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The child is invited to take part in a joust during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. They have to choose a shield, a horse, some armour and a game plan. The game offers a chance to face three opponents: Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester; George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland; and Sir Henry Lee, the Queen's Champion.

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  • Letters and speeches on jousting
  • A selection of coats of arms, including those of Jane Seymour and our favourite, Nicholas Bacon (his symbol is a pig)
  • A picture of a royal herald, 1560
  • Portraits of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
  • Armour designs for Sir Henry Lee and the Earl of Cumberland


Jousting in medieval times was semi–serious, as it bore some resemblance to real warfare. By the end of the 16th century, however, it was entirely anachronistic, as war was increasingly fought with guns. Jousting was a sport for the rich (Henry VIII was a keen jouster). The activity provides a fun insight into life at court, illustrates the gap between the lives of the rich and the poor, and shows how Tudor rulers used pageantry and ritual to bolster their position.

Supporting materials include:

  • Background information on jousting, heraldry, armour and jousting champions that pupils can use for research or help while playing the game. Alternatively, teachers may want to discuss this information with their pupils before they start the activity.

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The Tudors – Teacher's notes

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