Co-Operation of the Localities

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  • Co-operation of the Localities
    • The Law in Wales Act 1542
      • The act introduced English law into Wales
        • Brought end to traditional Welsh system (e.g. blood feud)
          • System of law courts was introduced called the courts of great sessions - held in new Welsh county twice a year
            • Courts tried criminal cases (theft, physical attacks) and there was no right of appeal
              • Council of the Marches now the Council of Wales - intoduced a president + vice president -appointed by monarch
                • Powers strengthened as they now rested on authority of the king + parliment
                  • Powers Included: the right to hear legal cases in a manner similar to the English Star Chamber + oversee law and order in Wales and the former macher counties
            • Elizabeth's regin - Marcher Council included Lord Lieutenansts
    • The Re-establishment of the Council of the North 1537
      • October 1536 - rebellion in Lincolnshire + spreading north
        • Cromwell decided to remodel the Council in 1537
          • Power to hear and decide cases of treason, murder, felony
            • Oversaw food supplies, regulated trade, organised local musters for military campaigns + heard private cases
              • Governed Yorkshire, Durham, North-umberland, Cumberland + Westmorland
            • President was either a bishop or nobility from South/ Midlands
              • Rest of Council made up of local gentry, lawyers and clergy - appointed by Justices of the Peace
          • Elizabeth tried to put more southerners into the Council - caused resentment
    • The Law in Wales Act 153
      • Cromwell becan a process that would lead to permanent changes
        • The 1535 Act transformed the structure of Welsh government:
          • 1) The Principality of Wales and the Marcher Lordship were abolished and replaced with 12 English-style counties
            • 2) The English-style system of local government introduced, including SHERIFFS, CORONERS and JUSTICE OF THE PEACE
              • 3) The Act banned the use of Welsh in the courst - only English
                • 4) Each new Welsh county and county town allocated two MPs
                  • 5) End of traditional military power of the marcher lords
    • Increasing borough represention in the Commons
      • Elizabeth's reign - 191 boroughs with right to send two MPs to parliament
        • House of Commons grew from 296 to 462 members
      • Boroughs represented in parliament ranged - London = 200,000  Newcastle = 10,000
      • 'Rotten' boroughs
      • Reasons for the growth of representation of boroughs
        • Pressure from the towns themselves
        • Most MPs were not true 'townsmen' but landed gentry
        • Financially sensible to have a member of the gentry acting as their MP
    • Increasing literacy in the Yeoman class
      • Growth of humanist ideas - emphasized the role of education for all = grammar schools
        • Public grammar schools didn't charge fee and open for rich and poor boys
        • 'English' schools which taught reading, writing and English grammar
      • Only 2 universities (Oxford and Cambridge) - number of students increased (Oxford 1,150 to 2,000)
        • Half the students were nobility/gentry - the rest yeomen or artisans
      • Rebellions - Cornish Rising 1497 and the 1549 troubles had been mostly led by yeomen who held high status in their localities
        • Literate Yeomen formulated the rebel demands and acted as spokesmen in negotiations with the Crown
      • Yeomen were now included in local government
      • Yeomen taking on roles such as administration of the Poor Law and voting elections
      • Yeomen more likely to defend gov then attack it
        • More likely to use the legal system to resolve disputes - not violence
    • Changing role of Justices of Peace
      • JP first emerged in 14th century
        • Appointed annually for each county
          • Their powers already wide-ranging = hear and decide on cases of felony and trespass
            • hear and decide on cases of felony and trespass
              • They could arrest potential suspects
                • Supervised the fixing of prices and wages
      • To become a JP an individual must own land worth at least £20 a year
        • Some JPs were appointed because they were laywers
      • JPs expected to administer the Poor Law and control vagrants
      • Henry VII
        • Henry VII - his position of a usurper made him vulnerable
          • He often appointed trusted members of his Court to be JPs
        • Act of Parliament 1495 allowed JPs to act on info received about suspects without waiting for a jury
          • Given power to replace jurors who they considered to be corrupt
            • Had power to inquire into illegal retaining by the nobility + examine complaints of corruption against other local officials
      • Henry VIII
        • Appointing as JP was for life
        • Wolsey 1526 =JPs to hear a speech = asked them to fill in a 21-section questionnaire
        • Cromwell careful to check who was appointed JP since he expected them to enforce the Supremacy and the Reformation
      • Edward / Elizabeth
        • Edward = JPs enforced Edward's religious change
          • 1549, JPs ordered take inventory of parish goods = expose whose illegally taken them
            • 1552 = enforce Second Prayer Book
        • Liz = JPs ranged from 40-90 member
          • Cecil keep eye on membership of benches
            • Gentry realised being JP = political advancement
          • Deputy Lieutenants (helped organisation of men to fight)
    • 1513 Subsidy
      • Henry VIII eager for war with France
        • Wolsey's solution:
          • 1) Subsidy was flexible - individuals assessed on income diff sources of wealth (land, wages, possessions)
            • 2) Subsidy assessed by each individual's ability to pay, based on wealth + property
              • 3) Separate assessment introduced for nobility, based on rank
                • 4) Local officials often drawn from most respected men in local society
                  • reduced resentment caused by fifteenths and tenths
                    • ensured rich contributed more to taxation than poor
                      • Wolsey problem = demands for war = parliament reluctant to grant amount he wanted
          • Cromwell asked Parliament for subsidy to fund Henry's gov in peacetime
            • Liz = system corrupt + govs income from subsidy fell
              • Allowed wealthy to evade taxation
    • Growth of poverty and government response
      • Population growth
        • resulted in rising prices and falling wages
        • pressure of resources, particularly food
          • Farmers could charge more = price inflation
      • Bad weather = bad harvests
      • dissolution of monasteries = no support and alms for poor
      • Vagrancy + begging
      • 1531 Poor Law = vagrants to be whipped
      • Impotent poor (physical disabilities/ illness) licensed by JPs  + allowed to beg
      • Vagrancy Act
        • so harsh that local authorities found it impossible to enforce
          • 1550 repealed
            • 1552 new Poor Law replaced it
    • Act for the Relief of the Poor 1598
      • came from 'Private bills'
      • 1) introduced post of overseer of the poor for each parish
        • 2) unpaid overseer supervised by JPs who given power of compulsory contribution + punish those who refuse
          • 4) new Poor Law combined with other laws  (1598 Vagabonds Act, Act for Relief of Soldiers and Mariners)
            • 5) Acts that provided for building hospitals for ill and houses of correction for able-bodied poor
        • assess how much poor relief needed + collect and distribute relief
      • making contributions to poor relief fully compulsory
    • Statue of Artificers
      • solution for wages, price rises + vagrancy - dealt with together
      • 1) All unmarried under 30 compelled to work + accept any job offered
        • 2) Harvest time - JPs force those able to work to help bring in crops
          • 3) People aged 12-60 required to work on land unless member of gentry, heir to land worth £10 year, already employed in skilled craft, mining, metal work, glass work, in school/uni
            • 4) All wages assessed + set by local JP annually
              • 5) Hours of work fixed (summer = 5-8) (winter = dawn-sunset)
                • 6) Apprentice-ships were set at 7 years
      • enhanced importance of apprentships
        • Protected status of skilled craftsmen
          • emphasis on food production as essential job
    • Patronage
      • Henry VIII gave patronage to the men in his Chamber
        • Growth of royal estates under Henry added to ability to manipulate patronage
      • Cromwell got his start in royal service through Wolsey's patronage
      • Professional administrators became influential due to their access to patronage
      • Problems
        • Patronage relied on strong monarch - if too old, young, ill, easily manipulated - ambitious courtiers see advantage for own needs
          • could cause jealousy + lead to political instability
            • Rivalry between fractions who wanted to influence Henry's policy
        • Liz's patronage breaking - her most trusted Councillors died by 1590
      • Elizabeth gave patronage to her 'favourites'
        • Elizabeth careful to keep distribution of patronage in her own hands
          • Liz gave patronage to southern 'outsiders' in the North as it was Catholic
            • caused resentment - the Revolt of the Northern Earls 1569
    • Royal Progresses
      • Progresses were journeys made by the ruler and their court to regions in England
        • enhanced respect + obedience to monarchy in localities
          • increased visibility of the monarch
            • show off power + wealth + prestige of the Court
              • remind their subjects of their military + legal power
                • make contact with localities
      • Henry VII moved around constantly
      • Henry VIII became too old + ill to travel. did use progresses but lesser extent
      • Edward + Mary saw fewer progresses as result of youth and ill health
      • Elizabeth + her entire Court went on progresses nearly every summer
        • driven by politics AND desire to save money - stay in houses of nobility + gentry
          • Liz used progresses to strengthen the bonds of trust + royal authority with her leading Councillors

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