By Jasper Ridley
From the arriving of Henry Tudor and his military, at Milford in 1485, to the dying of the good Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, this used to be an astonishingly eventful and contradictory age. the entire strands of Tudor existence are accrued in a wealthy tapestry - London and the rustic, costumes, furnishings and nutrition, go back and forth, drugs, activities and hobbies, grand tournaments and the nice flowering of English drama, juxtaposed with the stultifying narrowness of peasant existence, bad roads, an unlimited underclass, the tough therapy of heretics and traitors, and the distress of the Plague.
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Extra info for A Brief History of the Tudor Age
The Earl of Essex leads English troops to help Henry IV against the Spaniards and Catholics in France. 1592 Shakespeare’s first play, Henry VI, Part III, performed in Southwark. 1592–1602 Twenty-four of Shakespeare’s plays performed in Southwark. 1593 Henry IV of France becomes a Catholic. 1594–7 Four wet summers in England cause bad harvests and inflation. Food prices rise by 10 per cent per annum every year. 1594–1603 Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone’s, rebellion in Ireland. 1595 Sir Walter Raleigh’s expedition to the River Orinoco in South America.
It may seem tyrannical when compared with nineteenth- or twentieth-century democracy, but it was much less oppressive than the governments of Henry VIII and Mary. She sometimes raged at her ministers and courtiers, and especially at any of her ladies-in-waiting who dared to say that they wished to marry; but none of them went in fear of their lives and liberty unless they openly rebelled against her authority, or, in the case of her ladies-in-waiting, if they disgraced her court by engaging in illicit love affairs.
Richard, at the top of Ambion Hill, saw what Henry was doing, and charged down on him at the head of his men. At that moment, Sir William Stanley attacked Richard on his flank. His intervention decided the issue. Richard cut his way through to within a few yards of Henry, but there he was killed. In those two or three minutes, the course of English history was settled. After his victory, Henry sent men to fetch Elizabeth of York from Sheriffhutton, while he marched to London. There he summoned a Parliament, which immediately passed an Act declaring that he was the rightful King of England.