- Henry VII
1. ("Henry of Luxembourg") 1275?-1313, king of Germany 1309-13 and emperor of the Holy Roman Empire 1312-13.2. (Henry Tudor) 1457-1509, king of England 1485-1509: first king of the house of Tudor.
* * *Iborn с 1269/74, Valenciennes, Hainautdied Aug. 24, 1313, Buonconvento, near Siena, ItalyCount of Luxembourg (as Henry IV), German king (1308–13), and Holy Roman Emperor (1312–13).The first German king of the House of Luxembourg, he strengthened the position of his family by obtaining the throne of Bohemia for his son. He became ruler of Lombardy (1311) but faced conflicts between Guelphs and Ghibellines. Though crowned emperor at Rome, he was unable to subdue Florence or Naples, and he failed in his attempt to bind Italy firmly to the empire.IIorig. Henry Tudor, earl of Richmond(b. Jan. 28, 1457, Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire, Walesd. April 21, 1509, Richmond, Surrey, Eng.) King of England (1485–1509) and founder of the Tudor dynasty.As earl of Richmond and a kinsman in the House of Lancaster, he fled to Brittany after the triumph of the Yorkist forces in 1471. He later returned to England, rallied the opponents of Richard III, and defeated him at the Battle of Bosworth Field (1485). He married Elizabeth of York and ended the Wars of the Roses, though Yorkist plots continued. He made peace with France (1492), the Netherlands (1496), and Scotland (1499) and used his children's marriages to build European alliances. His commercial treaties and promotion of trade made England wealthy and powerful. He was succeeded by his son Henry VIII.
* * *▪ Holy Roman emperorborn c. 1269/74, Valenciennes, Hainautdied Aug. 24, 1313, Buonconvento, near Siena, Italycount of Luxembourg (as Henry IV), German king (from 1308), and Holy Roman emperor (from 1312) who strengthened the position of his family by obtaining the throne of Bohemia for his son. He failed, however, in his attempt to bind Italy firmly to the empire.Henry succeeded his father, Henry III, as count of Luxembourg in 1288. He was chosen German king in November 1308 at Frankfurt and was crowned at Aachen the following January, becoming the first German king of the House of Luxembourg.Bohemia was acquired through the Bohemian princess Elizabeth, who, in exchange for imperial assistance in her attempt to seize the throne of Bohemia from her brother-in-law Henry of Carinthia, offered her hand in marriage to Henry's son John of Luxembourg (John). Following their marriage on Aug. 30, 1310, the couple set out for Bohemia, accompanied by a German–Bohemian army, which captured Prague on Dec. 19, 1310, and installed John as king of Bohemia.Meanwhile, Henry journeyed to Italy, assuming the Lombard crown in Milan in January 1311. The cities of Piedmont and Lombardy submitted to him, and, in accordance with his proclaimed program of peace and impartial justice, he reconciled the warring factions and restored the exiles to their homes. But because most of them were pro-imperial Ghibellines (Guelf and Ghibelline), suspicion and discontent were aroused among the Florentines and their Guelf (anti-imperialist) allies in Tuscany and Romagna. Disorders broke out in February 1311 and led to the revolt of Brescia (May 1311), which Henry was not able to subdue until September.Early in May 1312 Henry entered Rome, where he found part of the city held against him by the troops of Robert, the Angevin king of Naples. He was, nevertheless, crowned emperor on June 29 by cardinals nominated by the Pope for that purpose.In August Henry left Rome on a campaign against the Guelf forces of Tuscany. Although he subdued a number of Tuscan towns, he failed to take Florence, the leading Guelf city in Tuscany. After spending some time in Pisa (which was friendly to his cause), he left that city in August 1313 on an expedition against Naples. On the way, after an unsuccessful attempt to capture the city of Siena, he was stricken ill with fever and died. He was buried in the cathedral of Pisa.▪ king of EnglandIntroductionalso called (1457–85) Henry Tudor, earl of Richmondborn Jan. 28, 1457, Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire, Walesdied April 21, 1509, Richmond, Surrey, Eng.king of England (1485–1509), who succeeded in ending the Wars of the Roses (Roses, Wars of the) between the houses of Lancaster and York and founded the Tudor dynasty.Early lifeHenry, son of Edmund Tudor, earl of Richmond, and Margaret Beaufort, was born nearly three months after his father's death. His father was the son of Owen Tudor, a Welsh squire, and Catherine of France, the widow of King Henry V. His mother was the great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, whose children by Catherine Swynford were born before he married her. Henry IV had confirmed Richard II's legitimation (1397) of the children of this union but had specifically excluded the Beauforts from any claim to the throne (1407). Henry Tudor's claim to the throne was, therefore, weak and of no importance until the deaths in 1471 of Henry VI's only son, Edward, of his own two remaining kinsmen of the Beaufort line, and of Henry VI himself, which suddenly made Henry Tudor the sole surviving male with any ancestral claim to the House of Lancaster.As his mother was only 14 when he was born and soon married again, Henry was brought up by his uncle Jasper Tudor, earl of Pembroke. When the Lancastrian cause (Roses, Wars of the) crashed to disaster at the Battle of Tewkesbury (May 1471), Jasper took the boy out of the country and sought refuge in the duchy of Brittany. The House of York then appeared so firmly established that Henry seemed likely to remain in exile for the rest of his life. The usurpation of Richard III (1483), however, split the Yorkist party and gave Henry his opportunity. His first chance came in 1483 when his aid was sought to rally Lancastrians in support of the rebellion of Henry Stafford, duke of Buckingham, but that revolt was defeated before Henry could land in England. To unite the opponents of Richard III, Henry had promised to marry Elizabeth of York, eldest daughter of Edward IV; and the coalition of Yorkists and Lancastrians continued, helped by French support, since Richard III talked of invading France. In 1485 Henry landed at Milford Haven in Wales and advanced toward London. Thanks largely to the desertion of his stepfather, Lord Stanley, to him, he defeated and slew Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth (Bosworth Field, Battle of) on Aug. 22, 1485. Claiming the throne by just title of inheritance and by the judgment of God in battle, he was crowned on October 30 and secured parliamentary recognition of his title early in November. Having established his claim to be king in his own right, he married Elizabeth of York (York, house of) on Jan. 18, 1486.Yorkist plotsHenry's throne, however, was far from secure. Many influential Yorkists had been dispossessed and disappointed by the change of regime, and there had been so many reversals of fortune within living memory that the decision of Bosworth did not appear necessarily final. Yorkist malcontents had strength in the north of England and in Ireland and had a powerful ally in Richard III's sister Margaret, dowager duchess of Burgundy. All the powers of Europe doubted Henry's ability to survive, and most were willing to shelter claimants against him. Hence, the King was plagued with conspiracies until nearly the end of his reign.The first rising, that of Lord Lovell, Richard III's chamberlain, in 1486 was ill prepared and unimportant; but in 1487 came the much more serious revolt of Lambert Simnel (Simnel, Lambert). Claiming to be Edward, earl of Warwick, the son of Richard III's elder brother, George, duke of Clarence, he had the formidable support of John de la Pole, earl of Lincoln, Richard III's heir designate, of many Irish chieftains, and of 2,000 German mercenaries paid for by Margaret of Burgundy. The rebels were defeated (June 1487) in a hard-fought battle at Stoke (East Stoke, near Newark in Nottinghamshire), where the doubtful loyalty of some of the royal troops was reminiscent of Richard III's difficulties at Bosworth. Henry, recognizing that Simnel had been a mere dupe, employed him in the royal kitchens.Then in 1491 appeared a still more serious menace: Perkin Warbeck (Warbeck, Perkin), coached by Margaret to impersonate Richard, the younger son of Edward IV. Supported at one time or another by France, by Maximilian I of Austria, regent of the Netherlands (Holy Roman emperor from 1493), by James IV of Scotland, and by powerful men in both Ireland and England, Perkin three times invaded England before he was captured at Beaulieu in Hampshire in 1497. Henry was also worried by the treason of Edmund de la Pole, earl of Suffolk, the eldest surviving son of Edward IV's sister Elizabeth, who fled to the Netherlands (1499) and was supported by Maximilian. Doubtless the plotters were encouraged by the deaths of Henry's sons in 1500 and 1502, and of his wife in 1503. It was not until 1506, when he imprisoned Suffolk in the Tower of London, that Henry could at last feel safe. When he died, his only surviving son, Henry VIII, succeeded him without a breath of opposition.Foreign policyIn the early years of his reign, in a vain attempt to prevent the incorporation of the duchy of Brittany into France, Henry found himself drawn along with Spain and the Holy Roman emperor into a war against France. But he realized that war was a hazardous activity for one whose crown was both impoverished and insecure, and in 1492 he made peace with France on terms that brought him recognition of his dynasty and a handsome pension. Thereafter, French preoccupation with adventures in Italy made peaceful relations possible, but the support that Maximilian and James IV gave to Warbeck led to sharp quarrels with the Netherlands and Scotland. The economic importance of England for the Netherlands enabled Henry to induce Maximilian (Maximilian I) and the Netherlands to abandon the pretender in 1496 and to conclude a treaty of peace and freer trade (the Intercursus Magnus).With Scotland the long tradition of hostility was harder to overcome; but Henry eventually succeeded in concluding in 1499 a treaty of peace, followed in 1502 by a treaty for the marriage of James IV to Henry's daughter Margaret. James's consent to the match may have been fostered by the arrival in England of Catherine of Aragon for her marriage with Prince Arthur in 1501. Spain had recently sprung into the first rank of European powers, so a marriage alliance with Spain enhanced the prestige of the Tudor dynasty, and the fact that in 1501 the Spanish monarchs allowed the marriage to take place is a tribute to the growing strength of the Tudor regime in the eyes of the European powers.After Arthur's death in 1502, Henry was in a strong position to insist on the marriage of Catherine to his surviving son, Henry (later King Henry VIII), since he had possession both of Catherine's person and of half her dowry, and Spain needed English support against France. Indeed, in these last years of his reign, Henry had gained such confidence in his position that he indulged in some wild schemes of matrimonial diplomacy. But the caution of a lifetime kept him from involvement in war, and his foreign policy as a whole must not be judged by such late aberrations. He had used his diplomacy not only to safeguard the dynasty but to enrich his country, using every opportunity to promote English trade by making commercial treaties. He made his country so prosperous and powerful that he was able to betroth his daughter Mary to the archduke Charles (afterward Emperor Charles V), the greatest match of the age.Government and administrationIn home affairs Henry achieved striking results largely by traditional methods. Like Edward IV, Henry saw that the crown must be able to display both splendour and power when occasion required. This necessitated wealth, which would also free the king from embarrassing dependence on Parliament and creditors. Solvency could be sought by economy in expenditure, such as avoidance of war and promotion of efficiency in administration, and by increasing the revenue. To increase his income from customs dues, Henry tried to encourage exports, protect home industries, help English shipping by the time-honoured method of a navigation act to ensure that English goods were carried in English ships, and find new markets by assisting John Cabot and his sons in their voyages of discovery. More fruitful was the vigorous assertion of royal fiscal rights, such as legal fees, fines and amercements, and feudal dues. This was largely achieved by continuing Yorkist methods in ordering most of the royal revenue to be paid into the chamber of the household, administered by able and energetic servants and supervised by the king himself, instead of into the royal exchequer, hidebound by tradition. So efficient and ruthless were Henry's financial methods that he left a fortune to his successor and a legacy of hatred for some of his financial ministers.In restoring order after the civil wars, Henry used more traditional methods than was once thought. Like the Yorkist kings, he made use of a large council, presided over by himself, in which lawyers, clerics, and lesser gentry were active members. Sitting as the Court of Star Chamber (Star Chamber, Court of), the council dealt with judicial matters, but less than was formerly thought. Nearly all the heavy fines levied for the illegal retaining of armed men toward the end of his reign were imposed in the Court of King's Bench and by the justices of assize. Special arrangements were made for hearing poor men's causes in the council and for trying to promote better order in Wales and the North by setting up special councils there; and more powers were entrusted to the justices of the peace. The King, moreover, could not destroy the institution of retainers since he depended on them for much of his army and society regarded them as natural adjuncts of rank. So Henry's government was conservative, as it was in its relations with Parliament and with the church.CharacterThe whole of Henry's youth had been spent in conditions of adversity, often in danger of betrayal and death, and usually in a state of poverty. These experiences, together with the uncertainties of his reign, taught him to be secretive and wary, to subordinate his passions and affections to calculation and policy, to be always patient and vigilant. There is evidence that he was interested in scholarship, that he could be affable and gracious, and that he disliked bloodshed and severity; but all these emotions had to give way to the needs of survival. The extant portraits and descriptions suggest a tired and anxious-looking man, with small blue eyes, bad teeth, and thin white hair. His experiences and needs had also made him acquisitive, a trait that increased with age and success, and one that was opportune for both the crown and the realm.Alexander Reginald Myers Ed.Additional ReadingR.L. Storey, The Reign of Henry VII (1968), is a clear summary of research, with a useful bibliography. S.B. Chrimes, Henry VII (1972, reissued with a new introduction, 1999), is the fullest biography; and Roger Lockyer and Andrew Thrush, Henry VII, 3rd ed. (1997), is a good, brief summary reflecting up-to-date scholarship. English Historical Documents, vol. 5, 1485–1558, ed. by C.H. Williams (1967); and The Reign of Henry VII from Contemporary Sources, ed. by Albert F. Pollard, 3 vol. (1913–14, reprinted 1967), provide valuable collections of documents for the reign. Francis Bacon's tendentious history, written to mark the arrival of the Stuart dynasty a century after Henry VII's death, is available in an excellent modern edition: Brian Vickers (ed.), The History of the Reign of Henry VII and Selected Works (1998). John Guy, Tudor England (1988); S.J. Gunn, Early Tudor Government (1995); and Benjamin Thompson (ed.), The Reign of Henry VII (1995), offer modern examinations of the historical period.John S. Morrill
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