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Henry VII: England's Greatest King

Updated on April 8, 2012
Coat of Arms of Henry VII
Coat of Arms of Henry VII


England was once considered an island on the edge of the world. It stood at the border of the Roman Empire as a far away trading post that held little significance for the world, but it became the largest empire the world has ever seen, and was composed of a a quarter of the world's landmass while containing one out of five people living on Earth.

Throughout its long history England has had many kings and queens who are famous throughout the world for their deeds. Under the British monarchy the people of the British isles have experienced a degree of freedom and safety unseen in the rest of the world. There have been few rebellions, and even fewer monarchs have been killed by their subjects.

With such a variety of English monarchs it is hard to determine which one is best, or who did the most for the success of the English people. Under the Saxon kings England was given a cultural base for constitutional monarchy. William the Conqueror established a unified country and a hereditary dynasty. The Tudor kings and queens gave England it's protestantism. Despite this, the greatest leader England has ever had was Henry VII, King of England and of France and Lord of Ireland

Henry VII
Henry VII

Why Henry VII?

Henry VII laid the groundwork for his successors to maintain independence and freedom. Henry helped to Anglicize England. He created a dynasty that has dominated England ever since. Henry was also left in a difficult position.

The War of Roses depleted the royal treasury, and it allowed France to reclaim land lost to Henry V. England was shattered and suffering from brigandry at the end of the war. Henry VII reversed both of England's internal problems. Aggressive taxation allowed for the treasury to be rebuilt, and left a surplus for Henry VIII when Henry VII died.

Henry VII used the Court of Star Chamber, a royal court, to deal with disloyal nobles and quickly quash problems. This helped to strengthen the crown as well as deal with brigands throughout England. These two policies helped to secure England internally.


Henry VII helped to reunify England after the War of the Roses. Henry's reign saw the creation of a dynasty that rule England for over a hundred years, and his descendents rule England to this day. Royal power was restored under Henry VII and was disrupted again until the English Civil War. Finally, Henry left a large treasury for his successors that allowed England to remain prosperous and safe without heavily taxing their people.

For these reasons Henry VII should be considered the greatest English monarch of all time.


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    • ata1515 profile image

      ata1515 5 years ago from Buffalo, New York.


      Thanks for the comment. So many kings and queens did important things for England.

      Carmen H,

      It was indeed. Thanks for the comment.

    • Carmen H profile image

      Carmen Beth 5 years ago

      I thought it was Henry VII's son, Henry VIII, who created the Anglican church in anger over the Pope's refusal to grant him a divorce to Catherine of Aragon.

    • Just History profile image

      Just History 5 years ago from England

      Whilst applauding the efforts of Henry and his successors I am afraid that I see the UK's greatest King as King George V1, without him taking over the throne, wooing the dominions and keeping France firmly within the allied fold we may not have made it through the war!

    • ata1515 profile image

      ata1515 5 years ago from Buffalo, New York.


      The Tudors were so vital for the development of England that it is really hard to pick from them, but I think that Henry VIII applied the treasury that his father left him and that's why he was so great.

    • clairemy profile image

      Claire 5 years ago

      I Like your reasoning, I was torn between henryVII and Henry VIII, however , maybe you have convinced me. I really enjoyed history at school, and remember The War of Roses well.

    • ata1515 profile image

      ata1515 5 years ago from Buffalo, New York.


      Thanks for the comment and the vote up!

      Most people know about Elizabeth because she stabilized the country after the short reigns of her siblings, but in my opinion she really built on the successes of Henry VII.

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

      ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada


      I am glad I found you on Hubpages my friend!

      I saw this question on my feed earlier and my immediate response was Elizabeth I. This was the result of my having taken a Tudor and Stuart England class as an undergrad and she was my personal favorite.

      You are correct, however, Henry 7 deserves that honor. I am both impressed by your compelling argument and the speed in which you wrote this!. Voting Up, sharing, and all the niceties.