The Tower of London during Tudor Times

Essay by jacmhayHigh School, 12th gradeA+, April 2005

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The reign of the six Tudor monarchs in England marked a great deal of change in the Tower of London and its purpose. From the completion of its first buildings in 1100 to the reign of the first Tudor monarch, Henry VII, the Tower was mainly used as a royal residence. When Henry VII was crowned, he first set about restoring royal authority. Besides building a gallery for himself and making improvements to the royal apartments, he had little effect on the changes in the tower. After his death, the major changes in the tower began taking place.

Shortly after Henry VIII was crowned, the Palace of Westminster, his chief royal residence, was destroyed by a fire. Since he didn't feel the tower was elegant enough to be used as a residence, he put up a large range of lodgings at the Tower. These lodgings, which were only used once, marked the end of the history of royal residence at the Tower.

After Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn he wanted he to be crowned "with all ceremony", which meant residence in the Tower (Crispen, "Henry VIII"). Exactly three years after the event, she was accused of treason and became a prisoner in the Tower. She was executed shortly after. Though Anne Boleyn is the most famous prisoner of the Tower, she was not the first. The first important Tudor prisoner was Sir Thomas More and Bishop Fisher of Rochester, who were both executed in 1535 for refusing to acknowledge Henry VIII as head of the English Church. Catherine Howard, cousin of Anne, was the only other wife of Henry VIII to have her coronation and execution at the Tower. Henry VIII never returned to the Tower again.

After the death of Henry VIII, Edward VI was quickly crowned King of...