Wolsey's Domestic Policy

Some key features of Wolsey's domestic policy around 1510-25ish.

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  • Wolsey's Domestic Policy
    • Enclosure (fencing off of land).
      • Took around 260 people to court which was rare and there were over 200 successful prosecutions.
      • The fact that he dealt with it highlights that he managed to do a lot whilst busy with foreign policy.
      • Higher classes liked enclosure so disliked Wolsey. He liked to help the lower classes due to his lower class background.
      • In stopping enclosure he was continuing with a backwards way of doing things.
    • Changes to the Justice System
      • Encouraged the Star Chamber - anyone of ANY CLASS could go and see him.
        • Led to a backlog of appointments.
      • Promoted Civil law (treating each case individually) over Common law (having set rules and punishments). Undermined Common law by promoting civil law, chancery and the star chamber.
      • Made no lasting changes.
    • Finance
      • Replaced 15ths and 10ths (set rates) with subsidies (more like income tax)
      • Anyone in charge of tax will be unpopular
      • :)  new system brought in more money
      • He often asked for extra money - usually to be spent on foreign policy
        • Led to humiliating events such as the Amicable Grant Riots (1525)
    • The Church (Ecclesiastical Affairs)
      • Had to deal with Anti clericalism  people not finding the church very holy. Church too focused on money and not entirely honest.
      • The Hunne affair (1515) Richard Hunne (London Merchant) unhappy about mortuary fees after son's death. Imprisoned and later found dead > uproar.
      • Strengthened the church's position - taxing them more (upset Henry and Pope but popular with the public). Proposed reform in the church - some monks and abbots were replaced for not living the holiest lifestyle.
      • Hindered the situation: exploited his ecclesiastical privileges - pluralist - reaped benefits from multiple jobs. Too focused on personal gain - never went to see the areas he was in charge of. Nepotism - gave jobs to family/friends instead of fair employment process. Heavy handed way of doing things.
    • Didn't make any lasting changes - hard when trying to please the crown and church.

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