A chronology of Tudor Acts of Parliament in the reign of Henry VII
First Parliament of Henry VII’s Reign
The first parliament of Henry VII’s reign was held. Due to the large numbers of nobles that had died in the Wars of the Roses onlhy eighteen lords attended. They joined thirteen bishops and seventeen abbots.
6th November 1485
Titulus Regius repudiated
The first parliament of Henry VII’s reign began. He repudiated Titulus Regius 1484, which had declared the marriage of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville to be invalid and their children bastards.
Act of Parliament
An Act was passed that gave back to the crown all lands which it had lost in the preceding thirty years of war.
Acts of Parliament
It was declared that an Act of Parliament would not be valid unless it had been approved by the House of Commons.
Vagabonds and Beggars Act
This act was introduced in a bid to stop gamblers and beggars from making a living by taking honest worker’s wages. The local authorities were instructed to seek out and punish all vagabonds, idle and suspect persons, by putting them in the stocks before evicting them from the town. The act also stated that apprentices, servants and labourers should not play tennis, dice, cards, bowls or any other unlawful game except at Christmas when they could be played under the watch of their masters.
Justices of the Peace
Justices of the peace were given the authority to try a large number of minor offences themselves rather than waiting for the case to be formally presented to a grand jury.
An act was passed that regulated working hours for labourers. In winter months they would work from sunrise to sunset, in summer months they would work from 5am to 8pm.
Parliament approved a new tax to defend the border with Scotland against a possible invasion by Scotland in support of Perkin Warbeck.
Henry VII asked for taxation
Henry VII asked parliament for a tax of three fifteenths to help pay for the expenses incurred by the marriage of Princess Margaret and the knighthood of Prince Arthur in 1489. Henry hoped to raise £90,000 by the tax. Thomas More spoke against the move and the Commons voted against so large a tax and it was halved.
An act was passed that required all noblemen who kept retainers to submit a list of their names to the king and to obtain a license for them.