Henry VII of England

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Henry VII (Welsh: Harri Tudor; 28 January 1457 – 21 April 1509) was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor.

Henry won the throne when he defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of England to win his throne on the field of battle. He was successful in restoring the power and stability of the English monarchy after the political upheavals of the Wars of the Roses. He founded a long-lasting dynasty and was peacefully succeeded by his son, Henry VIII, after a reign of 23 years.

Although Henry can be credited with the restoration of political stability in England, and a number of commendable administrative, economic and diplomatic initiatives, the latter part of his reign was characterised by a financial rapacity which stretched the bounds of legality. According to the contemporary historian Polydore Vergil, simple "greed" in large part underscored the means by which royal control was over-asserted in Henry's final years.[1]


Ancestry and early life

Henry VII was born at Pembroke Castle in the west of Wales on 28 January 1457. His father was Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond and his mother was Lady Margaret Beaufort.

Henry's paternal grandfather, Owen Tudor, originally from the Isle of Anglesey in Wales, had been a page in the court of Henry V. He rose to become one of the "Squires to the Body to the King" after military service at Agincourt.[2] Owen is said to have secretly married the widow of Henry V, Catherine of Valois. One of their sons was Edmund Tudor, father of Henry VII. Edmund was created Earl of Richmond in 1452, and "formally declared legitimate by Parliament".[3]

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