• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How significant were the actions taken by Thomas Cromwell in strengthening royal authority in the short-term?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Sasha Groves Candidate Number: 1119 Centre Number: 15205 How significant were the actions taken by Thomas Cromwell in strengthening royal authority in the short-term? As chief minister to Henry VIII between 1533 and 1540, Thomas Cromwell ?laid [religious] foundations that did not crumble for centuries?[1], and as a result, permanently changed the course of English history. There is therefore no doubt that Cromwell played a significant role in the events which defined the 1530?s, although there is debate regarding whether it was the King or his Minister who orchestrated such changes.[2] This essay will assess the short-term significance of Cromwell?s actions, by considering the consequences up to twenty years after they were undertaken, and analyse the effect that they had on Henry?s royal authority in terms of the increase in his power as King. It will consider Cromwell?s involvement in religious policy in bringing the church under Royal control and dissolving the monasteries, and his role in moulding Henry?s government into an efficient administration and increasing the importance of statute law. Cromwell?s actions certainly strengthened Henry?s authority in the short-term by extending royal sovereignty, increasing the status of parliament and ensuring that religious changes were enforced without opposition. ...read more.

Middle

An extract from Cromwell?s Inspectors at Ramsey Monastery in 1535 makes it clear as to how the poor behaviour of a few monks could be used as a justification to dissolve the monasteries. It states that the ?dormitory is in a state of disrepair? and that the monks ?sometimes shoot arrows in the fields in unbecoming attire?.[19] Cromwell?s enquiry into the monasteries was perhaps intended to prove that the monasteries were corrupt and required reform. Therefore, one must be aware of the possible bias of this contemporary source since elements may be exaggerated in order to ?collect incriminating data that could be used to manipulate Parliament into authorising mandatory dissolution?[20]. An extract from the Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries Act 1536 further emphasises this notion, suggesting that ?Manifest sin, vicious, carnal and abominable living, is daily used and committed?[21]. This extract is useful for providing an insight into why the monasteries were perhaps dissolved, although it is likely to be biased as Cromwell desired to suppress the monasteries and therefore it may not be wholly reliable since he intended to convince Henry. As evidence shows, Cromwell was of pivotal importance in the dissolution of the monasteries. ...read more.

Conclusion

[13] This allowed Lutheran principles to make their way into the Church and led to the birth of Puritanism. [14] Henry VIII?s Act of Supremacy (1534) ? original text. http://www.britainexpress.com/History/tudor/supremacy-henry-text.htm [15] Scarisbrick, (1968), pg 337 [16] Pollard, (1902), pg 255 [17]Cromwell was appointed as Vicegerent in Spirituals in January 1535. This meant that the power of the church was also passed to a layman (Cromwell) who exercised the extensive powers vested in the Supreme head to make bishops comply with the King?s will. [18] Henry VIII himself was not opposed to monasteries as such but his policy was anti-papal, whereby he saw monasteries as a foci of papal jurisdiction and resistance to the break with Rome. Cromwell on the other hand was anti-monastic and sought abolition on the grounds of superstition (monasteries, shrines, veneration of saints and images, pilgrimages, purgatory). [19] Source D, www.ecclesbourne.derbyshire.sch.uk/ecclesbourne/content/subsites/history/files/Year%2520Seven/The%2520Closing%2520of%2520the%2520Monasteries.doc [20] Quote by Guy, as found in Armstrong, (2008), pg 121 [21] Original text of the Act, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissolution_of_the_Lesser_Monasteries_Act [22] Hayward, (2009), pg 254. [23] The royal household tended to breakdown when the King was not active and powerful. Bureaucratic institutions did not depend on the King?s personal efforts and functioned effectively regardless of what the monarch was like. [24] Elton, (1982), pg 238. [25] Elton, (2003), pg 232. [26] http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/cromwell_law_order.htm [27] Elton, (2003), pg 232. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Was the Henrician Reformation inevitable?

    Henry's motives behind the reformation give us a clue as to whether it was an accident or inevitable. It seems Henry never envisaged schism or reform but soon realized that the church could bring him massive revenues, land and power e.g.

  2. Oliver Cromwell - Hero or Villain?

    They were very vulnerable. At this time, Cromwell used his army to repress the English people. He even turned the catholic people out of their houses, by putting the defendants to the sword. He told the Catholics, that they could "Go to hell, or cunuct."

  1. Was Charles I Trying to Establish Royal Absolutism during his Personal Rule?

    Charles also needed to unite the country and one way of doing this was to make the country richer. As the sovereign, it was his primary job to safeguard the country and continue its growth. Charles can therefore not be blamed for thinking up new ways to ensure this, even if they were controversial.

  2. Millicent Fawcett's significance

    employees and advanced the collapse of the traditional employment previously given to women, particularly employment within the domestic sphere. Fawcett explains the benefits of the First World War, "The war revolutionised the industrial position of women- it found them serfs and left them free."

  1. To What Extent Was Cromwell Responsible For Expansions

    Several other objections have been raised to Elton's assessment of the development of the Privvy Council. Elton argued that Cromwell was able by "the reorganisation of the haphazard medieval Council into a more formally constituted board of government; and by the promotion of the principal secretary (himself)"

  2. Was Oliver Cromwell a hero or a villain?

    He left London for Cambridge in July to raise soldiers for Parliament. Cambridge University was sending money to help the King. Cromwell and his soldiers stopped them. This was very dangerous. Charles did not declare war and Cromwell was creating treason.

  1. To what extent was Henry's decision to break with Rome influenced by Thomas Cranmer ...

    While his key advisors were influential in Henry's decision to break with Rome, the decision ultimately fell to Henry himself. Thomas Cromwell was Wolsey's successor as Henry's chief minister. He was part of a faction of men who supported Anne Boleyn and his chief aim was to achieve a divorce to satisfy both the king and Anne.

  2. Why was Thomas Cromwell able to make such extensive reforms in Government, when Cardinal ...

    His appointment of only those men who were intelligent enough to deserve those positions built up its strength, as each of these men were more than able to hold their own if the need arose to defend their status. Historians agree that he did not work solely for his own

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work