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Thomas Wolsey

(1472—1530) royal minister, archbishop of York, and cardinal


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(c. 1474–1530)

English prelate and statesman. Favoured by Henry VIII, he dominated foreign and domestic policy in the early part of Henry's reign and held positions as Archbishop of York (1514–30), cardinal (1515–30), and Lord Chancellor (1515–29). His main interest was foreign politics, in which he sought to increase England's influence in European affairs by holding the balance of power between the Holy Roman Empire and France. Wolsey incurred royal displeasure through his failure to secure the papal dispensation for Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon; he was arrested on a charge of treason and died on his way to trial in London.

Subjects: British History.


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