Cardinal Wolsey Bio Details

Full name

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey




57 (approx.)

Date of birth

Mar 1473 (ca.)

Birth place

Ipswich, Suffolk, England, UK

Date of death:

29 Nov 1530


Chaplain (1498 - 1530 (bef.))

Lord Chancellor (1515 - 1530)


Oxford University : Magdalen College, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom

Originally chaplain to King HenryVII, when the old king died and his son Henry VIII came to power, Wolsey continued on in the position of chaplain and was equally as devoted to him. 
Henry VIII appointed Wolsey almoner, a position responsible for charity and dispensing money, or alms, to the poor.  This also meant he was a member of the Privy Council.
In 1515 now Lord Chancellor Wolsey bought an area of land in South-West London, demolished the property there and built Hampton Court Palace.
In the role of Lord Chancellor Wolsey was Henry's closest advisor, becoming the face of England to foreign diplomats and ambassadors.  During this time he went from indicating that orders and rulings came from 'His Majesty' to 'we' to finally simply stating 'I' when issuing royal statements.  He ended up running the Courts, foreign policy, the Army and all state functions.  It was said that England was ruled by the King, and the King was ruled by Wolsey!
When Wolsey was made Lord Chancellor he also became a Cardinal, outranking even the Archbishop of Canterbury.
In his efforts to replace the previous advisors in the Privy Council - old men left over from the previous king's reign - Wolsey actively sought men who were intelligent and strongly loyal to him.
King Henry sent Wolsey to use his influence in Rome to obtain an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.  Unfortunately Catherine's nephew, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, dominated the pope at the time.  As well as this, there was a large faction of people who hated Wolsey back in England, and when his failure became known it was easy for these people to turn the King against him.  He was arrested and charged with treason within a few months.

Cardinal Wolsey

Lord Chancellor
1515 - 1529
Cardinal Wolsey

Relationship History

Joan Larke

Common Law Marriage

1 child together

Cardinal Wolsey Children

Thomas Wynter


Thomas Wynter

with Joan Larke

Cardinal Wolsey Family

Cardinal Wolsey's parents:

Cardinal Wolsey's father was Robert Wolsey

Cardinal Wolsey's children:

Cardinal Wolsey's son was Thomas Wynter

Cardinal Wolsey's former partners:

Cardinal Wolsey's former wife was Joan Larke

Cardinal Wolsey FameChain Links

The Court of King Henry VIII

1507 - 1530

Other people in this association:

King Henry VIII 1509 - 1547

Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl Of Essex 1523 - 1540

Sir Thomas More 1518 - 1534