The Restoration of Strong Government Under Henry VII Essay

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The Restoration of Strong Government Under Henry VII

Henry VII’s relations with the nobility are controversial, but views of his success are subjective. When discussing degrees of success, there must be criteria on which to judge the subject. In this case ‘restoration of strong government’ can be measured by a close study of what Henry VII set out to achieve and whether he fulfilled his aims. He appreciated the nobility’s importance in local governance and did not want to ‘crush’ them, but merely control and limit their power, preventing rebellion and civil war. This essay examines the level of success Henry had in implementing his methods.

I agree to an extent that the nobility was the main
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He did this by rewarding 37 proven loyal nobles with the Order of Garter. This was the highest award of chivalry, but was without the financial obligations of titles. Thus, Henry successfully managed the number of nobles creating a select, loyal, controllable group.

Henry had close interest in the marriages of the nobility because under the feudal system, his permission was required for marriage. In the Middle Ages, it was common for powerful nobles to marry heiresses creating vast estates over which they had almost complete power. To stop this happening, Henry “ensured that leading magnates and their sons did not marry heiresses, thus preventing the creation of ‘super-nobles’. This prevented families such as the Stafford’s and the Percy’s from becoming too powerful. He also gave the inheritance of many unmarried women to the Crown. In this way Henry was really successful in limiting the power of nobility.

Henry, whilst respecting the local authority of the nobles, minimised their power in his central council. As Carpenter says, “the only men who Henry really did trust were certain officials…mostly of gentry region.” Not all Henry’s advisors were gentry, but many were. Sir Richard Empson and Edmund Dudly were mere lawyers and yet, tow of the most powerful people in the country in their roles as heads
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