How did henry control the nobility
- Many those who could
claim a right to throne had died or been executed.
- Still paranoid and
this paranoia caused him to appoint wolsey to keep watch on nobility as he doubted their loyalty. Among these was Henry Brandon,
one of his closest friends and supporters. Shows how disturbed henry was.
- Duke of Buckingham
wasn’t as fortunate. He was a great magnate, controlling great amount of land and was sympathetic to white rose party.
he foolishly said “henry might not be king for much longer” and wolsey found out. 1521 he was ordered to London, arrested, imprisoned and found
guilty and executed.
- Percy family were
incredibly powerful, had exercised virtually independent jurisdiction in N.E England. Henry fearful of them, tried to take actions but head of family so timid he said nothing that could be misinterpreted
as disloyalty. Henry forced the earl to name him as the heir so when he died all the percy lands reverted to the crown.
- White rose party
still cause for concern, even after Richard de la pole’s death 1525. none
had strong claim to throne but still possibility they might act as focus of opposition to tudor dynasty. Leading members of
party were 3 pole brothers (not related to de la pole) who inherited claim from
mother. Cavendish family also shared similar ancestry. Families careful not to be seen as being disloyal but let down by Reginald
pole. When the break between henry and pope became final in mid 1530’s, Reginald publicly sided with pope and became
enemy of the king. 1537 he was made cardinal and sent to netherlands to cross channel
when time was right to convert England back. Henry tried to get him assisinated=failed
- Geoffrey pole, was
arrested and spent several months of ‘morale sapping’ imprisonment and forced to accuse friends and relatives
of having taken part in traitorous conversations. Heda sof family- Lord montague, geoffreys older brother and marquess of
Exeter were arrested and executed and children kept in custody. Countess of salisury executed,
lord montague’s son died in prison but exeters sons survived along with Geoffrey pole who toured Europe.
· Trying to reduce importance of nobles so as to widen the gap between himself and most
· Trying to move to modern system where king was the source of all significant over and
· However no consistency in henry’s behaviour towards nobility
· Factions formed as in privy chamber they had greatest opportunity to influence king/queen
· Access had been limited during Henry VII to the privy chamber
· HenryVII opened it up and more people had access to the privy chamber.
· People with access to the privy chamber were ambitious, wanted to influence king to pursue
policies they favoured. Also wanted kings patronage (position/lands/titles) and may want to influence king against rivals
· Factions formed around common objective [eg: catholics with Cromwell against anne Boleyn]
rarely lasted long and once achieved they disintegrated
· Councillors of henry [wolsey,Cromwell] had to be able to control or manipulate factions
and retain influence with king
· Having access to privy chamber led to decisions taken in privy council being overturned.
Undermines role of privy council.
· Between 1529-32 henry uncertain of his direction. Under great pressure from 2 rival groups
-Pro Boleyn faction
-pro catherine or aragon faction
· Doesn’t know whether to get rid of pope but desperate for son and heir
· Until 1532 thomas more was chancellor and member of Catherine of aragon/conservative faction
· However influence of conservative faction began to decline because of boyeln faction offering
henry a solution to his problem
· 1530- dominated by Cromwell- manipulate and control factions initially worked with Boleyn’s until
Seymour’s came along.
· 1540-prominent conservative faction at court and was led by Norfolk and bishop Gardiner. Aim was power and counter reformation
· same period new faction emerged and there focus was the succession
· edward not healthy, if he died who’d get throne as both daughters=illegitimate
· during 1540 henry played one faction off against another as hadn’t appointed new
chief minister after Cromwell
· conservative faction fell out of his favour coz of his failed marriage to Catherine howard.
Takes sides with new faction concerned with sucession. Results in 6th marriage to Catherine Parr
Henry and the
· church=largest landowner
· 45,000 clergy in England, 10,000 were monks and nuns, rest were priests, bishops etc.
· church + crown usually worked together ‘twin pillars if society’
· abuses within church, people been critical of church since middle ages.
· Henry didn’t question authority of church until late 1520’s. church powerful
· Henry realised church gave him good servants- best educated
· Church-valuable source of income and good means of rewdarding those who served him [eg:wolsey]
· Church taught great chain of being-made everyone accept it, suppressed revolt
England on the eve of reformation-Opposition?
- Pope still accepted
as being power, religious orders still supported, clergy were respected everywhere else and the support for parish churches
remained high. Can be seen due to the number of church and chapels built, the donations they received, and the money left
in wills to parish churches. Also high attendance at church
- Religious guilds
were numerous, supported by locals and sacraments, rituals and intercession were still largely popular.
- Main opposition
in south east to church- merchants and traders wanted bigger role
, growing criticism of pope and his power, new ideas in Europe spread
to S.E first, 2 big universities oxford and Cambridge were hotbed for protestant ideas, superstition-images unpopular, loyalty
to pope was diminishing after 1534.
· There may have been some aspects of the church that needed reform. The rumours about the
‘gluttonous monks’ and the feel of dissatisfaction from the S.E was a problem but there is no clear evidence the
church was as corrupt as people feared. Many were still loyal to religion, the practises such as rituals remained popular,
the clergy, pope and religious order were still respected so maybe reform wasn’t entirely needed based on the state
of the church at this time.
· If changed were going to be firm as possible and enforceable the easiest way to achieve
that was to get parliamentary approval as when they return to their constituencies they will be the ones to enforce that law.
· Because changes were so enormous it was really important to get a cross section of support.
It’d give a chance to sound out any opposition as people will discuss it
· Henry hoped to put pressure on pope by showing him the ‘political nation’
was behind him in all his and the pope might change his mind
· Did henry in 1529 have an agenda? Most say he had an agenda to use parl to pressurise
the pope but hadn’t thought any further.