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Extra info for Access to History. Henry VIII to Mary I: Government and Religion, 1509-1558
He was prepared to make the effort required to become a competent musician and a passable scholar. Although Henry made no secret of the fact that he found both reading and writing (even the signing of his name) to be laborious and to be avoided if possible, he prided himself on the quality of his mind. And he was right to do so, because he appeared to have the ability to think his way around complicated issues almost as well as the most able of his subjects. It has even been suggested that the favour he extended to men of outstanding ability (at least until he believed that they, with one exception, had betrayed him) such as the four Thomases – Wolsey, More, Cromwell and Cranmer – was probably based on the fact that they could function at his intellectual level.
Taylor was a royal ofﬁcial and also the King’s chaplain. This extract is from the record of Henry’s expedition to France in 1513. 8 July The King was practising archery in a garden with the archers of the guard. He hit the mark in the middle, and surpassed them all, as he surpasses them in stature and personal graces. Source 2 From a report by the Venetian Ambassador, Pasqualigo, in 1515. ’ I told him there was but little difference. ’ I replied ‘Thin’. 1520. The artist is unknown. 34 | Henry VIII to Mary I: Government and Religion 1509–58 Exam tips This is an example of your ﬁrst-part question, question (a), which is compulsory.
Key question What kind of man was Wolsey? Introduction The career of Cardinal Wolsey was one of the most amazing episodes in an amazing reign. Thomas Wolsey was born the son of a butcher in Ipswich in 1470 or 1471. From these lowly origins he deﬁed all the rules of social mobility by becoming the richest and most powerful man in England besides the king. It has often been claimed that he acted as the effective ruler of the country (as an alter rex) for the 15 years up to his fall in 1529. At the height of his inﬂuence, in the mid-1520s, his word was almost law and it was widely understood both at home and abroad that there was little point in attempting to secure any royal favour except through him.