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Henry became King, in 1485, of a country that had been torn apart by war and instability for thirty years. But it was a country ready for peace under strong leadership. Henry provided this, despite having little money and no real apprenticeship in the art of monarchy.

The country he ruled in 1485 was financially, diplomatically and internally weak. Yet, by his death in 1509, "the crown was vastly stronger than it had been in 1485, but it was no nearer to being absolute". (Loades)

He left his son a country which was not at war, was solvent (if not completely in the black), was not racked by faction, that was more centralised in its administration than ever before, and which was respected by a number of major European powers.

But he was not a saint. He had not achieved all of this by methods that have not been criticised by both contemporaries and by historians. He must have had doubts himself, as in his will he made a provision for an enquiry to see if anyone had suffered any wrongs at his hands. An enquiry which led to 175 recognizance's being revoked in a five year period.

Guy states that, "Henry VII's reign was distinguished by sober statesmanship." What do you think?