100 Years of History: 16th Century

It's fair to say that the last thousand years have been pretty exciting. With A Thousand Years of History, UKTV History is spending a whole year examining handful of defining moments from the last millennium.

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KINGS AND QUEENS OF ENGLAND: THE TUDORS

Forget the Colbys! From 1485 until 1603 this family led far more turbulent lives! Not only that, they permanently changed the way Britain functioned and sent shockwaves through the rest of the known world. In Kings and Queens of England this month, Alan Ereira takes us on a whirlwind tour through the eventful history of the Tudors, whose numbers included Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Learn about the queen who was "too sexy for her king" and the royal ally beheaded in Hereford market place in 1461.

CENTURY OF THE COMPASS

The 16th century was a time of great change. The empires and religions of the world were expanding aggressively, often with warfare not far off the ever-burgeoning horizon. In this episode of Millennium, the lives of two contrasting characters are examined: a Spanish missionary named Diego de Landa who took Christendom to Mexico and Ivan the Terrible who made huge territorial gains as he extended Muscovite rule from the Baltic to Siberia.

A HISTORY OF BRITAIN: BURNING CONVICTIONS

Historian Simon Schama is always excellent at painting intimate portraits of the monarchs who reigned over this fair land. In Burning Convictions, he tells the story of the reformation, which saw many Catholics burned to death at the whim of Henry VIII and his new Church of England. This violent break from Rome came about largely due to his passion for Anne Boleyn.

A HISTORY OF BRITAIN: THE BODY OF THE QUEEN

This programme examines the long, tangled relationship between Queen Elizabeth and her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, who was executed by royal command in 1587. In a time when carrying on the royal family dynasty was paramount, who was the victor: Elizabeth the unmarried politician or Mary, who produced an heir to the throne.

WHAT IF?: THE REFORMATION

So, what if the Pope, in all his wisdom, had granted Henry VIII that divorce? What would our world be like without the Church of England, or if the dissolution of the monasteries had taken place? Maybe Elizabeth I would never have taken the throne. This programme examines the consequences of that single, pivotal, papal decision.

MEET THE ANCESTORS: THE LOST PALACE

One thing you can say about Henry VIII, he really liked to knock things down. In Meet the Ancestors, a team of excavators looks into the theory that the original palace at Hampton Court, built by Cardinal Wolsey and largely obliterated by Henry, may have actually had Italian Renaissance roots. If so, it would be one of the most significant buildings in English architectural history. What follows is a fascinating dig within the walls of the Palace, searching for evidence that backs up this notion.