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Thomas Wolsey Essay Sample

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Thomas Wolsey Essay Sample

Although sources 1-3 make suggestions towards Wolsey’s lack of effort in gaining an annulment for Henry, they all generally agree in the fact that his ability and determination to fill Henry with hope that he would succeed in obtaining the annulment showed that Wolsey made gaining the annulment his main priority which he tried to achieve whole heartedly. Firstly, sources 1 and 2 both agree that Wolsey was wasteful with the resources he had at his disposal and that he did not make an efficient use of not only this, but also his situation. Source 2 “…Wolsey has marvellous contacts” and “…yet has not made use of this”.

It can be implied from this that Wolsey had the ability to obtain Henry’s annulment, but failed due to his lack of effort and half-hearted approach. Source 1 supports this view, first implying once again that Wolsey had good contacts and that he had the ability to influence them “Stafileo has changed his opinion”. However a lack of effort can still be seen here as he as only instructed Stafileo of the facts. It is likely that Source 2 is more reliable than source 1 as it was from a letter written by the Duke of Suffolk, who was not directly involved in the ‘Great Matter’.

As the source is also from a letter, it is unlikely the Suffolk would have feared angering Wolsey as the letter would have been private. Source 2, in comparison to this, may not be as reliable as Wolsey would not have wanted to upset Henry and so would make events seem a lot more positive than they may have been. It can also be suggested that as source 2 was written 2 years after source 1, Wolsey had failed to use his contacts efficiently which supports claims made in source 1.

Despite this, Wolsey did successfully install hope in to Henry which shows he did not want to let Henry down. This is shown in source 3 “Kindled the fire in Henry” and this quote itself is supported by source 1 “Stafileo has changed his opinion” showing Wolsey’s power of manipulation, this time over Stafileo. It is clear that Wolsey had great confidence in his ability to give Henry hope and therefore was not half hearted in his attempts to achieve an annulment. Source 3 is taken from Edwards Hall’s Chronicle, 1948, and is quoting Catherine of Aragorn’s words to Wolsey.

Despite the fact that there is a chance of misinterpretation, the fact that Catherine was threatened by Wolsey shows how much of an influence Wolsey had over Henry’s mind and his decisions, further showing that Wolsey was not half hearted in his efforts. In conclusion, it is suggested in sources 1-3 that Wolsey’s attempts to attain an annulment were not half hearted, due to the amount of determination Wolsey had to gain the annulment. Source 3 talks of Wolsey’s “arrogance, power and tyranny.

Source 1 further supports his determination as he had managed to change Stafileo’s opinion and also convinced him to write a “scholarly book” in which Stafileo supported Henry’s case with the authority of law. Source 3, a face to face conversation, and source 1, a letter written to Henry, are subject to exaggeration and mistruth, because of Catherine’s anger and Wolsey’s relationship with the king. It can be implied from source 3 however that from the negative language present in source 3, that Wolsey upset and angered his opponents while trying to attain the annulment, rather than getting them on his side.

Overall source 3 is the most supportive that Wolsey was not half hearted, as Catherine was clearly worried about how much influence Wolsey had and the determination he had to obtain the annulment. Source 1 is also very supportive of this as it shows him trying to change people’s views on the annulment and succeeding in the case of Stafileo. Therefore it is clear that although Wolsey may not have been very successful in obtaining an annulment, shown in source 2, he did not go about it half-heartedly.

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