The Tudor Dynasty In London Essay

2208 words - 9 pages

The Tudor period from 1485 until 1603 was a dramatic period of English history. Three of the monarchs of the Tudor dynasty played important roles in transforming England from a comparatively weak European backwater into a powerful state that in the coming centuries would dominate much of the world. The period saw the end of the War of the Roses the English Reformation and the Elizabethan era also known as the Golden Age.
The first monarch of the Tudor dynasty had a great impact on London architecture in the form of 'Henry VII's Chapel,' the addition he made to the eastern end of Westminster Abbey. It is certainly a success of renaissance architecture. Henry VII planned it as a ...view middle of the document...

During Henry VIII’s “Dissolution of the Monasteries”, considerable numbers of these were destroyed or adapted to secular use; the damage of his decision was still widely visible in Elizabeth I's time. Before the Reformation, more than half of the area of London was occupied by monasteries, nunneries and other religious houses, and about a third of the inhabitants were monks, nuns and friars. As a result, the Dissolution of the Monasteries had a profound effect on the city as nearly all of this property changed hands. The process started in the mid 1530s, and by 1538 most of the larger houses had been closed down. Most of the monastic orders and friars quickly submitted to the will of the King and lost their great and long-established buildings. The buildings were converted into great town houses for the King's Royal Courtiers.
Much of the theft from the church was used to the advantage of private citizens in this way, and conversions of old churches into houses continued into the reign of Edward VI. In 1547, the Duke of Somerset used stone from Clerkenwell Priory and St. Paul's Charnel House to build himself a magnificent Renaissance Palace on the Strand. The Strand Inn and the Church of the Nativity, as well as the houses of the Bishops of Chester and Worcester, were torn down to make way for this new Somerset House. The losses of the church presented great opportunities for the City Livery Companies too as they claimed many fine buildings for themselves.
More generous foundations were established by King Henry VIII himself. He claimed to be the ‘refounder’ of the medical hospital of St. Bartholomew. Similarly, he claimed to have ‘refounded’ St. Thomas's Hospital. The ‘refoundation’ of the Bethlehem Hospital for the mentally ill was also presented by Henry VIII.
These changes meant that the poor of the city were no longer able to gain help from the monasteries. In the final years of Elizabeth I's reign, the first realistic Poor Law Act was introduced. Until then, the poor had largely been oppressed. The fall of the monastic way of life also left a hole in the city's education system. When Henry died in 1547, his nine year old son, Edward VI, succeeded to the throne. Edward himself was an intelligent child, who had been brought up as a Protestant. His main advisor, Edward Seymour, had great influence over Edward VI and his power was unchallenged. An act that Edward VI is known for was carried out was in 1547 against images in churches. All images in churches were to be dismantled; “stained glass, shrines, statues were defaced or destroyed; roods and often their lofts and screens were cut down, bells were taken down; vestments were prohibited and either burned or sold; church plate was to be melted down or sold and the requirement of the clergy to be celibate was lifted; processions were banned; ashes and palms were prohibited. Chantries, saying of masses for the dead, were abolished completely. In 1550, stone altars were exchanged for...

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