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Extra resources for Early Tudor Government, 1485–1558

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The widening spread of court office, and hence of access to the king, made it harder for even a nobleman with large and concentrated landholdings and a strong relationship with the monarch to exercise the sort of hegemony that his equivalent might have done a hundred years earlier. When Henry VIII ordered the duke of Suffolk to move to Lincolnshire in the later 1530s, he was freed from the competition with the duke of Norfolk and other peers which had dogged his attempts to construct a power-base in East Anglia.

In a sample of counties studied using the taxation returns of 1522-5, the gentry and the church each held about a third of the land, the nobility's share ranged between 1 and 7 per cent, and the crown's equalled or exceeded it, at between 4 and 6 per cent. At least in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the Dissolution of the Monasteries and political forfeitures of 1535-46 produced a further dramatic change. " Figures such as these recall the spectre of the gentry controversy of the 1950s, when grand theories about the rise and fall of whole classes rested on questionable calculations about long-term transfers of landed wealth .

Th e council of the north . The more such men served the king, the more his power to intervene in local society increased, and the more such interventions were induced by them in pursuit of their own interests, the more local society became accustomed to them. The more local society became accustomed to direct interventions by royal power, the more even those who were not royal servants looked to such interventions to solve their problems. This was one among many instances of what one might call positive feedback which combined to increase the power to govern .

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