Thomas Wolsey, (c. 1473-1530). English churchman and statesman. The son of a butcher, he was educated at Oxford and progressed rapidly in the church, be-coming archbishop of York in 1514 and a cardinal in 1515. As Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, Wolsey con-trolled both church and state. He made various alliances in Europe designed to further his ambition to become pope, which effectively brought about a decline in English power. Wolsey’s failure to obtain an annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon led to his downfall. In 1530 he was arrested for high treason but died on his way to London.
“I see the matter against me, how it is framed. But if I had served God as diligently as I have done the King, he would not have given me over in my grey hairs. Cardinal Wolsey to the Constable of the Tower of London, on his arrest for treason, 3 November 1530”