Tudor Education, Art, Travel and Culture Chronology – Henry VII

Tudor Education

A chronology of Tudor Education, Art, Travel and Culture in the reign of Henry VII


In 1480, London was an international city with a population of 60,000 that was steadily becoming the business centre of Europe. The city now extended beyond the city walls to take in Southwark in the south, Westminster in the west and Thameside in the East. Merchants from Venice and the low countries brought wines, spices, glassware, pottery, carpets, silk and timber to London which they exchanged for English wool. England also exported corn, tin, coal, timber and salt but to a much lesser degree than wool and cloth.
Morte d’Arthur
William Caxton published Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthur.
Thomas Wolsey gained a degree
Thomas Wolsey, aged 15 years, became a Bachelor of Arts.
March 1486
Henry VII went on a Progress
Henry VII and Elizabeth of York embarked on a progress to the north of England accompanied by 200 bowmen. Henry wanted to show the north of England that he was secure in London which he hoped would put off any would-be Yorkist pretender to the throne. He made a great show of richness and grandeur which he hoped would inspire awe, respect and the affection of his people.
The population of England was about 3 million. Due to yearly outbreaks of plague and sickness the population stayed at about this number. There was a general shortage of Labourers which meant wages were high and rents low.
October 1489
Sovereign minted
A new coin was introduced. The golden sovereign depicted Henry VII wearing the imperial crown.
Thomas More attended Oxford
Thomas More, aged 14 years, entered Oxford University.
Thomas More entered the Inns of Court
Thomas More left Oxford University and entered the Inns of Court where he would pursue a career in law.
25th June 1495
Henry VII Progress
Henry VII left London to make a progress (royal tour/holiday) to Lancashire. During the tour he visited his mother Lady Margaret Beaufort.
July 1495
Prince Henry Education
Prince Henry began his formal education. The Poet Laureate, John Skelton, was appointed his tutor. Henry was taught to speak and write both Latin and French and taught a basic knowledge of Italian and Spanish. His lessons also included coaching in deportment and how to behave on formal occasions.
Thomas More – Lincoln’s Inn
Thomas More entered Lincoln’s Inn as part of his legal training.
Portsmouth Dry Dock
The first dry dock in the World was built at Portsmouth. This would enable ships to be built in the port.
5th March 1496
The explorer John Cabot was granted letters patent that allowed him to sail five ships under the English flag to discover new lands. On his return to England he was to pay the King one fifth of all profits from his venture.
12th June 1496
Cambridge University
Jesus College, Cambridge was founded.
2nd May 1497
John Cabot, financed by Henry VII, set sail in ‘The Matthew’ with a crew of 18 sailors to discover new lands.
24th June 1497
John Cabot discovered an uninhabited land which he named the New-Found-Land.
6th August 1497
John Cabot returned to England. He was given a reward of £10 (roughly 2 years pay for a craftsman) by Henry VII.
May 1498
John Cabot left England with five ships, one of which had been donated by King Henry VII. One of the ships had to put into harbour in Ireland after being damaged. The fate of the other four ships is unknown. Recent research suggests that Cabot was in London in 1500 and that he travelled with his son in 1508 but the facts are not clear.
early 1499
Prince Henry Public Duty
Prince Henry aged seven years performed his first public duty when he attended a meeting of the City of London Trade Guilds.
late Summer 1499
Erasmus met the Royal children
The Humanist, Erasmus and Thomas More shared a midday meal with the royal children.
Prince Arthur Education
Thomas Linacre, a Humanist and friend of John Colet and Thomas More, was appointed tutor to Prince Arthur.
21st May 1501
Catherine of Aragon’s journey to England
Catherine of Aragon left the Alhambra in Granada and began the first stage of her journey, from Granada to Corunna where she would board a boat for England.
20th July 1501
Catherine of Aragon’s journey to England
Catherine of Aragon reached the port of Corunna. Due to unfavourable weather they were confined to port.
17th August 1501
Catherine of Aragon’s journey to England
Catherine of Aragon set sail bound for England.
21st August 1501
Catherine of Aragon’s journey to England
A violent storm in the Bay of Biscay forced Catherine of Aragon to return to Spain.
27th September 1501
Catherine of Aragon’s journey to England
Catherine of Aragon set sail for England again.
2nd October 1501
Catherine of Aragon arrived in England
Catherine of Aragon reached England. She was given a warm welcome by the Mayor of Plymouth and the local people. She was escorted to Exeter where she was to stay
16th October 1501
Catherine of Aragon began her journey to London
A delegation of courtiers arrived in Exeter to escort Catherine of Aragon to London.
4th November 1501
Henry VII and Prince Arthur met Catherine of Aragon
Henry and Prince Arthur were eager to meet the young bride and, rather than waiting until she reached Lambeth as planned, they rode to meet her party on the road. Both Henry and Arthur were pleased with her appearance and returned to London the following morning.
9th November 1501
Catherine of Aragon reached London
Catherine of Aragon reached Lambeth Palace in London where she rested.
12th November 1501
Catherine of Aragon formally entered London
Catherine of Aragon made her formal entry into London riding a gaily decorated horse. She was greeted with pageant’s along the route as she processed through the city.
21st December 1501
Bristol merchants returned from Newfoundland. They brought with then three native people and a quantity of cod.
January 1502
Prince Arthur and Catherine reached Ludlow
Prince Arthur and Catherine reached Ludlow Castle in the Welsh Marches.
March 1502
Sweating sickness
There was an outbreak of sweating sickness in the west of England .
late March
Prince Arthur and Catherine ill
Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon were taken ill with a viral infection.
January 1503
Court to Tower of London
The court moved to the Tower of London where Queen Elizabeth prepared for the birth of her seventh child.
8th July 1503
Princess Margaret left England for Scotland
Princess Margaret aged 14 years began her journey north to Scotland to marry 29 year old King James IV.
7th August 1503
Princess Margaret reached Edinburgh
Princess Margaret made formal entry to Edinburgh riding pillion behind her future husband.
The shilling introduced
A new coin, the shilling, was introduced. It was made from silver and was worth twelve pennies.
Summer 1504
Catherine was taken ill
Catherine of Aragon was taken ill with a mystery illness which kept her confined to bed for much of the summer. She was subject to fits of fever and shivering and at times it was feared she would die.
February 1505
Catherine of Aragon financial difficulties
Catherine of Aragon now had no money of her own and was unable to pay her servants. The Spanish ambassador, Dr De Puebla, wrote to Ferdinand of Aragon to seek his advice.
April 1505
Henry VII Loan to Philip of Castile
After the death of Isabella of Castile in 1504, Ferdinand had taken control of the region rather than allow it to pass to Isabella’s heir, her daughter Juana. Henry made a loan of £108,000 to Philip of Castile, husband of Juanna, to help him pursue his wife’s claim to the throne of Castile.
April 1505
Erasmus returned to England
The humanist scholar, Erasmus, returned to England from the continent. He became very friendly with Thomas More.
late June 1505
Catherine of Aragon Finances
The Spanish ambassador, Dr De Puebla, received word from Catherine’s father, Ferdinand of Aragon, stating that Catherine’s welfare was the responsibility of King Henry VII. De Puebla was told to ask Henry to help Catherine however, the ambassador was concerned about his own standing in England and decided not to speak to Henry for fear of antagonising him. Court etiquette prevented Catherine from asking her father-in-law for money.
November 1505
Catherine of Aragon’s situation
Since the dismissal of her duenna, Catherine had been mistress of Durham House where she was living. However, she had no money with which to run a household. Dr De Puebla spoke to Henry who replied that Catherine should dismiss some of her servants and move to court.
late December 1505
Catherine of Aragon’s situation
Catherine wrote to her father, Ferdinand of Aragon, begging him to do something about her financial situation. She also asked for De Puebla to be replaced since he did little to help her.
Closure of the Stews
King Henry VII ordered that the notorious Stews be closed after increasing levels of syphilis were reported.
15th January 1506
Philip of Burgundy was shipwrecked off Weymouth
Philip of Burgundy and his wife, Juana, were shipwrecked off the coast of Weymouth. Messengers were sent to inform the King.
February 1506
Festivities for Philip of Burgundy
Catherine of Aragon had been provided with new clothes to wear for the festivities held to honour Philip of Burgundy. All meetings between Catherine and her brother-in-law were closely supervised by Henry VII to make sure that Catherine had no opportunity to complain about her treatment in England. Catherine did meet her sister, Juana, but her sister was so obsessed with her husband’s infidelities that she had no time for Catherine.
26th April 1506
Philip of Burgundy left England
Philip of Burgundy and his wife, Juana, left England and returned to Spain.
Summer 1506
Catherine of Aragon Situation
Catherine now had no money to pay her servants. She again wrote to her father telling him that if something was not done, she and her household would be on the streets. She suffered with anxiety and recurrent bouts of fever.
Autumn 1506
Catherine of Aragon and Prince Henry
Catherine and Henry spent time together and found they had much in common. When Henry VII discovered they had become close he sent Catherine to live at Fulham Palace.
during 1507
Book of Rates
The Book of Rates was a list of customs duties to be paid in London. Henry VII now updated the rates.
Spring 1507
Henry VII ill
King Henry VII was taken ill and it was feared that he would die, but he eventually recovered.
March 1507
Catherine of Aragon’s Dowry
Henry VII wrote to Ferdinand of Aragon that the second part of Catherine’s dowry needed to be paid within six months.
April 1507
Catherine of Aragon Financial Situation
Catherine wrote to her father stating that her situation was dreadful and that she and those servants that had remained with her were running out of clothing.
June 1507
Henry VII Loan to Philip of Castile
Tournaments were held to celebrate Prince Henry’s 16th birthday. The young prince enjoyed showing off his skill at jousting.
Summer 1507
Catherine of Aragon Situation
Ferdinand of Aragon sent Catherine 2,000 ducats but the money was not enough. Over the years since Arthur’s death in 1502, Catherine had been forced to pawn many pieces of jewel and plate which formed part of her dowry. She had also found it increasingly difficult to obtain loans and those that did loan her money charged very high rates of interest. The money sent by her father barely covered her debts and servant’s wages.
October 1507
Catherine of Aragon Dowry
Henry VII did not want to have to repay the first installment of Catherine’s dowry so he extended the deadline for the final payment to March 1508.
December 1507
Catherine of Aragon Dowry
Ferdinand wrote to Henry stating that he was trying to raise the money to pay the second part of Catherine’s dowry and promised to deliver it to England by March 1508.
February 1508
King Henry VII Ill
Henry VII was taken ill and was confined to bed for a period of time.
22nd February 1508
New Spanish Ambassador
Don de Fuensalida arrived in England as the new Spanish ambassador. He brought with him a bill of exchange to pay the remaining 65,000 ducats of Catherine’s dowry. As she was no longer the ambassador, Catherine lost the respect she had gained while in the position. King Henry initially refused the see Fuensalida but eventually granted him a short interview. He questioned the whereabouts of the jewels and plate that were to form part of the dowry. When Fuensalida replied that Catherine had them in her position, Henry told him that they had become his own property on the death of his son and could not form part of the payment. He therefore considered the second part of her dowry unpaid.
21st June 1508
Fuensalida upset Henry Vii
During a meeting with the King, the Spanish ambassador, Fuensalida, told Henry that he was bound by treaty to marry Prince Henry to Catherine of Aragon. Henry was furious and dismissed the ambassador stating that his son was free to marry where he chose.
July 1508
Henry VII Unwell
King Henry VII was taken seriously ill. He had always been thin but was now very thin and gaunt. He also had a hacking cough and could not walk unaided.
late Summer 1508
Catherine of Aragon’s situation
Ferdinand of Aragon wrote to Henry VII demanding that either his daughter be married to Prince Henry or she be sent back to Spain. Henry was very angry and cut off Catherine’s small allowance.
September 1508
Catherine of Aragon’s situation
Fuensalida wrote to Ferdinand of Spain requesting that he send a ship to the River Thames so that he and Catherine could return to Spain.
during 1509
St Paul’s School
St Paul’s School was founded by John Colet, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral and spiritual advisor to Thomas More. The new school housed 153 boys and 3 masters. The Worshipful Company of Mercers, of which both Colet and More were members, was chosen to govern the school. William Lily, a layman and huanist, was chosen as head master.
March 1509
Fray Diego Scandal
The Spaniah ambassador, Don Fuensalida, advised Catherine to dismiss her confessor, Fray Diego, after it emerged that the priest was becoming known as a womaniser.
24th March 1509
Henry VII Ill
King Henry VII collapsed and had to be taken to his bed.
late March 1509
Henry VII Ill
King Henry VII summoned his chaplains, Thomas Wolsey and John Fisher to his bedside. Wolsey was paid to say 8,000 masses and Fisher 2,000 masses at six pence per mass.
31st March 1509
Henry VII Made His Will
King Henry VII dictated his will.
April 1509
Catherine of Aragon’s Dowry
A new Spanish ambassador, Don Luis Caroz, arrived in England. He informed the King that the final installment of Catherine’s dowry was ready and that payment would be made as soon as the wedding arrangements were finalised.
20th April 1509
Henry VII Illness
Prince Henry was summoned to his father’s bedside.


First published 2017; Updated and re-published Aug 15, 2020 @ 8:12 pm – Updated – Oct 13, 2022 @ 5:00 pm

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2017 – 2021). Tudor Education Art and Culture Chronology Available: https://www.tudornation.com/tudor-art-and-culture-chronology Last accessed [date]


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