chapter  11
Pages 1

The year 1485, inaugurating a new dynasty after 331 years of Plantagenet rule, is the second of the great traditional watersheds of English history. The period is best known for its two larger-than-life rulers, Henry VIII (1509-47) and Elizabeth I (15581603), but it also saw the re-establishment of royal authority and effective government after the long period of instability, although that authority was not entirely secure. The success or otherwise of the individual ruler continued to depend on his political abilities and capacity to command the respect and loyalty of his leading subjects. That much did not change, nor did it change until much later the practice of government became separated from the person of the monarch.