The Line of Kings Exhibition

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Art ・Harvard ・15 Sources

The Line of Kings is a museum set up in the 17th century and is among the first exhibition sites. This shape was started through the Royal Armories in courtesy of King James II to endorse the restored kingdom. In this section, the celebrated armors are presented in the structure of wooden figures. However, queens and less brand new monarchs are not displayed in this structure when you consider that they did not play a vital position as far as the royal message is concerned. For many years, the Line of Kings has been reorganized in numerous instances. Because of the above rearrangement, it

has been easy to enjoy an exhibit that amalgamates the fascinating story of the Tower with the great objects and their unique histories. Otherwise, this paper will revolve around figures of James II, Charles I and Henry and demonstrate their ideas regarding the national identity (Jordan & Walsh 2016).

The Henry VIII’s Carving

In the Line of Kings, there exists a wooden carving of Henry VIII that is in the form of monarch’s likeness. Indeed, this exhibit represents among the outstanding figures in the account of the English dominion. The presence of Henry VIII’s statuette makes people have an urge of undertaking investigation concerning this leader. For instance, this king is remembered of being a tyrant, the termination of the monasteries and for splitting with papal influence in Rome. For example, during the time Henry got into power in 1509, he was very striking and had lots of physical energy, the features which made him famous within a short time (Holmes 2014).

As a national principal, Henry has attained various achievements. First, he was accountable for the restructuring of England hence starting the Church of England where he served as the supreme head. Moreover, he offered support to the governmental administration through broadening representation and widening the concessions of both Houses. This leader has also reinforced the establishment of the monarchy and facilitated the creation of new look of nationalized distinctiveness and also refurbished mechanism of the state through introducing efficient and progressive taxation schemes (Greif & Rubin 2014). Moreover, Henry has created the most splendid court in the history of England as well as offering support to arts hence popularizing the portraiture skills. Henry has managed to build and remodel 70 erected fortresses and palaces alongside the south coast, the structures which attract lots of tourists from the foreign nations. More importantly, Henry is remembered to being the earliest English King to empower the transformation of Bible into English (Carpenter & Prior 2015).

On the other hand, King Henry had admirable qualities while in his leadership. For instance, he was an expert polyglot, superlative sportsman, an astronomer, a humanist, a composer and competent musician, a learned theologian, and a talented horseman. This man had the capability of turning his hand to anything from mathematics to technology to designing weapons; from inventing medicines to making bricks and drawing maps. However, Henry’s real greatness appears in his functional capacity, self-restraint, and his acute political views that caused him confine. With all above skills, this King had brought about various improvements in England in the fields of medicine, sports, and astronomy among others (King 2017).

In the global view, Henry VIII is remembered for numerous achievements. For instance, he is the prime initiator of the English navy, a warship fleet which had the standing military force. This troop paved the way for Britain to dominate the seas. In the absence of his intervention, the triumph of Elizabeth over the Spanish Armada and the improvement of the England outposts would never have been realized. Moreover, Henry also elevated the status of England in Europe through consistently doing all things possible to retain a balance of power amid his rivals such as the Francis I, France and Charles V- the Holy Roman Emperor. Furthermore, his reforms are recognized to make Protestantism attain its commanding purchase on the English-tongue world (Meyer 2014).

Additionally, Henry has transformed the face, heart, and mind of Britain more than anything between the factory era and the Normans age. For instance, during the leadership of his children, Elizabeth I, Mary I and Edward VI, his legend got embedded in the state perception, and “Great Harry” was particularly praised for freeing the English Church from the Rome’s autocracy. Currently, historians appreciate Henry’s reign for the above extraordinary legacy. Nonetheless, despite the fact that Henry started his ruling in an ancient empire, he managed to modernize his state, and this is the reason why the citizens say that they are residing in the Henry VIII’s England (Delahunty 2014).

King Charles I

The carving of King Charles is also found in the Line of Kings museum. This man was a king of Ireland, Scotland, and England in between 1625 and 1649. There exist numerous traits which makes Charles I be recognized as far as national matters are concerned. First, he was a dictator who believed in the heavenly power of kings hence opting to monitor his territories based on his rules and directives. This gentleman had no regards for the opinions and ideas of his subjects who started to dislike him for his dictatorship and despotism. Moreover, Charles I was a very religious person who offered support to high church ecclesiastics and therefore earned the distrust from reformed groups such as the Calvinists and Puritans (Koehler 2015).

During his reign, Charles I was involved in various activities which had lots implications in areas where he ruled. Despite him being not a popular leader from the very begging, the initial years of his leadership were marked by political conflicts and turbulence with the assembly. For instance, he engaged in battles with Spain and France at the same period, and this aspect roused his dislike by all members of the community. Moreover, Charles I was an authoritarian who had strong faith in the unconditional clouts of the emperor. Because of his autocracy, he dismissed the parliaments three times in between 1625 to 1629. After dissolving the legislature in 1629, Charles opted to rule alone, and due to this issue, he was forced to raise revenue by non-parliamentary means hence subjecting citizens to financial-based burdens (Rosenstock 2014).

Over the 1630s, Charles I raised revenue from different means such as forced loans, impositions, ship money, wardship as well as through misuse of forest decrees. Nonetheless, in 1639, he was involved in a fight against Scotland though the urge for extensive funding made him summon a parliament in 1640 to attain money for battling the opponents. Furthermore, he contributed to the establishment of Irish uprising which strained the connections between the legislature and the king thus causing political tensions. Nevertheless, this person struggled to arrest five members of parliament hence making the soaring nervousness to proceed to the 1642’s English Civil War which was happening in between the Parliament and King Charles I’s supporters. The first English Civil War occurred in between 1642 and 1646 whereas the send transpired in 1648-1649. At this point, Charles’s enthusiasts were deployed in both battles hence the King was tried for treason following the end of the second civil confrontation. This period marked the end of the leadership of King Charles I (Pearce 2017).

However, Charles I had a tremendous martial power, and he virtually established a navy from a little begging, and he also managed to produce high throne’s heirs such as Charles II and James I. Furthermore, he was recognized for having top levies for paying his militias as well as getting rid of the assembly. Charles I attempted to force his faith on other nations, a thing that eventually led to the English Civil battle. Indeed, this king was much hated by people to the extent of receiving a public execution in front of the vast multitude (Mercer 2016).

James II’s Figure

The James II’s carving is another object that is present in the Line of Kings’ museum. This gentleman was born on 14th October 1633 by Charles I and Henrietta Maria. He was the second son of King Charles I and in his early days, there was English Civil War. James comes into power after succeeding his brother Charles I in 1685. While in the government, James tried to change his nation to complete Catholicism, a thing that led to 1688 Revolution (Carley 2015).

However, James II has done many things which shaped the country which he was ruling. For instance, he halted Anglo-Spanish battle that involved Spain and England. This fight was a multiple on and off conflicts amid two nations, and it was caused by the religion-based arguments by Elizabeth I of England and Philip of Spain. After ending the war, James II struggle to ascertain his kingdom is at peace as well as ensuring that his citizens are safe (McIlwain 2017).

Moreover, James II was viewed to have supported Dred Scoot resolution of the Supreme Court, which denoted that slaves should not be considered as citizens of the United States irrespective of the being living free or as slaves. The above decision of the court was persuaded by Buchanan, who put a demand that the Northern justice is a southerner. This decision is believed to have escalated tension between the involved individuals hence leading to conflict amid the northerners and southerners (Kettner 2014).

Additionally, King James II was explicitly practicing Catholicism, and this is the reason why he surrounded himself with Jesuit priests and Catholics who swayed his course of actions. Moreover, this person had an army camped outside London and it was administered Catholics who enforced order during the enactment of unpopular laws. The above aspect is argued to have contributed to the accusation of Catholic being tyrannical hence inciting rebellion. Similarly, the confinement of the prince to be raised concerning Catholic’s principles led to the revolution in England. The action of putting extra emphasis on Catholicism stirred fear that this religion was getting a foothold and it can at any time back in full power in the country. Indeed, the ruling of King James II will always be remembered for exceptional support of Catholicism and existence of various rebellions (Middleton 2015).


Carley, J.P., 2015. The Libraries of King Henry VIII: an update of the Westminster inventory of 1542. The Library, 16(3), pp.282-303.

Carpenter, D. and Prior, D., 2015. Magna Carta Parliament.

Delahunty, R.J., 2014. The Conscience of a King: Law, Religion, and War in Shakespeare's King Henry V. J. Cath. Leg. Stud., 53, p.129.

Greif, A. and Rubin, J., 2014. Endogenous Political Legitimacy: The English Reformation and the Institutional Foundations of Limited Government. Working paper, Stanford University.

Holmes, C., 2014. The Lost Prince: The Life & Death of Henry Stuart (London, National Portrait Gallery, 18 October 2012–13 January 2013). Catalogue The Lost Prince: The Life & Death of Henry Stuart, ed. Catharine MacLeod. London: National Portrait Gallery, 2012. 193 pp. with 82 color plates & 28 color illus.£ 30.00. ISBN: 978‐1855144583. Renaissance Studies, 28(3), pp.469-474.

Jordan, D. and Walsh, M., 2016. The King's Revenge: Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History. Pegasus Books.

Kettner, J.H., 2014. The development of American citizenship, 1608-1870. UNC Press Books.

King, R., 2017. Cymbeline: constructions of Britain. Routledge.

Koehler, N.C., 2015. The impenetrable persona: The one thousand faces of the last Valois king, Henri III of France. Michigan State University.

McIlwain, C.H., 2017. Constitutionalism: ancient and modern. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.

Mercer, M., 2016. Shaping the Ordnance Office Collections at the Tower of London: The impact of colonial expansion, diplomacy, and donation in the early nineteenth century. Museum History Journal, 9(2), pp.153-167.

Meyer, A.M., 2014. The Politics of Queenship in Francis Bacon's The History of the Reign of King Henry VII and John Ford's Perkin Warbeck. Studies in Philology, 111(2), pp.312-345.

Middleton, J., 2015. World monarchies and dynasties. Routledge.

Pearce, S., 2017. Museums, objects, and collections: A cultural study. Smithsonian Institution.

Rosenstock, J.P., 2014. INTERACTIVE MAP AND TIMELINE APPLICATION FOR THE KNIGHTS! EXHIBITION AT WORCESTER ART MUSEUM (Doctoral dissertation, Worcester Polytechnic Institute).


  1. Charles I
  2. James II
  3. King Henry VIII
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