[Uk Model Essay from Exam Board- Level 4] Do You Agree with the View That in the Years 1515-25 Henry Viii Wholly Surrendered Power in Government to Cardinal Wolsey?

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Whereas sources 4 and 6 suggest that Henry had given all power to Wolsey, source 5 contradicts this argument, describing how the king had overall power.

Source 4, an extract from Scarisbrick ‘Henry VIII,’ gives the impression that Henry gave all power to Wolsey, whilst he “hunted and jousted.” Cavendish then states how the king had “surrendered the cares of the state into the Cardinal’s hands.” This gives the impression that Wolsey had the powers of the king and was in charge of running the country efficiently. This is supported by source 6, where Henry asks Wolsey to watch some of the key nobility as well as “any others of whom you are superior.” This is clearly Henry giving Wolsey freedom to act as he wishes, thus suggesting power being given to Wolsey. Additional evidence of Wolsey’s power, especially over the nobility, can be seen in his work in the Star Chamber where he often imprisoned nobles. In one instance, Wolsey ordered Sir Paulet Angus [named needs to be verified] to follow him for five years in return for the humiliation suffered by Wolsey earlier on in his career. This presents the Cardinal as a powerful figure i8n the government, who could act freely from the king.

However in source 6, it should be remembered that Henry is giving Wolsey an instruction which although giving him freedom too, shows that Henry was in overall control. Also, the report from Cavendish in source 4, is possibly un-reliable as there is a link that Cavendish, being Wolsey’s “friend and servant,” may be biased towards his master. This may lead him to possibly exaggerate the powers actually bestowed by Wolsey. Additionally, source 4 offers no indication of the year that this occurred in, as it is possible that Wolsey’s power worked throughout the ten year period depending on certain events. For example, throughout the French Invasion of 1512 and 1513, when Henry led on occasion 30,000 soldiers into France, it is clear that Henry was in control....
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