King kingdom

Trade agreements of Pembroke-born King Henry VII and later years

OVER the past two weeks, we’ve looked back on the life of King Henry VII, the only King of England to be born in Wales.

This week we will see how he was able to establish various trade routes, maintain international peace, his subsequent life and death.

In February 1489, Henry signed the Treaty of Reddon with representatives from Brittany.

The treaty was signed and 6,000 soldiers were sent into battle to prevent France from annexing Brittany.

He also created a policy to recover Plantagenet’s lost claims to France and to recover Guyenne, marking the shift from British neutrality as France invaded Brittany to intervention in the invasion.

A treaty was signed with France which provided money for England and the French agreed that they would not support any claimant to the throne of England.

In November 1492, Henry is said to have organized a minor invasion of Brittany and signed an alliance with Spain to help keep Brittany out of French hands.

King Henry VII by John Faber the Younger. Photo: Yale British Art Center

Henry began to subsidize shipbuilding in an effort to strengthen his position as king and strengthen the navy.

He was one of the first monarchs to recognize the importance of the Spanish kingdom, which had just been unified.

He led peace treaties in Spain and the UK with the Treaty of Medina del Campo, which saw eldest son Arthur, Prince of Wales, marry Spanish Princess Catherine of Aragon.

The Treaty of Perpetual Peace was also created by Henry, where he betrothed his daughter Margaret Tudor to King James IV of Scotland in an attempt to break the alliance between Scotland and France.

It was said to be the first treaty between England and Scotland for nearly two centuries.

Henry also formed an alliance with Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I and played an influential role in Pope Innocent VIII issuing a papal bull of excommunication against claimants to the British throne.

Henry was asked by Emery d’Amboise, grand master of the Knights Hospitaller in 1506, to become the protector and patron of the Order.


Henry VII entered the alum trade from 1486. ​​He licensed ships and obtained alum from the Ottoman Empire before selling it to the Netherlands and England.

This angered Pope Julius II as the only area in Europe in which alum was mined was at Tolfa in Italy, which meant the pope had control over it. But Henry VII was able to circumvent this.

Western Telegraph: King Henry VIII, successor to the throneKing Henry VIII, successor to the throne

In 1494 Henry banned trade with the Netherlands after Margaret of Burgundy supported Perkin Warbeck, who was trying to claim the throne of England.

Meanwhile, adventurous merchants moved from Antwerp to Calais and Flemish merchants were expelled from England. This disadvantaged England and the Netherlands.

Two years later it was reinstated using the Magnus Intercursus which allowed England to remove taxation of English merchants resulting in a significant increase in English wealth.

During his later life, Henry VII fell on hard times. His son and heir Arthur, Prince of Wales, died at Ludlow Castle in 1502.

The king let his emotions show in a rare moment of intense grief and sobbing.

The death of his eldest son meant that Henry, Duke of York was to be next in line to the throne where he would later be known as Henry VIII and marry his brother’s widow Catherine of Aragon after Henry’s death. ‘Henry VII.

Western Telegraph: Henry VII and the effigies of his wife Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey.  Photo: FlickrHenry VII and the effigies of his wife Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey. Photo: Flickr

In 1503 his wife Elizabeth died and he locked himself away, refusing to speak to anyone for several days. Henry VII fell ill following the death of his wife and only allowed his mother to approach him. He then had to give his daughter Margaret to King James IV of Scotland.

He died of tuberculosis at Richmond Palace on 21 April 1509 and was buried in Westminster Abbey next to his wife.

Henry VII is survived by his daughters Margaret and Mary and his son Henry VIII. Her eldest son Arthur died aged 16, her daughters Elizabeth and Katherine died aged three and eight days, respectively, and her son Edmund died aged one.