Claims to throne

  • Henry = weak claim to throne - based through illegitimate line and through a women
  • John de la Pole - leading Yorkist claimant, during Richard III's reign = heir presumptive
  • Edward Plantagenet - nephew of Edward IV and Richard III - placed in tower in 1485 age 10
  • Princes in Tower (Richard and Edward) - disappeared during Richard III reign in 1483
  • Edward IV's daughters also had Yorkist blood, but couldn't rule in own right - could be passed onto children
  • Promised to marry Elizabeth York in 1485 to get supporters
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Impact of Battle of Bosworth

  • Henry's force = 5000 men - Richard around double
  • Nobility actions - Stanley's loyalties split = Thomas Stanley married Henry's mother, Margaret Beaufort. Watched battle before joining Henry
  • Northumberland Earl = Henry Percy - troops didn't fight 
  • Richard's actions = charged to kill Henry, became separated from group - Stanley's troops joined in to save Henry - Richard killed
  • Henry couldn't trust nobility e.g. Stanley's against Richard, Woodvilles supported Henry to remove Richard
  • Henry could present victory as one given by God, helped to enhance position - many supporters killed
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Measures used to secure throne

  • Coronation - oath (monarch swore to protect realm and laws)
  • Chosen and appointed by God
  • 1st parliament - 1485 declared Henry king, punish opponents at Bosworth
  • Parliament declared Henry's reign began on 21st August 1485 - made Richard usurper and Henry rightful king (day before Battle of Bosworth)
  • Used parliament to cancel Titulus Regius (made Edward's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville invalid and children (Elizabeth of York) illegitimate)
  • Would've made Henry's own marriage invalid - married in 1486
  • Children had both Yorkist and Lancastrian blood
  • Rewarded supporters - avoid granting too many titles/estates
  • Jasper Tudor (uncle) = Duke of Bedford in 1485
  • Thomas Stanley (stepfather) = Earl of Derby in 1485
  • Sir WIlliam Stanley = Lord Chamberlain of Royal Household
  • Yorkist supporters = John de la Pole swore loyalty = Royal Council
  • 1486 = progresses in Midlands and North
  • Made parliament swear to oath = no men recruited illegally
  • Act of Resumption - take back all Crown's lands (1486)
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Yorkist and Lancastrian factions

  • Lancastrian - enhance control of England, closest people to Henry e.g. Jasper Tudor and John de Vere - Chief Justice of Wales and Council
  • Stanley family = estates in Cheshire, Midlands and West
  • Hard-line supporters of Richard III = Staffords and Lord Lovell - 1486 = plots against Henry
  • Sanctuary at Colchester = Staffords tried to raise rebellion in Midlands, fled, removed by Henry
  • Lovell = rebellion in Yorkshire, suppressed by Jasper Tudor, fled to Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy
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