Thomas Cromwell: Tudor Minister by B. W. Beckingsale (auth.)

By B. W. Beckingsale (auth.)

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When the plan for charges in court failed through bad timing, a general charge of p raemunire was brought against the whole body of the clergy. Henry counted upon the clergy following the example of Wolsey in seeking pardon and he was ready to pardon in exchange for a subsidy of £100 ,000 from Convocation . In recommending the dubious legal device and its use as a means of extortion there is no evidence of Cromwell's part. P The extension of a limited and particular measure into one of general application was characteristic of his method .

Throughout the session Cromwell was in close touch with Wolsey and did some parliamentary business for his master . If Gardiner too tried to help Wolsey , it was Cromwell who gained the reputation of being a loyal servant . Having survived the attack in parliament , Wolsey could not be regarded as having entirely lost Henry's favour. Although it was risky to continue to defend Wolsey, Cromwell was not defending a defiant cleric against the King, but trying to excite the King's mercy for a man who had submitted as an obedient subject and had admitted the error of his ways.

15 In October the King gained the agreement of Francis I to a proposal for marrying Anne Boleyn without awaiting papal permission. In the same month Henry's decision to marry Anne Boleyn was anticipated by a papal brief forbidding the marriage . With the prospect of Cranmer's ecclesiastical , Cromwell's parliamentary and Francis I's diplomatic backing Henry was becoming more confident that he could now disregard the Pope and adopt a domestic settlement. In January 1533 he made the decisi ve mo ve by marrying Anne Boleyn.

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