The Virtues of Henry VII

An analysis of the true character of Henry VII and what made him tick.

Was avarice the overriding facet of Henry VII’s character ? Did he have virtues to obscure, and if so, what were they ? The discussions still go on among historians, and this paper sheds light on the character of the king, what drove him, his need for security and to establish his family following the turbulence of the Wars of the Roses.
He cherished justice above all things. Polydore Vergil made this statement and the statement about Henry’s alleged avarice. Not only did he make them both, but he made them in the same piece of writing. What this shows is the difficulty faced when attempting to form a view of a historical character based on personal, and often subjective, judgments. The debate about Henry’s rapacity and the extent to which avarice overrode all his other accomplishments and virtues, of which more later, still goes on. For example, Elton put forward a defense of Henry in which he tried to defend Henry from the charges of avarice leveled at him. This was subject to counter argument, and the discussion still continues.