Henry VII

(Henry VII of England, Henry Tudor)


By the end of fratricidal War of the Roses, there were few living claimants on either the York or Lancaster side. The claim of Henry Tudor, a distant cousin on the Lancaster side, who descended from John of Gaunt through an illegitimate union, was no greater than that of other distant cousins. His family, however, was well connected through the efforts of his mother, Margaret Beaufort, was on good terms with the Woodville clan. The family of princes whom Richard III had murdered when he assumed the throne greatly desired to have the usurper deposed, and they agreed to support Henry's claim if he married Elizabeth of York, the sister of the murdered princes.

Henry VII
Henry Tudor's initial attempt claim the throne was repulsed, but he was able to raise a larger force in France, and invade England with the object of deposing Richard. Several the King's generals deserted him, and he himself was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field, thereby bringing the War of the Roses to a final conclusion. The agreed upon marriage was quickly consummated, but much of Henry's early reign was dedicated to putting down rebellions. Two famous impostors presented themselves during his reign; one pretending to be one of the York princes who had been murdered by Richard III, and the other claiming to be the young Earl of Warwick. Tudor did not deal harshly with these imposters, who were both boys, and tried his best to reconcile his enemies. He sought peace after the ruinous wars of the past generations, and was conservative in both his fiscal and foreign policies.

During the final years of his reign, Henry groomed his eldest son Arthur to assume the monarchy, and arranged a marriage for him with the daughter of the powerful king of Spain. Arthur died suddenly however, and unwilling to give up her dowry, he married her to his second son Henry, who became the infamous Henry VIII. Henry Tudor died after a 24 year reign, leaving his kingdom in prosperity and peace.

Key events during the life of Henry (Tudor) VII of England:

Henry Tudor is born to Margaret Beaufort and Edmund Tudor.
Edward IV returns to the throne. Henry Tudor flees to Brittany.
Richard III usurps the throne from his nephews.
Henry makes a failed attempt to land in England.
Second attempt to invade England is successful. Richard killed at Battle of Bosworth Field.
Marries Elizabeth of York.
Lambert Simnel, a ten-year old pretender, tries to claim the throne.
Perkin Warbeck, pretending to be Richard of Shrewsbury, raises a rebellion in Scotland.
Death of Queen Elizabeth.
Death of Henry Tudor.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Field of Bosworth  in  Richard III  by  Jacob Abbott
Henry VII. and the Beginning of Modern Times  in  The Story of England  by  Samuel B. Harding
Henry VII, Columbus, and Cabot  in  The Tudors and the Stuarts  by  M. B. Synge

Image Links

Proclamation of the King
 in Stories From English History, Part Second

Marriage of Henry VII. With Elizabeth
 in Stories From English History, Part Second

Marriage of Henry VII.
 in  The Story of the English

Henry VII Picture in National Portrait
 in John and Sebastian Cabot

The Tudor Kings and Queens
 in The Tudors and the Stuarts

The Children of Henry VII
 in The Tudors and the Stuarts

Short Biography
Margaret Beaufort Mother of Henry Tudor. Benefactor of Cambridge University.
Elizabeth of York Wife of Henry VII, mother of Henry VIII
Elizabeth of Woodville Mother of the murdered princes, who helped arrange Tudor's rebellion against Richard III.
Richard III On death of his brother Edward IV, he killed his nephews and usurped the throne.