Henry VII - Nobility

  • Created by: Dxminix
  • Created on: 13-01-17 17:43

Who are the Nobility?

Who were they?

  • Class of person distinguished by high birth or rank 
  • The quality of belonging to the aristocracy 

What did Henry do?

  • He put an end to the independent feudal nobility and started the beginning of the service nobility 
  • They were no longer independent of the king 

Henry's options?

  • Win their support or force them to support him through force 
  • Used second option a lot more when dealing with the nobility (had to secure his position as head of England) 
  • Reduced all things they relied on - Land, Wealth and Support
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Acts of Attainder

What was this?

  • Used them to seize titles and possessions of nobles that he suspected of disloyalty
  • It was a special law that meant an 'attained' family could lose the right to inherit its land and would face social and economic ruin 
  • It could be reversed though 
  • Henry passed 138 attainders and reversed 46 
  • This was more than Edward IV 

CSL Davis

  • Called it a 'cat and mouse policy' 
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What was this?

  • This granted special favours such as land and possessions to those who were loyal and supported Henry VII 
  • He was careful not to over distribute titles 
  • The nobility didn't really benefit from this 
  • Jasper Tudor became the Earl of Oxford due to military support 
  • Patronage had to be earned under Henry VII 
  • It was not an automatic privilege for the upper class
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What was this?

  • These were groups of men used by the nobles to help maintain control and enforce law 
  • Could be lawless at local and national level (War of The Roses) 
  • Used as armed forces in order to defend and threaten anyone who threatened their master 
  • Edward IV had passed laws against retaining except for domestic servants and legal advisors but it was not strictly enforced
  • Condemned retaining and passed laws in 1487 and 1504
  • Recent historians believe that retaining under Henry VII was not eliminated because Henry VII needed it to support him 
  • Men could employ retainers for the king's service alone and have to get permission and a licence from the government 
  • henry was certainly a lot stricter and punished those that went against the law 
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Financial Control

What were these?

  • Henry used this if he had suspicions against a noble but could not prove treason 
  • Created written agreements whereby if a person offended the king was either forced to pay up front 
  • They also promised to pay a certain amount to ensure good behaviour
  • Was a method of enforcing loyalty 
  • Sums ranged from £400 to £10,000 for a noble 

How were they used?

  • Used haphazardly by the other 15th century monarchs
  • Henry used them as an integral part of his policy for controlling the nobility by threatening financial ruin to anyone that dare offend him 
  • Council Learned in Law was in control of the bonds 
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Council of Learned in Law

What was this?

  • Assumed control over all financial matters relating to the crown 
  • Members acted as investigators and judges in cases where there was suspicion  that a nobleman was not paying correct dues to the king 
  • Sir Reginald Bray, Edmund Dudley and Richard Empson were in charge 
  • It was hated because it collected bonds 
  • It was the most important of all Henry's institutions of government because it was involved in the maintenance of law and order 
  • Dudley later admitted that he had lied in 80 cases and was executed under Henry VIII
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Prerogative Rights

How do they relate to Henry?

  • It describes the rights of powers which the monarch could exercise without requiring the consent of parliament 
  • Thomas Penn (The Winter King) argued that the Council Learned in Law caused fear, frustration and anger as it bypassed the normal legal system 
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How did he control Nobility?

Order of the Garter?

  • An honour that was bestowed on the most important knights who became the most senior rank of knighthood 
  • Henry VII gave out 37 in his lifetime 
  • William Stanley receieved this and felt it was a poor reward as their was no financial gain 

Why does Henry keep the nobility small?

  • Easier to control like that 
  • Rarely elevated anyone to uppoer levels of society as it was a big rewards when he did 
  • Creation of peers was loss of money for Henry 
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Trusting the Nobility

Why did Henry trust the Nobility?

  • Henry recognised the importance of the nobles to control the provinces in the abscence of a standing army or an adequate police force
  • He never attempted to interfere with their authority in the localities where they continued to dominate local government 
  • He gave over lordship to the more disturbed areas of his kingdom to show support and trust to people like Henry Percy who governed the north 
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