Henry VII - the structure of goverment: Role of Wolsey

Structure and goverment: Role of Wolsey

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STRUCTURE OF GOVERMENT: ROLE OF WOLSEY

1. How did Wolsey rise to power under Henry VIII?

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STRUCTURE OF GOVERMENT: ROLE OF WOLSEY

1.

  • Rise was down to a combination of luck and skill
  • The Young Henry grew tired of the old councillors of his farthers reign, many were aging and ready to settle leaving Wolsey free to win the Kings trust
  • 1509 Wolsey became a member of the Royal Council, therefore Wolsey had both regualar access to the KIng and the opportunity to shine at the beginning of Henry's reign
  • Wolsey was willing to take on routine bureaucratic tasks that Henry found mudane
  • Henry found someone willing and capable to carry out his wills
  • 1515 Wolsey appointed Lord Chancellor - top position
  • 1518 Wolsey was the most powerful man in England
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2. Was Wolsey's rise down to Luck or Skill?

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2.

Luck

  • Right man for Henry at the right time - Henry tird of old ministers lookout for someone who could carry out everyday paperwork
  • Ministers of Henry VII's reign growing old and ready to settle and retire, Wolsey had no opposition

Skill

  • When Wolsey wished to obtain something from Henry he would first present him with a gift
  • most eager to advance the Kings will and pleasure
  • Able to adapt his views and ideas to fit with the Kings - Wolsey firstly opposed war with France, when he saw Henry's enthusiasum he threw himself into organisational plans
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3. How did Wolsey maintain his power in the period 1515-29?

(Political relationship with Henry / Wealth)

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Political relationship with Henry VIII

  • After the percieved success of the1513 French invasion Henry trusted Wolsey unequivocally
  • Wolsey sometime seen as an alter rex - Wolsey held real power at court
  • Argued Henry and Wolsey had political partnership - King always made final decisions
  • Some disagreement between Hnery and Wolsey, e.g. 1528 fell over the appointment of an abbess, Wolsey ignored Henry's instructions over who shoud get the post and had to make grovelling apology
  • Henry never yeilded to critisums of leading ministers as Wolsey served him loyally and effectivelyW

Wolseys Wealth

  • Furthed his political power and envy among nobles - Hampton Court made sure nobility were in no doubt as to Wolseys power - promoted himself as a man of great importance
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4. How did Wolsey maintain his power in period 1515-29?

(Wolseys Ruthlessness)

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Wolsey's ruthlessness

  • deliberatly alienated noble rivals - rumered to have a part in the execution of the Duke of Buckingham

Duke of Buckingham was executed in 1521 for treason. Henry was suspicious of him. Buckingham allegedly made the threat to kill Henry and refusedd to serve his soverign faithfully and loyally

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5. How did their relationship / situation / position affect they way the following people wrote about Wolsey?

 - Gorge Cavedish

- Polydore Verigil

- Edward Hall

- John Skelton

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 - He was Wolsey's household servant, given proximity of a gentleman Usher to his master might expect Cavendish's accounts to be trustworthy - Cavendish did ot eter Wolseys household until 1522 (seven years after Wolsey was appointed Lord Chancellor) - only privy to Wolseys personal life (cant tell us about Wolsey's policy making) - Sympathetic to his masters cause.

 - Vergil had ongoing personal feued with Wolsey, shaped his writings - Vergil did little to eahnce Wolsey's chance or recieving a cardinal hat by his rude letters to Rome, on hearing this Wolsey even codemeded Vergil to a spell in the tower

- Was not close to Wolsey - held no personal grudge - supportive of the break with Rome, saw Wolsey as epitome of clerical corruption - Francophope looked down on Wolsey's alliance with France

 - moulded material to suit current concerns and play upon flaws or mishaps that occurred

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6. How active was Wolsey in the Court of star chamber?

7. How did Wolsey reform the legal actions against nobles who enclosed land illegally?

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6. anyone was able to bring their case before him in the star chamber, regardless of wealth / social status - dealt with 120 cases under Wolsey, compared to 12 per year during Henry VII reign - Wolsey enjoyed favouring the cause of the ordinary people against the rich/nobles - Wolsey sometimes used courts to further his won position and carry out personal vendettas against enemies - failed to carry out lasting reform, enormous backlog of cases to be heard in star chamber by 1529 - administration was chaotic

7. Wolsey launched national enquiry into enclosed land - many bought to court were ordered to return land - Wolsey's drive and determination to bring great men to justice - enclosure continued to take place - 1523 Wolsey forced to accept all existing enclosures.

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8. How did Wolsey reform finances?

9. Why did the Amicable Grant fail?

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8. replaced traditional fifteenths ad tenths with a system that reflected true wealth of taxpayers - more flexible and realistic sibsidy based on ability to pay - graduated rates of tax established to create greater finacial burden on the very rich - raised more money

9. 1525 Henry saw opportunity to invade France - Wolsey demanded non-parliamentary tax called the Amicable Grant met with violent displeasure - refusal to pay and rebellions - failure of Amicable Grant started Henry's doubts of leading minister - Henry denied all knowledge of the Amicable Grant

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10. Dis Henry deliberately Monopolise his power?

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10.

The Gentleman of the Privy Chamber were young ambitious men, trusted confidants who had daily access to the King - Wolsey saw men as political rivals - initiated purge of the privy chamber expelling rising stars giving them mundane jobs away from court

Wolsey secured the Eltham Ordinances reducing the number of Gentlemen of the Bedchamber from 12 to 6 - may have been neccessary cost-cutting exercise

Wolsey intent of destroying power base of those he perceived as rivals for the Kings favour

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11. Did Wolsey carry out any meaningful reform of the Church?

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11. 

Ecclesiastical extravegance

Wolsey's explotation of ecclesiastical postitions gave him incomperable wealth within England - established own probate courts that furthered his wealth which created jealousy and resentment

Pluralism, nepotism, abstenteeism

Embodiment of all that was wrong within the Catholic Church - Wolsey held Bishoprics in plurality - used ecclesiastical position to support illegitimate son (nepotism) - Wolsey only interested in exploiting church for own personal gain - Wolsey did hold Ecclesiastical Council in 1518 but said nothing new, means to impress the Pope for upcoming post as Legate

Monastic reform

Wolsey initiated visitations - dissolution of religious houses helped pay for Cardinal College and Oxford

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12. Why did Henry lose faith in Wolsey?

13. Why was Wolsey unable to solve the Kings divorce crisis between 1526-29?

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12. 

  • 1525 Wolsey switched England foreign alliance for Charles V to Francis I - unpopular - put Henry in weak position regarding great matter
  • Failure to provide Henry with a divorce - Henry expected a quick resolution of the Great Matter but to Wolsey's position as Legate a Latere

13. Henry wanted an annulment - Wolsey needed papal confirmation - Catherine would inevitable appeal to Rome - Wolsey's ideas was to challenge the original dispensation on the grounds of consummation - Catherine adamant she came to Henry pure - not directly challenging papal authority

Henry wanted divorce based on Leviticus that prohibits marriage to ones dead brothers wife - Henry was insistence

Wolsey planned to use position as Legate to annul marriage in England, Catherine heard and opposed any decisions taken in England about the marriage - 1527 Charles held Pope prisoner

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Describe the fall of Wolsey form 1528

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  • Pope unwilling to support Henry's case
  • 1528 Pope sent Cardinal Campeggio to hear Kings Case
  • Henry and Wolsey tried to convince Campeggio of validity of case
  • Pope convinced he needed to align with Charles V
  • Campeggio suggested Catherine should retire to nunnery - she refused
  • Brief by Julius II cleared up any doubts over marriage
  • Catherine maintained her marriage to Arthur was not consummated
  • 1529 Campeggio adjourned hearing of case to summer
  • Wolsey's divorce plans had failed
  • Wolsey charged with praemunire
  • Wolsey retired to Archbishop of York
  • 1530 Wolsey was arrested
  • Cardinal died 24 November 1530
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