The House of Tudor was an important British royal house which shaped significantly the destiny of the British Isles during the 16th and late 15th century. Their paternal ancestors were Welsh; they descended from Ednyfed Fychan, who was Seneschal of Gwynedd in the service of Llywelyn the Great. They arose in prominence in the early 15th century, after Owen Tudor married Catherine of Valois, daughter of Charles VI of France. They became involved in the English Wars of the Roses on the Lancastrian side and through conquest at the Battle of Bosworth Field where Richard III was killed, Henry VII was crowned King of England.
In total, five Tudor monarchs reigned in the Kingdom of England between 1485 and 1603. The dynasty became extinct after Elizabeth I of England died without issue; all of their claims passed to the House of Stuart who already ruled the Kingdom of Scotland. The Tudor period straddled what has come to be known as the Renaissance in European history. State consolidation happened particularly under Henry VIII; he merged the Kingdom of England and his ancestral land the Principality of Wales with the Laws in Wales Acts. Ireland was raised from a lordship into a kingdom in 1542 and the rest of the Irish petty kings, surrendered and regranted their claims, joining the nobility.
The Tudors were monarchs during a period of constantly shifting religious disposition. Henry VIII of England, a staunch Catholic who was given the title Defender of the Faith by Pope Leo X for his writings, came into conflict with Rome for reasons pertaining to marriage. As a result Henry VIII founded the Church of England and with it Anglicanism, with himself as head. During the reign of his young son, Edward VI, the Anglican church was Calvinised under the influence of the court and exiled Continental theologians. Queen Mary I, the wife of Philip II of Spain, briefly brought England back to the Catholic Church before Henry VIII's second daughter Elizabeth I instituted the Elizabethan settlement, solidifying Anglicanism within a paradigm of syncretic "compromise" as a via media.
England and Ireland monarchs