October 30 – Henry VII’s coronation
Posted By Claire on October 30, 2022
On this day in Tudor history, 30th October 1485, King Henry VII was crowned king at Westminster Abbey in London.
Henry Tudor, 2nd Earl of Richmond and son of Lady Margaret Beaufort and the late Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, had become king following the defeat of King Richard III’s forces, and the death of Richard, at the Battle of Bosworth Field in August 1485.
Find out about his coronation celebrations and his mother Lady Margaret Beaufort’s reaction to Henry’s coronation…
On this day in Tudor history, 30th October 1485, Henry Tudor, 2nd Earl of Richmond and son of Lady Margaret Beaufort and the late Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, was crowned King Henry VII. He had, of course, become king after his forces defeated those of King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth on 22nd August 1485.
Henry’s coronation celebrations had begun on 28th October, when he travelled to the Tower of London and stayed there the night. Historian Leanda de Lisle described in an article for Tudor Life magazine how the next day, 29th October, he processed through the streets of London, from the Tower to Westminster, behind heralds, sergeants of arms, trumpeters, esquires, the mayor, aldermen and nobles. England’s new king was dressed in a purple velvet gown furred with ermine, and he rode under a canopy fringed with 28 ounces of gold and silk, carried by 4 knights on foot. Behind him rode his uncle, Jasper Tudor, and also John de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk.
Henry was crowned king the next day at Westminster Abbey, which was hung with scarlet, a fine and very expensive woollen cloth.
Chronicler Edward Hall recorded:
“After this, he with great pomp was conveyed to Westmynster, and there the thirty day of Octobre was with all ceremonies accustomed, anointed & crowned kyng by the whole assent as well of the commons as of the nobility, & was named king Henry the. vii of that name, which was in the year of our redemption 1485, Frederick III then being Emperor of Almaine, Maximilian his son then being newly elected king of the Romans, Charles VIII reigning over the French nation, & James III ruling the realm of Scotland.
Which kingdom he obtained & enjoyed as a thing by God elected & provided, and by his especial favour & gracious aspect compassed and achieved. In so much that men commonly reporte that 797 years passed, it was by a heavenly voice revealed to Cadwalader last king of Britains that his stock and progeny should reign in this land and bear dominion again: Whereupon most men were persuaded in their own opinion that by this heavenly voice he was provided & ordained long before to enjoy and obtain this kingdom, which thing king Henry the. vi. did also show before as you have heard declared.”
John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester and confessor and chaplain to Henry VII’s mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, wrote of Margaret’s reaction to her son’s coronation:
“For when the kinge her son was crowned in all that great triumph & glory, she wept marvellously.”
No wonder, for according to Henry VII’s biographer, Thomas Penn, Henry’s coronation was when Henry and Margaret were reunited after 14 years of separation. It must have been such an emotional day for them both.