If you know me even a little bit then you will probably know about my obsession with the Tudor period of history. The Tudor period was a period of English history between 1485-1603. When people think of the Tudor period they normally think of Henry VIII and his 6 wives (divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived) and Elizabeth I the virgin Queen. There are also 4 other Tudor monarchs, in order they are: Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey (The nine day Queen), Mary I and Elizabeth I.
Many people miss out Lady Jane Grey and refer to just the 5 Tudor monarchs, because she was never crowned, but then neither was Edward VIII he abdicated before his coronation but people still talk about him and include him, so I will always include Lady Jane Grey.
Whenever people find out about my Tudor obsession they always ask why, or how and why the Tudor’s in particular, why not any other period of history.
Well the Tudors was a period we covered a lot in school, especially primary school most years we did at least a few weeks on them and I remembered being fascinated by them. I have always like history and gruesome facts. I would tell my family at dinner time how the Egyptian’s would put a hook up your nose when you were dead to pull your brain out before they would mummify you. I liked learning about Henry VIII and his 6 wives, I learnt the little rhyme, which describes what happened to them, very early on and it has been in my brain ever since, never to be forgotten. I have virtually all the Horrible History books and the two Tudor ones are the ones which are most read. I remember in the first history lesson of year eight we were shown pictures of the 6 wives in a random order and we had to name them, I was the only person in the class to get 6/6, something which the other pupils found weird and stupid of me, but I was secretly quite proud. I chose to do GCSE history and although it was interesting, it was relatively modern history, starting with the suffragettes, WWI then moving onto the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression, WWII and then the Cold War. I learnt a lot, but I couldn’t help thinking I wish I was doing the Tudors. I chose not to take history any further to as or A level because o the amount of essay writing, but do wish I had.
So why do I so love the Tudors and not another historical period like the Stuarts, or Ancient Greece. Well during the Tudor times the country changed so much, we started of catholic, then when Henry VIII fought to divorce Catherine of Aragon (his first wife) he was forced to break away from the catholic church and form the CofE and for him to become the head of it. Henry then died years later and the country passed to his third child, but only male heir Edward whose mother was Jane Seymour Henry’s third wife and therefore he had been raised protestant. Edward died only 6 years later and because he became king at aged 9 he had a protector to essentially rule for him, so on his death bed they persuaded him to name his cousin Lady Jane Grey as the heir as she was protestant, unlike the rightful heir his oldest sister Mary, who was Henry and Catherine of Aragon’s child and therefore raised catholic. LJG came to the throne for 9 days, but was overthrown by Mary’s armies and the country changed back to protestant, Mary was nicked name Bloody Mary, she had about 320 protestants burned at the stake during her 5 year reign and others executed, she was cruel and unforgiving and basically if you weren’t catholic you were done for (I would have been screwed!!) Elizabeth I Henry’s daughter with Anne Boleyn raised protestant, so the country changed back to protestant, but Elizabeth was a much fairer queen, she certainly wasn’t as cruel as Mary, yes people were still executed under her reign, but in those days who wasn’t, but it tended not to be for your religion. Elizabeth changed the country, when she came to the throne it was poor and in a bad state, when she died in 1603 the country was rich and powerful, she is considered to be one of the best monarch this country has had and in my view is the best and is my favourite monarch. not only though for the way she ruled the country, but also for the way she was a woman in a mans world, who did her job damn well, she also didn’t conform, everyone expected her to marry and have children, but she didn’t and I like that about her, being herself and not giving into what people want.
I also love the Tudor’s because there are so many cool and gruesome facts you can learn about them, ask me when exactly Anne Boleyn’s execution was and I’ll say: just after 9am, Friday 19th May, 1536. I certainly don’t pretend to know everything about the Tudor period of history and certainly at the moment I mainly concentrate on the monarchs and royal family, I have so many books to read about them that I need to get round to it and I keep getting pulled to new ones I want to buy. You can quite simply never know enough Tudor facts though and I am always hungry for more Tudor knowledge.
And also part of it I just don’t know why I love the Tudors so much, I just do and find it so damn interesting.
I really struggle with people who say that no aspect of history interests them, surely just one small part must interest you, even if it just relates to the last 10 years, or the history of music, or art, or LGBT history or history of disabled people, that is all history too, just because it isn’t mainstream taught history in school doesn’t mean it isn’t as valued. I also love learning dates, I’m slowly learning the dates of the Monarchs of England from 1066, I know the first about 6, then know the 6 Tudor ones, now Victoria and that is it, then I know obvious easy dates, like Ttitanic sinks, the two world wars. That shocks me when people say they do not know when the two world wars were, especially if you live in a country so involved, even if you never got told at school, you must of read/heard/seen it somewhere, it is just common knowledge, but unfortunately some people would rather fill their head with celebrity gossip or such crap.
History in general interests me a lot, learning dates is awesome, anything Tudor related is the most amazing thing ever and I have to know it.
I am a bit of a geek and do have two Tudor t shirts, some of you may have seen me wearing them. One with the 6 monarchs on it, the first 3 male monarchs on the front and the second 3 female monarchs on the back and the other has the 6 wives of henry VIII on the font with their names and what happened to them.
Do I like being a Tudor geek, damn yes, do other people like me being a Tudor geek, sometimes lol, although some people can get fed up of me telling them facts again and again until they also never forget them, I think my mum and sister will now always know when Anne Boleyn was executed.