England in 1485 included a small amount of territory in France (around Calais) and purported to control Ireland as well, although only the area around Dublin (the Pale) was effectively governed. The Anglo-Scots Border was becoming fixed in principle, around the River Tweed, but the exact line of it was hazy.
The Wars of the Roses of the mid-fifteenth century were, in part, a clash of political theory – should the Crown pass through women, or be confined to male lines, and, if a monarch proved incapable, could he be replaced? Henry VII, whilst he had rather a low grade claim in terms of inheritance customs, solved the problem through a combination of conquest and marriage to the senior heiress. The Tudor dynasty ruled until 1603, but providing a strong succession was a problem owing to the tendency of the males of the family to die young. In the event, the Tudor family died out, to be replaced by the Stuarts of Scotland, who had a dual claim through Henry VII’s elder daughter Margaret, who married James IV of Scotland.
|Monarch||Dates of Reign||Spouse(s)|
|Henry VII||22 August 1485 – 21 April 1509||Elizabeth of York|
|Henry VIII||21 April 1509 – 28 January 1547
||Katharine of Aragon
Anne of Cleves
|Edward VI||28 January 1547 – 6 July 1553|
|Lady Jane Grey||Proclaimed but not crowned||Lord Guilford Dudley|
|Mary I||6 July 1553 – 17 November 1558||Philip II of Spain|
|Elizabeth I||17 November 1558 – 24 March 1603|
(also James VI
|24 March 1603 – 27 March 1625||Anne of Denmark|