On 29 November 1530, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey died in disgrace at Leicester Abbey. From humble beginnings, through his fierce intellect, shrewd political instinct and diligence, Wolsey rose up through Tudor society from nowhere to become the most powerful and influential man in England as Henry VIII’s first minister.
Taking the administrative strain from the young king, Henry was freed to enjoy the finer pleasures of kingship. Wolsey's capability in serving Henry VIII brought him both wealth and status, while his power and closeness to the monarch garnered enemies from jealous contemporaries of noble birth.
Wolsey remained beyond their reach until a certain young woman captured the king’s heart. Unable to bring about an annulment of Henry’s marriage to Katherine of Aragon in order to clear the way for Anne Boleyn to marry the king, Wolsey’s position was fatally undermined. Exiled firstly to York and the archepiscopal residence at Cawood, Cardinal Wolsey would eventually be arrested for treason, dying en route at Leicester Abbey on 29 November 1530.
Intellectual and capable…pompous and vain: whatever you think of him, Wolsey was an extraordinary statesman and was a leading patron of the arts in his day. In this virtual summit, we will unwrap Wolsey’s story and follow it from cradle to grave. We will explore his early beginnings, his rise to power, his catastrophic involvement in the King’s Great Matter, his patronage of art and architecture, and finally his dramatic fall from grace.
The Tudor Travel Guide’s ‘The Rise and Fall of Cardinal Wolsey’ virtual summit will run over the weekend 28-29 November to commemorate Wolsey’s death 490 years ago. We have some fabulous speakers and registration is FREE! If you wish to reserve your spot, simply click on the blue button ‘Book My Seat For the Free Summit!’ and fill in your details.
I am also delighted to announce that everybody who registers will receive two free book chapters from Professor Glenn Richardson’s new book, 'Wolsey' published earlier this year. PLUS, there will also be a book bundle giveaway to one lucky registrant, drawn at the end of the summit. Included in this giveaway will be a signed copy of the aforementioned book, Wolsey' by Glenn Richardson; Our Man in Rome: Henry VIII and his Italian Ambassador, by Catherine Fletcher and In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII by Sarah Morris and Natalie Grueninger.