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How important was Wolsey’s administrative ability in his rise to power Essay

Wolsey’s administrative ability was certainly an important factor in his rise to power. His planning of the war against France in 1513 shows this. These preparations were so difficult that no other noble or councillor would (or didn’t have the ability to) take them on. Wolsey’s ability made sure that the war was conducted with such skill and planning that the war was a success, this success was then noticed by Henry. Therefore showing that in this occasion Wolsey’s administrative ability can be attributed to his rise in power.

Also Wolsey’s attitude towards Henry was an example of his administrative ability, as Wolsey would take on all of the ‘boring’ administrative and government work while Henry enjoyed himself. This not only pleased the king but also made sure that Wolsey knew all the events that happened around the country. This was a huge help in his many confrontations as he had all the information at hand to prove his enemies wrong, or in some cases blackmail them. This also meant that people would come to Wolsey if they wanted something done, not Henry, increasing his power further due to his administrative ability.

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Wolsey’s abilities did not just lie with administration. Wolsey’s ability to manipulate people and many situations allowed him to control his rise to power. Whenever Wolsey gained a new position or power in government or the church, Wolsey could manipulate this power to gain more and more power, as is shown in his rise to the top of the church and his eventual title of legatus a latere. ‘Wolsey had a relatively uncontested route in his rise to the top. (Randell)

This quote shows that it was not just Wolsey’s administrative ability that allowed his rise to power. Events such as the deaths of Empson and Dudley and the resignation of Bishop Fox and Archbishop Warham luckily eliminated many of the senior figures in both government and the church which would have prevented Wolsey’s rise to power Wolsey ‘enjoyed the full support of the state’ (Randell); this quote from Randell shows the half-truth. In many matters, and certainly at the start of Wolsey’s rise to power, Wolsey had the full support of Henry.

Even Wolsey’s ruthlessness in attaining what he wanted would cause Henry to like him due to his determination. This shows that Henry’s backing was an important factor as when Wolsey fell out of favour with Henry, his power started to slip, no matter how good Wolsey’s administrative ability was. In conclusion Wolsey’s administrative ability was the most important factor in his rise to power which he could control. However, Henry’s favour would ultimately decide how much power Wolsey would be allowed.

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