Tudor London London grew in importance under Tudor rule. King Henry VIII created palaces such as St James’s. He is also famous for closing the city’s monasteries in 1536, after the Roman Catholic Church refused to grant him a divorce. During the reign of Elizabeth I, London was a wealthy and successful city. Theater became popular, helped by the arrival of playwright William Shakespeare sometime between 1585 and 1593.

People remember the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605 on November 5 each year by burning dummies of Guy Fawkes (second from right). ⌂

Plague and fire London suffered two disasters in later Stuart years. In 1665 the Great Plague killed about 70,000 people. In 1666 the Great Fire destroyed almost all of the City and a large area to the west. Thousands of new houses were built, and Christopher Wren constructed St Paul’s Cathedral as well as many churches.

Stuart London The first Stuart king, James I, came to the throne in 1603. In 1605 a group of men tried to blow up both him and the Houses of Parliament. This Gunpowder Plot failed. In 1625 Charles I came to the throne. Civil war broke out in 1642 between supporters of the king and parliamentary forces, led by a Puritan called Oliver Cromwell. Charles I was beheaded in 1649 and Britain became a republic known as the Commonwealth. In 1660 the monarchy returned.

The Great Fire of London broke ⌂

out in a bakery on September 2, 1666, and burned strongly for almost four days. It left over 100,000 people homeless.



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