Henry VII Foreign Policy


Major rivals since 1066 - 100 years was (1337-1453) - France was a huge threat

By 1485 - France was a cohesive state & 3 times bigger than England in terms of manpower/revenue

Breton Crisis 1487 - committed 6,000 'volunteers' (that Brittany had to pay for) 1489 Treaty of Redon (Anne of Brittany ended the conflict by marrying the French King Charles VIII in 1491)

1492 - decided on more aggressive policy - Parliament had voted on 2 subsidies that financed 26,000 men - attacked Boulogne in October - Treaty of Etaples (pension of 745,000 crowns - 50,000 p/a - and a promise that the French King would not harbour any pretenders to the throne)

The pension amounted to 5% of Henry's annual income

1506 Franco-Spanish Alliance

Henry was isolated by the end of his reign

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Margaret of Burgundy was the sister of Richard III and a staunch Yorkist (Elizabeth of York's Aunt)

Trade with the Dutch was hugely important to England - all of our exported products processed through Flanders

Supported the De la Poles (pretenders) and Perkin Warbeck (was declared King Richard IV whilst in Burgundy, in exchange for declaring Maximillian heir to the throne)

Henry imposed economic sanctions - harmful to the Dutch as well as the English - Maximillian forced to back down & 1496 Magnus Intercurcus (relations improved)

1506 - after he was shipwrecked in the Channel, Philip of Burgundy had to promise to release the Earl of Suffolk to Henry & Treaty of Windsor/Malus Intercurcus signed (never implemented)

By the end of Henry's reign, England had overtaken Burgundy in the league

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Been at war 1328 

favourable at the Battle of Bosworth - Henry was desperate to neutralise their threat

Treaty in 1486 - agreeing 3 years peace

HOWEVER, in 1588 James III was assassinated and Henry would not get on so well with James IV (who was only 15 at the time of his ascension)

Scotland supported Perkin Warbeck 1495 - married him to a cousin of the Queen - alongside Burgundy

1497 - position to renew the truce - James gave up Warbeck & signed the Treaty of Ayton 

1502 Treaty of Perpetual Peace

James IV married Margaret Tudor in August 1503

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Technically ruled by the King, but practicality meant that government of Ireland was essentially devolved to a few nobles

Contradicted Henry's belief in a strong monarchial rule

1485 - appointed Jasper Tudor as Lord Lieutenant - power was wielded through a Lord Deputy

English government could not go beyond the Pale - a small ***** of land to the East, & Ireland was mainy ruled by the Chieftans

From 1477, the Earl of Kildare presided over a period of near independence as Lord Deputy - supported Lambert Simnel at the Battle of Stoke (his brother was killed and he was then pardoned)

When he supported Warbeck 1491 - and his enemies rose up & seized power - that he was punished - sent to the Tower in 1494 - released in 1496 & restored to office (Henry's reasoning was that the Irish would accept no one else as their leader and that Kildare would be so grateful that he would not make trouble again)

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Wanted to establish closer trade links & secure Spain's recognition - Aragon & Castile had united with the marriage of Ferdinand & Isabella in 1479

1489: Treaty of Medina del Campo - (never completely accepted by either side) - established Anglo-Spanish relations & arranged for mariage of Arthur & Catherine - attempted to arrive at a common policy on France & arranged lower tariff on goods

Marriage renegotiated in 1496 on similar terms

Catherine arrived in England 1501 - dowry of 100,000 crowns - Arthur dies 1502 - Isabella & Ferdinand give permission for her to marry Henry - required Papal Dispensation

1503 - death of Elizabeth (in childbirth) 1504 - death of Isabella

1505 - Ferdinand's marriage to Germaine de Foix (niece of French King)

death of Philip of Burgundy allowed Ferdinand to seize the throne of Spain - destroying any chance of an improved relationship 

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