Jonathan Rhys Meyers stars in this original, history-based drama series as the young, vibrant King Henry VIII, a competitive and lustful monarch who navigates the intrigues of the English court and the human heart with equal vigor and justifiable suspicion. Henry's marriage to randy, unfaithful teenager Catherine Howard ends in her swift execution, but he finds domestic tranquility at last with the steady Catherine Parr; a war with France and Brandon's death signal Henry's waning days. Henry's marriage to Jane Seymour is happy, fruitful, and tragically short; the king brutally suppresses a rebellion against his religious reforms; England, Spain and the Pope ally against England, forcing Henry to marry a Protestant. Henry quickly embraces Lutheran ideas, breaks with the Church, and marries Anne Boleyn, but Brandon sows seeds of doubt about his new queen's fidelity in the king's mind; a loyalty oath pits Henry against his mentor Thomas More.
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During this period, England developed into one of the leading European colonial powers, with men such as Sir Walter Raleigh taking part in the conquest of the New World. Nearer to home, campaigns in Ireland brought the country under strict English control. Culturally and socially, the Tudor period saw many changes. The Tudor court played a prominent part in the cultural Renaissance taking place in Europe, nurturing all-round individuals such as William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser and Cardinal Wolsey. The Tudor period also saw the turbulence of three changes of official religion, resulting in the martyrdom of many innocent believers of both Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. The fear of Roman Catholicism induced by the Reformation was to last for several centuries and to play an influential role in the history of the Succession. James, Westminster between and
The Tudor family rose to power in the wake of the Wars of the Roses — , which left the House of Lancaster, with which the Tudors were aligned, extinct in the male line. Henry VII succeeded in presenting himself as a candidate not only for traditional Lancastrian supporters, but also for discontented supporters of their rival Plantagenet, cadet House of York , and he took the throne by right of conquest. Following his victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field 22 August , he reinforced his position in by fulfilling his vow to marry Elizabeth of York , daughter of Edward IV , thus symbolically uniting the former warring factions of Lancaster and York under the new dynasty. The Tudors extended their power beyond modern England, achieving the full union of England and the Principality of Wales in Laws in Wales Acts and , and successfully asserting English authority over the Kingdom of Ireland proclaimed by the Crown of Ireland Act
Executions of this order were nothing particularly unusual in Europe at this time and the overall truth of all this is that both Catholics and Protestants burnt one another depending upon who was the Establishment. John Calvin's Geneva was very intolerant it was the temperament of the times, I suppose. As all these dreadful executions previously tended to centre on lopping the heads off upper class people, lords, ladies, archbishops etc.