The role of Wolsey (Henry VIII)

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Who had Wolsey been championed by prior to the reign of the King Henry VIII?
Richard Fox
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What did he initially achieve (as royal almoner) which led him onto being appointed many significant roles?
He managed to raise funds to support Henry's much desired war with France
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What key meeting did he organise in 1520 and with whom?
with Francis I (France) at the Field of the cloth of gold
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What was this meeting in aim of?
Attempt of Henry to assert English authority in France
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Which 2 Archbishop positions was he appointed and when?
Archbishop of Tournai (1513) and Archbishop of York (1514)
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He was concious to be seen to be connected with the punishment of those who went against the king, Whose execution was he heavily involved in in 1521?
Duke of Buckingham
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When was he appointed Lord Chancellor?
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After this appointment, which 2 courts did he become actively involved in?
the court of chancery and the court of star chamber
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What did his success lie on within the star chamber?
The fact that anyone (regardless of wealth or status) could bring a case before the star chamber
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What did Wolsey want? (justice wise)
Impartial justice
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What was he keen to champion over common law?
civil law
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Why was this?
believed it to be more progressive, with an emphasis on natural justice
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What was the key fault in his promotion of the new system of justice?
He was known to use them for his own gain (Sir Amyas Paulet)
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Who (2 higher nobles) did not take a fancy to Wolsey's methods?
the Earl of Northumberland & Lord Burgavenny
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These so called reforms did not outlast him and what did he leave which led to administrative chaos?
an enormous backlog of cases
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What was the other area in which Wolsey gained notoriety?
his emphasis on punishing those who enclosed common land illegally (1517 national enquiry launched - his actions unpopular with aristocracy)
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What demonstrated that Wolsey's influence wasn't as far reaching as some historians have suggested? (to do with enclosure of common land)
In a 1523 parliamentary session, he was forced to accept all existing enclosures
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What was the traditional tax system which he wanted to replace?
Fifteenths & Tenths
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What was the system of fifteenths and tenths?
every borough had a set amount
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Why did he want to replace it?
in order to pursue a more flexible and realistic subsidy
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Fifteenths & tenths continued to exist, but alongside a subsidy. How much did Wolsey raise from them combined?
£260,000 between 1513-16
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Why did these policies cause great resentment between the ruling classes and what did they do to show this disapproval?
There was a greater tax burden on the very wealthy due to comissions being sent out to assess wealth and graduated systems of tax were introduced. They pursued a regular late payment between 1523-25
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What did this lead Wolsey to do with tax money?
Spend the tax payer money that the crown did not yet have
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What was the Amicable Grant used for and when was it established?
1525- used as a means to gather revenue for further foreign enterprises in France
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What rebellion was this met with? and who was it supressed by?
Suffolk and East Anglia, supressed by the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk
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What victory did Wolsey help initiate in 1513 which led to his rise in power?
Victories in France, his quick ability to raise an expeditionary force saw an English army 12000 strong sail to France
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Why would/did Wolsey conduct the Pope's interests in English foreign policy?
He hoped to become Pope.
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What was Wolsey's major triumph in foreign policy? (1518)
1518 Treaty of London. where some 20 European rules signed the document agreeing to perpetual peace between the member states
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Despite being the Bishop of the Parishes, where did Wolsey never visit?
his sees of Lincoln, Bath and Wells and Durham
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As part of monastic reform, what actions did Wolsey take to ensure monastic duties were carried out?
he had some abbots replaced, suggested the creation of 13 new episcopal sees (areas over which the bishop has authority) He also had 30 religious houses dissolved in order to pay for the building of the Cardinal college, Oxford and Ipswich school
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Who did he serve?
Both the Pope and Henry VIII hoped to benefit financially from Wolsey as papal legate
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What did he fail to deliver? (financially)
the expected subsidy to Rome
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What did Wolsey succeed in doing? (tax)
taxed the clergy further than his father, Henry VII
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Why did the nobility resent Wolsey?
He deliberately kept ambitious men away from Henry's court (eg. Richard Pace)
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What ensured that the Privy Chamber became more politicised? (post 1527)
Arrival of Anne Boleyn and her powers of persuasion over Henry
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Who was promoted to positions of power in the Privy Council under Anne?
Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk (who were anti Wolsey) and Anne's own brother
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By when was Henry sure he wanted a divorce from Catherine of Aragon and whom did he want to pursue?
1526, Anne Boleyn
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Due to what position/title was Wolsey the only man in England capable of putting forward the King's case (the divorce) to the Pope?
Papal Legate
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What teachings did Henry wish to pursue in order to successful become divorced?
Teachings of Leviticus (Old Testament)
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However what teachings did Wolsey try to persuade him to use aswell?
teachings of Deuteronomy
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What was the major setback which Wolsey encountered in 1527?
Troops belonging to the Holy Roman Emperor sacked Rome, taking the Pope as its political prisoner. Even if Pope had wanted to grant divorce (he didn't as feared offending a major EU power) he was unable to do so (hostage of Charles V)
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Henry was left embarassed after the divorce court cases and such a high profile European scandal, how was Wolsey to blame in the Kings eyes?
He was the man who allowed events to escalate to such an extent
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How can Wolsey be implicated in his own downfall? (suggested by historians such as Elton & Guy)
owing to his relentless pursuit of unpopular policies. He was considered to be willing to do whatever was necessary to secure the needs of the King
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When was the Amicable Grant?
February 1525
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How did the Amicable grant aid in Wolsey's downfall?
It was a non-parliamentary tax which ensured unpopularity with not just the nobility but with swathes of the population. It led to violent outbursts across the country and rebellions in some parts (Suffolk and East Anglia)
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When did the Amicable Grant have to be abandoned?
May 1525
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What was Wolsey charged with after the disastrous court case?
(dismissed from Lord Chancellor) and charged with Praemunrie
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What position was Wolsey restored to after he voluntarily surrendered both himself and his wealth to the King's mercy?
Archbishop of York
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What did Wolsey's over-ambitious comeback entail?
He began correspondence with French and Imperial agents (attempting to secure divorce) But his enemies took this as an opportunity to persuade the King of Wolsey's plotting treason
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When was he arrested and officially charged with treason and summoned to the Tower of London to face execution?
November 1530
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When and where did he actually die?
Leicester Abbey, 29th November 1530
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Card 2


What did he initially achieve (as royal almoner) which led him onto being appointed many significant roles?


He managed to raise funds to support Henry's much desired war with France

Card 3


What key meeting did he organise in 1520 and with whom?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What was this meeting in aim of?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Which 2 Archbishop positions was he appointed and when?


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