Evolution of Government 1536-1547 Part 4

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What were the two types of religious houses?
Two broad categories - 'closed' houses with occupants in theory spending nearly all time within confines buildings and fields and then 'open houses'.
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What were the 'open' houses?
Friaries where occupants meant to work in community at large. Friaries usually in towns, almost always small and were universally poor as it was against orders of friars to own propertty other than for immediate use.
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What is the most significant point of agreement for historians regarding why the monasteries were dissolved?
Almost entirely because henry VIII wanted to lay his hands on their welath
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What is the 'top-down' view of the dissolution?
Reached after finding Henry was behind each of moves forward in diissolution while at same time not accepting reasons given by Protestants for his actions
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What is the 'bottom-up' view of the dissolution?
Justifies monetary benefit as main reason by establishing that very little very little popular opposition to the existence of religious houses and shortcomings couldd have been fixed by modest reform programme.
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What were monasteries accepted as by manydue to the fact most had been in existence for many genratiosn?
Accepted as integral part of community. Significant minority of population died without ever having seen monastery though most lived close enough to one or neighbouring estates to be aware of activities.
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The dissolution put an end to monastic charity, what is this often cited for?
Reason for increasing levels of poverty in 16th century England
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What did the opposition of Carthusian monks from 1537-8 lead to?
Their execution on henry's orders
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What was an impact of the dissolution?
Growing visibility of the gentry class, illustrating change in society from traditional ruling elite to wider ruling class and argue start of more significant middle class
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What was the impact of the fact that virtually none of the monastic land remained in royal possession in 1603?
More estates available - many bought by those who would have remained landless and inferior. Some merchants but more were younger sons of landowners. Increased number of 'country gentleman' by several thousand before end century.
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What was the system of primogeniture?
The eldest son inherited all the land owned by his father.
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What would some argue was the significance of this enlargement of the land owning class?
Resulted in England becoming parliamentary monarchy and with tradition of slow nad peaceful change rather than revolution
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How is the dissolution viewed by some, particularly Catholic historians?
An act of cultural vandalism as architectural treasures lost forever BUT could be argued that many of monastic buildings were in state of disrepair
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The wealth of the typical monasteries (closed houses) was most of the Church's riches. What proportion roughly was this of the country's landed property?
Around a third
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What can the income of each of the 30 or so richest monasteries be compared to?
Approximating to that of one of the country's most powerful nobles
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How did monasteries amass their great wealth?
Over sentral centuries through dozens or even hundreds of bequests in the hope that generosity would lessen the time their souls would spend in purgatory
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What happened to valuable metal and to salable items?
The valuable metal to Tower of London and salable items auctioned locally.
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What happened to the monastic libraries, religious art, stained glass windows and furnishings?
Sold off
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What was sometimes built from materials taken from despoiled monastery?
Mansion houses nearby, such as that at Woburn/
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How can it be argued that there was a limited economic impat of the dissolution?
According to Valor Ecclesiasticus the average proportion of a house's income dispensed to the poor was just over 2%
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What were more likely causes of poverty than the loss of monastic charity?
Rising population, pressure on land and rapid inflation. Also, laymen continued to endow charities and fund hospitals.
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How can Henry be criticised for his sale of church lands?
Argued he squandered opportunity to secure financial independence of Crown, can be extended to saying Crown would not have come under threat from Commons in 17th century if profits had been safeguarded.
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What must be remembered when criticising Henry for his use of the revenue from sale of Church lands?
Must remember he viewed Parliament as submissive and pliant rather than threat. At time coastal defences and engaging enemy seen as paramount importance
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What do modern local and regional studies show?
The rents charged by the new possessors of monastic estates were generally similar to those by former owners and also nearly all enclosures of monastic land BEFORE dissolution.
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Despite the fact that towns such as London (23 houses) possessed large number of religious houses what can the disappearance of revenue by them be seen as?
Having minimal impact on prosperity of community
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What did the seizures from 1536 to 1540 have the financial potential to do?
Virtually doubling king's normal income and freeing him from any dependence on parliamentary grants except in very exceptional circumstances
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What happened to some monastic buildings?
Some, e.g. at Tewkesbury, bought by local community for parish churches and other abbey churches became cathedrals in new dioceses - e.g. Westminister
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What happened regarding the land that went to the Crown in the short term?
Little land was sold immediately, Cromwell recognised long term benefits of leasing out land for regular income
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When did the land begin to be sold off and why?
Only after Cromwell's death, to finance war with France and scotland.
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What proportion of ex-monastic land was sold from 1543 to 1547?
Two thirds of it
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Was much of the ex-monastic land given away by Henry VIII?
No, nearly all of the land sold by the time of his death had been sold at full market value
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Who was much of the property sold to?
Either members of nobility to strengthen existing regional holdings or by lesser gentry to establish presence in local community
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When was the Royal Council established?
During Henry VII's reign but dates back to medieval period
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Who was in the Royal Council?
70-90 members including noblemen, clergy, judges and members of King's household staff
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What did the Royal Council do?
Meet with the King regularly to advise him
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What were the problems with the Royal Council?
1) Informal meetings 2) Meetings reliant on king calling and leading 3) Many did not attend - most done by inner ring; often resulted in one or two councillors gathering most power
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When does Elton suggest the Privy Council was established?
Created after Cromwell was appointed Principal Secretary in 1536
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Who was in the Privy Council?
Under Henry no more than 20 permanent councillors, lawyers and bureaucrats
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What did the councillors of the Privy Council do?
Trusted with daily running of government. Regular formal meetings, defined agendas, own clerical staff take notes
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What can the Privy Council be defined as?
A bureaucratic institution capable of operating without direct intervention
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What were the responsibilities of the Privy Council?
Managed the passing of legislation, supervised new arrangements, suppressed opposition and acted in executive capacity.
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Why was there change to create the Privy Council?
Smaller size and skill of councillors meant it functioned effectively and quickly in times of crisis such as Pilgrimage of Grace
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What was a problem with the Privy Council?
Fell apart after Cromwell died as he was Principal Secretary and kept much of its management in his control
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What were the positives of the Privy Council?
Able to act without the King, could work more effeciently and is possible to say country run better by this smaller Privy Council
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What is a difference between the Privy Council before Cromwell's death and after it?
Before - power distributed more fairly. After Cromwell's death, factions and divisions more evident.
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What have some historians questioned regarding the establishment of the Privy Council?
Cromwell's role in its creation.
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What does Elton say about Cromwell's role?
Once Principal Secretary began to overhaul administrative machinery to make more eficient and institutionally indepedent.
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How many were in the Privy Council while Cromwell was alive?
19, 13 of whom were leading office holders
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In 1539 what did the Act of Precedence do?
Define the number and seniority of office holders in both Parliament and Privy Council
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What happened in 1540, after Cromwell's fall, regarding the Privy Council?
Ceased to be the inner ring of a larger body and acquired own secretary and staff. Appointments to wider Council ended and existing members were termed 'Councillors at large'.
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Did the Privy Council meet regularly?
Yes, it met regularly and often on its own initiative
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What does David Loades say about the Privy Council?
It "was both more viable and more disciplined than its predecessor, and it also dealt directly with the King, because after Cromwell's fall there was no further chief minister."
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Did the Household remain significant after the establishment of the Privy Council?
Yes, the Privy Chamber still offered access to the King
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How did Lord Hertford (Somerset) seize power?q
Through his contacts in the Privy Chamber and tended to by pass Privy Council, relying on relationship with king and his own household staff
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What is a negative interpretation of Henry's foreign policy during the 1540s?
Case against him that he squandered money and reverted to discredited approaches of first half of reign, which could have bankrupted country without any compensating advantages
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What is Henry accused of trying to do through his foreign policy?
Regain his lost youth, especially after experience with Catherine Howard.
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Were Henry's foreign policy aims realistic?
No but it is said that he pursued them with such incompetence that even if chance of success would have turned into disaster through the way implemented
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What had Henry's foreign policy in the 1530s been, likely under the influence of Cromwell?
Left continental superpowers of France and Habsburg empire to carry on their rivalry while concentrated on affairs at home even steering clear of trouble from 1538-41 when seemed there would be a coalition against him
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At times during the 1530s how did England's position in Europe look?
Potentially dangerous, the Pope declared Henry a heretic who should be deposed and Scots seemed eager to join Charles V and Francis I (who reputedly made peace to carry out Pope's bidding).`
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What did a renewal of hostilities between Charles V and Francis I in 1542 seem to indicate?
That England was to be in a safer position
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What does Henry's major aim seem to have been?
To win a significant victory against the French, apparently to restore 'honour'. May have harboured hopes of large territory in N France but seems would have been happy with limited gain as recognised by fellow rulers as significant
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What was Henry aware of regarding any possible attack on France?
Must be preceded by action to remove the threat of an invasion from Scotland while his armies were on other side of Channel
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What was the state of the centuries old entente between France and Scotland against England?
As strong as ever under James V, Scotland showed itself keen to join any co-ordinated attack on the "old enemy" that might have been launched in 1539 or 1540
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What was Henry's opinion of Scotland?
Low opinion of courage and perseverance - thought they could be scared into being quiet
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When was the Battle of Solway Moss between England and Scotland?
November 1542
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What happened in Battle of Solway Moss and why did it happen?
After henry's break with Rome asked James V to also act and he refused. English won Battle of Solway Moss, Franco-Scottish alliance strengthened.
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How had the problem of security at the border with Scotland been raised?
James V had intensified threat by marrying Mary of Guise, relative of French king in 1538. Henry attempted to negotiate English security but James V did not turn up - Henry humiliated.
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What happened after James V did not turn up to talks to negotiate with Henry?
Henry summoned James V to meet at York in summer of 1541 (on his only progress north of the Home Counties) in attempt to bully nephew into abandoning friendship with potential enemies of England. Henry surprised forced to wait in his northern capital
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How did James react while Henry waited at York?
He gave string of implausible responses why it was imperative to remain in Scotland. When further diplomatic pressure showed he was playing for time, England show of force.
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How did England react to James V stalling for time?
Burnt and looted enough towns and villages to serve as warning. Armed raid did damage but was so poorly organised and provisoned was forced to return south earlier than planned
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What did the fact that the English raid returned south earlier persuade James V?
Of their weakness rather than therir strength and even launched own raid south
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What did Henry do in 1542?
Sent Duke of Norfolk to invade Scotland
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When was there military success at Solway Moss?
November 1542
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What happened within weeks of Scottish defeat at Solway Moss?
James V died leaving crown to week old daughter Mary
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How was Scottish defeat at Solway Moss largely self inflicted?
Army had been trapped in bog. Scottish army paralysed by bitter rivalries between parts meaning no leader would take orrders from another. Much of army chose to surrender and remainder fled
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What was significant about the number of captives taken by the English at Solway Moss?
More nobles and gentlemen than any army of its quality had ever captured
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What did James V's death in Edinburgh lead Henry to do?
Consider taking control, perhaps knew what had happened when Duke of Brittany had died in similar circumstances in 1490s.
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What had happened in Brittany in 1490s?
Wardship rights over heiress claimed on behalf of King of Farnce. She was married to her guardian and France acquired new province.
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What did Henry do in an attempt to control Scotland?
Rather than marching army to capture Mary, he claimed her as his ward as French had and attempted to achieve this peacefully (presumably did not want to divert resources from invasion of France he had already secretly planned
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What can be argued about Henry's decisions in Scotland?
Made wrong decision at every stage, e.g. after Solway Moss loaded captured rebels with presents and returned them home on promise to do everything possible to advance English cause, did nothing.
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Card 2


What were the 'open' houses?


Friaries where occupants meant to work in community at large. Friaries usually in towns, almost always small and were universally poor as it was against orders of friars to own propertty other than for immediate use.

Card 3


What is the most significant point of agreement for historians regarding why the monasteries were dissolved?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What is the 'top-down' view of the dissolution?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What is the 'bottom-up' view of the dissolution?


Preview of the front of card 5
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