The accession of Henry VIII was greeted with a huge sigh of relief and great enthusiasm. His court was to change immediately, and politics for ever. Although the Book of the Courtier would not appear until 1528, it could have been written for the Tudor court to explain how to win the favour of the Prince.
Through the 15th century, Portugal explored the African coast in search of the Indies and the fabulous wealth of the trading networks with the East - such as those of Mansa Musa from Timbuktu. Until the great expeditions of Columbus and Da Gama led to the opening of contact with the Americas and Asia.
While the young prince Henry built a group of aristocratic companions and longed desperately for the joust, his father drove his hatchet men Dudley and Empson ever further into the dark world of extortion and oppression. But in 1509, Henry fell ill again.
Henry had found two hatchet men to replace Reginald Bray - Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley. They spread their tentacles and contacts through London and England, and used the Council Learned to drive their master's policy to extort every possible fee 'to the king's advantage'. And did pretty well for themselves too.
In the early 1500's Henry VII saw many of his closest confidentes and supporters die. Catherine of Aragon was to be one of those who suffered as a result. He also built the rather magnificent palace at Sheen, renaming it Richmond; not knowing that in a few years, it would be the place of his death.
Henry made changes to the English court, administration and legal system. He increased the health of royal finances, and tried to make the justice system work better, based around the JP. But many of his actions would be seen as setting a path to tyranny and avarice later in the reign