Wolsey's Domestic Policy - Success or Failure

Hope this is useful to anyone studying Edexcel AS Unit 2 A1 (Henry VIII : Authority, Nation and Religion)

Let me know if I have missed anything out as this may well come on the exam!

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  • Created on: 08-05-15 07:12
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Wolsey's Domestic Policy (1512-26) ­ Success or Failure?
Maintain Law and Order within Country
Uphold the power of the Crown and Church
Raise enough money to fund Foreign Policy
Focus on creating fairer justice and updating the judicial system for both Laymen and Clergy
Court of Chancery ­ Dealt with Disputes over Enclosures, Wills, Property and Trusts
Court of Star Chamber ­ Criminal court to tackle corruption, impartial judgements. Legal claims pursued
Successes Failures
120 cases a year heard in the Court of the Star Wolsey took bribes and personally enriched himself
Chamber , compared to an average of 12 under Henry through the courts. Carry out personal vendettas
VII against people such as Amyas Paulet
540 Cases a year heard in Court of Chancery, favouring Gap between him and Nobility deepens as accused of
those of poorer backgrounds using legal system to conduct vendettas, recognised
favour towards poor.
Wolsey established Court of Requests against Inquiry into Enclosures was suspended in 1523 by
enclosures where there was no fee for Solicitors Henry because of growing opposition from landowners
1517 inquiry into Enclosures shows that Wolsey was Wolsey's achievement didn't outlast him. Left behind
addressing a grievance for poor classes backlog of cases and carried out no law reform. Legal
administration chaotic in 1529
Low Birth ­ `Butchers Boy'
Successes Failures
Wolsey prevented Buckingham's plot to overthrow Wolsey blamed for the execution of Buckingham
Successfully reduced influence of noblility by removing Faced opposition over the Amicable Grant (1525) from
them from bedchamber (from 12 to 6) in Expulsion of Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk as well as clergy and laity
Minions (1519) & Eltham Ordinances (1526)
Bought the North under control by appointing 6th Earl Henry was opposed to the issue of Enclosures and had
of Northumberland as warden of the East and Middle the investigation suspended in 1523
Some regarded him as using legal system to pursue
prejudices against nobility
Wolsey took legal action against nobles enclosing land illegally for profitable sheep rearing. 3 laws
passed against it but largely been ignored
Successes Failures

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Wolsey launced national enquiry into enclosed land in Enclosures continued during this period and rural
1517, many ordered to rebuild houses and return land poverty continued to rise
to arable farming
Wolsey wanted to seek justice and challenge power of Policy made him unpopular with nobles who were also
aristocracy landowners
Best deal for Peasantry 1523 ­ Wolsey was forced to accept all existing
enclosures demonstrating he could not control nobility
Successes Failures
Replaced traditional fifteenths and tenths with new Financial policy created resentment…read more


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