Northumberland and Somerset

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  • Somerset v Northumberland
    • Foreign Policy
      • Decided to end war with Scotland, to focus on domestic problems
        • Treaty of Boulogne with France was seen as a national disgrace, added to his unpopularity
          • Removed invasion threat and ended expensive war, yet returned Eng to a position of isolation and weakness
      • Continued war with Scotland as he felt bound to continue Henry's legacy (uniting crowns)
        • September 1547, personally led troops to victory in the Battle of Pinkie. Victory but was not followed up
          • This led to an alliance between Scot and France which added to invasion fears
        • Ordered fortifications of Scotland, policy collapsed as they were badly positioned and expensive to maintain
          • £600,000 spent with no tangible return
            • Added to domestic problems
        • £600,000 spent with no tangible return
          • Added to domestic problems
    • Religion
      • Steady move towards Protestantism, in order to reduce opposition
        • 1549 Act of Uniformity, established a common form of religion
          • However no clarity so no one was satisfied
            • Policy was the cause of the Western Rebellion
        • Full scale enquiry into the state of the church, Act of 6 Articles and Cromwells Treason laws repealed
          • Many Chantery's dissolved to fund war
      • Clarifies religious situation, March 1552 2nd Act of Uniformity, Eng becomes protestant
        • July 1553, new statement of faith
        • New prayer book did away with any 'real' presence
          • Changes made to services
    • Nature and Style of Government
      • Made himself Lord President of the Council, learning from Somerset's mistakes
        • Extended the use and importance of the Privy Council, marked a 'revival' of gov by the council
        • Staffed the Royal household with his men who could then control access to Edward
        • Played a key role in the downfall of Somerset, shows he was power hungry
      • Set himself up more like a King than Regent, Lord Protector
        • Military Background, so was a weak administrator and would not take advice
          • Tried to govern without the Privy Council, with Somerset House as the centre of government. therefore very little political support
        • 19 Proclamations per year indicates a degree of fear and emergancy
    • Economic
      • Focused on sorting Royal FInance
        • Restored value of the currency; halted debasement, partial recoinage
          • Sound Money policy, April 1551, steamed inflation
        • Delegated well to Thomas Greshon, who cut gov spending and chased debts owed
          • Repealed unpopular sheep tax
      • Decided to focus on enclosures rather than inflation, misguided
        • 'Good Duke'
        • Sent a commission to investigate enclosures, yet none were reversed. Alienated gentry and annoyed peasents
          • Further alienated gentry through sheep tax
        • Continued to debase the coinage and sell crown lands despite advice
    • Social Policy
      • Vagrancy Act was repealed, although its provisions for poor were kept
        • Poor Law was introduced to collect money for poor
        • Grain stocks collected, to relieve the crisis caused by harvest failures
          • Introduced new treason laws in 1550, and used trusted nobles to keep order
      • 1547 Vagrancy Act, any able bodied person out of work for >3 days, branded and sold into slavery
        • Widely unpopular, although it did propose housing and collections for the poor
        • 1548, 3 proclamations shows emergancy


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