16th Century: Tudor & Elizabethan Era

Elizabeth I

The Tudor and Elizabethan eras span just over a century, and mark the reign of the Tudor family in England. The Tudor Dynasty began in 1485 when Henry VII took the throne. Henry VII was followed by his younger son, Henry VIII in 1509. Henry’s reign was a turbulent one, full of scandal and upheaval. During Henry VIII rule, England saw change on many fronts, including religious reformation by way of breaking with the Holy Roman Church and the founding of the Church of England. This religious reformation was as a result of the scandalous behavior of Henry and what became a sting of marriages. Due to his numerous marriages, the country was once again thrown into turmoil upon his death and the death of his son, Edward VI, who died at an early age and only held the throne for six years. A power struggle ensued upon Edward’s death, that left Lady Jane Grey the victim, as she was hastily crowned queen to keep Mary from ascending to power. Lady Jane Grey only reigned for 9 days, before being executed. Mary, Henry VIII’s eldest daughter, claimed the throne, but died childless five years later from ill health. Henry VIII’s remaing child, Elizabeth, was crowned queen in 1558. She ruled until her death in 1603. She inherited a broken and bankrupt country, due to her father’s exploits. By the end of her reign, England was prosperous and a world power. Her reign became known in England as the Golden Age.

I became intersted in Tudor and Elizabethan history and fashion in high school, with the discovery of a near by Renaissance festival. I didn’t really get into the making costumes until around 1998. I did fall into the typical trap of the Ren Fest, and my costumes were just as over commericalized as all the others at the festival. So, in my quest to better my costume wardrobe, I have decided to make a few “good” Tudor and Elizabethan costumes. Here is where you will find my efforts.

The Wives of Henry VIII Project: Anne Boleyn

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