The Tudor Society

March 31 – Henry VII makes his will

King Henry VII by an unknown artistOn this day in Tudor history, 31st March 1509, the dying Henry VII made his last will and testament at Richmond Palace, three weeks before his death.

The will was based on an earlier draft, with some new provisions added, for example, the addition of Sir Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley to the list of executors.

Henry VII died on 21st April 1509, and just three days after his death and the accession of his son as King Henry VIII, Empson and Dudley were arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London, accused of plotting to “hold, guide and govern the King and his Council” by assembling men to undertake a coup d'état.

There is no evidence Empson and Dudley were plotting, they were simply scapegoats for the late king’s unpopular financial measures, a way of the young Henry VIII showing that his reign would be different. They were executed by beheading on 17th August 1510.

If you're interested in reading Henry VII's will, you can read it online on at

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March 31 – Henry VII makes his will