Tudors come to life as a royal event is staged in Leeds

DRAMA: The Kings fool leaps into action. PIC: Scott Merrylees
DRAMA: The Kings fool leaps into action. PIC: Scott Merrylees
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ONE of Leeds’s premier attractions went back in time at the weekend with a dramatic series of reconstructions.

On Saturday and yesterday, the Royal Armouries Museum presented an exciting Tudor-themed event.

To mark the 470th anniversary of the death of King Henry VIII (1491-1547), the museum held an action-packed weekend of dramatic performances, combat demonstrations, historical music and family activities to bring the period to life.

The death of King Henry VIII was a tense and dangerous time in England’s history. With wars in Scotland and France, insurrection at home, a boy king, and courtiers battling for power, the saga has the makings of a Shakespearian tragedy.

There were fight demonstrations on display over the weekend, including a unique Elizabethan barrier combat and a two-handed sword combat, popular amongst courtiers in the Tudor and Stuart periods. As well as activities to entertain all of the family, the museum also houses in its collection a number of significant objects from the Tudor period.

Highlights include the Foot Combat and Tonlet Armours of a young King Henry VIII, the Horned Helmet given to Henry by Emperor Maximillian I, and the elaborate armours of Queen Elizabeth I’s courtiers, including that of the Queen’s favourite, the Earl of Leicester.

Mark Jackson, Events and Informal Learning Manager at the Royal Armouries, said: “The founding of the Royal Armouries collection dates from the reign of Elizabeth I in the 16th century and the Tudor items we have on display are remarkable. The Interpretation Team at the museum have been busy learning new styles of combat from the period.”

Paula Dillon, President of Leeds Chamber Commerce.

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