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This week in Christian history: Cardinal Wolsey dies, Church founder born

Cardinal Wolsey dies – Nov. 29, 1530

Thomas Wolsey
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (1475-1530), a prominent statesman and diplomat who became chancellor of England under King Henry VIII, only to his power when he failed to secure an annulment for Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon. |

This week marks the anniversary of when Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, a powerful church leader who served as chancellor of England under King Henry VIII, died of natural causes after being charged with treason.

The son of a butcher, Cardinal Wolsey rose to prominence during the reign of King Henry VII and later under Henry VIII, exerting influence on diplomatic and judicial matters.

However, Wolsey fell out of favor with Henry VIII when he failed to secure an annulment to the king’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, leading to him losing his influence in both church and state.

“There had long been a party of nobles who hated the lowborn, overbearing cardinal. When his final attempt to obtain the annulment collapsed in July 1529, these enemies easily turned the king against him,” noted Britannica.

On his way to London to face charges of treason, Wolsey died. Reportedly, his final words included the declaration that “if I had served God as diligently as I have done the King, he would not have given me over in my grey hairs.”

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