Elizabethan prisoners

Imprisonment, execution and escape

Imprisonment, execution and escape

Updated 25 March. In line with Public Health England guidance, we have taken the decision to close all six of our palaces and gardens until 31st May. We will be reviewing this and will keep you updated. Please read our statement for further information. Read our statement

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

Book your school visit

Session notes for teachers

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

Download session notes for teachers

Chronology: Elizabethan religious upheaval

Download timeline (.pdf) Download timeline (.doc)

Claimants to the English Throne in 1562: Family tree

Download family tree

Key characters: Elizabethan religious upheaval

Download key characters (.pdf) Download key characters (.doc)