chapter  1
6 Pages


The revisionists' predecessors treated Parliament as a political institution. The revisionists themselves emphasise that it was a place of business. Therefore the skilful politicking of conciliar managers was crucial to the success of early Tudor parliaments. If success was not always achieved, that was sometimes the result of unpopular royal policies. The early parliaments of Henry VIII differed significantly. Firstly, much more is known about them, and particularly about their politics. Secondly, war-taxation, as the chief cause of their meeting, thrust the Commons into prominence. Thirdly, the emergence of an autocratic minister, monopolising authority under the King in a way unknown in Henry VII's reign, created problems in relations between Commons, Lords, and the royal authority delegated and embodied in the person of Cardinal Wolsey. Mary's initial parliamentary experience was to be repeated in her second and third assemblies, but with an important difference. Noble and episcopal politicians had confined themselves to the less confrontational tactics of lobbying and petitioning.