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tudor

The House of Tudor was an English royal house of Welsh origin,[1] descended in the male line from the Tudors of Penmynydd. Tudor monarchs ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including their ancestral Wales and the Lordship of Ireland (later the Kingdom of Ireland) from 1485 until 1603, with five monarchs in that period. The Tudors succeeded the House of Plantagenet as rulers of the Kingdom of England, and were succeeded by the House of Stuart. The first Tudor monarch, Henry VII of England, descended through his mother from a legitimised branch of the English royal House of Lancaster. The Tudor family rose to power in the wake of the Wars of the Roses, which left the House of Lancaster, to which the Tudors were aligned, extinct.

Henry Tudor was able to establish himself as a candidate not only for traditional Lancastrian supporters, but also for the discontented supporters of their rival House of York, and he rose to the throne by the right of conquest. His victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field was reinforced by his marriage to the English princess Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, symbolically uniting the former warring factions under a new dynasty. The Tudors extended their power beyond modern England, achieving the full union of England and the Principality of Wales in 1542 (Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542), and successfully asserting English authority over the Kingdom of Ireland. They also maintained the nominal English claim to the Kingdom of France; although none of them made substance of it, Henry VIII fought wars with France trying to reclaim that title. After him, his daughter Mary I lost control of all territory in France permanently with the fall of Calais in 1558. In total, five Tudor monarchs ruled their domains for just over a century. Henry VIII was the only son of Henry VII to live to the age of maturity. Issues around the royal succession (including marriage and the succession rights of women) became major political themes during the Tudor era. In 1603 when Elizabeth I died without heir, the Scottish House of Stuart supplanted the Tudors as England’s royal family through the Union of the Crowns. The first Stuart to be King of England, James VI and I, descended from Henry VII’s daughter Margaret Tudor, who in 1503 married James IV as part of the Treaty of Perpetual Peace. For analysis of politics, diplomacy and social history, see Tudor period.



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