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The Earl of Essex, English administrator.

Cromwell was Cardinal Wolsey's agent in the dissolution of the smaller monasteries of 1525. He directed the king's divorce proceedings against Catherine of Aragon as Henry VIII's secretary and chief minister.

Aiming at the absolute power of the king, Cromwell promoted the Act of Supremacy in 1534 and the Acts of Reformation (1532-9) against the Church.

He raised revenue for the crown by suppressing the greater monastic houses in 1535 and was created Earl of Essex in 1540. Cromwell negotiated Henry VIII's marriage with Anne of Cleves and, soon afterwards, was charged with treason and executed.


It was Thomas Cromwell, as Henry VIII's Vicar General, who made Parish Registers compulsory in 1538.GD:KENT:TCOSCOR-AR-1990:p.20

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Katherine of Aragon   (1485-1536)

Youngest daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of castile, was betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales, by the Treaty of Medina del Campo (1489) made with Henry VII of England (1485-1509) seeking to increase his political power and secure the Tudor dynasty. She married Arthur in 1501 but was widowed the following year. Reluctant to return her huge dowery, Henry VII started negotiations for her marriage to Prince Henry, the marriage taking place after long delays in 1509 when Henry became king. The only survivor of six children by the marriage was Mary (1515-1558, queen of England, 1553-8) and Thomas Cromwell arranged Henry VIII's divorce from Katherine in 1534 causing England's rift with the Roman Catholic Church.

Gregory Cromwell   (c.1514-July 4th, 1551)

Thomas's son born at Putney (c.1514). Married Elizabeth Seymour of Wolfhall, Savernake Forest, Wiltshire before 1538. Died on July 4th, 1551 at Launde in Leicestershire and is buried at Launde Abbey.

Oliver Cromwell   (1599-1658)

The East Anglian farmer, descended from Thomas's older sister Catherine Cromwell (b.c.1483) whose children kept the cromwell name although she married, probably to maintain their connection with their famous uncle. Elected member of parliament, his military ability during the Civil War caused his rise in political influence until he became Lord Protector during the Commonwealth and later ruler of the country as a military dictator.

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circa 1485Birth of Thomas Cromwell in Putney, Surrey
1503.DecThomas Cromwell serves as a soldier in the French army at the battle of the Garigliano
circa 1510Thomas Cromwell returns to England from Europe
He engages in businesses, dressing cloth and moneylending
circa 1513Marriage of Thomas cromwell to Elizabeth Wykes
circa 1514Birth of Gregory Cromwell, son of Thomas Cromwell and Elizabeth Wykes
1520Thomas cromwell known to be advising Cardinal Wolsey on legal matters
Henceforth occurs frequently advisor to noblemen and others when in difficulties, especially on financial matters
1523Thomas Cromwell becomes a member of the House of Commons with the help of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
1524Thomas Cromwell admitted at Grays Inn
1525Dissolution of the minor religious houses by Thomas Cromwell as agent of Cardinal Wolsey
To provide the endowments for Wolseys foundations at Oxford and Ipswich
circa 1527Death of Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Cromwell
(or 1528)
1529.JulThomas Cromwell makes his will
One of the chief beneficiaries is his nephew, Richard Williams (alias Cromwell), the great-grandfather of the the Lord Protector
1529.NovFall of Cardinal Wolsey as a bill of indictment is preferred against him
Thomas Cromwell hurriedly elected burgess for Taunton so he could remain in government service
1530Thomas Cromwell enters the service of Henry VIII
1530Thomas Cromwell sworn into the King\'s (Privy) Council
1532Thomas Cromwell becomes Master of Court of Wards, clerk of the Hanaper, and Master of Jewel House
1533Thomas Cromwell becomes Chancellor of the Exchequer
1534Thomas Cromwell becomes Secretary to Henry VIII and Master of the Rolls
1534Treasons Act; made words or refusal to plead treasonable as well as overt ects
1534.Nov.03Act of Supremacy; Henry VIII splits from Rome, Parliament establishes the Church of England declares the English monarch its head and protector
Subjets are required to swear an oath of loyalty and reject Papal authority (churchmen who refuse the oath such as Sir Thomas Moore are executed)
1535Thomas Cromwell created Vicar-General, effectively a dictator in matters ecclesiastical
1536Dissolution of the minor Monastic houses supervised by Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII\'s Vicar General
1536Cromwell issues injunctions against the worship of images and the sale of relics
1536Thomas Cromwell becomes Lord Privy Seal and created 1st Baron Cromwell of Oakham
1537Thomas cromwell made a Knight of the Garter and becomes Dean of Wells
1538Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIIIs Vicar General, made the keeping of Parish Registers compulsory
1538Hnery VIII categorically refused to concede the three reforms demanded by the Lutheran envoys hindering the political and theological union between England and the Lutheran princes of Germany sought by Cromwell
1539Dissolution of the major Monastic houses supervised by Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII\'s Vicar General
1539Thomas cromwell made Lord Great Chamberlain
1540Thomas Cromwell created Earl of Essex
1540.Jan.06Marriage of King Henry VIII to Anne of Cleves at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich
1540.Jun.10Thomas Cromwell accused of treason by Norfolk
The whole Privy Council joined in the attack and Cromwell was sent to the Tower
1540.Jul.09Marriage of King Henry VIII to Anne of Cleves annulled
1540.Jul.18Marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine Howard at Oatlands Palace in Surrey ]or 28th?[
1540.Jul.28Execution of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, on a charge of treason at Tower Hill, London

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Life and Letters of Thomas Cromwell
  by Merriman, 1902

Renascence Portraits
  by Paul van Dyke, 1906

Recommend a Book for this Page

Henry VIII's Vicar General.

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