The Protectorate of Somerset 1547-1549 Part 2

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What is one positive view of Somerset as the 'Good Duke'?
He can be seen as the Good Duke in terms of the peasants but not the nobility
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Why can Somerset be seen as a 'Good Duke' from the perspective of the peasants?
Saw his lack of decisive action in 1549 as a positive with proclamations and promises of padrons allowing unrest to continue and spread. Took until July for Somerset to bring troops back from Scotland.
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What is evidence that the nobility did not see him as a Good Duke?
Even Paget was dissatisfied - "Look well whether you have either law or religion at home and I fear you shall find neither."
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What is WK Gordon's (1968) view of Somerset as the 'Good Duke'?
He is seen as good duke, with the poor weeping at his execution
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What is the government of Northumberland described as by WK Gordon?
"government by fearful men"
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What is the view of A.Pollard regarding Somerset?
That he was a genuine humanitarian
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What is evidence against the view of Somerset as a Good Duke?
The Vagrancy Act of 1547
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Who thought that Somerset was self-willed and "sugar-coating his natural severity with talk of clemency and justice"?
John Guy
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What is an alternative view of Somerset, aside from that of 'Good Duke', put forward by M. Bush?
That he was typical of a Tudor soldier and statesman with a focus on foreign policy and a continuation of the wars started by Henry
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What do some historians think of Somerset?
That he was a kindly and amiable man
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What did a contemporary who knew Somerset describe him as?
"dry, sour and opiniated"
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What did Paget describe Somerset as?
A quick tempered man who was prone to taking wrong decisions when placed under pressure
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Was Somerset a better politician or soldier?
Soldier
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When was Somerset born?
1500
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Who was Somerset's father?
Wiltshire knight Sir John Seymour, from the gentry class
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What had Sir John Seymour done?
Served both Henry VII and Henry VIII and was known personally to them though did not secure permanent position in court
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When did Somerset's rise to prominence begin?
In 1523 when was knighte for military service in France
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When did Somerset join the king's service as a member of the Royal Household?
1524
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How did Somerset survive Wolsey's fall politically intact?
By publicly supporting the King
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What did Jane's marriage do for Somerset?
Made him part of the royal family and within week of marriage was made Viscount of Beauchamp and in 1537 Earl of Hertford
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When was Somerset given the role Lietuenant-General in the North?
From 1544 to 1545 when he waged successful war against SCOTLAND
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What was a great advantage for Somerset that helped him gain power?
He was Prince Edward's maternal uncle
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What do investigations into the events surrounding Henry's death suggest?
That Somerset more or less bribed himself into the position of Lord Protector
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What was done to strengthen Seymour's attempt to gain power?
Extra clauses inserted into Henry's will as he lay dying, one allowed Council to grant any awards king may have intended - gave excuse to make himself duke and give titles to member of faction
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What does Seymour's alteration of Henry's will show?
Scheming, good political knowledge- though faults are evident later
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How did Somerset act once in power?
More like a king than a regent
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What did Somerset order just before his arrest in October 1549?
For officials to destroy the records of his Protectorate
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What do surviving papers of Somerset's protectorate show?
Papers including copy of Privy Council's proceedings show how he tried to govern without using the Council
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Who did Somerset take advice from instead of the Council?
Members of his own household
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Where seemed to be the centre of government under Somerset?
Somerset House
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Was the neglect of the Council illegal?
No
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What was the flaw with Somerset neglecting the Council?
It isolated him politically so when needed support of councillors in 1549 crisis did not get it
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What created resentment towards Somerset?
He was arrogant and proud
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What did letters to Somerset speak of?
e.g. 'your navy', 'your foreign affairs'
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Was Somerset a strong administrator?
No, he was weak and refused to listen to experts
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What was a flaw with Somerset's character?
Even when he performed necessary actions such as execution of his brother, the way he did it aroused resentment
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What were the 1549 rebellions partially caused by?
Somerset's own policies
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What does Dale Hoak point out about why Somerset was removed by his collegues?
After rebellions was removed not because he supported the poorr but because he was incompetent
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What is the traditional view of Somerset?
As the 'good duke', a moderate reformer who fell from power due to tolerant and fair minded policies
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Who was Sir John Seymour?
Somerset's father, from the gentry class and had served both Henry VII and Henry VIII in war although did not secure permanent position in court
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How did Somerset's rise to prominence begin?
With knighthood in 1523 for military service in France under the Duke of Suffolk
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Wolsey thought Somerset worthy of promotion, in 1524 he joined the King's service in what role?
As member of the Royal Household
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How did Somerset survive Wolsey's fall in 1529?
By publicly supporting the King over the divorce issue
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Was Somerset well liked by Henry?
Yes, he had served in his council and probably secured Henry's respect through military
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What did Jane Seymour's marriage do for Somerset?
Marriage in May 1536 brought him into royal family, showered with honours. Within week made Viscount of Beauchamp
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What did Somerset become in 1537?
Earl of Hertford and in same year was made a member of the King's ruling council
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When was Somerset made Lord High Admiral?
1542-3
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When was Somerset the Lieutenant-General in the north?
In 1544-1545 when waged successful war against the Scots
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What was the opinion of some historians of Somerset?
A kindly and amiable man
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What did a contemporary describe Somerset as?
"dry, sour and opinionated"
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How did Somerset's friend and ally Paget describe him?
As a quick tempered man who was prone to taking wrong decision under pressure
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Was Somerset a better soldier or politician?
Soldier
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Why was it clear plans for Regency Council could never have operated well?
Factional difficulties
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As Council system of government in England was designed for a chief executive (monarch) to take final decisions, what had to happen for Regency Council to operate successfully?
A member must act as chief
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Why did Somerset and Paget keep the king's death secret?
To exploit weakness of conservative faction and rally support among reformers and moderates
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Why did Somerset gain power so quickly?
Reason is unclear, but may be linked to being the Uncle of the new King
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What did many reformers among the clergy hope for?
Introduction of religious reform
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What did many moderates regard Somerset as?
Best means of preserving stability and royal supremacy
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Card 2

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Why can Somerset be seen as a 'Good Duke' from the perspective of the peasants?

Back

Saw his lack of decisive action in 1549 as a positive with proclamations and promises of padrons allowing unrest to continue and spread. Took until July for Somerset to bring troops back from Scotland.

Card 3

Front

What is evidence that the nobility did not see him as a Good Duke?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

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What is WK Gordon's (1968) view of Somerset as the 'Good Duke'?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

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What is the government of Northumberland described as by WK Gordon?

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Preview of the front of card 5
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