The Tudor Society
  • October 18 – Cardinal Wolsey surrenders the Great Seal

    A portrait of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey by an unknown artist, Trinity College, University of Cambridge.

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th October 1529, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey surrendered the Great Seal of his office of Lord Chancellor following the writ of praemunire being filed against him on the 9th October.

    Cardinal Wolsey had been the king’s chief advisor for many years, but he had fallen in favour after the Legatine Court of summer 1529, over which Wolsey and Cardinal Campeggio presided, had adjourned without ruling on the king’s case for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Then, the pope had approved Catherine’s appeal. Historian Eric Ives, in his book “The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn”, also points out that Wolsey “lost Henry’s confidence from late August onwards by miscalculating the king’s mood and by mishandling the Treaty of Cambrai, in which Francis I totally deceived him and caused him, in turn, to mislead his master.”

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  • 29 November – Courtier Anthony Browne dies a natural death whilst having served through 4 reigns and Cardinal Wolsey cheats the executioner

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th November 1528, nobleman and courtier, Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montagu, was born.

    Montagu began his court career with the help of his father in Henry VIII’s reign. served as a privy councillor in Mary I’s reign, and died a natural death as a wealthy man in Elizabeth I’s reign. He even survived being implicated in a rebellion!

    Who was Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montagu, and just how did he manage to not only have an excellent court career, but leave a fortune to his grandson, when he was a Catholic in Elizabeth I’s reign?

    Find out all about him in today’s this talk…

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  • 4 November – The imprisonment of a treasonous family and the arrest of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th November 1538, Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu, his brother-in-law, Sir Edward Neville; Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter; Courtenay’s wife, Gertrude Blount, and the couple’s son, Edward Courtenay, were all arrested for treason and imprisoned in the Tower of London.

    Montagu, Neville and Exeter, along with Montagu’s brother, Geoffrey Pole, were accused of plotting with Cardinal Reginald Pole against the king. Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, was also arrested, accused of the same.

    But how had it come to this, when Henry VIII had sought Cardinal Pole’s opinion on his marriage and the papacy?

    Find out what Cardinal Pole had done to upset the king, and what happened to his family and friends as a result, in this talk…

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