How Successful Was Henry Vii in Dealing with Challenges to His Royal Authority in the Years 1489 to 1499?

1652 Words May 3rd, 2013 7 Pages
How successful was Henry VII in dealing with challenges to his royal authority in the years 1489 to 1499?

Between the years 1489 and 1499, Henry received three main threats to his royal authority: the Yorkshire Rebellion in 1489; the pretender, Perkin Warbeck (from 1491 to 1499); and the Cornish uprising in 1497. All of these threats were quelled successfully; however each one presented problems to Henry and highlighted his instability on the throne. I believe that Henry dealt with the challenges successfully, but his policies suffered as a result.

In 1489, the Yorkshire Rebellion arose due to conflict between the Earl of Northumberland and the Commons of Northumberland and Yorkshire, who were reluctant to pay more taxes. The
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By 1494, Warbeck had gained support from the Holy Roman Emperor – however, luckily for Henry, he lacked sufficient military resources to back him in the field. Overall, Henry was successful in suppressing Warbeck’s support from Margaret of Burgundy and the Holy Roman Emperor – although the latter was mainly due to luck. However, what their involvement shows is that Warbeck was able to gain support from powerful foreign individuals, which proves the severity of his threat. Moreover, this is another example of Henry’s policies being sacrificed for him securing his royal authority. The embargo on wool resulted in him losing customs duty money; for a king very conscious about finance and solvency, this was a huge sacrifice.

One of Henry’s easiest successes against Warbeck was when he first invaded England in 1495; having been forewarned about the invasion, Warbeck’s small force was easily dealt with. However, a royal agent among Warbeck’s supporters – Sir Robert Clifford – claimed that Sir William Stanley was among Warbeck’s supporters. Whilst historians are doubtful (Andrew Pickering suspects he was a ‘double agent’ – working for the king as well as Warbeck), Henry took no chances, having Stanley executed. This is surprising for two reasons: Stanley’s help was a key factor in Henry’s success at Bosworth and Henry had a reputation as being a merciful

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