• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Free essay

    To what extent did Henry VII reduce the power of the nobility

    4 star(s)

    in fact had an increase in power through means of influence and advice. Pendrill states that Henry made use of 43 peers throughout his reign, which is close to 80% of the total peerage, giving way to the idea that the Nobility did increase or atleast stayed at the same

  2. What problems did Elizabeth I face at the begining of her reign?

    Elizabeth began her reign by facing a difficult religious decision; what official religion should the country have? Her largest problem in making this choice was that she was a Protestant whereas England had previously been Catholic under Mary's control. She could either follow her brother Edward's example of Protestantism or continue with Mary's Catholic rule.

  1. By what means, and how successfully did Henry VII improve Royal Finances?

    the realm, which he distributed to his nobles in return for their loyalty and service. As their overlord, the King could demand a payment whenever changes took place in landholding arrangements.' This paved the way for the exploitation of his nobles in order to gain revenue.

  2. Securing the Tudor Dynasty: The Reign of Henry VII.

    c) What evidence in Source 1 supports the view of the authors of Source 5 that 'dynastic threats dominated Henry's dealings with foreign powers'. Source 5 seems to stress emphasis on how pretenders to the English throne were so threatening to Henry and his dynasty, especially as they involved foreign powers "his succession against a series of claimants".

  1. This essay examines the actions of Charles VII in relation to events pertaining to ...

    He maintained three major voices: instability, distrust, and, the worst of them all, envy of others." As long as Charles mistrusted what he felt and thought, he could feel for others only mistrust and envy.17 Such anxieties caused him to be easily manipulated by his advisers as seen on several occasions and agreed upon by both English and French scholars.

  2. Wives & War: To what extent did these two aspects undermine Henry VIIIs rule ...

    throne, as he never received training to become king unlike is older brother Arthur who was descended to claim the throne, Henry was always expected to enter into a profession with the church. Due to the terms that his father before him Henry VII arguably received the throne through aggression

  1. How Successful was Edward Carson in His Defense of Unionism During The Third Home ...

    On the 11th of August, the King handed Asquith a 400 word memorandum had had complied after reading Bonar-Law-Lansdowne document. Asquith?s response could not have been more blunt when he made it clear beyond all reasonable doubt that the King should ?not depart from constitutional precedent and should not, therefore, contemplate any intervention in the Home Rule crisis.

  2. Within the context of the period 1337-1471, to what extent can Henry VI be ...

    Gillingham, however, paints a very positive portrayal of Henry VI?s minority. He concludes that it was ?evidence showing that in fifteenth century England there existed a stable political system, containing in the council an institutional framework within which tensions could be contained and resolved.? K.B.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work