Tudor dynasty

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The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor was a prominent European royal house of Welsh origin[1] that ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including the Lordship and Kingdom of Ireland, from 1485 until 1603. Its first monarch was Henry Tudor, a descendant through his mother of a legitimized 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, extirpated.

Henry Tudor was able to establish himself as a candidate not only of the traditional Lancastrian supporters, but of discontented supporters of the rival House of York, and rose to capture the throne in battle, becoming Henry VII. His victory was reinforced by his marriage to Elizabeth of York, 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 1535–1542); and successfully asserting English authority over the Kingdom of Ireland. They also maintained the traditional (i.e. nominal) claims to the Kingdom of France, but none tried to make substance of it.

In total, five Tudor monarchs ruled their domains for just over a century (Lady Jane Grey, the granddaughter of Henry VIII's younger sister Mary, was declared Queen for a period of nine days in 1553, but is usually regarded as a usurper rather than a monarch). Henry VIII of England was the only male-line male heir of Henry VII to live to the age of majority; and issues around the Royal succession (including marriage, divorce, and the succession rights of women) became major political themes during the Tudor era.

The Tudor line failed in 1603 with the death of Elizabeth I of England, who died without issue. Through secret negotiations with her cousin James, King of Scotland, (whose great-grandmother was Henry VIII's elder sister, Margaret) Elizabeth arranged the succession of the House of Stuart to the English throne, uniting the Kingdoms of England and Scotland in a personal union.


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