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Old July 10th, 2018, 09:45 AM   #11
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It was almost certainly Wolsey's failure to secure Henry's divorce that caused his downfall, but having a palace better than the king doesn't help. Hampton Court was such a des res Henry took it for himself.
The king allowed Wolsey to remain archbishop of York and he died on his return to London to face a charge of treason.
If Wolsey gets the divorce then there is no split from Rome and he renains untouchable. One Henry makes the Pope an enemy, he has no worries about disposing of his chief minister, and can take all his wealth for himself. It also leaves the Cardinal with the choice of supporting his master in Rome or his king in England; he can no longer serve both. Accusing him of treason effectively makes this point moot; Henry liked to call treason on those he wished to dispose of.
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Old July 10th, 2018, 10:51 AM   #12
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I wonder if Wolsey knew such a fate was likely? Given Henry VIII's initial purge of Empson and Dudley, who had merely been following his father's instructions, it was clearly apparent that he would reward loyal service with death at the first convenience.
It really is amazing that such a man attracted so many capable administrators, because the risks of being in his court were so high. Men like Cromwell or Wolsey could have excelled in any other field, and probably been far safer for it.
Greed and the seduction of power.

If you want an even clearer example what about Henry's wives? surely two executed wives was enough to put off the other but they still did.

I agree with the other poster as well that as far as Wolsey was concerned, he was a prince of the Church and relatively untouchable.

His exposure came from Henry turning his back on Rome leaving him without protection.
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Old July 10th, 2018, 12:35 PM   #13

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If Wolsey gets the divorce then there is no split from Rome and he renains untouchable. One Henry makes the Pope an enemy, he has no worries about disposing of his chief minister, and can take all his wealth for himself. It also leaves the Cardinal with the choice of supporting his master in Rome or his king in England; he can no longer serve both. Accusing him of treason effectively makes this point moot; Henry liked to call treason on those he wished to dispose of.
The king stripped Wolsey of his titles and packed him off to York without a prison sentence. It was Wolsey's letters to the Pope that caused his downfall.
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Old July 10th, 2018, 12:37 PM   #14

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If Wolsey gets the divorce then there is no split from Rome and he renains untouchable. One Henry makes the Pope an enemy, he has no worries about disposing of his chief minister, and can take all his wealth for himself. It also leaves the Cardinal with the choice of supporting his master in Rome or his king in England; he can no longer serve both. Accusing him of treason effectively makes this point moot; Henry liked to call treason on those he wished to dispose of.
The king stripped Wolsey of his titles and packed him off to York without a prison sentence. It was Wolsey's letters to the Pope that caused his summons to answer the charge of treason.
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Old July 12th, 2018, 04:20 AM   #15
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The king stripped Wolsey of his titles and packed him off to York without a prison sentence. It was Wolsey's letters to the Pope that caused his summons to answer the charge of treason.
This is true - something I should've mentioned to be honest.
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Old July 12th, 2018, 04:50 AM   #16

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Wolseys climb to power was as remarkable as his fall from grace. Henry must have been aware the extent to which Wolsey was making vast sums of money on the side, the building of magnificent palaces like Hampton Court don't come cheap after all.
In addition to his skill as an diplomat, administrator and dependability, he had one other saving grace. He was a commoner and every high titled noble in the land hated him. The aristocracy were used to holding high office themselves and would not plot and plan with a man of his low born status.
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Old July 12th, 2018, 04:57 AM   #17
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The king stripped Wolsey of his titles and packed him off to York without a prison sentence. It was Wolsey's letters to the Pope that caused his summons to answer the charge of treason.
Well recalled, Wolsey was at fault for his own demise by basically digging his ditch even deeper, such was the ambition and intrigues a king has to deal with.

Honestly I can see why Henry had so many executed, humans don't learn very easily when it comes to their own greed and desires.

If Wolsey had just played it straight he could of stashed enough away over his time in office to retire and live a good life, his undoing was not accepting Henry's decree to retire and stay out of politics.
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Old July 12th, 2018, 02:36 PM   #18
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Wolsley 'middle classs?--I disagree .He certainly became middle class once he attained power but he was born an Ipswich butcher's son.
AT least all the school textbooks I studied 60 years ago said that.
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Old July 12th, 2018, 03:29 PM   #19
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Wolsley 'middle classs?--I disagree .He certainly became middle class once he attained power but he was born an Ipswich butcher's son.
AT least all the school textbooks I studied 60 years ago said that.
He became maybe the second wealthiest man in the kingdom and definitely the second most powerful, which probably didn't make him upper class in class conscience England.

A butcher was considered lower middle class. He obtained some secondary education, which enabled him to get a scholarship at Oxford. Shakespeare and Marlowe were both tradesman's sons with some classical education. Like Wolsey, Marlowe went to Cambridge on a scholarship.

I would consider workers and peasants lower class in terms of occupation. Tradesmen and yeoman farmers were lower middle class. Silversmiths and pharmacists might have been a little higher up than butchers, but it would have been much harder for a peasant's son to become a cardinal.
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Old July 12th, 2018, 09:11 PM   #20
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Wolsey became one of the most powerful and influential ministers there have ever been, thanks to Henry's general lack of interest in governing tbe country as a young man and also his faith in his chief minister; also the fact that he did a very good job of it.

Once Henry got a bit older and started to take more of a hand in politics, Wolsey had already made his fortune, had his palace and his fingers in all the pies. It must also have been dificult for him to secede power to someone less capable than himself. Previously as long as Henry had the money to lavish on his entertainments and to provide for his military expeditions, he was happy to let Wolsey get on with it. Now suddenly he was being asked to challenge not only his own beliefs but to also to challenge the authority of his other master in Rome. He could also see that Henry's questionable course of action to seek an anullment from the Pope would lead to uneccessary problems both at home and in international politics with both France and Spain; especially frustrating when he had spent much time and effort on strengthening rations with them.
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