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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 291

XI.] HENRYS MINISTERS. 285 is capable of a very short answer considering the length of his reign : he succeeded a king who had been his own first minister, and who had under him two sorts of secondary ministers ; one set, like Warham and Fox, trustworthy men to whom he gave official confidence, that confidence which a self-confident autocrat can afford to give to men whose interests are the same as his own; and another set, like Empson and Dudley, whom he used as tools, responsible tools, to be used as long as they were useful, but to be held responsible the moment their use was over or the outcry they provoked became more noxious than the ends they served were advantageous. Henry VIII, doing everything on a larger scale than his father, had the same ideas of ministerial usefulness : during a reign of thirty-eight years he had only five chancellors, Warham, Wolsey, More, Audley, and Wriothesley; and the office of lord high treasurer was held by two dukes of Norfolk in succession during the whole reign. Of the chancellors, Wolsey alone was displaced against his will ; Warham had been long anxious to retire ; More resigned in disgust ; Audley retained the seals to his death, and Wriothesley was chancellor when the king died. Of these seven ministers we may summarily conclude thus : the two Norfolks and Warham were in position ministers of the old type, official and confidential, but not leaders of political parties, until, after the fall of Wolsey and, in the later years of the reign, after the fall of Cromwell, the second duke undertook the more onerous and critical position which in the end was so nearly fatal to him. Wolsey was too great a man, and More too good a man, to be tools of Henry, especially after the inclination towards tyrannic caprice became more pronounced; Audley and Wriothesley were tools, either altogether selfish and unprincipled, or, like Cromwell, able to combine self-aggrandisement and servility with some quantum of ulterior political

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