Do you agree with the view expressed in source K that the diplomatic situation was the main reason for Henry's failure to attain an annulment of his marriage to Catherine by 1529?

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Preview of Do you agree with the view expressed in source K that the diplomatic situation was the main reason for Henry's failure to attain an annulment of his marriage to Catherine by 1529?

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Do you agree with the view expressed in source K that the diplomatic situation was the main reason for
Henry's failure to attain an annulment of his marriage to Catherine by 1529?
Four years prior to 1529 the Pope was being held hostage by Charles V. His military superiority at Pavia had
allowed him to capture the Pope and stall the annulment proceedings. Furthermore, Charles was Catherine's
nephew and only had her interests at heart; inevitably he wanted her to remain married to the king of
England. This placed the Pope in an awkward predicament: he didn't want to upset the powerful Henry VIII,
known for his lack of mercy; such murders as Empson and Dudley. But at the same time he didn't want to
exasperate Charles as doing so would result in complete disarray of the papacy in Rome and most likely his
death. This is the main reason, the trigger almost, as to why Henry could not obtain his annulment. It is also
the main reason as to why proceedings took so long to get under way, and how the Pope's hand was very
much forced. Source K proves that the diplomatic situation has turned against Henry: "I have quite made up
my mind to become an imperialist and live and die as such." This was said by the Pope, expressing his desire
to emulate a life like Charles V. Henry had no foreign allies either who would stand up to the Holy Roman
Empire with him in order to convince the Pope. So by 1529 the diplomatic situation was looking like the main
reason as to why Henry wouldn't receive his annulment.
Source I is a letter from Cardinal Campeggio to Pope Clement VII in 1528. In 1529 the court at Blackfriars
opened and Catherine's true attitude concerning the annulment was made public. The Pope had told
Campeggio not to grant the annulment on his visit to England; the reasons given in source I may simply be a
scape goat as to why the annulment was not given. But as the Pope's representative, Campeggio is unlikely
to lie or exaggerate. The view expressed in source I seems to concern Catherine's attitude and behaviour
towards the annulment. She was a very popular woman in England and had always displayed loyalty to
Henry. Campeggio knows this - "I have always judged her to be a prudent lady..." - which adds credential to
the extent at which Catherine opposes the annulment. Also in the source are references to Catherine's
Deuteronomy argument that underpinned Henry's Leviticus argument: Catherine "intended to live and die in
the estate of matrimony, into which God had called her..." Henry's case relied on Leviticus 20:21 "If a man
takes his brother's wife, it is impurity; he has uncovered his brother's nakedness, they shall be childless."
However Catherine's case from Deuteronomy 25:5 states that "If brothers dwell together and one of them
dies and has no son, the wife of the dead shall not be remarried outside of the family to a stranger; her
husband's brother shall go into her, and take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother to
her." So the source presents a more prominent reason as to why Henry failed to get an annulment:
Catherine's stubbornness and the strength of her counter argument to Henry's Leviticus verse. The strength
of Christianity at the time meant that the ambiguity of each verse from the Bible delayed proceedings
vastly.
Another reason as to why Henry failed to get his annulment was the failures of his most trusted servant,
Thomas Wolsey. Being Papal Legate, Wolsey had a poor relationship with the papacy and Campeggio. He
also had a poor relationship domestically, having angered most of the nobility and people of England. Thus,
when Campeggio arrived in England, the pair refused to talk and Wolsey had to go through many laborious
methods and other diplomats in order to get his point across. Meanwhile, Charles had detained Clement,
meaning anything Wolsey had achieved up till now was only the tip of the iceberg. In effect, the problems
the king's servant faced were ones he'd created himself. Next Wolsey attempted to rectify the capture of
the Pope, evidently with Henry's best interests at heart. But source J clearly outlines the fact that his
unpopularity hindered him massively and was eventually the reason for his failure: "Wolsey uses all his
means to bring the Emperor into hatred...but it is hard work to fight against nature."
In conclusion I don't agree with the view expressed in source K that the diplomatic situation was the main
reason for Henry's failure to attain an annulment of his marriage to Catherine by 1529. Source I clearly
states that Catherine's marriage was legitimate - "making a profession of chastity..". Furthermore her
loyalty and stubbornness, and her Deuteronomy argument, was one of the reasons the obtaining of the
annulment failed. The diplomatic situation was merely a backdrop for everything else to unfold upon. The
biggest reason that Henry failed was due to Wolsey's incompetence. He had inadvertently and unknowingly
shot himself in the foot when he'd caused resentment across England and beat Campeggio to the post of
Papal Legate. Because he had to use alternative methods which took longer, the annulment proceedings
began to slow and dwindle. If he had been able to talk to Campeggio in the first place or utilise the
powerful nobility in England, then perhaps he would have got to the Pope before Charles captured him,
removing the entire diplomatic situation.

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