Amicable Grant

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The Amicable Grant was a tax imposed on England in 1525 by the Lord Chancellor Thomas Wolsey. Called at the time "a benevolance", it was essentially a forced loan that was levied on one-third of both the clergy and laity's incomes. The Amicable Grant should have been levied with Parliamentary authority, but was not, and so the legal framework for its collection was extremely weak.


In 1525 Henry VIII of England wanted to mount an invasion of France (the Great Enterprise.) The King of France, Francis I, had been captured by Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor at the Battle of Pavia in 1525. He required additional funds of £800,000. In order to gain said money Wolsey resorted to a benevolence, the Amicable Grant. The English Parliament was at this time unlikely to support war, since it was proving to be expensive. Furthermore, Henry's previous French endeavors had proved less than successful.


Short Term

Resistance to Wolsey's demands was on the increase and this finally boiled over in the wake of the Amicable Grant. It provoked an open rebellion in Suffolk and a taxpayer strike. Wolsey was forced to abandon the Grant and reduce the payments for the 1523 subsidy which was still be collected at the same time as the grant and had made a lot of the population too poor to afford the amicable grant. Major rebellions took place at cloth manufacturing towns of Lavenham and Kent, which spread across East Anglia. These were suppressed for the King by the...
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