H and nobility (part 1)

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  • Henry VII and the nobility
    • The 'problem' of the nobility
      • WoR meant that many could be against Henry- would have to assert authority over them
        • To make this easier, H deliberately kept peerage small by limiting no of new lords created- unusual Henry VIII and Ed IV nobility's grew
          • Limited noble class=easier to control
          • Rarely elevated people to upper levels of society= prized honour and distinction when it did
          • Title often brought large estates (usu given from Crown Lands) - peer creation= income loss for King
          • Henry only created 3 new Earls: Lord Stanley (stepdad)= Earl of Derby, Philibert de Chandee (helped at Bos)= Earl of Bath, Sir Edward Courtenay= Earl of Devon
            • H- 1 viscount, 8 barons         E- 2 viscounts, 13 barons
            • Peerage shrank from around 62 (1485) to about 42 (1509) - not all due to Henry
      • Asserting Control
        • Loyals rewarded, enemies punished severly- but could redeem themselves
        • Lands that came to Crown from extinct noble families not given away again- retrained and kept by Henry
        • H controlled marriages of his nobles- ensured magnates didn't link themselves to powerful families as this would create dangerous power blocs
          • Nobles had to ask H for permission from king
        • Powerful subjects e.g Percy earls of Northumberland and Stafford dukes of Buckingham were kept under surveillance
          • Even closely related families like Stanley earls and Derby (who owed much for his throne) were kept firmly in check
          • NB: H gave a chance to current nobles to prove loyalty to H and keep their titles- would get H more respect
      • Henry's attitude towards the nobility
        • Though H was constantly suspicious of nobility, he did recognise the noble's importance to him- could use their armies for controlling provinces- so would reward them if they were loyal
        • H kept nobility close to him so he could keep an eye on them- while the nobles where involved in court- H had some clear favourites and clearly v suspicious of them all- caused tension and resentment
    • Rewards and Incentives
      • Patronage- giving positions of power (e.g lands and titles). H gave patronage as reward of good service
        • 1. Earl of Oxford became major land owner in East Anglia
        • 2. Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby retained control of Lanc + Cheshire
        • 3. Jasper Tudor made made Duke of Beford- restored to his welsh estates too
        • Successes: , win nobles to his cause, rewarded gentry+nlty, rewarded loyalty+good service
        • Failures: H was stingy- demotivating, Nobility members felt H had favourites
      • Order of the Garter- Honour given to H's closest servants
        • 1. Ultimate honour- seen as 'peerage'
        • Allowed H to give status- but no land
        • H created 37 Knights of the Garter- over half close associates in war+govern e.g Earl of Oxf
        • Success: ultimate mark of favour Failure: too unattainable?
      • King's Council- position as King's councillor= sign of K's trust. Emphasis on loyalty to trusted servants
        • 1. Richard Fox made keeper of Privy Seal 1497(-1516)
        • Chancellors Morton and Warham held their positions for long time
        • Treasurer= Lord Dinham and then Earl of Surrey
        • Successes: skilled ppl not just nobility, in this position for long time Failures: some nobility resented it, H unwilling to trust others
      • King's Council- meetings of noblemen called to discuss issues and emergencies (faster than parliament)= form of control for the K
        • Successes: nobles felt they had a say as it didn't exclude them from decision making, way for K to get support of highest subjects and if policies were controversial, they couldn't critic it as they'd already agreed
          • Failures: Henry could overturn their decisions


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