Wolsey's early policies

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  • Wolsey
    • Judicial system
      • Courts were accessible to the poor
      • Court of Chancery: disputes over inheritance and wills, lands, trusts, debts, marriage settlements and apprenticeships.
      • Court of Star Chamber: Fraud, disorder, riot, assault, corruption, trade disputes and disputes over  enclosure
    • Financial system
      • Subsidy Act 1512 required Parliament to calculate its tax on property and income a more accurate and realistic assessment of the wealth of individual tax payers
        • subsidy of 1513- tax levied on the rank of individual noblemen together with a tax on property of commoners
        • 1514 the subsidy taxed wages as well as landed property without distinguishing between nobility and commoners
      • Eltham Ordinances of 1526. A set of instructions drawn up to reform the king’s court and Privy Chamber
    • The general proscription
      • 1522 Wolsey organised a national survey, “general proscription” to assess the population’s taxable wealth
        • levy some £200,000 by two forced loans in 1522-2
          • Not enough, disliked Parliament but he allowed a Parliament to be summoned in 1523 
            • Paying for a large army for Henry VIII foreign policy
      • April 1523, Wolsey sought a larger grant from the Commons than ever before- a subsidy to be levied at the rate of 4s in the pound on property to bring in as much as £800,000. Amicable Grant raised around £300,000, Wolsey sought to make up the shortfall by taxing the Church, which brought in nearly £250,000
  • SUMMARY: Started a number of schemes to reform the law but failed to see them through suggests that he intended to do more than he achieved
  • SUMMARY attempts to reform the king’s Privy Chamber- tried to make permanent improvements in the system of financial administration he inherited. mainstream of finance Wolsey made a permanent contribution to government
  • Nobility
    • Wolsey’s first use of authority as chancellor: to announce a stricter monitoring of the nobles’ behaviour
    • 1516-new law of Star Chamber. This stated that those responsible for administering justice and governing the localities, be they nobleman or gentleman, should not see themselves as being above the law 


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