What is the line of descent from from emperor Louis III to Henry VII?

In this Wikipedia page about the Holy Roman Emperors, it is stated that emperor Henry VII (1275-1313) is a far descendant of emperor Louis III (880-928).

What is the list of people that make the link between these two emperors ?

The short answer is yes a little research can trace the ancestry of Emperor Henry VII back to Emperor Louis III, but to accept that lineage you have to overlook the doubt about the ancestry of one woman in the lineage. And yes Emperor Henry VII has many other descents from members of the Carolingian Dynasty.

Here you see that Carolingian Emperor Louis II, brother of King Lothaire II, left one daughter that married and had children:,%20Kings%20to%20962.htm#LouisIIEmperorItalydied875

And here it lists his grandson Louis III (882 or later to 928) the Blind, King of Provence 890, king of Italy 900, Emperor 901, deposed in Italy 905.

Louis III had a son Charles or Charles Constantine of Vienne. Who in turn had children. It is possible that there could be descendants of those children.

To find a descent from Emperor Louis III the best bet would be a descent from a Capetian King of France.

This chart shows the ancestors of Emperor Henry VII back to great great grandparents:,_Holy_Roman_Emperor#Ancestry3

Emperor Henry VII's great great grandfather Emperor Baldwin I of Constantinople married Marie of Champagne, the mother of his daughter Margaret. Marie of Champagne was the daughter of Count Henry I of Champagne and Marie of France, daughter of King Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Louis VII was the son of Louis VI, who was the son of Philip I, who was the son of Henry I, who was the Son of Robert II and Constance of Arles. Constance of Arles was the daughter of Count William I of Provence, who was the son of Boso II and Constance.

Who was this earlier Constance? Who indeed.

Some sources say that Charles Constantine, Count of Vienne, son of Emperor Louis III, had a daughter Constance (920/30-963) that married Boson Count of Avignon. Boson Count of Avignon seems to be the same person as Boso II above.

Boson and Constance's son William II (955?-993) was the father of Constance (987/89-1032) wife of Robert II of France.

But medieval Lands makes it quite clear that the ancestry of Constance wife of Boson, grandmother of Constance of Arles, is unknown.

Thus anyone who overlooks the uncertainty about the ancestry of that Constance can claim that Emperor Henry VII was descended from Emperor Louis III.

Added 05-25-2017.

I have found another alleged Descent from Emperor Louis III to Emperor Henry VII but it also has one or two uncertain identifications.

Emperor Louis III (882-928) Son of Ermengarids and Boso. King of Provence 890. King of Italy 990. Crowned Emperor 901. Captured and blinded by Berenger in 905. Louis continued to reign in Provence, but Count Hugh of Arles ruled. Louis was betrothed in 900 to Anna, Daughter of Emperor Leo VI, and perhaps married her. Louis married 902/05 Adelais.

Charles or Charles Constantine (905/10-962) Count of Vienne.

Richard (d. 962 or later). Son. Childless?

Hubert. (died 962 or later) Brother, son of Charles Constantine. Possibly identical with Humbert Count of Belley. In turn Humbert Count of Belley might possibly have been the material uncle of the ancestor of the Counts of Savoy.

Adelais sister of Humbert Count of Belley and thus possible daughter of Charles Constantine. Possible mother of Humbert I Count of Maurienne and Chablis, ancestor of the Counts of Savoy.

So we will trace the heirs of the Counts of Savoy as possible heirs of the Carolingian emperors.

Humbert (970/75-1047/51) Possible descendant of Charles Constantine. Ancestor of Counts of Savoy. Count of Maurienne and Chablis.

Amedee (995/1000?-1051) Son. Amadeus I Count of Maurienne and Chablis. No surviving children.

Burchard (995/1000?-1068) Younger brother. Archbishop of Lyon. Childless.

[Odo (1017?-1060) Younger brother. Count of Maurienne and Chablis 1051, Margrave of Susa]

Count Peter I of Savoy (1047/49-1078) Margrave of Susa. Son.

Amadeus II Count of Savoy Margrave of Susa. (1048/50-1080) Brother.

Count Humbert II of Savoy (1072-1103) Son.

Adelaide (1092?-1154) daughter. Married King Louis VI (1081-1137) the Fat of France.[

Louis VII (1120-1180) King of France. Son.

Marie of France (1145-1198) daughter. Married Henry I (1126-1181) Count of champagne.

Empress Marie (1174?-1204) Daughter. Married future Emperor Baldwin I of Constantinople (1171-1205).

Margaret II (1202-1280) Countess of Flanders and Hainaut. Daughter. Married first Bouchard d'Avesnes (1180?-1244).,%20HAINAUT.htm#BaudouinIXdied1205B16

Baldwin of Avesnes (1219-1295) Son.

Beatrix d'Avenes (d. 1321) daughter. Married Count Henry VI of Luxemburg (1250?-1288)

Emperor Henry VII (1274-1313) Son.

See also post number 36 here:

Bu this all depends on if Hubert son of Charles Constantine is the same person as Humbert Count of Belley and if the sister of Humbert Count of Belley was the mother of Humbert Count of Maurienne and Chablis, ancestor of the Counts of Savoy.

Return to original post.

It is possible that any descent from any Carolingian, not merely Emperor Louis III, would suffice to satisfy the original question,

As you can see by looking at the ancestor chart of Emperor Henry VII, most of his ancestors came from the Benelux countries or neighboring regions of France and Germany. The Counts of Louvain and later the Dukes of Brabant, heirs of the Carolingian Kings of France, intermarried with noble families in that area.,_Holy_Roman_Emperor#Ancestry3

Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Lombards and "Great Peaceful Emperor Governing the Roman Empire", was the father of Emperor Louis I, whose sons included Charles II the Bald, King of the west Franks (or of France) and Emperor, father of Kin gLouis II the Stammmerer, father of King Charles III the Simple, father of King Louis IV from Overseas, father of (his younger son) Duke Charles (953-991) of Lorraine, rightful heir of France.

Duke Charles of Lotharingia/Lorraine was the father of Gerberga (975?-after 1018) who married Lambert I Count of Louvain.

Gerberga and Lambert I were the parents of Lambert II Count of Louvain.,%20LOUVAIN.htm#LambertILouvaindied101521

Lambert II, Count of Louvain (died 1062) had a son Henry II, Count of Louvain.,%20LOUVAIN.htm#LambertILouvaindied101521

Henry II, Count of Louvain (died c. 1078) had a daughter Ida who married Baldwin II of Hainaut.,%20LOUVAIN.htm#_Toc44081109522

Their children included Baldwin III, Count of Hainaut, father of Baldwin IV, father of Baldwin V.

Baldwin V was the father of Baldwin VI who became Latin Emperor Baldwin I of Constantinople in 1204.

Emperor Baldwin's daughter Countess Margaret II was the mother of Baldwin of Avesnes who was the father of Beatrice of Avesnes, the mother of Emperor Henry VII. So I was able to find one of Emperor Henry VII's no doubt many descents from the Carolingians in just a few minutes of online research.

Emperor Henry VII was also son of Count Henry VI of Luxemburg, son of Margaret of Bar, daughter of Philippa of Dreux, daughter of Count Robert II of Dreux and Yolanda of Coucy. Yolande of Coucy (died 1222) was the daughter of Raoul of Coucy and Agnes of Hainaut.

Agnes of Hainaut was the daughter of Baldwin IV, the son of Baldwin III, the son of Baldwin II and Ida of Louvain, one of the children of Count Henry II of Louvain, descendant of the Carolingian kings of France.,%20LOUVAIN.htm#IdaLouvaindied113926

So a few minutes of research finds another descent from the Carolingians.

By an interesting coincidence I have recently been investigating a pedigree claiming that Emperor Henry VII and his Luxemburg Dynasty was the heir of the Ottonian Dynasty and the Ottonian Dynasty could be considered the heir of the Carolingian Dynasty. But descended from Emperor Lothaire I's son King Lothaire II of Lotharingia instead of Emperor Louis III.

Look for "The Carolingian Legacy" here:

Posts number 12 and number 14 in this thread in Historum discusses the alleged heirship of Emperor Henry VII.

In it I conclude that Emperor Henry VII was not the senior heir of the Saffenberg counts, and that I have not yet found any genealogical link between his Saffenberg ancestors and the descendants of Emperor Otto II.

It is my opinion that since for almost five hundred years the head of the Hohenzollern Dynasty was the rightful heir of the Kings and Emperors of Emperor Henry VII's Luxemburg Dynasty, some supporter of the Hohenzollerns decided to make their ancestry even better by digging up or inventing genealogical links that made them the allegedly rightful heirs of the earlier Carolingian and Ottonian Dynasties.

I have found another alleged Descent from Emperor Louis III to Emperor Henry VII but it also has one or two uncertain identifications.

Emperor Louis III (882-928) Son of Ermengarids and Boso. King of Provence 890. King of Italy 990. Crowned Emperor 901. Captured and blinded by Berenger in 905. Louis continued to reign in Provence, but Count Hugh of Arles ruled. Louis was betrothed in 900 to Anna, Daughter of Emperor Leo VI, and perhaps married her. Louis married 902/05 Adelais.[6]

Charles or Charles Constantine (905/10-962) Count of Vienne.[6]

Richard (d. 962 or later). Son. Childless?[6]

Hubert. (died 962 or later) Brother, son of Charles Constantine. Possibly identical with Humbert Count of Belley. In turn Humbert Count of Belley might possibly have been the material uncle of the ancestor of the Counts of Savoy.[6][7]

Adelais sister of Humbert Count of Belley and thus possible daughter of Charles Constantine. Possible mother of Humbert I Count of Maurienne and Chablis, ancestor of the Counts of Savoy.[7]

So we will trace the heirs of the Counts of Savoy as possible heirs of the Carolingian emperors.

Humbert (970/75-1047/51) Possible descendant of Charles Constantine. Ancestor of Counts of Savoy. Count of Maurienne and Chablis.[7][8]

Amedee (995/1000?-1051) Son. Amadeus I Count of Maurienne and Chablis. No surviving children.[9]

Burchard (995/1000?-1068) Younger brother. Archbishop of Lyon. Childless.[9]

[Odo (1017?-1060) Younger brother. Count of Maurienne and Chablis 1051, Margrave of Susa][10]

Count Peter I of Savoy (1047/49-1078) Margrave of Susa. Son.[10]

Amadeus II Count of Savoy Margrave of Susa. (1048/50-1080) Brother.[11]

Count Humbert II of Savoy (1072-1103) Son.[11]

Adelaide (1092?-1154) daughter. Married King Louis VI (1081-1137) the Fat of France.[[12][13]

Louis VII (1120-1180) King of France. Son.[14]

Marie of France (1145-1198) daughter. Married Henry I (1126-1181) Count of champagne.[14]

Empress Marie (1174?-1204) Daughter. Married future Emperor Baldwin I of Constantinople (1171-1205).[15]

Margaret II (1202-1280) Countess of Flanders and Hainaut. Daughter. Married first Bouchard d'Avesnes (1180?-1244).,%20HAINAUT.htm#BaudouinIXdied1205B[16]

Baldwin of Avesnes (1219-1295) Son.[17]

Beatrix d'Avenes (d. 1321) daughter. Married Count Henry VI of Luxemburg (1250?-1288)[17]

Emperor Henry VII (1274-1313) Son.[18]

See also post number 36 here:[19]

Bu this all depends on if Hubert son of Charles Constantine is the same person as Humbert Count of Belley and if the sister of Humbert Count of Belley was the mother of Humbert Count of Maurienne and Chablis, ancestor of the Counts of Savoy.

The almost 400 years between the 2 emperors translates to more than 10 generations and many different lines of ancestors that would need to be investigated. Since intermarriage of noble families was common, if the assertion (that there IS a relationship) is true, there is almost certainly more than one valid path between these men. Check out the various royal genealogies on the internet to follow Henry's pedigree until each line reaches either a brickwall (end-point) or a point past the year 880 (a tedious process, even without doing the basic research into the records yourself).

Example Henry,VII,Count Of /Luxembourg,Holy Roman Emperor/

Beware, however, that there will errors and leaps of faith in some of these genealogies, and that they don't all agree at all points.

Louis III of Sierra

Louis III (Stephen Christopher Robert February 1, 1913–September 9, 1991) was King of Sierra and Emperor of Tondo who reigned from September 18, 1945 until his death in 1991. He was the longest reigning monarch in Sierra's history, whose reign lasted for 46 years that spanned nearly the entirety of the Cold War which began shortly after the end of World War II and ended almost four months before the Dissolution of the Soviet Union. During his reign, he held the era name Gōng Róng (公榮) and the historical period during Lewis' reign is referred to as the Gongrong period. His official name among Sierran Jacobites was Robert I & IV, with I referring to Jacobites' belief that Lewis was the first legitimate monarch bearing the name Robert in England and Ireland and the fourth such monarch in Scotland. Although Lewis did not pursue the pretender titles to these countries, he possessed direct ancestry to James II, the last Stuart monarch recognized by Jacobites to have ruled England, Scotland, and Ireland. Lewis was also the last Sierran monarch to possess the title "Emperor-King". He was the last Emperor of Tondo before Tondo gained its independence in 1946 and became a presidential republic.

Lewis was born in Mulholland University Medical Center in the city of Porciúncula to Crown Prince Lewis, Duke of Newark (later Louis II) and Maylene, Duchess of Newark, later Queen Consort Maylene. As the eldest son, Lewis spent his childhood and young adulthood as the heir apparent to the throne while his father reigned as king. Like his father, he was educated at the Saint Vibiana Priory School in Porciúncula, and then Santa Monica High School in Santa Monica. He studied biology at the University of Sierra, Porciúncula before serving four years in the Sierran Royal Navy. After he was invested as the Duke of Newark in 1931, he pursued a more active role in Sierran politics by advancing his father's ideas and working intergovernmentally as a liaison within the Privy Council.

Lewis acceded the throne as the fourth monarch of Sierra in 1945 shortly after the end of World War II when his father died from an automobile-related accident. During his reign, he presided over the continued development and maturation of the Sierran military-industrial complex in its rise as a superpower during the Cold War and transformative social, political, and cultural changes during the 1960s and 1970s. He played a proactive role as the head of state domestically and internationally, making frequent visits to Parliament to voice his regnal opinion and participating in foreign engagements abroad as a diplomat. Lewis collaborated extensively with his prime ministers and transformed the Privy Council into a central political apparatus that included the most senior officials in the civilian government and military. His involvement in partisan politics earned him the moniker as the "Meddling Monarch" by critics and political commentators as he further advanced the institution of the Sierran monarchy as an integral, invested force in Sierran politics. The extent of Lewis' involvement has been speculated and debated throughout Sierran political discourse, particularly on his culpability surrounding The Disturbances, a period of unrest in the Styxie where political republicanism resurged in the region in direct opposition to Lewis and the monarchial state.

During and after his life, Lewis was described as a polarizing figure who eschewed the traditional image of the Sierran monarchy. In contrast to his father who was viewed as passive, reserved, and jebbish, Lewis was known for his charismatic and energetic style of leadership. As Crown Prince, he frequently sparred with critics and peers, whose personality was described as "problematic" by Prime Minister Poncio Salinas due to Lewis' hot-temperedness and impulsive behavior. As king, he maintained a domineering presence at every level of the Royal Household who sought to further elevate the prestige and grandeur of the Sierran monarchy. His partisan-driven leadership also placed him at odds with republican-minded policymakers and fared poorly among the Democratic-Republican elite. Politically, he identified himself as a social conservative and a neoliberal, aligning himself more closely and explicitly along the Royalists who had traditionally supported the institution of the monarchy. In the midst of Cold War politics, Lewis was an avowed anti-communist and was often represented as the ceremonial head of the capitalist Western Bloc in opposition to the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc.


Individuals whose names are in bold reigned as monarchs in the United Kingdom and its predecessor states.

  1. William I of England
  2. Henry I of England
  3. Henry II of England
  4. John of England
  5. Henry III of England
  6. Edward I of England
  7. Edward II of England
  8. Edward III of England
  9. Edward IV of England
  10. James VI of Scotland and I of England
  11. George I of Great Britain
  12. George II of Great Britain
  13. George III of the United Kingdom
  14. Victoria of the United Kingdom
  15. Edward VII of the United Kingdom
  16. George V of the United Kingdom
  17. George VI of the United Kingdom
  18. Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom

Henry VII of England

"Henry VII (Welsh: Harri Tudur 28 January 1457 – 21 April 1509) was King of England 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 Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of England to win his throne on the field of battle. Henry 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 rapacity 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. 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."

[S1] S&N Genealogy Supplies, S&N Peerage CD., CD-ROM (Chilmark, Salisbury, U.K.: S&N Genealogy Supplies, no date (c. 1999)). Hereinafter cited as S&N Peerage CD.

[S4] C.F.J. Hankinson, editor, DeBretts Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage, 147th year (London, U.K.: Odhams Press, 1949), page 20 . Hereinafter cited as DeBretts Peerage, 1949.

[S5] #552 Europaische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der europaischen Staaten. Neue Folge (1978), Schwennicke, Detlev, (Marburg: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, c1978-1995 (v. 1-16) -- Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, c1998- Medieval Families bibliography #552.), FHL book Q 940 D5es new series., vol. 2 p. 94.

[S6] G.E. Cokayne with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959 reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume I, page 157, volume II, page 45, volume III, page 175. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.

[S7] #44 Histoire de la maison royale de France anciens barons du royaume: et des grands officiers de la couronne (1726, reprint 1967-1968), Saint-Marie, Anselme de, (3rd edition. 9 volumes. 1726. Reprint Paris: Editions du Palais Royal, 1967-1968), FHL book 944 D5a FHL microfilms 532,231-532,239., vol. 1 p. 129.

[S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 149-151. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Families.

[S14] #236 Encyclopຝie génບlogique des maisons souveraines du monde (1959-1966), Sirjean, Gaston, (Paris: Gaston Sirjean, 1959-1966), FHL book 944 D5se., vol. 1 pt. 1 p. 88.

[S16] #894 Cahiers de Saint-Louis (1976), Louis IX, Roi de France, (Angers: J. Saillot, 1976), FHL book 944 D22ds., vol. 2 p. 108, vol. 3 p. 133.

[S18] Matthew H.C.G., editor, Dictionary of National Biography on CD-ROM (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1995), reference "Henry VII, 1457-1509". Hereinafter cited as Dictionary of National Biography.

[S20] Magna Carta Ancestry: A study in Colonial and Medieval Families, Richardson, Douglas, (Kimball G. Everingham, editor. 2nd edition, 2011), vol. 4 p. 225.

[S22] #374 The Lineage and Ancestry of H. R. H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (1977), Paget, Gerald, (2 volumes. Baltimore: Geneal. Pub., 1977), FHL book Q 942 D22pg., vol. 1 p. 31.

[S23] #849 Burke's Guide to the Royal Family (1973), (London: Burke's Peerage, c1973), FHl book 942 D22bgr., p. 200.

[S25] #798 The Wallop Family and Their Ancestry, Watney, Vernon James, (4 volumes. Oxford: John Johnson, 1928), FHL book Q 929.242 W159w FHL microfilm 1696491 it., vol. 3 p. 777.

[S34] #271 Lives of the Queens of England from the Norman Conquest (1843), (New edition. 6 volumes. New York: John W. Lovell [1843]), FHL book 942 D3sa FHL microfilms 845,145-845,147., vol. 1 p. 657-702.

[S35] #244 The History and Antiquities of the County of Northampton (1822-1841), Baker, George, (2 volumes. London: J. B. Nichols and Son, 1822-1841), FHL book Q 942.55 H2bal FHL microfilm 962,237 ite., vol. 1 p. 56.

[S37] #93 [Book version] The Dictionary of National Biography: from the Earliest Times to 1900 (1885-1900, reprint 1993), Stephen, Leslie, (22 volumes. 1885-1900. Reprint, Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1993), FHL book 920.042 D561n., vol. 26 p. 69-94.

[S39] Medieval, royalty, nobility family group sheets (filmed 1996), Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family History Department. Medieval Family History Unit, (Manuscript. Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1996), FHL film 1553977-1553985..

[S47] #688 Collectanea topographica et genealogica (1834-1843), (8 volumes. London: J.B. Nichols, 1834-1843), FHL book 942 B2ct FHL microfilms 496,953 item 3 a., vol. 1 p. 295, 297, 308.

[S54] #21 The complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, extant, extinct, or dormant, Cokayne, George Edward, (Gloucester [England] : Alan Sutton Pub. Ltd., 1987), 942 D22cok., vol. 3 p. 441, 443.

[S66] #242 [1831 edition] A General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerages of England, Ireland, and Scotland, Extinct, Dormant, and in Abeyance (1831), Burke, John, (London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, 1831), FHL book 942 D22bg 1831 FHL microfilm 845,453 ite., p. 161.

[S81] #125 The Royal Daughters of England and Their Representatives (1910-1911), Lane, Henry Murray, (2 voulmes. London: Constable and Co., 1910-1911), FHL microfilm 88,003., vol. 1 p. 309-310 319- 331 table.

[S101] #11833 The Ancestry of Mary Isaac, C.1549-1613: Wife of Thomas Appleton of Little Waldingfield, Co. Suffolk . . . (1955), Davis, Walter Goodwin, (Portland, Maine: Anthoesen Press, 1955), FHL book 929.242 Is1d FHL microfilm 990,484 item ., p. 26.

[S107] #150 [1827-1878] A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage, Together with Memoirs of the Privy Councillors and Knights (1827-1878), Burke, Sir John Bernard, (London: Henry Colburn, 1827-1878), FHL book 942 D22bup., 1949 p. 1428-1429.

[S338] Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families (2004), Richardson, Douglas, edited by Kamball G. Everingham, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004), FHL book 942 D5rd., p. xxix.

[S631] An Encyclopedia of World History Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, Chronologically Arranged (1972), Langer, William L., (5th edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972), p. 292.

[S658] The Royal Stewarts, Henderson, T. F., (William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London, 1914), 929.241 St49h., Stewart Pedigree.

[S673] #1079 A History of Monmouthshire from the Coming of the Normans into Wales down to the Present Time (1904-1993), Bradney, Sir Joseph Alfred, (Publications of the South Wales Record Society, number 8. Five volumes in 13. London: Mitchell, Hughes and Clarke, 1904-1993), FHL book 942.43 H2b., vol. 2 p. 26 vol. 3 p. 8.

[S676] Mary Tudor, the White Queen (1970), Richardson, Walter Cecil, (Seattle, Washington: University of Washington Press [1970]), HBLL book DC 108. R5 1970b., p. 3, 33, 80, 96, 199, 210, 21 213, 264.

[S677] The Earlier Tudors, 1485-1558 (1952), Mackie, John Duncan, (The Oxford history of England, v. 7. Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1952), FHL book 942 H2oh v. 7., p. 48, 65.

[S678] #1039 Pedigrees of Anglessey and Carnarvonshire Families: with Their Collateral Branches in Denbighshire, Merionethshire (1914), Griffith, John Edwards, (Horncastle, England: W.K. Morton, 1914), FHL book Folio 942.9 D2gr FHL microfilm 468,334., p. 106, 223, 270.

[S1800] #771 The History of the Princes, the Lords Marcher and the Ancient Nobility of Powys Fodog and the Ancient Lords of Arwystli, Cedewen and Meirionydd (1881-1887), Lloyd, Jacob Youde William, (6 volumes. London: T. Richards, 1881-1887), FHL book 942.9 D2L FHL microfilms 990,213-990,214., vol. 2 p. 135 vol. 4 p. 283*.

[S1850] Medieval Lands: A Prosopography of Medieval European Noble and Royal Families, Charles Cawley, (, England, Kings 1066-1603 [accessed 28 Jun 2006].

[S1886] #89 A Genealogical History of the Kings of England, and Monarchs of Great Britain, & C. From the Conquest, Anno 1066 to the Year, 1677, Sandford, Francis Esq., (London: Thomas Newcomb, 1677), FHL microfilm 599,670 item 3., p. 312.

[S1924] #189 The Scots Peerage: Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, Containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the Nobility of that Kingdom, with Armorial Illustrations (1904-1914), Paul , Sir James Balfour, (9 volumes. Edinburgh: D. Douglas, 1904-1914), FHL book 941 D22p FHL microfilms104,157-104,161., vol. 1 p. 21.

[S2318] #1210 The Family of Griffith of Garn and Plasnewydd in the County of Denbigh, as Registered in the College of Arms from the Beginning of the XIth Century (1934), Glenn, Thomas Allen, (London: Harrison, 1934), FHL book 929.2429 G875g FHL microfilm 994,040 ite., p. 223.

[S2411] #11915 British Genealogy (filmed 1950), Evans, Alcwyn Caryni, (Books A to H. National Library of Wales MSS 12359-12360D. Manuscript filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1950), FHL microfilms 104,355 and 104,390 item 2., book 6 p. F4*, F5 book 8 p. H45*.

[S2434] #2105 Heraldic Visitations of Wales and Part of the Marches Between the Years 1586 and 1613 by Lewys Dwnn (1846), Dwnn, Lewys transcribed and edited with notes by Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, (2 volumes. Llandovery: William Rees, 1846), FHL book 942.9 D23d FHL microfilm 176,668., vol. 2 p. 88, 108.

[S2436] #4569 Welsh Genealogies AD 1400-1500 (1983), Bartrum, Peter C. (Peter Clement), (18 volumes, with supplements containing additions and corrections. Aberystwyth: National Library of Wales, 1983), FHL book 942.9 D2bw., vol. 8 p. 1284. Henry VII of England From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Henry VII King Henry VII.jpg Henry holding a rose and wearing the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece, by unknown artist, 1505 King of England (more. ) Reignढ August 1485 – 21 April 1509 Coronationर October 1485 Predecessor Richard III Successor Henry VIII Bornन January 1457 Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales Diedड April 1509 (aged 52) Richmond Palace, Surrey, England Burialऑ May 1509 Westminster Abbey, London Spousežlizabeth of York (m. 1486 d. 1503) Issue more. šrthur, Prince of Wales Margaret, Queen of Scots Henry VIII, King of England Mary, Queen of France House Tudor Father৭mund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond Mother Lady Margaret Beaufort Religion Roman Catholic Signature Henry VII's signature English Royalty House of Tudor Coat of Arms of Henry VII of England (1485-1509).svg Royal Coat of Arms Henry VII Arthur, Prince of Wales Margaret, Queen of Scots Henry VIII Mary, Queen of France v t e Henry VII (Welsh: Harri Tudur 28 January 1457 – 21 April 1509) was King of England from seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, and the first monarch of the House of Tudor. He ruled the Principality of Wales[1] until 29 November 1489 and was Lord of Ireland.

Henry won the throne when his forces defeated King 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 civil war, and after a reign of nearly 24 years, he was peacefully succeeded by his son, Henry VIII.

Henry can also be credited with a number of administrative, economic and diplomatic initiatives He paid very close attention to detail. Instead of spending lavishly he concentrated on raising new revenues. His new taxes were unpopular and when Henry VIII succeeded him he executed his two most hated tax collectors.

His supportive stance of the islands' wool industry and stand off with the Low Countries had long lasting benefits to all the British Isles economy. However, the capriciousness and lack of due process that indebted many would tarnish his legacy and were soon ended upon Henry VII's death, after a commission revealed widespread abuses.[2] According to the contemporary historian Polydore Vergil, simple "greed" underscored the means by which royal control was over-asserted in Henry's final years.[3]

Contents [hide] 1šncestry and early life 2 Rise to the throne 3 Reign 3.1৬onomics 3.2Ÿoreign policy 3.3 Trade agreements 3.4 Law enforcement and Justices of Peace 3.5 Later years and death 4šppearance and character 5 Legacy and memory 6 Henry's titles 7šrms 8 Issue 9šncestry 10 See also 11 Notes 12 References 13žxternal links Ancestry and early life Henry VII was born at Pembroke Castle on 28 January 1457 to Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond. His father, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, died three months before his birth.[4]

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 the Battle of Agincourt.[5] 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".[6]

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 Castilian 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.

Young Henry VII, by a French artist (Musພ Calvet, Avignon) 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.[7] 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.[8][9] He came from an old, established Anglesey family that claimed descent from Cadwaladr (in legend, the last ancient British king),[10] and on occasion Henry displayed the red dragon of Cadwaladr.[8] He took it, as well as the standard of St George, on his procession through London after the victory at Bosworth.[11] A contemporary writer and Henry's biographer, Bernard André, also made much of Henry's Welsh descent.[10]

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.[12][13][14] 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.[11] Owen Tudor, the son of the butler, like the children of other rebels, was provided for by Henry V, a circumstance that precipitated his access to Queen Catherine of Valois.[15]

Pembroke Castle 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.[16] 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.[17]

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.[18] When Warwick restored Henry VI in 1470, Jasper Tudor returned from exile and brought Henry to court.[18] 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 under the protection of Francis II, Duke of Brittany. In November 1476, Henry's protector fell ill and his principal advisers were more amenable to negotiating with the English king. Henry was handed over and escorted to the Breton port of Saint-Malo. While there, he feigned stomach cramps and in the confusion fled into a monastery. As at Tewkesbury Abbey after 1471 battle, Edward IV prepared to order his extraction and probable execution. The townspeople took exception to his behaviour, however, and Francis recovered from his illness. Thus a small band of scouts rescued Henry.

Rise to the throne By 1483, Henry's mother was actively promoting him as an alternative to Richard III, despite her being married to a Yorkist, Lord Stanley. At Rennes Cathedral on Christmas Day 1483, Henry pledged to marry the eldest daughter of Edward IV, Elizabeth of York, who was also Edward's heir since the presumed death of her brothers, the Princes in the Tower (King Edward V and his brother Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York).[19] Henry then received the homage of his supporters.

With money and supplies borrowed from his host, Francis II, Duke of Brittany, Henry tried to land in England, but his conspiracy unravelled, resulting in the execution of his primary co-conspirator, the Duke of Buckingham.[20] Now supported by Francis II's prime-minister, Pierre Landais, Richard III attempted to extradite Henry from Brittany, but Henry escaped to France.[21] He was welcomed by the French, who readily supplied him with troops and equipment for a second invasion.

Henry gained the support of the Woodvilles, in-laws of the late Edward IV, and sailed with a small French and Scottish force, landing in Mill Bay, Pembrokeshire, close to his birthplace. He marched towards England accompanied by his uncle Jasper and the Earl of Oxford. Wales was traditionally a Lancastrian stronghold, and Henry owed the support he gathered to his Welsh birth and ancestry, being directly descended, through his father, from Rhys ap Gruffydd.[22] He amassed an army of around 5,000 soldiers.[23][24]

Henry was aware that his best chance to seize the throne was to engage Richard quickly and defeat him immediately, as Richard had reinforcements in Nottingham and Leicester. Richard only needed to avoid being killed to keep his throne. Though outnumbered, Henry's Lancastrian forces decisively defeated Richard's Yorkist army at the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485. Several of Richard's key allies, such as the Earl of Northumberland and William and Thomas Stanley, crucially switched sides or left the battlefield. Richard III's death at Bosworth Field effectively ended the Wars of the Roses, although it was not the last battle Henry had to fight.

The Tudor Rose: a combination of the Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York The first concern for Henry was to secure his hold on the throne. He declared himself king "by right of conquest" retroactively from 21 August 1485, the day before Bosworth Field.[25] Thus anyone who had fought for Richard against him would be guilty of treason, and Henry could legally confiscate his lands and property of Richard III while restoring his own. However, he spared Richard's nephew and designated heir, the Earl of Lincoln, and he made Margaret Plantagenet, a Yorkist heiress, Countess of Salisbury sui juris. He took great care not to address the baronage, or summon Parliament, until after his coronation, which took place in Westminster Abbey on 30 October 1485.[26] Almost immediately afterwards, he issued an edict that any gentleman who swore fealty to him would, notwithstanding any previous attainder, be secure in his property and person.

Henry then honoured his pledge of December 1483 to marry Elizabeth of York.[20][27] They were third cousins, as both were great-great-grandchildren of John of Gaunt.[28] The marriage took place on 18 January 1486 at Westminster. The marriage unified the warring houses and gave his children a strong claim to the throne. The unification of the houses of York and Lancaster by this marriage is symbolised by the heraldic emblem of the Tudor rose, a combination of the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster. It also ended future discussion as to whether the descendants of the fourth son of Edward III, Edmund, Duke of York, through marriage to Philippa, heiress of the second son, Lionel, Duke of Clarence, had a superior or inferior claim to those of the third son John of Gaunt, who had held the throne for three generations. In addition, Henry had Parliament repeal Titulus Regius, the statute that declared Edward IV's marriage invalid and his children illegitimate, thus legitimising his wife. Amateur historians Bertram Fields and Sir Clements Markham have claimed that he may have been involved in the murder of the Princes in the Tower, as the repeal of Titulus Regius gave the Princes a stronger claim to the throne than his own. Alison Weir, however, points out that the Rennes ceremony, two years earlier, was possible only if Henry and his supporters were certain that the Princes were already dead.[29]

Perfected and fluted armour of Henry VII Henry secured his crown principally by dividing and undermining the power of the nobility, especially through the aggressive use of bonds and recognisances to secure loyalty. He also enacted laws against livery and maintenance, the great lords' practice of having large numbers of "retainers" who wore their lord's badge or uniform and formed a potential private army.

While he was still in Leicester, after the battle of Bosworth Field, Henry was already taking precautions to prevent any rebellions against his reign. Before leaving Leicester to go to London, Henry dispatched Robert Willoughby to Sheriff Hutton in Yorkshire, to have the ten-year-old Edward, Earl of Warwick, arrested and taken to the Tower of London.[30] Edward was the son of George, Duke of Clarence, and as such he presented a threat as a potential rival to the new King Henry VII for the throne of England. However, Henry was threatened by several active rebellions over the next few years. The first was the Rebellion of the Stafford brothers and Viscount Lovell of 1486, which collapsed without fighting.[31]

In 1487, Yorkists led by Lincoln rebelled in support of Lambert Simnel, a boy who was claimed to be the Earl of Warwick,[32] son of Edward IV's brother Clarence (who had last been seen as a prisoner in the Tower). The rebellion began in Ireland, where the traditionally Yorkist nobility, headed by the powerful Gerald FitzGerald, 8th Earl of Kildare, proclaimed Simnel King and provided troops for his invasion of England. The rebellion was defeated and Lincoln killed at the Battle of Stoke. Henry showed remarkable clemency to the surviving rebels: he pardoned Kildare and the other Irish nobles, and he made the boy, Simnel, a servant in the royal kitchen.[33]

In 1490, a young Fleming, Perkin Warbeck, appeared and claimed to be Richard, the younger of the "Princes in the Tower". Warbeck won the support of Edward IV's sister Margaret of Burgundy. He led attempted invasions of Ireland in 1491 and England in 1495, and persuaded James IV of Scotland to invade England in 1496. In 1497 Warbeck landed in Cornwall with a few thousand troops, but was soon captured and executed.[34]

In 1499, Henry had the Earl of Warwick executed. However, he spared Warwick's elder sister Margaret. She survived until 1541, when she was executed by Henry VIII.

Henry married Elizabeth of York with the hope of uniting the Yorkist and Lancastrian sides of the Plantagenet dynastic disputes, and he was largely successful. However, such a level of paranoia persisted that anyone (John de la Pole, Earl of Richmond,[35] for example) with blood ties to the Plantagenets was suspected of coveting the throne.[36]

Groat of Henry VII For most of Henry VII's reign Edward Story was Bishop of Chichester. Story's register still exists and according to the 19th century historian W.R.W Stephens "affords some illustrations of the avaricious and parsimonious character of the king". It seems that the king was skillful at extracting money from his subjects on many pretexts including that of war with France or war with Scotland. The money so extracted added to the king's personal fortune rather than the stated purpose.[37]

Unlike his predecessors, Henry VII came to the throne without personal experience in estate management or financial administration.[38] Yet during his reign he became a fiscally prudent monarch who restored the fortunes of an effectively bankrupt exchequer. Henry VII introduced stability to the financial administration of England by keeping the same financial advisors throughout his reign. For instance, other than the first few months of the reign, Lord Dynham and Thomas Howard, earl of Surrey were the only two office holders in the position of Lord High Treasurer of England throughout his reign.[39]

Henry VII improved tax collection within the realm by introducing ruthlessly efficient mechanisms of taxation. He was supported in this effort by his chancellor, Archbishop John Morton, whose "Morton's Fork" was a catch-22 method of ensuring that nobles paid increased taxes. Morton's Fork may actually have been invented by another of Henry's supporters, Richard Foxe.[40] However, whether it is called "Morton's Fork" or "Fox's Fork", the result was the same: Those nobles who spent little must have saved much and, thus, they could afford the increased taxes on the other hand, those nobles who spent much obviously had the means to pay the increased taxes.[40] Royal government was also reformed with the introduction of the King's Council that kept the nobility in check. Henry VIII executed Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley, his two most hated tax collectors, on trumped-up charges of treason.[41]

He established the Pound Avoirdupois as a standard of weight it became part of the Imperial System[42] and today's International pound units.[42]

Foreign policy Henry VII's policy was both to maintain peace and to create economic prosperity. Up to a point, he succeeded. He was not a military man and had no interest in trying to regain French territories lost during the reigns of his predecessors he was therefore ready to conclude a treaty with France at Etaples that brought money into the coffers of England, and ensured the French would not support pretenders to the English throne, such as Perkin Warbeck. However, this treaty came at a slight price, as Henry mounted a minor invasion of Brittany in November 1492. Henry decided to keep Brittany out of French hands, signed an alliance with Spain to that end, and sent 6,000 troops to France.[43] The confused, fractious nature of Breton politics undermined his efforts, which finally failed after three sizeable expeditions, at a cost of ꌤ,000. However, as France was becoming more concerned with the Italian Wars, the French were happy to agree to the Treaty of Etaples.[44]

Henry VII (centre), with his advisors Sir Richard Empson and Sir Edmund Dudley Henry had been under the financial and physical protection of the French throne or its vassals for most of his life, prior to his ascending the throne of England. To strengthen his position, however, he subsidised shipbuilding, so strengthening the navy (he commissioned Europe's first ever – and the world's oldest surviving – dry dock at Portsmouth in 1495) and improving trading opportunities.

Henry VII was one of the first European monarchs to recognise the importance of the newly united Spanish kingdom and concluded the Treaty of Medina del Campo, by which his son, Arthur Tudor, was married to Catherine of Aragon.[45] He also concluded the Treaty of Perpetual Peace with Scotland (the first treaty between England and Scotland for almost two centuries), which betrothed his daughter Margaret to King James IV of Scotland. By means of this marriage, Henry VII hoped to break the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France. Though this was not achieved during his reign, the marriage eventually led to the union of the English and Scottish crowns under Margaret's great-grandson, James VI and I following the death of Henry's granddaughter Elizabeth I.

He also formed an alliance with Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I (1493�) and persuaded Pope Innocent VIII to issue a papal bull of excommunication against all pretenders to Henry's throne.

Trade agreements Henry VII was much enriched by trading alum, which was used in the wool and cloth trades for use as a chemical dye fixative when dyeing fabrics.[46] Since alum was mined in only one area in Europe (Tolfa, Italy), it was a scarce commodity and therefore especially valuable to its land holder, the pope. With the English economy heavily invested in wool production, Henry VII became involved in the alum trade in 1486. With the assistance of the Italian merchant-banker, Lodovico della Fava and the Italian banker, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Henry VII became deeply involved in the trade by licensing ships, obtaining alum from the Ottoman Empire, and selling it to the Low Countries and in England.[47] This trade made an expensive commodity cheaper, which raised opposition from Pope Julius II since the Tolfa mine was a part of papal territory and had given the Pope monopoly control over alum.

Henry's most successful diplomatic achievement as regards the economy was the Magnus Intercursus ("great agreement") of 1496. In 1494, Henry embargoed trade (mainly in wool) with the Netherlands as retaliation for Margaret of Burgundy's support of Perkin Warbeck. The Merchant Adventurers, the company which enjoyed the monopoly of the Flemish wool trade, relocated from Antwerp to Calais. At the same time, Flemish merchants were ejected from England. The stand-off eventually paid off for Henry. Both parties realised they were mutually disadvantaged by the reduction in commerce. Its restoration by the Magnus Intercursus was very much to England's benefit in removing taxation for English merchants and significantly increasing England's wealth. In turn, Antwerp became an extremely important trade entrepot, through which, for example, goods from the Baltic, spices from the east and Italian silks were exchanged for English cloth.[48]

In 1506, Henry extorted the Treaty of Windsor from Philip the Handsome of Burgundy. Philip had been shipwrecked on the English coast, and while Henry's guest, was bullied into an agreement so favourable to England at the expense of the Netherlands that it was dubbed the Malus Intercursus ("evil agreement"). France, Burgundy, the Holy Roman Empire, Spain and the Hanseatic League all rejected the treaty, which was never in force. Philip died shortly after the negotiations.[49]

Law enforcement and Justices of Peace Henry's principal problem was to restore royal authority in a realm recovering from the Wars of the Roses. There were too many powerful noblemen and, as a consequence of the system of so-called bastard feudalism, each had what amounted to private armies of indentured retainers (mercenaries masquerading as servants).

Late 16th-century copy of a portrait of Henry VII He was content to allow the nobles their regional influence if they were loyal to him. For instance, the Stanley family had control of Lancashire and Cheshire, upholding the peace on the condition that they stayed within the law. In other cases, he brought his over-powerful subjects to heel by decree. He passed laws against "livery" (the upper classes' flaunting of their adherents by giving them badges and emblems) and "maintenance" (the keeping of too many male "servants"). These laws were used shrewdly in levying fines upon those that he perceived as threats.

However, his principal weapon was the Court of Star Chamber. This revived an earlier practice of using a small (and trusted) group of the Privy Council as a personal or Prerogative Court, able to cut through the cumbersome legal system and act swiftly. Serious disputes involving the use of personal power, or threats to royal authority, were thus dealt with.[50]

Henry VII used Justices of the Peace on a large, nationwide scale. They were appointed for every shire and served for a year at a time. Their chief task was to see that the laws of the country were obeyed in their area. Their powers and numbers steadily increased during the time of the Tudors, never more so than under Henry's reign.[51] Despite this, Henry was keen to constrain their power and influence, applying the same principles to the Justices of the Peace as he did to the nobility: a similar system of bonds and recognisances to that which applied to both the gentry and the nobles who tried to exert their elevated influence over these local officials.

All Acts of Parliament were overseen by the Justices of the Peace. For example, Justices of the Peace could replace suspect jurors in accordance with the 1495 act preventing the corruption of juries. They were also in charge of various administrative duties, such as the checking of weights and measures.

By 1509, Justices of the Peace were key enforcers of law and order for Henry VII. They were unpaid, which, in comparison with modern standards, meant a lesser tax bill to pay for a police force. Local gentry saw the office as one of local influence and prestige and were therefore willing to serve. Overall, this was a successful area of policy for Henry, both in terms of efficiency and as a method of reducing the corruption endemic within the nobility of the Middle Ages.

Scene at deathbed of Henry VII at Richmond Palace, 1509. Drawn contemporaneously from witness accounts by the courtier Sir Thomas Wriothesley (d.1534), who wrote an account of the proceedings. BL Add.MS 45131,f.54 In 1502, Henry VII's first son and heir-apparent, Arthur, Prince of Wales, died suddenly at Ludlow Castle, very likely from a viral respiratory illness known, at the time, as the "English sweating sickness".[52] This made Henry, Duke of York (Henry VIII) heir-apparent to the throne. The King, normally a reserved man who rarely showed much emotion in public unless angry, surprised his courtiers by his intense grief and sobbing at his son's death, while his concern for the Queen is evidence that the marriage was a happy one, as is his reaction to the Queen's death the following year, when he shut himself away for several days, refusing to speak to anyone.[53]

Henry VII wanted to maintain the Spanish alliance. He therefore arranged a papal dispensation from Pope Julius II for Prince Henry to marry his brother's widow Catherine, a relationship that would have otherwise precluded marriage in the Roman Catholic Church. In 1503, Queen Elizabeth died in childbirth, so King Henry had the dispensation also permit him to marry Catherine himself. After obtaining the dispensation, Henry had second thoughts about the marriage of his son and Catherine. Catherine's mother Isabella I of Castile had died and Catherine's sister Joanna had succeeded her Catherine was therefore daughter of only one reigning monarch and so less desirable as a spouse for Henry VII's heir-apparent. The marriage did not take place during his lifetime. Otherwise, at the time of his father's arranging of the marriage to Catherine of Aragon, the future Henry VIII was too young to contract the marriage according to Canon Law, and would be ineligible until age fourteen.[54]

Henry made half-hearted plans to remarry and beget more heirs, but these never came to anything. In 1505 he was sufficiently interested in a potential marriage to Joan, the recently widowed Queen of Naples, that he sent ambassadors to Naples to report on the 27-year-old's physical suitability.[55] The wedding never took place, and curiously the physical description Henry sent with his ambassadors describing what he desired in a new wife matched the description of Elizabeth. After 1503, records show the Tower of London was never again used as a royal residence by Henry Tudor, and all royal births under Henry VIII took place in palaces. Henry VII was shattered by the loss of Elizabeth, and her death broke his heart.[56][57] During his lifetime he was often jeered by the nobility for his re-centralizing of power in London, and later the 16th-century historian Francis Bacon was ruthlessly critical of the methods by which he enforced tax law, but equally true is the fact that Henry Tudor was hellbent on keeping detailed bookkeeping records of his personal finances, down to the last halfpenny[58] these and one account book detailing the expenses of his queen survive in the British National Archives. Until the death of his wife Elizabeth, the evidence is clear from these accounting books that Henry Tudor was a more doting father and husband than was widely known. Many of the entries in his account books show a man who loosened his purse strings generously for his wife and children, and not just on necessities: in spring 1491 he spent a great amount of gold on his daughter Mary for a lute the following year he spent money on a lion for Queen Elizabeth's menagerie.

Posthumous portrait bust by Pietro Torrigiano, supposedly made using Henry's death mask. With the death of Elizabeth, the possibility for such family indulgences greatly diminished.[59] Immediately after Elizabeth's death, Henry became very sick and nearly died himself, and only allowed Margaret Beaufort, his mother, near him: "privily departed to a solitary place, and would that no man should resort unto him."[60][61]

Henry VII died at Richmond Palace on 21 April 1509 of tuberculosis and was buried at Westminster Abbey, next to his wife, Elizabeth, in the chapel he commissioned.[62] He was succeeded by his second son, Henry VIII (reign 1509�). His mother survived him, dying two months later on 29 June 1509.

Appearance and character Henry is the first English king for whose appearance we have good contemporary visual records in realistic portraits that are relatively free of idealization. At twenty-seven, Henry was tall, slender, with small blue eyes, which were said to have a noticeable animation of expression, and noticeably bad teeth in a long, sallow face beneath very fair hair. Amiable and high-spirited, Henry Tudor was friendly if dignified in manner, while it was clear to everyone that he was extremely intelligent. His biographer, Professor Chrimes, credits him – even before he had become king – with possessing "a high degree of personal magnetism, ability to inspire confidence, and a growing reputation for shrewd decisiveness". On the debit side, he may have looked a little delicate as he suffered from poor health.[63][64]

Legacy and memory Historians have always compared Henry VII with his continental contemporaries, especially Louis XI of France and Ferdinand II of Aragon. By 1600 historians emphasised Henry's wisdom in drawing lessons in statecraft from other monarchs. By 1900 the "New Monarchy" interpretation stressed the common factors that in each country led to the revival of monarchical power. This approach raised puzzling questions about similarities and differences in the development of national states. In the late 20th century a model of European state formation was prominent in which Henry less resembles Louis and Ferdinand.[65]

Coat of arms of King Henry VII As king, Henry was styled as His Grace. His full style as king was: Henry, by the Grace of God, King of England and France and Lord of Ireland.

Arms Upon his succession as king, Henry became entitled to bear the arms of his kingdom. After his marriage, he used the red-and-white rose as his emblem – this continued to be his dynasty's emblem, known as the Tudor rose.

Issue Henry and Elizabeth's children are listed below.

Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales, first husband of Catherine of Aragon.

Margaret Tudor, wife of James IV of Scotland and great grandmother of James I of England.

Henry VIII of England, Henry VII's successor.

Mary Tudor, Queen of France and subsequently wife of Charles Brandon. Name›irth鷪th Notes Arthurङ September 1486’ April 1502 Prince of Wales, heir apparent from birth to death Margaret Tudorन November 1489घ October 1541 Queen of Scots as the wife of James IV and regent for James V of Scotland. Grandmother of both Mary, Queen of Scots, and Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, the parents of James I of England. Henry VIIIन June 1491न January 1547 Henry VII's successor as King of England. The first King of Ireland and Head of the Church of England. Elizabeth’ July 1492औ September 1495ied young. Maryघ March 1496थ June 1533 Queen of France as the wife of Louis XII. Grandmother of Lady Jane Grey, a claimant to the English throne. Edward򑒘?򑒙 Possibly confused with Edmund.[66] Edmundड February 1499ङ June 1500 Styled Duke of Somerset but never formally created a peer. Katherine’ February 1503ऐ February 1503 Henry's wife died as a result of Katherine's birth. An illegitimate son, by "a Breton lady", has also been attributed to Henry:

Name›irth鷪th Notes Sir Roland de Velville or Veleville򑑴थ June 1535 He was knighted in 1497 and was Constable of Beaumaris Castle. He is sometimes presented as the clear "illegitimate issue" of Henry VII of England by "a Breton lady whose name is not known". The possibility this was Henry's illegitimate son is baseless.[67] Ancestry [show]Ancestors of Henry VII of England

Henry III

Henry III (1207�), king of England (1216�). Henry was one of the most cultured monarchs ever to sit on the English throne. He seems to have been inspired by artistic beauty for its own sake, judging by his recorded payments for a wide range of objects—silver, gold, and enamel work, hangings and embroideries, and frescos for the royal palaces. Equally, it is plain that he chose to sink large sums into works of art to give visual expression to his heightened conception of monarchy and dynasty. Nowhere is this more apparent than Westminster abbey, which he established as the royal necropolis. Huge sums were spent on its rebuilding after 1245, despite an ever-worsening overall financial position. Henry also brought a new mystique and theatricality to English monarchy. He loved display and liturgical ceremony, as when he processed to Westminster abbey in 1247 personally bearing his newly acquired relic of the Holy Blood. He increased the number of occasions when the Laudes regiae , the liturgy in praise of the ruler, were to be chanted and he deliberately promoted the cult of Edward the Confessor, his beloved patron saint, having his own tomb in Westminster abbey placed within the aura of sanctity of Edward's tomb.

Henry's conception of monarchy looked back to the period before Magna Carta when kingship was untrammelled and unlimited, in theory if not in practice, and he may well have sought to counter the dramatic growth in constitutional ideas by deliberately emphasizing the aura of kingship. The traumatic experiences of his early years—the bringing down of his father, king John, French invasion and civil war, tutelage by baronial regency council—probably propelled him in this direction as well. He certainly had consistently a definite set of views which held as axiomatic that a king is free in his sovereignty to do as he will, be it appointment or removal of ministers and officials, or conduct of foreign policy. In so doing, Henry was ignoring the new realities following Magna Carta and this contributed to that series of crises which characterize his reign after his personal rule began in 1232. It culminated in the demand for radical reform in 1258 and the imposition of the provisions of Oxford, the prelude to the so-called Barons' War that tore the country apart until the defeat of Simon de Montfort at the battle of Evesham (1265). But it was by no means only, even chiefly, constitutional issues that were at stake, in 1258 or before. Recent research has shown how much friction was generated by very real political issues, of patronage, for example, and Henry's protection of his kinsmen and favourites from justice. Protest against his hated half-brothers, the Lusignans, who came to England after 1247, lay at the heart of the sworn baronial confederacy of 1258.

Henry was particularly vulnerable in 1258 because he faced imminent excommunication if he did not meet the gigantic debt he owed to the papacy, incurred when he accepted the grant of the kingdom of Sicily to his son Edmund in 1254. This was the culmination of a foreign policy that became ever more grandiose. At first, Henry's chief goal was the recovery of those parts of the Angevin empire lost under John. This was entirely reasonable. It was not inevitable that they would never be recovered, and as an Angevin Henry was dynastically impelled to seek to regain his inheritance and restore the honour of his lineage. But for a variety of reasons none of the expeditions dispatched to France succeeded, and the odds stacked against Henry steadily rose as the power of Louis IX of France and his brothers, installed in the former Angevin territories, increased. His failure led him into a wider European strategy that involved a network of foreign allies, including Emperor Frederick II, who married Henry's sister Isabella in 1236, and the Savoyards, the powerful kinsmen of Eleanor of Provence, whom Henry himself married in 1236. When Frederick was deposed by Pope Innocent IV in 1245, Henry was drawn into an attempt to secure the different parts of the imperial inheritance. He accepted the crown of Sicily for Edmund, he encouraged his brother Richard of Cornwall to accept the kingdom of Germany in 1257, and there are signs that he briefly toyed with the idea of extending his influence to the east Mediterranean through a marriage alliance involving Edmund and the Lusignan rulers of Cyprus, who also had claims to Jerusalem.

None of these schemes came to anything, and the huge costs incurred in the pursuit of Sicily, by stimulating the events of 1258, forced him to abandon them. In 1259, too, he finally accepted reality and agreed to the treaty of Paris, whereby he renounced his French claims as well. Henry's capacity to play for very high stakes, and yet lose, is truly remarkable.

Carpenter, D. A. , The Reign of Henry III (1996)
Clanchy, M. T. , England and its Rulers 1066� (Glasgow, 1983)
Powicke, F. M. , King Henry III and the Lord Edward (2 vols., Oxford, 1947).

5. The Final years, 1267-1272

During the last five years of Henry’s reign there existed an uneasy truce. The restoration of royal authority continued, but the king was mindful of the recent tensions and aware that further outbreaks of civil disorder were still possible: clause 8 of the Dictum of Kenilworth threatened corporal punishment if anyone considered Simon de Montfort ‘holy or just’. In October 1269, Henry presided over the translation of his patron saint, Edward the Confessor, whose body was moved to its new shrine at Westminster Abbey. The occasion was intended to reflect the strength of the king’s position and demonstrate that rifts between Crown and political community had been overcome. But, fearing violence, the planned crown-wearing was cancelled.

The final years of Henry’s reign also witnessed a transformation in the Lord Edward’s political and financial position. On 20 August 1270, Edward, along with many of England’s barons, left for the East, taking with them the full yield for the lay tenth, which had been conceded to match the clerical tenth of 1266. Another theme of these years, perhaps the dominant theme, was loss. King Louis of France died in August 1270 Henry of Almain, the son of Henry’s brother, Richard, was murdered by the vengeful sons of Simon de Montfort in March 1271 Richard himself died on 2 April 1272. Seven months later, on 16 November 1272, King Henry III died at Westminster. He was buried on 20 November at Westminster in the former tomb of his patron saint, Edward the Confessor.

Internal problems [ edit ]

The emperor himself defined the guidelines of the politics. Johann Weikhard Auersperg was overthrown in 1669 as the leading minister. He was followed by Wenzel Eusebius Lobkowicz. Both had arranged some connections to France without the knowledge of the emperor. In 1674 also Lobkowicz lost his appointment. ⎙]

In governing his own lands Leopold found his chief difficulties in Hungary, where unrest was caused partly by his desire to crush Protestantism and partly by the so-called Magnate conspiracy. A rising was suppressed in 1671 and for some years Hungary was treated with great severity. In 1681, after another rising, some grievances were removed and a less repressive policy was adopted, but this did not deter the Hungarians from revolting again. Espousing the cause of the rebels the sultan sent an enormous army into Austria early in 1683 this advanced almost unchecked to Vienna, which was besieged from July to September, while Leopold took refuge at Passau. Realizing the gravity of the situation somewhat tardily, some of the German princes, among them the electors of Saxony and Bavaria, led their contingents to the Imperial Army, which was commanded by the emperor's brother-in-law, Charles, duke of Lorraine, but the most redoubtable of Leopold's allies was the king of Poland, John III Sobieski, who was already dreaded by the Turks. Austrian forces occupied the castle of Trebišov in 1675, but in 1682 Imre Thököly captured it and then fled from continuous Austrian attacks, so they blew the castle up, since then it is in ruins. They fled as supposedly Hungarian rebel troops under the command of Imre Thököly, cooperating with the Turks, and sacked the city of Bielsko in 1682. In 1692, Leopold gave up his rights to the property and he gave his rights to the property by a donation to Theresia Keglević. ⎚] ⎛]

He also expelled Jewish communities from his realm, for example the Viennese Jewish community, which used to live in an area called "Im Werd" across the Danube river. After the expulsion of the Jewish population, with popular support, the area was renamed Leopoldstadt as a thanksgiving. But Frederick William I, Elector of Brandenburg, issued an edict in 1677, in which he announced his special protection for 50 families of these expelled Jews. Ώ]

Canossa: a medieval clash between church and state

In 1076, with his entire realm ungovernable following his excommunication from the church, Henry IV, King of Germany, set across the Alps to meet with Pope Gregory VII, in the hope of reversing his decision. Tom Holland follows the road to the Appenine fortress of Canossa, where the mighty medieval clash between church and state helped form the world we live in today

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Published: January 25, 2021 at 5:12 pm

Late December 1076 was the worst winter for many years. So thick with snow were the Alps “that neither hoof nor foot could safely take step on them”. Nevertheless, this had not prevented a small party of some 50 travellers from making the attempt. If the ascent was grim enough, then the descent was to prove even worse. Blizzards and freezing temperatures had transformed the road that led down towards Italy into one lethal flume of tight-packed ice.

As the women of the party gingerly took their places on sledges fashioned out of ox-hides, so the men were left to slip and slither onwards on foot, sometimes clutching onto the shoulders of their guides, sometimes scrabbling about on all fours. An undignified way for anyone to travel – but especially so for a Caesar.

Henry, the fourth king of that name to have ascended to the rule of the German people, was lord of the greatest of all the realms of Christendom. Both his father and his grandfather before him had been crowned in Rome as emperor. Henry himself, though he was yet to be graced formally with the title, had always taken for granted that it was his by right.

The imperial rank was a glittering prize indeed. Long vanished though the empire of ancient Rome might be, the lustre of its fame still illumined the imaginings of its inheritors. Even to peoples who had never submitted to its rule, the person of an emperor, his cloak adorned with suns and stars, appeared an awesome but natural complement to the one celestial emperor who ruled in heaven.

This was why, unlike his pagan forebears, a Christian Caesar did not require taxes and bureaucrats and standing armies to uphold the mystique of his power. Nor did he need a capital – nor even to be a Roman. His true authority derived from a higher source. “Next after Christ he rules across the earth.”

A formidable adversary

But now God’s deputy was collecting bruises out on a mountainside – and in the dead of winter too. That Henry found himself reduced to such straits was a measure of the crisis that had engulfed him. For years, his enemies among the German princes had been manoeuvring to bring him down. Nothing particularly exceptional there: for it was the nature of German princes, by and large, to manoeuvre against their king.

Utterly exceptional, however, was the sudden emergence of an adversary who held no network of castles, commanded no great train of warriors, nor even wore a sword. An adversary who nevertheless, in the course of only a few months, and in alliance with the German princes, had succeeded in bringing Christendom’s mightiest king to his knees.

This formidable opponent had once been called Hildebrand – until, three years earlier, he adopted the name of Gregory VII. He was Bishop of Rome, yet also very much more than that. For, just as Henry liked to pose as the heir of the Caesars, so did Gregory, from his throne in Christendom’s capital, lay claim to being the ‘Father’, the ‘Pope’, of the universal church.

A sure-fire recipe for conflict? Not necessarily. For centuries now, emperors and popes had been rubbing along together well enough – with the popes very much the junior partners. The world was a cruel and violent place, after all, and Rome was hemmed in by any number of menacing neighbours.

While no emperor had ever clung for protection to a pope, there was many a pope who had clung to an emperor. As a result, it had long been taken for granted by the Christian people that a Caesar had not merely a right to intrude upon the business of the church, but a positive responsibility.

On occasion, indeed, at a moment of particular crisis, an emperor might go so far as to take the ultimate sanction, and force the abdication of an unworthy pontiff. This was precisely what Henry IV, convinced that Gregory was unworthy of his office, had sought to bring about in the early weeks of 1076: a regrettable necessity, to be sure, but nothing that his own father had not successfully done before him.

Gregory, however, far from submitting to the imperial displeasure, and tamely stepping down, had taken an utterly unprecedented step: he had responded in ferocious kind. Henry’s subjects, the Pope had pronounced, were absolved from all their obedience to their earthly lord – even as Henry himself, that very image of God on earth, was excommunicated from the church.

Gregory’s gambit revealed itself, after only a few months, to be an utterly devastating one. Henry’s enemies were lethally emboldened. His friends melted away. By the end of the year, his entire realm had been rendered ungovernable.

And so it was, braving the winter gales, that the by now desperate King had set himself to cross the Alps. He was resolved to meet with the Pope, to show due penitence, to beg forgiveness. Caesar though he might be, he had been left with no alternative.

Naturally, then, as the weary royal party debouched into Lombardy, and 1076 turned to 1077, there was a frantic effort to pinpoint the papal whereabouts. Gregory, so Henry’s spies reported, had been spending the Christmas season in northern Italy – but now, hearing the news of the King’s approach, he had turned tail in high alarm, and beaten a retreat to the stronghold of a local supporter.

Henry dispatched a blizzard of letters ahead of him to assure the Pope of his peaceable intentions and duly set off in pursuit. Late that January, and accompanied by only a few companions, Henry began the ascent of yet another upland road. Ahead of him, jagged and unwelcoming, there stretched the frontier of the Appenines.

A bare six miles from the plain he had left behind him, but after many hours’ twisting and turning, Henry arrived at last before a valley, gouged out, it seemed, from the wild mountainscape, and spanned by a single ridge. Beyond it, surmounting a crag so sheer and desolate that it appeared utterly impregnable, the King could see the ramparts of the bolt-hole where the Pope had taken refuge. The name of the fortress: Canossa.

On Henry pressed, into the castle’s shadow. As he did so, the outer gates swung open to admit him, and then, halfway up the rock, the gates of a second wall. It would have been evident enough, even to the suspicious sentries, that their visitor intended no harm, nor presented any conceivable threat.

An awesome show of penance

“Barefoot, and clad in wool, he had cast aside all the splendour proper to a king.” Henry’s head was bowed. Tears streamed down his face. Humbly, joining a crowd of other penitents, he took up position before the gates of the castle’s innermost wall.

There the Caesar waited, the deputy of Christ, shivering in the snow. Nor, in all that time, did he neglect to continue with his lamentations – “until,” as the watching Gregory put it, “he had provoked all who were there or who had been brought news of what was happening to such great mercy, and such pitying compassion, that they began to intercede for him with prayers and tears of their own”.

It was a truly awesome show. Ultimately, stern and indomitable though he had always shown himself to be, not even the Pope himself was proof against it. By the morning of 28 January, the third day of the royal penance, Gregory had seen enough. He ordered the inner set of gates unbarred at last. Negotiations were opened and soon concluded. Pope and King met one another face to face. The pinch-faced penitent was absolved with a papal kiss. And so was set the seal on an episode as fateful as any in Europe’s history.

Like the crossing of the Rubicon, like the storming of the Bastille, the events at Canossa had served to crystalise a truly epochal crisis. Far more had been at stake than merely the egos of two domineering men. The Pope, locked into a desperate power struggle though he certainly was, had ambitions as well that were breathtakingly global in their scope. His goal? Nothing less than to establish the “right order in the world”.

By the terms of Gregory’s manifesto, the whole of Christendom, from its summit to its meanest village, was to be divided into two. One realm for the spiritual, one for the secular. No longer were kings to be permitted to poke their noses into the business of the church. As he put it, “The Emperor, rather than being honoured as a universal monarch, had been treated instead as merely a human being – as a creature moulded out of clay”.

Contemporaries, struggling to make sense of the whole extraordinary business, perfectly appreciated that they were living through a convulsion in the affairs of the Christian people that had no precedent, nor even any parallel. The three decades that preceded the showdown at Canossa, and the four that followed it, were, in the judgement of one celebrated medievalist, a period when the ideals of Christendom, its forms of government, and even its very social and economic fabric, “changed in almost every respect”.

Here, argued Sir Richard Southern, was the true making of the west. “The expansion of Europe had begun in earnest. That all this should have happened in so short a time is the most remarkable fact in medieval history.”

And if it was remarkable to us, then how much more so, of course, to those who actually lived through it. We in the 21st century are habituated to the notion of progress: the faith that human society, rather than inevitably decaying, can be improved. The men and women of the 11th century were not.

Gregory, by presuming to challenge Henry IV, was the harbinger of something awesome. He and his supporters might not have realised it – but they were introducing to the post-classical west its first experience of revolution.

To be sure, Gregory today may not enjoy the fame of a Luther, a Robespierre, a Marx – but that reflects, not his failure, but rather the sheer scale of his achievement. It is the incomplete revolutions which are remembered the fate of those that succeed is to end up being taken for granted.

Gregory himself did not live to witness his ultimate victory – but the cause for which he fought was destined to establish itself as perhaps the defining characteristic of western civilisation. That the world can be divided into church and state, and that these twin realms should exist distinct from one another: here are presumptions that ‘the papal revolution’, for the first time, and to enduring effect, served to make fundamental to the civilisation of the west.

Not, of course, that it had ever remotely been Gregory’s own intention to banish God from an entire dimension of human affairs, but revolutions will invariably have unintended consequences. Even as the church, from the second half of the 11th century onwards, set about asserting its independence from outside interference by establishing its own laws, bureaucracy and income, so kings, in response, were prompted to do the same. “The heaven’s are the Lord’s heavens – but the earth he has given to the sons of men.” So Henry IV’s son pronounced, answering a priest who had urged him not to hang a count under the walls of his own castle, for fear of provoking God’s wrath.

It was in a similar spirit that the foundations of the modern western state were laid, foundations largely bled of any religious dimension. A piquant irony: that the very concept of a secular society should ultimately have been due to the papacy. Voltaire and the First Amendment, multi-culturalism and gay weddings – all have served as waymarks on the road from Canossa.

It was Gregory, on those three remarkable days in the Appenines, who stood as godfather to the modern world.

Canossa in history

Even prior to Canossa, the crisis in relations between Pope and Emperor had given rise to something never before experienced in the Christian west: mass political debate. “What else is talked about even in women’s spinning-rooms and artisans’ workshops?,” exclaimed one monk in wonder – and not a little consternation too.

The news of Canossa itself, coming on top of everything that had preceded it, was received as a particular thunderclap. “The whole world was shaken,” wrote one contemporary chronicler. Even centuries afterwards, the memory retained its power to shock.

To Martin Luther, who saw it as his lifetime’s mission to reverse everything that Gregory had stood for, the great Pope appeared a literally infernal figure: not Hildebrand, but ‘Höllenbrand’, or ‘Hellfire’. To the Germans of the post-Enlightenment age as well, Gregory VII appeared the very archetype of reaction.

“We shall not go to Canossa!” So fulminated that iron chancellor of a reborn German empire, Prince Bismarck, in 1872, as he gave a pledge to the Reichstag that he would never permit the papacy to stand in the way of Germany’s forward-march to modernity.

It is true that in more recent times the status of Canossa as one of the totemic scenes of medieval history has begun to fade. Yet the fundamental issue for which it acted as a touchstone has not gone away. Where should the dividing line between secular and religious authority be drawn? This question has come to be debated in Europe with a renewed sense of urgency. In our attempts to answer it, a backwards glance at the events at Canossa can help to bring into focus just how truly revolutionary they were.

Bismarck was wrong. Gregory was no reactionary. The changes that he helped set in train at Canossa are with us still.

Tom Holland is an award-winning historian, biographer and broadcaster. His books includes Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind (Little Brown, 2019) which explores the history of Christianity

The Habsburgs: the dynasty that wouldn’t die

Not even madness, alcoholism and bloody wars of religion could deny the Habsburgs their status as one of the great powerhouses of Europe. Martyn Rady shares the survival secrets of a family that, for 900 years, displayed a remarkable capacity for self-preservation

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Published: December 21, 2020 at 6:48 am

If the great dynasties of central Europe have one thing in common, it is that they don’t know when they’re beaten. They are history’s great survivors. The German Wittelsbachs ruled Bavaria and the Palatinate from the 12th to the 20th centuries – a 700-year lifecycle that encompassed everything from the High Middle Ages to the First World War.

The Guelphs of Hanover and Brunswick, whose line can be traced with some certainty back to the ninth century, were just as resilient, acquiring the British throne (through King George I) in the 18th century, and subsequently marrying into the Greek, Danish and Spanish royal families.

Yet of all Europe’s dynasties, surely none displayed a greater capacity for self-preservation than the Habsburgs. From inbreeding and infighting to ruinous religious schisms, all manner of calamities threatened to drive this remarkable family into extinction. Yet nothing could stop it dominating swathes of central Europe and beyond from the Middle Ages into the modern era.

We can confidently trace the Habsburgs’ origins to 10th-century Switzerland, where among their earliest possessions was the Castle Habsburg that gave the family its name. Then a part of the Holy Roman Empire, the Aargau region was lush, watered by the Alpine rivers, and it straddled the commercial routes that later joined northern Italy to the great fairs of Champagne and Flanders. Its wealth was the starting-point for the Habsburgs’ rise to power.

Chance played a part in their ascent, too, since the Habsburgs outlived most of their neighbours and, on their expiry, went off with their lands. In the general chaos that attended the collapse of the Hohenstaufen line of emperors in the mid-13th century, Count Rudolf of Habsburg was elected king of Germany. In his own description, an “insatiable man of war”, Rudolf used the opportunity to capture Austria and what is now Slovenia. His successors pushed towards the Adriatic and took the Tyrol in the 14th century. They became Holy Roman Emperors in the mid-15th century, and shortly after-wards took possession of the Low Countries.

Pulled east and west

That wasn’t the end of the Habsburgs’ expansion. In the 16th century, they exploded outwards, obtaining Spain by way of a lucky marriage between Philip the Handsome, son of the future Habsburg emperor Maximilian (ruled 1508–19), and the Spanish princess Juana of Castile in 1496. Along with it came an overseas empire that would eventually include much of the New World, the Philippines, northern Taiwan, Guam and outposts on the Chinese, west African and Indian coasts. The Habsburgs were the first European rulers to found an empire upon which the sun never set or, as was said at the time, where the mass was in continuous celebration. Philip and Juana’s son, Charles V, who became Holy Roman Emperor in 1519, was the first “world monarch”, whose dominions extended across four continents.

But with great power came new threats. Keeping Hungary and Bohemia out of the double clutches of the Turks and Protestants preoccupied the Habsburgs for centuries. The acquisition of their large central European territory pulled the Habsburgs in two directions, westwards and eastwards. Following the abdication of Emperor Charles V in 1555–56, one branch, headed by Charles’s son Philip II, ruled Spain and the Low Countries, while a second, led by Charles’s brother Archduke Ferdinand, presided over the Holy Roman Empire (including Austria and Bohemia) and Hungary.

Wine and women

To survive and prosper, all dynasties need a little good fortune, and the Habsburgs certainly had that – especially in the realm of biology. On average, princely and noble dynasties in premodern Europe had a 15 per cent failure rate every 25 years. In other words, about a half perished through a lack of male heirs every century.

With so much at stake, many Habsburgs took care to have plenty of children. The first Habsburg rulers of Austria, in the 13th and 14th centuries, generally aimed for a dozen, while Empress Maria Theresa (ruled 1740– 80) had no fewer than 16 in just two decades.

Habsburg men were expected to be busy in the bedroom as it was thought that wombs needed frequent lubrication to stop them from shrivelling. Since fecundity and the production of sons were believed to be related to personal piety, most Habsburg rulers and their wives were also conspicuous in their dedication to the Catholic faith.

Other methods were used to aid fertility. To make sure that his fiancée, Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, was up to the task, Emperor Charles VI (ruled 1711–40) obliged her before marriage to go through a humiliating gynaecological examination under the oversight of a Jesuit priest. Thereafter, he plied her with copious draughts of red wine in the belief that they were an aid to conception. The quack remedy backfired, transforming the once dazzling ‘Lily White’ (‘Weisse Liesl’) into an obese alcoholic.

Homosexuality and cross-dressing was no bar to being put on the marriage market – as Archduke Ludwig Viktor, brother of Emperor Franz Joseph (ruled 1848–1916), discovered in the 1860s. However, his reputation preceded him, and he remained a bachelor all his life.

Yet despite their best efforts to secure the succession, the Habsburgs still took enormous risks. Once they’d produced a male heir, rulers often packed younger sons into the church, having them serve as bishops and thus dedicating themselves to celibacy. Should the eldest son die, then a male sibling might be whisked from the church and appointed heir apparent – it was via this ecclesiastical detour that Emperor Leopold I (ruled 1658–1705) came to the throne. The problem was that, by putting younger sons into the church, collateral lines that might have filled eventual gaps in the main line of descent were not created.

Habsburg marriage law was only properly regulated in 1839. Until then, it rested on the principle that members of the family should only take spouses that were ‘worthy’, which in practice meant a royal or princely descent. The challenge was finding wives that fitted the formula. With the spread of Protestantism in Europe, the number of suitable Catholic brides contracted. Bavarians were one possibility, except that the Catholic Wittelsbach dukes had the unfortunate habit of generating more boys than girls. The tradition thus arose of the two branches of the Habsburgs – the Spanish and central European – intermarrying and exchanging partners every generation.

The arrangement made good political sense, guaranteeing that the two lines would support each other militarily, which paid dividends in the Thirty Years’ War (the bloody religious conflict fought across central Europe from 1618–48). Biologically, however, it was a disaster. As first and second-cousin and uncle-niece marriages became the norm, madness and deformity followed. Even the tame artists at Habsburg courts could not hide the jutting lower jaws of Habsburg sovereigns, a condition that made it impossible for them to eat comfortably. As one British envoy remarked of the Spanish Habsburg king Charles II (ruled 1665–1700): “He has a ravenous stomach, and swallows all he eats whole, for his nether jaw stands so much out, that his two rows of teeth cannot meet.” By gorging his food unchewed, the ambassador explained, the king suffered from abdominal cramps and excessive vomiting.

All of these close intermarriages counted as incestuous and so needed papal approval, but this did not bless the unions with an abundance of heirs. In fact, the figures for infant mortality are shocking. Between 1527 and 1661, the Habsburg kings of Spain sired 34 legitimate children. Of these, 10 died before their first year and 17 before the age of 10, yielding a death rate significantly higher than the average for Spain at that time. The central European branch of the Habsburgs generally fared better. Even so, nine of Leopold I’s 16 children (by three wives) did not survive infancy. Most of these premature deaths were caused by inbreeding.

The majority of Habsburgs were capable of producing children, but even this facility was eventually lost. A post-mortem of Charles II of Spain performed in 1700 disclosed “a very small heart, lungs corroded, intestines putrefactive and gangrenous, three large stones in the kidney, a single testicle, black as coal, and his head full of water”. A modern review of the medical evidence concludes that “Charles suffered from posterior hypospadias, monorchism and an atrophic testicle. He probably had an intersexual state with ambiguous genitalia, and a congenital monokidney with stones and infections” – in other words, he had a single kidney and single testicle, and his urethra exited on the underside of an undeveloped penis.

It seems altogether improbable that the poor king could perform the sexual act. Even after 10 years of marriage, Charles’s first wife, with whom he shared a pathetic intimacy, was unable to say whether or not she was a virgin. Habitually unwashed and unkempt, the poor king drifted into insanity, gruesomely inspecting the corpses of his ancestors in the vaults of Spain’s Escorial Palace.

Looming extinction

The death of the heirless Charles II was followed by a war of succession across Europe. Although the central European branch of the Habsburgs hoped to capture the dead king’s inheritance, its rulers failed to keep hold of Spain, which passed to the French Bourbons. Almost immediately, the same fate of extinction as had befallen the Spanish Habsburg line threatened the central European.

The Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI (reigned 1711–40) was the last surviving Habsburg male. His elder brother had died prematurely, and an uncle, who might have provided a substitute line, had been a bishop and so was childless. Despite the precautions Charles had taken at the time of his marriage, it was eight years before he and Lily White produced a son, and he died after just seven months. Thereafter, she only bore girls, starting with Maria Theresa in 1717.

The Habsburg possessions in central Europe had no uniform scheme of succession. Some permitted female inheritance, but others not. So Charles hatched a plan to ensure the survival of the dynasty: he changed the law of succession to allow universal female succession, first appointing his nieces as his successors and then, following Maria Theresa’s birth, his daughter as his main heir. The new scheme – known as the Pragmatic Sanction – was first announced in 1713 and over the next 10 years Charles persuaded the parliaments or diets of his central European dominions to accept it. In a further bid to future-proof his daughter’s rights, Charles also secured the endorsement of the major European powers.

All this mattered not a jot. When Charles died in 1740, Frederick the Great of Prussia invaded Silesia (now mostly in Poland), disputing Maria Theresa’s right to it (as part of the War of the Austrian Succession), while the electors of Bavaria and Saxony, supported by Louis XV of France, marched into Bohemia. Charles of Bavaria was crowned king of Bohemia in 1741 and elected Holy Roman Emperor the next year.

Although Maria Theresa had to relinquish all but a strip of Silesia, she saw off her adversaries, depriving Charles of Bavaria first of Bohemia, then of the Bohemian crown, and twice of his capital Munich. Even her adversary Frederick the Great celebrated her as “the only man among my opponents”, while in England pub signs were repainted in her honour. As one English wag later recalled of Maria Theresa, “the queen of Hungary’s head was to be seen in almost every street, and we fought and drank under her banner at our own expense during the whole war”.

Prophets and popes

Charles of Bavaria died in 1745. The office of Holy Roman Emperor was technically elective but had until 1740 been effectively hereditary in the Habsburg family. As a woman, Maria Theresa was ineligible to be sovereign of the Holy Roman Empire, for the Pragmatic Sanction did not apply to the empire but only to the Habsburg family dominions. In her place, the nine electoral princes chose as Charles’s successor Maria Theresa’s husband, Francis Stephen of Lorraine. Maria Theresa thus became empress, but only through her husband.

The Habsburgs had over centuries built a grand mythology about themselves, heaping on legends and stories that spoke to the family’s destiny as great rulers. Double-headed eagles, acrostics and ancient prophecies added lustre to the image of power foretold, along with an alleged biological connection to Old Testament prophets, Greek and Egyptian deities, 100 popes and almost 200 saints and martyrs.

But it was in the 1740s that the Habsburgs pulled off one of their greatest coups. The Habsburg male line had ended. What had taken its place was the House of Lorraine. Future heirs should have been known as Lorrainers and not as Habsburgs, in the same way as Queen Victoria of Great Britain produced (by virtue of her marriage to Prince Albert) Saxe-Coburg and Gotha heirs, and not Hanoverians.

But Maria Theresa had her way, prevailing over her husband, who customarily deferred to her. Instead of her descendants belonging to the House of Lorraine, they would, at Maria Theresa’s insistence, be considered members of the House of Austria-Lorraine or (as it was later known) Habsburg-Lorraine.

The Habsburg line had perished with the death of Charles VI but, with a sleight of title, Maria Theresa gave it a second life that would carry the Habsburgs into the 20th century. Ironically, it was a family tragedy that brought about the Habsburgs’ downfall – the assassination in 1914 of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, nephew and heir of the Emperor Franz Joseph. It plunged the Habsburgs into a war they could not win. Until then, the Habsburgs were central Europe’s great survivors – and that included their name.

Martyn Rady is Masaryk professor of central European history at University College London. He is the author of The Habsburgs: The Rise and Fall of a World Power (Allen Lane, 2020)

Henry IV

The future King Henry IV was born at Bolingbroke Castle in around April 1366, he was the son of John of Gaunt and Blanche Plantagenet, daughter and heiress of Henry of Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster, who was himself the descendant of Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, the second son of Henry III. In common with his first cousin, Richard II, he therefore had a double Plantagenet descent.

Henry IV

The parents of Henry IV

John of Gaunt, Shakespeare's 'time honoured Lancaster' was the fourth son of Edward III. Henry's mother, Blanche, Duchess of Lancaster was a beautiful and gracious woman, much admired by the poet Geoffrey Chaucer, who dedicated his Book of the Duchess to her. She and Gaunt produced two other surviving children, Phillipa and Elizabeth.

John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster

Following the death of his mother, Henry's father remarried in political alliance with the Spanish Princess, Constanza, elder daughter of Pedro the Cruel of Castille, who held a claim to the throne of Castille, which John of Gaunt thereafter pursued. It was a loveless marriage, but nevertheless produced two children, a daughter Katherine, later to become Queen of Castille and a son, John, who died in infancy.

The young Bolingbroke was created a Knight of the Garter by his grandfather, Edward III, on St.Georges Day 1377. At Richard II's coronation later that year, his seven-year-old cousin played a prominent part, holding the sword of mercy, Curtana. Henry grew to a short but stocky man with red-brown hair, a red beard and brown eyes. Courageous and energetic, in common with many of the Plantagenet family, he was fond of music and song.

Following his marriage to Constanza, his father's fate was inextricably interwoven with that of the Iberian peninsula. His sister Philippa of Lancaster became Queen of Portugal. His half-sister, Katherine Plantagenet, whom Henry never met, due to her dynastic marriage to Henry III of Castille, was Queen Consort of Castile. He also had four half-siblings by his father's marriage to his long term mistress, Katherine Swynford, whom John of Gaunt eventually married, resulting in their being declared legitimate by Richard II. His feelings toward Katherine Swynford, his second stepmother and the offspring of the marriage were mixed. He is recorded as disliking the fact that his former governess had taken his mother’s place. On his ascension to the throne, he revoked his half-brother, John Beaufort's marquessate, and barred the possibility of the Beauforts ever inheriting the throne, but showed favour to Thomas Swynford, Katherine's son by her first husband.

Henry of Bolingbroke was married in childhood to Mary de Bohun, the daughter and heiress of Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford and in her right held that title. He also held the Earldom of Derby.

Henry had supported his cousin Richard II against three of the Lords Appellant and accused the fifth Lord Appellant, Mowbray, of treason, A trial by combat was decided upon to settle the issue but Richard intervened, preventing the duel, and banishing Henry for ten years. He later confiscated his cousin's extensive estates and decreed the banishment should remain in force for life. On the death of his father in 1399, Henry landed at Ravenspur claiming he came to safeguard his inheritance but came to take the throne from the cousin he now thoroughly detested.

Heney IV usurps Richard II's crown


Henry made the erroneous claim that his Lancastrian maternal ancestor, Edmund Crouchback, had been the elder son of Henry III, but had been overlooked because of his deformity in favour of Edward I. Richard met Henry's representatives at Conway Castle and was informed that if he restored Henry's estates and surrendered certain councillors for trial, he could remain in power. He agreed but was betrayed and instead of being returned to power found himself the inhabitant of a dungeon in the Tower.

A Parliament was called at the end of September, at which Henry claimed the throne. Richard was declared a tyrant and deposed. He was taken up to Pontefract Castle, in Yorkshire and there it is certain, he met his end around the second week in February 1400. His skeleton was examined in 1871 by Dean Stanley of Westminster but showed no marks of violence. Starvation was the most likely cause of death, although this has never been proven.

Evil omens were said to have marked the coronation ceremony of the new king on 13th October, one of his golden spurs fell off, whispered to be a sure sign of impending rebellion. He needed no such warnings to underline the weakness of his situation. Henry took as his second wife Joan of Navarre, the widow of John IV of Brittany and the daughter of Charles II of Navarre. They married in 1403, the new queen was never popular with the people or the aristocracy.

Owain Glyndwr

A rebellion of Richard's supporters arose after the new King's coronation. The Welsh, under their leader, Owain Glyndwr, also rose in revolt. In 1400, Glyndwr proclaimed himself the true Prince of Wales and captured Conway Castle. Two years later the Welsh took Henry's cousin, Edmund Mortimer prisoner. Mortimer, the Earl of March, was, by the strict laws of primogeniture, the true heir of Richard II, through his prior descent from Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence, the third son of Edward III, subsequently Henry was not in a hurry to secure his release.

Mortimer was supported by his brother-in-law, Henry Percy, known as Harry Hotspur who was married to his sister, Elizabeth Mortimer. Hotspur was the son of the Duke of Northumberland and a grandson of Mary Plantagenet, a granddaughter of Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster by his wife Maud Chaworth. The impulsive and fiery Hotspur marched to meet the king's army, their forces clashed at the Battle of Shrewsbury on 21st July 1403.

The Battle of Shrewsbury

As Hotspur and his uncle, Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester, along with their Scottish ally, Archibald, Earl of Douglas, advanced on Shrewsbury, the town was garrisoned by the king's eldest son, Henry, Prince of Wales, the future Henry V. The king himself marched a force to intercept Harry Hotspur before he could join forces with Owain Glyndwr.

The Battlefield at Shrewsbury

Henry IV arrived at Shrewsbury a short while before Hotspur on the 20th July, 1403. The following morning, ominously, Glyndwr had still not arrived with reinforcements, perhaps taken by surprise at the speed of the King's advance. The Royal army marched out of the town to meet the rebels at Haytely Field, about three miles from the centre of the town on the road to Whitchurch. Estimates regarding the sizes of the two armies vary widely, the King's army, which far outnumbered that of the rebels, is generally considered to be between 15,000 and 60,000 men, while the rebels numbered between 5,000 and 20,000.

Parleys were entered into, which failed to result in an acceptable agreement, rendering battle inevitable. By around the hour of noon, the order for the advance was given and battle commenced.

The assault was opened with a deadly exchange of arrows, a dread and whirring cacophony which resulted in many casualties on both sides. The Prince of Wales was wounded in the face with an arrow but staunchly refused to retire from the field. When the two armies clashed, the larger Royal army began to gain the upper hand, although the Earl of Stafford, who led the centre of the King's army was killed in the fighting. Harry Hotspur fell whilst leading a rash and impulsive charge, as a result of an arrow hitting his forehead, entering his brain.

View of the battlefield

Morale in the rebel army suffered as a result of Hotspur's death and as dusk began to fall on the battlefield, the rebels fled, resulting in a general rout. Huge casualties were suffered by both sides, mainly as the result of the use of the English longbow, which enabled archers to fire twelve arrows a minute. A contemporary wrote of the conflict-:

'A more stubborn fight, it is maintained by those who were present was never known. Very many of the combatants on both sides struggled with such obstinacy that when night came on they did not know which side had won: and they sank down in all directions a chance medley of weary, wounded, bruised and bleeding men.'

The body of Hotspur was recovered in the gathering twilight, the king is said to have wept over the body.. An eclipse of the moon that night cast an eerie blackness over the desolate field, which was littered with the dead and the dying.

Henry IV at first allowed Hotspur's body to be interred at Whitchurch. In response to rumours that he had survived the battle, his attitude hardened and he had it disinterred. Hotspur's body was set up in Shrewsbury, impaled on a spear between two millstones, and was later quartered, its parts dispatched to separate locations in the kingdom, his head impaled on a pike at the gates of York, a grim warning of the king's terrible retribution to others. The Earl of Worcester was taken alive but later beheaded and his head set up on a spike on London Bridge.

Battlefield Church, Shrewsbury, built at the behest of Henry IV, for the souls of those killed in the battle

Battlefield Church, otherwise known as St. Mary Magdalene, was built in 1406 at the behest of King Henry, where daily masses were said for the souls of those who fell. Said to stand over the mass grave in which the many dead were buried, it is a commemorative monument, similar in sentiment to Battle Abbey in Sussex, built by Wiliam the Conqueror on the site of the Battle of Hastings.

Rebellion broke out again in Wales, headed by Owain Glyndwr, a man of charisma and great ability, who allied with the French. Henry of Monmouth, the English Prince of Wales, went on to subdue the country and Glyndwr went into hiding. Never captured, he mysteriously disappeared from the pages of history and became a national hero amongst the Welsh people. Nothing is recorded of him after 1412. Huge rewards were offered by the crown which failed to bring about his capture. Tradition states that he either died at his estate in Sycharth or on the estates of one of his daughters' husbands.

Tomb of Henry IV and Joan of Navarre at Canterbury Cathedral

The Death of Henry IV

In the latter part of his reign Henry was struck by a disfiguring disease, which forced him to become a recluse. The Prince of Wales, who the king considered too eager to step into his shoes, was given control of the government along with a council.

The king's health steadily deteriorated, he contracted a form of skin disease, variously considered to be leprosy, syphilis or psoriasis. He is said to have developed a large tumour under his nose, while his body was covered in suppurating sores. The attacks he suffered from have been the subject of a wide range of theories which it is impossible to confirm, they range from epilepsy to a form of cardiovascular disease.

Henry suffered a seizure whilst praying at St. Edward's shrine at Westminster and was carried to the abbot's house. The first King of the House of Lancaster died on 20th of March 1413, aged forty-six, in the Jerusalem chamber at Westminster. During his lifetime it had been predicted that Henry would die in Jerusalem. The king himself took this to mean that he would die on Crusade.

He was not buried at Westminster, the traditional mausoleum of English kings, but at Canterbury Cathedral, in the Trinity Chapel, near the shrine of Thomas A' Becket and opposite the tomb of the Black Prince. During Henry's reign, the cult of St. Thomas Becket was extremely popular and Henry was particularly devoted to Becket. His widow, Joan of Brittany had an altar tomb built over the spot.

Queen Joan herself was later accused of necromancy by her step-son, Henry V and was imprisoned by him in Leeds Castle. Being released by Henry on his deathbed, she lived on until 1437, when she was laid to rest in the tomb of her husband in Canterbury Cathedral.

The children and grandchildren of Henry IV and Mary de Bohun

(1) HENRY V (1387-1422) m. Catherine of Valois

(2) John Duke of Bedford(1389-1435) m. (i)Anne of Burgundy (ii) Jacquetta of Luxembourg

(i) Mary married Pierre de Montferrand.

(ii) Richard, Lord of Haye-du-Puits.

(3) Thomas Duke of Clarence (1388-1421) m. Margaret Holland

(4) Humphrey Duke of Gloucester (1390-1447) m. (i) Jacqueline of Holland (ii) Eleanor de Cobham

(i) Arthur of Gloucester, died 1447

(ii) Antigone of Gloucester, who married Henry Grey, 2nd Earl of Tankerville, Lord of Powys (c. 1419-1450).

(5) Blanche (1392-1409) m. Louis III, Elector Palatine

(i) Rupert of the Palatine (1406 - 1426)

(6) Phillipa (1394-1430) m. Eric IX of Denmark

The Ancestry of Henry IV

Father: John of GauntDuke of Lancaster

Paternal Grandfather: Edward III

Paternal Great-grandfather: Edward II

Paternal Great-grandmother: Isabella of France

Paternal Grandmother: Phillipa of Hainault

Paternal Great-grandfather: William I, Count of Hainaut

Paternal Great-grandmother: Joan of Valois

Mother: Blanche of Lancaster

Maternal Grandfather: Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster

Maternal Great-grandfather: Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster grandson of Henry III

Maternal Great-grandmother: Maud Chaworth

Maternal Grandmother: Isabel de Beaumont

Maternal Great-grandfather: Henry de Beaumont, Earl of Buchan grandson of Henry III

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