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To What extent was Henry VII 's Reign Distinguished by Sober Statesmanship?

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Introduction

To What extent was Henry VII 's Reign Distinguished by Sober Statesmanship? The first of the Tudor kings, Henry VII defeated Richard III at the battle of Bosworth on 22nd August 1485. Henry was born to Edmund Tudor and Margaret Beaufort, (though his father was killed before his birth and his mother was only 13). He spent 14 years in Wales and then another 14 in exile in France before making his bid for the throne. Early in 1486 he married Elizabeth of York, Edward IV's daughter and united the two houses of York and Lancaster. His reign lasted from 1485 to 1509 when the crown passed to his more famous son, Henry VIII. The Wars of the Roses (1455-1487) is the name given to the civil war fought over the throne of England between adherents of the House of Lancaster and the House of York. Both houses were branches of the Plantagenet royal house, tracing their descent from King Edward III. The name Wars of the Roses was not used at the time, but has its origins in the badges chosen by the two royal houses, the Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York. The Wars were fought largely by armies of mounted knights and their feudal retainers. The House of Lancaster found most of its support in the north and west of the country, while support for the House of York came mainly from the south and east. ...read more.

Middle

and had successfully denied all the other claimants to his throne. A marriage treaty with Spain was finalised in July 1499, indicating Spain's acceptance of Henry's power. Also in 1501 Henry promised his daughter Margaret to James IV of Scotland as part of the treaty of Ayton and they were duly married in August 1503. This treaty marked a general improvement in Anglo- Scots relations although the potential for problems remained, especially if Anglo-French relations deteriorated. A series of deaths from 1502 put Henry in a difficult position, Henry needed to be actively involved in European affairs in order to safeguard his and England's position. The first death was of Henry's heir, Prince Arthur in 1502. There was suddenly a real doubt about the future of the Tudor dynasty, which now depended on eleven-year-old Prince Henry. The death of Arthur endangered the Anglo- Spanish alliance that rested on the Prince's marriage wit Catherine of Aragon. Henry swiftly proposed that Catherine marry his new heir but Ferdinand of Spain was now in a more dominant position. Henry was in much more need of the marriage but Spain was now at peace with France and therefore less in need of the English to support them. Ferdinand demanded better terms and Henry tried to limit them until 1503, Franco- Spanish relations again deteriorated. Ferdinand now had to agree to the English terms, inaugurating a strong anti- France coalition of Spain, England and the Netherlands. ...read more.

Conclusion

Unlike Edward IV, Henry rarely gave away lands to his supporters, so as he seized new estates through Acts Of Attainer, escheats and one - to -one agreements with nobleman. Henry not only became chief landowner in England, but also the largest single landowner for over five hundred years. As head of the legal system, the king was also entitled to money raised from finanical penalties imposed on convicted criminals. Henry also benefited from the receipts from tonnage (import tax) and poundage (export duty). Both of these were granted to the king for life by Parliament at the start of Henry's reign. The church also made infrequent contributions to royal finances, usually to help finance against wars against the enemies of the Pope. Henry had a range of sources for finances. Henry's revenues came from a combination of all the the following : rents from royal estates, fines imposed by his courts, loans from his nobles and parliamentary grants of taxation. From this we can say that Henry was a successful King. Firstly from uniting the Houses of York and Lancaster together which kept peace in England. Henry also kept peace between European countries due to marriage treaties such as the one with Spain, thus giving England support if war was to take place. Henry's reign also helped the trade industries for example the wollen industry gained continuous strength in the economy. It became the biggest sector of the export market, accounting for about 90% of all goods leaving English shores. ?? ?? ?? ?? Clare Worsfold ...read more.

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