AQA Tudors Revision notes, completed from Edward onwards with some notes for Henry VII and Henry VIII















H7:  Government


Royal Council

Royal Court

Council Learned

Royal Household

Privy Chamber

227 attended parliament 1485-1509, although only 6 or 7 members on the working Council. Role:   advise the king, administer the realm and make legal judgements. 

Councillors:  nobility, churchmen and laymen. There were no established procedures or rules. There was a dependence of the Council on its key members and the Council Learned.

The centre of government wherever the king was. 

Court central to Henry’s personal monarchy (power was dependent upon relationship with H7 not the political office held) and a place for royal ceremony. 

Courtiers received rewards and status along with paid positions and free food. They could become an influential person on the king. The levels of court were: the household proper, the chamber and the privy chamber.

Replaced use of the Star Chamber (1487) to control the nobility. 

A ‘specialist board’. Its function was to maintain the king’s revenue and exploit his prerogative rights. 

Ked by Bray until he died in 1503, then Empson & Dudley.  Historians have often seen their work as ‘shady’ due to not being recognised as a court of law and those who were summoned had no appeal.

Responsible for looking after the king, the courtiers, guests and other members who were being entertained. This was supervised by the Lord Steward.

Henry created the Privy Chamber due to Stanley’s betrayal. It changed the character of the court through making it more difficult for those who were out of favour to regain the king’s support. Henry cut himself off from much of the king’s traditional contacts at court.

The Chamber

Politically important, presided by the Lord Chamberlain. Lord Chamberlain was both powerful & trusted. Betrayal by Sir William Stanley (1495) through involvement in the Perkin Warbeck plot was thus a big blow.

Key Dates:



Maintenance of Law & Order

Justices of the Peace

Bonds & recognisances

Acts of Attainder

Main functions were to pass laws and grant taxation.  Also passed on local issues and grievances to the king’s officials. It was made up by the Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal. Only the king could call parliament, called seven times during Henry’s reign. Henry’s parliaments were usually concerned with national issues of security and raising of revenue along with multiple Acts of Attainder.

A prime responsibility of the king was the maintenance of order and law. The king relied on well-placed members of the nobility to exercise power on his behalf. Henry had fewer magnates than Edward IV as he wanted control over the land he ruled, in some areas he gave control to the Stanley’s and the Earl of Northumberland; although after his death in the Yorkshire rebellion the Earl of Surrey gained the power of the North.

Justices of the Peace – Henry relied on these at a local level to maintain law and order in the countryside. They were appointed on a country-by-country basis and met four times a year


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