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Was Wolsey a genuine reformer?

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Introduction

Was Wolsey a genuine reformer? Wolsey was in large part a general reformer. The national enquiry investigating the enclosure situation in England in 1517, the financial reform of updating taxation and tying to improve wealth of the crown, the creation of The court of the star chamber, and the management of nobility are all reasons to show why Wolsey was in large part a general reformer. The national enquiry into enclosure during 1517-1518 was in some ways a success and in some ways a failure for Wolsey. The enquiry led to 264 landlords being proceeded against, 74 pleaded guilty and the other cases dragged on but 222 cases were decided. This attempt at an economic and social reform showed that Wolsey did at take an interest into the problems of the poor and it showed great ambition and good intentions as it started of well. ...read more.

Middle

However having set up the court of the star chamber Wolsey didn't consolidate it in the 1520s as he was again distracted by other concerns such as the "great matter", war and also the sheer amount of other work Wolsey did in his 20 hour day. Wolseys attempt at becoming a financial reformer by using a subsidy is another example of successes and failures. Wolsey knew he had to raise money for war and to do this he used a subsidy. This proved to be a success bringing in over �300,000 by taxing the people. However when the war began with France in 1522 he needed to raise �800 000, he tried to stop resistance from the people of England by meeting many in person but his tactics failed, Wolsey now had to settle for a rate of two shillingsin the incomes of land or goods of over twenty pounds per year. ...read more.

Conclusion

He only provided Henry and Wolsey with plausible charges to undo him" Wolsey profited from the Dukes fall from power but was not the cause of it. However it was due more to Henrys paranoia than malice from Wolsey that led to the outcome of the trial. In conclusion yes Wolsey was a general reformer albeit an ambitious one. The general them of Wolsey's attempts at reformation is that he starts well and has good intentions and also shows great leadership qualities, but in the end he is the archetype of his own downfall. The almost non stop working day he lived put a toll on him, he also had other affairs to be concerned with such as the kings divorce (great matter) and foreign affairs. This led to many reforms being abandoned and leaving very little impact. ...read more.

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