When Henry VIII instigated the dissolution of the monasteries, it caused religious upheaval and the break-up of the Church’s large estates. Religious tensions continued throughout the Tudor and Stuart period and were a contributing factor in the Civil War.
In the Tudor period, trade increased and, in Shrewsbury, wool merchants became particularly prosperous. Many of these merchants built large new houses, some of which still stand today. The transfer of church land into private hands also increased the wealth of some families and prompted changes in land use. New types of records, such as parish registers, were introduced during the Tudor period. Many of these documents survive and are in Shropshire Archives. These collections can give us clues and information about local people.
Increases in taxation, such as ‘ship money’ introduced by Charles I, arguments between the King and Parliament and religious differences, were all elements of discontent which led to the Civil War. This war affected many Shropshire families who had to decide whether to support either Parliament or the King.