top of page


The English Chess Pieces are based on historic national figures and symbols.

King - Henry VIII, Probably the most well known of England's historic monarchs, Henry the eighth was the second son of the first Tudor king Henry VII. Best known for his marital problems (divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived) Henry was also hugely intelligent, speaking multiple languages and he was also a fantastic military commander. Leading the English to victory against France in The Battle of the Spurs, later at the Siege of Boulogne. Henry was also the trigger point for the English reformation. His readings in theology and leanings towards Protestantism, his wish to divorce his brothers wife Catherine in order to gain an heir clashed with the Popes allegiance to Spain, and led Henry to walk away from the Catholic church and become the first monarch in England not to be ruled by Rome.

Queen - Elizabeth I. Elizabeth was the second daughter of Henry VIII, born of his second wife, Anne Boleyn. She became the queen of a fractured country at 25 years old and ruled until her death 45 years later at the age of 69. Elizabeth inherited her intelligence from both her parents, speaking several languages and having a vast understanding of theological and political topics. during her 45 year reign she fought off multiple plots against her, led the defeat of the Spanish Armada, over saw the expansion into the New World, opened trade routes into the orient and brought about the unification of the Scots and English Crowns under her successor the Scottish King James VI who also became James I of England. During her reign the country found a sense of peace and prosperity, with great arts movements and increased education of the common people, and a sense of unity that had been missing since before the Wars of the Roses. 

Bishop - Thomas Becket. Born a simple London merchants son, Thomas rose from his humble beginnings to a career at the head of the English church as Archbishop of Canterbury. He was well known as the best friend and advisor to King Henry II. Unfortunately, this friendship eventually turned sour over church privileges. At the time the church was increasingly seen as being above the laws of the land. Refusing to accept Henry's authority, Becket was called a traitor leading to the kings infamous words "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?". Taking this as a royal order, four knights rode forthwith to Canterbury where Becket was slaughtered while kneeling at prayer. With his death, Becket became a martyr to the faith and his shrine became the most important place of pilgrimage in England.  


Knight - Sir Francis Drake. Drake was an English sea captain, adventurer and privateer (a commissioned pirate). He was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth and it was even rumored that she considered him marriage material despite his much younger age. He was knighted by Elizabeth in 1581 aboard his ship the Golden Hind  He was a thorn in the side of the Spanish navy during much of his life and famously during the Spanish Armada of 1588 and was known in Spain as El Draque or The Dragon. Drake personified the Tudor spirit of adventure and is credited with being the first ships captain to circumnavigate the globe.


Rook - English Norman Tower. Following his victory at the battle of Hastings, William of Normandy took the throne of the defeated king Harold just as he had been promised by king Harold's predecessor 'Edward the Confessor'. William wasted no time in replacing the English aristocracy with his French Norman allies. French Norman style churches and castles were speedily built as dominating signs of who was now in charge. The Norman tower was a symbol of strength, power and domination over the countryside and people within it. 


Pawn - English Rose. For 32 years between 1455 and 1487 England was in turmoil as two branches of Edward III's descendants fought for control of the crown and the country. This period of unrest was best known as the 'Wars of the Roses'. This name came from the fact that the Lancastrians on one side used a red rose as their emblem while their opponents, the Yorkists, used a white rose. After several members of each branch of these families became king and were deposed by a competitor from the other branch, the wars were finally ended by Henry Tudor. Henry was a distant member of the house of Lancaster and became king as Henry VII. He married the daughter of the Yorkist king Edward IV and thereby united the households under a new 'Tudor' Dynasty. The family emblems were also united as a Tudor rose.  

Set Dimensions

King Height - 120mm

Maximum Base Width - 40mm (All Pieces)

Set Weight (32 Pieces) - 3.0 kg

bottom of page