[too-der, tyoo-]
Tudor, royal family that ruled England from 1485 to 1603. Its founder was Owen Tudor, of a Welsh family of great antiquity, who was a squire at the court of Henry V and who married that king's widow, Catherine of Valois. Their eldest son, Edmund, was created (1453) earl of Richmond, married Margaret Beaufort (a descendant of John of Gaunt), and had a posthumous son, Henry, who assumed the Lancastrian claims and ascended the throne as Henry VII after defeating Richard III at Bosworth Field (1485). By his marriage to Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV, Henry united the Lancastrian and Yorkist claims to the throne. Of his children, his daughter Margaret Tudor married James IV of Scotland; his daughter Mary (see Mary of England) married Louis XII of France; and his surviving son succeeded him (1509) on the throne as Henry VIII. All three of Henry VIII's children, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, were rulers of England. Following the death of Edward VI, there was an unsuccessful attempt to place Mary of England's granddaughter, Lady Jane Grey, upon the throne. The reign of the Tudors was distinguished by considerable governmental reorganization, which strengthened the power of the monarchy; the rise of England as a naval power and a corresponding growth in the sense of national pride; and the Reformation of the English church with attendant religious strife. It was a period of a remarkable flowering of English literature and scholarship. Upon the death of Elizabeth I (1603), the Tudor dynasty was succeeded by the house of Stuart, whose claim to the throne derived from Margaret Tudor. Among the noted historians of the Tudor period are Geoffrey Rudolph Elton, Sir John Ernest Neale, and Albert Frederick Pollard.

See also C. Read, The Tudors (1936); C. Morris, The Tudors (1955); M. Foss, Tudor Portraits (1974); A. Plowden, The House of Tudor (1982).

Tudor, Antony, 1909-87, English choreographer and dancer. Tudor went to the United States at the invitation of the Ballet Theatre, New York City (1939); he danced leading roles and created ballets for several English and American companies and was later the artistic director of the Royal Swedish Ballet (1963-64). He remained the resident choreographer at the American Ballet Theatre until his death. His ballets, influenced by the expressionism of Fokine and Massine, use the modern idiom. In his later work, he used psychological tension and dramatic gestures expressed in the language of ballet to explore human suffering. Among Tudor's most popular works are Lilac Garden (1938), Gala Performance (1938), Pillar of Fire (1942), Romeo and Juliet (1942), Undertow (1945), Offenbach in the Underworld (1955), Echoes of Trumpets (1963), The Leaves Are Fading (1975), and Tiller in the Fields (1978). In all Tudor choreographed 56 ballets, fewer than 20 of which are still commonly performed by various companies.

See J. Chazin-Bennahum, The Ballets of Antony Tudor (1994).

Tudor, Owen, d. 1461, founder of the Tudor dynasty. He belonged to an ancient Welsh family. He was a squire at the court of Henry V, and, probably in 1429, he married Henry's widow, Catherine of Valois, by whom he had five children. Twice imprisoned by Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, during Henry VI's minority, he finally escaped to Wales, although Henry later made provision for him in England. Owen, a faithful Lancastrian in the Wars of the Roses (see Roses, Wars of the), was beheaded by the Yorkists after their victory at Mortimer's Cross.
Tudor is a male Christian name or given name used in Wales, and Romania, equivalent to Theodore. In Wales, 'Tewdwr' was an older spelling, later being Anglicised to 'Tudor'.

Due to evolving Welsh naming conventions, it gradually migrated to become a surname in Wales. For example, a son of a man called Tewdwr might be styled '(forename) ap Tewdwr' (i.e. '(forename), son of Tewdwr'), which gradually evolved into an English-style surname.

Most famously, it was used by a branch of the descendants of 12th century Welsh ruler Rhys ap Gruffydd of Deheubarth, who through intermarriage with the English Royal family, ascended the English throne in 1485. This Tudor Dynasty remained in power until the death of Elizabeth I in 1603, an era known historically in England and Wales as the Tudor Period.

"Tudor" may refer to:


Tudor dynasty

*Male descent of the Tudors, from the pre-Norman Lords of Brnffenigl in Wales - one of the fifteen noble houses of ancient Cymru


As a surname:

As a Christian name:



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