• Created by: 13gpascoe
  • Created on: 13-01-20 14:11

1547 Parliament - 3 Acts

The Chantries Act - chans = small relig houses, with land, monks chant for your soul here all day, aim to reduce your time in Purgatory, CATHOLIC. This Act shuts them down, motivated by the need for finance. Comissioners collected gold & silver plate & confisacted land, melted metal into coins. But MORE COINS > INFLATION! 2,374 Chantries shut down, 90 Colleges & 110 Hospitals. Get £160,000 from the Chantries, about 20% of what they got from closure of Mons. £ used to set up new schls e.g. King Ed the 6th Grammar School.

The Vagrancy Act - VERY UNPOPULAR. Any able bodied person, out of work for more than 3 days should be branded with a V and sold into slavery for 2 years! Continuing offences could lead to life as a slave. Done because there are too many vagrants on the streets. Provided work for the aged poor and look after the deserving poor. Many local authorities refuse to enforce this. Kids were taken away and given apprenticeships. NL will repeal V branding etc. 

The Treason Act - repealed unpopular leg from H8 reign; 6A's (but they don't declare Eng is now Prot, it isn't replaced with anything.) Relig issues could be discussed openly, removed censorship of relig works = popular. But as relig works could now be printed, it created disorder @ meetings concerning relig. Withdrew 1539 Proc Act (said Royal Procs = same as parl laws), BUT Procs were still allowed, they just didn't = parl law & Som reformed the procedure. (He still issues 77!)

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Somerset Policies

Social Policy

  • Thought enclosure was to blame for hardships faced by the poor. Sought to decrease it. 1548 - became Head of the Enclosure Committee. March 1549 - 5% tax on personal property, hence 'good duke.' BUT his attempts to reduce enc had a miniscule effect of people in Eng & annoyed gentry farmers - thought he was obstructing improvement of their estates. 
  • Concern about the state of the realm - rebellion fears, vagrancy, poverty. Latimer & Ridley preached in favour of social reform inc more workhouses & hospitals. 1547 Vagrancy Act NOT what they had in mind ! But none of premises of this act put into action, but shows Gov desire to be involved in poor relief. (Kids - apprentices = good, but bad as it wasn't enforced.)


  • Most DISASTOROUS policy, financial planning based around FP, so he needed cash straight away. Spent £500,000 on war with Scot, continued Debasement. 
  • H8 legacy - debasement > inflation, down turn in trade as there was a loss of confidence in Eng currency. Also had sold off a lot of lands from diss of mons. 
  • Crown's rev = only £200,000 pa - barey enough to cover household expenses
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Somerset Policies cont


  • Used systems already in place, leader of council, called parls, procs to introduce new laws when no parl in session - exactly like H8
  • Personal style of gov - used his household officials, excluding a no of leading nobles. Passed the PC - even blatantly ignored his concil on occasions - even Paget (close ally) berated him once. 
  • Issued more procs (77) than any of the Tudor Kings
  • Sole custody of the dry stamp
  • Tried to insist the King's signature wasn't valid without Somerset's own to counter sign 
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Somerset's polices cont

Foreign Policy 

  • 1547 - Eng = @ war with Fr, relations with Scot = v.strained. (Auld alliance - worrying - eng could find itseld fighting a war on 2 fronts)
  • Som bound by H8 will - H8 made a bid for Scot throne by betrothing Ed to MQS, 1543 - arrangment finalised in Treaty of Greenwich . But this was BROKEN BY THE SCOTS, arranged for Mary to marry the Dauphin - no possibilty for Fr alliance so ...
  • Som begins campaign against Scot, intially goes well. Som & Dudley & foreign mercenaries defeat Scots @ Battle of Pinkie in Sep 1547.
  • Som does nothing for months - Scots secure Fr support
  • June 1548 - over 6,000 Fr troops land in Scot, capture Eng forts, secure the safe passage of Princess Mary to Fr for her marriage. 
  • Som presses on with conflict, severe lack of funds. Sends 3 more armies to border, spending over £500,000. 
  • Aug 1549 - Henry II of Fr declares war - Som has to split resources, in order to defend Calais & Boulogne. Has to remove troops from Scot border, BUT DOESN'T LOSE C or B!! 
  • Protectorship ends with war in Fr & a hostile Fr/Scot coalition in the North 
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