Henry VII (before accession known as Henry Tudor, 2nd Earl of Richmond, (ウェールズ語:Harri Tudur); 28 January 1457 – 21 April 1509) was King of England, ruled the Principality of Wales〔http://nathenamin.com/2013/03/01/henry-tudor-proud-welshman/〕 (until 29 November 1489) and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor.
Henry won the throne when his forces defeated the forces of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the culmination of the Wars of the Roses. Henry was the last king of England to win his throne on the field of battle. He cemented his claim by marrying Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV and niece of Richard III. Henry was successful in restoring the power and stability of the English monarchy after the political upheavals of the civil wars known as the Wars of the Roses. He founded the Tudor dynasty and, after a reign of nearly 24 years, was peacefully succeeded by his son, Henry VIII.
Although Henry can be credited with the restoration of political stability in England, and a number of commendable administrative, economic and diplomatic initiatives, the latter part of his reign was characterised by a financial greed which stretched the bounds of legality. The capriciousness and lack of due process which indebted many in England were soon ended upon Henry VII's death after a commission revealed widespread abuses.〔Thomas Penn. ''Winter King – Henry VII and The Dawn of Tudor England''. p. 371. Simon & Schuster, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4391-9156-9〕 According to the contemporary historian Polydore Vergil, simple "greed" in large part underscored the means by which royal control was over-asserted in Henry's final years.〔
==Ancestry and early life==
Henry VII was born at Pembroke Castle on 28 January 1457 to the 13-year-old Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond. His father, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, died three months before his birth.〔Caroline Rogers and Roger Turvey, ''Henry VII'', London: Hodder Murray, 2005〕
Henry's paternal grandfather, Owen Tudor, originally from the Tudors of Penmynydd, Isle of Anglesey in Wales, had been a page in the court of Henry V. He rose to become one of the "Squires to the Body to the King" after military service at Agincourt. Owen is said to have secretly married the widow of Henry V, Catherine of Valois. One of their sons was Edmund Tudor, father of Henry VII. Edmund was created Earl of Richmond in 1452, and "formally declared legitimate by Parliament".
Henry's main claim to the English throne derived from his mother through the House of Beaufort. Henry's mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, fourth son of Edward III, and his third wife Katherine Swynford. Katherine was Gaunt's mistress for about 25 years; when they married in 1396, they already had four children, including Henry's great-grandfather John Beaufort. Thus Henry's claim was somewhat tenuous: it was from a woman, and by illegitimate descent. In theory, the Portuguese and Spanish royal families had a better claim (as far as "legitimacy" is concerned) as descendants of Catherine of Lancaster, the daughter of John of Gaunt and his second wife Constance of Castile.
Gaunt's nephew Richard II legitimised Gaunt's children by Katherine Swynford by Letters Patent in 1397. In 1407, Henry IV, who was Gaunt's son by his first wife, issued new Letters Patent confirming the legitimacy of his half-siblings, but also declaring them ineligible for the throne. Henry IV's action was of doubtful legality, as the Beauforts were previously legitimised by an Act of Parliament, but it further weakened Henry's claim.
Nonetheless, by 1483 Henry was the senior male Lancastrian claimant remaining, after the deaths in battle or by murder or execution of Henry VI, his son Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, and the other Beaufort line of descent through Lady Margaret's uncle, the 2nd Duke of Somerset.
Henry also made some political capital out of his Welsh ancestry, for example in attracting military support and safeguarding his army's passage through Wales on its way to the Battle of Bosworth. He came from an old-established Anglesey family which claimed descent from Cadwaladr (in legend, the last ancient British king) and on occasion, Henry displayed the red dragon of Cadwaladr.〔 He took it, as well as the standard of St George, on his procession through London after victory at Bosworth. A contemporary writer and Henry's biographer, Bernard André, also made much of Henry's Welsh descent.〔
In reality, however, his hereditary connections to Welsh aristocracy were not strong. He was descended by the paternal line, through several generations, from Ednyfed Fychan, the seneschal (steward) of Gwynedd and through this seneschal's wife from Rhys ap Tewdwr, the King of Deheubarth in South Wales.
His more immediate ancestor Tudur ap Goronwy had aristocratic land rights, but his sons, who were first cousins to Owain Glyndŵr, sided with Owain in his revolt. One son was executed and the family land was forfeited. Another son, Henry's great-grandfather, became a butler to the Bishop of Bangor.〔 Owen Tudor, the son of the butler, like the children of other rebels, was provided for by Henry V, a circumstance which precipitated his access to Queen Catherine of Valois.
Notwithstanding this lineage, to the bards of Wales, Henry was a candidate for Y Mab Darogan – "The Son of Prophecy" who would free the Welsh from oppression.
In 1456, Henry's father Edmund Tudor was captured while fighting for Henry VI in South Wales against the Yorkists. He died in Carmarthen Castle, three months before Henry was born. Henry's uncle Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke and Edmund's younger brother, undertook to protect the young widow, who was 13 years old when she gave birth to Henry. When Edward IV became King in 1461, Jasper Tudor went into exile abroad. Pembroke Castle, and later the Earldom of Pembroke, were granted to the Yorkist William Herbert, who also assumed the guardianship of Margaret Beaufort and the young Henry.
Henry lived in the Herbert household until 1469, when Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (the "Kingmaker"), went over to the Lancastrians. Herbert was captured fighting for the Yorkists and executed by Warwick. When Warwick restored Henry VI in 1470, Jasper Tudor returned from exile and brought Henry to court.〔 When the Yorkist Edward IV regained the throne in 1471, Henry fled with other Lancastrians to Brittany, where he spent most of the next 14 years.
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