Cardinal Thomas Wolsey Timeline 1473-1530

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey

Born – c. 1484
Died – 29th November 1530
Father – Robert Wolsey
Mother – Joan Daundy
Spouse – Joan Larke
Children – Thomas Wynter, Dorothy
Known to History – Chancellor of England 1515 – 1529


1473 (March)
Thomas Wolsey was born to Robert Wolsey and Joan Daundy at Ipswich, Suffolk. Robert Wolsey was a butcher.
1478 (around)
Thomas Wolsey began his education at Ipswich school.
1484 (around)
Thomas attended Magdalen College, Oxford.
1488 (around)
Thomas Wolsey graduated with a degree in Theology.
1489 (around)
Thomas Wolsey found work as a bursar at Magdalen College.
1498 (10th March)
Thomas Wolsey was ordained as a priest in Marlborough, Wiltshire. He took up the position as Master at Magdalen College School.
1498 (late)
Thomas Wolsey was appointed Dean of Divinity at Magdalen College School.
1500 (during)
Thomas Wolsey became rector of St Mary’s Church, Limington, Somerset.
1502 (during)
Thomas Wolsey became chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Henry Deane.
1503 (15th February)
Henry Deane, Archbishop of Canterbury, died. Wolsey then became chaplain to Sir Richard Nanfan.
1507 (during)
Thomas Wolsey’s patron, Sir Richard Nanfan, died.
1507 (during)
Thomas Wolsey entered the service of King Henry VII as secretary to Richard Foxe, one of Henry’s chief ministers. At the time of his appointment, King Henry VII was keen to reduce the power of the nobility and Thomas, who was from humble beginnings, benefited from this.
1508 (March)
Richard Foxe sent Wolsey to Scotland to investigate rumours that King James IV of Scotland was intending to renew the Auld Alliance with France.
1508 (2nd April)
Thomas met with James IV but was unable to persuade the Scottish King to abandon the Auld Alliance.
1508 (October)
Henry VII sent Wolsey to the Netherlands to negotiate a marriage between Henry and Margaret of Austria. Wolsey was unable to secure a marriage contract.
1509 (February)
Wolsey was created Dean of Lincoln Cathedral.
1509 (21st April)
King Henry VII died. He was succeeded by his son, Henry who took the throne as King Henry VIII.
1509 (11th June)
Henry VIII married his brother’s widow, Catherine of Aragon. A papal dispensation had been obtained to allow the marriage to go ahead. It had been granted on the word of Catherine that she was still a virgin.
1509 (24th June)
Henry was crowned King Henry VIII and Catherine was crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey.
1509 (late June)
As King, Henry took no part in the government of the country and would only attend to necessary state matters at a time that suited him, generally after he had hunted or played sport.
1509 (November)
Wolsey was appointed King’s Almoner after being recommended for the position by Richard Foxe.
1510 (during)
A son, Thomas Wynter, was born to Thomas Wolsey and his common-law wife Joan Larke.
1510 (April)
Thomas Wolsey became a Knight of the Garter and a member of the privy council
1511 (1st January)
A son, Henry, was born to Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Guns were fired from the Tower of London and the city bells were rung. Beacons were lit to announce the royal birth to the country.
1511 (22nd February)
Prince Henry died at Richmond Palace. Both King and Queen were deeply upset. The infant prince was buried in Westminster Abbey.
1511 (during)
Although he was opposed to war, Wolsey supported the King’s move to invade France.
1511 (during)
Richard Foxe, Bishop of Winchester and Archbishop of Canterbury, William Warham, did not support war with France and fell from favour. Wolsey used the opportunity to become Henry VIII’s most trusted advisor.
1511 (during)
Pope Julius II called for support in the face of being threatened by France. Wolsey used this to justify war against France and took England into an alliance with the Pope, Ferdinand V of Spain and Maximilian I against Louis XII of France.
1511 (during)
Thomas Wolsey became Canon of Windsor.
1511 (Autumn)
Thomas Wolsey became a member of the King’s council. Henry was impressed with the way that he handled governmental matters quickly and efficiently.
1511 (13th November)
Holy League
England joined the Holy League of Spain, Venice and the Pope. King Henry hoped this move would help him to conquer lands in France.
1511 (17th November)
The Treaty of Westminster
This was signed by King Henry VIII and Ferdinand of Spain. The Treaty agreed that both England and Spain would attack France before the end of April 1512.
1512 (during)
A daughter, Dorothy, was born to Thomas Wolsey and his common-law wife Joan Larke.
1512 (April)
England declared war on France.
1512 (7th April)
The Lord High Admiral, Sir Edward Howard, was commissioned to command a fleet of eighteen ships. He was told to harass French ships and threaten the French coast to prevent any French naval attack on England.
1512 (7th June)
An English naval force commanded by the Marquis of Dorset landed at San Sebastian in Spain. They were to join forces with Spain to attack France.
1512 (July)
Ferdinand of Spain abandoned the English army once he had secured Navarre. The English soldiers had few supplies and resorted to drinking quantities of Spanish wine which made them ill. In the insanitary conditions of the makeshift camp many contracted dysentery and died.
1512 (10th August)
The Battle of Brest
Edward Howard, Lord Admiral, attacked the French fleet off Brest in Northern France. The Battle was won by the English.
1512 (late October)
Thomas Wolsey drew up plans for the forthcoming invasion of France.
1513 (Spring)
The English army left for France.
1513 (30th June)
Henry set sail from Dover bound for Calais. When he reached Calais tournaments and celebrations were held for his safe arrival.
1513 (4th August)
King Henry joined the siege of Therouanne. He ordered that prefabricated buildings be put up so that he could live in as much splendour as possible.
1513 (12th August)
Scotland declared war on England
1513 (16th August)
Battle of the Spurs
A French army of around 15,000 approached the English army laying siege to Therouanne and Henry ordered the English to attack. The two sides met near the village of Borny. The French, seeing the approaching English army turned and fled leading the battle to be dubbed ‘The Battle of the Spurs.’ Many French noblemen were captured and held for ransom.
1513 (22nd August)
James IV of Scotland marched into England at the head of a 20,000 army
1513 (24th August)
Henry took the town of Therouanne in France. Wolsey’s ability to manage supplies for the English army was instrumental in the English victory.
1513 (late August)
Henry left Therouanne and marched to Tournai
1513 (9th September)
Battle of Flodden Field
This battle between the Scots and the English saw the Scots easily defeated. Many, including James IV being killed. His seventeen month old son became King James V.
1513 (15th September)
Siege of Tournai
The English army laid siege to the French town of Tournai
1513 (21st September)
Tournai fell to the English.
1513 (17th October)
Treaty of Lille
With winter approaching the English were unable to make further gains in France this year and so a new treaty was agreed between Henry, Ferdinand of Spain and Maximillian, Holy Roman Emperor, to make a new invasion of France the following year. The treaty was to be sealed by the marriage of Henry’s sister, Mary to Ferdinand’s grandson, Charles.
1514 (April)
Henry learned that despite agreeing to the terms of the Treaty of Lille in 1513, Ferdinand of Spain was making no move to prepare to invade France. Henry therefore decided to make peace with France. Wolsey was a key negotiator for this treaty which allowed England to keep Tournai and gain a pension from France. The peace was to be sealed with the marriage of Henry’s younger sister Mary to King Louis XII.
1514 (during)
Thomas Wolsey became Bishop of Lincoln.
1514 (15th September)
Thomas Wolsey became Archbishop of York.
1514 (9th October)
Henry VIII’s sister, Mary, married Louis XII of France.
1514 (December)
Louis XII of France died. He was succeeded by Francis I.
1515 (January)
Thomas Wolsey acquired Hampton Court
1515 (during)
Wolsey imprisoned the Earl of Northumberland.
1515 (5th April)
The Treaty of Paris agreed a renewed peace between France and England.
1515 (10th September)
Pope Leo X created Thomas Wolsey a cardinal.
1515 (18th November)
Thomas Wolsey was officially created a cardinal by William Warham. The ceremony took place in St Paul’s cathedral.
1515 (22nd December)
Thomas Wolsey became Lord Chancellor after William Warham resigned.
1516 (during)
Wolsey accused Lord Abergavenny of illegal retaining.
1516 (during)
England’s ally, Ferdinand of Spain, father of Catherine of Aragon, died. Ferdinand’s successor, Charles V made peace with France. This isolated England.
1516 (18th February)
Queen Catherine gave birth to a healthy baby girl at Greenwich Palace. The child was named Mary.
1516 (21st February)
Princess Mary was christened. Thomas Wolsey was chosen to be one of her godparents.
1517 (1st May)
Evil May Day
The people of London had become increasingly hostile towards the numbers of foreigners in the capital. Londoners claimed that the foreigners stole their jobs and used up English resources and food. During the May Day celebrations riots broke out. Despite attempts for peace the riots continued into the night when the King sent instructions for Norfolk to raise an army to stop the riots.
1517 (5th May)
279 people were charged with treason for their part in the May Day riots. Fifteen Londoners were found guilty of inciting the riot and were sentenced to be executed, the rest were pardoned.
1517 (early Summer)
Francis I of France, worried that the treaty between England and Burgundy might threaten France, began negotiating for peace between England and France.
1517 (June)
The Treaty of Rouen
This treaty provided peace and mutual aid between France and Scotland. This treaty meant that if England were to attack Scotland then France would launch a counter-attack on England.
1517 (31st October)
In Germany, Martin Luther published his ninety-five thesis in Wittenberg. His protest against indulgencies by the Catholic church was the beginning of the Protestant religion.
1518 (during)
The Pope requested that Cardinal Campeggio be allowed to enter England to negotiate terms for a peace in Europe. Thomas Wolsey refused to allow entry unless he was created a papal legate and could meet the cardinal on equal grounds. The Pope duly appointed Wolsey Papal Legate in England.
1518 (during)
Thomas Wolsey enforced his policy of ‘Just Price’ which sought to regulate the price of meat in London and other cities. Thomas Wolsey used the court of Star Chamber to prosecute those accused of price hiking.
1518 (April)
Francis I of France asked for peace negotiations with England to be re-opened.
1518 (Summer)
Thomas Wolsey was appointed bishop of Bath and Wells.
1518 (24th September)
French officials, Bonnivet, Admiral of France and the Bishop of Paris arrived in England to discuss terms for a peace between the two countries.
1518 (27th September)
The visiting French officials were received at Blackheath where they were entertained with a banquet and pageant.
1518 (30th September)
Terms were agreed for the return of Tournai to France and a peace between the two nations.
1518 (2nd October)
The Treaty of London
Thomas Wolsey was instrumental in securing this treaty which provided that France and England would live in peace and not invade each others territories. The treaty was to be sealed with the marriage of the Dauphin of France and Princess Mary. Tournai would be returned to France before the end of November.
1519 (date unknown)
Henry began an affair with Thomas Boleyn’s eldest daughter, Mary
1519 (during)
Thomas Wolsey arranged for his common-law wife, Joan Larke to be married to George Legh of Adlington, Cheshire. Wolsey provided his dowry.
1519 (12th January)
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, died.
1519 (28th June)
Charles V of Spain was elected Holy Roman Emperor. Francis I was furious because he had spent a lot of money on bribes and had expected to be elected himself.
1519 (Autumn)
Wolsey began negotiations for a summit meeting between Henry VIII and Francis I.
1520 (February)
Wolsey took control of arrangements for the forthcoming summit meeting between Henry and Francis I. It was decided that the meeting would take place in the no man’s land between English Guisnes and French Ardres.
1520 (27th May)
King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon met Charles V. It was the first time that Catherine had met her nephew. Henry and Charles had secret talks which were followed by a banquet and dancing.
1520 (11th – 22nd June)
Field of the Cloth of Gold
This was the name given to the summit meeting between Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France. It gained its name because a large number of cloth of gold tents had been erected in the no man’s land between English Guisnes and French Ardres. Henry stayed in a temporary palace which had a stone base and walls of half timber, half brick. The palace was constructed with a central courtyard and had a magnificent fountain in front. Tournaments, jousts, banquets and dancing celebrated the meeting between the two kings.
1521 (17th May)
Wolsey was instrumental in the fall of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham had been charged and found guilty of plotting to take the throne for himself. He was executed.
1521 (25th August)
Treaty of Bruges
This was a treaty between England and Spain which agreed that Henry would keep the Channel clear thus allowing Charles free passage between Netherlands and Spain. In return Charles agreed to allow a safe crossing of the Channel for English vessels between England and Calais. It was also agreed that Henry and Charles would jointly invade France before 15th May 1523.
1522 (9th January)
Adrian Dedel of Utrecht was elected Pope Adrian IV. Wolsey was dismayed because Charles V had agreed to support him for Pope.
1522 (19th June)
Treaty of Windsor
This treaty between England and Spain was an extension of the Treaty of Bruges 25th August 1521. Princess Mary and Charles V were formally betrothed in the presence of the English court.
1523 (during)
Thomas Wolsey became Bishop of Durham.
1523 (31st August)
Thomas Wolsey’s son, Thomas Wynter, was appointed Archdeacon of York.
1523 (Autumn)
Thomas Wolsey discovered that Henry Percy had made a secret betrothal to Anne Boleyn. Percy, who was already betrothed to Mary Talbot, was forbidden to see Anne Boleyn and sent back to his homeland of Northumberland to marry Mary Talbot. Anne Boleyn was furious and swore to seek revenge on Wolsey.
1524 (during)
Henry began to have serious doubts about the validity of his marriage. He believed that God was punishing him for marrying his brother’s wife
1524 (during)
Thomas Wolsey was created Papal Legate for life.
1524 (during)
Thomas Wolsey began dissolving a number of monasteries that had declined in practice. He appointed the lawyer, Thomas Cromwell, to arrange the selling of the monasteries’ lands and possessions.
1524 (during)
Thomas Wolsey established Cardinal College, Oxford.
1525 (early)
Anne Boleyn had attracted the attention of the poet Thomas Wyatt. This meant that she was drawn into the King’s circle at court.
1525 (during)
When he learned that Francis I had been captured by Charles V, Henry VIII wanted to go to war against France to take the French crown.
1525 (March)
Amicable Grant
After parliament refused to grant Henry VIII taxes to go to war with France, Wolsey introduced the Amicable Grant. It was not well received and there were riots in East Anglia.
1525 (late June)
King Henry was angry with Charles V when he formally renounced his betrothal to Princess Mary.
1525 (Summer)
The Ordinances of Eltham were used by Wolsey to reorganise the Royal household. During the reorganisation a number of Catherine’s women, who did not agree with his policies, were dismissed.
1525 (20th August)
Treaty of the More
This peace treaty with France was signed by Louise of Savoy, regent of France during Francis I’s captivity and Wolsey.
1526 (during)
League of Cognac
Wolsey worked with the Papacy to form an alliance between France and the Italian states.
1526 (during)
Eltham Ordinances
Wolsey introduced administrative reforms including reducing the number of members of the Privy Council. He used this reduction to reduce Sir William Compton and Nicholas Carew, Henry’s close friends, from the Privy Council.
1526 (January)
Thomas Wolsey’s son, Thomas Wynter, was appointed Dean of Wells.
1526 (February)
Henry VIII aged 35 years asked Anne Boleyn aged 19 years to become his mistress. He was amazed when she refused saying that she would only surrender her virginity to the man she married.
1526 (8th August)
A treaty was signed by France and England that agreed that neither country would deal with Charles on an individual basis.
1527 (during)
Thomas Wolsey founded a grammar school in Ipswich.
1527 (during)
Thomas Wolsey prosecuted Henry’s friend, William Compton, and Anne Stafford for adultery. Anne Stafford, Countess of Huntingdon, was a former mistress of the King.
1527 (early March)
French ambassadors arrived in England to negotiate terms for peace and a marriage between England and France. Negotiations were suspended when the Bishop of Tarbes questioned the validity of Henry’s marriage, having married his brother’s widow, and the legitimacy of Princess Mary.
1527 (30th April)
Treaty of Westminster
This treaty agreed that an Anglo/French embassy would be sent to Spain to negotiate the release of Francis II’s two sons, the repayment of Charles’ debt to England and peace in Europe. Henry also agreed to give up all claims to the French throne in return for a yearly payment by France.
1527 (Late Spring)
King Henry VIII had become convinced that his lack of male heir was a punishment from God for marrying his brother’s wife. Wolsey was told to obtain an annulment of his marriage so that he could marry Anne Boleyn, one of the Queen’s maids of honour who he had fallen in love with.
1527 (late Spring)
Wolsey was kept busy trying to find evidence that would further Henry’s divorce. His line of enquiry centred around trying to find out whether or not Catherine’s marriage with Prince Arthur had been consummated. He also tried to find evidence that Henry had been coerced into a marriage with Catherine. Eventually Wolsey came up with a plan. He would use his power as papal legate to summon Henry to appear before an ecclesiastical court which he would preside over. Henry would be charged with cohabiting with his brother’s widow and would plead guilty to the charge. The court would then order him to separate from Catherine and the marriage would be declared invalid.
1527 (late Spring)
Anne Boleyn returned to court. She was given beautiful apartments and showered with jewellery and fine clothes. She had accepted Henry’s proposal to marry as soon as he was divorced from Catherine.
1527 (6th May)
The Greenwich Reception was held to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Westminster. It was held in the newly finished extension to Greenwich Palace and included a joust followed by a banquet and dancing.
1527 (6th May)
Sack of Rome
The forces of Charles V sacked the city of Rome and took Pope Clement VII prisoner.
1527 (17th May)
An ecclesiastical court was convened at Wolsey’s Palace, York Place. Henry was summoned and admitted the charge of marrying his brother’s widow. The court was adjourned to consider the case.
1527 (31st May)
Despite Wolsey’s best efforts the ecclesiastical court convened to try Henry’s marriage was unable to reach a decision regarding the King’s marriage. The commissioners decided that since any decision they made could be overturned by the Pope the case should be referred to Rome.
The fact that the Pope was under the control of Charles V, Catherine’s nephew, meant it was unlikely that Pope Clement VII would find in Henry’s favour.
1527 (June)
John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, declared himself to be against an annulment of the King’s marriage.
1527 (22nd June)
Henry told Catherine that they must separate because they had been living in sin. He asked for her cooperation and said that she could choose a house to retire to until the matter was resolved. Catherine was very upset and told Henry that her marriage to him was lawful and that she would resist any move to have the marriage annulled.
1527 (Summer)
Thomas More told Henry that he believed the marriage with Catherine was lawful.
1527 (11th July)
An embassy of 1,000 headed by Wolsey left England to meet with Francis I at Abbeville. Wolsey talked to Francis about the King’s ‘Great Matter’ as the divorce was referred to and, unaware of Henry’s plans to marry Anne Boleyn, talked of a possibility of a French bride for Henry.
1527 (August)
The realisation that Henry intended to marry Anne Boleyn left Wolsey in a difficult position for he was working to secure the rise of Anne Boleyn who had sworn revenge on Wolsey after he had broken up her relationship with Henry Percy in 1521.
1527 (Autumn)
The harvest was very bad, something that was blamed on Henry VIII seeking a divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Wolsey prevented civil disturbance by buying up grain to distribute to the poor people.
1527 (late September)
Henry began to consider the warnings of the Boleyn family that Wolsey was working for his own interests rather than those of the King. The news that Wolsey had detained Knight on route to Rome added to Henry’s concerns about Wolsey.
1527 (October)
Charles V told Pope Clement VII that he should take no steps that would further the annulment of his aunt’s marriage.
1527 (December)
The Pope had negotiated his freedom from Charles V but was reluctant to offend Charles by furthering Henry’s divorce. Additionally, Clement VII like many other theologians did not believe that the passage in Leviticus applied if the brother had died. Although he received Dr William Knight he told him to tell Henry that he was unable to annul the marriage at this time.
1528 (January)
Wolsey received a General Commission from the Pope allowing him to try the King’s marriage in England. However, he was not allowed to pass judgement. Wolsey replied to the Pope asking that the legate Campeggio be sent to England to pass judgement on the case.
1528 (23rd March)
The Pope agreed to send Cardinal Campeggio to England to try the King’s marriage.
1528 (23rd March)
Pope Clement VII appointed Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio to examine the facts regarding the King of England’s marriage.
1528 (Late Spring)
Campeggio was instructed by the Pope that his main objective in England was to delay any hearing of the King’s marriage case. He was also given a decretal commission that would allow him to declare the marriage null and void if the facts warranted and give both parties license to remarry.
1528 (August)
Wolsey met Catherine’s almoner, Robert Shorton. Shorton insisted that Catherine’s first marriage had not been consummated and stated that there were Papal bulls in Spain which allowed Catherine and Henry to marry despite any impediment. Wolsey told Shorton to impress upon Catherine that she should retire to a convent leaving Henry free to remarry.
1528 (29th September)
Cardinal Campeggio reached Dover. He had been delayed by storms and heavy rainfall. Campeggio refused a state welcome preferring to travel quietly to London. Wolsey and Campeggio met and Wolsey was astounded to learn that Campeggio intended trying to effect a reconciliation between Catherine and Henry before he would even consider hearing the case.
1528 (Autumn)
The Boleyn faction were intent on working to see Wolsey fall from favour. They made pointed comments in Henry’s presence about the lavishness of Wolsey’s ‘court’. Wolsey became concerned about losing favour with Henry and so made Henry a gift of Hampton Court Palace.
1528 (24th October)
Campeggio met Catherine and advised her to enter a convent and retire gracefully. However, Catherine made it clear that her first marriage had been unconsummated and that she intended to live and die a married woman.
1528 (late October)
Catherine stated that she would not accept the findings of Wolsey and Campeggio’s court and that she would only accept the findings of the Pope himself. Campeggio was annoyed that Catherine would not retire to a convent and felt that she was compromising the position of himself and the Pope since the case would necessitate questions of theology and the relationship of theologians and God.
1528 (late November)
Wolsey wrote to Catherine telling her that the copy of the Papal dispensation she had in her possession was useless since no court would recognise a copy. He told her that she had to send to Spain and have the original brought to England for the court to see. Catherine was worried that if the original was brought to England it would be destroyed.
1528 (December)
Wolsey noticed that he was invited to court much less than he had been in the past.
1529 (during)
England was once again isolated when the French made peace with Charles V.
1529 (during)
Thomas Wolsey exchanged his bishopric of Durham for that of Winchester, the richest see in England
1529 (31st May)
Wolsey and Campeggio opened the legatine court at Blackfriars. Henry and Catherine were summoned to appear before the court on 18th June.
1529 (16th June)
Catherine made formal protest to Rome against the Legatine Court.
1529 (Summer)
Wolsey continued to fall from favour. Henry declined an invitation to entertainments at The More, Wolsey’s private home and Wolsey was not invited to join the court at Woodstock during the summer.
1529 (mid July)
Henry ordered the legates to visit Catherine and persuade her to submit to his wishes. Catherine was reluctant to receive them privately saying that they could speak freely in front of her women. Despite their persuasions she maintained her belief in the legitimacy of her marriage.
1529 (16th July)
Pope Clement VII decided to revoke the commission granted to Wolsey and Campeggio and refer the King’s divorce case to Rome.
1529 (22nd July)
News of the Pope’s decision reached England. Wolsey was very worried as to the King’s reaction to the news.
1529 (late July)
Wolsey wrote letters to the Pope begging him to return the legatine authority. He also wrote letters to Charles V begging him to allow Henry to divorce Catherine and letters to Catherine begging her for the sake of the country to enter a convent. Wolsey knew that if no new move were made he would be finished.
1529 (August)
Henry was furious when he received a summons from Rome to appear before the papal curia. He was becoming aware that the Pope may never grant him a divorce. He realised that he needed to find another solution.
1529 (early August)
Bishops Fox and Gardiner suggested that Henry listen to the ideas of Thomas Cranmer who believed that Henry might have more luck securing his divorce if the validity of his marriage was tried by theologians in the universities rather than canon lawyers in ecclesiastical courts.
1529 (18th September)
Wolsey hoped to win back favour with Henry when he escorted Campeggio to Grafton. However, Wolsey was dismayed to find that no accommodation had been provided for him. Although he spoke to the King Henry made it plain that he was angry that the divorce matter had not been settled speedily.
1529 (Autumn)
Thomas Cranmer was summoned to appear before the King. He told him that it was his opinion that the marriage should be tried by the Doctors of Divinity in the universities for it was them that studied the Bible and were therefore better qualified to discuss its meaning. If the marriage was found to be invalid then all that would be needed was for the Archbishop of Canterbury to pronounce the King a free man. Henry was impressed with the idea and ordered Cranmer to set aside all other work and devote himself to the divorce.
1529 (9th October)
Henry now had no further use for Wolsey and so he was summoned to appear before judges to answer a charge of praemunire (exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction without the King’s permission)
1529 (22nd October)
Wolsey pleaded guilty to the charge of praemunire. He surrendered York Place as well as “the lands, offices, goods, all temporal possessions, all debts due and all arrears of pensions” to the King. Wolsey told his household officers that they were to make detailed inventories of each room, closet and cupboard.
1529 (24th October)
The dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk were sent by Henry to take back the Great Seal from Wolsey. Wolsey knew that this act meant that he was finished and there was no hope of regaining favour with the King. Wolsey left for Esher taking with him just a few trusted servants.
1529 (30th October)
Although he had written to the King begging for mercy Wolsey was stripped of all his offices except Archbishop of York. Wolsey began a journey north to the province of York which he had never seen in the sixteen years he had been archbishop.
1529 (during)
Wolsey was arrested. He was stripped of his government responsibilities and Henry took Hampton Court for himself. Wolsey was allowed to continue as Archbishop of York.
1529 (during)
Wolsey began the journey north to take up his seat as Archbishop of York.
1530 (January)
Thomas Wolsey was taken ill at Esher. Henry sent three of his own physicians to tend Wolsey.
1530 (March)
Wolsey was told that as Archbishop of York he must now go to his diocese of York.
1530 (June)
Wolsey wrote letters to Francis I and Charles V hoping to secure their aid to bring about Anne Boleyn’s downfall. However, neither expressed interest in Wolsey’s plans.
1530 (20th July)
Henry ordered that Wolsey’s college at Ipswich be dissolved. Although Wolsey protested the college was closed and subsequently demolished.
1530 (September)
Wolsey left Nottinghamshire to make the journey north to York. He took up residence in Cawood palace to await his official enthronement as Archbishop of York on 7th November. Crowds of people accompanied Wolsey on his journey and rumours spread that Wolsey would lead a revolt against the King.
1530 (23rd October)
Henry discovered that Wolsey had been trying to bring about Anne Boleyn’s downfall. Henry saw this as working against the King.
1530 (1st November)
A warrant for Wolsey’s arrest was drawn up. It was sent to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, who was instructed to arrest Wolsey and bring him to London.
1530 (4th November)
Henry Percy arrived at Cawood Palace where he told Wolsey that he was arresting him in the name of the King.
1530 (6th November)
Henry Percy and Thomas Wolsey began the journey south. Wolsey’s health deteriorated rapidly during the journey.
1530 (29th November)
Thomas Wolsey died at 8 a.m. at the Abbey of St Mary in Leicester.


Published May 14, 2019 @ 1:35 pm – Updated –¬†[last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2019 – 2020). Cardinal Thomas Wolsey 1473 – 1530. Available: http://www.thetimelinegeek Last accessed [date]


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