Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Question from Allison - Who was best, who was worst?

(I know this is a mostly opinion-based question, but I thought some of you might have fun commenting on it)

Hi, Who was the best and worst tudor out of
Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I?

Many Thanks


asher said...

Worst is easily Mary I.

Best is an interesting question. Henry VII's government was a model of stability that no monarch after him but before the rise of Prime Ministers really matched. Henry VIII's government succeeded in enacting major reform while doing an effective job of averting disaster. Elizabeth has her "Gloriana" image, but a lot of modern scholarship has been minimizing her importance, pointing out that her military ventures were largely failures and and had trouble making decisions.

Edward VI is a fascinating what-might-have-been. With Dudley's tutelage, he would have had effective advisors to lean on, and the reports of his tutors indicate that he would have become an exceedingly intelligent and conviction-based leader.

If pushed for a best, I'd probably say Henry VIII.

Michelle said...

I think the worst Tudor reigning monarch was MaryI.
As for the best I would say Henry vIII closely followed by ElizabethI.

GarethR said...

I would have to say the best is Elizabeth I, despite modern scholarship, which at the very best, dents her shining reputation, not demolishes it. The worst was probably Henry VIII. His military policy was ruinously expensive and totally worthless; it cost England millions, it gained it nothing. In fact, his last war in France left his son's government a huge diplomatic headache (and eventual humiliation) with Henri II's France. His religious policy car-crashed erratically between extreme conservatism and tentative liberalism, creating a climate of fear and paranoia both within the Court and without it. This confusion and fear was a cloud which hungover the reigns of his three children. His vindictive viciousness in his private life had serious long-term consequences; for example, between the execution of Anne Boleyn (May 1536) and the birth of Edward VI (October 1537), Henry left England in a permanent state of potential civil war. His two daughters had been bastardised, his only living son was also illegitimate and all of them had different supporters who would've preferred to see them rise to the throne if Henry had unexpectedly died. His foreign policy was confused, and often, incompetent, failing utterly to successfully counterbalance the threats posed by the Hapsburg Empire (which twice manipulated him into supporting their military escapades, only to abandon him) and France (which survived at least three attempted invasions, led by Henry or the duke of Suffolk.) Henry's public relations machine and the posthumous importance of Mr. Holbein's work create the illusion of success, or at the very least, strong intentions. Frankly, he was a disaster as a monarch; potentially even worse than Mary. In all arenas he failed - religious leader, militarist, foreign representation, husband, father, friend and ally.

Anonymous said...

Are you okay michelle henry the vii is not the best