Consolidation Of Royal Authority: Due To Henry VII
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‘The consolidation of royal authority, in the years 1487-1509, was due to Henry VII’s control over the nobility.’ Explain why you agree or disagree with this view.
It can be argued to a certain extent that the consolidation of royal authority for Henry VII, in the years 1487-1509, was a result of control over the nobility. The challenge lied in the ability to decrease their power without alienating them whilst removing their position of threat. However, there were other contributory factors in Henry’s consolidation of his royal authority, such as his diplomatic skills in dealing with foreign powers and the indispensable use of royal finances.
Following the Battle of Bosworth of 1485, it was indisputable that Henry needed to establish new means of controlling the size and power of the nobility to levels which posed no threat to the throne. The Wars of the Roses 1455-85 resulted in 30 years of instability for England and thus Henry’s accession to the throne saw him take control of a fragmented country in which the crown was weak yet the nobility strong. Henry initially diluted noble power through the Act of Attainder which seized the titles and possessions of nobles suspected of disloyalty whilst simultaneously ensuring obedience as members of the nobility stood to lose everything should they be attained. Moreover, Henry was prepared to reverse an attainder if it would secure future loyalty evident in the fact that of the 138 attainders passed, 46 were later reversed.