* How did Henry VI guarantee loyalty?
After defeating Richard III at Bosworth, Henry VII faced many difficulties in holding on to the power he gained. Many Yorkist’s disliked Henry VII while others believed they had claims to the throne that should be addressed. During Henry’s reign he made sure that the nobility’s power was reduced to reduce the threat of Henry himself being overthrown.
Firstly, Henry VII passed special laws called attainders. These allowed people to be declared guilty of treason without a trial, often leading to execution. Henry believed that the execution of the family member would cripple the family for good. Also, the property that was owned by the family of the guilty person would be absorbed into the crown, increasing Henry’s land and wealth. This brought in extra finance to the King. Henry believed that nobles were a threat to him, and if they got too wealthy they could pose a threat to the ...view middle of the document...
Also, Henry used bonds and recognizances to make sure that people were loyal. Bonds were a written contract of good behaviour, or to carry out a specific task. If the bond was broken, the amount associated with the bond would be owed to the crown. Therefore Henry used bonds to ensure that he got good service, otherwise people would be fined. This therefore increased Henry’s wealth if people were disloyal. Recognisances were acknowledgements of debts owed to the crown. The legal status tied in the individuals with Henry, and the decision would be made by courts, who favoured Henry. Therefore Henry used recognisances to ensure debts were paid to him, and therefore ensured people were loyal.
Henry VII also made it illegal for barrens to have private armies, known as enforcers. Enforcers were normally used to threaten people that didn’t pay their debts to the Lord, or to bribe a jury member. Henry made it illegal to keep personal enforcers because they could be used as armies, and Henry feared that they could become powerful enough to overthrow him. Therefore Henry made it so that you needed a license to have enforcers. Lords therefore had less power, and didn’t want to be an enemy of the King that was growing in power, as they knew they wouldn’t be able to fight against him without an army.
Henry also used the Star Chamber to guarantee loyalty. The Star Chamber was created by Henry in 1489. It was an instrument of the monarchy and consisted of Royal Councillors and servants. Henry could personally hear cases and he used this as a useful tool in dealing with members of the aristocracy who often defied the authority of the regular course. Therefore Henry could ensure that the members of the aristocracy were being lawful, and this could have ensure the members were loyal to Henry, as he could personally hear cases.
In conclusion Henry used these methods effectively. Henry’s reign lasted 24 years until his death and created the Tudor line that progressed. This was the first time a century that the throne had stability. This suggests that Henry was able to guarantee the loyalty of nobles. He mainly did this by reducing their power, whilst increasing his own.