Tudor Parliaments 1509-88

  • Created by: f_grant
  • Created on: 18-05-19 14:18


  • Reversed unpopular laws of Henry VII
  • 6 sessions 1510-15 - pay for wars
  • Wolsey's subsidy tax raised £170,000 1513-1516. Fifteenths and Tenths - £90,000 and clergy gave £40,000
  • 1512 The Benefit of the Clergy limited - renewal 1515 successfully blocked
  • 1515 Act of Resumption - taking land back to raise money
  • 1523 - Wolsey demanded £800,000 on top of loans of £260,000 for war. Had to abandon enclosure policies. 
  • 1523 - Attainder of Buckingham - removal of Wolsey's enemies
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Henry's Reformation Parliaments

What was the impact on the power of the king?

  • King and parliament became king in parliament
  • Religion became a parliamentary matter led by the king
  • Concept of legitimacy based on consent of the governed - Henry seeking the consent of the governing classes for controversial changes
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Edward VI 1547-1553

  • Used parl to attempt to solve large social and economic problems
  • Vagrancy Act 1547 - Vagabonds could be enslaved for 2 years and continued weekly collections for poor
  • Chantries Act 1547 - Abolished chantries
  • Acts of Uniformity - New prayer books in the church. 
  • Devise for the Succession never approved by parliament
  • Govt often resorted to issuing proclamations due to concerns about the legality of a minor king passing laws in parl
  • Opposition to some religious changes in the lords
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Mary 1553-1558

  • 5 parliaments - 104 acts passed
  • Faced opposition to desire to return former church property. Parl also rejected bill to seize protestant exiles Dec 1555
  • Limits to Philip's powers and kept Elizabeth's claim intact
  • Parliament generally compliant- fears of social unrest
  • John Guy - 'less battlefields than shareholder's meetings'
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Elizabeth I 1558-1588

  • Parliaments a necessary evil - A.G.R Smith
  • Parl grew from 400 MPs 1559 to 462 1586
  • Passed religious settlement and able to handle opposition from Puritans and Catholics - parl took active role in shaping settlement
  • Elizabeth's power over parliament and careful management prevented confrontations
  • Clashed over marriage, succession, death of Mary Stuart and bear baiting
  • Parl management through PC members (Burghley) effective in both houses - promoting of public bills
  • Majority of private bills failed
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Historian's views

  • Neale - claimed privilege considered a constituional right not a temporary one granted by the monarch. 
    • Events such as Paul Wentworths demand to discuss succession 1566 as signs of growing independence
    • Loades - sees this events as MPs seeing their role as to shape policy
  • Both - emergence of the 'Parliament man' - experienced MPs who sat in a number of parliaments, developing expertise on practice and procedure over time
  • Loach - 'Century after 1530 was one of substantial harmony in the relationship between crown and parliament'
  • Guy - political debates in parliament served no real purpose if Elizabeth ignored them
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Tudor management of parliaments 1509-88

  • Edward to Elizabeth - solid core of MPs tied to crown expected to earn fees in a crisis. 
  • Circular letters from 1515 requested return of suitable MPs to which Mary's government added a Catholic requirement
  • Cromwell and Cecil managed them well but this was not down to the parliaments themselves
  • Private bills increased under Elizabeth - average of 68 147-8 to 126 1559-81.
  • Later period saw increasing discussion of parliamentary matters amongst the gentry - manuscript newsletters circulated
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