Henry VII's early rule

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  • Henry VII's early rule
    • Battle of Bosworth
      • Henry Tudor defeated Yorkist King Richard III in August 1485. He ruled England as Henry VII until his death in 1509.
      • Unlikely to win.
        • He only had 5k men in comparison to Richard's 10k, had never led troops into battle and nobody knew who he was.
        • Richard had a stronger army and more experience in battle. His forces had arrived 1st and gained the better position on the hill.
        • Richard put his archers, protected by foot soldiers on the hillside where he could fire on Henry's advancing men. Richard led the cavalry.
      • Eventually won
        • Thomas and William Stanley after initially not getting involved, supported Henry with 3k additional men.
        • Their support was unclear at first due to the fact that Richard had taken Thomas' son hostage, had given them much land and was the likely winner. However, Thomas was married to Henry's mother.
        • Stanleys caught Richard by surprise and he was thrown from his horse and killed.
    • Weak position
      • Claim through his mother Margaret Beaufort, a descendent of Edward III by the marriage of his 3rd son, John of Gaunt. The children were initially illegitimate.
      • Henry's paternal grandmother was a French princess originally married to Henry V before marrying Owen Tudor, Henry's grandfather.
      • Claim to the throne was through a woman, and through illegitimate descent.
    • Strengthening his position
      • He dated his reign from the day before Bosworth so those who fought against him were traitors. They could have their land seized, improving Henry's wealth.
      • His coronation was on 30 October before parliament met, so it couldn't be claimed he was only king because of them.
      • He got papal dispensation to marry EoY, a distant cousin, to unite houses of Lancaster and York.
      • Married occurred on 18 January 1486, after he was crowned  so it couldn't be claimed he owed the throne to his wife.
      • Henry offered Yorkists who supported Richard at Bosworth a 2nd chance, with the DoN restored to his old position to control the north.
        • Encouraged other Yorkists to support Henry.
    • Strong position
      • Richard had been unpopular, especially as he was rumoured to have killed the Princes in the Tower to take the throne.
      • Country was weary of war after the Wars of the Roses and might support Henry if he offered peace.
      • Richard was dead, as was many Yorkists with a better claim (as was shown by pretenders).
      • Henry hadn't depended on another noble family to help him take the throne.


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