King Henry VII

King Henry VII (1457-1509) of England. Henry Tudor crowned on the battlefield after defeating Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

King Henry VII was born in Pembroke on 28th January 1457 in South Wales to Edmund Tudor and Margaret Beaufort. A direct descendant of John of Gaunt who was King Edward III’s son. Henry, at the age of fourteen was exiled to France where he remained until 1485. This was due to the political and violent problems between the Houses of Lancaster and York.

king henry vii
King Henry VII (1457-1509)

During his time in France Henry made many allies with the French as many were sympathetic to his situation. The French always saw the English crown as a major threat. They had been traditional enemies of the English for centuries. The ‘100 Years War’ was still a recent memory. Henry arrived England to claim his title, he came with a large number of French troops in support. Henry had very little military or political experience and so the aid of the French was initially very important.

The news of Richard, Duke of Gloucester seizing the throne, and the rumoured murder of the ‘Princes in the Tower’. An uprising was arranged by Henry Stafford (Duke of Buckingham) along with Henry Tudor named as the rightful king. Although the rebellion failed these actions paved the way for Henry’s return from exile with his French allies.

7th August 1485, Henry landed at Milford Haven in Wales and assembled his troops. He marched on to a field just outside of Market Bosworth to confront Richard. Henry suffered from periods of insanity. His inherent benevolence eventually required his wife, Margaret of Anjou, to assume control of his kingdom. However, this contributed to his own downfall.

After he defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, Henry was crowned Henry VII, King of England. Henry subsequently married Elizabeth of York therefore uniting the Houses of York and Lancaster.