Establishing 'Good Governance': Government and Administration under Henry VII

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Regional Government

The Council of the North

  • Originated in Yorkist times and was based in the city of York.
  • Primary function- ensure good governance of a lawless and undisciplined region that was too remote from London to be effectively controlled from there. 
  • Given the resposibility to oversee the defence of the northern counties of England. (where vunerable to attack by Scotland.
  • Region of the North was a frontier zone.
  • Henry had no choice but to entrust the defence of the border to great border families like the Percys. 
  • Henry reluctantly released Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, from the tower and appointed him as lieutenant in the north in 1486.
  • After the Earl's death in 1489, Henry appointed another former Yorkist, Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, to succeed him.
  • Surrey governed the north effecively  and gradually earned the King's trust. 
  • Differed from the conciliar committees- had a clearly defined function dating from before Henry came to the throne.
  • Unlike his predecessors- Henry required his council in London to keep close watch on the activities of his provincal council.
  • Henry also made sure that key members of the council were appointed by him rather than his lieutenants.

Wales

  • Until Edward IV established a Council to govern Wales in 1471, no attempt had been made to weld together into a single system the counties and lordships of the Principality and March, or to abolish the privileges of the individual Marchers lords. 
  • Although Edward succeeded in neither respect, his Council had imporved the situation in Wales.
  • Like Edward IV, Henry appriciated the need for administritive order. 
  • He appointed his Uncle, Jasper Tudor to govern Wales.
  • In around 1493, he revived the Council appointing his seven-year old son Arthur as its nominal head as Prince of Wales.
  • Henry did not have to worry too much about a possible threat to his position from the Welsh. 
  • His family links and Welsh connection, highlighted and celebrated by…

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