or Western Rebellion was in 1549. Before his death, Henry VIII declared that all church services should be delivered in English. The Book of Common Prayer was introduced in 1549, introducing new Anglican theology. People were angry because not everyone spoke or even read English and many still wanted to practice Catholicism.

Kett's Rebellion was also in 1549. It was a rebellion against religious changes as well as against the practice of enclosure, which is where noblemen began enclosing lands that had previously been open country, cutting off grazing lands for shepherds. This was detrimental to many for whom farming was their livelihood.

Lady Jane Grey - reigned from July 10-19, 1553

Edward VI was only nine when he became king and was a sickly teen. Before he died, the Duke of Northumberland, who was his protector, drew up a document to ensure his daughter-in-law and Henry VIII's great-niece, Lady Jane Grey, who was a Protestant, would be next in line, instead of Edward's Catholic half-sister Mary.

The Northumberland Rebellion ended with Mary taking her proper place, the execution of the Duke for treason, and Lady Jane being imprisoned (she was eventually executed after Wyatt's Rebellion).

Mary I and Elizabeth I

Mary I - reigned from 1553-1558

The major rebellion of Mary I's five year reign was Wyatt's Rebellion in 1554. Thomas Wyatt was opposed to Mary's marriage to Philip II of Spain. Wyatt's rebellion was unsuccessful and he was executed in 1554. Mary's marriage was ultimately childless, and she died in 1558, passing the crown to her half-sister Elizabeth.

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