Thomas Wolsey (c. March 1473 – 29 November 1530; sometimes spelled Woolsey) was an English political figure and a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. When Henry VIII became King of England in 1509, Wolsey became the King's almoner. Wolsey's affairs prospered, and by 1514 he had become the controlling figure in virtually all matters of state and extremely powerful within the Church. The highest political position he attained was Lord Chancellor, the King's chief adviser. In that position, he enjoyed great freedom and was often depicted as an alter rex (other king). He fell out of favour after failing to negotiate an annulment of Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon and was stripped of his government titles. He retreated to York to fulfill his ecclesiastical duties as Archbishop of York, a position he nominally held but had neglected during his years in government. He was recalled to London to answer to charges of treason—a common charge used by Henry against ministers who fell out of favour—but died en route of natural causes.
Within the Church, he became Archbishop of York, the second most important cleric in England, and then was made a cardinal in 1515, giving him precedence even over the Archbishop of Canterbury...
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