England travel guide




London Travel Guide

Tudor London

Henry Tudor assumed the English throne as Henry VII in 1485, and got married with Elizabeth of York, this put the end to the War of the Roses, centralized political power on the crown. He commissioned the celebrated "Henry VII's Chapel" at Westminster Abbey, and continued the royal practice of borrowing funds from the City of London for his wars against the French. He took little interest in enhancing London. Nonetheless, the comparative stability of the Tudor kingdom had long term effects on the city, which grew rapidly during the 16th century as the nobles found that power and wealth were now best won by competing for favour at court.

In 1497 the pretender Perkin Warbeck, who claimed to be Richard, Duke of York, the younger brother of the boy monarch Edward V, encamped on Blackheath with his followers. At first there was a panic among the citizens, but the king organised the defence of the city, the rebels dispersed, and Warbeck was soon captured and hanged at Tyburn.

The King Henry III took a decisive step against the power of the church in 1538, and begun the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the 13 religious houses in London were either converted for private use or pulled down for building materials and other buildings were sold to wealthy gentry for use as country estates.

The Reformation produced little bloodshed in London, with most of the higher classes co-operating to bring about a gradual shift to Protestantism.

Shortly before his death, Henry refounded St Bartholomew's Hospital, but most of the large buildings were left unoccupied when he died in 1547.

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