William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury Timeline 1450-1532

William Warham

Born – c.1450
Died – 22nd August 1532
Father – Robert Warham (c.1408 – 1487)
Mother – Elizabeth (c.1410 – 1487)
Spouse – None
Children – None
Archbishop of Canterbury 1503 – 1532


1450 (around)
William Warham was born to Robert Warham of Malshanger and his wife Elizabeth in Oakley, Hampshire. William had a number of siblings including a brother, Hugh.
1457 (around)
William attended Winchester College.
1475 (during)
William attended New College Oxford where he studied law.
1486 (during)
Warham graduated as a Doctor of Law.
1493 (during)
Warham took holy orders and was ordained as a priest.
1494 (during)
William Warham was appointed Master of the Rolls.
1496 (during)
Warham was appointed Archdeacon of Huntingdon.
1496 (during)
Warham formed part of the team negotiating the marriage of Prince Arthur to Catherine of Aragon.
1497 (30th September)
Treaty of Ayton
Warham was sent to Scotland with Richard Foxe to negotiate this peace treaty with Scotland which would be sealed with the marriage of James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor.
1501 (during)
William Warham was sent on a diplomatic mission to the court of Emperor Maximilian I.
1501 (20th October)
William Warham was appointed Bishop of London.
1501 (14th November)
Prince Arthur married Catherine of Aragon in St Paul’s Cathedral. The ceremony was conducted by Henry Deane, Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by William Warham, Bishop of London.
1502 (during)
William Warham became Lord Chancellor and Keeper of the Great Seal.
1502 (2nd April)
Arthur, Prince of Wales, died of a viral infection. Prince Henry became heir to the throne.
1503 (17th February)
Henry Deane, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.
1503 (29th November)
William Warham was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.
1506 (during)
Warham became Chancellor of Oxford University.
1509 (21st April)
After a long illness, King Henry VII, aged fifty-two years, died from tuberculosis at Richmond palace, Surrey. His son, Henry became King Henry VIII.
1509 (11th June)
King Henry VIII married his brother’s widow, Catherine of Aragon in the church of Greenwich Palace. As Archbishop of Canterbury, Warham performed the service.
1509 (24th June)
Henry was crowned King Henry VIII and Catherine was crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey. Henry sat in Edward I’s coronation chair to receive the crown of Edward the Confessor. The service was conducted by William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury.
1511 (during)
William Warham and Richard Foxe, Bishop of Winchester did not support Henry’s plans for war with France and fell from favour. Thomas Wolsey used the opportunity to become Henry VIII’s most trusted advisor.
1514 (during)
Thomas Wolsey was consecrated as Bishop of Lincoln by William Warham.
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)
William Warham resigned as Lord Chancellor. Thomas Wolsey was appointed to the position.
1520 (7th – 24th June)
Field of the Cloth of Gold
Warham travelled to France for this lavish summit meeting between King Henry VIII and Francis I of France.
1527 (during)
King Henry VIII had decided that his lack of male heir was punishment from God for marrying his brother’s wife and that, as such, the marriage was invalid. He was also pursuing Anne Boleyn who would only submit her virginity to her husband.
1527 (during)
Hans Holbein the Younger painted a portrait of William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury.
1527 (during)
Warham assisted Wolsey in making a case for the divorce of Henry VIII from Catherine of Aragon.
1528 (early October)
William Warham was one of those chosen by Catherine of Aragon to represent her in the divorce case. However, Warham was concerned about upsetting the King and was of little assistance to the Queen.
17th October 1529
Henry VIII removed Cardinal Wolsey from the post of Chancellor due to his failure to secure his divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
1530 (July)
Warham was one of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal that signed a petition calling for the Pope to annul the King of England’s marriage. The petition also warned the Pope of the consequences of not annulling the marriage.
29th November 1530
Thomas Wolsey died en-route to London to be tried for treason.
1531 (11th February)
Despite resistance from some members of the clergy, an Act was passed which confirmed that Henry was now Supreme Head of the Church in England. Henry proclaimed that the Pope should now be referred to as The Bishop of Rome. Warham accepted the act but added the clause ‘as far as the law of Christ allows’.
1531 (24th February)
Warham made a statement that the acts of the King since November 1529 ‘violated the rights of Rome’.
1532 (15th May)
Submission of the Clergy
This was a short document which made three concessions: 1. The clergy would make no new laws without the consent of the monarch. 2. The clergy would allow all existing ecclesiastical laws to be reviewed by a deputation appointed by the King. 3. Convocation would not meet without royal permission. The document had to be signed by all the clergy and it was done so, reluctantly by many.
1532 (June)
William Warham was served a writ of praemunire (acting above his authority against that of the Monarch) by Henry. Although he had signed the Submission of the Clergy, Warham had made it clear that he would not sanction acts of Parliament against the power of the church.
1532 (22nd August)
William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, aged 82 years, died. It is likely that he would have been tried and executed for treason had he not died.


Published May 15, 2021 @ 12:36 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2021). William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1450 – 1532.

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