Henry VII of England
Born in Pembroke, Wales on January 28, 1457, Henry Tudor’s father died two months before he was born while his mother, Margret Beaufort died when he was thirteen. Henry VII was born in a country that was largely divided by conflict and he belonged to one side of Plantagenet Royal Family, House of Manchester which was fighting another branch, the House of York for control over the throne.
His name was a descendant of Edward III which gave him a real but tenuous claim to the throne. Margret was mindful about the vulnerability of her son as such, she entrusted Henry to his uncle Jasper Tudor. When Henry was fourteen, Edward IV won power for House of York in the Tewkesbury Battle and a large number of Lancastrians were either executed or they died as a result of the battle. Tudor made the choice of feeling to France with Henry.
Claim to English Throne
In 1483, Edward the fourth died leaving Elizabeth Woodville (the White Queen), his wife a widow. Richard, his brother usurped the throne from his twelve year old nephew Edward the fifth and made himself Richard the third. Therefore, Henry was the leading Lancastrian claimant to the throne and his support grew exponentially by the day.
He gave his promise to his supporters that if he were to become king, he would marry the daughter of Edward the Fourth. Elizabeth of York a move that would serve to unite warring houses of Lancaster and York, the opposing sides in the Roses wars.
Battle of Bosworth
Henry landed in Milford Haven in 1485 and marked across England and Wales to meet Richard III’s forces at the Bosworth Battle in Leicestershire. During the battle, Richard III was killed and Henry was crowned as King Henry VII at the top of Crown Hill close to the Stoke Golding village.
Once he secured his parliamentary recognition of title as King of England, he kept his promise and married Elizabeth of York uniting the two warring houses. He adopted the Tudor Rose as the symbol of England’s emblem and combined it with the red Lancaster and white rose of York in order to symbolize the dynastic war had come to an end.
Consolidation of power
The grip Henry VII had on power was far from firm. His claim was shaky and plagued by conspiracies and [lots. To consolidate his position, he signed a treaty with France that opened trade between the 2 countries. The ‘Magnus Intercurcus’ or the ‘Great Intercourse’ was his most important treaty signed with Netherlands and securing the textile exports industry in England.
Henry VII managed to rebuild royal finances by promoting trade, enforcing loyal taxes to the point of ruthlessness and avoiding war. Because of this, he was in a position to leave his son, Henry the VIII a fortune. He died on 21st April 1509 of tuberculosis and was buried at the Westminster Abbey. He left behind a solvent government, safe throne and reasonably united and prosperous country.
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