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Cambridge King's College - Tudor Rose



The emblem of King Henry VIII was the Tudor rose and the Beaufort portcullis. The red and white Tudor rose represented the combination of the House of York and the House of Lancaster. The Beaufort portcullis relates to his Tudor ancestors.

When Henry Tudor took the crown of England from Richard III in battle, he brought about the end of the Wars of the Roses between the House of Lancaster (whose badge was a red rose) and the House of York (whose badge was a white rose). His father was Edmund Tudor from the House of Richmond, and his mother was Margaret Beaufort from the House of Lancaster; he married Elizabeth of York to bring all factions together.


On his marriage, Henry adopted the Tudor Rose badge conjoining the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster. The Tudor Rose is occasionally seen divided vertically (in heraldic terms per pale) red and white.[1] More often, the Tudor Rose is depicted as a double rose[2], white on red.


[edit] Role and uses


[edit] Historical uses

16th century woodcut of the coronation of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon shows them with their badges, the Tudor rose and the pomegranate.

16th century woodcut of the coronation of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon shows them with their badges, the Tudor rose and the pomegranate.


During his reign, Henry VIII had the "Round Table" at Winchester Castle — then believed to be genuine — repainted. The new paint scheme included a Tudor Rose in the centre.


The Tudor rose badge might be slipped and crowned, that is, shown as a cutting with a stem and leaves beneath a crown; this badge appears in Nicholas Hilliard's "Pelican Portrait" of Elizabeth I.


The Tudor rose might also be dimidiated (cut in half and combined with half another emblem) to form a compound badge. The Westminster Tournament Roll includes a badge of Henry and his first wife Catherine of Aragon with a slipped Tudor rose conjoined with Catherine's personal badge, the pomegranate[3]; their daughter Mary I bore the same badge.[4] James I of England and VI of Scotland used a badge of a Tudor rose dimidiated with a thistle and surmounted by a royal crown.[5]


[edit] Contemporary uses


The Tudor rose is used as the plant badge of England, as Scotland uses the thistle, Ireland uses the shamrock, and Wales uses the leek. As such, it is seen on the dress uniforms of the Yeomen Warders at the Tower of London, and of the Yeomen of the Guard. It features on the British Twenty Pence coin and the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom. It also features, albeit subtly, on the Coat of arms of Canada.


It is also notably used (albeit, confusingly enough in a monochromatic form) as the symbol of the English Tourist Board[1]. It is used as the name of a brand of fortified wine.


The Ancestors of King Henry VIII

The parents of Henry Tudor were Margaret Beaufort and Edmund Tudor. Edmund Tudor was the son of Owen Tudor and Catherine of Valois who was the former wife of King Henry V of England. Margaret Beaufort was a descendant of King Edward III through his son, John of Gaunt (1340 - 1399), and his third wife Katherine Swynford (1350 - 1403). The liaison between John of Gaunt and Katherine produced four illegitimate children who were given the name Beaufort. John of Gaunt eventually married Katherine Swynford in 1396 and their children, by this time adults, were legitimised. However, it was seen as an illegitimate line and therefore no descendents could have a claim on the English throne.


How secure was King Henry VIII on the throne of England?

Our view of King Henry VIII was all powerful but in his early years the security of the Tudor dynasty constantly worried his father Henry Tudor who had become King Henry VII. Henry Tudor was a member of the House of Lancaster. England had entered a period of Civil war called the War of the Roses between the two powerful noble factions of England called the House of York and the House of Lancaster. A final Lancastrian rebellion rose against the Yorkist King Richard III following the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower ( the two young sons of King Edward IV and the brothers of Elizabeth of York). Henry Tudor defeated the Yorkist leader King Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth Field and claimed the throne of England. The Tudor Dynasty was born, but it was was shaky claim based on an illegitimate line. King Henry VII cemented his claim by marrying Elizabeth of York, the Yorkist daughter of King Edward IV. But his reign was threatened by pretenders to the throne such as Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck who assumed the identity of Richard Duke of York (one of the Princes in the Tower).


Measures taken by King Henry VIII to secure the throne of England

With this as his background King Henry VIII was wary of powerful English nobles and during his reign added Imperial concepts of Kingship to existing Feudal concepts and substantially decreased the power of the nobles and increased the power of Parliament and the monarchy. English nobles were no longer allowed to build privately owned castles which were built as power bases and strongholds to threaten the monarchy. English castles in the time of King Henry VIII were built as magnificent and palatial residences of the wealthy, not as fortresses. To combat any possible threats of invasion and to the throne, from Europe, King Henry VIII created a great chain of coastal fortresses and increased the size of the English navy from just 5 ships at the beginning of his reign to about 60 ships.


Political Executions ordered by King Henry VIII to secure the throne of England

According to Raphael Holinshed (died c. 1580) the English chronicler, who compiled the work commonly known as Holinshed's Chronicles, the number of executions in his reign amounted to 72,000. Anyone who disobeyed the orders of King Henry VIII were executed for treason. These executions also included every living descendent from the Plantagenet line of English Kings. His ruthlessness even extended to Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury (1473-1541) who was the last direct descendant of the Plantagenet line - she was as descendent of King Edward III and 68 years old when she was cruelly executed on the block.


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Taken on June 1, 2008