Henry VII and His Political Reforms
He consciously acted to replace the arbitrary rule of the nobility, typified by the Magna Carta, for example, with reforms that made everyone legally accountable, regardless of their station.
Henry restrained his nobles' old tendencies to collect private armies. He enacted a law against "livery and maintenance" and in 1504 codified existing statutes against "retaining", to prevent the nobles from keeping independent forces.
Henry VII created a centralized judicial system, with a system for appeal of cases. The effect of these centralizing statues can hardly be exaggerated, as they introduced efficient local administration. To accomplish this, the King enlisted many minor members of the country gentry in his service, who became the props of the Tudor throne.
Henry also created the Court of Requests, a poor man's court of equity, where the poor could sue without payment of fees, and were given free legal aid. Statutes were passed to protect the poor from injustice, and to penalize dishonest juries.
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