Why did Henry VII win the Battle of Bosworth?
There are a number of reasons why Henry VII won the Battle of Bosworth. Whilst there were political, military and economic reasons why Henry won, the political reasons held more weight.
There were long term political reasons that contributed significantly to Henry’s success. For instance, the marriage arranged by Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort that united Henry and Elizabeth of York. The marriage was publically announced by Henry in 1483 in the Rennes Chapel, Brittany. The marriage not only strengthened Henry’s claim to the thrown and increased his legitimacy, which was very important at this point in History, but it also increased Henry’s support. It did this by uniting the support of Elizabeth and Margaret who had previously been enemies. This gave Henry support on the Battlefield from not only Lancastrians but some Yorkists that had supported Edward V too, which naturally contributed to his victory as he had more people in England supporting him.
Henry’s exile to Brittany was also important in Henry’s success. During his 14 year exile in Brittany, Henry had been gathering a court in Paris as well as collecting troops for an invasion. It can be argued that due to the opinion that Henry Tudor might be useful in further negotiations with England, Henry VII had the support and protection of the Duke of Brittany. The implications of this and befriending welsh exiles were hugely beneficial to Henry. Through having this support Henry was able to collect 1,500 French mercenaries, over 1,000 welsh soldiers and had the support of 400-500 loyal welsh exiles. This support contributed largely to his total army of around 5,000. Without this support it seems that Henry would barely have had an army at all, so his exile to Brittany was hugely important to his win at the Battle of Bosworth.