My notes from ‘Henry VII: Winter King’ from the BBC Tudor Season 30.05.2013


Henry VII 1505 at the National Portrait Gallery.
Henry VII 1505 at the National Portrait Gallery.

Thomas Penn.
1485 Battle of Bosworth Field – from France Henry VII sailed to Wales, had spent half of his life on the run.
Hunger for power, iron determination, manipulative and paranoid.
“Never known a moment’s peace.”
Henry came ashore at Mill Bay in Pembrokeshire – tried to slip in undetected.
“Judge me O Lord and favour my cause” – odds were against him.
Appealed to the Stanley family.
Army of Richard III outnumbered Henry’s – 22 August 1485.
Stanley watched and kept his options open, eventually declared for Henry VII and turned the tide of the battle.
Henry would fight for the rest of his life to secure the dynasty.
October 1485 Henry was crowned but knew that what had happened to Richard III could happen to him.
Margaret Beaufort was the only royal link – illegitimate.
November 1485 parliament met.
Parliamentary record = Richard III seen as a usurper. Henry officially became king the day before Bosworth, all who fought for Richard were guilty of treason.

Elizabeth of York c.1500.
Elizabeth of York c.1500.

Married Elizabeth of York.
Wars of the Roses – Henry VII was Lancastrian and the invasion was only supported on the grounds of this marriage.
Tudor rose = Lancastrian red and Yorkist white.
Heir – Prince Arthur 20 September 1486 born at Windsor – Arthur was Tudor rose.
Genealogical roll – de la Pole family were the rightful heirs?
1487 first rebellion – leader, Lincoln, was slaughtered.
Architecture, household, wealth.
Henry VII creates a pound coin called a sovereign – Henry on a throne on one side and the Tudor rose with arms on the reverse.
1493 Perkin Warbeck pretended to be one of the Princes in the Tower.
Henry VII only accepted as the Princes assumed to be dead – traced back to Lord Chamberlain Stanley.
Great Hall was public face of the monarchy.
Guarded, state apartments attended by noble men and ambassadors.
Household becomes more secure and controlled.
Privy chamber – private apartments.
Control of wealth and finance – Henry controlled it personally and signed all expenses. Money meant control and security.
Henry built up a network of spies and informers.
1497 Warbeck captured.
Spanish ambassador claimed that England was finally peaceful.

Anonymous portrait of Prince Arthur, son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York c.1501.
Anonymous portrait of Prince Arthur, son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York c.1501.

Prince Arthur betrothed to Katherine of Aragon 12 November 1501 Katherine entered London “carnival mood.”
Festivities “tempting fate”?
4 April 1502 reports reached Henry VII of Arthur’s death from the sweat – buried at Worcester Cathedral.
Political impact = Prince Henry had a lot on his shoulders.
Elizabeth of York died in childbed at the Tower of London 11 February 1503.
Her death threatened another Wars of the Roses – some only supported Henry because of Elizabeth, foundations of reign shaken.
Henry’s crown “more at risk than ever.”
Henry’s subjects feared him – forced into debt to the crown to ensure their support.
Council Learned in the Law = overrode normal legal processes.
Edmund Dudley worked for Henry VII from 1503 and enforced the king’s right using forgotten laws to put people into debt.
Charges were occasionally fabricated.
January 1506 Philip of Burgundy was shipwrecked and held to ransom until he handed over the Earl of Suffolk who was planning a rebellion.
People were scared and resentful as the king’s health was fading.
1507 Prince Henry arranged a spring tournament were armoured knights jousted.
Henry not allowed – “the danger is what makes it meaningful.”
Henry VIII was very athletic and very open – traditional kind of king.
January 1509 Henry VII shut himself away and died on 21 April – Henry VII passed on his crown to his son Henry VIII.
Only 14 people knew Henry had died – kept it secret for 2 days.
Scapegoats for the wrongs done under Henry VII – Edmund Dudley.
Henry VIII issued a general pardon and promised reform – Thomas More “this king is loved.”
Henry was buried in the chapel he spent 6 years building – next to his wife.
“Ultimate statement to the world.”

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