Henry the Accountant – was there more to Henry VII?

Royal sobriquets are often colourful, grandiose or emotive – Ivan the Terrible, Bloody Mary, Good Queen Bess, the Sun King or Suleiman the Magnificent. Some are obscure – William the Silent, the Universal Spider (for Louis XI of France) or John Soft-Sword. But few are as dull as Henry VII – the accountant king.

It is true that the founder of the Tudor dynasty earned some racier nicknames – the Huckster King, the Welshman and the Winter King. But Thomas Penn’s biography of Henry VII, Winter King – the Dawn of Tudor England, makes it clear that this king knew his numbers and understood the power of revenue to make or break a dynasty.

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