Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

1

25 Charles I. Continues the dy

nasty of Stuart, as will be seen in the Genealogical Table, vol. iii.

Elizabeth Frederic V. Elector

Palatine, afterwards King of Bohemia

Sophia Ernest Augustus, Ist Elector of

Hanover. (Here begins the Dynasty of Brunswick, which contirues in the Genealogical Table, vol. v.)

А

CHRONOLOGICAL ABRIDGMENT

OF THE

HISTORY

OF

GREAT BRITAIN.

PERIOD THE SEVENTH.

HENRY VII. nineteenth King from the Conquest;

and the first of the House of Tudor.

[Born in 1458; ascended the throne August 22,

1485 ; was crowned October 30, following; married Elizabeth, Edward the fourth's daughter, and heiress of the House of York, January 18, 1486; lost his queen in child-bed, February 11, 1503 ; died consumptive at Richmond, April 22, 1509, aged 51; was buried at Westminster, and succeeded by his son.]

Ann. 1485.

The victory of Bosworth and the huzzas of the army placed on the head of Henry VII. a crown, to which he had no sort of claim by hereditary right. His mother Margaret, countess of Rich

VOL, II.

B

mond, was indeed the only daughter and heir of the duke of Somerset, sprung from John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster; but the title of the house of Lancaster itself originating from usurpation, could not be very favourable; besides, the descent of the Somerset line was not only illegitimate, it was also the produce of an adulterous connexion with Catherine Swineford; and though the duke of Lancaster had obtained from Richard II. the legitimation of his natural children, by a patent confirmed by parlia ment, that patent itself, in which were fully enumerated all the privileges conferred by it, had expressly excepted the succession to the throne; and in all settlements of the crown during the reign of the Lancastrian princes, the line of Somerset had been entirely overlooked. But even in putting aside all these objections, Henry's mother, from whom alone he could derive any right, was still alive, and evidently preceded him in the order of succession.

The title of the house of York from the late popular government of Edward IV. had generally obtained the preference in the affections of the people, and Henry might engraft his claims on the acknowledged rights of that family, by marrying Princess Elizabeth, the daughter of Edward IV and his apparent heir, by the real or supposed death of the two princes, her brothers. Henry had solemnly promised to celebrate that marriage, and was chiefly indebted for all bis past successes to the expectation of it. But he considered that on receiving the crown in right of his queen only, his authority would be as limited as precarious, and that should the princess die before him without issue, he must descend from the throne, and give the place to the next in succession. Therefore, taking advantage of his present power, he resolved to take possession of the sovereignty on his own claim, as heir of the house of Lancaster, which he would never allow to be discussed; and to postpone his intended marriage till he was firmly seated on the throne, and had his pretended right to the crown acknowledged by parliament, and solemnly confirmed by his coronation.

Two days after the battle of Bosworth, Edward Plantagenet earl of Warwick, son of the late Duke of Clarence, brother to Edward IV. was conveyed to the tower by Henry's order, to be detained there in close custody. The same messenger who was sent to take him at Sherif-hutton in Yorkshire, where he was in a kind of confinement, carried directions that the princess Elizabeth, who, under the preceding reign, had been also confined to the same place, should be conducted to London.

Henry having refreshed his troops a few days at Leicester, conducted them towards the capital, and was every where received with the loudest acclamations. When he approached London, the citizens went in crowds to meet and welcome their new monarch. As the sweating sickness raged in London at that time, he was forced to postpone his coronation till the 20th of October, when it was performed with the usual solemnity. There appeared, for the first time, a band of fifty archers, which the king had established for security, as well as pomp, and who were termed yeomen of the guard. The parliament then proceeding to the settlement of the crown, enacted that the inheritance of it should rest and remain in the person of Henry and in the heirs of his body, lawfully coming, perpetually, which last word seemed to have been inserted only to cut off the claim of the princess Elizabeth, though she was not once mentioned in that act. The late king, the duke of Norfolk, and thirty other lords and gentlemen, who had fought under king Richard at Bosworth were attainted by an act of parliament ; but Henry thought it prudent to publish a free par

B 2

don to all his subjects who signified their submission to his government by taking the oath of fealty. As the king himself had been attainted, and his right of sussession to the crown might thence be exposed to some doubt, the judges declared as a maxim, that the crown takes away all defects and stops in blood, , and that from the time the king assumed royal authority the fountain was cleared, and all attainders and corruptions of blood discharged.

Ann. 1486, 1487. The long expected marriage of the king with the princess Elizabeth was celebrated on the 18th of January 1486. The rejoicings on this occasion being by their unanimity and liveliness far superior to those at the king's accession and coronation, convinced him that the house of York was still the favourite of the people, which gave great discontent to his jealous spirit ; it is even reported that they deprived the princess of the affection of her husband, who was so little satisfied with his own title, that in the following year he applied for a confirmation of it, to Pope Innocent VIII. who readily granted a bull in whatever terms the king was pleased to desire, and in which excommunication was denounced against every one who should either disturb him in the

present possession or the heirs of his body in the future succession of the crown.

Henry now enjoying peace abroad and tranquillity at home, set out on a progress into the north, where he knew the people were more generally attached to the house of York, and even to the late king. When he arrived at York, he heard that sir Humphrey Stafford and Thomas, his brother, were marching with an army of rebels to besiege Worcester, and that viscount Lovel, at the head of three or four thousand men, was approaching to attack him in

« AnteriorContinuar »