The English Renaissance

Catholics, granting them freedom of worship. • She was excommunicated by the Pope, and there were different plots against her (also by her cousin Mary...

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The English Renaissance The Tudors and James I Compact Performer - Culture & Literature Marina Spiazzi, Marina Tavella, Margaret Layton © 2015

The English Renaissance: The Tudors and James I

1. The Tudor Dynasty • • • • •

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Henry VII (1485-1509) Henry VIII (1509-1547) Edward VI (1547-1553)

Mary I (1553-1558) Elizabeth I (1558-1603)

The English Renaissance: The Tudors and James I

2. Henry VII (1485-1509) •

Came to the English throne when the Wars of the Roses ended. (As a consequence of the Norman invasion there had been continuous wars between Britain and France for the possession of lands the hundred years’ war 1337 – 1453. After that there was a war between the two rival houses of Lancaster and York the war of the roses 1453 – 1485)

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He strengthened the monarchy and turned England into a modern State. Laid the foundations of English naval power England had its own merchant fleet and extended its military power.

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The English Renaissance: The Tudors and James I

3. Henry VIII (1509-1547) • • •



Henry VII’s second son. A natural sportsman, very popular, called the ‘Golden Prince’ both for his natural good looks and his chivalry and education. He was given the title of ‘Defender of the Faith’ by the Pope in 1521 but when the Pope refused to grant him a divorce from his first wife (Catherine of Aragon), he broke with Rome and declared himself ‘Supreme Head of the Church of England’ with the Act of Supremacy (1534). So he founded the Church of England and he married his second wife: Anne Boleyn. He dissolved the monasteries, taking their wealth.

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The English Renaissance: The Tudors and James I

3. Henry VIII (1509-1547) •

Anne Boleyn gave him a second daughter, Elizabeth.



She was tried and executed for treason in 1536.



Henry went on to have four more wives and one son, Edward, later Edward VI, from Jane Seymour.

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The English Renaissance: The Tudors and James I

Catherine of Aragon †

Jane Seymour

Ann Boleyn †

Mary I

Elizabeth I

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Catherine Howard † Catherine Parr Anne of Cleves

Edward VI

The English Renaissance: The Tudors and James I

4. Edward VI (1547-1553) •



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The son of Jane Seymour and Henry VIII. Made Protestant doctrine more fully accepted but persecuted the Catholics. Used some of the confiscated wealth of convents to build schools. Replaced the old Latin with The Book of Common Prayer in English so now services were in English.

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The English Renaissance: The Tudors and James I

5. Mary I (1553-1558) • •

The daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Refused to abandon the Catholic faith: the burning of Protestants earned her the nickname ‘Bloody Mary’ and alienated public opinion.



Married the Catholic Philip of Spain.



Died without an heir.

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The English Renaissance: The Tudors and James I

6. Elizabeth I (1558-1603) • •

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Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s daughter. Became queen of a divided nation, the majority of which was anti-Catholic and anti-Spanish. However, she was able to reach a balance between the Protestants and the Catholics, granting them freedom of worship.

She was excommunicated by the Pope, and there were different plots against her (also by her cousin Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, finally beheaded in 1587). She was twenty-five and had a strong personality, she had received an excellent education: she could speak French, Latin and Italian.

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The English Renaissance: The Tudors and James I

6. The myth of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) She was unmarried and said that ‘the Queen was married to her people’ and became the ‘Virgin Queen’.



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She went on royal progresses (travels around the country) to be seen and to get to know her people. Inspired literature, music, drama and poetry. She had many portraits painted and distributed in the country.

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The English Renaissance: The Tudors and James I

6. Elizabeth I politics: “the Golden Age”. • • •

Recognised Spain as her main trade rival and enemy. Expanded exploration and overseas trade. Encouraged sea-captains Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh in their piracy against Spanish ships and took a share of the profits.

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Defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588. Laid the basis of England’s empire encouraging to colonise in the name of trade.

The English Renaissance: The Tudors and James I

Two portraits of Elizabeth I

Coronation Portrait, ca 1600. Unknown artist Compact Performer - Culture & Literature

Armada portrait, ca 1588, by George Gower.

The English Renaissance: The Tudors and James I

The way the queen was portrayed changed over the years: first in a very simple way, later with a lot of symbolism, to emphasize her power. Both these portraits are based on the use of curved lines, present in her face and in her ruffs, jewels and dress. Curved lines convey a sense of harmony, elegance and perfection. The prevailing colours are gold, red (symbols of nobility and power) and the white of the queen’s face (a sign of aristocracy). The queen’s appearance: she’s got red hair, a pale complexion and a wide forehead; she looks ageless. Her clothes are rich in embroidery and jewels. She’s wearing ruffs, puffed sleeves and lace.

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The English Renaissance: The Tudors and James I

In The Armada portrait the Queen’s right hand is resting on a globe, symbolising Britain’s expanding empire and naval supremacy.

In the background there are two scenes of a naval battle: on the left there is the English fleet, while on the right there is the Spanish fleet, defeated in 1588. Both these portraits are more symbolic than realistic: they give Elizabeth a superhuman, divine status.

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The English Renaissance: The Tudors and James I

7. James I (1603-1625) • •

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Elizabeth died in 1603 without heirs. James VI of Scotland (son of Mary Stuart) became the first Stuart king in England with the title of James I.

He based his rule on the theory of the ‘divine right of kings’. Summoned Parliament only to ask for money.

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The English Renaissance: The Tudors and James I

8. James I and the Puritans • • • •

James was protestant, and religion was the most urgent problem of his reign. Catholics were excluded from public life and fined if they refused to attend the Church of England. Extreme Protestants, called Puritans, disapproved of the rites and bishops of the Church of England. A hundred of them – the Pilgrim Fathers – applied for a government patent to colonise New England. In 1620 they left England for America on the Mayflower and founded New Plymouth

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The English Renaissance: The Tudors and James I

9. The Gunpowder Plot • • •

James I authorised a new translation of the Bible in 1604. In 1605 some radical Catholics plotted to blow up the king in the Houses of Parliament. The failure of the Gunpowder Plot is commemorated in England on 5th November.

Children have fireworks and burn effigies of Guy

Fawkes, one of the conspirators, on large fires.

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