Why Did Wolsey Fall From Power In 1529

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Why did Wolsey fall from power in 1529? Thomas Wolsey was Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor and he held many positions within the government and clergy. Starting off with a humble background Wolsey worked his way up the country’s hierarchy and became the most powerful man in Britain. However it all went wrong for Wolsey and a culmination of factors ended up with his fall from grace in 1529. Wolsey’s rise to power was a mixture of both luck and skill. Some things fell very fortunately for Wolsey although there is no doubt he was a very intelligent and highly skilled individual, he was opportunistic in taking all the chances he was given. After all he was Henry’s chief minister for fifteen years which was a very long time. Wolsey was an intelligent man, gaining his first Oxford degree at fifteen years of age. He gained valuable work experience going on administrative and diplomatic missions in the Netherlands and Scotland. Henry took power at the age of seventeen, the execution of the hated ministers from the previous regime: Empson and Dudley brought with it a sense of optimism and change. When in power three main things helped Wolsey to maintain his position: his wealth, his ruthlessness and his political relationship with the King. Wolsey was the richest man in the whole of England, ten times richer than his closest rival. His home, the awe inspiring Hampton Court, was described by renowned historian David Starkey as “quasi royal”. Foreign dignitaries and ambassadors would stay with Wolsey and he had over 500 members of staff. Wolsey made his money from his various positions within the clergy, his ecclesiastical courts and gifts from clients and patrons. Wolsey was also a very ruthless individual. He got rid of all threats and opposition and used his power to extract revenge on people. For example he sent Polydore Vergil to prison in 1515 for failing to gain Papal
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