Wolsey's Fall

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Submitted By emmartinn
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Assess the reasons behind Wolsey's fall

From the beginning of Henry VIII reign to 1529, Cardinal Wolsey was a influential figure and Henry's key advisor. However by 1529 Wolsey had been charged with praemunire and was due to be executed in November 1530. The most important reason for this was because of Wolsey's failure to obtain a divorce between Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII.

The main reason behind Wolsey's fall was his failure to obtain a divorce between Catherine of Argon and Henry VIII. Henry's desire to end his marriage began in 1527 in which Wolsey promised would be a quick and easy problem to resolve due to his influence with the pope. However after two years of waiting Henry became desperate for a divorce. Wolsey made three attempts to obtain divorce: the first was to try and get the current pope to admit that the previous pope was in the wrong, the second attempt was on technical grounds that there was an error in dispensation, and the third was to get the case heard in England in which Wolsey would play a big role in the verdict. However by the failure of the third attempt Henry accused Wolsey of upholding papal law without the Kings permission and charged him with praemunire on the 9th October 1529. By the 29th November Wolsey was due to be executed, but died on the journey to London. This was the most important reasons for Wolsey's fall as in the space of one year Wolsey had lost all influence and power and also Henry's trust. Resulting in him being sentenced to death.

Another reason for Wolsey fall was because of how he antagonised the nobles. One reason for the tension between the Nobility and Wolsey was because he came from a humble background. This made the nobles resent Wolsey's power as he wasn't considered a natural advisor. Wolsey used his power as Lord Chancellor to make legal reforms which some argue he used to attack those who…...

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