Important figures in the Henrican Government

Notes on important figures of HVIII's reign.

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  • Created on: 21-05-12 12:19
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1473 Wolsey born in Ipswich
1507 Appointed chaplain to Henry VII
1510 Appointed a royal councilor
1513 Organizes Henry VIII's successful
expedition to France.
1515 Made a Cardinal and Lord Chancellor.
1520 Organizes meeting between Henry
VIII and Francis I at Field of the Cloth
of Gold.
1521 Treaty of Bruges with Charles V
against France.
1525 Failure of Amicable Grant causes
widespread unrest.
1526-27 Diplomatic revolution sees Wolsey
ally with France against Charles.
1527-29 Numerous failed attempts to solve
the Great Matter with the co operation
of Rome.
1529 Resigns as Lord Chancellor.
1530 Dies at Leicester Abbey.
Wolsey was the Lord Chancellor and a
key part of Henry VII's court. His rise to
power was partly due to being `the right
man at the right
time' ­ he was able
to carry out the
King's wishes
combined with
good luck and
timing. His wealth, political relationship
with Henry, and ruthlessness helped him
keep power for a long time.
He achieved more in foreign policy than
in domestic policy. For example, he
revolutionized the taxation system in
England and planned domestic reform
such as pursuing cases in the Court of the Star Chamber and attempts to address
enclosure, but achieved very little in practice.
One of his key failures was the Amicable grant. Henry had seen an opportunity to invade
France after the French army had been defeated at the Battle of Pavia, and with Francis I,
the King of France, held captive by Charles V of Spain, this added to the opportunity.
However, England didn't have enough money to launch an assault. Wolsey demanded a

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non-parliamentary tax called the Amicable Grant, targeting both the clergy and laity on a
sliding scale. However, recently there had been forced loans and parliamentary tax, and
the Amicable Grant was met with refusal to pay and rebellion. It was abandoned in May
1525. Wolsey attempted no further taxation.
Wolsey was in a position to reform the Church, due to his position as Legate A Latere and
high position throughout the government, but did very little of substance.…read more

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Cromwell was a key figure in Henry's government and an important part of the English
Reformation. He rose to note in 1531, and acted as an architect to the Reformation.
The Supplication against the Ordinaries
In 1532, he introduced the Supplication against the Ordinaries, which was a petition against
the Church courts and clerical jurisdiction (the authority of the clergy/church members in
court).…read more

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1532 Appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.
1533 Declares Henry's marriage to
Catherine against the law of God.
1533 Declared Anne and Henry's secret
marriage valid.
1533 Personally crowns Anne Boleyn queen.
1536 Before Anne is executed, he declares
their marriage null and void and hears
Anne's confession. Anne is executed
two days later.
1537 Bishop's Book published.
Cranmer was Archbishop of Canterbury at the time of
the Reformation.…read more

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refused, and soon after, Elizabeth was born, who Cranmer baptized and acted as
Godparent to.
He was at the time believed to have Lutheran religious sympathies, and though this was not
confirmed, was significantly protestant. He was involved in various reforms such as the
Bishop's Book. He remained Archbishop of Canterbury throughout the reign of Henry's son
1503 Pope Julius II grants dispensation for
Henry and Catherine's marriage.
1509 Henry's ascension and marriage.…read more

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Catherine of Aragon was Henry's first wife. She had previously been wed to his older
brother, but after his death, it was claimed it had not been consummated. Therefore, the
Pope overruled the scripture that prevented one marrying their brother's widow and
granted a dispensation.
With Henry, she had a daughter, but after a time Henry began to believe that the reason he
was without a son was because he married his brother's widow.…read more

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1503 Pope Julius II grants dispensation for
Henry and Catherine's marriage.
1509 Henry's ascension and marriage.
1516 Henry and Catherine's daughter, Mary,
is born.
1527 Henry becomes convinced that his
marriage to Catherine is unlawful.
1527-29 Failed attempts to solve the Great
Matter through co operation with
1531 Henry becomes Head of the Church in
England as far as the Law of Christ
1533 Henry and Anne secretly marry.
1533 Anne's daughter, Elizabeth, is born.…read more

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Anne introduced Henry to the writings of William Tyndale and Simon Fish ­ radical figures.
The subsequent release of the English Bible could be argued to be influenced by Anne.
However, Henry had divorced Catherine because he believed God could not deliver them a
son. When Anne still failed to do so, delivering a daughter, Elizabeth, in 1533, and
miscarriage in 1536, Henry saw this as an evil omen.…read more

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January Henry marries Anne of Cleves, as
1540 encouraged by Thomas Cromwell.
July 1540 Henry divorces Anne of Cleves.
Anne of Cleves was Henry's fourth wife, whom
Thomas Cromwell had encouraged him to
marry. Henry, however, was dissatisfied with
the pairing (declaring upon meeting her for the
first time `I like her not'.) yet despite his very
vocal objections, the wedding went ahead.
Soon after, Henry divorced Anne of Cleves,
declaring it had never been consummated.…read more

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1540 Anne of Cleves marriage annulled.
1540 Three weeks later, he married
Catherine Howard.
1541 Executed for treason and adultery.
Catherine Howard was Henry VIII's fifth wife,
however, she is not widely regarded as
historically important. She allegedly carried on
affairs and was executed a year after they were
first married.…read more


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