Domestic Affaire Under Wolsey, Question Revision Cards

The structure of goernment: the role of olsey to 1529 and his relations with King, nobility and Parliament.

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  • Created on: 03-01-11 15:05

Wolsey as Lord Chancellor - The Courts

2.

Wolsey was appointed Lord Chancellor in December 1515, he exercised a range of powers and responsibilities in the Courts.

List some of the positive things:

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  • He presided over the Court of Chancery (the highest court) and the Court of Star Chamber (A sub-committe of the Royal Council. It oversaw difficult cases, which, perhaps because of the inolvement of powerful men, could not be delt with by other courts). Both these courts saw a dramatic expansion in their work over this time.  
  • Over 9000 cases during Wolsey's 14 years as Chancellor were brought before the 2 courts.
  • He had a desire to deliver impartial justice - anyone able to bring cases before him regardless of wealth or status.
  • The Court of Star Chamber, with which Wolsey is closely associated became far buisier, the number of cases heard rose to over 120 a year compared with 12 before.
  • Wolsey, like Henry VIII was prepared to attack great noblemen for abuse of power e.g. illegal retaining.
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Wolsey as Lord Chancellor - The Courts

2.

Wolsey was appointed Lord Chancellor in December 1515, he exercised a range of powers and responsibilities in the Courts.

List some of the negative things:

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  • Work under Wolsey was sometimes disorganised and inefficient, and the system was unable to cope with so many cases that overflow courts had to be set up and huge backlog left to successors.
  • His eagerness to target nobles for abuse of aristocratic privileges created resentment amongst the nobility (e.g. Burgavenny and Northumberland).
  • Also, Wolsey was accused of using Courts to further his own position and to pursue vendettas against personal enemies.
  • There was no lasting innovations or reforms.
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Wolsey as Lord Chancellor - Enclosure

2

Describe Wolsey's handling of enclosure.

Comment on:

  • What enclosure is
  • Why did Wolsey tackle it
  • How did he go about doing so
  • What were the consequences
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Wolsey as Lord Chancellor - Enclosure

  • What is enclosure - This involves the conversion of land from crop growing to sheep rearing and is associated with the practice of clearing people off the land for this purpose.
  • Why - Possibly out of the concern to ensure food security and preent social disorder.
  • How - He enforced three statutes against enclosure which had been passed before he became Chancellor but which had been ignored. Wolsey set up an enquiry into enclosure in 1517. Many landowners were brought to court and forced to re-build houses and return land to be able to farm on it.  This shows Wolsey's willingness to challange aristocracy.
  • Consequences - No long-term practical results, enclosure continued as did rural poverty. Intensified his unpopularity with the nobility. In 1523 Woley was forced to make concessions in parliamentary sessions and accept all existing enclosures which illustrates his inability to exert political control over the aristocracy.  
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Wolsey's attempt to strengthen royal finances (Par

2.

Did Wolsey improve royal finances? If yes, how?

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Wolsey's attempt to strengthen royal finances (Par

Yes.

  • Wolsey was most successful in this sphere of government. Wolsey needed to increase the Crown's revenue in order to finance Henry's foreign wars.
  • Wolsey replaced existing Fifteenths and Tenths with more realistic and flexible subsidy based on the community's ability to pay.
  • Commissioners were sent to localitites to supervise assessments of wealth.
  • The subsidy was more progressive (like modern) and raised more money.

However, problems did develop in this aspect of govenrment.

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Wolsey's attempt to strengthen royal finances - Fa

2.

What were some of the problems which arose in the aspect of finance?

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Wolsey's attempt to strengthen royal finances - Fa

  • The need to raise so much money caused restenment and hostility amongst the ruling class. Wolsey was accused of bullying.
  • Wolsey had to sacrifice his enclosure policy in 1523.
  • The Amicable Grant was a humiliating defeat for him. It has provoked violent opposition.
  • Refusal to pay and rebellion in East Anglia forced a climbdown.
  • The tax rebellion was not initiated by nobles - Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk helped to restore order.
  • Plans for French invasion (which Henry had been keen on) had to be shelved.
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Wolsey's attempt to strengthen royal finances - Fa

2.

 

Describe the issues surrounding the Amicable Grant.

Answer with regards to:

  • What it was
  • People's reactions to it
  • Was it a clear failure?
  • Was it a total failure?
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Wolsey's attempt to strengthen royal finances - Fa

  • What - A non-refundable contribution by the English people to finance the war in France.
  • This folloed loans and taxation of the previous 3 years.
  • How did people react - Reactions were swift and hostile. It undoubtedly made Wolsey more unpopular.
  • Was it obvious it was going to fail - The Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk had made it clear that no money would be collected - that it would be almost impossible. People seemed to be unable to pay.
  • Well... was it a total failure? - YES! No money was collected at all and peace with France was made. The Amicable Grant can be seen as a humiliation for Henry and Wolsey.
  • 
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Wolsey and the Church

2.

 

Wolsey was Archbishop of York (ranked second in the church to William Warham who was Archbishop of Canturbry. Once he was appointed Papal Legate he outranked the Archbishop of Canturbry.

During this time, what were Wolsey's influences as Cardinal and Papal Legate on the church? (positive)

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Wolsey and the Church

  • Ecclesiastical Council met at York in 1518 to discuss ways of improing conduct and work of provincial clergy.
  • Wolsey set up legatine visitations of monasteries and made constructive proposals for reform of religious orders.
  • He proposed the createion of new bishoprics.
  • He dissolved 30 small monasteries to finance building Cardinal College Oxford and Ipswich School.
  • It was seen as worthy promoting education.
  • He successfully opposed the renewal of the 1512 Act restricting the benefit of clergy, though he had to swear to Henry personally that royal authority was above ecclesiastical power.
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The fall of Wolsey

2.

What was the main reason behind Wolsey's fall?

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Wolsey and the Church

  • York Convocation didn't introduce anything new- seen as move to further Wolsey's appointment as papal legate.
  • Other reforms provoked opposition (e.g. from Archbishop Warham because of the heavy-handed manner in which Wolsey acted).
  • Setting up of colleges is seen as further evidence of Wolsey's desire for self-aggrandisement. 
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Relations with the aristocracy

2.

Describe Wolsey's relations with the aristocracy.

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Relations with the aristocracy

  • Wolsey had an uneasy realtionship with parliament and the ruling classes.
  • He was seen as sidelining parliament in order to carry out his policies unopposed.
  • He was resented because he was lowborn (son of a butcher) who was taking over traditional duties of the nobility.
  • Many policies built resentment against him.
  • In 1519 some of the gentlemen of the Priy Chamber (the minions) were removed from court and laster the Eltham Ordinances halved the number of Gentlemen of the Bedchamber,
  • This was seen as a result of Wolsey's attempt to remove political rials and isolate these nobles.
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Wolsey's domestic policies

2.

How successful was Wolsey in his domestic poilcies?

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Wolsey's domestic policies

  • He made sensible innovations in some areas.
  • He ruled England with a steady hand displaying neither cruelty nor vindictiveness.
  • He helped enhance the nation's reputation abroad
  • No minister had ever ruled the kingdom in the way he had.
  • He excercised justice with equity and took an interest in poor men's  cases.
  • He raised revenue as required by the King's expensive foreign policy.
  • He managed the difficult and tempermental Henry VIII with a tact and diplomacy that none could match.
  • David Starkey suggests that this was because they were both big men.
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The fall of Wolsey

2.

What was the main reason behind Wolsey's fall?

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The fall of Wolsey

  • The King's frustration at being unable to annul his marriage with Catherine of Aragon.
  • In other words, Wolsey fell not because he was corrupt, not because he had failed in some way, but because the king suddenly asked the impossible. (Pendrill)
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Wolsey and antipapalism

2.

Did Wolsey cause antipapalism*?

*Antipapalism took the view that the Pope was not, as he claimed, the head of the Church with full powers over it.

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Wolsey and antipapalism

  • Yes: Wolsey as made papal legate in 1518 meaning that he was superior to Archbishop of Canturbry William Warham. It has thus been argued that opposition to Wolsey, meant opposition to the Pope, therefore antipapalism was more pronounced in 1520 than before.
  • However: This is not a convincing argument as legateship may have helped to engender a greater sense of unity amongst the bishops.
  • The aged and feeble Warham was hardly an inspiring leader of the English Church and as legate Wolsey could grant licences and dispensations that were usually granted by the Pope, so he could speed up such cases, which would not need to go to Rome.
  • There was limited opposition towards Wolsey, Warham did not make difficulties ans Wolsey had useful patronage at his disposal.
  • The bishops appointed during Wolsey's legateship were sound and well qualified.
  • Wolsey did not take over the king's right to nominate men for high church office - Henry rejected some of Wolsey's proposals.  
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Wolsey as papal legate

2.

Was there opposition to Wolsey as papal legate?

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Wolsey as papal legate

  • Limited:
  • Warham did not make difficulties
  • Wolsey had useful patronage at disposal to keep people deferential
  • Well sound and well qualified bishops were appointed during Wolsey's legateship.
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Wolsey as legate

2.

 

What did Wolsey as legate do as reform for the church?

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Wolsey as legate

  • He attempted to inspect and regulate the church for which he was responsible.
  • He organised official visitations to some of the greater and more prestiegious houses, probably to set an example to the rest.
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The Fall of Wolsey

2.

Give an account of Wolsey's fall.

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The Fall of Wolsey

  • The decision by the Pope to have the case heard in Rome meant that Wolsey had failed in the King's Great Matter.
  • The King began to believe the arguments that Anne Boylen and her faction had been advancing for many months - ( the King's cheif minister was responsible for the lack of action as were the men in Rome).
  • In October he was dismissed from Lord Chancellorship and was allowed to Withdraw to his dioces of York.
  • He was arrested for treason in November 1530 as evidence emerged that he was still communicating with the French and emperial agents
  • He died at leicester Abbey on his way to London to face the charges.
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Comments

SaShSz

Definitely deserves 5 stars!

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