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The Tudors – Henry VII, 1485-1509

1. How did Henry Tudor become king of England?

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we track Henry’s path from a relative unknown to becoming king of England in 1485, focusing in particular on: (i) Henry’s royal ancestry: his relation to John of Gaunt via his mother and to Catherine of Valois, wife of Henry V, via his father; (ii) his early life in the Herbert household, and his mother’s marriages to Sir Henry Stafford (1458-71) and Thomas Stanley (1472-1504); (iii) the political tumult of the 1470s; (iv) the extent to which Henry’s political fortunes change with the premature death of Edward IV in 1483 and the accession of Richard III; (v) the unpopularity of Richard’s rule and the creation of a court in exile in Brittany, centred on Henry; (vi) Henry’s return to England in 1485 and his defeat of Richard III at the battle of Bosworth Field; and (vii) the threats facing Henry in 1485.

Course

In this course, Dr Sean Cunningham (The National Archives) explores the reign of Henry VII through eight key questions: (1) How did Henry Tudor become king of England?; (2) Did Henry rely too heavily on his friends for support?; (3) How secure was Henry’s throne by 1500?; (4) To what extent was the period 1502-3 a turning point in Henry’s reign?; (5) How useful were bonds and recognizances in keeping Henry VII on the throne?; (6) Did Henry VII fail as king of England?; (7) Was Henry VII a miser?; and (8) How innovative was Henry VII?

Lecturer

Dr Sean Cunningham is Head of Medieval Records at the National Archives, with a specialism in the interconnecting processes of government and how they functioned through representative agencies, officials and individuals in the period 1399–1558. He is one of the leading historians on the reign of Henry VII (1485–1509), and has published and lectured widely on many aspects of this reign and the key figures who helped to establish Tudor power in England and Wales before the Reformation.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Cunningham, S. (2021, January 26). The Tudors – Henry VII, 1485-1509 - How did Henry Tudor become king of England? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-tudors-henry-vii-1485-1509/how-did-henry-tudor-become-king-of-england

MLA style

Cunningham, Sean. "The Tudors – Henry VII, 1485-1509 – How did Henry Tudor become king of England?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 26 Jan 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-tudors-henry-vii-1485-1509/how-did-henry-tudor-become-king-of-england

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