Shrewd, calculating, intelligent, deep Cautious, distrustful, distant An outsider, a foreigner Brought up in France in exile – foreigner Unknown in England – outsider Guarded his emotions, inscrutable Hard working, eye for detail, careful Avaricious, greedy Cultured, educated Faithful to his wife Close, tight-knit circle of friends
England torn apart by civil war England divided but war-weary Wars of Roses: York v. Lancaster Henry: House of Lancaster Took throne in battle 1485 Law and order broken down Henry VI weak King – nobility strong Overmighty subjects fought each other Did as they saw fit Wales under English rule, Ireland also (in theory) Henry Tudor – Welsh heritage Scotland independent
York kings before Henry VII (Lancaster) Edward IV Robust, popular, died suddenly Two sons: Edward and Richard Strengthened England’s finance’s and government Edward V? Boy king (12) never crowned – murdered? Princes in the Tower = Edward V and Prince Richard (10) Richard III Edward IV’s brother Murderer of his own nephews? Popular in York / north But elsewhere was rebellion
Not strong! Mother = Margaret Beaufort Descended from Edward III But through an illegitimate line John of Gaunt and Catherine Swynford Not married when children born Though made legitimate by Act of Parliament during reign of Richard II However Henry VII added a rider: that the heirs of the Beauforts could not inherit the throne So Henry descended through female, illegitimate line
Born to 13 year old mother Separated aged 4 – forced to flee Went to Herbert, Earl of Pembroke 1471 Herbert killed; Henry VI and son also Henry now Lancastrian heir – fled to Brittany Henry grew up outsider in Brittany At duke’s court watching intrigues and politics Duke weak ruler – nobles duplicitous 1584 Duke’s minister did deal hand Henry Richard III Henry fled to France Stayed at French court Again saw courtiers not to be trusted Decided rulers must be distant, suspicious
Strong, determined, intelligent, religious Later married Thomas, Lord Stanley Was to play important role in Henry’s government Fought her son’s corner in England Played key part in conspiracies against Richard III Drummed up support with English nobles for him Deal with Elizabeth Woodville – Yorkist Mother of Princes in Tower Agreed marry her daughter, Elizabeth, to Henry Thus her grandchildren throne And unite Houses of York and Lancaster
22nd August 1485 Richard III (York) against Henry Tudor (Lancaster) Richard’s army double Henry’s Yet Henry won through Richard’s support not strong though Henry won valuable ally Right at last moment Sir William Stanley And 3,000 men Wars of the Roses finally over Or did that happen in 1487...?