Birth & Death: Two Henrys and their Legacies

On this day in Tudor History, two monarchs were born and died. The first is the father, Henry VII, who was born in Pembroke Castle in Wales in 1457. The second is the son, Henry VIII who succeeded him in 1509 and died on this day in 1547.

tudors & other histories

28 January 1457 –A Very Happy Birthday to Henry the Seventh, the founder of the Tudor Dynasty!
The first monarch of the Tudor dynasty, he continues to generate controversy, no thanks to recent portrayals in fiction. In spite of the miserly image he is known for, Henry’s life was shaped by turbulent events that he had no control of. As shown by Lisle and Jones below, in comparison to Richard III, he might not appear larger than life, yet Henry also made many legal improvements that are often forgotten.

"Whatever the judgment of a merciful God on Henry VII, that of historians has not always been complimentary. What are most often recalled are his last years and the accusations of avarice. Was he a better King than Richard III might have been had he survived Bosworth? Richard's abolition of forced loans to the Crown ... his protection of the church, promotion of justice for the rich and poor alike, are in stark contrast to Henry VII's latter years." -Leanda de Lisle. However, Henry VII did try to do enough to limit the powers of the nobility and also promote for  a better church system. Much like his female counterpart in Castile, the Queen Regnant, Isabella I; he tried to regulate church leaders and promote those who had earned their position through hard work and were earnest in their devotion. Unfortunately, England was not Castile and the church and the Crown had always been at odds with each other over matters such as this one. “Whatever the judgment of a merciful God on Henry VII, that of historians has not always been complimentary. What are most often recalled are his last years and the accusations of avarice. Was he a better King than Richard III might have been had he survived Bosworth? Richard’s abolition of forced loans to the Crown … his protection of the church, promotion…

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