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By what means and what success did Henry VII establish the primacy over the Over Mighty Nobles?

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Introduction

By what means and what success did Henry VII establish the primacy over the Over Mighty Nobles? The nobility were near the top of the hierarchy of the feudal system; they were of high social class and owned large amount of land or held office. The king relied heavily on his nobility to run the country and provide law and order, because local government and local policing were not employed or run by the king. They all had originally been granted land and titles in return for service in the established feudal tradition. The nobility also retained men meaning that they could call up men who voluntarily contracted and obliged to fight, so since there was no British army at the time the king did rely on the nobility to provide solider when needed. As you can see the nobility had main stream control of their community, so it is no surprise that these nobles could become over mighty as seen in Richard III reign for example Henry Stafford of Buckingham plotted to over throw Richard III. ...read more.

Middle

Another way for Henry to gain control of disloyal and over mighty nobles were making them sign a written document binding them to give money if they broke the condition of the bond. Henry made the leading men of the country sign these, this meant they were at his mercy if they broke the contract which could lead to crippling fines. For example Marquis of Dorset was believed to have a connection with the Simnel conspiracy and was made to sign a bond totalling to �10,000 as a pledge of good behaviour. Some other ways of getting elegance from the nobility was to gain recognisance which was a formal debt or some sort of obligation; it could be enforced by means of heavy penalties. Livery and Maintenance were neither new practise and they have been in use for generations; kings before Henry had also tried to control both practises. Livery was the badger from a gentleman's or nobleman's coat of arm which was sign that they were in service. ...read more.

Conclusion

In my opinion I believe that Henry did succeed in controlling the nobility not by limiting the number of peerage he handed out but how he enforced law against them to stop rebellions. Henry did recognise that the nobility was a important factor in running the country however he did place limits that were not so severe that it would cause an uproar but enough to stop the over mighty nobles from causing an uprising. Henry calculated mercy was especially a key factor in keeping the nobility feeling that Henry was not anti noble but also Henry was able to gain a lot of loyalty from it as well. Murphy concluded that 'Early Tudor England was a society that believed in good rule from above and in providing this for his subject Henry VII nobility played a key role'. Following on from this I would also agree that the relationship between nobility and King was a better than those in the War of the Roses and Henry had successfully maintained control of the nobility. ...read more.

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