Henry VII's Consolidation of Power

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21st August 1485 - declares himself king so that any men who fought for Richard III could be declared traitors & given acts of Attainders

22nd August 1485 - defeats Richard III at the battle of Bosworth & proclaimed King of England by Lord Stanley

Sent out proclamaition declaring that Richard III was dead and that Henry VII was on the throne by the grace of God - Divine right of kings.

Quickly assembled his counsel due to their 'shrewdness, loyalty and reliability.' - Polydore Vergil:

  • Chancellor of Englad - John Moreton, Bishop of Ely
  • Treasurer of the Exchequer - Lord Dynham (Yorkist)
  • Keeper of the Privy Seal - Bishop Peter Courtenay (later given to Richard Fox, a friend from exile)

Patronage was given out carefully - expensive & not many family demands (unlike Edward IV & the Woodvilles). No siblings etc.

Little chance of rebellion with a genuine claim to the throne -

  • Richard III was widely disliked (no hard feelings for his death)
  • Richard III left no heir
  • Henry was related to the powerful Stanleys through Margaret Beaufort's second marriage. Stanleys gained a lot from Bosworth - unlikely to rebel.
  • Many, especially most yorkists, anticipated Henry's marriage to Elizabeth of York with excitement.

Lord Stanley became Lord Chaimberlain.

Many in his counsel & royal household were close friends and family from exile.


  • Display of Kingship designed to impress
  • Confirm Henry's god-given right to rule

Wanted to appear regal…




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