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History   >   The Tudors - Thomas Cromwell, 1485-1540

Cromwell, Wolsey and the King’s Great Matter

 
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The Tudors - Thomas Cromwell, 1485-1540

In this course, Professor John Patrick Coby (Smith College) looks at the life and career of Thomas Cromwell (1485-1540). In the first module, we provide an introduction to Cromwell’s career through the lens of his and Thomas Wolsey’s involvement in the King’s Great Matter (Henry VIII’s inability to produce a male heir while married to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon). In the second module, we go back in time a little to look at Cromwell’s rise to power, looking at potential influences that contributed towards his later success. In the third module, we turn to look specifically at Cromwell’s numerous roles as an advisor and legislator of Henry VIII’s government, before in the fourth module surveying the extent to which Cromwell’s political influence brought about what the historian G. R. Elton labeled a ‘Tudor Revolution in Government’. In the fifth module, we turn from politics to religion, considering Cromwell’s role in the English Reformation, before in the sixth and final module looking at Cromwell’s decline and fall in the last years of his career.

Cromwell, Wolsey and the King’s Great Matter

In this module, we provide an introduction to Cromell’s careers by looking at the King’s Great Matter, focusing in particular on: (i) Cromwell’s early life and upbringing, including his travels in Europe and training in finance and mercantile trade; (ii) Cromwell’s early political career, including his election to parliament as a Burgess in the House of Commons and mentorship by Thomas Wolsey (1473-1530); (iii) Henry VIII’s Great Matter, meaning his failure to produce a male heir with his first wife Catherine of Aragon; (iv) the factors complicating Henry VIII’s attempt to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon; (iv) the fall of Wolsey and Cromwell’s reaction; and (v) Cromwell’s achievements by 1530.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Coby, J. (2023, September 22). The Tudors - Thomas Cromwell, 1485-1540 - Cromwell, Wolsey and the King’s Great Matter [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/the-tudors-thomas-cromwell-1485-1540

MLA style

Coby, J. "The Tudors - Thomas Cromwell, 1485-1540 – Cromwell, Wolsey and the King’s Great Matter." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 22 Sep 2023, https://massolit.io/courses/the-tudors-thomas-cromwell-1485-1540

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