Wolsey

Government of England

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Changes in Government

  • In 1512, a fire had burnt down the old Palace at Westminster, where the king traditionally resided so Henry became more nomadic with his court moving between palaces
  • Wolsey remained firmly in London, at the centre of the Government
  • Wolsey changed the role of the King’s Council, whose members traditionally advised the king, and also sat in the Court of the Star Chamber, administering justice
  • Wolsey developed the role of the Star Chamber in terms of upholding the law. This meant its members were too busy to give advice to the king, who was rarely in London.
  • Wolsey increasingly took this role on himself, and reported to the Councillors when executive decisions had been made.
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Keeping close to the King

  • He had been advised by Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester to ‘keep close to the King’. However as the court moved around this was not always possible.
  • 1517 sweating sickness epidemic and Wolsey fell ill
  • To see the king, people had to increasingly go through Wolsey. Henry was not happy about this
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