English Society in the reign of henry VIII

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  • English Society in the reign of Henry VIII
    • Elites
      • Nobility
        • Peerage increased during Henry's reign - due to successful royal service or a close family relationship
          • Duke of Norfolk (restored to his father's title) + Duke of Suffolk (close relationship w/ the King) were the only 2 new Duke's created
            • Henry did reward nobles with land + so they could assert their authority in places
        • Nobles had to have big households + offer hospitality + have a local influence
          • 1521 the Duke of Buckingham was executed for treason + more were executed for treason
      • The Gentry
        • 1540 - about 5000 gentry families
          • 1524 - 200 Knightly families
            • Knighthoods were granted as royal favour + Knights had to have an income to match it
        • Number of gentry increased during Henry's reign
          • Legal training was popular for sons of the gentry - for roles of social advancement
    • Regional issues
      • Wales
        • Before 1536 Wales was a separate territory from England but was under English control
          • Laws in Wales Act of 1536
            • Divided Wales into shire counties like in England
            • Gave Welsh shires representation in the House of Commons
            • Gave Wales the same legal framework as England
            • Control of Wales came down to aristocracy
      • The English Palatinates
        • Lancashire, Cheshire + Durham were palatinates
          • They were separated jurisdictions from the rest of England
            • Lancashire + Cheshire had fallen back into royal hands - but Durham was still separate
              • 1536 Act resuming liberties to the Crown reduced level of independence of the Bishop but didn't destroy it
      • Border Administration
        • Anglo-Welsh Border
          • The council of Wales and the Marches had control of Wales + it's 4 bordering counties (Shropshire, Herefordshire,Worcestershire and Gloucestershire)
            • Cheap and local access to law - a benefit to the area
        • Anglo-Scottish Border
          • It was remote + had a reputation for lawlessness - difficult to police
            • Scotland was split into 3 marches - each policed by a warden
              • Appointing a noble could lead to exploitation of the post
                • Gentry or complete outsiders would have complete loyalty to the King
                  • But they would have limited ability to influence
      • Council in the North
        • North posed problems of governance from London
        • 1536 Pilgrimage of Grace showed these issues
        • Henry + Cromwell re-established a permanent council in the North - kept the North quiet
    • Religion
      • There were occasional complaints about the Church - but most were satisfied
      • 1530s break from Rome was welcomed by a minority of people
        • 1536 - began dissolving the monasteries + 1536 royal injunctions attacked Catholic traditions
      • A huge amount of land was removed from the Church by the crown
        • By 1547 nearly 2/3 of church land had been sold of granted away
      • Monastic schools + their educational provision were lost
      • Monks + nun were made unemployed. Some monks got positions as priests or pensions - nuns were helpless
      • Monasteries played a large role in their communities
    • Rebellions
      • The Amicable Grant 1525
        • North essex + South Suffolk saw the most resistance
          • 1000 people gathered at the Essex-Suffolk border in refusal to pay
        • Unemployed cloth workers couldn't pay the tax
        • Dukes handled the matter + the King backed down
          • Wolesy begged Henry to issue a formal apology to those people
      • The Lincolnshire Rising and the Pilgrimage of Grace
        • Causes
          • Religious
            • Dissolution of the Monasteries
              • loss of charitable + educational functions
                • loss of monastic properties which could lead to an impoverished North
            • Fear for parish churches + religious practices
              • celebration sof local saints had been discouraged
                • Discouragement of pilgrimage
                  • Rumours that Church plate and jewels would be confiscated
          • Secular
            • Normal people were influenced by taxation
            • Crown's attempts to impose the Duke of Suffolk on Lincolnshire sparked outrage
            • Brought on by courtly conspiracy - to get Mary as an heir
      • Suppression of the rebellions
        • Lincolnshire rebellion quickly collapsed faced with the Duke of Suffolk's forces
        • Northern rebels occupied York + Hull + captured Pontefract castle
          • Duke of Norfolk was sent - he was outnumbered - tried to diffuse the rebellion by issue of pardon
            • Most of the rebel forces dispersed
              • In 1537 the rebellion was renewed in Cumberland and East Riding
                • Duke of norfolk quickly shut down the rebellion + declared martial law + hung 74 rebels
        • Pilgrimage of Grace shook henry - Duke of Norfolk showed sense
    • Commoners
      • Rising inflation lead to a drop in incomes
      • Vast majority of the population had little possessions + little chance of regular income/employment

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