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Portrait of Henry VII



KING HENRY VII, of England, was the first of the Tudor dynasty. His claim to the throne was through his mother, Margaret Beaufort, from John of Gaunt and Catherine Swynford, whose issue born before their marriage had been legitimated by parliament. This, of course, was only Lancastrian claim, never valid, even as such, till the direct male line of John of Gaunt had become extinct. By his father, Edmund of Hadham, the genealogists traced his pedigree to Cadwallader, but this only endeared him to the Welsh when he had actually become king. His grandfather, Owen Tudor, however, had married Catherine, the widow of Henry V and daughter to Charles VI of France. Their son Edmund, being half brother of Henry VI, was created by that King Earl of Richmond, and having married Margaret Beaufort, only daughter of John, Duke of Somerset, died more than two months before their only child, Henry, was born in Pembroke Castle in January 1457.

The fatherless child had sore trials. Edward IV won the crown when Henry was four years old, and while Wales partly held out against the conqueror, he was carried for safety from one castle to another. Then for a time he was made a prisoner; but ultimately he was taken abroad by his uncle Jasper Tudor, who found refuge in Brittany. At one time the duke of Brittany was nearly induced to surrender him to Edward IV; but he remained safe in the duchy till the cruelties of Richard III drove more and more Englishmen abroad to join him. An invasion of England was planned in 1483 in concert with the Duke of Buckingham's rising; but stormy weather at sea and an inundation in the Severn defeated the two movements.

A second expedition, two years later, aided this time by France, was more successful. Henry landed at Milford Haven among his Welsh allies and defeated Richard at the battle of Bosworth (August 22, 1485). He was crowned at Westminster on the 30th of October following. Then, in fulfilment of pledges by which he had procured the adhesion of many Yorkist supporters, he was married at Westminster to Elizabeth (1465-1503), eldest daughter and heiress of Edward IV (Jan. 18, 1486), whose two brothers had both been murdered by Richard III. Thus the Red and White Roses were united and the pretexts for civil war done away with.

Nevertheless, Henry's reign was much disturbed by a succession of Yorkist conspiracies and pretenders. Of the two most notable impostors, the first, Lambert Simnel, personated the Earl of Warwick, son of the Duke of Clarence, a youth of seventeen whom Henry had at his accession taken care to imprison in the Tower. Simnel, who was but a boy, was taken over to Ireland to perform his part, and the farce was wonderfully successful. He was crowned as Edward VI in Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin, and received the allegiance of every one — bishops, nobles and judges, alike with others. From Ireland, accompanied by some bands of German mercenaries procured for him in the Low Countries, he invaded England; but the rising was put down at Stoke near Newark in Nottinghamshire, and, Simnel being captured, the king made him a menial of his kitchen.

This movement had been greatly assisted by Margaret, duchess dowager, of Burgundy, sister of Edward IV, who could not endure to see the House of York supplanted by that of Tudor. The second pretender, Perkin Warbeck, was also much indebted to her support; but he seems to have entered on his career at first without it. And his story, which was more prolonged, had to do with the attitude of many countries towards England. Anxious as Henry was to avoid being involved in foreign wars, it was not many years before he was committed to a war with France, partly by his desire of an alliance with Spain, and partly by the indignation of his own subjects at the way in which the French were undermining the independence of Brittany. Henry gave Brittany defensive aid; but after the duchess Anne had married Charles VIII of France, he felt bound to fulfil his obligations to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, and also to the German king Maximilian, by an invasion of France in 1492. His allies, however, were not equally scrupulous or equally able to fulfil their obligations to him; and after besieging Boulogne for some little time, he received very advantageous offers from the French king and made peace with him.

Now Perkin Warbeck had first appeared in Ireland in 1491, and had somehow been persuaded there to personate Richard, Duke of York, the younger of the two princes murdered in the Tower, pretending that he had escaped, though his brother had been killed. Charles VIII, then expecting war with England, called him to France, recognized his pretensions and gave him a retinue; but after the peace he dismissed him. Then Margaret of Burgundy received him as her nephew, and Maximilian, now estranged from Henry, recognized him as king of England. With a fleet given him by Maximilian he attempted to land at Deal, but sailed away to Ireland and, not succeeding very well there either, sailed farther to Scotland, where James IV received him with open arms, married him to an earl's daughter and made a brief and futile invasion of England along with him. But in 1497 he thought best to dismiss him, and Perkin, after attempting something again in Ireland, landed in Cornwall with a small body of men.

Already Cornwall had risen in insurrection that year, not liking the taxation imposed for the purpose of repelling the Scotch invasion. A host of the country people, led first by a blacksmith, but afterwards by a nobleman, marched up towards London and were only defeated at Blackheath. But the Cornishmen were quite ready for another revolt, and indeed had invited Perkin to their shores. He had little fight in him, however, and after a futile siege of Exeter and an advance to Taunton he stole away and took sanctuary at Beaulieu in Hampshire. But, being assured of his life, he surrendered, was brought to London, and was only executed two years later, when, being imprisoned near the Earl of Warwick in the Tower, he inveigled that simple-minded youth into a project of escape. For this Warwick, too, was tried, condemned and executed — no doubt to deliver Henry from repeated conspiracies in his favour.

Henry had by this time several children, of whom the eldest, Arthur, had been proposed in infancy for a bridegroom to Catherine, daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon. The match had always been kept in view, but its completion depended greatly on the assurance Ferdinand and Isabella could feel of Henry's secure position upon the throne. At last Catherine was brought to England and was married to Prince Arthur at St Paul's on the 14th of November 1501. The lad was just over fifteen and the co-habitation of the couple was wisely delayed; but he died on the 2nd of April following. Another match was presently proposed for Catherine with the king's second son, Henry, which only took effect when the latter had become king himself [cf. Henry VIII]. Meanwhile Henry's eldest daughter Margaret was married to James IV of Scotland — a match distinctly intended to promote international peace, and make possible that ultimate union which actually resulted from it. The espousals had taken place at Richmond in 1502, and the marriage was celebrated in Scotland the year after.

Henry VII (Rawlinson bequest), 16th century. Society of Antiquaries, London In the interval between these two events Henry lost his queen, who died on the 11th of February 1503, and during the remainder of his reign he made proposals in various quarters for a second marriage — proposals in which political objects were always the chief consideration; but none of them led to any result. In his latter years he became unpopular from the extortions practised by his two instruments, Empson and Dudley, under the authority of antiquated statutes. From the beginning of his reign he had been accumulating money, mainly for his own security against intrigues and conspiracies, and avarice had grown upon him with success. He died in April 1509, undoubtedly the richest prince in Christendom. He was not a niggard, however, in his expenditure. Before his death he had finished the hospital of the Savoy and made provision for the magnificent chapel at Westminster which bears his name. His money-getting was but part of his statesmanship, and for his statesmanship his country owes him not a little gratitude. He not only terminated a disastrous civil war and brought under control the spirit of ancient feudalism, but with a clear survey of the conditions of foreign powers he secured England in almost uninterrupted peace while he developed her commerce, strengthened her slender navy and built, apparently for the first time, a naval dock at Portsmouth.

In addition to his sons Arthur and Henry, Henry VII had several daughters, one of whom, Margaret, married James IV, King of Scotland, and another, Mary, became the wife of Louis XII of France, and afterwards of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.

(James Gairdner)




Excerpted from:
Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Ed., vol. XIII.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1910. 283.








Other Local Resources:




Books for further study:

Bevan, Bryan. Henry VII: The First Tudor King.
           London: Rubicon Press, 2000.

Chrimes, S. B. Henry VII.
           Yale: Yale University Press, 1999.

Fox, Alistair. Politics and Literature in the Reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII.
           Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 1989.

Pendrill, Colin. The War of the Roses and Henry VII.
           Oxford: Heinemann Educational, 2003.

Lockyer, Roger and Andrew Thrush. Henry VII.
           London: Longman, 1997.

Williams, Neville. The Life and Times of Henry VII.
           London: Orion Books, 1994.





Henry VII on the Web:

Article Citation:

"Henry VII." 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica. Excerpted at Luminarium.
             4 Sept 2006. [Date when you accessed the page].              <http://www.luminarium.org/encyclopedia/henry7.htm>







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This page was created on September 4, 2006. Last updated February 12, 2013.







Index of Encyclopedia Entries:

Medieval Cosmology
Prices of Items in Medieval England

Edward II
Piers Gaveston
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster
Roger Mortimer, Earl of March

Hundred Years' War (1337-1453)

Edward III
The Battle of Crécy, 1346
Edward, Black Prince of Wales
Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster
Edmund of Langley, Duke of York
Thomas of Woodstock, Gloucester
Richard of York, E. of Cambridge
Richard Fitzalan, 3. Earl of Arundel
Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March
The Good Parliament, 1376
Richard II
Lords Appellant, 1388
Richard Fitzalan, 4. Earl of Arundel
Archbishop Thomas Arundel
Thomas de Beauchamp, E. Warwick
Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford
Ralph Neville, E. of Westmorland
Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk
Edmund Mortimer, 3. Earl of March
Roger Mortimer, 4. Earl of March
John Holland, Duke of Exeter
Michael de la Pole, E. Suffolk
Hugh de Stafford, 2. E. Stafford
Henry IV
Edward, Duke of York
Edmund Mortimer, 5. Earl of March
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland
Sir Henry Percy, "Harry Hotspur"
Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester
Owen Glendower
The Battle of Shrewsbury, 1403
Archbishop Richard Scrope
Thomas Mowbray, 3. E. Nottingham
John Mowbray, 2. Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Fitzalan, 5. Earl of Arundel
Henry V
Thomas, Duke of Clarence
John, Duke of Bedford
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury
Richard, Earl of Cambridge
Henry, Baron Scrope of Masham
William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Montacute, E. Salisbury
Richard Beauchamp, E. of Warwick
Henry Beauchamp, Duke of Warwick
Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter
Cardinal Henry Beaufort
John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset
Sir John Fastolf
John Holland, 2. Duke of Exeter
Archbishop John Stafford
Archbishop John Kemp
Catherine of Valois
Owen Tudor
John Fitzalan, 7. Earl of Arundel
John, Lord Tiptoft

Charles VII, King of France
Joan of Arc
Louis XI, King of France
Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy
The Battle of Castillon, 1453



The Wars of the Roses 1455-1485
Causes of the Wars of the Roses
The House of Lancaster
The House of York
The House of Beaufort
The House of Neville

The First Battle of St. Albans, 1455
The Battle of Blore Heath, 1459
The Rout of Ludford, 1459
The Battle of Northampton, 1460
The Battle of Wakefield, 1460
The Battle of Mortimer's Cross, 1461
The 2nd Battle of St. Albans, 1461
The Battle of Towton, 1461
The Battle of Hedgeley Moor, 1464
The Battle of Hexham, 1464
The Battle of Edgecote, 1469
The Battle of Losecoat Field, 1470
The Battle of Barnet, 1471
The Battle of Tewkesbury, 1471
The Treaty of Pecquigny, 1475
The Battle of Bosworth Field, 1485
The Battle of Stoke Field, 1487

Henry VI
Margaret of Anjou
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York
Edward IV
Elizabeth Woodville
Richard Woodville, 1. Earl Rivers
Anthony Woodville, 2. Earl Rivers
Jane Shore
Edward V
Richard III
George, Duke of Clarence

Ralph Neville, 2. Earl of Westmorland
Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury
Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick
Edward Neville, Baron Bergavenny
William Neville, Lord Fauconberg
Robert Neville, Bishop of Salisbury
John Neville, Marquis of Montagu
George Neville, Archbishop of York
John Beaufort, 1. Duke Somerset
Edmund Beaufort, 2. Duke Somerset
Henry Beaufort, 3. Duke of Somerset
Edmund Beaufort, 4. Duke Somerset
Margaret Beaufort
Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond
Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke
Humphrey Stafford, D. Buckingham
Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham
Humphrey Stafford, E. of Devon
Thomas, Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby
Sir William Stanley
Archbishop Thomas Bourchier
Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex
John Mowbray, 3. Duke of Norfolk
John Mowbray, 4. Duke of Norfolk
John Howard, Duke of Norfolk
Henry Percy, 2. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 3. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 4. E. Northumberland
William, Lord Hastings
Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter
William Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford
Thomas de Clifford, 8. Baron Clifford
John de Clifford, 9. Baron Clifford
John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester
Thomas Grey, 1. Marquis Dorset
Sir Andrew Trollop
Archbishop John Morton
Edward Plantagenet, E. of Warwick
John Talbot, 2. E. Shrewsbury
John Talbot, 3. E. Shrewsbury
John de la Pole, 2. Duke of Suffolk
John de la Pole, E. of Lincoln
Edmund de la Pole, E. of Suffolk
Richard de la Pole
John Sutton, Baron Dudley
James Butler, 5. Earl of Ormonde
Sir James Tyrell
Edmund Grey, first Earl of Kent
George Grey, 2nd Earl of Kent
John, 5th Baron Scrope of Bolton
James Touchet, 7th Baron Audley
Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoy
Robert Hungerford, Lord Moleyns
Thomas, Lord Scales
John, Lord Lovel and Holand
Francis Lovell, Viscount Lovell
Sir Richard Ratcliffe
William Catesby
Ralph, 4th Lord Cromwell
Jack Cade's Rebellion, 1450


Tudor Period

King Henry VII
Queen Elizabeth of York
Arthur, Prince of Wales
Lambert Simnel
Perkin Warbeck
The Battle of Blackheath, 1497

King Ferdinand II of Aragon
Queen Isabella of Castile
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

King Henry VIII
Queen Catherine of Aragon
Queen Anne Boleyn
Queen Jane Seymour
Queen Anne of Cleves
Queen Catherine Howard
Queen Katherine Parr

King Edward VI
Queen Mary I
Queen Elizabeth I
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond

Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland
James IV, King of Scotland
The Battle of Flodden Field, 1513
James V, King of Scotland
Mary of Guise, Queen of Scotland

Mary Tudor, Queen of France
Louis XII, King of France
Francis I, King of France
The Battle of the Spurs, 1513
Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Eustace Chapuys, Imperial Ambassador
The Siege of Boulogne, 1544

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex
Thomas, Lord Audley
Thomas Wriothesley, E. Southampton
Sir Richard Rich

Edward Stafford, D. of Buckingham
Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire
George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford
John Russell, Earl of Bedford
Thomas Grey, 2. Marquis of Dorset
Henry Grey, D. of Suffolk
Charles Somerset, Earl of Worcester
George Talbot, 4. E. Shrewsbury
Francis Talbot, 5. E. Shrewsbury
Henry Algernon Percy,
     5th Earl of Northumberland
Henry Algernon Percy,
     6th Earl of Northumberland
Ralph Neville, 4. E. Westmorland
Henry Neville, 5. E. Westmorland
William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester
Sir Francis Bryan
Sir Nicholas Carew
John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford
Thomas Seymour, Lord Admiral
Edward Seymour, Protector Somerset
Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury
Henry Pole, Lord Montague
Sir Geoffrey Pole
Thomas Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Bourchier, 2. Earl of Essex
Robert Radcliffe, 1. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 2. Earl of Sussex
George Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon
Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter
George Neville, Baron Bergavenny
Sir Edward Neville
William, Lord Paget
William Sandys, Baron Sandys
William Fitzwilliam, E. Southampton
Sir Anthony Browne
Sir Thomas Wriothesley
Sir William Kingston
George Brooke, Lord Cobham
Sir Richard Southwell
Thomas Fiennes, 9th Lord Dacre
Sir Francis Weston
Henry Norris
Lady Jane Grey
Sir Thomas Arundel
Sir Richard Sackville
Sir William Petre
Sir John Cheke
Walter Haddon, L.L.D
Sir Peter Carew
Sir John Mason
Nicholas Wotton
John Taylor
Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Younger

Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio
Cardinal Reginald Pole
Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester
Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London
Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London
John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester
John Aylmer, Bishop of London
Thomas Linacre
William Grocyn
Archbishop William Warham
Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham
Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester
Edward Fox, Bishop of Hereford

Pope Julius II
Pope Leo X
Pope Clement VII
Pope Paul III
Pope Pius V

Pico della Mirandola
Desiderius Erasmus
Martin Bucer
Richard Pace
Christopher Saint-German
Thomas Tallis
Elizabeth Barton, the Nun of Kent
Hans Holbein, the Younger
The Sweating Sickness

Dissolution of the Monasteries
Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
Robert Aske
Anne Askew
Lord Thomas Darcy
Sir Robert Constable

Oath of Supremacy
The Act of Supremacy, 1534
The First Act of Succession, 1534
The Third Act of Succession, 1544
The Ten Articles, 1536
The Six Articles, 1539
The Second Statute of Repeal, 1555
The Act of Supremacy, 1559
Articles Touching Preachers, 1583

Queen Elizabeth I
William Cecil, Lord Burghley
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Sir Francis Walsingham
Sir Nicholas Bacon
Sir Thomas Bromley

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick
Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon
Sir Thomas Egerton, Viscount Brackley
Sir Francis Knollys
Katherine "Kat" Ashley
Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester
George Talbot, 6. E. of Shrewsbury
Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury
Gilbert Talbot, 7. E. of Shrewsbury
Sir Henry Sidney
Sir Robert Sidney
Archbishop Matthew Parker
Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich
Sir Christopher Hatton
Edward Courtenay, E. Devonshire
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Thomas Radcliffe, 3. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 4. Earl of Sussex
Robert Radcliffe, 5. Earl of Sussex
William Parr, Marquis of Northampton
Henry Wriothesley, 2. Southampton
Henry Wriothesley, 3. Southampton
Charles Neville, 6. E. Westmorland
Thomas Percy, 7. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 8. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 9. E. Nothumberland
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
Charles, Lord Howard of Effingham
Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
Henry Howard, 1. Earl of Northampton
Thomas Howard, 1. Earl of Suffolk
Henry Hastings, 3. E. of Huntingdon
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland
Francis Manners, 6th Earl of Rutland
Henry FitzAlan, 12. Earl of Arundel
Thomas, Earl Arundell of Wardour
Edward Somerset, E. of Worcester
William Davison
Sir Walter Mildmay
Sir Ralph Sadler
Sir Amyas Paulet
Gilbert Gifford
Anthony Browne, Viscount Montague
François, Duke of Alençon & Anjou

Mary, Queen of Scots
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell
Anthony Babington and the Babington Plot
John Knox

Philip II of Spain
The Spanish Armada, 1588
Sir Francis Drake
Sir John Hawkins

William Camden
Archbishop Whitgift
Martin Marprelate Controversy
John Penry (Martin Marprelate)
Richard Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury
John Dee, Alchemist

Philip Henslowe
Edward Alleyn
The Blackfriars Theatre
The Fortune Theatre
The Rose Theatre
The Swan Theatre
Children's Companies
The Admiral's Men
The Lord Chamberlain's Men
Citizen Comedy
The Isle of Dogs, 1597

Common Law
Court of Common Pleas
Court of King's Bench
Court of Star Chamber
Council of the North
Fleet Prison
Assize
Attainder
First Fruits & Tenths
Livery and Maintenance
Oyer and terminer
Praemunire


The Stuarts

King James I of England
Anne of Denmark
Henry, Prince of Wales
The Gunpowder Plot, 1605
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset
Arabella Stuart, Lady Lennox

William Alabaster
Bishop Hall
Bishop Thomas Morton
Archbishop William Laud
John Selden
Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford
Henry Lawes

King Charles I
Queen Henrietta Maria

Long Parliament
Rump Parliament
Kentish Petition, 1642

Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford
John Digby, Earl of Bristol
George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol
Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax
Robert Devereux, 3rd E. of Essex
Robert Sidney, 2. E. of Leicester
Algernon Percy, E. of Northumberland
Henry Montagu, Earl of Manchester
Edward Montagu, 2. Earl of Manchester

The Restoration

King Charles II
King James II
Test Acts

Greenwich Palace
Hatfield House
Richmond Palace
Windsor Palace
Woodstock Manor

The Cinque Ports
Mermaid Tavern
Malmsey Wine
Great Fire of London, 1666
Merchant Taylors' School
Westminster School
The Sanctuary at Westminster
"Sanctuary"


Images:

Chart of the English Succession from William I through Henry VII

Medieval English Drama

London c1480, MS Royal 16
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR
c. 1690. View of London Churches, after the Great Fire
The Yard of the Tabard Inn from Thornbury, Old and New London




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