Cardinal Wolsey Bio Details
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Date of birth
Mar 1473 (ca.)
Ipswich, Suffolk, England, UK
Date of death:
29 Nov 1530
Chaplain (1498 - 1530 (bef.))
Lord Chancellor (1515 - 1530)
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.
Lord Chancellor 1515 - 1529
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