Wolsey's Fall From Grace


Wolsey's Fall from Grace 

Why did Henry loose faith in Wolsey 

1. In general Henry's government was becoming more and more unpopular by 1527 to 1529. One reason for this was England's alliance with France which had been around since 1527 (coincidence? I think not...). Wolsey was the one who made the alliance with France after 1525 in a bid to side with the Pope at the time, in order to advance the kings bid to get a divorce from Catherine of Aragon. The Anglo-French Alliance was unpopular with the leading nobility right from the start. It disrupted trade and put Henry in a weak position regarding the great matter after Rome was sacked (taken over) in 1527 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sack_of_Rome_(1527)

2. In the end Wolsey fell from grace because of his failure to resolve Henry's divorce crisis. Henry always supported Wolsey's rise to power especially through the clerical ranks because it extended royal influence over the Church. In 1527 Henry believed that Wolsey would be able to use his religious clout to gain an annulment from Rome. In short Wolsey's position as Legate a latere gave him false expectations of a quick resolution to the Great Matter. 

Why was Wolsey unable to solve the King's divorce crisis between 1526 and 1529? 

By 1526 Wolsey wanted out of his relationship with Catherine of Aragon. Even Wolsey recognised the importance of this position and knew he had the power to make the necessary judgement on Henry's case but needed papal (from the pope)  dispensation (permission)  to confirm the decision. Catherine inevitably make an appeal to Rome and Wolsey had to be sure the Pope would support his case. 

The Solution? 

  Wolsey wanted to challenge the original papal dispensation issued by Pope Julius II that allowed Henry to marry Catherine in the first place. (Catherine was married to Arthur Henry's brother before he died for about 5 months. Catherine said the marriage was not consummated (they didn't have sex... yeah…


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