Tudor Times | Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Henry VIII was only 17 years old when he acceded to the throne of England. Handsome, talented, reckless and flamboyant, he formed a complete contrast to his. About this time Wolsey began a relationship with a woman called Joan Lark. According to Cavendish "Wolsey gained the favour of Henry VIII. Wolsey was not just Henry VIII's Lord Chancellor, he also had a warm personal relationship with the King, although he was never popular with.
Most important of these magnates were the two Fitzgeralds, the Earls of Kildare and Desmond; also important was Butler, Earl of Ormond. Ormonde Castle 2 The Early years: She was seven years older than him. She bore him four children who died immediately, and one daughter Mary Tudor but no sons.
Katherine was the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella this marriage brought Henry into alliance with Spain - the rival of France, England's nearest neighbor and its traditional enemy. Early inHenry sent 10, troops to fight for Spain on the border with France. The expedition was a disaster. Those who didn't die from illness, returned home with nothing accomplished. To wipe out the disgrace, Henry decided to invade France in person in Wolsey ensured that this expedition was well equipped, and it won the Battle of Spurs and captured the French town of Tournai.
The English fought the French at Guinegate: More important than successes in France was the defeat of the Scots at the Battle of Flodden - 9th September The Scots took advantage of Henry's absence in France to invade with over 20, men.
The English were outnumbered, but better equipped and led. The Scots were completely defeated, suffering about ten thousand casualties - the dead included twelve earls and two bishops, and, above all, James IV himself.
Relationship between Henry VIII and Wolsey
The English commander, the Earl of Surrey was rewarded with the restoration of his father's title - Duke of Norfolk. The French war brought England no permanent benefits. Henry's allies made peace with France inand he had to follow suit. Inthe English agreed to hand back Tournai.
One provision of the peace was the marriage of Henry's eighteen-year old sister, Maryto the fifty-two year old Louis XII. Louis was dead within a year. Henry's foray into France cost a great deal of money; afterhe left foreign policy in the hands of Cardinal Wolsey. Like many men of humble origins in this period, he chose the church at the best route to personal advancement.
InWolsey became a member of King's Council; his talent and industry led to rapid promotion. A cheerful, friendly womaniser, he liked to show off his wealth and built Hampton Courtthe finest Tudor palace.
A self-made man, Wolsey was contemptuous of those who weren't and vindictive if crossed; he was much resented by nobles. Wolsey ran the day-to-day administration of government, while Henry whiled away his time hunting and dancing. But Henry could always intervene on major policy issues.
From the mids, Henry got involved more often. One of his main domestic policies was self-aggrandizement: There is, in fact, little to contradict this in terms of their relationship — the king was clearly willing to give Wolsey his independence just so long as he served his master.
Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey
While Henry decided on policy, he put his trust in Wolsey to carry it out. Wolsey and the Church Wolsey did recognise that his position in the land depended entirely on Henry.
Even though he held the highest of Papal positions outside of the Pope as legatus a latere, Wolsey realised that this counted for nothing if the King disputed it. Therefore, even in ecclesiastical issues where, in theory, Wolsey was all but supreme, he trod very carefully. The one time that both men fell out led to the Cardinal doing all that he cold to placate the king. Ina new abbess was needed for a nunnery in Wilton, Wiltshire.
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Wolsey thought otherwise and appointed someone else. Henry was livid, as a royal wish had been ignored. Henry sent three letters to Wolsey demanding an explanation. It was only on the third that Wolsey realised just how difficult his position was. He claimed that he had not fully understood the instructions or letters of the king and sent his profuse apologies.
Just one year later, Wolsey was relieved of all his government positions.
Henry VIII and Wolsey
How did Wolsey gain so much power? The answer seems quite simple. Henry knew that Wolsey was a very competent man who had many talents. Above all else, he got things done. In these circumstances, Henry let Wolsey develop his own wealth and power base simply because they did not threaten Henry.
Henry could remove Wolsey. Wolsey could not remove Henry. The whole issue of a noble rebellion against the king led by Wolsey was a non-starter as Wolsey was not from noble birth — his father had been a butcher — and no noble would follow someone born into such a low social position such was the hierarchical structure of society in Tudor England. Ironically, Henry almost certainly used this to his advantage. He never fully trusted many noble families and he used Wolsey as a tool to keep a very close eye on them via his excellent spy network.
In this sense, Wolsey was very keen to please his master as he developed what was effectively a hatred of those noble families that looked down on him.