Thomas Wolsey - Cardinal, Timeline and Childhood

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Thomas Wolsey's Personal Details

Thomas Wolsey was an English cardinal and statesman, who dominated King Henry VIII’s government from 1515 to 1529

InformationDetail
BirthdayJanuary 1, 1473
Died onNovember 29, 1530
NationalityBritish
FamousCardinal, Miscellaneous, Priests
SpousesJoan Larke
Childrens Dorothy Clancey, Thomas Wynter
Universities
  • Ipswich School
  • Magdalen College School
  • Oxford
  • Magdalen College
  • Oxford
  • University of Oxford
Founder / Co-Founder
  • Christ Church
  • Oxford
Birth PlaceIpswich
ReligionCatholicism
GenderMale
Sun SignPisces
Born inIpswich
Famous asCardinal
Died at Age57

// Famous Cardinal

Thomas Wolsey's photo

Who is Thomas Wolsey?

Thomas Wolsey was an English cardinal and statesman, who dominated King Henry VIII’s government from 1515 to 1529. Born in Ipswich to a butcher, Wolsey graduated from the prestigious Oxford University. At the age of 25, he was ordained a priest and became a chaplain to the archbishop of Canterbury. Later, he was appointed the royal chaplain by King Henry VII, who also employed him on diplomatic missions. Through his intellect and dedication, Wolsey made a name for himself as an efficient administrator and with the succession of King Henry VIII to the throne, his rapid rise to the power began. Within a span of few years, Wolsey was made the archbishop of York, then a Cardinal, and soon afterwards, the King appointed him as the Lord Chancellor of England. For the next decade, Wolsey's rule was undisputed and Henry VIII delegated more and more state business to him. The sudden downfall of Wolsey occurred following his failure to use his influence in getting Henry an annulment from the marriage. Henry wanted to part ways with the queen so that he could remarry and produce heir to the throne but Wolsey was unable to accomplish this and was therefore stripped of his position. Soon afterwards, he was also arrested on account of treason charges but he died on his way to London to face trial.

// Famous Priests

Childhood & Early Life

Thomas Wolsey was born in March 1473 in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, to Robert Wolsey, a local butcher, and his wife Joan Daundy.

He received his early education from Ipswich School and Magdalen College School before attending Magdalen College, Oxford, where he studied theology. At the age of 15, he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree.

In March 1498, he was ordained a priest in Marlborough, Wiltshire. Thereafter, he became the Master of Magdalen College School and was subsequently appointed the dean of divinity.

Later Life

In 1502, he became a chaplain to Henry Deane, Archbishop of Canterbury. Upon Deane’s death the following year, Wolsey was appointed chaplain by Sir Richard Nanfan, the deputy of Calais. Through Nanfan, Wolsey was introduced to the court.

In 1507, when Nanfan died, King Henry VII appointed Wolsey as the royal chaplain. The following year, Henry VII employed Wolsey on several diplomatic missions to Scotland and the Netherlands. In 1509, shortly before the King’s death, Wolsey became the dean of Lincoln.

In 1509, Henry VIII inherited the throne and subsequently raised Wolsey to the post of Almoner. This position earned Wolsey a seat on the Privy Council and also earned him a chance to gain trust of the new King.

In 1513, after Wolsey successfully organized Henry’s expedition against the French, the ties between the two men further strengthened. The following year, after signing the Wolsey's treaty with France, England held the balance of power between France and the Hapsburgs.

With innate abilities and dedication, Wolsey rapidly acquired additional positions in the Church. On Henry’s recommendation, Wolsey was appointed the bishop of Lincoln in 1514 and the Archbishop of York later that year.

The following year, Wolsey rose to the position of cardinal and in December 1515, King Henry VIII chose him as the Lord Chancellor of England. In 1518, Wolsey was appointed the Papal Legate in England. Same year, he engineered the ‘Treaty of London’, a treaty of universal peace embracing the principal European states.

In 1520, Wolsey achieved a diplomatic victory when he organized a meeting between Henry VIII and Francis I of France on the ‘Field of the Cloth of Gold’, a tent city erected in Flanders. Though later, Wolsey sided with Emperor Charles V of Spain and signed ‘Treaty of Bruges’ (1521), confirming English support to Spain in case of war against France.

In 1525, after Charles V captured Francis I and abandoned England as an ally, Wolsey signed the ‘Treaty of the More’ with France to challenge Spain. But, in 1529, the French made peace with Charles and Wolsey faced a downfall.

By this time, King Henry VIII was filled with the desire for an annulment with his wife, Catherine of Aragon, aunt of Charles V. As there was no male heir to succeed Henry to the throne, he wished to be free and get married again.

But, Wolsey was unable to persuade Pope Clement VII, who was under dominance of Charles V, to grant Henry an annulment of his marriage to the Queen. In July 1529, when his final attempt to obtain the annulment collapsed, Wolsey was stripped of all his offices except York and was forced to leave London.

Later, Wolsey’s enemies within England led Henry into believing that Wolsey was conspiring to recover his position. Therefore, on his way to Yorkshire, Wolsey was arrested on charges of treason but died on his way to London.

Major Works

He undertook monastic reforms, in addition to securing the papal permission, to close several decayed monasteries, and used the revenues to establish a grammar school in Ipswich and Cardinal’s College at the University of Oxford.

Personal Life & Legacy

For almost a decade, Wolsey lived with a woman named Joan Larke without being married to her. Subsequently, he also fathered two children; a son, Thomas Wynter, and a daughter named Dorothy.

In 1529, while traveling to Yorkshire after being stripped of his position, Wolsey was framed of treason charges. Subsequently, he was ordered to reach London but he fell ill on the journey and died on November 29, 1530, at Leicester, at the age of 57.

// Famous Miscellaneous

Thomas Wolsey biography timelines

  • // Mar 1473
    Thomas Wolsey was born in March 1473 in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, to Robert Wolsey, a local butcher, and his wife Joan Daundy.
  • // Mar 1498
    In March 1498, he was ordained a priest in Marlborough, Wiltshire. Thereafter, he became the Master of Magdalen College School and was subsequently appointed the dean of divinity.
  • // 1502
    In 1502, he became a chaplain to Henry Deane, Archbishop of Canterbury. Upon Deane’s death the following year, Wolsey was appointed chaplain by Sir Richard Nanfan, the deputy of Calais. Through Nanfan, Wolsey was introduced to the court.
  • // 1507 To 1509
    In 1507, when Nanfan died, King Henry VII appointed Wolsey as the royal chaplain. The following year, Henry VII employed Wolsey on several diplomatic missions to Scotland and the Netherlands. In 1509, shortly before the King’s death, Wolsey became the dean of Lincoln.
  • // 1509
    In 1509, Henry VIII inherited the throne and subsequently raised Wolsey to the post of Almoner. This position earned Wolsey a seat on the Privy Council and also earned him a chance to gain trust of the new King.
  • // 1513
    In 1513, after Wolsey successfully organized Henry’s expedition against the French, the ties between the two men further strengthened. The following year, after signing the Wolsey's treaty with France, England held the balance of power between France and the Hapsburgs.
  • // 1514
    With innate abilities and dedication, Wolsey rapidly acquired additional positions in the Church. On Henry’s recommendation, Wolsey was appointed the bishop of Lincoln in 1514 and the Archbishop of York later that year.
  • // Dec 1515 To 1518
    The following year, Wolsey rose to the position of cardinal and in December 1515, King Henry VIII chose him as the Lord Chancellor of England. In 1518, Wolsey was appointed the Papal Legate in England. Same year, he engineered the ‘Treaty of London’, a treaty of universal peace embracing the principal European states.
  • // 1520 To 1521
    In 1520, Wolsey achieved a diplomatic victory when he organized a meeting between Henry VIII and Francis I of France on the ‘Field of the Cloth of Gold’, a tent city erected in Flanders. Though later, Wolsey sided with Emperor Charles V of Spain and signed ‘Treaty of Bruges’ (1521), confirming English support to Spain in case of war against France.
  • // 1525 To 1529
    In 1525, after Charles V captured Francis I and abandoned England as an ally, Wolsey signed the ‘Treaty of the More’ with France to challenge Spain. But, in 1529, the French made peace with Charles and Wolsey faced a downfall.
  • // 1529 To 29th Nov 1530
    In 1529, while traveling to Yorkshire after being stripped of his position, Wolsey was framed of treason charges. Subsequently, he was ordered to reach London but he fell ill on the journey and died on November 29, 1530, at Leicester, at the age of 57.
  • // Jul 1529
    But, Wolsey was unable to persuade Pope Clement VII, who was under dominance of Charles V, to grant Henry an annulment of his marriage to the Queen. In July 1529, when his final attempt to obtain the annulment collapsed, Wolsey was stripped of all his offices except York and was forced to leave London.

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Thomas Wolsey's FAQ

  • What is Thomas Wolsey birthday?

    Thomas Wolsey was born at 1473-01-01

  • When was Thomas Wolsey died?

    Thomas Wolsey was died at 1530-11-29

  • Where was Thomas Wolsey died?

    Thomas Wolsey was died in Leicester

  • Which age was Thomas Wolsey died?

    Thomas Wolsey was died at age 57

  • Where is Thomas Wolsey's birth place?

    Thomas Wolsey was born in Ipswich

  • What is Thomas Wolsey nationalities?

    Thomas Wolsey's nationalities is British

  • Who is Thomas Wolsey spouses?

    Thomas Wolsey's spouses is Joan Larke

  • Who is Thomas Wolsey childrens?

    Thomas Wolsey's childrens is Dorothy Clancey, Thomas Wynter

  • What was Thomas Wolsey universities?

    Thomas Wolsey studied at Ipswich School, Magdalen College School, Oxford, Magdalen College, Oxford, University of Oxford

  • Which company or organization was founded by Thomas Wolsey?

    Thomas Wolsey was the founder/co-founder of Christ Church, Oxford

  • What is Thomas Wolsey's religion?

    Thomas Wolsey's religion is Catholicism

  • What is Thomas Wolsey's sun sign?

    Thomas Wolsey is Pisces

  • How famous is Thomas Wolsey?

    Thomas Wolsey is famouse as Cardinal