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How did Wolsey rise in status from Essay

1500-1516

During 1500 and 1516 Wolsey rose from simple butchers son to Cardinal of the church. He was the boss of England’s administration, meaning he had to keep control foreign policies and England’s domestic matters. He was a man of great stamina and a man of great intelligence and organisational skills. He was an intellectual child and went to Oxford University. After coming out of university, Wolsey works for Nanfan in Calais he is asked to work for Henry VII but refuses. When Nanfan dies Wolsey goes to London to work for Henry VII, Wolsey is liked due to being hard working and amazing at organising. When Henry VII dies Henry VIII succeeds the throne, the new king wants to go to war with France. Although his fathers advisers; Fox, Warham and Surrey disagree he goes ahead with the plan. Henry VII needs money, Wolsey comes up with the idea of bringing back subsidies, this raises the huge amount of �100,000.

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By doing this Wolsey gets close to the king and Henry realises how hardworking Wolsey is, and therefore gives Wolsey control of logistics. Henry wins the war and sees just how useful Wolsey is, during the war Henry’s adviser Surrey had stepped aside (he didn’t go to France) letting Wolsey take glory from the war. While England is in France Scotland attack, they loose their king and Surrey wins the battle, he is made Duke of Norfolk. After Fox retires, Warham is removed as an advisor, and Wolsey is appointed Cardinal. Wolsey’s rise is quick and almost impossible. The argument that Elton presents is that Wolsey makes his way to Cardinal by force, i.e.; pushing people out of the way to make way for himself. That Wolsey is just a bully who manipulates people to get what he wants. Whereas Gwyn says that Wolsey was just a very hard worker who was admired by people very much and deserved his promotions and positions he was given.

We see Wolsey’s manipulating and evil side when he takes over the war and pushes Surrey out of the way. Here we see how Wolsey uses his intellect to manipulate Henry VII’s way of thinking, after this Henry thinks of Surrey as not as influential and useful as Wolsey. By taking over the logistics in the war Wolsey shows his passion for war and that he has a cruel side too. Luckily Surrey fends of Scotland, and impresses the king and rather than being forgotten like Wolsey wants he is made Duke of Norfolk.

To put an end to the new-formed alliance between Spain, France and the Holy Roman Empire he was sent to a conference and decided that he would trade Mary Rose’s hand in marriage to Louie for peace and agreement. This shows he is willing to give the kings relatives away to get a result and ultimately stay in power, or even get promoted.

When Wolsey gets back to England he starts talking about how Fox is not doing his job and how he wasn’t even in France at the time of the negotiations. This is most likely due to the fact that Fox was also Bishop of Exeter and was concentrating on that rather than his negotiating duties. Wolsey uses this as an excuse to say that Fox is lazy and isn’t doing his job properly. Fox finally leaves his post in government due to Wolsey, thus meaning Wolsey gains more authority and power.

Wolsey then proceeds to get Warham removed, this is because the king does not like Warham and getting rid of him will mean the king likes Wolsey more. Warham is still Arch Bishop of Canterbury, and therefore still has some authority over Wolsey. To counteract this Wolsey gets the king to make him Cardinal. This makes Warham almost useless and his position irrelevant. Wolsey’s manipulating and bully-like ways got him into very high power, but to do so he got rid of his opposition with force.

Gwyn takes a very different approach to Elton and says how Wolsey was an honest and very hardworking man, who had the interests of the country at heart.

Wolsey starts his career by devising an ingenious scheme that would get the king what he wanted without having to raise taxes on the everyday man. After impressing the king Wolsey was rewarded by being given the job of logistics in the war. This was likely done to trial him as government representative. Wolsey works ridiculously hard during the war so that all the calculations and logistics are correct. As a result he wins the war against France.

When Wolsey comes back to England he finds Fox to be old and encourages him to retire, so he can relax after such a long time serving the king. Fox agreed that he was old and should stop work.

For such good work the king makes Wolsey, Cardinal. Warham is bitter about this, as he does not like the way in which Wolsey operates. Wolsey then proceeds to stop the illegal happenings of Warham and gets revenue from Warham’s property.

We can see that both views can make sense, but I feel that Wolsey made it to the top by a mix of the two. I think that he was genuinely hard working and clever, but also encouraged people to leave the government. This way of thinking is more believable than someone who was totally evil or perfect. It was likely that if you did something good for the king every so often he would promote you, and this is exactly what happened. Therefore if you bring Elton’s and Gwyn’s ideas together then you are more likely to get a true representation of what Wolsey was really like and how he got his high status.

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