Henry VII

Henry VII

The reign of The Tudors was from 1485 to 1603 beginning with Henry VII and ending with Elizabeth I of England. The Tudors rose to power following The War of The Roses between Yorkshire and Lancashire. Henry used his Welsh ancestry to gain safe passage through Wales to Bosworth Field. Some of the most colourful and notorious kings and queens reigned in this period.

Henry VII

Henry VII ascended to the throne of England in 1485 and was the first king of the Tudor dynasty. After defeating Richard III at The Battle of Bosworth Field Henry took his place on the throne. He would be the last king to take up the throne following battle. Henry was a devoted king who brought stability to England making him popular amongst his followers. Henry’s financial matters were somewhat questionable and following his death after twenty four years on the throne he was accused of widespread abuse in this regard but during his reign his fiscal policy was much admired.


Elizabeth of York

Henry married Elizabeth of York in 1483. This was a wise move as it ensured that the house of York and the House of Lancaster would be united bringing an end to hostilities. The Tudor rose that is recognisable today is a rose that brings together the white Yorkshire rose and the red Lancashire rose into one combined flower incorporating both colours. Henry made a wise move by claiming himself as king before the Battle of Bosworth field. This also made opponents consider changing allegiances as anyone on the opposing side when the battle was over would surely be tried for treason.

Henry had to fight off many rebellions during his reign including,

The Stafford and Lovell Rebellion in 1486 that he quashed

The Yorkist’s Rebellion of 1487 in support of Lambert Simnel

The 1490 Rebellion by Fleming Perkin Warbeck who claimed to be one of the prices in the tower who were long dead

As far as war was concerned Henry VII wanted none of it he wanted peace and tried very hard to have good relationships with other countries. Henry did however rebuild the much depleted navy making it a force to be reckoned with. He formed many alliances with foreign governments and one alliance that suited him personally was with Pope Innocent VIII whom he persuaded to issue a decree excommunicating anyone from the Catholic Church who dared to make any attempt to overthrow Henry’s throne.

Henry VII and Elizabeth had four children,

Arthur Tudor, Price of Wales, husband of Catherine of Aragon.

Margaret Tudor, great grandmother of James I of England.

Henry VIII successor to Henry VII

Mary Tudor, Queen of France.

Arthur Tudor died in 1502 making Henry the heir to the English throne.

Henry VII died on 21st April 1509 at Richmond Palace from TB. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. When judging the legacy of his reign Henry VII has been compared favourably to Louis XI of France. Certainly he was the first great king of what would be a revered era in the reign of Tudor kings and queens.

Read more about Henry VII at The BBC History website

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