Henry VII - Consolidation of Power


Henry Tudor (Earl of Richmond), became king of England following his victory over Richard III’s forces at the Battle of Bosworth on 22nd August 1485. He had virtually no discernible claim to the throne and had many enemies who were only too keen to see him experience the same fate as his immediate predecessor.

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Battle of Bosworth

·         Henry specifically chose to land in Wales, and ‘slip in’ undetected

·         Richard’s army massively outnumbered Henry’s

·         22nd August 1485

·         William Stanley’s army joined Henry’s side as they were losing

·         Richard was swept away and brutally battered to death

·         William Stanley placed the crown on Henry’s head

·         Henry was an underdog-exiled in France

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Henry's Strengths

·         Landed in Pembroke in Wales, taking them by surprise

·         He gained support of one of the most powerful land owners in Wales, gaining more soldiers

·         He gained supporters in Shrewsbury and the midlands

·         The 5000 strong army collected together by Henry

·         Henry’s forces grouped together, and Duke of Norfolk was killed in the confusion

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How had Henry Prepared for Life as King?

·         Was brought up as an heir to a great noble title

·         Put under guardianship of William Herbert, the Yorkist Earl of Pembroke

·         Fled across the border to France, where he successfully manoeuvred among competing parties at the French court to get support in money, soldiers and ships to stage the invasion of 1485

·         His father died before he was born

·         Brittany – prisoner from age 14 – 27

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What was the Role of the King in Tudor England?

·         Set and collect taxes

·         Make laws

·         In charge of security

·         Provide a male heir

·         Fight in battles

·         Represent the country

·         Give out honours

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What Qualities Would a Tudor King Need?

·         Strong – physically

·         Reliable

·         Respected

·         Charismatic

·         Brave

·         Intelligent

·         Fair

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What Evidence is there to show Henry Would make a

·         Well-built and strong

·         He was a stabilizer

·         Fair king

·         High intelligence

·         His mind was brave and resolute

·         Likes to make money

·         Not a miser

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How does Henry Unite/Win People Over?

·         Met with Parliament – November 1485

·         Say his reign started 21st August 1485

·         Married Elizabeth of York

·         Plastered his family emblems in Westminster

·         Created the Tudor Rose

·         Creates very first pound coin

·         Associated the English shield with the Tudor Rose

·         Covers houses of Parliament with Beaufort Portcullis

·         Had a son called Arthur

·         Thomas Penn – in all of these decisions Henry is building a myth; rewriting history

·         Coin = form of mass media

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How Dangerous were Henry's Rivals to the Crown?

·         The de la Pole family – the sons had a claim to the throne at least as valid as Henry’s own

·         Margaret of Burgundy – A powerful dukedom in what is now part of the Netherlands and France

·         The Duke of Burgundy – quickly showed support for the Yorkists against Henry at various times during his reign

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Henry's Advantages

·         Wars of the Roses meant that members of the greater nobility were engaged in mutual destruction

·         Nobleman’s land returned to the crown if dead

·         Gentry, merchants and landowning farmers were ready to support the recovery of Royal Power

·         Had proven himself as a leader and as a successful soldier

·         His years of exile in France meant that he had few personal enemies in high places

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Henry's Objectives when he Became King

·         To establish and secure his right to the throne

·         To strengthen royal government by better control of the nobility

·         To strengthen the monarchy and the kingdom for the future by ensuring a strong financial foundation

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How did Henry use Propaganda?

·         Tudor Rose – Henry combined the red rose of Lancaster and the white rose of York to create the Tudor Rose

·         King Arthur – a legendary leader, Henry exploited this ancient symbol of honourable kingship by naming his son Arthur

·         Tudor Portcullis – used frequently to display the Tudor family’s legitimacy

·         The Tudor Sovereign – Henry VII played on his Tudor lineage by naming his second son after Henry VI

·         The Welsh Dragon – He fought the Battle of Bosworth under the banner of the red dragon. The red dragon became one of the 2 supporters of the royal arms of the Tudor Monarch

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The Chain of Great Being

Tudor society was based around what was known as The Great Chain of Being.

This was a belief that everyone had a specific place in the strict hierarchy of society

And that it was his/her duty to remain there.

Henry believed that a great and loyal nobleman was vital to his own authority

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Why did Henry Control the Nobility?

·         Reduce his reliance on the nobility to limit their power

·         Going to try and cut their land, wealth and support

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How did Henry Control the Nobility - Attainders

·         A person who has committed treason and is due to be executed

·         Henry used this to steal titles from people

·         Attainder could be reversed if you were loyal to Henry

·         46 out of 138 were reversed

·         Even between 1504-1509, 51 attainders were given out

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How did Henry Control the Nobility - Patronage

·         Giving favours to people who were loyal to Henry

·         Henry hated this as it increased people’s wealth which gave them more power

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How did Henry Control the Nobility - Retainers

·         When a nobleman employs someone to do their domestic work

·         Personal army

·         In 1504, Henry passed a law stating that you had to have a licence for any men who provided security and were given a £5 fine per man per month for who didn’t

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How did Henry Control the Nobility - Financial Con

Offered people a bond or paid off their debt for people effected by the Wars of the Roses

2/3 of these took advantage of this

The Council Learned in Law were employed to supervise this

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·         A rebellion is when people may try to overthrow a person of authority

·         Henry was prone to rebellions as he was a usurper to Richard

1486 – Lovell and Stafford

1486/87 – Lambert Simnel

1489 – Yorkshire Rebellion

1491 – 97 – Perkin Warbeck

1497 – Cornish Rebellion

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Lovell and Stafford

·         Easter, 1486 led by Francis Viscount Lovell and Humphrey Stafford

·         Both men were Yorkists and key supporters of Richard III

·         Lovell tried to raise forces in York and Stafford tried in the Midlands

·         Lovell managed to escape from the king’s soldiers, but Stafford was arrested and executed

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Lambert Simnel

·         At the end of 10/11 Simnel’s teacher Symonds took him to Ireland

·         There he claimed to be Earl of Warwick and got helped by the Earl of Kildare

·         Henry produced the real Earl of Warwick

·         Margaret of Burgundy supported with 2000 soldiers and John de la Pole

·         Invasion began May 1487 – landed in Lancashire but raised little support in the North

·         Battle began in East Stoke. Lincoln and several leaders killed

·         Henry VII spared Simnel and gave him work in kitchens. Symonds was arrested but not executed

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The Yorkshire Rebellion

·         Henry wanted to raise taxes to prevent an invasion of Brittany from France

·         £100,000 was needed

·         Yorkshire reacted so badly as they didn’t get their tax rebates

·         Thomas Percy was killed and they all thought Henry was going to punish the whole region for the murder of their chief tax collector

·         His death might mean trouble and conspiracies in the North, so the rebellion ended

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Perkin Warbeck

·         Claimed that he was Richard of York

·         Failed to gather support in Ireland

·         Charles VIII of France welcomed him at court in Paris

·         1492 – Charles and Henry made peace

·         Forced to move on to Burgundy

·         Maximilian was too busy with affairs in Italy to offer much immediate support

·         Landed in Kent but failed to gather support so sailed to Scotland

·         Given a yearly income of £1,200 and a marriage

·         Warbeck gave himself up in August 1497

·         Escaped the tower of London

·         Warbeck and the Earl of Warwick were executed in 1499

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1496 Conspiracy

·         In 1495, William Stanley was executed

·         He was found guilty of treason and sharing information with Perkin Warbeck

·         This is a key turning point in Henry’s reign as Stanley was his Lord Chamberlain the most important advisor to the King

·         Henry became increasingly paranoid and trusted no one, meaning he made all the key decisions.

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The Cornish Rebellion

·         Henry wanted to raise taxes to protect England from a Scottish invasion

·         Annoyed Cornwall as they felt it should only be paid by Northern counties

·         In May, rebels marched towards London and were led by Lord Audley

·         On 16th June, 15,000 rebels reached the outskirts of London

·         The rebels were met by the King’s men and defeated in battle

·         1,000 rebels were killed, Audley was executed

·         Henry was concerned that the rebels had managed to march to London before facing any opposition

·         Henry also learnt that he had been focusing too much on Scotland and France and had ignored problems in England.

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