And Henry VII became the richest monarch in Europe through tax avoidance (he smuggled Venetian alum to circumvent the papal monopoly) and extortion (by accusing almost anyone of trumped up crimes and then either fining them or binding them over in excessive sums).
A fascinating and compelling portrait of one of England's lesser known (and least charismatic) kings.
But I so wanted to lerarn about the first half of the reign. After the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, Henry had to reunite the country still reeling from the divisive Wars of the Roses. His own claim on the throne was marginal (Henry V's widow, ex Princess of France, had married her household steward). So how did he persuade everyone to follow him? This story deserves to be told.
- John Skelton exhorted us to "Love poets: athletes are two a penny but patrons of the arts are rare."
- Henry VIII's tutor Lord Mountjoy lived near Greenwich Palace at Sayes Court (later lived in my John Evelyne, Admiral Benbow and briefly Czar Peter the Great)
- Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, lived at Collyweston Palace near Kettering
- Henry VII confiscated Ampthill from the Earl of Kent because Kent was in debt here there and everywhere and mismanaging his lands
- Another compulsory purchase was Hanworth which he made into a palace.
- Catherine of Aragon's wedding procession (to Henry VIII) went [ast the Cardinal's Hat Tavern near where the Globe now is.
A wonderful, beautifully written book. April 2012; 378 pages