Wolsey Rise&Fall from Power (Failures (The Divorce (This was the main…
Wolsey Rise&Fall from Power
The Treaty of London
In 1518, Wolsey created a pan European treaty involving 20 countries- signed in London which made England look like the centre of diplomatic power and was the first of its kind. Wolsey handed over the two French cities which were expensive, making peace with France.
1513 expedition to France
Wolsey made an initial good impression, taking on organisational tasks that others feared to and ultimately meeting the Kings wishes when the English army were successful against France
By around 1514, Henry was referring nearly all matters of business to Wolsey- he became Lord Chancellor and Cardinal in 1515. His rise mainly came from luck, hard working and seeked out opportunity
Some people viewed Wolsey as an equal to the King- often treated him more as a partner/friend than a servant. He trusted Wolsey, leaving him in charge of the English legal system as Papal Legate. However, Wolsey did remain aware throughout his reign that his position relied on the King
As Papal Legate, Wolsey was in charge of the legal system. He helped advance natural justice in the civil law by increasing the number of cases heard for the poor from 10 to 120- he used the Court of the Star Chamber to achieve this.
This was the main cause of Wolsey's downfall in 1529. He has failed to give Henry the one thing he wanted, a divorce from Catherine, so that he could marry Anne. Henry was infuriated when he waited 2 years for a verdict he was promised would be given to him quickly. Three failed attempts from Wolsey, including Campeggio, had cost him his position.
The Amicable Grant
The failure of war with France in 1523 had resulted in a forced non-parliamentary tax that Henry was later forced to cancel when violence broke out in East-Anglia.10,000 men assembled in opposition- damaged Wolsey's reputation of a peacemaker
The Boleyn Faction
The situation in 1529 was made worse by Anne Boleyn's political involvement. As protestants, they naturally worked against Wolsey who despite was trying to meet the King's wishes, favoured Catherine's side with Catholicism.
Second French War
Wolsey failed to raise the necessary funds of £800,000 for Henry to invade France in 1523, and when Charles abandoned his ally, England returned in disarray. It had cost England a years income. Wolsey had failed Henry financially, making England look weak.
Many actions Wolsey took out within his domestic policy were often aimed at enhancing his position. For example, he used the Court of Chancery to further his own interests rather than carrying out changes for the poor
He had poor relations with the nobility- they didn't like Wolsey as they though they should be the King's natural advidors. They also didn't like that he'd risen from a poor background. He deliberately went out of his way to antagonise them- announced in the Star Chamber they should not consider themselves above the law