In 1485 and 1486 Henry established the foundations of his reign through parliament, and established his household. The relationship between his wife and his mother would always be a matter of some debate.
The Parliament of 1485
Henry's first parliament would define much of the rest of the reign.
- Henry established his right to rule - on his lineage and verum dei judicium - right by God’s judgment; there is no mention of Elizabeth of York
- Henry laid out his position on Livery and Maintenance - it was banned except for household men and councillors; and all were compelled to take an oath to that effect
- The date of his reign starts on 21st August - the day before Bosworth. This means all at Bosworth can be attainted
- The act of Attainder is duly passed
- Henry is told to resume all royal lands given away since the time of Henry VI in 1455
- Parliament asks Henry to marry Elizabeth of York
- Parliament grants tunnage and poundage (customs revenue) to Henry for life
In 1487, Elizabeth finally left the political stage - banished to Bermondsey Abbey, with just 400 marks a year to live on. She was with her daughter Elizabeth of York at some key events, such as her confinements; and it is possible that she was not entirely unhappy with the move - though without doubt Margaret Beaufort and Henry would have been glad to see her go.
Elizabeth of York and her Mother in Law
Traditionally the image has been of a placid Elizabeth happy to take the background and let her mother in law rule the roost. But there are plenty of indications that Henry and his mother pushed Elizabeth into a situation she found deeply uncomfortable.
The Spanish visitor and diplomat Pedro de Ayala noted it when he wrote home after visiting court:
"He [Henry] is much influenced by his mother and his followers in affairs of personal interest and in others. The queen, as is generally the case, does not like it."
"The Queen is a very noble woman and much beloved. She is kept in subjection by the mother of the king."
Elizabeth was the recipient of a stream of presents from her husband; but the estate he gave her at £1,900 a year, was simply inadequate for the expenses of a queen, and Elizabeth was always short - and therefore dependent on these handouts. Although Elizabeth and Henry are more often together than was probably normal for kings and queens - the king's mother was in constant attendance.
We will never know for sure; but it seems likely Elizabeth of York was forced into a secondary position and constantly subject to the rule of Margaret Beaufort.