Britain 1499 - 1506

In depth study into Britain 1483-1529.

This section is on

  • Foreign policy
  • Europe
  • The nobility
  • Controlling the nobility
  • Treaties

Foreign Policy

Henry VII's Aims in policy

  • Secure the throne
  • Acheieve international recognition
  • Promote prosperity
  • Maintain prestige whilst keeping costs down
  • England's security depended upon strong European allies
  • Therefore, Henry VII's foreign policy was vital to securing the throne
1 of 19


The superpowers in 1485

  • France
  • Spain
  • HRE
  • Burgundy
  • Italian states
2 of 19


Henry VII's foreign policy

  • Foreign policy was based on information from nobles and amateurs
  • This meant the information could have been wrong, meaning policies would have been ineffective
3 of 19

Foreign Policy

Success or failure?

  • Henry VII managed to get England
    - at peace with France
    - an ally of Spain
    - had support from HRE
  • However a series of deaths changed the succesfull position England was in
    - 1502 Prince Arthur
    - 1503 Queen Elizabeth
    - 1505 Isabella of Castile
    - 1506 Philip of Burgundy
4 of 19


England in Europe

  • England was a mid-ranking power at the start of Henry VII's reign
  • Henry VII lacked the power to dictate in foreign affairs
  • English foreign policy was therefore mainly defensive
5 of 19

England in Europe


  • Henry VII owed the Duke of Brittany for providing shelter during his exile
  • A commercial treaty was signed between England and Brittany
  • England later went to war with France over Brittany
6 of 19

England in Europe


  • Margaret of Burgundy was a main enemy of Henry VII
  • No diplomatic arrangements could ever be made between the two countries
  • However each country relied on the other for trade
  • Henry VII punished Burgundy for supporting a pretender by introducing the Trade Embargo
  • Trade was restored a few years later
7 of 19

England in Europe


  • Henry VII owed Charles VIII of France for aiding him during his exile and at the battle of Bosworth
  • Although when France attacked Brittany, Henry VII was also in debt to Brittany
  • The Treaty of Etaples restored peace between the two countries
  • France had strong connections with Scotland too through the Auld Alliance
8 of 19

England in Europe

Holy Roman Emperor

  • The HRE was traditionally anti-French and was angered by the Anglo-French coalition
  • Henry VII wanted an alliance with the HRE to minimise the chance of a Franco-Spanish alliance
  • However, nothing new came of this, aside from an extension of Edward IV's treaty with the HRE
9 of 19

England in Europe


  • Ireland was controlled by the Earl of Kildare, who was traditionally Yorkist
  • No agreement was ever made between Kildare and Henry VII
  • Henry VII kept Kildare's son at court however, to ensure his loyalty
10 of 19

England in Europe

The Pope

  • The Pope gave Henry VII his support from the beginning of his reign
  • Henry VII was recognised by the Pope through the Papal Bull
  • Any claims against Henry VII were ignored by the Pope
11 of 19

England in Europe


  • The marriage of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon meant that Spain was a threatening superpower
  • Henry VII feared a Franco-Spainish alliance against England
  • However, Spain was far too interested in reclaiming French lands for this alliance to ever be considered
  • The problem with Spain began when Isabella of Castile died
  • Ferdinand of Aragon an Philip of Burgundy both had claims and both claimed the leadership of Castile
  • Henry VII had to choose to back one of the men
  • He chose Philip because:
    - It protected English trade with Burgundy
    - It provided an advantegous marriage between Prince Henry and Philip's daughter
    - It reduced the threat of pretenders
  • This support for Philip proved to be a problem when Philip died unexpectedly, a year later in 1506
12 of 19


Treaty of Readon

  • 1489
  • Between England, Spain and the HRE
  • Acted Anti-French to protect Brittany
13 of 19


Medina del Campo

  • 1489
  • Between England and Spain
  • Achieved international recognition for Henry VII
  • Ferdinand of Aragon and Henry VII agreed to support each other
  • Neither country could make an alliance or peace treaty with France without consent
  • Neither country could support pretenders
  • Prince Arthur was betrothed to Ferdinand's daughter, Catherine of Aragon
14 of 19


Treaty of Etaples

  • 1492
  • Between France and England
  • Resolved peace during the war over Brittany
  • A French pension of £5'000 paid to Henry annually was agreed
  • Charles VIII of France could not support pretenders
  • Henry VII had to withdraw troops from Brittany
15 of 19


Treaty of Ayton

  • 1497
  • Between England and Scotland
  • Agreed on Anglo-Scottish peace by Henry VII and James IV
  • Betrothal of Princess Margaret to Scottish King, James IV
16 of 19


Treaty of Blois

  • 1505
  • Between France and Spain
  • Louis XIII's niece of France betrothed to Ferdinand of Aragon
  • The Franco-Spainsh alliance Henry VII had been fearing
17 of 19


Treaty of Windsor

  • 1506
  • Between England and Philip of Burgundy
  • Arrangement of Intercursus Malus, which was abandoned later on
  • Henry VII recognised Philip as ruler of Castile
  • Henry VIII betrothed to Philip's sister
  • The treaty was abandoned upon Philip's death in the same year
18 of 19


Treaty of Cambrai

  • 1508
  • Between the HRE, France and Spain
  • Arranged an alliance against Italy
  • Henry VII was ignored from the treaty
  • This made him fear that this new alliance could turn anti-Tudor
19 of 19


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all British monarchy - Tudors and Stuarts resources »