Cardinal Wolsey and Government

  • Created by: xalexx
  • Created on: 10-01-15 21:19

Cardinal Wolsey and Goverment

  • Wolsey seemed to be more concernced about developing his wealth as opposed to ensuring that the country had an effective governement in place.
  • If Wolsey concerned himself with government reform, there was little opportunity for him to expand his authority, personal power and income.
  • Wolsey's belief in his own power brought him conflict with parliament
  • The only time Wolsey recognised parliaments power was when a considerable sum of money had to be raised to pay for Henry's foreign ventures.
  • He disliked parliament even more because it could solve things that Wolsey could not.
  • Wolsey tried to reform the legal system.
  • Wolsey favoured civil law above common law as he belived that justice was better served by civil law.
  • He believed that civil law gave the comon man a better chance of success, whereas the chance of success in a common law court was minimal.
  • Wolsey also used the courts to get back at those nobles who he felt had insulted him.
  • He knew that the common law courts were controlled by money - Large legal fees made these courts impossible for the poor to access this.
  • It seems that Wolsey seemed concerned about the poor but he took up their cause simply as a way of getting back at the nobility that had consistently treated him with contempt because of his background.
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Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII

  • Henry was always the master and Wolsey always was the servant - Wolsey ws very good at manipulating others but certainly not Henry.
  • Henry trusted Wolsey and was willing to give him his independance just as long as he would serve his master- Henry decided on policy but would et Wolsey implement it.
  • There relationship lasted 15 years - this could have only happened if Henry believed he needed Wolsey.
  • Wolsey knew his position depended on Henry, even though he held "legate a latere" Wolsey still had to tread carefully - especially beacuse the nobles didn't like him as he was a commoner.
  • Wolsey was very hard working and Henry allowed him to have his own wealth and power base (this would not threaten him) Henry could remove Wolsey but Wolsey could not remove Henry.
  • Henry didn't trust the nobles so he also used Wolsey as a spy.
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Cardinal Thomas Wolsey

  • Wolsey was the son of a butcher and a cattle dealer - nobles didnt like him because he was a commoner.
  • He became the unofficial royal secatary - this position gave him daily contact with Henry VIII who rewarded his hard work and dedication Wolsey showed towards him by giving him numerous religious titles.
  • 1518- became a "legate a latere" which made him a special and permanent representative of the pope.
  • His luxorious lifestyle made him many enemies at court but he remained safe because of the support of the king.
  • Wolsey modernised the legal system and the power of the church courts was reduced as the power of the star chamber and the common law courts was increased.
  • Wolsey had poor knowledge of financial issues - he failed to use his position to develop Englands overseas trade and he failed to ensure that royal revenue increased at the same rate as the King's spending.
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Wolsey's Fall from Grace

  • Wolsey's fall from grace was over his inability to persuade the pope that Henry should have a divorce from Catherine of Aragon so that Henry could marry Anne Boleyn.
  • Henry believed that Wolsey, as "legate a latere", had the necessary influence in Rome to secure his divorce.
  • The infulential Boleyn faction persuaded Henry that Wolsey should be removed from London.
  • Henry was desperate for a male heir and he had already made up his mind that Catherine had been cursed and could not give birth to a male heir.
  • Henry's anger at Wolsey's failure to get a divorce became more intense and he ordered his arrest.
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