Powers at Court

‘Court’ refers to the people who live and work around Henry and his Queens. Being at Court includes quarters, sustenance and servants appropriate to a person’s station all provided at the expense of the King.

The King’s ultimate power

  • Henry has absolute control of Church and Parliament
  • Henry has become tyrannical and unpredictable, any sensible person is terrified of him

At this point in history, Henry has all major spheres of influence in England cowed to his will. As head of the Church of England he controls the Convocation of Bishops and as Monarch Parliament only pass what he wants.
The recent death of Henry’s old companion Charles Brandon has made him painfully aware of his mortality and the problem of succession. He’s become obsessed with the legacy he will leave behind and his lack of a clear heir and a safe future for England. Any person with good sense is terrified of Henry. His changeable moods result in death or exile on a whim. Wise courtiers stop at nothing to keep Henry happy without making it obvious that is their aim. In his sporting days it was often impossible to know whether he wanted a genuine challenge or an easy win to make him feel good. Anybody who misjudged it would feel his fury. Today the stakes are much higher.

Favour at court

  • Anybody at court must have the favour of a Queen or the King to attend
  • The King can dismiss anybody from Court, or worse

Not all nobles are part of the court, and not all of court are nobles – only the most exceptional people are invited, and they must stay in favour to remain.
For most characters, even Dukes, your position at court is subject to the favour of your Queen. Without this favour, you still retain lands, titles and wealth, but you have no lodgings, position, or welcome at Court. These positions are entirely within the power of your Queen to give, but all power ultimately flows from the King. Without the King’s grace, you cannot be at court and you can lose your lands, your titles or even your head.
While Queens can dismiss people from their own courts, this is fraught with political danger. Dismissing a Maid that the King desires, or a noble with considerable power are not things to be done lightly.
No player characters will be forced to leave the game even if dismissed from court – it takes a few days to sort their affairs out.

Spheres of influence

Court contains various powerful groups which control English politics. Membership of most of these is restricted to male characters. Women find other ways to influence politics.

Each of the political bodies at court with their powers and responsibilities is linked under this page.

Privy Council
Convocation of Bishops
Foreign delegations and ambassadors