Wolf Hall Part 4, Chapter 2 Summary
by Hilary Mantel

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Part 4, Chapter 2 Summary

Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, has come out on the opposite side of the king, but Henry is reluctant to remove him at this time. Parliament, at Cromwell’s urging, has suspended payments to the Roman Catholic Church in Rome. Cromwell had the vote taken by having the members sit on opposite sides of the hall so he could see his enemies.

York Place, Anne Boleyn’s residence, is still being remodeled to her satisfaction and renamed Whitehall. Cromwell becomes even more indispensable to Anne, as her sister Mary assures him. Cromwell tells her that he wants an official position in the royal household.

Thomas Wyatt tells Cromwell that, if Anne Boleyn is not a virgin, it is not because of him. He was infatuated with her and she let him kiss her numerous times, but it went no further.

Cromwell thinks back to his childhood, when he saw a Loller (Protestant heretic) burned at the stake. It is not a memory he has ever shared with anyone. He watched the old woman burn, and afterward someone put her ashes on the back of his hand as a remembrance.

In April 1532, Thomas Cromwell is appointed the Keeper of the Jewel House, which means that he will be able to keep a close eye on the king’s finances. Thomas More continues to burn Protestants at the stake, but eventually the king tires of him. More is forced to resign the office of Lord Chancellor.

Lady Anne Boleyn is furious when she learns that Sir Harry Percy’s wife is suing for divorce on the grounds that her husband actually is married to Anne. If she already is married, this stands as a barrier to Anne’s marriage to King Henry. Cromwell confronts Percy, telling him that their marriage contract is meaningless and that Anne hates him. Anne is given the title of Marquess of Pembroke, which gives her an independent income. Archbishop Warham of Canterbury dies.

King Henry and Anne go to France to make a treaty with Francis, King of France. Charles Brandon’s wife, who is also Henry’s sister, refuses to go in attendance on Anne, whom she calls a “whore.” Francis’s sister, the Queen of Navarre, also refuses to be present. King Francis flirts with Anne, making Henry insanely jealous. Her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, drags her away by her arm. That night, Henry and Anne are married secretly, intending to be married openly when they return to England.