Lady Jane Grey

Proclaimed Queen of England on 6 July in 1553, she is the shortest reigning monarch in British history. Lady Jane is called the “Nine Day Queen”, since the Privy Council of England changed views – and the choice of King Edward VI, who wanted Lady Jane on the throne – and proclaimed Mary, Roman Catholic daughter of Henry VIII as queen. It was the favour of the country as well to follow the direct lice of succession, i.e. Mary, first bon daughter of King Henry VIII must follow her father despite the fact of being Roman Catholic because of her mother (Catherine of Aragon).

Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen was imprisoned and – a day after her husband, Lord Guildford Dudley – executed for treason on Tower Hill on 12 July 1554.

The Execution of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche, 1833

All about the Tudors


Under the Tudors, London grew a lot bigger and wealthier. It was the Renaissance Era: times of happiness and joy, when even poor people could enjoy theatre plays, music and games. By 1600, London’s population was 200,000.

Rich men had built houses along the Strand joining London to Westminster. Along the walls of Tudor London were several gates (e.g. Aldgate, Bishopsgate, Moorgate, Cripplegate, Aldersgate, Newgate and Ludgate). Two of the gates were used as prisons, Ludgate and Newgate. Furthermore, the body parts of traitors who were hung drawn and quartered were displayed over the gates as a warning.

Over the River Thames was London Bridge, which had buildings along its length. (Many of them had shops on the ground floor). South of the Thames was the large suburb of Southwark. The River Thames was a major transport route as Tudor London was the largest port in England. Sailing ships sailed to quays just before London Bridge and there were also smaller boats owned by watermen for transporting people along the Thames. There were also many fishermen in London and The Thames teemed with fish like salmon, trout, perch, flounder and bream. However The Thames sometimes froze over fairs were held on it.

At night the streets of London were dark and dangerous. At 9 pm in summer and at dusk in winter church bells rang the curfew and the city gates were locked.


The Tudors built a lot of galleons (huge ships with sails used for fighting and carrying goods). Tudor ships explored several new parts of the world (America, India etc.) Several new food was brought to England from the Americas like turkey or potato.


pillory.JPGIn Tudor Times people weren’t often put in prison. After their trial, a physical punishment was usually given which were often harsh; e.g. flogging; the pillory or the stocks. (The pillory was a wooden frame on a pole with holes through which a person’s head and hands were placed. The frame was then locked. The stocks was a wooden frame with holes through which a person’s feet.)

More serious crimes were punished by death. Beheading was reserved for the rich, ordinary people were usually hanged.


  • most of the population lived in villages and made their living from farming;
  • towns and cities were growing because of industry (mining of coal, tin and lead)
  • the Royalty
  • the Nobility (they owned the land)
  • the Gentry and rich merchants (they had a family coat-of-arms, land; never did manual work)
  • the Middle class – yeomen and craftsmen (owned their own land but worked on the land, too; able to read and write)
  • the Poor: farmers, wage labourers (often illiterate and very poor)


Boys usually went to a ‘petty school’ (like nursery) first then moved onto grammar school when they were about seven. The school day began at 6 am in summer and 7 am in winter (people went to bed early and got up early in those days). Lunch was from 11 am to 1 pm. School finished at about 5 pm. Boys went to school 6 days a week and there were few holidays.

Many Tudor children learned to read and write. Discipline in Tudor schools was harsh. The teacher often had a stick with twigs attached to it for hitting boys. When they were about 15 or 16 the brightest boys might go to one of England’s two universities, Oxford and Cambridge. Of course many boys did not go to school at all. If they were lucky they might get a 7-year apprenticeship and learn a trade.
As for girls, in a rich family a tutor usually taught them at home. In a middle class family their mother might teach them. Upper class and middle class women were educated. However lower class girls were not. Tudor children who did not go to school were expected to work.


For the rich: jousting; hunting and falconry; billiards; chess and backgammon; cards; the theatre; music and dancing; reading; children played with dolls

For the poor: playing dice instead of cards; Nine men‘s morris; shove ha’penny; the theatre; dancing; rough / mob football (no rules); children played cup and ball.

The Barley Mow

barley – the most important ingredient of beer-making (beer-brewing)

the barley mow – the person who shears (= mows) barley in the field

Types of beer in Britain:

  • Lager from the continent
  • Bitter
  • India pale ale (IPA)
  • Brown ale (Mid ale)
  • Stout / porter
  • Old ale (barleywine)
  • Irish red ale
  • Strong Scotch


Imperial units of liquid:


1 gill: 142 mL (0,142 l)
1 pint: 568 mL (0,568 l)
1 quart: 1137 mL (1,137 l)
1 gallon: 4546 mL (4,546 l)
1 barrel: 158,9 l

Here’s a repetition pub-song from the Elizabethan era. Listen to the performance of the Irish Rovers band and join in.


Names, terms and dates – The Tudors



King Henry VII (1485 – 1509) the first Tudor king who won the final battle of the War of Roses; he was a powerful monarch who saved a lot of money for Britain in the treasury
treasury, the a place used for storing the money of the monarchs or the Church
King Henry VIII (1509 – 1547) he had 6 wives and 3 legitimate children; he liked sports like hunting, jousting and tennis; he sang, played music and composed songs; he built a strong navy for Britain as well as palaces;

he founded the Church of England

King Edward VI (1547 – 1553) son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour; he was a boy king and died at the age of 15; a protestant
Lady Jane Grey was queen for 9 days until Mary, daughter of Henry VIII came and put her in prison
Queen Mary I (1553 – 1558) daughter of Henry VIII and first wife Catherine of Aragon ;a Roman Catholic; made England catholic again and she ordered to execute protestants (ß nickname: Bloody Mary); she was very unpopular when she got married to the King of Spain
Queen Elizabeth I (1558 – 1603) daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn; a powerful and strict monarch who made England protestant again; she sent explorers to find new lands for the British Empire; nickname: the Virgin Queen; she won battles against the Spanish Armada on the sea
gentry, the people from high social class
yeoman, a a man who owned and land and also worked on it
jousting knights riding horses and fighting with a lance
falconry hunting with falcons or hawks
Pastime with Good Company a song composed by Henry VIII, named as The King’s Ballad
petty school a school for young boys, like a nursery or kindergarten
illiterate unable to read and write
galleon, a a ship with sails for fighting and carrying goods
Renaissance, the period in Europe btw. 14th and  17th centuries, where people got interested in ancient Greece and Rome again which produced new developments in arts: literature, music, painting and architecture
curfew, a when people mustn’t go out to the street at night
flogging a type of punishment when people were whipped and hit by sticks
pillory, the a type of punishment; a wooden frame on a pole with holes through which a person’s head and hands were placed
stock, the a type of punishment;  a wooden frame with holes through which a person’s feet was put

The King’s Ballad

Pastime With Good Company was composed (and usually played and sung) by King Henry VIII.

Listen and join in.


Pastime with good company, I love and shall until I die.
Grudge who lust, but none deny,
so God be pleas’d thus live will I.
For my pastance, hunt, sing and dance, my heart is set:
all goodly sport, for my comfort, who shall me let?


Youth must have some dalliance of good or ill some pastance.
Company me thinks then best, all thoughts and fancies to digest.
For idleness, is chief mistress of vices all:
then who can say but mirth and play is best of all?


Company with honesty, is virtue, vices to flee.
Company is good and ill, but every man hath his free will.
The best ensue, the worst eschew, my mind shall be;
virtue to use, vice to refuse, thus shall I use me.

Tudor Monarchs

henryviiKing Henry VII (1485 – 1509)

  • defeated King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth (that ended the War of Roses);
  • he kept England peaceful, and saved a lot of money for the country’s treasury;

henryviiiKing Henry VIII (1509 – 1547)

  • spent a lot of money away (liked hunting, jousting, singing, music, dancing, sports etc.);
  • had 6 wives (divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived);
  • had 3 legitimate children (Mary, Elizabeth, Edward);
  • built a strong navy;
  • founded the Church of England (Anglican Church of protestants)

King Edward VI (1547 – 1553)edwardvi

  • was a boy king, he reigned under the protection of his uncle, the Duke of Somerset;
  • never married, no children; usually ill, died at the age of 15;

ladyjanegreyLady Jane Grey

  • after Edward’s death she was named the next in the line to the throne because she was a protestant à Henry VIII’s daughter Mary rode to London with her followers, put Jane in prison and executed her

maryiQueen Mary I (1553 – 1558)

  • a Roman Catholic and forced to make English people Roman Catholic again;
  • married to King Philip of Spain;
  • a very unpopular monarch;
  • nicknamed Bloody Mary because she murdered many people who were mainly protestants and against her will

elizabethiQueen Elizabeth I (1558 – 1603)

  • after Mary’s death she came to the throne and made England protestant again;
  • made Britain an empire when the British discovered a lot of new lands;
  • wore white make-up to hide the scars left by smallpox;
  • called to be the most powerful monarch because she was very strict;
  • the ‘Virgin Queen’- never married, no children;
  • she named her nephew, King James VI of Scotland (a Stuart) as her heir to the English throne –> he became King James I of ENG (and WAL, SCO)