Elizabethan prisoners

Imprisonment, execution and escape

Imprisonment, execution and escape

Updated 5 August. The Tower of London is open Wednesday - Sunday. All outdoor areas of the Tower of London are open, as well as the Crown Jewels, Bloody Tower, White Tower and more. Some buildings remain closed for now. See more details here

About this session

Key Stage 3 | Subject: History | Topics: Crime and Punishment, Elizabethans, Tudors | Session Type: Route-based

Is it treason to believe the ‘wrong’ thing? In this session students will explore consequences of religious turmoil during the reign of Elizabeth I.

Students will investigate the spaces used as prison cells, looking for signs of prisoners’ treatment, their beliefs, and their methods of potential escape.

Through the unique conditions in which Elizabethan religious prisoners lived and died, students will meet the real people affected by the shifting tides of religion during this turbulent Tudor period.

Learning objectives

Students will:

  • Investigate why people were imprisoned and punished for religious reasons during Elizabeth I’s reign.
    Consider why prisoners had different experiences in the Tower.

National Curriculum links

This session supports:

  • The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509-1745.
  • Understanding historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and using them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends and frame historically-valid questions.
  • Understanding how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.

Booking information

10.30, 12.00, 13.30
60 minutes
Up to 35 students
£95 plus admission

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Session notes for teachers

Key information about your school visit to the Tower of London.

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Chronology: Elizabethan religious upheaval

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Claimants to the English Throne in 1562: Family tree

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Key characters: Elizabethan religious upheaval

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