Henry VI & Consolidation

  • Created by: NHow02
  • Created on: 16-04-19 12:03

1. Nobility (1585-1509)

- 1487, Star Chamber Act established a tribunal headed by the 3 primary officers of state (to hear charges against noblemen who broke laws over maintenance and retaining)

- Peerage shrank from around 62 in 1485 to about 42 in 1509 (rarely elevated anyone to the upper levels of society so it was regarded as a particular honour)

- Edward IV created 9 Earls, Henry created 3 (Lord Stanley as the Earl of Derby & Philibert de Chandee as Earl of Bath for his skills + mercenary troops at Bosworth)

- reluctant to grant lands + titles, preferring the Order of the Garter (he allowed titles to lapse by ignoring Sir Walter Herbert's claim to his late brother's title)

- Bonds & Recognisances (Lord Dacre had to invest £2000 for his loyalty)

- nobility were still troublesome towards the end of his reign (24 attained in 1495 & Lord Bergavenny was fined around £70,000 in 1506 for illegally retaining)

- allowed nobles to win back loyalty (Thomas Howard lost his title as the Duke of Norfolk at Bosworth, but was restored to Earl of Surrey in 1489)

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2. Foreign Policy (1485-1509)

As a middling power, England was vulnerable, and was therefore forced into an increasingly reactive policy...


Treaty of Redon 1489: in order assist Brittany in defying French ambitions, Henry sent 3,000 troops, paid for by Anne (traditionally seen as minimal & defensive)

- Henry lessened the threat towards Charles VIII by making it clear he was not pursuing his claim towards the French throne (recent historians argued that Brittany blocked English conquest by limiting the size of the army)

Spain (1479 treaty between France & Spain worried him):

- Catherine would pay a dowry of 100,000 crowns and marry Arthur (neither would intervene with war against France, mutual support to defend against enemies + neither would harbour pretenders)

Pillip of Castile dies in 1506, allowing Ferdinand to emerge as the sole ruler of a united Spain (the Treaty of Blois in 1506 allies Spain with France + removes need for English support)

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3. Rebellions (1485-1509)

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1. Coronation (Accession)

- Henry VII was coronated on 30th October 1485 (married later on 18th January 1486 as he didn't want it to seem as if he depended on Yorkist support)

- Henry wanted to appear regal at the ceremony (he wore a purple velvet robe that cost 40 shillings per yard & spent lavishly on ermine, ostrich feathers + saddles)

- he also showed prudence as he had inherited a bankrupt throne (he paid difference prices for separate orders of scarlet cloth - suggesting he shopped around for the best price)

Henry followed traditions of previous monarchs to the letter:

1) travelled to Lambeth Palace with the Archbishop of Canterbury on 27th October

2) walked bare headed and with a purple robe with a procession to Westminster Hall

- he used his power of patronage to reward nobles (aided him in bearing the crown, sword of state & Henry's train)

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2. Propaganda (Accession)

- the Tudor Rose (united the houses of Lancaster & York after Henry married Elizabeth on the 18th January 1486)

- Henry named his first child Arthur (after the legendary protector of Britain - exploiting the ancient symbol of kingship)

- Arthur was also born at Winchester Castle (the alleged location of the round table)

- Henry focused on his Welsh ancestry through his descent from ancient kings & claim ( instead of recent history of close ancestry)

- Henry also fought under the banner of the Red Dragon of ancient Welsh kings.

     1) Henry's champion rode to challenge any who would oppose his reign, wearing Calwaldador's coat of arms (last & most revered Welsh king)

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3. Nobility (Accession)

Nobles were important to maintain order all over the country, but Henry feared they would use the power of retaining to create private armies (openly condemned retaining in 1587):


- 1487, Star Chamber Act established a tribunal headed by the 3 primary officers of state (to hear charges against noblemen who broke laws over maintenance and retaining)

- reluctant to grant lands + titles, preferring the Order of the Garter (he allowed titles to lapse by ignoring Sir Walter Herbert's claim to his late brother's title)

- Edward IV created 9 Earls, Henry created 3 (Lord Stanley as the Earl of Derby & Philibert de Chandee as Earl of Bath for his skills + mercenary troops at Bosworth)

- the threat of nobles was demonstrated by the involvement of the Earl of Lincoln during the Simnel Rebellion (there were over 60 noble families to be wary of)

- percieved as 'anti-noble' through his persistent use of Acts of Attainder (in 1587, 28 nobles were attained - no less than the previous years)

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4. Parliament (Accession)

Comprised the House of Commons & the House of Lords only met occasionally and was not central to the system of government:

7th November 1485 - 1st Parliament      

    1. called before Elizabeth's coronation in order to express independence from Yorkist support

    2. granted tonnage & poundage (customs revenue) for life

- His FIRST TWO parliaments passed numerous Acts of Attainder (declaring individuals guilty without the incovenience of a trial)

    1. 28 people were attained in 1485-6 (out of about 60 noble families at the time)

    2. despite openly condemning retaining in 1487 - Henry VII needed nobles to continue to apply law & order in their areas (power of legislative laws was relative)

The judicial authority of Parliament was also effectively by-passed by the Council Learned

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