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By Robert Tittler, Norman Jones

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Nevertheless, many of Henry VII’s policies survived, albeit in modified form. His financial policy continued almost intact: the series of acts of parliament between 1510 and 1512 which named John Heron, Henry’s treasurer of the chamber, as the general receiver of the crown’s revenues and established the auditing activities of the general surveyors in law were a peculiarly English attempt to recognize the significance of the change that had occurred in the nature of royal government. The expansion of the royal household’s role in government and greater intervention in local affairs remained a constant feature of Tudor government.

Similarly at Stoke two years later, apart from the attainted earl of Lincoln and Viscount Lovel, only two peers supported the pretender Lambert Simnel (posing as Edward, earl of Warwick, the son of Edward IV’s brother, George, duke of Clarence), while only seven members of the nobility took the field for Henry. It seems as if Lord Mountjoy’s deathbed advice to his son in 1485 not to seek to be ‘great about princes’ was a sentiment with which the nobility generally had some sympathy. Indeed, when noblemen did exercise power at a local level it was only with the king’s approbation or even at the king’s command.

This is apparent by the fact that Henry’s first parliament was attended by thirty-four of the fifty-five lords eligible to be summoned (although six were minors); by the time of the first parliament of his son’s reign there were only forty-one lords eligible to be summoned. The bare figures point to the decline of the nobility under Henry VII and corresponding rise in the importance of the crown and royal affinity that would be a defining feature of the early Tudor polity. Centre and Locality Some of the changes apparent in the government of the localities and the dynamic between locality and centre have already been touched upon.

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