- Created by: John juniper
- Created on: 22-05-10 12:04
Reasons for the fall of Wolsey
Wolsey's fall from political dominance was gradual and brought about by many reasons. Political enemies, contemporaries resented his lavish lifestyle and percieved him to be alter rex. Wolsey found after 1525 that he was an isolated figure lacking the protection of influential friends and family. Wolsey began to lose his influence after the debacle of the Amicable Grant. Holding some of the blame for not raising sufficient revenue from the 1523 subsidy, his enemies saw an opportunity to undermine the minister's influence. In 1525, Wolsey relied on benevolences to fund the war against Charles V; this was a decision made by Counsel yet the disastrous outcome was solely blamed on Wolsey. There was opposition to Wolsey's foreign policies. His political enemies Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk were pro-imperial and disagreed with the policy reversal after 1525 when he created a French Alliance, known as the League of Cognac 1526 against the Holy Roman Empire. His departure for Amiens in 1527, to agree to a new Anglo-French treaty. Wolsey's position was futher weakened when the French were defeated in Italy by Charles V. As a result, the Popemade a treaty with Charles V in 1529 and the French followed his example, leaving the English isolated. Increasing islation from the King, Norfolk, Suffolk and Lord Rochford were replacing Wolsey as chief confidants, and in 1529 were shown to all of the King's European correspondence. The King demanded that Wolsey should appoint more counsellors, therefore reducing his executive power.
Reasons for the fall of Wolsey
However, the Eltham Ordinances were a triumph, they appeared to give the King the counsellors he wanted, while in practice reinforced Wolsey's ministerial power for 18months. He nominated 20 men to advise the King he understood that many would be absent on there own matters and that two on hand advisors would suffice. The Eltham Ordinances also reduced the number of gentlemen of the Privy Chamber and made sure that his placemen were securely represented within the Privy Chamber. Wolsey was still a supreme political operator.
Thomas Wolsey was defeated by the King's infatuation, Anne's skills and intelligence (the rise of Anne Boleyn was out of his control); the Boleyn's political contacts; and adverse European power politics. The conservative faction joined forces with the Boleyns and the Aragonese in bringing down the Cardinal. Henry was angry with Wolsey for ot securing the annulment. On the 9 October 1529 Wolsey is dismissed from his position as Lord Chancellor and prosecuted, but is allowed to retire and keep the title of Archbishop of York. In April the following year, Wolsey retired to York, where he started to correspond with French and Imperial agents, trying to launch a political comeback. This correspondence was presented to the King as treason. Following his arrest in November 1530, Wolsey began a slow journey south. He died of dysentery at Leicester Abbey on 29 November.