Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for August 22.
Today is a famous day for anyone who is a fan of this time period, as it’s when the Tudor Dynasty actually began. It is also, on a personal note, the day my husband and I had our first date in 2005. So it’s easily remembered.
Okay, so today is the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, the day when Henry Tudor, after living half his life in exile in Brittany, managed to build an army and defeat Richard III despite Richard outnumbering his army over 2 to 1. He then was crowned Henry VII, father to Henry VIII. I’m not going to try to go into the Battle here because that’s just impossible in a minute or two, but the deciding factor was Henry’s stepfather, Lord Stanley, who remained neutral until the very end, throwing his large force behind Henry. Legend says that he’s the one who placed the crown upon Henry’s head after Richard was killed.
Henry soon married Elizabeth of York, the eldest York Princess, uniting the houses of Lancaster and York. Though at the time, many disaffected Yorkists saw this as just one more battle in the long series of wars we now call the Wars of the Roses, and Henry Tudor had to fight off several rebellions and pretenders. When his son Henry VIII inherited the throne in 1509 it was the first bloodless transfer of power in well over half a century, longer than pretty much anyone alive would remember.
The Tudor Dynasty born today on the battlefield at Bosworth.
That’s your Tudor Minute. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.