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By what means did Wolsey seek to manage Crown finance

When Wolsey was Lord Chancellor he wanted to manage the Crown Finance for many reasons. There is an argument whether it was for personal gain or for the good of the country. If Wolsey were doing it for himself then he would have been doing it for the higher status he would get, the respect he would get from Henry and other powerful people. By being the Lord Chancellor it made him yet more powerful and thus making his bid for being the pope much stronger. The other argument is that he was doing it for the good of the country, and that without his careful guidance the finances would have been in an even worse state. It is also possible that he did it because Henry could not do them or could not be trusted to spend his money wisely Wolsey saw it in the countries interest to do them for him. When he started to manage the Crown finances he used a variety of techniques and acts to raise funds for the king’s demands.One way he raised funds was the revised Tudor subsidy, he did this to raise money for the Tournai campaign. He did this by sending commissioners (done by Earl of Surrey and Thomas Howard) to assess everyone in the country and their property. It was a sliding scale tax this meant the richer you were the more you had to pay. This meant that he could collect more money and satisfy Henry the VIII demands. This was one of the few taxations and financial matters that worked well.After the English beat the French at Tournai the peace treaty of Lille (1514) quadrupled the Etaples pension, which went from �5000 per year to �20,000 per year. Wolsey negotiated this, as it was good for England and good for France. This was because the money did not mean much France but meant a huge amount to England.After yet more demands for money from Henry VIII, Wolsey had to come up with other ideas to get money. He came up with “1515 the Act of Resumption”, this was were the king claimed back all the land the monarchy had given out as gifts etc since 1455. This meant the king could rent it out for more and get more money thus raising funds. The income was paid every year rather than the one off subsidies, this meant a continual flow of income. Elton puts this tax down to the failure to get Crown cash from elsewhere.Another way that Wolsey made money was from Star Chamber. He made money out of this by increasing the number of cases that got through the court ten fold, he did this by increasing efficiency and organizing it better. He made more money out of it by rather than executing the criminals he finned them. Many crimes were by the nobility, such as keeping a private army or withholding money and so on. By charging them extortionate amounts of money he can cripple the nobles so they can never fight back but he also raises huge amount of funds for the king. In fact he made ten times the amount that the court made before.In 1522 the war with France demanded huge funds and the only way to raise these amounts were from loans. Although called loans were loans that were never intended to be paid back. The king got away with this by the loans being for the war and thus if the nobility didn’t pay they were considered traitors and would be tried and killed.The Anticipated Subsidy of 1523 was Wolsey’s way of funding yet another of Henry’s wars, he needed �300 000 (six times the normal running costs of the government) to carry on with the war. Thomas Wolsey started collecting the tax before it had been passed through Parliament, Wolsey had anticipated that the subsidy would be passed. This was because all of the rest of his subsides, taxes, etcetera had been passed. Unfortunately for Wolsey there was a backbench rebellion and the subsidy wasn’t passed. Due to Wolsey collecting early he had raised �200 000, but this was not enough for the war, therefore Henry had to pull his troops out of France when they were just 50 miles outside of Paris. Although a failure in Henry’s eyes Wolsey managed to raise the biggest subsidy ever. When thinking that Wolsey was always aiming for peace, boldly one might say Wolsey failed to raise the money deliberately and thus making Henry pull out of the war.To oppose the argument above, if Wolsey was trying to fail in raising the money, why would he have raised �150 000 from the church? There are only two options one being that the failure was true or that Wolsey strategically planned the church subsidy to come in just after the war thus making it useless (Henry still had to pull out of the war) but making it seem he tried his hardest.In 1525 Charles V had gone to war with France with Henry’s support, the only problem was that Henry had not actually helped to win the war. This said Henry wanted the French crown, and the only way Charles would let him have it is if Henry started helping with the war. This meant that Wolsey had to yet again raise funds for Henry, this time done by an “Amicable Grant” this is illegal thus nobody pays. Even the upper classes riot, the riots are stopped, orders for the payments are withdrawn and the government goes quiet. This results in Henry not getting the French throne.In conclusion Wolsey went to any length to try and for fill Henry’s wishes, he even broke the law for him. Wolsey had to keep coming up with new ways in which to tax and gather money from the country for Henry’s endless need to go to war. There are two views on the way Wolsey went about collecting the money, one is Elton’s in which he says that Thomas Wolsey is so arrogant that he feels laws do not apply to him and he can do what he wants. Elton also says that it shows how badly he got on with Suffolk and Norfolk, as they pounced on the opportunity to rescue the king from the riots of 1525. The other view is that actually Wolsey had huge respect for Parliament, which is why he hadn’t asked for the next subsidy, due the fact that there was already one being passed at that point in time. It also says that the reasons for poor collecting methods was due to other taxes that still had not been paid. Overall Wolsey did as much as he could and what ever Wolsey came up with Henry would always need more thus his demands were unreasonable and could never be fulfilled.

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