Tudor name is misnomer claims don

first_imgResearch by Oxford’s Dr Cliff Davies has found that the term ‘Tudor’ was hardly ever used in the 16th century.Dr Davies, a History tutor at Wadham, has discovered that until the final years of Elizabeth’s reign, the term was very rarely used to refer to the governments of the kings and queens we now know as the ‘Tudors’.Of the numerous documents, pamphlets, poems and plays studied by Davies, only a single poem was found which uses the term, which refers to the 1603 transferral of royal power from Elizabeth Tudor to James Stuart.Davies argues that common references to the ‘Tudor Monarchy’ both by historians and in the arts has brought about a misconception by which the period has come to be thought of as unduly glamorous and unified.Davies said, “The word ‘Tudor’ is used obsessively by historians, often as a quite unnecessary reinforcing adjective to add an appropriate ‘period flavour’ to their work, but it was almost unknown at the time.”“While the Tudor name was celebrated in Welsh language writings, it was considered an embarrassment in England – Henry VII’s paternal grandfather Owen Tudor was played down and Henry VIII boasted instead of the ‘Union’ of the families of Lancaster and York embodied in himself.“There is no sense in which the ‘Tudor’ monarchs thought of themselves as ‘Welsh’, or took pride in their descent from a Welsh adventurer.”Davies said that the discovery was significant in that it shines a light on the disunity between the governments of Henry VII, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.He added that the idea of ‘the Tudor people’ is misleading because it “gives a false sense of people identifying with their monarch. The very term implies a degree of automatic ‘loyalty’ which is unwarranted.”Finally, Davies takes issue with the notion that the ‘Tudors’ believed themselves to be living in a specific age, distinct from the ‘Middle Ages’.Fresher historian Alex Krook was less positive about Davies’ findings. “Inaccurate maybe, but I’ll let my historical judgment temporarily slide for an excuse to watch Jonathan Rhys-Meyers get his kit off.”last_img read more