Glenn Richardson is Professor of Early Modern History at St Mary’s University in Twickenham, London, having completed his doctorate at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research interests have centred on Renaissance kingship, Anglo-French diplomatic and cultural relations, masculinity and kinship, as well as cardinals and the papacy in the Renaissance. Among his many publication are Wolsey (2020) for the Routledge/Taylor Francis Historical Biographies series, of which he has also recently become the Editor; The Field of Cloth of Gold (2014 and 2020) and Renaissance Monarchy: The reigns of Henry VIII, Francis I and Charles V (2002). He edited ‘The Contending Kingdoms’: England and France 1420-1700 (Ashgate, 2008), and with Susan Doran England and its Neighbours (Palgrave 2005).
This talk looks at one of the most important personal relationships in the history of Tudor England; that between Henry VIII and his Cardinal-Lord Chancellor, Thomas Wolsey. It explores how Wolsey first secured Henry’s trust and confidence. It looks at their day to day communications, their formal and informal interactions. Were they friends? How and why did Henry come to depend on Wolsey in the way he did; and with what consequences? The talk considers the reasons for Wolsey’s fall and the validity or otherwise of charges of treason laid against him only weeks before his death in 1530. Finally, the talk gives some assessment of Wolsey’s legacy in the remainder of Henry’s reign