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Do You Agree with the View That in Domestic Policy, Wolsey Was Successful as the Kings Chief Minister?

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Do you agree with the view that in domestic policy, Wolsey was successful as the kings chief minister?
Yes, in my opinion I believe that Wolsey was successful as the king’s chief minister. He did have his ups and downs for example promoting civil law over common law but then not actually making any long lasting changes to the judicial system. His new system the subsidy raised £325,000 from 1513-1529 compared to £90,000 raised from fifteenths and tenths which is definitely a success. However he was responsible for the amicable grant which caused rebellions in 1925. Source 9 agrees that Wolsey was a success whereas Source 7 completely disagrees and source 8 says that he had his up and downs but mostly suggests failure.
Source 7 is an extract from Geoffrey Elton’s introduction to A.F. Pollards Wolsey, published in 1965. It suggests that actually Wolsey was not successful as the king’s chief minister. It tells us that Wolsey was ‘amateurish and uncreative’ in government and that even with the church he was only ‘moderately successful’. It suggest that Wolsey tried to do the impossible, he wanted to ‘rule as king when he was not king’ which again indicates that he was not successful as the kings chief minister as he was trying to take over the kings role. I agree to a certain extent because Wolsey was only trying to secure his own position rather than making any real reforms but I don’t believe that he was ‘amateurish and uncreative’ in government because if he was I don’t think that Henry would of made him Lord Chancellor and following that making him cardinal. I also believe that Wolsey wasn’t just moderately successful with the church as well because if he was only moderately successful then he wouldn’t have been appointed legate a latere. Therefore I only partly agree with what is suggested in the source as I still would say that actually Wolsey was successful as the king’s chief minister.
Source 8 is an extract from John Guy, Tudor England, published in 1988. It suggests that Wolsey had some success and some failure with regard to being successful as the king’s chief minister. It says ‘Wolsey had no guiding political principles’ which suggests that politically Wolsey was not successful. However he also says ‘his policies had the effect of centralising English politics’ however later he claims that it was ‘unintentional’. This actually suggests that yes he did have some success but it was unintentional. I agree that yes Wolsey was successful politically as Parliament only met twice and only used them to try and raise taxes. He also purged the privy chamber in 1519 and potential threats to his power were sent away from the court to complete more mundane jobs. Therefore again I can only partially agree with this source because it claims that Wolsey had limited success but I believe he was succesful.
Source 9 is a contemporary source from George Cavendish’s biography of cardinal Wolsey and it was written between 1556 and 1558. It suggests that Wolsey’s domestic policy was brilliant. He describes it as the best ever authority and rule in England. For example he writes ‘I never saw this kingdom in better order, quietness and obedience’. Which gives us the impression his domestic policy was a huge success. If it wasn’t a success it wouldn’t be described as the best ever. It also argues that his law and order was successful as it says ‘nor justice better administrated’. This tells us he was very good at administrating justice. I believe that he is right about Wolsey’s justice side of domestic policy as Wolsey took legal action against noble who had enclosed land illegally from 1517 onwards. I don’t agree however with this idea that the kingdom had never been seen in such quietness. As in 1525 there were rebellions as a result of the amicable grant which was put forward by Wolsey. Due to the George Cavendish was Wolsey’s closet companion you can’t not question the reliability of this source. I do think that Cavendish may have exaggerated slightly by saying ‘I never saw this kingdom in better order’ but I wouldn’t say he’s made anything up about Wolsey as what he says can be backed up with evidence. This source does agree with the view that in domestic policy, Wolsey was successful as the king’s chief minister and I agree with it a certain extent.
In conclusion, even though two historians believe that Wolsey wasn’t a success I’m going to disagree with them and say that actually yes he was a success. You can’t say that someone who has done a lot of good for his country is a failure. Yes he has done some wrong but in ratio he has done a lot more right than wrong. Source 7 suggests that he was amateurish and uncreative but I don’t believe that an amateur can put together this subsidy which was quite complex going against this suggestion of him being uncreative that raised a lot of taxes for the king. He did have his failures like the amicable grant which caused a revolution but one revolution in the whole time he was henrys chief minister is not bad at all. He also caused resentment from the nobles and they often made late payments. There is no way of making everyone in the country happy as they all want different things so you can’t call him a failure for that either. Even though source 9 is properly slightly biased due to the fact George Cavendish was Wolsey’s closet companion I’m going to agree with him that Wolsey was a success due to the many successes he had with domestic policy.

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