Maintenance of Political Stability

Revision cards of the Maintenance of Political Stability section of the A2 History Tudor course


The Councils

Council of Wales

  • Run by bishops, e.g. Rowland Lee (1534-43) who restored royal power by rebuilding royal castles and enforcing justice

Council of the North

  • From 1563 Elizabeth started to appoint more southern nobles to the wardenship and appointed the Earl of Huntingdon as President after the Northern Earls rebellion - no more rebellions in the North after 1570
  • In 1537 the Council was given judicial functions and acted as a Star Chamber under the Bishop of Durham

The Privy Council:

  • Involved in implementing Henry VIII's religious settlement
  • Involved with crushing rebellion in Ireland
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The Crown

Henry VII:

  • Claimed descent from King Arthur to bolster his claim to the throne
  • Developed the Tudor Rose
    • Showed unity

Henry VIII:

  • Paintings that showed his physical presence
  • Built lavish palaces
    • Nonsuch
    • Reflects authority

Edward VI:

  • Image appeared in coins
    • Became more militaristic as his reign progressed, signifying his increasing authority and power

Mary I:

  • Image on her Great Seals reflected a regal bearing
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The Crown cont.

Elizabeth I:

  • Patronage
    • Could cause conflict
    • Factional rivalry
      • W. Cecil vs. Leicester
      • R. Cecil vs. Essex
  • Monopolies
    • Could cause conflict
    • Essex monopoly on sweet wines
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Nobles acted as Lords Lieutenant and commanded county militias

Henry VII:

  • Simnel - a Duke, 5 Earls, a Viscount, 4 Barons helped to suppress the rebellion

Henry VIII:

  • Amicable Grant - Suppressed by Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk

Edward VI:

  • Western - Suppressed by Lord Russell

Mary I:

  • Wyatt - Duke of Norfolk and Earl of Pembroke

Elizabeth I:

  • Northern Earls - Earl of Sussex, Lords of Hunsdon, Warwick and Clinton
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Passed all religious changes including Reformation in 1534 and Settlement in 1559 - wouldn't rebel against changes they approved

Acts of Attainder passed against rebels - Henry VII passed 138

Acts of Livery and Maintenance to reduce the power of nobles

Act for the Queen's Safety protected Elizabeth from Catholic and Jesuit plots

Voted for taxation even when demands were up to 4x the usual request.

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The Church

Henry VII: Rebels at East Stoke (1486) and Blackheath (1497) threatened with excommunication - reduced size of rebel armies

Henry VIII: Until 1529, clergy held positions in government - Wolsey used Star Chamber, clients (many with holy orders) sat on royal commissions and maintained order

Edward VI: Cranmer wrote a series of homilies - Homily of Obedience (1547) reminded population to obey God was to obey the King, to disobey the King was to disobey God

Mary I: Terror tactics - 300 burned over reign - discouraged religious deviance

Elizabeth I: Archbishop Parker - Homily against disobedience and willful rebellion (1571) - taught rebellion was root of all sin

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1485, used to help supervise elections, muster troops, organise quarter sessions, transport prisoners and enforce sentences passed down by JPs

1495, Henry VII gave JPs power to monitor sheriffs' activities due to a lack of trust

Gradually, sheriffs duty became more honourificand maintenance of stability fell to over-worked JPs

Rebellions in 30s and 40s showed again how sheriffs were ineffective in mustering soldiers and suppressing rebellion

Some sheriffs even joined in rebellions, leading to an increase in JPs and Lords Lieutenant

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In 1485 most counties had fewer than 10 JPs, by the end of the 16th century most counties had over 50

1495 - Henry VII gave JPs the power to monitor sheriffs

Wolsey appointed non-northerners to serveral northern counties between 1513 and 1525 to effect greater stability in the region

Role increased status of gentry and yeomen - less inclined to rebel, e.g. Oxfordshire 1596 - only commoners

Wholesale changes in 1569 and 1601 in areas where JPs had supported rebellions

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Lords Lieutenant

1549 - Lords Lieutenant appointed to oversee troublesome counties

Lieutenants like Russell in the South-West and Northumberland in East Anglia performed military and police duties

Absence of any rebellions 1550-1553 = 12 men appointed by Northumberland = competent - unwilling to support coup against Mary

Lieutenants were revived with the advent of war in 1557 - 10 Lieutenancies

Elizabeth only appointed in times of crisis (1569 and 1585 - war)

1588 - most counties had a resident Lord Lieutenant and 2-6 deputies

Function = supervise recusants, distribute grain in times of shortage, collect loans

Main function = muster and train county militia

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