Securing the dynasty: The reign of Henry VII
The Battle of Bosworth
The War of Roses had divided the political nation, creating two sides, as factionalism at court had spilled over into conflict in the countryside.
It is against the background of such disorder in daily life that the challenge of Henry Tudor must be considered.
Henry was an obscure Lancastrian, who was scarcely known in England. If he were to become King it would have to be through force. Therefore many that believed it even if he was able to seize the throne, he would be unable to keep it.
The seizure of the throne changed the political climate in England.
As Henry later discovered later, foreign support was crucial in turning a rising into something more meaningful. He was fortunate in that the King of France was willing to provide financial help.
As Henry made his was into central England, Richard realised that he would have to face him in battle.
The two main armies met on 22nd August near Market Bosworth. Henry's army numbered 3,000, but Richards nearer 5,000. The battle was fierce with heavy casualties.
However the turning point came when Richard gambled by trying to strike directly at Henry. At this point the Stanley's saw which way the battle was going and threw their forces behind Henry.
Henry made sure that he used this advantage and was quick to make his claim to the throne legitimate (not purely based on his marriage to Elizabeth of York or his battle triumph). Therefore he dated his reign to the day before he defeated Richard and therefore Richard and his supporters could be declared traitors and their estates could become property of the crown.
The problem of the Nobility
Some historians have suggested that in order to secure...