Henry VII Source of Income

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Crown Lands

Henry inherited lands held by Houses of York and Lancaster, Earldoms of Richmond and Warwick and land in Wales

Sir Reginald Bray developed on Edwards improvements to the administration of Crown Lands

Henry was less inclined to grant lands, rather he would hold on to them to maximise income and influence

Act of Resumption 1486 allowed Henry to reclaim crown lands that had been granted since the start of the Wars of the Roses.

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Feudal Dues

Traditional rights held by the crown to demand money. King was sole owner of all the Kingdoms land

Main types

  • Relief- paid by heir when he recieves inheritence
  • Marriage- kinds right to arrange marrages at a profit
  • Wardship- temporary control of estates until heirs come of age
  • Livery- payment made by a ward on reaching adulthoos and taking control of his lands

Henry exploited feudal payments for poltical and financial purposes. Used them to encourage good behavior and benifitted from wardship of powerful families.

Appointed Sir John Hussey as Mastrer of the Kings Wards in 1503 to administer wardship.


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Custom Duties

Paid on goods entering or leaving the country.

Money mainly came from tunnage (taxes on exports) and poundage (taxes on imports). Particularly the sale of wine, wool and leather. Henry tried to promote trade.

Henry largley continued the work of Edward. Updated the Book of Rates which set out the charges on imports and exports on a wide range of items.

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Legal Dues

Money from fines and other payments made by people appearing before the kings court

Payment came from both common law courts and special couts operated by the royal council

Henry increased the use of fines and attainders. These could be very lucrative sources of income

Attainder Sir William Stanley in 1485 brought a payment of £9,000 and £1,000 per year.

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Bonds and Recognisances

Payment made as a guarentee of good behavior.

Demanded from those whose loyalty was suspect, such as Yorkist supporters. Also applied to merchants who owed custom duties

Used by Henry for both political and financial purposes. Earl of Westmorland had to pay £10,000 after the battle of Bodsworth

Council Learned in Law enforced payments of these debts

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Loans and Benevolences

Kings right to ask for financial help in emergencies

Organised by the Royal Council. Loans could be requested from individuals and institutions.

Council Learned in Law also enforced these payments.

This was an irregular source of income, raised when Henry needed funds

1491, £48,000 was raised for the war in Brittany, £9,000 contributed from the city of London 

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Feudal Dues - (Extraordinary Revenue)

Based on the same claims as ordinary revenue, but related to single, extraordinary occasions

King was entitiled to gifts for special occasions, such as the kinghting of his son or when a daughter gets married. 

Gifts were paied by leading nobles, but Parliament was also expected to make a grant on behalf of the people

Henry exploited this source of income. He recieved £30,000 from Parliament in 1504 for the kinghthood of Prince Arthur (who had died in 1502). 

Also increased demands for payments from Nobles who had tried to save money who had chosen not to take on the expense of being a knight

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Clerical Taxes

Special taxes which theking could levy on the Church

Clergy were exempt from paying tax to parliament, so this form of taxation was the only way to get money from the church.

Gifts from church were similar amounts to earlier rulers. Henry used his right to appoint leading Churchmenn to raise money by selling offices

Raised £300 for the post of Archdecon of Buckingham

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Parliamentary Taxes

Special grants of taxes by Parliament to finance royal policies

Usually voted in the form of tenths or fifthteenths, taxes on the value of movable property.

Parliamentary taxes were on demand but were very unpopular.

When Henry tried to call for one, it triggered the Yorkshire rebellion

Cornish rebellion triggered when he tried to do it again.

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