MO3047 The Tudors: Power and Piety in Sixteenth Century England
Lecturer Dr Jacqueline Rose (St Katharine's Lodge, room 10)
Credits 30
Availability Semester 1, 2018-19
Class Hour view timetable


The Tudors are the most famous dynasty in English history, containing the striking personalities of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, and ruling over the turbulence of repeated changes of religion from Catholicism to Protestantism and back again.  In this module we will explore the structures of power inherent in sixteenth-century English government and the dynamics of personal monarchy.  How these adapted to the novel conditions of the rule of a boy king (Edward VI) and two queens (Mary I and Elizabeth) will involve discussion both of political practice and ideas about and cultures of rule.  The English Reformations will also be analysed to show how politics and religion affected each other and one class will consider resistance and rebellion.



Basic Reading
  • John Guy, ed., The Tudor Monarchy (1997) and Tudor England (1988);
  • Patrick Collinson, The Sixteenth Century (2002);
  • Christopher Haigh, English Reformations (1993);
  • Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Later Reformation in England: 1547-1603 (1990)

Course Structure

There will be ten classes:

Dynasty: establishment and survival  
Early Tudor government: structures and ideas 
Schism: religious change under Henry VIII  
Royal minority: the reign of Edward VI  
Reforming the kingdom, 1547-1558  
Queenship: Mary and Elizabeth as female monarchs  
Elizabethan government: queen, council, and parliament  
The Elizabethan Reformation 
Tudor rebellions 
Revision session



40% two hour examination
60% coursework: two essays (20% each), one class presentation (10%), one book review (10%)

Learning Outcomes
  • Adjudication of historiographical debates and awareness of different approaches to sixteenth century history
  • Analysis of primary source material in modern and original printed formats
  • Awareness of how political thinking and political practice interrelate
  • Understanding of the relationship between religion and politics
  • Understanding change and continuity in Tudor politics and religion
Restrictions Anti-requisite(s): MO3045, MO3908