Henry VII - Establishing the Dynasty

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Henry VII - Establishing the Dynasty

Aims and character:

- Henry's  main aim was to remain king and establish his dynasty by handing on an unchallenged succession to his heirs

- This aim shaped his other policies whether they be foreign, political or household

- In order to achieve this aim he need to have strong government, maintain law and order in local areas, control the over-mighty nobles and secure the crowns finances

- Henry was described as dull and miserly yet he sometims liked to splash out on entertianment and gambling.


- To secure his his throne Henry dated the begginning of his reign from the day before the Battle of Bosworth, so that he was able to declare Ricahrd's supporters as traitors. He also chose his coronation date so that it fell a week before the first parliament meeting so that it couldnt be claimed that parliamen had made Henry king. Henry also applied for papal dispensation (permission from the pope) to marry Elizabeth of York. This would mean that York and Lanaster would finally be united and England would see and end to the wars of the roses.

- There were some rival claims to the throne, the strongest being Edward, Earl of Warwick, as he was the son of he Duke of Clarence. However Henry sent him to the tower of London.

- Another threat came from John de la Pole as Richard III had named him as his heir. However this threat for Henry greatly reduced when de la Pole and his father publicly declared their loyalty to Henry VII. This resulting in Henry placing de la Pole on the kings council.

- Thomas Howard, the Earl of Surrey, a member of the surviving yorkist faction, was a threat to Henry, so he was kept in prison until Henry was sure of his loyalty.

- Henry Percy also a Yorkist supporter, begged Henry for a second cnahce and Henry VII agreed to let him have his old position as governer of the North.

Yorkshire Rebellion 1489:

- Henry declared his intention to offer aid to brittany in order to prevent a French attack on them.

- However this meant that a large amount of money would have to be raised

- Therefore a new from of income tax was created

- This was badly recieved in the poor areas of the country such as yorkshire, which was suffering from a poor harvest.

- They also resented the fact that some areas of the country were excluded from having to pay this tax as they were expected to contribute to defense against Scotland.

- Henry Percy fought the case of Yorkshire but Hery refused to stop the tax, resulting in Henry Percy's murder by a yorkshire gang. 

- This then turned into a widespread rebellion.

- The Earl of Surrey was sent to the Nort with an army and he defeated the rebel in York.

- Henry VII went to the North and pardoned some


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