Henry VII was the king of England and the founder of the House of Tudor, known as the King who ended the Wars of Roses. Although he is the founder of the House of Tudors, Henry VII is not the most popular member of the Tudor dynasty. However, he put the basics of the famous dynasty that would make England a global power in the sixteenth century. His death crowned his son, Henry VIII as the king of England. Henry VIII had six wives, which he executed two. He is also known as king who separated England from Papacy.
On December 25, 1483, Henry VII made a promise that he will marry with the eldest daughter of Edward IV, Elizabeth York. He tried several times to force his ascension to the throne of England. His final attempt was on August, 22, 1485 when he engaged Richard III in a battle, the Battle of Bosworth. Despite the fact that his army was outnumbered, Henry decisively defeated Richard’s army, making him the new king of England.
Henry VII was not only a survivor of the difficult political times, but also a stability factor. He was less relaxed, generous than his servant wished. For instance, the written records dating from that time, mentioned that he laughed only once. He relied more on the people he knew for longer time, lawyers and financial advisors. Mainly his strategy was to rely on people who could tell him how to rule the kingdom more effectively. For a better political control, he used fines for disobedience and offenses. This is where the expression comes from: “it was better to lose your money in front of Henry VII, than to lose your head in front of Henry VII.” Wealth can’t guarantee the safety of an incompetent king, but for a competent one, wealth can help internal and external politics easier to manage. He expanded crown territories, discouraged smuggling and began tax reform without harming the economic growth.
It was said before that the Middle Ages came to an end with the reign of Henry VII. It is probably an exaggeration, but that does not mean that he didn’t contribute to put an end to it. Henry VII died of tuberculosis at Richmond Palace in April, 21, 1509. He was succeeded by his second son, Henry VIII.
The second monarch of the House of Tudor, Henry VIII became the king of England right after his father died. At the beginning of his reign Henry VIII didn’t rule himself, the authority went to the minister he chose, Chancellor Wolsey. After two days from his coronation, Henry VIII arrested two ministers, Sir Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley. They were charged without evidence and executed in 1510 of high treason.
The most widespread and discussed facts about Henry VIII are his 6 marriages. Catherine de Aragon was his first wife, which Henry VIII abandoned her when he fell in love with Anne Boleyn. His second wife was executed because of adultery, three years after the marriage. Henry VIII married Jane Seymour, becoming his third wife. She died right after she gave birth to a son, the only son of Henry. The fourth wife was Anne Cleves. The marriage was arranged for political diplomatic reasons, but Henry VIII ended it because he considered Anne physically repugnant. His fifth wife was very young, Catherine Howard, but she was also executed for adultery. And lastly, his sixth wife, Catherine Parr was a wealthy widow. The marriage lasted until Henry’s death.
Breaking the ties with Rome had a long term effect over the Church of England. In 1530, Henry VIII cancelled the papal jurisdiction and declared himself the supreme head of the Church on Earth. This action before the Pope was unparalleled throughout Europe. He also ordered that all English monasteries to be closed and the practice of pilgrimage to become illegal. For the first time, the Bibles were translated in English and used in churches. Anglican Church was started by Henry VIII and it was a hybrid between the Catholic and the Protestant.
Henry VIII was a king and a warrior. He invaded France several times and he continued claiming that he was the real king of France. He is known as the most ruthless king from the Tudor’s dynasty and far from being influential Henry VIII was a king that changed the face of England.