Henry VIII Units 1,2 &3

Units: 1,2,3 of Edexcel AS course

HideShow resource information

Unit 1- Context of the Wars of the Roses

When: 1455-85

Think... How it affects court politics. - Factions & animosity
White = York
Red = Lancaster
All Edwards III's descendents

Henry VII wins over Rich II (the bad uncle) at the battle of Bosworth (1485)
Henry VII married Elizabeth York= Tudor Rose- white and red

1 of 19

Unit 1- Henry VII compared to Henry VIII

Henry VII

- Diplomatic ---> Catherine of Aragon & Arthur arrangement

- Good at Finance ---> Harsh on nobility as he was wary of them

                              ---> pension with France
- Ruthless

Henry VIII

-Influenced by Henry V (war hero)

-Renaissance prince

-married to Catherine of Aragon

- Personnel- 'boring' father's councillers (Wolsey emerged)

- He didn't have the resources to be the warrior King he wanted to be

-Ruthless & Aggressive

- Not interested in admin

2 of 19

Unit 1- Dates you need to know

1485- Battle of Bosworth

1502- Arthur Dies

1503- Julius II (pope) gives the OK to Henry and Catherine of Aragon's marriage.

1509- HVII dies

1510- HVIII King

1512- Wolsey & War with France

3 of 19

Unit 2- Historian's views on...

State of Church of England on the eve of the Reformation


-Corrupt and unpopular= Traditionalist view

-Realitively good health= Revisionist view

Motives for religious change

-Reform from above= Traditionalist view

-Reform from below= Revisionist view

Pace of Change

-Little effect to everyday life until Elizabeth I= Traditionalist View

- Impact by Edward VI (quickly)= Revisionist View

4 of 19

Unit 2- The Catholic Church and peoples lives

1) Donations: very rich, wills (legacy), pray for their souls

2)Mass: In Latin, Sunday, Transubstantion (bread and wine) Participation

3)7 Sacraments: Marriage, Ordination, Baptism, Penance etc...

4)Saints: Miracles/ cults, days

5) Community: Focal point, monastries important

5 of 19

Unit 2- Abuses/ Disatification

Clerical: Nepotism, Pluralism, Sexual misconduct, Simony, Non residence & lack of education

REMEMBER: Only some Churches/ Monastries

Benefit of the clergy: Basically getting away with crimes by not going to a secular court.

6 of 19

Unit 2- Lutheranism

Reform in Germany by Martin Luther.
Criticising indulgences and wanting religious/spiritual equality.

Impact In England:

Henry never liked it- though Cromwell secretly did.


little effect

Royal Supremacy was tempting though for Henry

Universities (cambridge) who were more radical were influenced.

7 of 19

Unit 2- Opposition to Catholism before Reformation


ERASMUS- laid foundations for Luther

Change in intellectual and moral standards of the clergy not a change in traditions.

Orginal Scripture had been mistranslated.


Wanted an English Bible

Challenged papal authority and doctrine of catholic church


Followed Wyclif

8 of 19

Unit 3- Wolsey's rise to power

-Gained power through the church

-Had a degree by the age of 15

-Brilliant administrator ( Henry found it boring)

- 1509 Royal Almoner (distribute to charity)

-He was initally meant to convince the young King to listen to the councillers- oppurtunist

-1512-13 he organised War on France so he gained the King honour

Maintained power 1515-29
-Relationship with Henry



Luck Vs Skill
- Right man at the right time, Wasn't too old

-Administration, Ruthless, bribery and knew how to play people

9 of 19

Unit 3- Wolsey and Henry

Alter Rex?

Yes- Hampton court

      - John Skelton says Yes

      - Vergil says Wolsey gives King gifts to get what he wants

Other Views

- Wolsey picked his fights

- Henry knew exactly what Wolsey was doing

- Wolsey was just a servant

-Easily disposed of

Wolsey was Loyal and Efficent

10 of 19

Unit 3- Wolsey's wealth and ruthlessness

He had a 'low birth' important as it factors in his fall.

Same amount of servants as the King.

Largest disposable income.

Sometimes it's exaggerated

Alienates nobles

Polydore Vergil- Imprisioned

Execution of Buckingham 1521- White Rose

11 of 19

Unit 3- Sources on Wolsey

Cavendish- 1522 met Wolsey

                 - A servant of Wolsey

                 - potential man crush.

Vergil  - Anglica Historia

           - Wolsey imprisioned him so had a personal feud 

           - Italian Humanist

Hall  - Contemporary

       - No personal hate

       - thought Wolsey was corrupt


Skelton - Echo's nobels hate as he wanted to be sponsered.

12 of 19

Unit 3- Wolsey's Domestic Policies (part 1)

Overall: Maintained law and order to the church and crown

            Tended to focus on foreign affairs as Henry was only interested in that

Justice: Civil law over common law = fairer

             Not many reforms

             Anyone (no matter income) could bring a case to court

             Went from 12-120 cases per year

             Sorted out his own personal grudges (Paulet was put in stocks for previously embarrassing wolsey)

             Court of star chamber and Chancery- King's subjetcs to justice

Enclosure: 1517 he started work, the disputes were on nobles illegally enclosing land to rear sheep.

                  Despite efforts it still happened.

                  Unpopular with nobels.

13 of 19

Unit 3- Domestic Policies (part 2)

Finance: Taxation reflected wealth

               Parliament weren't happy

               Rejected fixed rates

Amicable Grant 1525: 
-The French army annihilated at Pavia so Henry wanted to invade to claim back France but he didn't have the resources

- Non-parliamentry tax

-Targeted Clergy and Laity

- There were rebellions (though not nobles)

-Violent Displeasure

-Abandoned in May so French alliance= beginning of the end for Wolsey

14 of 19

Unit 3- How did Wolsey Monopolise Political Power?

-Head of legal system

- Parliament only met twice- 'source of trouble' Wolsey- deliberately sidelined them

- Well informed about factions

-Sent young ambitious nobles away to do mundane jobs (so they can't influence Henry) 

15 of 19

Unit 3: Wolsey and Church reform

Benifit of the Clergy
1512- act against it

Henry Standish complained- (1515 raised again) not renewed but Wolsey had to promise that Royal authority swayed on eccelestical power (EMBARASSING)

Ecclesiastical extravagance

His position gave him wealth- which made him open to criticism

Hunne Affair


1515 parliamentary session dominated by it

Richard H oppossed church about high burial fees for his son- arrested and found hung in his cell.

Anticlerical backlash

Pluralism, Nepotism, Absenteeism

Wolsey had a son, never visited his sees. He held a council to stop corruption- never happened.

Abuses common of senior churchmen

16 of 19

Unit 3: Wolsey and Church reform

Pope or King?

Heavily taxed clergy

No influence on great matter

Monastic reform

Propsals of reform

Initiated legatine visitations

Dissolved monastries

17 of 19

Unit 3: Why did Wolsey fall from power?

Traditional view:

Wolsey was unpopular royal favourite. Implies Henry was weak and easily manipulated. Nobility took their revenge when Henry lost faith in Wolsey due to divorce crisis. Suggests long-term noble conspiracy that manifested 1528-29.

Revisionist View:

Plays down unpopularity, Wolsey didn't mean to antagonise nobility he was too skilled for that. Short term opportunist faction led by Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk who played on H's disapointment on Great Matter.

Anne Boleyn and Noble conspiracy- debate.

Why did Henry lose faith in Wolsey?

1) H's government increasingly unpop, alliance with france=bad= poor trade= weakened H's position for great matter

2) Failure to sort divorce- (Henry only wanted Leviticus arguement) Charles V had power over pope.

Wolsey= Scapegoat

18 of 19

Unit 3: Why did Wolsey fall from power?

19 of 19


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all British monarchy - Tudors and Stuarts resources »