Revolution in Government under Cromwell

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  • Created on: 08-04-14 21:20
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Before: The dissolution of monasteries brought vast revenues to the land doubling the crowns
income from £150,000 to £300,000. The exchequer was notoriously slow.
Cromwell: The court of Augmentations was established by Cromwell in 1536 to deal with former
monastic lands. Central staff dealt directly with each estate. Court of Wards looked after the estates
of the recently deceased with heirs.
After Cromwell's death: The court of First Fruits and Tenths (1540) dealt with revenue of
clergymen and the Court of General Surveyors (1542) revenue of other crown lands.
Extent of change:
As a group they collected finances more systematically by splitting it into separate
Did not reform what was already there, the exchequer, just built on it
Solved a particular problem. So it was more of a short term solution than a long term one.
By 1550s Cromwell's courts were regarded as inefficient because of the lack of centralising
body and so the exchequer was reformed and restored to its central position in financial
The king's household
Before: Government was carried out in the king's household, centralised around the King himself.
After Cromwell: The close, personal methods were replaced by a more independent set of
departments, acting in the king's interest rather than with his individual authority on every issue.
Extent of change:
Administration continued with a mixture of households and bureaucratic methods.
The council
Before: Henry Viii, like earlier kings had a large council of over 70 even if there was an inner core of
administrator councillors who did the real work
After Cromwell: Privy Council in 1536 with around 20 leading figures, all more or less incolved in the
daily workings of central government.
Dispute over whether Cromwell established Privy Council or it was an emergency council after the
pilgrimage of Grace. Filled with Cromwell's opponents, would he make a council full of his

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After Cromwell's death the Privy Council developed, gaining its own register and secretariat. `Privy
council was created less because Cromwell lived than because he died'
Extent of change:
More efficiency, security and confidentiality
More chance for exploiting the king, like more trust brought the use of the dry stamp by
Cromwell between 1537 and 1540 dud not allow the Pricy Council to exercise authority but
built up his own office as king's secretary, relatively minor post.…read more

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Extent of change
These reforms strengthened the power of the crown and the nation became far more of
a single entity because of the central control
There were short fallings like Lisles control of government
Corrupt JPs was still a problem
Had to reassert his authority sometimes in Act od 1536 and 1543 suggests sometimes
his reforms did not go far enough.…read more


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