The theme for this week’s #TudorTuesdays with Historic Houses is Henry VII.
On this Tudor Tuesday, we take a look at Henry VIII’s father, Henry VII – the first monarch of the house of Tudor.
His marriage to Elizabeth of York united the houses of York and Lancaster.
Hever Castle has two portraits of the Tudor king on display.
The portrait of Henry VII hanging in Hever Castle’s Inner Hall was purchased by the Astor family, who owned the property between 1903-83. The three quarter length portrait is after Jan Mabuse and features some particularly stylised Crown Jewels.
A more faithful portrait of Henry VII hangs in the Long Gallery and was acquired by the current owners, the Guthrie family in 2005. It is believed to be a close likeness of Henry as it depicts a small wart on the King’s cheek that is also featured on the death mask of Henry taken in 1509.
We have no evidence that Henry VII ever visited Hever Castle but he did visit Thomas Boleyn at the Boleyn’s ancestral manor of Blickling in 1489 during the King’s progress to Norfolk.
Thomas Boleyn was a rising star of Henry’s Court, serving as a diplomat and entrusted with the duty of escorting Henry’s daughter Margaret to Scotland for her marriage to King James IV of Scotland in 1503. He would go on to be a trusted diplomat and confident of Henry VII’s son, King Henry VIII and the family home of Hever Castle was thought to be the place his daughter, Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII courted.
As well as the two portraits, in 2015 Hever Castle had what was believed to be the marriage bed of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York on display in the Long Gallery.
It was possibly the only piece of furniture to survive from the Tudor Palace of Westminster. It presents the surviving parts of a spectacular carved medieval oak bed frame which was discovered in 2010. This exceptional survivor is England’s only medieval royal bed. Its symbolism reveals how Henry and Elizabeth viewed themselves as they began a 117-year long dynasty that transformed England. They present themselves as saviours to conclude their families’ civil war: ‘The Wars of the Roses’.
If you enjoyed this item on Henry VII then why not discover the previous #TudorTuesdays news items: