Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: By combining in himself the highest lay administrative post of chancellor and the religious position of papal legate a latere, Wolsey paved the way for the combining of church and state under Henry VIII.
Thomas Wolsey was the child of Robert Wulcy, a butcher, from Ipswich, Suffolk, and his wife, Joan. Sent at an early age to Oxford, he received his B.A. at the age of fifteen. He became a Fellow at Magdalen College in 1497, soon after receiving his M.A. and becoming first junior and then senior bursar there. Forced to resign as bursar for using funds without authorization in order to complete the building of the great tower there, he became a priest in 1498. Subsequently, Wolsey became chaplain to Sir Richard Nanfan, the deputy lieutenant of Calais, and Nanfan recommended him to Henry VII. The king appointed Wolsey as one of his chaplains and occasionally used him on royal business. With the accession of Henry VIII in April, 1509, and the death of his grandmother, who did not like Wolsey, Wolsey came into his own. He became Henry’s almoner in November and was advanced to councillor in late 1511.
From 1512 until his fall from power in 1529, Wolsey controlled the government of England, by acquiescing to the desires of his sovereign. Wolsey satisfied Henry’s appetite for glory with the successful French campaign of 1513, in which Henry’s forces...
(The entire section is 1662 words.)
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