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How Far Do The Sources Suggest That Wolsey’s Efforts To Secure An Annulment Of The King’s Marriage Were Half Hearted?

586 words - 3 pages

The sources suggest that Wolsey tried everything in his power to secure the annulment and that other events happening during the time were the cause for not securing the annulment and not because he was half-hearted about it.

Source 1 gives the impression that Wolsey was trying hard to gain Henry support for the annulment, the source says ‘being by me well instructed of the facts, Stafileo has changed his opinion’ which suggests that Wolsey was trying to impress Henry with the support of Stafileo who was a very important figure in the Supreme Court of the Catholic Church in Rome. The fact that Stafileo had written a book in support of Henry's annulment was a big achievement for Henry’s case as it would gain even more support and increase the chance of an annulment, this ...view middle of the document...

This gives us the impression that Wolsey was the source for Henry wanting the annulment. However, the source also says how Wolseys ambition was to become Pope, which could only happen if Charles V was to force. Catherine suggests in the source that she dislikes Wolsey and that he would do anything to attain the annulment as she had ‘questioned his high pride’. This therefore implies that Wolsey was not half-hearted about securing the divorce as he would do anything to make sure that Catherine was no longer beside the King because he personally disliked her. Due to source 3 being a personal attack on Wolsey by Catherine it could meant that it is unreliable as she would say anything to back up her argument that the marriage was valid.
On the other hand, source 2 gives the impression that Wolsey was half-hearted as he did not use his ‘marvellous contact with the Pope and others in Rome’ which is claimed in ‘Yet has not made use of this to advance your matter’. Wolsey was one of the most powerful men in England and also had many contacts within Rome but the fact he had not used this to get Henry his annulment shows that he was half-hearted in his attempts. The source however could be questioned as it contradicts source 1 by saying Wolsey did not use his contacts to secure the annulment, were as in source 1 it clearly states that he did in fact use some of his contacts regarding the annulment which allows us to question the reliability of both the sources.

In conclusion,Wolsey was not half-hearted in his attempts to secure the annulment, the fact that the Pope was under the control of Charles V who disliked Wolsey due to him pushing for the annulment, was one of the main reasons that Wolsey had not achieve the annulment and if the circumstances had been different than he would probably have secured the annulment for Henry.

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