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Henry VIII: Authority, Nation and Religion 1509-1540

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We can place great/limited weight on what this source says because...'
Aspect Considerations
What type of source is it?

Origin Is this person informed?
Where does the source come from? ­ WHO wrote A witness? ­ Where is their information from?
Purpose Deal with primary sources with caution…

Page 3

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What were Henry's foreign policy aims?
Henry wanted to pursue his claim to the French throne ­ Henry adopted a hostile foreign policy
towards France until 1525
Henry wanted to boost his reputation, and make his `mark' on Europe
Foreign policy was quite aggressive ­ wanted war to please the…

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Henry's status and prestige enhanced Battle of the Spurs was an accident/luck,
wasn't significant
Henry leads an army into battle

Discovers Wolsey

Evaluation of the First French War:
War with Scotland, The Battle of Flodden 1513:
August: King James IV invades England in Henry's absence
There were 3 lines of…

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Maximillian replaced by Charles V as HRE in 1519
Increasing Habsburg-Valois rivalry ­ England courted as an ally
Followed directly after a meeting with Charles V in England
Attempts to enforce the Treaty of London
Henry deciding who to ally with in future conflict ­ Wolsey = pro-French, Catherine…

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Recurring themes:
Depends on major powers
Marriage and betrothal of Mary to secure allies
Aims of war not met ­ no nearer to becoming King of France
Unreliable allies
Some division over direction of policy

The divorce and foreign policy:
Henry's desire for a divorce meant he could no longer…

Page 7

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Wolsey's foreign policy aims:
Prestige (for England, Henry and himself)
Personal advancement - Pope
Provide good service

Interpretations of Wolsey's foreign policy aims:
Traditional Interpretation:
Try to maintain the balance of power between France and the Holy Roman Empire by
supporting the weaker one
Creighton 1888:

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Keeper of the Great Seal, used to authorize all important state documents

(Delivers executive control, nothing becomes law until Wolsey permits)

Responsible for organising and supervising law courts
Senior judge, sat regularly in the Court of Chancery

(Control over the nobility ­ chance to show superiority over them, mass wealth…

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Wolsey and anti-clericalism:
As Papal Legate, Wolsey did little to reform the Church:
He appeared relatively untroubled by corruption. He himself had two illegitimate children
from whom he found careers in the Church
He never visited any of the Cathedrals over which he was Bishop until the end of his…

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Despised by two greatest nobles: Norfolk & Suffolk ­ however did not try to undermine his authority in
the 1520s
Guy: by the time that Wolsey debated policy with the nobility, the decision had already been made in
private with the king and Wolsey may have paid lip service to…




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