Thomas Cromwell – a brief summary

Like his mentor Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell came from a modest background: his father was variously a cloth merchant, fuller and blacksmith, and the owner of both a brewery and a hostelry (where he allegedly watered down the beer). Born around 1485 in Putney, Cromwell’s birthplace is now, ironically, where the Green Man public house stands. He acknowledged that he had been a ‘ruffian in his younger days’, when he left his family for the Continent and became a mercenary who marched with the French army. He later entered the household of the Florentine banker, Francesco Frescobaldi.

Thomas CromwellReturning to England, he married Elizabeth Wyckes and had three children. In 1523, he became a member of the House of Commons, and in 1524, he was elected as a member of Gray’s Inn and entered the service of Cardinal Wolsey. He served Wolsey as his lawyer and was heavily involved in the dissolution of nearly thirty monasteries, which raised the funds to found both The King’s School, Ipswich and Cardinal College, Oxford. When Wolsey fell from power in 1530 he was appointed to the Privy Council.

(Pictured: Thomas Cromwell by Hans Holbein the Younger, c1532).

Thomas Cromwell was possessed with genuine reforming zeal and a loathing for what he perceived to be the superstitions and corruptions of the Catholic monks. Along with his fellow Protestants, Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cranmer, he was instrumental in the achievement of the break with Rome. At the height of his career, Cromwell was central to the annulment of the marriage to Catherine, the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn, the execution of Thomas More, and the dissolution of the monasteries. In 1536 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Cromwell of Wimbledon, and in April 1540 he became Earl of Essex. Yet his support for the disastrous marriage to Anne of Cleves led to his abrupt downfall in 1540, followed by his botched execution on 28 July 1540 and his head on a pike on London Bridge. He was 55 years old when he died.

That other famous Cromwell, Oliver Cromwell, the Parliamentarian leader during the English Civil War and later Lord Protector, was a great-great-grandson of Thomas Cromwell’s sister, Katherine Williams, whose husband assumed the Cromwell name.

Henry VIIISimon Court.

Henry VIII: History In An Hour, published by William Collins, part of HarperCollins, is available in various digital formats, only 99p / $1.99, and downloadable audio.

See also Thomas Cranmer and Thomas More.

Thomas More – a summary

A dominant intellectual force of his generation, a devout Catholic and lawyer whose interests extended to philosophy, statesmanship and humanism, Thomas More was born 7 February 1478, the son of Sir John More, himself a successful lawyer and judge. Thomas studied at Oxford and then Lincoln’s Inn before being called to the Bar in 1502. Elected to Parliament in 1504, he became increasingly influential as an adviser to Henry VIII. In 1521, he assisted Henry in writing the Assertio, a formal response to the Protestant radical Martin Luther’s attack on Catholicism. In 1523, More became the Speaker of the House of Commons, and succeeded Thomas Wolsey as Lord Chancellor in 1529.

Thomas MoreMore became increasingly worried about Henry’s leanings towards the Protestant Reformation, which he considered to be heretical. He had earlier assisted Wolsey in preventing the spread of the writings of Luther, and was later to suppress the use of William Tyndale’s English translation of the New Testament in churches. His spiritual life is reputed to have included practices such as wearing a hair shirt next to his skin and occasional self-flagellation.

(Pictured: Sir Thomas More painted by Hans Holbein the Younger, 1527).

In 1530, More refused to sign a letter from leading churchmen and aristocrats to Pope Clement VII requesting the annulment of Henry’s marriage to Catherine, and by May 1532 he was forced to resign as Lord Chancellor. After refusing to attend the coronation of Anne Boleyn a year later, he was charged with accepting bribes and conspiracy but successfully defended himself. When he and John Fisher, the Bishop of Rochester, refused to take the Oath of Supremacy or to acknowledge that Catherine’s marriage was lawfully annulled, he was arrested for treason in 1534 and imprisoned in the Tower of London.

God’s servant first

In July 1535, More was brought to trial. A lawyer to the last, he sought to rely on the legal precedent that ‘who is silent is seen to consent’ and he argued that he could not be convicted of high treason for failing to take the Oath of Supremacy if he did not expressly deny that the king was the Supreme Head of the Church. However, the Solicitor-General Richard Rich testified that More had made such a denial in his presence, and although this testimony was highly dubious, it took just fifteen minutes for the jury to find More guilty. Mounting the steps of the scaffold on 6 July 1535, More said ‘see me safe up and for my coming down, I can shift for myself’, and declared that he died ‘the king’s good servant, but God’s first’. In 1935, Pope Pius XI canonized both Thomas More and John Fisher.

Henry VIIISimon Court.

Henry VIII: History In An Hour, published by William Collins, part of HarperCollins, is available in various digital formats, only 99p / $1.99, and downloadable audio.

See also Thomas Cranmer and Thomas Cromwell.

Thomas Cranmer – a brief summary

In 1503, at the age of 14, Thomas Cranmer was sent to Jesus College, Cambridge, where he was later ordained and named as one of the university’s preachers, and became an admirer of the humanist Desiderius Erasmus. From 1529 onwards he was involved in advising Thomas Wolsey on the theological issues surrounding the ‘King’s Great Matter’, Henry VIII’s need to find a better wife than Catherine of Aragon to provide him with a son and heir.

Cranmer and Anne Boleyn

Thomas CranmerIn 1532 Cranmer was appointed the resident ambassador at the court of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, but unsurprisingly he was unable to persuade Charles to support the annulment of his aunt Catherine’s marriage. Despite this failure, Cranmer was appointed the new Archbishop of Canterbury, a promotion secured by the family of Anne Boleyn, whom he had served as family chaplain. In June 1533 it was Cranmer who crowned Anne as queen.

When Thomas Cromwell accused Anne of various sexual infidelities in 1536, Cranmer expressed his doubts as to her alleged guilt in a letter to Henry, but it went unheeded. On 16 May he saw Anne in the Tower of London and heard her last confession before pronouncing her marriage to Henry null and void the following day.

In 1539, Cranmer wrote the preface to the new Great Bible in English. He also officiated in the wedding ceremony of Henry and Anne of Cleves, and led the synod which quickly annulled the marriage.After Thomas Cromwell’s execution, Cranmer assumed a prominent political position, being delegated the tricky task of telling Henry about the marital indiscretions of Catherine Howard. When several conservative clergymen plotted against him in 1543, Henry showed total support for Cranmer and the plot failed. Cranmer acted as an executor to Henry’s final will, and grew a beard, partly in mourning for the king and partly to signify his rejection of the old Catholic Church.

Burnt at the stake

Mary Tudor (queen)When the death of Edward VI, in 1553, ushered in the Catholic ‘Bloody Mary’ (pictured) as queen, the conservative clergy were restored to power. Cranmer was arrested (along with fellow Protestants Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley) and was left to languish in prison in Oxford for two years awaiting trial for heresy, during which Rome deprived him of the archbishopric. Despite a full recantation that should have led to a reprieve under Canon Law, Mary was determined to see him executed, as Latimer and Ridley were.

On 21 March 1556 Cranmer was expected to make a final humiliating recantation from the pulpit of the University Church, Oxford, but he deviated from the prepared script and renounced all his previous recantations, saying, ‘And as for the pope, I refuse him, as Christ’s enemy, and Antichrist with all his false doctrine.’

He was pulled from the pulpit and burned at the stake.

Henry VIIISimon Court.

Henry VIII: History In An Hour, published by William Collins, part of HarperCollins, is available in various digital formats, only 99p / $1.99, and downloadable audio.

See also Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell.

Henry VIII: History in an Hour

HenryKing of England, claimant King of France, Lord – and later King – of Ireland, Supreme Head of the Church of England and, perhaps most famously, six times a husband, Henry VIII is England’s most notorious monarch.

Succeeding his father, Henry VII, he allied with the Holy Roman Emperor and began his many obsessive invasions of France. Meanwhile the handsome, worldly king embarked on his famous quests for a suitable wife and heir. With marriage to Anne Boleyn came the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church, Reformation and the Dissolution of the Monasteries. From his childhood to his later years and famed appetites for food, sex and validation, ‘Henry VIII: History in an Hour’ by Simon Court describes the life of a man whose desires and determination changed England and the world.

This, in an hour, is Henry VIII.

Only 99p. Buy now from iTunesAmazonB&N and other online stores.

Also available as an audio download.

Contents

The ‘Virtuous Prince’
Jousting and the Heraldic Past
The King of England and of France
The Field of Cloth of Gold
The ‘King’s Great Matter’
The Break with Rome
‘The Goggle-eyed Whore’: Anne Boleyn
A King is Born
The Reformation and the Dissolution of the Monasteries
The ‘Fat Flanders Mare’: Anne of Cleves
The Gruesome End of Thomas Cromwell
The ‘Lewd and Naughty’: Catherine Howard
Death and Succession
Personality as Political Policy
Henry Tudor: Psychological Post-mortem

Which wife did Henry VIII love the most?

In a recent Facebook poll, run by History in an Hour, Jane Seymour was voted as the wife Henry VIII loved the most.

The poll attracted lots of interest with over 10,000 votes and the results are:

Catherine of Aragon 1,341 13%
Anne Boleyn 3,063 29.5%
Jane Seymour 5,449 52.5%
Anne of Cleves 88 0.8%
Catherine Howard 136 1.4%
Catherine Parr 292 2.8%

What is Love?

Henry VIIIThe problem with data from a choice like this is that we all perceive love in a similar but completely personal way.  In some respects it seems Henry was looking for an ideal in love that we still seek some 500 years later.  He tried again and again to marry for love not politics. With so many people all looking for something so unique and so personal, love is certainly far from one-size-fits-all and Henry was a complex, ever evolving character. As Prince Charles was to say over four and a half centuries later, ‘What is love?’

Many respondents pointed out that Henry had asked for Jane whilst on his deathbed and also insisted he must be buried beside her – which he was.  This, many argued, confirmed his love for her above the others. One comment read, ‘I think he loved her the most, not only because she gave him a son, but also because she was subservient and a good wife in his eyes.’  So, is the fact that someone will do precisely as we ask, how we define love? Or merely how Henry defined love?

Love of his life

When we consider runner-up Anne Boleyn, one comment read, ‘Anne Boleyn could be considered “the love of his life” their courtship was long and elaborate, and he risked and accepted Papal Excommunication in order to win her.’ Certainly Henry was prepared to, publicly, move heaven and earth to be with Anne.  He played a much more subservient role in this relationship.  Anne refused to become his mistress; it was wife and queen or nothing at all. When one considers him as a narcissistic and tyrannical king, it is surprising that he allowed such obvious dominance and defiance from Anne before the members of his court.  However we describe the emotion he felt for her, it was hugely powerful and all-consuming.

First and last loves

Responses for other queens included Catherine of Aragon, because ‘she was his first love’ and Catherine Parr because ‘she cared for him to the end.’

This of course returns us to the variance of perceptions of love.  As an onlooker to a relationship, is love measured by how much a person gives, as in the case of Jane Seymour and Catherine Parr?  Or is it the lengths someone will go in order to win their heart’s desire or a public declaration as in the case of Anne Boleyn? Or quite simply, do we feel that the first love is always ‘the real one’?

We know he had no affection for his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. He married her on the strength of a painting by Hans Holbein the Younger but when he met her for the first time the reality fell well short of the expectation. The marriage went ahead but was never consummated and was annulled within six months. Anne of Cleves, however, unlike Anne Boleyn, kept her head.

Many thanks to the 10,369 who voted, the most succinct comment being – ‘None of them he was narcissistic and only loved himself…I guess! ;)’

Julie Wheeler

Read more about the life of Henry VIII and his six wives in Henry VIII’s Wives: History In An Hour published by Harper Press and available in various digital formats.

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Henry VIII’s Wives: History in an Hour

The reign of Henry VIII was one of the most revolutionary periods in English History.  The King’s obsessive search for true-love and intense desire for a male heir led to England’s break from the rule of Catholicism and the complete Reformation of the Church. ‘Divorced, Beheaded, Died; Divorced, Beheaded, Survived’ – This popular rhyme that many use to remember the fate of the six wives of Henry VIII shows us just that; their final destiny.

Although many rulers of the time married only for political reasons, Henry wanted an ideal we still crave today; a truly loving matrimony.  His quest for this improbable perfection changed him from a fun-loving prince into a belligerent tyrant.

The women he tried to squash to fit this perfect mould differed vastly.  First came the devoutly Catholic and devoted Catherine of Aragon, then the tantalising, volatile, Reforming Protestant Anne Boleyn.  She in turn was ousted by the gentle and submissive touch of Jane Seymour. After her death, Henry made his only attempt at a wholly political alliance by choosing Anne of Cleves and he even tried to turn that into a romantic story.  He went on to allow his heart free rein in the rule of his head in selecting the party-loving teenage tease, Katherine Howard before finally settling for the intelligent and independent Catherine Parr.  This book, in an hour, will introduce you to these six entirely diverse and captivating personalities and the events that propelled them to their individual fate.

Also available as an audio download and an app for the iPhone / iPad

Contents

  • Catherine of Aragon
  • Anne Boleyn
  • Divorcing Catherine to Marry Anne
  • Anne’s Fall From Favour
  • Jane Seymour
  • Anne of Cleves
  • Katherine Howard
  • Catherine Parr

Reader Reviews:

“This book helped enormously, learning about the wives I did not know much about. Concise, not too much of a commitment, easy to read and recall, I loved the book, loved the subject matter, and loved the learning experience.” From review on Mrs Christine.

“Julie Wheeler has managed to compress history and still make it very interesting. Her book is a good starting point for a study of Henry VIII’s wives.”

“I am fairly well read on this era but I still thoroughly enjoyed this quick read. I’d recommend this as a really good starting point for anyone interested in Henry VIII’s wives and/or Tudor history in general. I really enjoyed Julie Wheeler’s version of Anne of Cleves; some of the books I’ve read or listened to have not been so kind to her. There are pictures of paintings scattered throughout, which are particularly good for an ebook and the one of Anne of Cleves is one of my favourites and very flattering. Well written and concise there is a lot of history compressed into this little book.”

“Straight talking. Many historical books baffle you by jumping decades and then reverting back – this book is a credit to the author – very interesting. I have learnt more from this book than reading several others on the same subject.”

“Loved it! Excellently written. Wish there were more books on English kings and queens like this one. Should be read in schools as part of history education.”

“I learnt so much about Henry VIII’s wives without all the waffle. This book is concise and to the point. Highly recommended!

“I discovered the life and history of Henry and his six wives, as if it was a fiction, with great characters and amazing stories. It is fun, easy to read and you learn a lot! I would recommend it!”

“Ms. Wheeler does an excellent job of leaving the reader wanting more. By making complex history simple, readable, and enjoyable you are soon drawn in. This is an excellent read and has me keen to venture further into the lives of Henry’s wives!”

“As someone who finds it difficult to read large volumes, I found this perfect for giving me a quick overview of this topic. An interesting read and once started I wanted to finish it which I did within the hour! As someone who enjoys history I’m sure I will download the other books in this series.”

“I enjoyed reading this short hour long book, I was interested in the background of his wife’s after watching the video series of the Tudors. I would definitely recommend this book.”

Loved this book. A great way to spend an hour. Certainly not a boring history book, very interesting indeed. Plentiful with information.”

“I was never interested [in Tudor history] at school, but this was a really good read. Will be getting some family members to have a good go at this.”

Well written book that goes into a bit more detail about the wives. Well worth the read.”

“I have to say this book is pretty good! I’m fascinated with the Tudor Era and have read a lot about Henry VIII and his wives… and this book is a good intro to the story. It’s accurate and touches on the politics of the day, which is no mean feat. Did I manage to read this in an hour? Yes, I think I did. Its a nice handy into to the era, and I’ll look out for the others in the series.”

Excellent reading and researched well. Took a little longer than an hour to read but still enjoyable. Highly recommend it.”

“I found this an entertaining read and gave a short description of the lives of all of the king’s wives. Good as a short intro to the wives of Henry.”

“A very interesting read and a good starting point for anyone interested in Henry the VIII and his wives. Covers the relevant facts without getting bogged down with too many dates and names. Ideal for a long train or plane journey.”

“I love history and the tudor period and I am always on the look out for a new authors. This ebook is a great read, full of facts, well researched and concise. Because I don’t always get as much time as would I like to feed my addiction for historical facts, this book was perfect for me. I loved the way the facts were presented in such a way that I really felt the people come alive. Cannot wait for more!!”

“It was a very concise history of that period and amazingly easy to read and absorb in one hour. I will now read the other recommended history in an hour books.”

“This was very informative and interesting. Also a very quick read. Highly recommend!! Very enjoyable and entertaining. Can’t wait to read more history in an hour!”

“This was a quick read, but very well put together. It really only took about an hour to read because the book stated facts in a concise manner. Easy to follow and interesting.”

“It’s short but to the point and gives the facts you need. As it says it’s good for an hour’s read and brilliant if you want the basics.”

“What a thrilling and concise read. Well written and had all the facts to hand. Perfect for someone like myself and sufficient references to allow further research.”

“Absolutely true to its title – a full history in one hour which told me everything I never learnt at school.”

Enjoyable and concise review of the lives of the wives of Henry VIII, easy to read and informative and great value.”

“Very informative and well written. A very good read in a short amount of time. Fantastic.”

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Anne Boleyn – A Mother Remembered

Elizabeth I lost her mother, Anne Boleyn, to the executioner’s block before her third birthday.  Despite this, the brief memory of her mother and loyalty to her maternal family remained powerful forces within Elizabeth.

When married to Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII, Anne (pictured) had become the victim of a cruel plot to oust her as queen.  Her enemies found easy success because Henry had tired of her sharp tongue and she had not provided him a male heir. Furthermore he had fallen for one of her maids; Jane Seymour, who would become his third wife following Anne’s death.

Anne was executed on 19 May 1536 on charges relating to treason, adultery and incest.  Little Elizabeth was immediately declared illegitimate and out of royal favour.

By the time Elizabeth was allowed back to court, it was Christmas 1536.  She found herself amidst courtiers who dare not mention her mother, or in fact, the very name of Boleyn.

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The Birth of Henry VIII

Over half a millennium ago, the child who would one day reign as Henry VIII was born June 28, 1491 at Greenwich Palace, London to parents, Henry VII and Elizabeth of York.

The Tudor Dynasty into which Henry had been born was still in its infancy.  His father, Henry VII (pictured), had usurped the crown of England from Richard III at the battle of Bosworth in August 1485.  The six years that Henry VII had held the English throne had been turbulent, to say the least.  His marriage to Elizabeth had not entirely put an end to ‘The Wars of The Roses’ but the combination of her Yorkist lineage with that of his Lancastrian descent went some way to appease the English.  They may not have relished Henry VII but no-one could dislike the gentle, demure and utterly enchanting Queen.  She was peace-loving and able to maintain a respectful distance from her mother-in-law Margaret Beaufort, accepting this powerful influence over her husband.  The King clearly loved and respected his wife very much.  He took his marriage vows very seriously and unlike the majority of monarchs, both contemporary and previous, he practised monogamy.

Despite the hazardous process of childbirth, Elizabeth of York was safely delivered of Henry, just as she had been with his older siblings; Arthur in 1486 and Margaret in 1489.  King Henry VII could now relax safe in the knowledge he had an ‘heir and a spare’.  With each child, particularly the boys, his position on the throne could grow stronger.  Elizabeth would go on to have three more children after Henry but only Mary, born in 1496, would survive to adulthood.

The Christening of the Future King

The christening service for baby Henry was conducted by Richard Foxe, Bishop of Exeter.  It was conducted with Royal protocol in mind.  According to, ‘the Ryalle book’ this would have included a stage and canopy decorated in lavish fabric as well as the sounding of trumpets to mark the occasion.

Maybe it was because little Henry was only the ‘spare’ that few concerned themselves with great outpouring over Henry’s christening.   No poet or contemporary chronicler seems to have provided a written record.  Even Henry’s own grandmother, Margaret Beaufort, makes only a minor mention of his arrival in her calendar.

The Young Henry

As a toddler all that is known about Henry is that he was a confident and attractive child whose appearance soon leaned towards his Yorkist ancestry.  He was a stocky, red-haired infant unlike his fair, slender father and elder brother Arthur. The two boys experienced incredibly different and separate nurture too.

Arthur was being specifically educated for Kingship, away from his siblings.  Alternatively, at the beginning of his life, Henry was surrounded by the feminine influence of his mother and sisters.  More formal education was introduced when he reached six-years-old.  The accomplished poet, John Skelton became his main tutor.  The theological instruction of young Henry was considered very important.  He developed a deep interest in philosophy and theology and the issues that surrounded the subjects, relishing learned debates.  His learning in this field followed the fashionable trend towards Humanist thinking.

There seems little doubt that although loving parents, Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth never lost sight of the dynastic and future importance of their children.  Although debated, some historians believe that whilst Arthur underwent training for the throne, Henry was being prepared for a high profile role within the church.  King Henry VII’s dream, it appears, was to unite the crown and the church within their familial power.

This dream was shattered on April 2, 1502 when Prince Arthur died and the ten-year-old Henry became heir apparent.

Julie Wheeler

Read more about the life of Henry VIII and his six wives in Henry VIII’s Wives: History In An Hour published by Harper Press and available in various digital formats, only 99p / $1.99, and as downloadable audio.

Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon: A Joint Coronation

On 24 June 1509 Henry, Prince of Wales, second son to the recently dead King Henry VII, gloried in a joint coronation with his wife of two weeks, Catherine of Aragon.

As they took the rule of England the country rejoiced and optimism flourished.  A new era was dawning.  A charming, handsome, young extrovert was replacing a tyrannical, paranoid old miser as King of England.  A Spanish princess was to fill a throne long since vacated by a previously beloved Queen.

The Joint Coronation

The previous day the couple had enjoyed a procession through the richly decorated streets of London, towards Westminster.  Catherine, despite her Spanish heritage, embraced English traditions for her part in the procedure.  She was carried in a litter, draped in white, as were the horses that clattered beside her, one of them ridden by her husband.  Catherine’s embroidered, satin dress was also white and her hair tumbled loose about her shoulders, delicately adorned with a coronet set with pearls. Henry’s attire was no less striking.  He wore red velvet, trimmed with ermine and glimmering with precious stones.

The coronation took place at Westminster Abbey.  Two thrones were placed ready before the high altar.  Henry and Catherine were solemnly anointed and crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Party

After the serious solemnity of the ceremony came the party.  An enormous feast was enjoyed by all the guests in Westminster Hall and continued long into the night.  Further celebrations spilled over into the following days and included, dancing, concerts and jousting.  The new king, Henry VIII, had not disappointed.  He had confirmed the guests’ belief that this gregarious Prince knew how to celebrate like a King.

The poet, and former tutor of Henry, John Skelton, produced poetry to be read or sung during the celebrations. Skelton’s writing demonstrated that he believed the new King would always be fair and protect his people. However, the full extent of the joy experienced by the English on this day is beautifully surmised by a letter sent from Lord Mountjoy to the renowned Dutch Scholar, Erasmus: “Heaven and earth rejoices, everything is full of milk and honey and nectar.  Avarice has fled the country.  Our King is not after gold, or gems, or precious metals, but virtue, glory, immortality.”

This was unquestionably the feeling of the King as well as his people, for Henry was already looking towards the legend of King Arthur and the example of his own ancestor (and victor at the battle of Agincourt), Henry V, for his Royal inspiration.

And without doubt Henry’s need for glory and immortality would change England forever.

Julie Wheeler

See also Which wife did Henry VIII love the most?, the birth of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves – the luckiest Queen?

Read more in Henry VIII’s Wives: History In An Hour published by Harper Press and available in various digital formats.

The Death of Anne Boleyn – Her Fall From Favour

After the loss of another baby in January 1536, Anne Boleyn’s hold over Henry VIII was desperately weakened.  He had his sights on one of her ladies; Jane Seymour.   Whilst the tempestuous nature of Anne Boleyn made her a beguiling and captivating mistress, this very nature did not lend itself to the requirements of a sixteenth-century wife.  Duty, modesty and obedience ranked higher within Jane’s skill range.  She was the very model of calm domesticity, gentle and fully aware of her ‘place’.

The Cruel Plot

Anne was not short of enemies at court.  She had a close ring of male supporters, that included her beloved brother George, but otherwise she was disliked for her ousting of Henry’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, her religious beliefs and her sharp tongue.  Thomas Cromwell, Henry’s chief minister, who had since replaced Cardinal Wolsey in the King’s favour, also wanted the fiery Queen discredited.  He saw the King’s waning desire and engineered a cruel plot.

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