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Tudor fact file




  • Henry VIII was a Catholic. He even wrote a book that supported the Catholic Church. Pope Clement IV made Henry 'Defender of the Faith' in 1521. Henry wanted to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon but the Catholic Church would not allow it. Thomas Cromwell had a simple solution. Henry became head of the English Church. and broke the 1000 year link with the Catholic Church in Rome.
  • Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries to take possession of their land and wealth.
  • Edward VI made laws that wouldn't allow Catholics to have church services. The only services could be protestant.
  • Mary I turned that around and would only allow Catholic services. Many Protestant Bishops were burned at the stake.
  • Elizabeth I tried to settle the religious unrest. In 1559 Parliament made her 'Supreme Governor' of the Church instead of 'Supreme Head'! She hoped this would make the Catholics happy. To please the Protestants she made churches use the prayer book written by Thomas Cranmer.
  • Philip II of Spain was a Catholic king and wanted England to be Catholic. He planned to invade with his Armada of ships to stop Elizabeth I's plans for religious change.
  • James I, the first Stuart king was nearly blown up by a Catholic plot when Guido (Guy) Fawkes attempted to blow up parliament in 1604.


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