Which of Richard Iii, Henry Vii and Henry Viii Was the Most Effective Monarch?
- Pages: 5
- Word count: 1220
- Category: Richard Iii
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Richard III, Henry VII and Henry VIII were all effective Kings for different reasons, although they were all effective some were much more effective than others. An effective king is a king that runs the country well. That keeps peace within himself, nobles, knights and peasants. Other factors of being an effective king are to keep a good foreign policy throughout Europe and keeping power by good financial affairs. An example of where different Kings were effective in different ways is where some kings kept better foreign policy than others but some kept better relationships with their nobles and peasants.
Richard III can be thought of effective, although he may not be the most effective monarch out of the three he did have certain points in his reign where he was in fact quite an influential king. For example from the start of his reign he tried to create very good relations with his nobles, as he could not rely on his leading gentry. By attempting to do this he gave existing holders of land even more land for example Viscount Lovell. Another example of where Richard was effective in trying to keep good relations with his nobles and peasants was his well-known progress around the country getting to know his people. This can be seen as effective as not many other kings made this kind of effort on their Nobles.
However the fact that Richard tried so hard to keep good relations on his nobles backfired, as he did not think about his financial affairs. Giving existing landowners even more land was a big loss in wealth, and throughout Richards reign he lost more and more wealth. Eventually Richard relied on forced loans after his tax rise was seen as unpopular. Richards relations with nobles seemed to deteriorate through his reign, such as when he gave his nephew John De La Pole control of the north which left the Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland no reason to back him in the Battle of Bosworth. So eventually Richards’s only evidence of effective Monarchy was the reason for his loss in the Battle Of Bosworth and through all of this Richard had a very unstable reign through the hatred he received from the rumours from the Princes in the Tower, which shows that overall, Richard was not a very effective Monarch at all.
From the very start of Henry VII’s reign he had great support from many good nobles purely down to the fact that Richard was such a bad king. Henry trusted many of his nobles, as before he became king in exile he was able to grow a close group of trusted colleagues. This is evidence that Henry VII was very good with Nobles. Henry VII also had a very stable finance as he was thought to be a very ‘tight’ or ‘greedy’ king. But by being able to keep wealth, made it possible to keep power, which made Henry very effective. For example organisations he created such as Empson And Dudley, which was basically a debt collecting process where they would pursue any fines owed by the Nobility. Another way Henry would collect fines was the appointment of agents such as Sir Edward Bealknap. Henry never started war against foreign enemies, there are many reasons for this but in my opinion the loss of wealth is a big explanation. An example of this is before going into battle with France he raised £48,000 in taxes.
The lack of battles Henry created follows me to my next point. Foreign policy. Henry was in fact very effective with foreign policy; he made many promises with foreign countries such as Burgundy, Spain and the Holy Roman Empire. Henry had very good relations with Spain, and this was mainly to keep power above France. Henry even married his own into the Spanish Ruling by marrying off Arthur to Catherine of Aragon. Due to Arthur’s early-unexpected death, he eventually agreed Catherine of Aragon to marry his son Henry. Henry also created a whole new type of ruling by introducing a whole new government. Nobles were more surrounded within the government instead of being independent power, Henry also introduced the privy chamber which was a private area for the king, but also was where many decisions were thought of but were not finalised until put through the courts. Overall I believe Henry VII was a very effective king.
However, Henry VII was very unstable and un-effective in parts of his reign, such as having such a weak claim to the throne, which made him a very paranoid king. Henry also had many threats towards him such as pretenders trying to claim the throne such as Lambert Simnel. This links to his foreign policy as Ireland helped raise Simnel and teach him how to act like a prince. This shows lack in foreign policy. Although Henry had good relations with nobles he also had very bad relationships such as the failure of making good relations with leading nobles throughout England. Although Henry had good financial control, the organisations he created to keep hold of his wealth backfired as it deteriorated relations with many nobles down to the fact he was very strict with fines and even went so far as to create organisations such as Empson And Dudley.
Henry VIII was very unlike his father, a big example of this is the difference in personality. Henry VII seemed bitter and ‘tight’ where as Henry VIII is very young and ambitious. This is shown at the very start of his reign where he declared war on France; his personality was the downfall on his Kingship and left him a very ineffective king. This shows lack in foreign policy. Henry demolished organisations such as Empson and Dudley instantly after he begun his reign, this was just to show England that Henry VIII was nothing like his father. This led to popularity throughout the country and good noble relations for the beginning of his reign. This is evidence of lack of financial control. Henry did not run the country very professionally; this is shown through the change in the privy chamber and court. Henry VII created the Privy chamber to be a private place for the king, and the court to be a place for politics. Henry VIII changed this, and made all of his decisions around a group of friends in the privy chamber instead of the hard working counsel in the court. This also shows that he did not have any ambition to run the country in a manner like his father, and would prefer to act very un-professionally.
Overall I believe the most effective king is most definitely King Henry VII as he run the country extremely well, created a whole new way of running the country which is in fact still used in the world of today. He had very good financial policy compared to Richard III and Henry VIII and also kept hold of a very stable finance, which also was not done in either of the other kings. Although Henry did not have good relations with all nobles, he kept very good trusted relations with many. Henry also had a well-trusted counsel that also were a big factor in running the country well.