Do you agree with the view that Wolsey was the main source of all authority over English government in the period 1515 - 1529?

Topics: Henry VIII of England, Mary I of England, Anne Boleyn Pages: 3 (1083 words) Published: January 12, 2014
Thomas Wolsey largely was the main source of all authority over English government in the period 1515 - 1529. The chief reasoning behind this, put simply, is the fact that Wolsey created most of the significant policies and reforms of this period, including the centralisation of power at Westminster. Additionally, he was able to get past yet comply with the demands of his (supposed) superiors, in relation to the Church (thus making him a major figure within the establishment). On top of this, the conviction and assuredness in what Wolsey actually wanted, and how this related to his decisions, also very much agree with the idea that he was main source of all authority over English government within this period of time.

Thomas Wolsey was unquestionably the main source of all authority over English government between 1515 and 1529 because of how it was he who actually put forward many different policies and reforms. Wolsey had at this point already impressed Henry VIII with the way he organised the successful expeditions and invasions of France and Scotland in 1513. He had also been promoted to the Archbishop of York and Tournai, and arranged the marriage of King Louis XII Mary Tudor in Étaples. This gave Wolsey a lot of grounding and credentials pre-1515, already making him a fairly influential figure. However, between 1515 and 1529, he definitely was the main source of all authority; whist acknowledging the fact that he was a minister, and not a monarch (i.e. he stuck to the legal mechanisms that confined him, and instead manipulated them), he was able to centralise power at Westminster towards himself. He established the Tudor subsidy. Wolsey was able to act as a bridge between Henry and the papacy, through him being a legate a latere, as well as through how he defended the Church’s rights. In the later years, he actually asked Henry to consult the pope about sanctuary. Despite the fact that he refused, him being able to ‘challenge’ the King in such a manner...
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