How Much Do You Know About England from King Henry VIII and Elizabeth I?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: Historytube

About This Quiz

It’s good to be king, if just for a while, especially if you were one of the rulers of England during the Tudor period. In our royal quiz, we’ll see if you really know anything about the history of this Western world power, from the reign of Henry VIII to Elizabeth I.

Do you think you know much about the tumult of this long era of English history? Some of England’s kings were relative pacifists, others sought out the blood of their enemies… no matter the cost to his own nation. Do you think you know the primary foes of the English in days of yore?

And what of the queens? Elizabeth I is one of the best-known queens, but do you know her accomplishments? Sure, she’s regarded as a decent ruler, but she also got credit for feats of other people. Can you name them?

This period was a time of religious adversity, political intrigue and war. But it was also a time when the English people thrived. Pick up your scepter, cock your crown and see if you know the history from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I!

The period of English history between Henry VIII and Elizabeth I is often called what?

From 1485 to 1603, which mostly overlaps with the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, historians refer to England as being in the Tudor period. It’s a famous part of English history.


How do historians generally view the Tudor period?

England has enjoyed a lot of good times in its history, and the Tudor period was no exception. The country was mostly prosperous and enjoyed a powerful role in world issues.


What terrible event happened just BEFORE the Tudor period and played a major role in England’s economic and demographic condition?

Just prior to the Tudor period, England (and the rest of the world) was devastated by the Black Plague, which killed countless millions of people and upturned societies all over Earth.


What was the population of England at the start of the Tudor period?

England’s population stood at about two million at the beginning of the Tudor period, in large part because the Black Death had swept through Europe and gone Darwin on the country’s towns and cities.


During the Tudor period, the English Reformation overhauled which part of society?

Henry VIII was fed up with the religious leaders of his era. Under his rule, the Reformation transformed many aspects of religious life in England.


Why did Henry VIII became angry with the church and then initiate the Reformation?

Henry wanted an annulment from his wife Catherine of Aragon... but the Pope refused. Once the pope denied his requests, the king set about encouraging the Reformation, which then turned the church inside out.


How many times did Henry VIII marry?

Henry married six times, and his marriages are one of the reasons he’s so famous in English history. He married repeatedly in an effort to produce a male baby to be his heir.


How did the concept of royal power change during Henry VIII’s reign?

Henry VIII had no problem wielding his power. During his reign, the concept of royal power expanded by leaps and bounds, giving later kings and queens a much bigger throne to fill.


True or false, was Henry VIII a lavish spender?

Henry was known as a maniac when it came to spending — he blew piles of money on personal luxuries and wars that left the country hurting for cash.


Why did taxes rise considerably during Henry VIII’s reign?

Henry liked to do battle, and wars are costly. He was forced to raise taxes repeatedly in order to pay for his many battles.


A lot of people didn’t like the way Henry VIII ruled. What happened to them?

Henry didn’t tolerate criticism. People who questioned his powers were labeled as dissenters... and then, often executed without trial.


Henry VIII is often known as the "father" of which part of English society?

Henry VIII was the first English king to formalize the navy. It eventually became one of his favorite ways to attack his enemies.


Which country particularly vexed Henry VIII?

England and France have a lot of history of conflict, and the friction drove Henry VIII to war against the French. Those battles, it should be noted, did not always end well.


Elizabeth I took the throne in 1558 and reigned until 1603. What is this period called?

The queen’s reign was called, of course, the Elizabethan era. Compared with a lot of other reigns, this one was a fairly good for the English people.


What health problem contributed to Henry VIII’s early death?

Henry’s opulent lifestyle made him more than a little rotund. He was very obese in his later years, a fact that likely contributed to his death at 55 years old.


What was dissolved during Henry VIII’s reign?

Henry dissolved monasteries and other organizations within the church. Then he made himself the ultimate ruler of the church and seized many assets for his crown.


How did Elizabeth’s style of governing compare to her father’s?

Elizabeth wasn’t prone to the excesses of her father. She was very moderate and England was basically a good place to live during her reign.


In the 1580s, England went to war against which major world power?

In the 1580s, England plunged into an (undeclared) war versus Spain. Elizabeth’s navy defeated the Spanish Armada during one battle and the event is still called one of England’s greatest military triumphs.


True or false, did Elizabeth I give birth to a son who later became king?

Elizabeth I never married and was famously virginal, and as such, obviously never gave birth to an heir of any kind.


What was one way Henry VIII paid for his many wars?

Henry’s grudge against the church paid off for him, literally. He began taking clerical payments once bound for the pope and instead used that money for government projects, like war.


During Elizabeth’s reign, what elements of culture thrived?

English drama hit its apex during the queen’s reign. Shakespeare and other great writers created timeless legacies during this period.


Compared with Henry VIII, how did Edward VI deal with France and Scotland?

Edward wasn’t fond of wars like Henry VIII. He ended the conflicts with both France and Scotland, freeing up England's finances for more constructive purposes.


How long did Elizabeth I rule England?

For 44 years, Elizabeth I brought relative stability to England. Her reign was much longer than the short and tumultuous reigns of her half-siblings.


Which religion thrived with power under Edward VI?

The Catholic Church was reeling under Henry VIII, and under Edward VI, Protestantism ascended to new heights. Catholic leaders were shaken down for cash, which went to the king’s court.


Who succeeded Edward VI?

Edward VI’s reign lasted just a few years. He was crowned king at 9... and then died at 15. Mary I (eventually) succeeded him.


How did Edward VI die at just 15?

At just 15, Edward took ill. His rapidly declining health created a crisis of succession that sent the power-hungry scrambling for ways to seize the throne.


Mary I took the throne after Edward VI. What was one of her first projects?

Mary I set about reversing Edward’s stance on religious powers. She wanted to reduce Protestantism... and bring the Catholic Church back to glory.


Mary I did what to many prominent Protestants?

Mary I had no use for powerful Protestants in her England. She had many of them burned at the stake, all as part of her effort to make Catholics more dominant.


Mary I did some good things for English society, too. Who got all of the credit?

Mary helped expand colonial exploration and improved aspects of the economy. But "Bloody Mary" was often despised - particularly by Protestants - and the credit for her good deeds went to her successor, Elizabeth I.


The Rising of the North was a rebellion against Elizabeth I. Who led the rebellion?

Catholic nobles wanted Mary, Queen of Scots in place of Elizabeth I, so they started an uprising. But the rebels ran like crazy when they saw the Royal Army coming for them... and some of the rebels lost their heads.


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