Henry VII of England
Henry VII of England was born as Henry Tudor on 28th January 1457. He was born in Pembroke, Wales. His father died two months before his birth. His mother, who was only thirteen, was Margaret Beaufort. At the time of his birth, England was divided by conflict. He was born in one branch of Plantagenet Royal family, House of Lancaster, which was fighting for the throne with another branch, House of York.
His mother was Edward III’s descendant and she gave Henry the real claim of the throne though tenuous. Henry was entrusted to his uncle’s care by his mother since she knew how vulnerable he was. His uncle, Jasper Tudor, won the House of York’s power during the Battle of Tewkesbury. At this time, Henry was only 14. Majority of the Lancastrians died while others were executed during this battle. Jasper fled England to France with Henry.
How Henry VII of England claimed the Throne
In 1483, Edward IV died and Elizabeth Woodville, his wife became a window. The throne was usurped by Richard from Edward V, his nephew, who was 12 years old. This means that he made himself Richard III. At this time Henry was the leader of Lancastrian claimant to the crown of England and his support continued to grow. He made a promise to his followers and supporters that he would marry the daughter of Edward IV, Elizabeth of York, would he become the king. This move would bring unity among the warring houses of Lancaster and York that were opposing each other during the Wars of the Roses.
When and why he united England dynasties
- Battle of Bosworth
Henry arrived at Milford Haven in 1485 and marched across England and Wales to meet the forces of Richard III after which the Battle of Bosworth ensued in Leicestershire. It was after this battle that Henry became the king after the death of Richard III during the battle. Henry took the thrown at Crown Hill, close to Stoke Golding.
Henry VII later got married to Elizabeth of York after securing parliamentary recognition of his King of England’s title. This united the warring houses and he made Tudor rose the England’s emblem. This combined the red Lancaster rose with the white York rose symbolizing and end of the dynastic war.
- Power consolidation
The Wars of Roses and Battle of Bosworth did not restore order in England. Henry VII did not have a secure grip of power because he had a shaky claim of the throne and conspiracies and plots plagued it. However, he consolidated power by opening trade between England and France with the France treaty. The Great Intercourse was the most vital treaty at his time. This was signed with Netherlands and it secured the textile exports for England.
He also arranged a marriage between Margaret Tudor, his daughter, and Scotland’s James IV to secure peace between these countries. He also secured a marriage between Arthur, his eldest son, and Catherine of Argon, the Spanish Princess. By avoiding wars, Henry VII rebuilt royal finances while promoting trade. He is accredited for beginning the work of modern administration in England.
Death of Henry VII of England
Henry VII died on 21st April 1509 at the Richmond Palace. His death was caused by tuberculosis and his burial was held at Westminster Abbey. Perhaps, his success and achievement as the king can be seen from the way he was succeeded by Henry VIII, his son, peacefully. There was no rivalry that emerged immediately to challenge the England’s crown. It was not more than quarter of a century since he took over the throne yet he established a secure throne. Henry VII left a strong judicial system and treasury for England.
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