Government under Henry VII

Catherine Dilnot
Mind Map by Catherine Dilnot, updated more than 1 year ago
Catherine Dilnot
Created by Catherine Dilnot almost 5 years ago


A-Level History (Tudors) Mind Map on Government under Henry VII, created by Catherine Dilnot on 04/03/2015.

Resource summary

Government under Henry VII
1 Management of central and local government
1.1 Henry developed existing institutions and relationships. The nature of royal rule was already changing before 1485 under Edward IV's new style of kingship
1.1.1 From 1471 the crown regarded the nobles less as independent local power-brokers but more as local agents with specific responsibility to transmit royal authority
1.1.2 The King increasingly managed his own finances, especially the crown lands and his feudal dues, to enhance royal authority
1.1.3 There was greater emphasis on the dignity of the monarch with the court being reformed to project royal majesty in the fashion of continental Renaissance courts
2 The English court
2.1 Since wealth was power, the King's court had to be magnificent and generous
2.2 Henry consciously copied continental examples, especially the royal courts of Burgundy and France
2.3 Court was the source of patronage, so it grew in size and importance as the King's bureaucracy expanded and the power of local magnates was reduced.
2.4 Henry VII deliberately cultivated his personal image to command subjects' obedience and to strengthen his authority by giving the impression it was permanent
2.5 1. The least political were the service departments, such as the scullery and buttery where catering requirements were supervised by the Lord Steward
2.5.1 2. There were two politically important sections of the court The Privy Chamber set up by Henry VII in the 1490s to provide a place for his personal servants; the Chamber Privy chamber was the private apartment of a royal residence in England. The gentlemen of the Privy chamber were servants to the Crown who would wait and attend on the King and Queen at court during their various activities, functions and entertainments. The section overseen by the Chamberlain, was the centre of patronage and communication between the King, ministers and all the gentry at court The Chamberlain: also known as the Lord Chamberlain, was an experienced noblemen, a member of the Counsel and also a personal friend of the King. He had administative and political functions for he often spoke for the monarch in Counsel or in parliament, and he was responsible for organising court ceremonies William Stanely He was made Lord Chamberlain and Knight of the Garter after Bosworth 1493 became a part of the Perkin Warbeck rebellion (2 years after it started) Bennett refers to the failure to obtain the Earldom of Chester On February 16, 1495 he was executed Changed Henry Henry's step father Places at court, especially in the Chamber were valued because they gave access to the powerful and therefore opportunities to promote family and local interest
3 Patronage
3.1 The personality of the King was central to the governance of the country but he clearly could not rule alone
3.1.1 He relied on all his royal servants to carry out central and local government and to represent him at the European courts In return they expected patronage: to be rewarded by the King with lucrative favours such as land grants; titles, offices, salaries, fees and commissions
4 The Counsel
4.1 The Counsel was the nerve centre of Henry's government since he ruled through his Counsel by issuing decrees and proclamations
4.1.1 The Counsel advised the King and acted as a court of law
4.2 The Counsel was a flexible body with few procedures or formal rules
4.2.1 When the King went on progress he designated some counsellor to travel with him while others stayed at Westminster to managed the ordinary business of government
4.3 During his reign, some 227 men were recorded attending Counsel, though in fact Henry normally consulted only an inner core of six or seven trusted and close advisers; most were named as counsellors primarily to give status, then sent to foreign embassies or outlying part of the region
4.4 Another important function of the Counsel was to act as the link between the King and central government on the other hand, and his subjects and local government on the other
4.4.1 A constant stream of messages, order and reports flowed from the Counsel to the Justices of the Peace who controlled the localities
4.5 Specialised committees of the Counsel
4.5.1 During Henry's reign some of the specialist work of the Counsel was devolved to specialised committees known as concilar committees.
4.5.2 The Star Chamber was set up by an Act in 1487 It was set up to deal with overmighty subjects, though in practice it met rarely and withered away This court was intended to hear complaints of maintenance, riot and abuses of privilege
4.5.3 The Counsel Learned in the Law was set up in 1495 It was to look after the King's interests as a feudal landlord of England It acquired both the functions of a court and a debt-collecting agency Under the leadership of Sir Reginald Bray, the Counsel Learned soon extended its role becoming increasingly unpopular with the wealthy landowning classes, especially over the supervision of bonds and recognisances A bond was a written contract of good behaviour or for the individual to perform a specific task. If they failed in this, they lost the money associated with their bond. Bonds had been used for many years, primarily as a way of ensuring good service from those in customs and excisesed. Some merchants paid a bond to delay payment of customs dues. Custom Duties: A tax levied on imports Henry used bonds and recognisances to keep people in check – especially the nobility. Research has shown that out of the 62 senior noble families in England in the reign of Henry, 46 were at one time or another financially tied to Henry – 7 were tied by attainder, 36 by bonds/recognisances and three by other means Rather than being just simply greedy, Henry saw money as a key way to keep the nobility under his control. To him, the more money he had, the more authority he gained over the nobility, some of whom were less than loyal in the early years of his reign Recognisances were formal acknowledgements of actual debts and other obligations owed to the Crown. This legal status tied individuals to Henry and they reneged on such debts at their per Recognisances were seen as being so important by Henry VII that none could be issues without his explicit agreement. Immediately after the Battle of Bosworth, the Earl of Northumberland and the Viscount Beaumont of Powicke had to both pay £10,000 as guarantees of loyalty. If a court deemed that they had been disloyal to Henry after this, they would have lost the £10,000. Richard Empson A lawyer with legal practice in Northamptonshire. He gained experience of royal services under Edward IV whom he served as Attorney-General for the duchy of Lancaster. He also gave public service as JP and MP, acting as Speaker of the Commons in the 1491 parliament. He rose to political prominence in the Counsel Learned in the Law Edmund Dudley A lawyer who made a name for himself as the main legal adviser to the corporation of London 1496-1502. He attended every parliament of the reign and rose to be speaker in the 1504 parliament. He was also a leading member of the Counsel Learned
4.5.4 Other counsels dealt with the outlying regions After Northumberland's murder in 1489 during the Yorkshire rebellion, Henry set up as Counsel to rule the North nominally under Prince Arthur but in practice run by the Early of Surrey. Ensured government and law and order Defended England from Scotland Henry released Northumberland to become Leuitenant Closely linked to main council Key members were appointed by H7 himself- William Servor Bishop of Carile A counsel in Wales was made and the marches was set up under Prince Arthur, then the Bishop of Lincoln after Arthurs death in 1502 Henry had many contacts in Wales through nobels and support 1/4 Welsh Decreased the threat of invasion Ruled by Jaspar Tudor until 1493- reinciated the council and appointed his son Arthur as Prince Appointed key Welsh man- Rhys Ap Thomas to be Governer of South Wales William Ap Gruffid was Governer of the North Ireland Poynings law Only owned a part of Ireland which was 50 miles long Prince Henry was made Lord Leuitent of Ireland
5 Parliament
5.1 The national assembly (parliament), both the Lords and the Commons, was called primarily by the King to do his business: to legislate and grant tax
5.1.1 It was not yet a permanent institution but was called as and when the King needed it; this, does not mean it was unimportant or irrelevant
5.2 Henry called 7 parliaments
5.2.1 The first 5 were in the first decade of the reign and only one in the second half of the reign This reflects Henry's growing security on the throne but does not mean that he devalued parliament
5.2.2 He legislated through parliament to strengthen royal authority over the nobles and the economy, and to ensure his law was applied across the realm. In this, he used parliament to emphasise that all power was derived from the crown, and that there was only one ruler in England
5.2.3 1485-6 To confirm kingship, pass Acts of Attainder
5.2.4 1487 To deal with lawlessness and financial matters after the Battle of Stoke
5.2.5 1489-90 To fund the royal army for the expedition against France
5.2.6 1491-2 To fund the expedition against France
5.2.7 1495 To manage the threat from Perkin Warbeck
5.2.8 1497 To fund the possible war against Scotland
5.2.9 1504 To raise two feudal levies for Princess Margaret's Marriage and Prince Arthur's posthumous knighthood
5.2.10 Date Purpose
6 Justices of the Peace (JPs)
6.1 Henrry increased the status and workload of JPs in local government so curbing the powers of the sheriffs
6.2 Everyone one of his 7 parliaments passed laws relevant to the work of JPs. These amateur, unpaid justices were crown-appointed, crown-controlled and crown-rewarded administrators of a great body of legislation.
6.3 They mainly operated four times a year in the Quarter Sessions, a combination of law court and administrative meetings held in each county town, but also in less formal meetings and courts known as Petty Sessions
6.4 Henry relied on his JPs to perform numerous duties ranging from serious disorder such as riots, unlawful assemblies, illegal retaining and extortion to less-threatening issues of poaching, gambling and unlawful games, and coinage
6.4.1 Henry remained anxious about how efficiently the JPs actually carried out their duties If he was dissatisfied with a JP's performance he could leave his name off the Commission of Peace for the next years In 1489 an act set out procedures for making complaints against JPs IN 1506 he issued a manual for JPs All of this suggests that Henry had the same difficulties as previous monarchs in enforcing his laws across his realm
6.5 He increased the numbers but kept the same social mix of magnates, churchmen lawyers and gentry amongst the JPs
7 Administration of Justice
7.1 Historians have commented how Henry respected judicial independence because he retained the judges he had inherited from Richard III and only replaced them on their retirement or death
7.1.1 On the other hand, some historians have criticsed Henry VII for having corrupted the administration of justice to secure his monarchy; however, this seems misplaced He initiated a conderiable amount of legislation to improve the effectiveness of common law He passed a series of acts to strengthen the law against perjury and riotous assembly, while a statute in 1496 allowed poor men to sue 'in forma pauperis' which meant that they were not required to pay It is important not to overstate the impact of these improvements, however because common law still provided little protection in many cases, leading to a rapid increase in the numbers of cases being brought because the Chancery or the counsel
7.2 In many historians' judgements, Henry appointed Sir William Huse as Chief Justice of the King's Bench in September 1485
7.2.1 Huse had the same role from 1481 so had served both Edward IV and Richard III In 1486, the King consulted Huse about the legality of Humphrey Stafford's claim that he had been forced from sanctuary so could not face trial for high reason after the failed Lovell rebellion Huse responded that he could no give the King advice on this matter before it came to court- a rebuff the King reluctantly accepted
8 Sherrifs
8.1 Appointed annually
8.2 Closest thing to the police/kept Kings peace
8.3 Arrested and prosecuted criminals
8.4 Decided whether MPs could take Parliament seats
8.5 Military role- supervising miltaria
8.5.1 Miltaria- serving men for the crown
8.6 Controlled local justices and administration
8.7 Replaced by the JPs
9 Control of the magnates
9.1 Goal was to avoid having an individual with power too great
9.1.1 Ruler of the North was not experienced/knew the North so they couldn't build up power When a title holder died his title was often given to the council Difficult for Yorkists to regain power When a title holder died with a song underage the title was given to an inexperienced person
10 How Henry managed to raise money
10.1 Henry’s position was so vulnerable that he asked Parliament for a grant in 1487 to finance the Battle of Stoke, in 1489 to pay for a war against the French and in 1496 to defend himself against the Warbeck Rebellion
10.1.1 Though the latter never fully materialised, the money that was granted was also used to put down the Cornish Rebellion
10.2 In 1489, Henry tried to introduce a form of income tax to raise the £100,000 needed to finance a war against the French
10.2.1 Such was the complexity behind collecting the tax – and the resistance to paying it – that only about £30,000 was ever collected
10.3 In 1496, Henry had to supplement the grant from Parliament with loans from his subjects
10.3.1 The evidence from records from the time suggests that the loans were usually small and always repaid In fact the king had little choice but to repay the loans as the last thing he needed were resentful nobility at a time when there were claimants to the throne
10.4 In 1491, Henry appealed for money for a war with France. The appeal raised £48,500 – a much greater sum than direct taxation could hope to raise. The commissioners sent around to collect the money were stringent in doing so. People who failed to pay what was expected of them were threatened with appearing before the Royal Council
10.4.1 A healthy desire to pay any required sum was seen as being a sign of how much a person “cherished the king” (Polydore Vergil)
10.5 Henry also received money from the Church. A parliamentary grant was usually accompanied by a grant from the archbishoprics of Canterbury and York
10.5.1 In 1489, the Church gave £25,000 to the cost of a war with France Henry did not immediately appoint a bishop when a bishopric fell empty as he could pocket the money raised in that bishopric while it was vacant. Henrys time limit on this was maximum of 12 months and by the end of his reign, this process was providing him with £6000 a year.
10.6 Henry could also call on feudal obligations for money. As chief feudal lord, Henry could exploit many old ways of gaining money – and Henry was keen to exploit this as much as was possible.
10.6.1 He could force anyone with an income of £40 or more a year to become a knight; he could also raise money when he knighted his eldest son or married off his eldest daughter. . In 1504 Henry received £30,000 for knighting Prince Arthur and the marriage of Margaret to the King of Scotland
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