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· 1515 Wolsey was active in both the court of chancery and the star chamber.
`John Guy' commends Wolsey for his attempt to bring greater justice to the
system instead of simply maintaining it and have an impact on legal reform.
· Wolsey handled many cases in person and also made it so anyone could bring
their case to the star chamber, disregarding their wealth or social status.
· He increased the number of cases a year from 12 during Henry VII's reign to 120.
· He promoted civil law over common law and used the courts to overturn
common law verdicts, creating a progressive legal system.
· Wolsey used the court to further his own dominance and used the position to
carry out personal vendetta's against the nobility.
· Seen as a success. For Wolsey, nothing he introduces outlasted him which shows
he may have been more interested in furthering his own interests than bringing
greater justice.…read more

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· This involved fencing off land for profitable sheep rearing and was seen as
the reason for poverty and rural depopulation.
· Three statues were passed against Enclosures before Wolsey became Lord
Chancellor but they had largely been ignored.
· 1517 Wolsey took action launching a national inquiry into enclosure and
showing drive and determination in bringing those that did to justice,
challenging the power of the aristocracy.
· However on a large the Enclosure policy was a failure.
· His actions were highly unpopular with the ruling class and in
parliamentary session in 1523 he was forced to accept that he could not
exert his political power over the nobility (also due to his low class
background) Poverty still climbed and enclosure still took place.…read more

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· Wolsey was from a low social background and so many nobles were
jealous of his rise to power.
· He believed the parliament was a potential source of trouble for the
government as so for himself. He only met with parliament when he had
to in 1523 and by this time there was much resentment for him by
members of the parliament that they were reluctant to give him what he
needed but they didn't hold much power, main head was the privy
chamber, made up of the kings intimate friends.
· They were usually 20 young, ambitious men who wished to serve their
King and further their careers. It has been argued that Wolsey saw such
men as political rivals and purposefully initiated a purge of the Privy
Chamber in 1519 by expelling rising stars and giving them mundane jobs
away from court.…read more

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· He initiated legatine visitations of the monastic houses.
· Historians argue that Wolsey was guilty of pluralism, nepotism and
absenteeism. Although Wolsey did hold an Ecclesiastical Council in 1518 in
York to discuss ways of improving the church and the conduct and work of
the clergy, the meeting did not really bring change and nothing new
happened as a result. Historians like John Guy argue the York meeting was
merely a way of trying to impress the Pope in light of his upcoming
appointment as Papal Legate.
· He was the King's agent not the Church's agent. He worked to increase
royal control over the Church.…read more

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· Wolsey replaced the traditional `fifteenths and tenths' system with one that
accurately reflected the wealth of taxpayers across England, Subsidy. A more
realistic and flexible system based on the persons ability to pay.
· It proved much more effective although both ran at the same time. Between
1513 and 1516 subsidy raised £170'000 while the old system raised £70'000.
· However Wolsey was not seen as a successful financial manager.
· Money was key for conducting Henry's adventurous foreign policies and so
efficient tax collection was necessary and he had to settle for much less than he
needed sometimes.
· The Amicable grant-1525 ­ a non parliamentary tax asked for after the battle of
Pavia where France where defeated and Henry saw this as an opportunity to
attack them but the coffers were empty.
· The grant would target the clergy and laity but was met with violence and
displeasure as it came too soon after the forced loans and parliamentary tax of
the last 3 years. Result was a refusal to pay across Suffolk and East Anglia.
· It was abandoned in 1525 and no further attempt was made by Wolsey.…read more

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