Henry VII (28 January 1457 – 21 April 1509) was the King of England and Lord of Ireland from 22 August 1485 until his death in 1509. He was the first monarch of the House of Tudor. His reign marked the end of the Wars of the Roses, a series of civil wars that had plagued England for over thirty years.
Henry was born in Pembroke Castle, Wales, the son of Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, and Margaret Beaufort. His father died when he was only two years old, and his mother later married Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby. Henry was raised by his uncle, Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford, who was a staunch supporter of the House of Lancaster.
In 1483, Henry‘s cousin, Edward V, became King of England at the age of twelve. However, Edward‘s reign was short-lived. He and his younger brother, Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York, were declared illegitimate by Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who then ascended the throne as King Richard III.
Henry was determined to overthrow Richard III and claim the throne for himself. He launched an invasion of England in 1485, landing at Milford Haven in Wales. He was supported by a number of English nobles, including Thomas Stanley, who had defected from Richard III.
The two armies met at the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485. The battle was a decisive victory for Henry, and Richard III was killed. Henry was crowned King of England on 30 October 1485.
Henry VII‘s reign was marked by a number of important events. He married Elizabeth of York, the daughter of Edward IV, in 1486. This marriage helped to unite the Houses of York and Lancaster and brought an end to the Wars of the Roses.
Henry VII also established the Court of Star Chamber, a special court that was used to prosecute political opponents. The Star Chamber was a controversial institution, but it helped Henry VII to maintain order and stability in his kingdom.
In 1492, Henry VII sponsored the voyage of Christopher Columbus to the Americas. Columbus‘s discovery of the New World had a profound impact on Europe, and it helped to usher in the age of exploration.
Henry VII died in 1509 and was succeeded by his son, Henry VIII. His reign is considered to be one of the most important in English history. He brought an end to the Wars of the Roses, established the Tudor dynasty, and laid the foundation for England‘s rise to power as a major European power.