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How important was Wolsey's own ability in explaining his dominance of English domestic affairs, 1515-1529?

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Introduction

How important was Wolsey's own ability in Explaining his dominance of English domestic affairs, 1515-1529? "The king must have regarded Wolsey a partner in government; a trusted friend who could maintain good governance without Henry's constant supervision." If this were indeed the position Wolsey was in, then it would have been a very advantageous one. There were many contributing factors as to how Wolsey managed to get himself up to that position. Thomas Wolsey was born in either 1472 or 1473 in Ipswich; his father was a butcher. He possessed a fine mind and was very ambitious. Wolsey was a very reliable man who thrived on hard work. He took considerable pleasure in his later years re-counting how he had been sent to Oxford at a relatively early age and had been awarded the unofficial title of 'boy-bachelor' due to him gaining his first degree at the age of 15. ...read more.

Middle

Another factor in Wolsey's dominance of the domestic affairs was Wolsey's relationship with King Henry. The political situation between 1514 and 1529 was rather unusual, somewhat paradoxical. A highly talented and independent young king was very much under the influence of his wily, older minister. This is what some believed to be happening at the time although many historians have been reluctant to believe this the case. Keith Randall says, "While it is freely admitted that Wolsey became very skilful at manipulating others, it is maintained that he had met his match in Henry." Henry VIII although very young was able to look after himself in the 'hurly-burly' of political intrigue and "who was rarely fooled for long (and certainly not for fifteen years)." Wolsey was however deeply dependant on the goodwill of his monarch, if this would to have been withdrawn then his position would have become 'untenable'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Wolsey could have been described as 'sycophantic', he always told Henry what he wanted to hear. This ability to be an easy help to Henry, by that I mean that he was eager to do what the king wanted, tell him exactly what he wanted to hear and be an easy person to reward did Wolsey a great service in aiding him to dominate domestic affairs. In conclusion "Wolsey was outstandingly able." Wolsey's own ability in my opinion is the main reason as to why he was able to dominate the running of domestic affairs during the period of 1515 - 1529. Although the circumstances he found himself in were very advantageous, and this coupled with Henry's not wanted to do all the work himself also played a major role in Wolsey's career. However I believe that it was his own ability to manipulate and take advantage of situations that arose that secured Wolsey's dominance of domestic affairs. ...read more.

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