21st January 2015

Good Essays
Topics: Common law, Court
21st January 2015
How successful were Wolsey’s domestic policies?
During his fourteen years of chancellorship Wolsey exercised considerable influence over Henry VIII's domestic policy during the years 1515 to 1529, involving himself in economic, legal and church affairs. Wolsey was either loved or hated for his wealth, position and manner particularly by the nobility. Some of his domestic policies were relatively successful with some failures, but some such as Finances had an almost equal amount of failures and successes. However, many historians argue that his policies were limited due to Henry’s ambitions in Europe. One aspect that Wolsey did have great impact was justice, with him introducing many new ideas. Although, some of his policies were unsuccessful such as the Enclosures, the policy that was the most unsuccessful and almost a complete failure was the amicable grant. This was a factor in Henry’s lack of trust in Wolsey during the latter part of his position as Lord Chancellor.
The first part of his domestic policies, and arguably the most successful one is justice. Unlike his other policies, the justice system was now greatly improved by Wolsey. As a legal administrator Wolsey reinvented the equity court, where the verdict was decided by the judge on a fair principle. As an alternative to the Common Law courts, Wolsey promoted civil law instead and re-established the position of the Star Chamber and the Court of Chancery. The Star Chamber was an English court of law who sat at the royal palace of Westminster. It was composed of Privy councillors and common law judges. This is an example of where Wolsey’s justice system was introduced, as Wolsey promoted civil law instead. Similarly to the Court of Chancery, as this was a court which followed Wolsey’s ideology, and avoided the harshness of common law. He also established the Court of Requests for the poor were no legal fee was required. As well as promoting common law, Wolsey increased the number of

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