With what success did Wolsey carry through his domestic reforms in the period up to 1529?

Authors Avatar

With what success did Wolsey carry through his domestic reforms in the period up to 1529?

Wolsey was a fortunate man and with some success carried through the domestic reforms. He usually had the aim to achieve greater power and more control. In this essay I will study how successful Wolsey actually was and why.

Wolsey became Lord Chancellor in 1515, which gained him the most important office of the State. He was also at the very centre of government. Living so close to West Minster and the Royal Courts of Justice gave Wolsey the opportunity to parade around and demonstrate the power he had as Henry VIII’s chief minister and leading chairman.

Wolsey managed to retain the king’s favour and was therefore with some success able to carry through his own domestic reforms. He certainly didn’t want many people influencing the king and so kept and eye on the gentlemen of the Privy Chamber. Henry VIII used the Privy Chamber as Henry VII had done but rather than being alone he liked to be surrounded by gentlemen of his own age. These men were extremely close to the king and could exercise considerable influence. By 1518 Wolsey became concerned by this and so placed his own man, Richard Pace to be gentlemen in audience of the King. After this he seized his chance and expelled many of the minions for bad influence or sent them to do jobs away from the centre of power. Wolsey had managed to keep his power by encouraging the King in his pleasures and therefore had his chance to strike again, this time with the suggestion of reforming the government. Henry interested in this willingly agreed. Wolsey managed to expel the ‘minions’ with such success that he had no need to carry on reforming. This suggests that Wolsey tried to maintain sole influence over the King. I think that because Henry wasn’t a great deal interested, Wolsey had a better chance of success and having had the power to persuade the king also helped him to succeed.

Join now!

In 1526 Wolsey also proposed to reform the royal household, the Eltham Ordinances were introduced. Theses were designed to give Wolsey as much control as possible over those close to the king and reduce the size of the Privy Chamber. Wolsey was successful with this as the amount of people went from 12 down to 6. He managed to remove his chief enemy, William Compton, and replace him with Henry Norris. Wolsey also devised a council attendant on the king but made sure they were always busy elsewhere. Wolsey was successful in reforming the household and this is shown ...

This is a preview of the whole essay