Wolsey, Thomas (Lord Chancellor and Archbishop of York)

 Born  1472   Born At  
 Died  1530   Buried At  
homas Wolsey was an important adviser to Henry VIII. He was born in around 1472 and his father was a butcher and cattle-dealer in Ipswich. Thomas was very intelligent and was destined for the church. He studied at Magdalene College in Oxford. In 1497 became a fellow of the college and a year later was ordained as a priest. In 1507 Wolsey was given the position of royal chaplain to Henry VII and when Henry VIII came to the throne in 1509 Wolsey became royal almoner (a priest in charge of distributing assistance or alms to the poor). Wolsey was also given a seat on Henry's Council in recognition of his organisational talents. These talents came into use at the end of 1513 when he organised Henry's successful campaign against the French. The English took and held the towns of Tournai (Belgium) and Therouanne (Northern France). Wolsey was given the Bishopric of Tournai. In 1514 Wolsey negotiated a peace treaty between England and France whereby Louis XII married Henry's younger sister Mary and had to pay Henry pension money owed to him under the treaty of Etaples. The treaty stated that peace should be maintained not less than a year after the first of them (Henry and Louis) should die. Soon afterwards Wolsey was promoted to the position of Archbishop of York.

The young Henry VIII did not find time for matters of state very interesting, preferring to spend days at a time hunting. Wolsey, who in 1515, had become the King's chief advisor and chancellor of England took many of the King's duties upon himself to perform. In return Wolsey used his position and large income of money to fund a lavish life style. In 1525 Wolsey founded Cardinal College in Oxford that was later refounded as Christ Church College by Henry VIII.

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YearMonthAgeEvent
Early Modern Period (1500-1800)
1507   35yrsThomas Wolsey becomes royal chaplain
 Thomas Wolsey was given the position of royal chaplain to Henry VII. 
1509   37yrsThomas Wolsey becomes royal almoner
 Thomas Wolsey was given the position of royal almoner to Henry VIII. 
1513   41yrsThomas Wolsey organises expedition to France
 Thomas Wolsey organised Henry's invasion into France ensuring the army was feed, watered and had good accommodation. 
 Sep  Fall of Tournai
 After the victory at Therouanne, Henry turned to Tournai. The town fell to the English who entered it but this time took control and stationed a garrison there. Thomas Wolsey was given the bishopric of the town. 
1514   42yrsThomas Wolsey obtains the lease of Hampton
 Wolsey started the construction of his magnificent palace at Hampton Court. 
 Feb 6  Wolsey become Bishop of Lincoln
 Thomas Wolsey was rewarded with the Bishopric of Lincoln. 
 Aug  Louis XII marries Princess Mary
 A peace treaty was negotiated by Thomas Wolsey with France. One of the terms was that Louis XII of France would marry Princess Mary, the younger sister Henry VIII. Louis died only a few months later. 
 Aug  English - French peace treaty
 Wolsey negotiated a peace treaty between England and France whereby Louis XII married Henry's younger sister Mary and had to pay Henry pension money owed to him under the treaty of Etaples. Peace should be maintained not less than a year after the first of them should die. 
 Sep  Thomas Wolsey becomes archbishop of York
 Thomas Wolsey is promoted to the position of Archbishop of York. 
1517   45yrsA new crusade is proposed
 Pope Leo X made proposals for a new crusade and sent word to the leading European countries for support. Henry VIII and Thomas Wolsey were not convinced that it was a good idea.[1] 
1518 Oct  46yrsTreaty of London (Universal Peace)
 A treaty was signed in London between the major European countries, England, France, Burgundy and many more. For Cardinal Wolsey this treaty was a plan to produce a peaceful Europe. The treaty stated that the countries must not attack one another and if they did the other countries would come to the aid of those being attacked. Within the treaty was the agreement that Henry's 2 year old daughter Mary would marry the French dauphin. 
1521 Nov  49yrsTreaty of Bruges
 This treaty was conducted in secrecy at Bruges between Charles V and Thomas Wolsey. In the terms of the treaty Wolsey promised Charles that Henry VIII would join him in a joint campaign against France and Francis I. The meeting was held in secret because England was supposed to be a mediator in the dispute between Charles and Francis. The joint attacks of France would have to wait until March or May of 1523. 
1525   53yrsWolsey founds Cardinal College Oxford
 Thomas Wolsey founded a new college at Oxford called Cardinal College. After his death the college was refounded by Henry VIII as Christ Church. 
1527 May  55yrsWolsey sets up secret court
 To end the marriage between Henry and Catherine Wolsey set up a secret tribunal where Henry VIII had to answer charges of having a illegal marriage. The court was held in secret so Catherine did not know. The plan was to present the facts to the Pope who would annul the marriage. Problems occurred when Rome was attacked by Catherine's nephew Charles and the Pope was captured. Any chance of the Pope annulling the marriage was now gone. 
1530 Nov 29  58yrsDeath of Wolsey
 Thomas Wolsey died at Leicester. 

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