Her/His Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London (and historically as The Tower or The White Tower), is a historic fortress and monument in central London, England, on the north bank of the River Thames. It is located within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and is separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It is the oldest building used by the British government.
The tower's primary function was a fortress, a royal palace, and a prison (particularly for high status and royal prisoners, such as the deposed King Edward V and his brother ("Princes in the Tower"), and the future Queen Elizabeth I). This last use has led to the phrase "sent to the Tower" (meaning "imprisoned"). It has also served as a place of execution and torture, an armory, a treasury, a zoo, the Royal Mint, a public records office, an observatory, and since 1303, the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.
Tower of London in Ruled BritanniaEdit
Queen Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London twice, first during the reign of her half-sister and predecessor, Mary Tudor, and then after Spain conquered England in 1588. In 1598, a mob of English rebels led by Sir Robert Devereux stormed the Tower and released Elizabeth, then restored her to the throne after expelling the Spanish from England.
Elizabeth herself had imprisoned her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, in the Tower before executing her in 1587.