Henry VII's finances

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  • Henry VII's finances
    • Financial systems
      • Since the middle ages, monarchs used the Exchequer financial system.
      • Edward IV used the chamber system.
      • Henry initially returned to the Exchequer system. By 1487 he realised it was inefficient and went back to the chamber system, which dealt with all income except customs duties.
      • Henry used the chamber system as it increased the importance of the Treasurer of the Chamber and Gentleman of the Bedchamber. Gave Henry greater control.
    • Ordinary revenue
      • Came from crown lands, customs and justice and feudal dues.
        • Henry was skilful in exploiting crown lands to increase income.
        • With customs, he was less successful and couldn't match Edward IV's £70k per annum.
        • Henry exploited the justice system, using fines instead of imprisonment to raise money. Income from feudal dues rose dramatically as he enforced his rights.
      • The amount of income varied by year.
    • Why were strong royal finances important?
      • He could provide his son with money to secure the throne against challengers.
      • It enabled Henry to secure the throne and raise forces to put down unrest.
    • Extraordinary revenue
      • Parliamentary taxation was the most frequent source of revenue but only to be raised in emergencies and caused opposition.
      • Henry also asked wealthy subjects for loans and benevolences.
        • The latter weren't repaid and so couldn't be used regularly.
      • He raised money from the Church and levied money through feudal aid to fund occassions like knighting his son, Arthur.


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