1485 – 1601 This way, that way, This way, That – how many times to change religion? 

Isabella Beauford

Isabella is a merchant’s daughter and wife of Stephen Beauford. Living in the 1550s she tells the story of town life in Tudor times. Whilst she enjoys a wealthy lifestyle, Isabella is aware of life for poorer folk.

There are so many possibilities for a Tudor topic. Focusing on a famous person in the context of how they lived; comparing lifestyles; looking at inventions, the changing power of the Monarchy. Popular choices are:

  • Aspects of Tudor life: medicine, health, food, leisure time, clothing, beliefs, family roles, houses, religion, occupations, towns, entertainments, and laws.
  • Settlement in the Americas.
  • How ‘important’ folk (Kings and Queens,The Dukes and Earls, The Pope) impacted the lives of ‘ordinary’ folk.
  • The threat of war from France and Spain.
  • The importance of Henry VIII having a son.
  • Elizabeth Ist – shall I have a partner?
  • Changing religions.
  • The Defeat of the Spanish Armada.
  • Famous folk (non royal) – Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, Pieter Brugel, Holbien the Younger.
  • Tudor inspired Nursery Rhymes.

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Historical Context

Traditionally the marriage of Henry VII to Elizabeth of York brings the Wars of the Roses to a close. However, both Henry VII and VIII have to face Yorkist challenges to their authority. Religious tensions are brought to a head when Henry VIII ends nearly 1000 years of Catholic dominance by creating the Protestant Church of England. The rest of the Tudor period is dominated by the consequences of this action.