Charles II Hides In Oak Tree To Escape Oliver Cromwell’s Army

Charles II was forced to hide in an oak tree at Boscobel on 6 September 1651, following his disastrous defeat at the Battle of Worcester three days earlier. He was crowned in Scotland and had led a small army across the border to reclaim the English throne which had been lost two years earlier, when…

The Coronation of Elizabeth I: The Virgin Queen

Elizabeth I’s Coronation was a grand spectacle intimately involving her subjects where she combined grandeur with the common touch. It was also a personal success. Mary I died from influenza on 17 November 1558, ending her dream to restore Catholicism to England. Elizabeth faced serious allegations of treason, even death, during her sister’s reign. Elizabeth…

Mary I of England (1553-1558): Bloody Mary

Mary I survived a difficult childhood—separated from her mother, rejected by her father and suffered poor health—to restore Catholicism to England and produce an heir. Mary was born in 1516 at Greenwich Palace, the only surviving child of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Henry was initially disappointed but he proudly showed off his…

Edward VI (1547-1553): The Boy King

Nine-year-old Edward VI introduced the Reformation, established the English Church, understood international affairs and showed a keen interest in reforming the currency. Henry VIII’s lengthy wait for a male heir ended when Edward was finally born on 12 October 1537 at Hampton Court Palace. However, Henry’s joy was short-lived as his third wife, Jane Seymour,…

Catherine Parr: Henry VIII’s Sixth Wife

Catherine Parr was a loyal and sympathetic companion who nursed an increasingly irritable Henry VIII in his declining years by creating a domestic family life at court. Henry’s sixth wife was born in 1512, the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Parr and Maud Green of Kendal. Catherine was married twice before and recently widowed. Catherine…

William Tyndale: English Protestant Reformer and Bible Translator

William Tyndale believed English Bibles would enable people to come to faith in God. His prayers were answered as the first English Bible was published in 1535. Erasmus expressed the hope that the New Testament would be translated into all languages and made accessible to everyone, including women. The printing press made books more readily…

Thomas More: The King’s Good Servant

Thomas More is best remembered for his refusal to acknowledge Henry VIII supremacy over the Church and later executed. More was considered a genius by his contemporaries. Thomas was born in London on 7 February 1478, the son of Judge John More. He was taken into the Archbishop of Canterbury John Morton’s household as a…

Anne of Cleves: Henry VIII’s Fourth Wife

Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves to form a new alliance after relations between England, France and the Holy Roman Empire deteriorated. They divorced six months later. Anne was born on 22 September 1515 in Düsseldorf, Cleves. She was the second of four children born to John III ‘the Pacific’, Duke of Cleves, and Maria…

The Glorious Revolution

The foundations for Britain's constitutional monarchy were laid when James II was forced to abdicate in favour of William III and Mary II. The origins of the Glorious Revolution, also known as the War of the English Succession or the Bloodless Revolution, began with the conflicts during Charles I’s reign which led to the Civil…