Britain & Ireland 1509-1745

In this section you will find articles to help you unpick the truths from the myths of the Tudor period, examine how Cromwell took the country to war and explore how some the most important political thinkers began to shape the modern world. There is also guidance for teaching some of the information collected here to pupils and different age ranges.

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  • Cunning Plan 183: Teaching a broader Britain, 1625–1714

    Article

    ‘Gruesome!’ was how we decided to describe our teaching of seventeenth-century British history, although ‘inadequate’ was probably more accurate. Oh, how much was wrong!  We had… Incoherence. The Civil War and Protectorate years plonked in between the Elizabethan Age and the origins of the industrial revolution. We had lost years! A...

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  • Putting black into the Union Jack: weaving Black history into the Year 7 to 9 curriculum

    Article

    Making a passionate case for teaching Black British history in the secondary school curriculum, Hannah shares here the personal journey she has travelled in planning for Black British history in her curriculum. She cites her inspirations and offers striking examples to illustrate her rationale and approach to teaching this history....

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  • Move Me On 183: sees no reason to include Black or Asian British history

    Article

    Move Me On is designed to build critical, informed debate about the character of teacher training, teacher education and professional development. It is also designed to offer practical help to all involved in training new history teachers. Each issue presents a situation in initial teacher education/training with an emphasis upon...

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  • What Have Historians Been Arguing About... the impact of the British Empire on Britain?

    Article

    The murder of George Floyd during the summer of 2020 and the ongoing ‘culture war’ in Britain over the legacy of the British Empire have reignited interest in imperial history. This focuses, in particular, on the question of the empire’s impact on Britain itself: on how the act of conquering...

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  • Inventing race? Using primary sources to investigate the origins of racial thinking in the past

    Article

    Having been given some additional curriculum time, Kerry Apps and her department made decisions about what had been missing in the previous curriculum diet. Building on an existing enquiry (in TH 176), Apps decided to focus on how and when the idea of race in its modern sense developed in early modern...

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  • Unpicking the threads of interpretations

    Article

    Determined to do justice to the complexity of the seventeenth century, as a messy but crucial period in British history, and to develop their pupils’ disciplinary understanding of how and why interpretations of the past are constructed, Dan Keates and his department set out to exploit the rich seam of...

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  • Historical and interdisciplinary enquiry into the sinking of the Mary Rose

    Article

    The raising of Henry VIII’s warship, the Mary Rose, from the sea bed set in train an extraordinary programme of interdisciplinary research, relentlessly pursuing the clues to Tudor life and death provided by the remains of the ship, its cargo and crew. In this article Clare Barnes offers fascinating insights...

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  • Cunning Plan 177: teaching about life in Elizabethan England by looking at death

    Article

    ‘We already did the Tudors in primary school’ was the most frequent comment made by students about our Year 7 scheme of learning in our annual review. Students reported covering the Tudors at least once, sometimes twice, before reaching secondary school and they had clearly not faced extensive further study...

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  • Planning increasingly complex causal models at Key Stage 3

    Article

    While weighing up the relative merits of the competing narratives of the Battle of Hastings that his department might present to Year 7, Matthew Stanford began to consider how the causal models that teachers introduce influence the causal arguments that students later go on to write. In this article, Stanford...

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  • Cunning Plan 175: Using the England's Immigrants database

    Article

    Ever wondered if there is a streak of masochism in those designing A-level history syllabi? The absence of the Spanish Armada from the current Edexcel breadth study in favour of (among other delights) ‘the new draperies’ prompts this question. But the challenge of enthusing modern teenagers with woollen cloth can...

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  • Exploring the importance of local visits in developing wider narratives of change and continuity

    Article

    The authors of this article take a well-known structural framework for students’ thinking about the Reformation and give it a twist. Their Tudor religious rollercoaster is informed by local visits in their setting in Guernsey – an area where the local picture was not quite the same as the national...

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  • Triumphs Show 173: Teaching Black Tudors

    Article

    I am ashamed to admit that, until recently, my teaching of black history did not go beyond schemes of work on the transatlantic slave trade and the civil rights movement in the USA. This all changed in November 2017 when I heard Dr Miranda Kaufmann on the ‘BBC History Extra’...

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  • Cunning Plan 173: using Black Tudors as a window into Tudor England

    Article

    On 29 September 2018 I was fortunate enough to get involved with a collaborative project with Dr Miranda Kaufmann, the Historical Association, Schools History Project, and a brilliant group of people from different backgrounds all committed to teaching about black Tudors. In this short piece, I will share how I...

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  • Seeing beyond the frame

    Article

    History teachers frequently show pupils visual images and often expect pupils to interrogate such images as evidence. But confusions arise and opportunities are missed when pupils do this without guidance on how to ‘read’ the image systematically and how to place it in context. Barbara Ormond gives a detailed account...

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  • The particular and the general

    Article

    When your pupils use terms such as ‘king’ and ‘Parliament,’ what image do they have in their head? Do they know what they are talking about at all? Do they have a nuanced, period-specific vision of what these terms mean in the context of their current historical studies, and of...

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  • Using sites for insights

    Article

    Working alongside local history teachers to prepare for the new GCSE specifications Steve Illingworth and Emma Manners were struck that many teachers were concerned about two issues in particular: the breadth and depth of knowledge demanded and new forms of assessment, especially the historic environment paper. In this article they...

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  • Polychronicon 161: John Lilburne

    Article

    John Lilburne might have been destined for obscurity in less interesting times. He was the second son of a minor gentry family, apprenticed to a London woollen merchant in 1632. It was his master’s connections that drew him into religious opposition to Charles I and the illegal book trade, resulting...

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  • Podcast Series: The Tudors

    Multipage Article

    An HA Podcasted History of the Tudors featuring Dr Sue Doran, Dr Steven Gunn, Dr Michael Everett & Dr Anna Whitelock.

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  • HA Podcast Series: James VI & I to Anne

    Multipage Article

    In this series of podcasts we look at British and Irish History from the Union of the Crowns to Queen Anne. This series features: Mr Simon Healy, Dr Frank Tallett, Professor Jackie Eales, Dr Andrew Hopper, Professor Michael Braddick, Dr Jason Peacey, Professor Peter Gaunt, Professor Barry Coward, Professor John...

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  • Bristol and the Slave Trade

    Article

    Captain Thomas Wyndham of Marshfield Park in Somerset was on voyage to Barbary where he sailed from Kingroad, near Bristol, with three ships full of goods and slaves thus beginning the association of African Trade and Bristol. In the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Bristol was not a place of...

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