Government under Somserset

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  • Government under Somserset
    • Henry VIII arranged Regency Council to rule on his behalf- Somerset took power & established himself protectorate.
    • Somerset's regime soured by factional rivalries.
      • Thomas Seymour (originally angered being left out of Privy Council) was placated by Somerset by granting membership.
        • Seymour not satisfied- used death of wife to further career by seeking to marry Elizabeth & sought to turn Edward against Somerset & plotted with Earl of Southampton against Somerset.
          • Somerset brought treason charges against Seymour.
    • Somerset's aggressive approach to Scotland was determined by strategic objective of reasserting ancient claim of Edward I to suzerainty over Scottish throne, to enforce marriage to Mary QoS & unite crowns of England and Scotland
      • Chosen strategy to defeat Scots in battle, build and garrison a number of forts in borders of S. Scotland & force Scots into submission.
        • Defeated Scots in Battle of Pinkie, September 1547. Forts proved difficult & expensive to garrison- English couldn't capture stratigically significant castles @ Dunbar & Edinburgh- failed to blockade Firth of Forth properly- enabling French to relieve Edinburgh
      • Somerset paid for war war by debasing the coinage which considerably heightened inflationary pressures- already evident & added to social distress.
        • Deteriorating relationship with France led to threat of war & prospect of French invasion of S. England- heightened resentments of Privy Council about his style of government.


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